Sunday, 31 December 2017

Comping in 2017

I have to say I had a pretty spectacular year for comping in 2017. 

I won a total of 425 prizes.  

Some were small - like a bag of chocolate buttons or a really awesome ring made from a penny. 

Some were big - like Jacob's Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen 

Some were priceless - like tickets to Paw Patrol Live and seeing my boys face light up. 

Before I started 2017 I made a little wish list of things I wanted to win, and we managed to tick quite a few things off it. Hubby got his track day, I said I wanted to win a FitBit but won three... and whilst I didn't manage everything on it I am so pleased with what we did. 

I've managed to give friends and family some amazing presents that I wouldn't have normally been able to. 

My family have had days out from the Cinema, to Paw Patrol Live, LEGOland Discovery Centre in Manchester and we have tickets and passes to use throughout 2018 for things like the Jorvik attractions and Thackray Medical Museum. 

I've done a little breakdown of how I won my prizes, social media was definitely my friend this year, and we did amazing with childrens magazines winning 45 prizes from them across the year! 

So now as 2017 ends and 2018 begins I'm looking at what I would like to achieve from comping next year. I've made my little wishlist again like I did last year so I can focus on finding prizes that are on it and some of the prizes that we missed out on in 2017 have carried over. 

I hope my friends and comping buddy's have an amazing year of winning.

Danielle xx 

Saturday, 25 November 2017

The Right Tools For The Job

From the moment you see that blue line on a pregnancy test you start to plan out your childs future in your mind. Your wants and hopes for them, how you expect their first day at school to go, what attributes they will get from you and if they will have their Dad's bad habits, and you know you will love them. Sometimes life decides the journey isn't going to be a smooth one, it's going to be scenic and at times the scenic route isn't going to be very pleasant, it's going to be rough and bumpy and even a bit treacherous. You are going to feel jealous of those who go from A to B in 1 fell swoop when you seem to have hit every other check point apart from the final destination but you stay strong, because it's your childs journey and you will do what is best for them to get them to where they should be.

As many know starting school for Jacob hasn't been the easiest of times. So I thought I would do a wee quick update as I know some people care but are afraid to ask me for fear of me bursting in to tears.

The school are amazing, super supportive and the staff try their utmost when it comes to helping Jake but due to the physical layout of the school it's not the best environment for Jake as he is a climber and adventurous and he doesn't see the dangers around him so he's constantly at risk and whilst they've made as many changes to the school setting as possible, they can't pick it up and move it to somewhere all on one level away from main roads. As well as being physically unsuitable because of sensory issues that Jacob has the class - which consists of 30 children, is just too big and too busy and loud. They don't have a quiet room that Jacob can disappear off into so he has no escape from the hustle and bustle and it causes sensory overload. In the mean time the school have made him a den which is a pop up tent filled with sensory toys and lights, and he loves it, so much so we've created similar at home for him. Jake feels safe in his den and spends most of his school day, which is only 2.5 hours long in there or running around the school trying to escape. So along with feedback from other organisations who have been involved with Jacob it has been decided this school isn't for him and in the new year we will be looking for somewhere more suited to his needs so that he can be settled, and learn.

The complex needs team who have dealt with Jake from being the age of 2 at nursery have assessed him and said that in their professional opinion they believe him to have ASD and ADHD but obviously they can't give a diagnosis, but it is definitely no longer just classified as Cognitive Delay which it was when he was younger. I already knew that but due to a lack of support from nursery the Paed had always just kind of shrugged it off and said there is definitely something there we will assess when he's older.

So there you have it, our roads hit a bit of a bump and not gone quite to plan, but I've always said I wanted Jake to like school, to make friends, to learn, and to be happy and at the moment that isn't happening. On Monday me and his current school are going to make a start on applying for an EHCP plan for him, the paed has been chased up, complex needs are going to be intouch, STARS are being contacted and school is behind me every step of the way and in the new year we will start looking for a new school for him.

I was upset, not about Jake being different, I've always known he was special. Just upset that my boy wasn't getting to be happy and making friends etc. Then I spoke to my dad and he said to me:
''Dani, if Jacob was blind you wouldn't send him to a mainstream school where all the work was written on the board that he couldn't see meaning he couldn't learn and would fail. You would send him to a school that had all the right tools to deal with children with his needs and that is exactly what you are doing now. This isn't a negative, this is a positive, you are going to find the place to give your boy the best possible chance to succeed.''

So there you go. Mama's busy getting my boy a brand new tool box, full of the right tools for the job.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Keeping the Kid Clean.....

When it comes to chores I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to have life made a little bit easier and to get it done quickly and that is how I’ve made it to the ripe old age of 30 (I’m aware 30 isn’t that old but I’m still in mourning for my 20’s) doing laundry by the chuck it all in method and hoping for the best. Up to press I’ve never really had any major catastrophes, unless you count shrinking Ants favourite Tshirt once and turning the lining of J’s beautiful Gruffalo snowsuit a murky brown because I didn’t use a colour catcher as disasters. However. Now that J is in school and I’ve just had to sell one of my very poorly functioning kidneys in order to fund kitting him out I guess I best start being a grown up and doing this laundry thing properly in order to prolong the life of his uniform. That means separating my darks from my lights in order to keep his lovely white shirts white rather than grey and gloomy. My grandmother did also mention I will have to start ironing! And so I had to go sit in a dark room and rock to console myself at the thought, I haven’t quite forgiven her for upsetting me yet.

Getting J dressed can be a task in itself. If he was given the choice as to what to wear he would be dressed as a superhero 24/7 or completely naked so in order to try and make our morning routine a little bit smoother and take away the chaos that would ensue from “where is your jumper?” type conversations I introduce the DRAWERS OF DOOM.

