Shelly Beach Sunrise After The Run

My Sunday Photo – After The Run

I enjoy running. I do it three times a week as a simple form of exercise. My main problem is that my usual run is not very inspiring. It is a run of convenience – a course that starts outside my front door and winds around my suburb in order to strategically finish where I started. It takes me past such exotic destinations as the highway and the petrol station. I don’t mind. After all, it’s all about the exercise and becoming fitter. For those reasons I enjoy it.

Cronulla

But sometimes I have the urge to run in a more inspiring location. In particular, I have had the idea to wake up extra early and drive down to Cronulla before dawn. There is something really attractive about the idea of running at such a picturesque location with the first rays of sun lighting up the horizon.

Finally the urge won. I woke up at 4.30 am and made my way in the pitch-black to the beach. On the way there I decided I was absolutely crazy. I figured that it wouldn’t live up to my expectation and that I would spend the rest of the day grumpy about having gotten out of bed so early.

Then I arrived. My decision was justified!

I ran a 2.5 km course from Shelly Beach to Wanda, then turned around and ran straight back. The first rays of sun were just beginning to poke over the horizon and it was all food for the soul. I felt refreshed and invigorated. Best of all, I finished up just before sunrise. That gave me the perfect opportunity to scramble back down to the beach with my camera and capture a few photos of a particularly stunning sunrise.

Shelly Beach Sunrise After The Run

Shelly Beach Sunrise After The Run

Shelly Beach Sunrise After The Run

Shelly Beach Sunrise After The Run

 

What do you think, worth getting up for?

Photalife
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Neato D3 Connected Botvac Mother's Day Gift Guide

The Alternative Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2018

Gift Ideas To Inspire Bold Australian Dads

Listen up dads. Mother’s Day is coming, and it’s coming quickly. In fact, it’s less than a month away (13th May, to be precise).

“So what?” I hear you say. A box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers, a nice breakfast and you are sorted, right?

What if you could do better… far better? What if you could give your wife a gift that had a real and lasting impact. Perhaps a gift that could make the job of “being mum” a little easier, or a little more enjoyable, or that could relieve some of the pressures of having limited time to get everything done. Mums are amazing people and they do amazing things. The modern mum juggles work, family, domestic duties, fitness, social schedules and countless other things on a daily basis.

Mothers are incredible and they deserve to be celebrated in a way that shows some genuine thought and appreciation from our part. Perhaps, dads, this is the year to go a little beyond the bog-standard gift. Perhaps this is the year to use Mother’s Day as an opportunity to truly show your appreciation for your wife, and all the things she does in the name of “being mum”.

That is not to say Mother’s Day needs to become a mindlessly commercialised experience. A big, expensive gift does not make for a great present if it does not have thoughtfulness behind it. The perfect Mother’s Day gift should be something that has meaning. It should be something that addresses an area of need in your partner’s life. It should have a long-lasting impact and be a reminder of your appreciation for her and all that she does. Be bold, go beyond your wife’s expectations of the same old gifts and give her something that truly makes a difference this Mother’s Day.

 

No easy task, right?

 

Well luckily for you, I have done the thinking. I have been thinking long and hard about it for many, many weeks. I have racked my brain, scoured the internet and come up with this most excellent guide to the Alternative Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – the ideas that go well outside of what your wife would expect to receive, yet that have the potential to markedly improve a key aspect of her life!

You’re welcome.

Neato D3 Connected Botvac

Neato D3 Connected Botvac

Whether you share the domestic duties equally or the bulk of the tasks fall on mum’s shoulders, one thing is for sure – a Mother’s Day present that reduces the overall amount of household cleaning tasks is a valuable gift indeed.

When I plugged in our Neato D3 Connected Botvac for the first time, it was truly one of those living in the future moments. The D3 Connected Botvac instantly took over the tedious task of vacuuming, and does it really well. If anything, the Botvac is far more diligent than I ever am with the vacuum. It gets right under the sofa and bed, places where I tend to be a little… lax.

Robot vacuum cleaners have come a long way from their early days. While they still can’t do everything (bring on the day a robot can do the stairs!), they certainly do enough of the day-to-day floor maintenance to significantly reduce the regularity with which you reach for the upright. And even when you do need to bust out the old manual cleaner, the task will be a lot quicker, as you will only need to get into those spots that the Neato D3 Connected Botvac can’t reach.

Your partner (and you, for that matter) will particularly appreciate the “connected” nature of the Neato D3 Connected Botvac. With the touch of a button, the robot vacuum can be sent on its way from anywhere you have an internet connection.

