Tag Archives: parenting

3 Hour Dad by Adam T Hourlution

I have received a free e-copy of the book 3 Hour Dad: Reading is Believing by Adam T Hourlution to review. To find out more about the author, you may visit his website.

3 Hour Dad by Adam T Hourlution

Here is the book blurb.

What would you do if you were suddenly told you were going to be a mum or dad without any notice? How would you react? What thoughts would go through your head? You haven’t prepared to be a parent, you’ve not made any arrangements and nobody in your family is aware.

Now imagine that not even the mum-to-be knew that she had been hiding a little person inside her tummy the entire time.

One day Adam, just your average, typical guy receives a call from his mother-in-law (to be !) summoning him to the hospital following his girlfriend being rushed in with suspected appendicitis only to discover that she is in fact having contractions and has been admitted to the labour ward.

This heart-warming and true story invites readers to step into Adam’s shoes and experience what it is like to be a 3 Hour Dad.

Adam is woken in the night by a phone call from his girlfriend’s mum. She tells him that Lyndsay has gone to hospital with suspected appendicitis but is in fact in labour. This is a huge shock, as neither Adam nor Lindsay herself even knew she was pregnant, no bump or symptoms at all. They hadn’t even been trying to conceive and Lindsay was on the pill and had been abseiling the previous weekend.

Adam rushes to the hospital and finds Lindsay in denial. But 3 hours after the bombshell news, their baby daughter is born weighing 8lb, 3 oz. They have nothing prepared for this unexpected baby, so new grandparents will hit the shops as soon as they open.

Just imagine putting yourself in either Adam’s or Lindsay’s shoes. No time to come to terms with your changing status. They weren’t even living together. Adam shares the story from his perspective, a male who had never even held a baby in his life before.

Also it was heartwarming to note that Adam has decided to donate a proportion of sales to a random act of kindness fund that is used to surprise others.

3 Hour Dad is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.83 in Kindle format. A truly lovely tale. Highly recommended.

Here is an extract from the beginning of the book.


I was destined to be a rock star! I had songs written, I was ready to record, I just needed to find my band mates and we would be ready to go! Until this great adventure was to begin, my main aim was to complete my vintage Star Wars collection; and to book as many cheeky breaks (dirty weekends if you will!) and holidays with my girlfriend.

It was 11th May 2015. Just another typical weekday evening spent alone in my home, focused on winning that all important eBay auction and securing Greedo, the last Star Wars figure I needed to complete the set. I had a dedicated guitar room, a blossoming relationship with the love of my life and hours of laptop time every night………well I did until the phone rang.

Chapter One – May The Force Be With You

I remember it as if it was yesterday. In fact I often still find myself drifting off into day dream mode where I re-live the moment. It was a normal working day; I had been in a meeting out of town and, although not too far away, I was not going to get back until at least 7.30pm. I was actually supposed to have been staying overnight in a hotel about 200 miles away but those arrangements had been changed. Although my girlfriend worked locally and was in the process of moving in, she didn’t fancy coming back to an empty house and so went home to her Mum’s straight from work.

I hadn’t heard from her since her lunch hour which wasn’t out of the ordinary. I knew she was planning to cook a spag bol for her Mum and catch up on the soaps. I had a pizza ready to throw into the oven and a mixed fruit Kopperberg chilling in the fridge, which I had been looking forward to all day. As soon as I walked through the front door I turned on the oven, powered up the laptop and eagerly logged into eBay, loading the bidding screen for the auction which I knew had only a few hours left.

I would say I am one of those people who are blessed with a high metabolism; I can lose weight easily but really struggle to put it on. Well at least that was my justification for consuming the entire pizza even though I had to eat it with Daddies sauce because the supermarket had run out of my usual brand of brown sauce. One episode of the Vampire diaries later and after the perfect cup of tea, I was climbing into bed with my laptop ready to fight it out in the virtual battlefield for that elusive figure. I had already decided that I was going to win this particular auction and stopped paying attention to other listings of the same figure. I don’t know why I was drawn to this particular listing but I was literally in touching distance of claiming my victory.

Success! With 5 seconds to go my winning bid beat the competition. I quickly paid via PayPal and excitedly selected the delivery address as my home. I was going to be the proud owner of a vintage Greedo figure (plus his original weapon and a free gift!). What a find, what a deal, what a brilliant evening! I didn’t care that he wasn’t free delivery, I didn’t care (nor ask) what the free gift was; I was going to have a complete Star Wars collection!! I had set out for this after all. I had imagined the display cabinet which I would proudly present them in and knew where on the wall it would be fixed. My fantasy of 12 months ago was actually going to manifest itself. Don’t get me wrong it had come at a big price, but these figures were priceless to me and so in that respect they were worth every penny.

As the adrenaline began to wear off, I could feel the long day creeping up on me. I flopped back, pulling off my glasses and pushing the laptop to my partner’s side of the bed. After all, it would ultimately go into hibernation mode and shut itself down; it most definitely deserved a place on the bed! It wasn’t long before I was drifting off and sinking into the calmness of the night. I was still faintly tuned into the fans on my laptop and remember them slowing down until there was complete and utter silence. What bliss.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.


