Taking my daughter to her first comic shop (#MySundayPhoto)

An important part in any geek parent’s life – taking their kid to a comic shop for the first time. Continue reading Taking my daughter to her first comic shop (#MySundayPhoto)

Geek clothes for girls (and boys) from Character.com

Finding geek clothes for girls is something that’s always been an ongoing quest of mine.  As our daughter wears a lot character/graphic clothing, I was keen to check out the Character.com clothing website. They’re an online shop that sell – you guessed it – character clothes, for both kids and adults. Continue reading Geek clothes for girls (and boys) from Character.com

Mattel’s ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign

Mattel approached me to be part of their ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign, and I was happy to do so. As the stay-at-home dad of a little girl, I am well versed in playing dolls with my daughter (though only a couple of them are actual Barbies). Continue reading Mattel’s ‘Dads Who Play Barbie’ campaign

LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Batgirl’s Batjet (41230)

As far as I’m concerned, this Batgirl’s Batjet LEGO set justifies the entire existence of the DC Super Hero Girls brand. Continue reading LEGO DC Super Hero Girls: Batgirl’s Batjet (41230)

Review: It’s not just ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’. It’s Batgirl’s as well.

There are many reasons to love The LEGO Batman Movie. It’s funny, it continues the irreverent approach of The LEGO Movie, Will Arnett’s performance as the caped crusader is as terrific as in that movie (all Donald Trump’s tweets should be read in this voice), and it’s a Batman film that we can actually take our children to see.

But another reason I love it, is that it features Batgirl. Continue reading Review: It’s not just ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’. It’s Batgirl’s as well.

LEGO Female Superheroes have finally broken the plastic ceiling

With the arrival of DC Super Hero Girls LEGO, alongside increasing numbers of LEGO Female Superheroes minifigures in the regular Marvel and DC Superheroes line, 2017 is the year that female LEGO superheroes finally shatter the plastic brick ceiling. Continue reading LEGO Female Superheroes have finally broken the plastic ceiling

Celebrating Disney Princesses of Colour

I want to celebrate some Disney Princesses…of colour. Continue reading Celebrating Disney Princesses of Colour

Be like Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back

To me, this is the defining image of Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia. Continue reading Be like Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back

Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Southwark Playhouse

An utterly delightful Christmas treat for us this year was seeing this stage adaptation of Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Southwark Playhouse in London. Continue reading Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service at the Southwark Playhouse

We should all be the Wonder Woman of the party

Like a doomsday device counting down to zero, I have awaited my daughter’s embrace of Princess Culture with dread. Continue reading We should all be the Wonder Woman of the party

Does the world need pink and blue globes?

Spotted these in a high street shop this week. One globe is as you would expect – blue oceans, green and brown landmasses. The other is pink.

It may not say ‘boy’ and ‘girl’, but there can’t be any doubt that this is the intention. Continue reading Does the world need pink and blue globes?

Reinventing Princesses: The League of Extraordinary Ladies

Me: “What did you do at school today?”

4yo: “Played princesses.”

Now, this answer should horrify me. I hate princesses, and their pastel domination of our girls’ childhoods. As a brand, they represent everything I don’t want for my daughter.

But I was curious, as I had a suspicion it might not be what I feared. Continue reading Reinventing Princesses: The League of Extraordinary Ladies

She passed the Fake Geek Girl test. But she shouldn’t have to.

My 4-year-old daughter likes pink. She likes Frozen. She likes My Little Pony. But she also likes green. She also likes superheroes. She also likes Star Wars. Continue reading She passed the Fake Geek Girl test. But she shouldn’t have to.

The British Royal Family and the problem with Princesses

We were watching an event on TV recently, and I noticed William and Kate, aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, our future King and Queen, in the audience. Continue reading The British Royal Family and the problem with Princesses

Superheroes are for Girls (and Boys)

When my daughter was about 2-years-old, on a trip to the local soft play centre a rather confused looking older boy asked me “Is she a boy or a girl?” about my daughter.

Resisting the urge to point out he’d already answered his question I simply replied “She’s a girl.”

“Why is she wearing a Spider-Man t-shirt then?” he retorted. Continue reading Superheroes are for Girls (and Boys)

Female Empowerment: Raising a Confident Girl

I took our daughter to London’s Science Museum. It’s one of those places that we had always intended to take her to repeatedly. Knowing that many girls are dissuaded from an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing), the Science Museum was going to be a key way to encourage it.

Well, we finally got round to it – motivated by knowing our chances to do this mid-week term time were lessening every day. Soon she’ll be at school and we’ll be locked into the holiday/weekend museum crush. Continue reading Female Empowerment: Raising a Confident Girl

In My Little Pony, Feminism as well as Friendship is Magic

For as long as I’ve been blogging about being a parent raising a daughter in the shadow of princess culture, I’ve had online feedback suggesting I check out the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon (aka MLP:FiM).