Want to vacuum while you are relaxing at the beach? Go for it! The Neato D3 Connected Botvac enables mum to get out and enjoy her new-found free time – she doesn’t even have to be home to get things going!

Best of all, every time she presses the “start” button, she will be reminded of your thoughtfulness and appreciation for all she does. That gift of an extra half hour, each and every time the vacuuming is done by a robot, is a special gift indeed.

 

Philips Azure Elite Steam Iron

Philips Azure Elite

ARE YOU MAD? An iron for Mother’s Day is a terrible gift idea. Maybe it was acceptable in the 1950s, when the sorts of gifts that mothers received reinforced their position as the domestic carer. But not now, not in 2018 when the role of mum is so much more complex and dynamic.

And THAT is exactly the point. It is the year 2018 and, in this modern age of enlightenment, chores that were once almost exclusively the domain of “mother” are now split almost 50-50. Ironing is no exception. This modern age actually makes it the perfect time to give mum the Philips Azur Elite steam iron as a truly excellent Mother’s Day gift. Read on and I’ll explain…

My proposal is that you buy this most excellent Philips Azur Elite steam iron. You take the iron out of the box and in its place leave a hand-written note with the words: “It’s already done”.

You can do this because you will have stayed up the previous night (or gotten up early on Mother’s Day) and done the ironing. Don’t worry, this genius of the ironing board uses something called “OptimalTEMP technology” to ensure that there is no risk of burning clothes in “DynmaIQ” mode. With the smarts and power of this awesome iron, you will be done in no time.

If you pull it off, your wife’s outrage at being handed a seemingly archaic Mother’s Day gift (she won’t know how great it is… yet) will turn to puzzlement, and then appreciation when she figures out your cunning plan.

Continue to do all the ironing, share the ironing more equitably or just do it all for a week before returning to whatever the normal balance of domestic duties is in your household. Whatever happens next, one thing is for sure – a top quality iron saves a whole lot of time and cuts down the frustration that typically comes with one of the most loathed household duties. Who knows, with an iron this good you may even learn to enjoy it.

 

 

WÜSTHOF Whetstone and Sharpening Guide Slider

WÜSTHOF Whetstone and slider guide

Some mums love the kitchen, others… do not. If your wife loves to prepare meals and cook for the family, chances are she has a set of quality knives (if not, perhaps one of these is what she needs). With appropriate care, those knives can last a long, long time and continue to be a pleasure to use each and every day.

There is no better way to care for quality knives than to keep them sharp. And the best way to sharpen a knife is with a quality whetstone. It’s not hard to learn how, especially if you use the Sharpening Guide Slider to learn the best angle at which to hold the knife. I found that my knives were noticeably sharper after just one attempt at using the WÜSTHOF 4450 whetstone – there will never be a dull knife around here again!

There are few things more pleasurable in the kitchen than absolute knife precision, and that comes down to the sharpness of the blade. If your partner enjoys cooking, the ongoing gift of that pleasurable kitchen experience will have a positive impact on her each and every day. There are few gifts that I can think of that have the potential to have such a long-lasting impact.

There is a whole lot of satisfaction to be gained from learning such a skill too. Either she can enjoy that process, or, if she prefers, you can add the gift of your time to the present by learning how to use the WÜSTHOF 4450 whetstone for her.

 

Marley Spoon Subscription

Marley Spoon Box

The mum in your life may well enjoy her time in the kitchen, but she may not enjoy the more mundane task of planning meals, writing shopping lists and trudging to the shops with a toddler in tow.

Enter Marley Spoon. The gift of a Marley Spoon subscription could be just what your wife needs to cut out all the boring bits, and just focus on the more enjoyable task of creating excellent meals. With a few quick clicks of a mouse, she can choose up to four meals per week, the ingredients of which are then delivered right to your doorstep. Easy! There is a wide range of choices to suit a diverse range of tastes and the meals are well balanced with plenty of healthy and kid-friendly options.

If cooking isn’t your partner’s thing, this is where you step in. Order through Marley Spoon and become the “house chef”. Just sign up, give your loved one the login details and tell her to choose the two, three or four special meals (depending on chosen plan) that she wants cooked each week. No more scouring the internet to find new and interesting recipes (that she doesn’t really want to cook anyway) or searching supermarkets for that one ingredient you just can’t find – loads of time saved and a tasty meal as the result! Cooking up an excellent meal takes just 20-30 minutes out of your day, and it could make a world of difference to your wife if it is a task that she dislikes.

