Anker PowerDrive 2 Elite Reviews

As a parent, you end up spending most of your time as a taxi driver.

Whether it’s school runs, activities or family trips there’s always a reason to have devices handy in the car to keep little ones entertained!

The Anker PowerDrive 2 Elite excited me at first, not just because it has 2 USB ports so you can charge multiple devices but because it has Anker’s PowerIQ technology meaning it will detect the best possible charging speeds and adjust the power accordingly.

So if you have a ‘ fast-charge’ device, the PowerDrive 2 will adapt and charge it faster. If you’ve got two devices plugged in, it will change the output depending on what’s plugged in also.

After playing with this over the last couple of weeks the kids are happy as devices stay charged for longer. I’m happy as I’m usually sharing my internet connection and my iPhone takes advantage of the PowerIQ feature and actually gives my phone a bit of juice even on short journeys!

I’ve plugged in several kinds of device and they’ve all charged no problem at all. The Anker PowerDrive 2 Elite glowing a gentle blue to let me know things are working as they should be.

All in all, a great all-rounder that works as it should and is incredible value for the price and for what it can do!

Leave a comment and let me know your in-car solution when you need to keep things going on journeys. Let me know if you’ve tried an Anker product and how it went for you too!

Paternity Life

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So as Paternity draws to a close, it’s time to dust off the blogwebs and kick-start the blog. How has life changed since becoming a Dad of 3.

Lots is the answer. Lots has changed and there’s lots to catch up on. So in between changing nappies, supporting my wife and trying to stop the older kids killing each other! I’ll be posting updates here!

Hope you keep reading and I hope you get something out of my sleepless ramblings. Whether it’s advice, comfort in knowing you’re not alone or just amusement at what goes on in this household, I hope you enjoy!

An Official Announcement

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So it’s been a while since I’ve posted, lots has been happening over the last few weeks. Including 2 weeks of slow labour, which finally came to an end this morning!

A bit of a hectic morning and a rather quick delivery once things got started. He’s finally arrived, so expect lots of updates as I share news on the Fantastic Five as we enter our latest adventure!

Maternity Ward

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There’s nothing like a weekend visit to the Maternity Ward! After being in pain most of the week, it got to breaking point this afternoon and Sarah called the hospital to get some advice.

One thing I’ve learnt is that when you’re pregnant and something is concerning you, you end up straight in hospital. Which is right I suppose!

So we’re in for a Sunday evening visit and although Threepio is doing fine, Sarah’s been hurting and although it appears to be some kind of urine infection it’s better to be safe than sorry!

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Update:

Since writing the post above things have become a little clearer. As well as a UTI it turns out somehow Sarah had been gifted the joys of ‘Slapped Cheek’ which I’d never heard of but can be pretty bad for pregnant women.

Antibiotics continue to be taken in the Lawton house hopefully not for much longer.

So the moral of the story is don’t be afraid to get things checked. It might seem like a waste of time or an inconvenience but it’ll save time in the long run and will also reassure you that everything is ok with baby!

4D Scans

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4D scans used to freak me out, they always seemed to pick up bits of placenta or umbilical cord and made baby look like they had a growth on their head.

Now either technology has moved along, or being a parent has changed my view to this. As we had a scan at the weekend and it was strangely beautiful to see my Son in all his 4D, foot-sucking glory!

On a sidenote, I would argue that although the scan is 4D, you only get a 3D picture and even then it’s a 2D image of a 3D object. So technically it shouldn’t be any different to a normal scan but then they wouldn’t be able to charge more for it! </Geek>

Anyway, it was great to see Threepio and to see him flipping his legs around, throwing his feet into his mouth and actually opening his eyes to look at what all the noise was about!

It was also reassuring to see that the low-lying placenta I had mentioned previously had moved up as we had hoped. Which means that although we have another scan at 36 weeks, things are on track for our home birth which we are planning!

Amazon Echo Plus Review

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So I’ve had a week to play with the Amazon Echo Plus and it has now become my favourite gadget and taken pride of place in my lounge!

I’ve used an Echo Dot before and thought that a small device with its little speaker would be fine but since using the Echo Plus I was genuinely blown away by the sound quality. Listening to music and radio stations sounds brilliant and fills my large lounge easily.

Setting up the Echo was so easy, connecting to the device with WiFi then telling it my WiFi password. That was it, done! I linked my Spotify account and enabled Tune-In Radio so I could test the music side of things first.

Spotify was brilliant, you can ask Alexa for individual songs or artists but what’s even better is asking to play playlists! Everything is linked and I didn’t have any problems asking for randomly titled playlists that I’ve created over the years.

Similarly, using Tune-In Radio was just as easy. Once it was enabled I could literally ask Alexa to play any radio station from around the UK and it would instantly start! I’ve now set an alarm for the morning so that the radio is on ready for me to wake up!

Once I’d had a play with the music side of things, it was time to have some fun! Asking Alexa random things is where you can have a real laugh. There are hundreds of commands you can bark at the Echo and Alexa will give you the latest news, weather, sports results and many more little tidbits to keep you up to date during the day.

The Echo Plus comes with a smart hub built in, which means that you can connect smart devices from around the home directly to the Echo. So I treated myself to a Philips Hue bulb. They’re pricey if you have to buy a starter kit with a hub but I could just buy the bulb. So I connected it up and asked Alexa to turn the light on! It worked!!