At first, I ignored them. What were they thinking? These people clearly didn’t understand I wanted to show my daughter content with themes of female empowerment and self-confidence; to find stories and characters that didn’t patronise young girls; that had imaginative female led tales of action and adventure yet with stimulating and thought provoking scenarios. My Little Pony was surely part of the problem – not the solution. Continue reading In My Little Pony, Feminism as well as Friendship is Magic

How Disney’s Zootropolis (aka Zootopia) Tackles Race and Gender Inequality

Do you want to have an age appropriate talk with your child about prejudice, discrimination, and identity politics – but don’t know where to begin? Well, show them Zootropolis (aka Zootopia in the US) and talk about that. Continue reading How Disney’s Zootropolis (aka Zootopia) Tackles Race and Gender Inequality

Two Dads’ Hopes For Their Daughters’ Future

For International Women’s Day, Oxfam approached me with an intriguing proposition. Knowing that I often write about my hopes and aspirations for our daughter, and the potential barriers in her way because of her gender, they put me in touch with another dad of a little girl.

He is Alex Namusokwe (37), who is the father of Ethel (7). They live in rural Zambia, about 200 km from Zambia’s capital Lusaka. Continue reading Two Dads’ Hopes For Their Daughters’ Future

Some Dads DO Babysit. It’s All That’s Expected of Us

This time last year, there were a flurry of stories about my daughter and I published around the world. A US writer spotted an angle for a “sweet article about (my) daughter’s outfits”, and that got noticed by the likes of The Independent & Metro in UK, Buzzfeed and ABC News in US, and then various outlets across the globe. Radio and TV appearances followed. Perhaps you are reading this because you started following my blog after coming across one of those.

The premise was basically I was an at-home parent letting my (then) 3-year-old daughter choose what she wears every morning. And the outfits were kinda cool and not traditionally ‘girly’.

When I asked, the writers of those articles told me the same thing – what made this story ‘a story’ was the fact that I was a dad of a daughter.

While it was nice to bask in the mostly supportive comments (US conservatives aside – yikes), the fact people were reacting strongly to it highlighted an issue we have with parenting.

Is dad all there is?

Continue reading Some Dads DO Babysit. It’s All That’s Expected of Us

Female Star Wars Characters: The Importance of a lady X-Wing pilot

Here’s a game for you. Try and find a female pilot in the original Star Wars trilogy. Is there one in Star Wars? Nope. The Empire Strikes Back. Nope. Return of the Jedi? Yes! Well, kind of. Continue reading Female Star Wars Characters: The Importance of a lady X-Wing pilot

Lottie, a Doll to Inspire Our Little Girls

Lottie Dolls, little girl playing with dolls,My daughter has various dolls – Barbie, Cindy, some Phantom Menace Padme Amidalas, a Princess Leia, and a 90’s Storm (that I randomly found boxed at a local charity shop for £2). But I think she has found her favourite one yet – the Lottie doll. Continue reading Lottie, a Doll to Inspire Our Little Girls

Planning a family trip to Barcelona

This is a sponsored post in association with Avis Car Hire UK.

======

Barcelona is a place we can’t wait to take our daughter too.

Like many Brits, I have taken our close proximity to continental Europe a bit for granted. It wasn’t until I got together with my Kiwi wife that I started to take trips there more often. New Zealand is a fairly isolated country, and Kiwis often come to live in London just to take advantage of having all these countries on their doorstep.

But Barcelona (as well as Spain) is still a place I have never been to. I don’t know why – I love the food & what I know of the culture, and I even have a soft spot for the football team. So I can’t wait for us all to head there for a family trip.

City breaks are my favoured kind of holiday. I find the beach too boring (and sandy!) – I would much rather be eating terrific food, admiring the architecture, checking out local attractions, and the like. But I guess one of the great things about Barcelona is that you can have both.

City guides are vital for a newcomer to make the most of their trip, whether it’s for a matter of weeks, days, or even hours. While helping you out with the headline attractions, the best ones will also alert you to hidden gems – to enable you to have an experience to cherish.

Avis have put together a handy & informative Barcelona Guide, and here are some of the recommendations that caught my eye.

1. Tibidabo Amusement Park

This place sounds great, a vintage theme park – over 100 years old – located on the outskirts of the city (so hiring a car probably the best option). Many of the rides are still the original ones, and it also offers great views of the city.

2. Parc de la Ciutadella

Font de la Cascada – photo by Charlie Dave (click for more)

Barcelona is blessed with many parks and open spaces. The Parc de la Ciutadella opened 140 years ago, and includes the beautiful Font de la Cascada (pictured).

3. La Monroe tapas

I couldn’t possibly imagine a trip to Spain without indulging in some Tapas. La Monroe is less rustic more hipster, but the food looks delicious.

4. Churros at Xurreria Trebol

More food, the guide recommends indulging in churros (or ‘xurros’ in Catalan) at Xurreria Trebol. These sweet treats are essentially Spain’s doughnuts that you dip into melted chocolate sauce. There are available all over the city but this is their top pick. I know, I want one right now too…!

5. Kiss of Freedom street art

Located in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is this vibrant piece of street art. From a distance it’s a large (8m x 4m) close up of two mouths kissing – but on closer inspection you see it’s a photomosaic mural – individual images of people enjoying a self-defined moment of freedom.

====

For lots more on the above and other great Barcelona travel tips, check out the Avis  Barcelona Guide. Avis also offer car hire in Barcelona.