If you want to try it out, use this link to head over to the Marley Spoon website and receive $35 off your first order!

 

Tanita RD-953 Body Composition Monitor

Tanita RD-953

Is your wife focussed on fitness? Perhaps she is just starting out, or maybe she is a finely-tuned exercise machine. Either way, scales are a lousy gift…

Scales are lousy because they don’t tell the full story. They simply measure one component of overall fitness – weight. A body composition monitor, however, measures so much more. A body composition monitor provides a far greater picture of the inner workings of your body – the things you cannot see. Because of this they are an invaluable tool for anyone seeking to gain an understanding of their overall fitness.

The Tanita RD-953 Body Composition Monitor is a work of fitness-data-gathering brilliance. Through what I can only assume is some form of advanced magic recently discovered by the Japanese, the Tanita RD-953 gathers data about the user’s weight (accurate to 50g), BMI, body fat percentage, visceral fat rating, body water percentage, muscle mass, muscle quality, bone mineral mass, basal metabolic range, and metabolic age.

Best of all, that data is instantly beamed to the user’s smartphone (iPhone and Android), where they can track their progress over weeks, months and years. If your wife likes to have access to a wealth of data about her physical fitness from the comfort of her own home, then this is a device well worth considering. It can provide a whole lot more insight into her overall physical fitness than simply stepping on the scales ever could.

With the ability to create multiple user profiles, the Tanita RD-953 Body Composition Monitor may also be perfect for monitoring your own levels of fitness too. Perhaps a fitter you could be just what your partner wants for Mother’s Day…

 

City2Surf

The Sun-Herald City2Surf, 2017. Photo: Salty Dingo

Speaking of fitness, how about giving mum an experience she will never forget? Registration in the City2Surf is the ideal gift for any mum who enjoys exercise – from the ones looking to push their fitness to the next level, to the mums who enjoy a walk with the family (strollers are welcome in the Back of the Pack group).

Receiving the City2Surf as a gift for Mother’s Day gives mums plenty of time to prepare for the big day. It could be just the incentive they need to keep pushing forward with their running goals. I know that the idea of participating this year is pushing me to improve.

Registrations are open now. Why not join 80,000 other people and participate in one of the world’s great races/fun runs?

 

Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater

Winter is coming.

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe (what, with all these 30+ Celsius days) but trust me. Sooner or later the cold will arrive and we will feel it. We will feel it particularly intensely this year, because we have grown so accustomed to the heat.

I don’t know about your wife, but Emma hates being cold. And I don’t know about your house, but if it is anything like my house it gets cold in winter and it is slow and expensive to heat up.

This year I am ahead of the game. I have the excellent Vornado VMH300 Whole Room Heater as the ultimate comforting Mother’s Day Gift. If my timing is good, I should be presenting it to Emma just as the temperature turns bitterly cold. For the first time since we moved into our current house, we will have a toasty warm living area that is efficiently heated by this clever little vortex-generating contraption!

Your wife could enjoy this gift of comfort all winter long. She will also enjoy it next winter, and the one after that, and the one after that… in fact it will last many years, thanks to Vornado’s 5 Year Replacement Warranty.

Never underestimate the value of a comfortable home.

 

Make Mother’s Day Special

Have I inspired you to be a little bolder this Mother’s Day? Hopefully I have convinced you to think a little deeper and to consider some ideas that are not necessarily the typical Mother’s Day choices, but that in fact have the potential of a far greater and longer-lasting impact. Whatever you decide to go with, remember one more thing – Mother’s Day is the time to remind the most special person in your life just how much she means to you and your kids. Go out of your way to make it great.

 

Disclosure – How can I be sure these gift ideas are top notch? Simple, we have been using, or will be using, every one of them. Each of these gifts were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge for inclusion in this guide. So you can take it from me that they are most excellent. More information can be found in my Disclosure Statement.

DIY Daddy
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Last Saturday morning I woke up at the usual 5 am. It was an effort – there is always a large part of me that wishes to stay in bed on a Saturday morning. But I know how important it is to keep going, so out the door I went.

As I walked out the front door, the familiar voice of Jim Morrison blared through my earbuds. He urged me to break on through to the other side. Yes, I know he was most likely referring to drug use, but in my immediate context I took it as a pep talk from the long-departed legend of rock. It was time for me to break on through – time to move off the plateau and run hard. There and then I decided to run an extra kilometre. For possibly the first time in my life, I would run six kilometres.

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