I’ve now got smart plugs and smart bulbs dotted around the house so that most lights and lamps can be controlled using Alexa. The kids love it but it’s actually handy to have this because you can turn lights off if you’ve forgot or even set schedules so that they come on in the morning or when you’re not at home!

There seems to be more new features being added all the time, you can now ‘drop-in’ on other Echo’s around your house almost like an intercom system! If your friends or family have an Echo you can even call each other on them! Which is great fun to play with as long as you’re not doing it too late at night!

My daughter has now learnt how to say “Lexa” and tries to get it to play her nursery rhyme playlist but sometimes ends up trying to call one of my work colleagues!

Due to the amount of varying features and skills you can implement everyone’s experience with an Echo will be different but that is the main reason why they’re great for everyone! The Echo Plus even more so if you’re looking to upgrade your home with more smart devices. The sound coming from these speakers is brilliant so if you want the best experience the Echo Plus is a must!

Amazon Echo Plus is available on Amazon priced £139.99 and the Amazon Echo Dot is available for £49.99.

“Look Daddy…”

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There are a few phrases that a toddler will say which bring fear and dread into any parent… Sometimes you have to bring out FBI-level negotiation skills, like when your kid looks at you with a smirk whilst holding a sharpie: “Don’t move. Stand still. Would you like some choc-choc?”

It’s when you hear “Look Daddy…” that your mind races and hundreds of possibilities run through your head. What is she showing me? What am I about to witness? Like the other day when Darcey exclaimed that she had painted her own nails.

The panic on my face as she walked over the carpet was obvious and I immediately scooped her up and put her down on the playmat. Panic! It’s the first time baby wipes haven’t worked in cleaning something up! Sarah had to get her nail varnish remover out (of course that would work!)

On closer inspection, Darcey had also done her make-up and put some lipstick on! The accompanying pout was both hilarious and adorable.

Permanent pens and make-up are two of the most frightening things when in the hands of a toddler. The only other thing that scares me more is when you hear a toilet flush and then the words “Bye Bye!!”

Happy New Year!

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So by now, we’ve crash landed back to reality as the holidays end and everyone returns to work! The kids however, appear to have another week off. It’s started already… “I’m bored!”

There’s dozens of toys that still haven’t been opened and plenty of bedroom-tidying to be done, but boredom has well and truly taken over! Luckily Finley has found some paper and is currently drawing his favourite ‘Five Night’s At Freddy’s’ characters.

Together with the Childminding kids (my wife Sarah is an EYFS Childminder) our kids are seeing who can shout “Mine!” the loudest. School holidays have a lot to answer for…

I’ve decided to spend the next couple of days to find cheap things to do in January, so expect a post on what I find soon!

In the meantime whilst Sarah’s busy working and we try to entertain and educate a kaggle of kids (like a gaggle of geese but louder) we’re figuring out ways for the kids to realise that chocolate for breakfast is no longer acceptable.

Wish us luck!!

The Post-Christmas Cleanup

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Wow. After a few days of sofa squatting and chocolate eating, it’s finally time for the great post-Christmas cleanup…

The living room looks like Toys R Us has vomited everywhere. I think we’ve single handily kept them from liquidation!

We’ve tried to find a home for everything that’s appeared and although the kids bedrooms are still to be sorted, the living room is clean and tidy!!

So much so that Finley has found some space to play the PlayStation VR properly!!

Whilst he swivels around and shouts at the TV, my wife Sarah is treating herself to a shower (in a rare twist, both kids remain downstairs!) and I get to put my feet up with a cup of coffee.

Let’s hope it lasts… The kids are entertained and so far haven’t declared their dire state of boredom today. This definitely won’t last!

Anker PowerCore Portable Charger Review

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Anker have some great products and as someone who uses technology all day and every day, I have to share what I’m using to keep me going! Especially when the kids are using (or abusing) my devices and running their batteries down constantly!

The Anker PowerCore 20000 PD Portable Charger is a portable battery pack with a HUGE capacity (20,100 mAh) and with it’s USB-C and USB-A ports, provides incredible flexibility for what devices you can power using it.

You can recharge your Phone, MacBook, Nintendo Switch amongst a plethora of other devices that will charge from a USB port!

As you can see below, there are two simple ports. USB-A (the big one that will be familiar to most) and USB-C (a new standard which allows more power at a faster rate) so you only need to carry a cable or two to be sure that you’re good to go wherever you are.

The USB-C port is used to re-charge the PowerCore and you get a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box. If you use a wall charger which includes Quick Charge, you can fully charge the device in 4 hours! Which is an incredible time to recharge a device that holds so much power to it.

You are then free to recharge your devices, including an iPhone 7 (full charge 6 times) or a MacBook for one power cycle. To recharge a phone 7 times is amazing, you can go all week without a wall socket and still power your phone. The MacBook being charged once seems a little low, but to think that you can go 10 hours on a full charge, then another 10 hours using the Anker PowerCore; That’s longer than any working day I’m aware of!

Anker Ports

Fitting together in a nice little carry pouch, the Anker PowerCore is a great addition to your day bag if you’re on the road and worried about any devices losing charge. Anker have several other sizes available so you can probably find a product which fits your needs but for me, this whopper of a power pack is perfect to make sure that the kids, my wife and I are all fully charged wherever we are!

Let me know in the comments what you use to keep your devices going when you’re out and about.

You can find the Anker PowerCore 20000 on Amazon and is available currently for £49.99.

Keep in mind that Anker usually have promotions on Amazon, so if you buy this item, you’ll get a further discount on various other Anker products!