Teaching Children to Clean

I’ve tried hard to suggest to my boys that they should tidy one game up before getting another out and that they should put things away at the end of the day, but my words always seem to fall on deaf ears, so when Schar Ward contacted me, to see if I would like a free e-copy of her book “Teaching Children to Clean” to review, my answer was definitely yes please.

Don’t get me wrong, they both do a few chores. Son1 usually brings the bins back after the dustmen have been. And he pairs up clean socks. And they both sometimes remember to put their plates in the dishwasher, son2 is better at this than son1. But they were horrified when we got them involved in washing-up on holiday recently, a task that I can remember regularly helping with myself from age 3.

Teaching Children to Clean by Schar Ward

Here is the book blurb.

By the time a child is sixteen, they should be able to clean every room in the house–Schar Ward

This book contains step-by-step instructions for teaching children and teenagers to clean an entire house. Plus many other life skills such as doing laundry, loading a dishwasher properly, and making a bed.

Cleaning is not an option, it’s a necessity! If your child doesn’t learn, it’ll plague them the rest of their lives. According to the latest research, teaching your child to clean may be the most important thing you ever do for them! You want your child to learn basic life skills, but finding the time for accomplishing this seems to get more difficult each day. What’s the answer? A new approach, that practically does it for you! You’ll find it in these pages and even more:
* The research on children & cleaning
* Proven tactics to get the job done
* Chore charts for every age
* Room evaluations for easier cleaning
* What tools they need
* Safe green cleaning solutions, you can make yourself
* Checklists for detailed cleaning in every room
* How to clean appliances
* How to do laundry, set the table and everyday chores
* How to take care of pets
* Fun cleaning games

Knowing how to take care of yourself in your everyday environment is a skill no one should be without!

my son's untidy room

This is usually what I see in both my sons’ rooms and it tends to start spreading round the rest of the house, so I dived into the book to see how to change my tactics as my current approach is obviously not working.

I’ve picked up lots of tips from this book, so I’ve started by ordering 4 drawstring bags from Amazon – 2 white and 2 black. I have hung one of each colour in my sons’ bedrooms and explained that they are for their dirty laundry. White for white clothing and black for coloured clothing. Hopefully eliminating the need for me to pick up their dirty laundry from all over the floor. And if that goes well, I hope to progress to them bringing the full bags downstairs and then to them loading the washing machine, a task that son1 has carried out occasionally. However, so far son2 has put nothing in the bags, but son1 is remembering to use them sometimes.

The book has certainly highlighted why my current tactics haven’t been effective. And I like the room evaluation guide for making the rooms cleanable. Making beds is something the boys have been taught but ignore. However for instance the book suggests making it easier by moving the bed away from the wall, so that will be my next plan for son2’s room.

One area of the book that is not for me is the chapter on making my own safe cleaning solutions. I certainly don’t have time for this, so I’ll be sticking to buying my usual brands, although I do like the idea of pretending we’re making magic potions.

I think the younger your children, the more you will get out of this book, particularly with regards to cleaning games. I don’t think a game would win my boys over, when they would much rather be on their gadgets.

I do plan to attempt to implement some chore charts and it is a very useful starting point that the ones shown in the book can be downloaded here.

Also it is great that other life skills have been included too. I know this is going to be hard work as far as my boys are concerned, but hopefully I haven’t left it too late to get them to adapt. And I’ve learnt quite a few things myself too, so it is not just all about children.

Teaching Children to Clean is available  on Amazon, currently priced at £15.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A very useful parenting guide, aimed at those with children age 3-16. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Confessions of a Summer Parent

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take part in #The GoodStuff Challenge. This challenge is in partnership with Anchor, so I received a free Anchor Cheddar voucher and a free Anchor Spreadable voucher.

The long school summer holiday is quickly looming, so I’m going to share some of my confessions of how I plan to get through it.

Since I work full-time, I will only be able to take part of the period on leave, so will cover the remainder by the boys spend some time staying in their grandparents caravan and the rest at holiday club.

I have negotiated a few days to work at home plus there are the days that I’m on night shift, so for these I will let the boys have much more screen time than their usual allowance, in order that it is quiet enough for me to either work or get enough sleep. It is great that they are now old enough for this option..

on the trampoline

We will hopefully have some proper days out, but in-between, I tend to let them entertain themselves in the garden on the trampoline or with water toys, while I get on with chores.

Also we often visit one of the local playgrounds. Whilst they play, I’m usually on my phone catching up on email.

at the park

I used to look for children’s colouring competitions and have those printed out ready for a rainy day, but unlikely to bother this summer. Although the boys still love doing their own drawing, colouring is apparently now boring.

And this summer, I’m going to add a new confession. Once I’ve used my vouchers to purchase some Anchor, I’m going to ask the boys to make some cheese sandwiches for either a picnic or we could make a den in the garden and eat them in the den.

So how do you get through the long summer holiday?

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Disclosure. This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor and mentions vouchers I received for free.  All opinions are my own.

Guest post: Awesome things you can do when you have kids

One would say that parenting is extremely frustrating. However, I would never say so. For me, being a fully established mother also means having fun with my girls all the time. Every day with them is a new and priceless memory that I will remember forever. From my extensive experience, I can safely claim that there is a multitude of activities you can enjoy just because you have children. Here is the list of awesome things you can do, without being laughed at!

Buying toys you didn’t have in your own childhood

As a child, I had numerous amazing toys. However, no matter how much my parents tried to buy me everything I wanted, the sole range of toys one could buy back then was significantly smaller. That’s exactly why I have always dreamt of playing with Lego bricks, Barbie dolls or ridiculously cool toy vacuum cleaners. Of course, it would be impossible for me to play with such stuff in my 30s and still prove that I’m mentally healthy!

Finally, I came up with a great idea- to provide my girls with all the toys I love! Now, I’m playing with them all the time, with the excuse that they are too young to know how to play properly.

I can still sing silly songs in the car!

As a teenager, I was a huge fan of NKOTB. My largest dream was to attend all their concerts and to buy all their promotional items. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford them. As the time went by, some other boy bands reached the peak of popularity.

Today, as they get in the car, my girls want me to play One Direction. I’m pretty sure that I’ve managed to memorize all their songs by now. Now, both my husband and I really enjoy singing them at the top of our lungs! What’s even funnier is that no one bothers this just because of our kids sitting in the backseat! As One Direction’s (probably oldest) fan, I’ve decided to provide my little angels with the accessories I come across. They have already collected a bunch of posters, tees, mugs, watches, CDs and DVDs.

Awesome things you can do when you have kids

I can finally watch cartoons all the time

I will never understand why all grownups stop watching cartoons. For me, they are the most innocent way of having fun. Unfortunately, neither my husband nor my friends wanted to watch them with me. Now, that I have kids, I can watch animated movies all day long. Until now, we have seen best Disney movies, from classics like Cinderella, Bambi and Sleeping Beauty to the latest ones such as Frozen and Cars. Even more, we bought annual passes to Disneyland in order to meet all the characters whenever “my daughters” want to. With kids, it is never awkward to stand in line enthusiastically!

Decorating your kids’ room just as you’ve always wanted

When it comes to home renovation, I set my girls’ bedroom as a paramount. As a kid, I never had a room on my own. For years, I was picturing every detail in my perfect, imaginary nook, from walls, curtains and furniture, to even the tiniest accessories like scented candles. Luckily to me, I have two little princesses who still let me redecorate their room every once in a while. Although my husband thinks that I’ve gone nuts, I’m enjoying it as long as I can. I know that, once they grow up, my daughters will want to do all this by themselves.

Dance parties after dinner!

No matter how foolish it might sound, my family throws dance parties all the time. Usually, such moments happen spontaneously, after dinner. We listen to music and, as soon as the meal is over, we jump and start dancing like crazy. Even daddy enjoys it, which always makes me laugh. I cannot imagine him doing any of these things before the kids.

Jumping on a trampoline

Jumping on a trampoline is one of those activities I have always wanted to try. However, when I was a kid, it practically impossible. Luckily for me, today there are numerous amazing trampoline fitness centers, which can also serve as great kids’ birthday party venues. When I heard of such centers, I came up with a silly idea to organize a surprise party for my husband. At first, he didn’t even want to come, but later on, he was speechless. I planned everything in advance and invited a lot of our friends with their kids! We all jumped on trampolines, danced and listened to music. In a nutshell, we had the time of our lives!

Baking cookies all the time!

My girls simply enjoy my culinary skills! That’s why I bake various cookies all the time, even when I have no good reasons. Most important of all, I really enjoy it. I always look for reasonable excuses, telling that the kids are the ones who enjoy making and decorating their own sugary treats. I don’t even mind that the kitchen is in such a mess once we’re done!

Awesome things you can do when you have kids

Building sand castles

I’ve always loved spending time at the beach. Now, my girls keep reminding me of how amazing building sand castles is. Since they have no idea how to make a firm sand castle, mommy is always there to help! Even worse, I’m always so focused on my new “construction project” that I completely forget about all other kinds of activities! Finally, I can completely relax, without being laughed at!

Awesome things you can do when you have kids

Organizing an epic water gun fight!

Is there anything more fulfilling than organizing an epic water gun fight? In our family, it has become tradition. Every summer, we use it as one of most amazing methods to cool off and have a lot of fun. Once, I even grabbed a hose in order to defend myself against my raging children! We laughed a lot!

All in all, my point is that, when you have kids, you can always act silly. It is an amazing way for you to make your parenting much simpler and joyous. Try any of these tips and you will realize what I am talking about. Have fun!

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate in writing. She is contributor on High Style Life and her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on: Facebook.