The drawers of doom consist of 5 drawers labelled Monday to Friday and each drawer contains a full days uniform - vest, undies, socks, shirt, jumper and trousers. Now some may find it a little excessive to have fresh on every day especially with Jake only being in school for 2.5 hours at the moment. However my son could be in a pure white empty room and end up mucky. The fact he drops to the floor during melt downs no matter where we are mean his trousers get dirty, he misses his mouth 9 times out of 10 when eating, he’s a grim boy who despite having tissue available wipes his nose on his sleeve and then there’s just the typical actions of reception that involve paint and glue and other rather lovely fun tasks that make him need to be washed so for us the fresh uniform each day works.

As soon as J gets home from school he gets changed into normal clothes although tbh if we are just at home he prefers to sit in boxers and a vest, it’s a comfort thing and I can’t blame him as I love nothing more than changing into my Jim’s. We have two laundry baskets so that we can put trousers and jumpers in one and shirts and vests in the other. J has to wear certain socks for school so if he takes them off they go in the cute little laundry bag sent to us by Ecover so as not to get lost. ( We have sock gremlins and I’m colour blind so would end up with mismatched socks otherwise). I’m also hopeful that the action of putting his clothes in the wash basket will stand me in good steed as his father is 31 and still hasn’t mastered it!

The actual physical act of washing is a doddle. I wait till the weekend when the baskets are full and then I have one load of darks and one of lights. I love to use the quick eco wash setting on my machine which is a 15 minute 30 degree wash. We don't have a washing line outside as my garden is J's safe space complete with 14ft trampoline, swing, slide etc and there just isn't the space so it's an airer jobby or the tumble dryer for us. I'm especially liking that our tumble dryer is collecting a lot of the excess fluff from J's jumpers rather than the fluff ending up all over the shirts although I do miss the days of seeing cute tiny outfits hanging out in the sunshine.

In order to wash clothes you need detergent, which brings me on to the Ecover Laundry detergent we were sent to try. It promised to be gentler on our skin and on the environment but would it be too gentle to deal with our mucky clothes?

First Impressions: The liquid is a lot thinner than other mainstream detergents we would normally purchase and it's perfectly clear rather than having some bright funky colour tinge to it. The bottle says you get 25 washes from it and by using the measuring cup that doubles up as the lid I'd agree as a little seemed to go a long way. The fragrance is Lavender and Sandalwood and I thought it smelt a bit like our local surgery whilst in the bottle, almost medical smelling.

Using: Anything of J's with a stain on I would normally presoak in some stain remover before putting in the machine however with the uniform I didn't. I put half a scoop of stain remover in the drawer with the ecover and hoped it would live up to the label of being tough on stains.

Results: All the clothes came out spotless, all stains had gone which I was really impressed with as it means I can remove the presoak section of laundry from our routine! I also found the scent had changed, it no longer smelt medical at all but was a very gentle scent - clean, fresh and slightly floral without being overpowering which is great news as J is very sensitive to smells and if it had been too strong I would have had to rewash it before he would wear it! I'm always wary about changing brands as both me and J have super sensitive skin but we needn't have worried as Ecover is specially formulated for those with sensitive skin and it didn't cause any reaction at all and I can have a reaction to my own tears so you know it's good!

Final thoughts: I was really impressed with the Ecover liquid. It seemed to tick all the boxes and live up to it's promises as made on the label. It's a little bit more pricier than my typical brand which is something to take into consideration especially on those weeks when there is more month than money. However as somebody wanting to try and do a bit more for the environment because I want to protect the future for my son and his children I don't think the price is excessive and weighed up against the time and amount saved by not needing to presoak in stain remover it's a good balance.

This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover.
I was sent a bottle to Ecover Non-Bio Concentrated Laundry Detergent to review; all opinions are my own

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Was September Super?

September started and things went a bit (a lot) wrong and it just got a bit too much so I've spent the most of September as a hippopotamus. A great big hippo wallowing in a giant puddle of pity and woe is me, losing sight of my usual positive outlook and so lots of things took a back seat (not just comping) and I lost a lot of motivation for things I usually enjoy doing. Things have now turned a corner I've put my big girl knickers on and manned up and given my head a shake and that leads me on to my post about what I won in September which despite my lack of comping (some days I didn't even bother picking the laptop up) was still pretty super!

My first win of the month was on the 1st September. I received a message on facebook from the Entertainer to tell me I had been chosen as their 3rd place winner in their LEGO competition. My prize was a subscription to National Geographic Kids Magazine and a Jungle Helicopter LEGO set. Now a lot of compers know me through the Childrens Magazine Group I run, and a lot of compers also know I LOVE LEGO so this was a pretty fantastic and perfect prize for us. We haven't received our first issue of the subscription yet but as we've previously bought it I know J will enjoy it. He loved building the LEGO set too.

My second win was again on the 1st and was a Garage Anthems CD which arrived in the post with no notification as to where it was from but I managed to track it down and find it was an email competition with the Star. My partner was convinced I had bought the CD as it was one he'd actually mentioned wanting so it was lovely to have won something for him that he wanted.

Next up was a With Love gift box from a comp on instagram. Subscription boxes seem to be all the rage nowadays and there are so many different types. This one is classed as a 'well-being' box. It had a beautiful sleep mask, oils and a buddha card inside.

I won a rug on instagram at the start of the month too. It's a gorgeous brown rug that matches my decor and actually fits perfect in my living room too! J has loved laying on it as he says it feels so soft.

I won a colouring in book about preparing for birth with lots of zen like calming, yet empowering pictures inside which I'm planning on giving my friend as she is due very soon.

Another baby related prize I won is a board book called 'What Does Baby Want' which is a book about breastfeeding and has caused great delight and giggles from those who have seen the video of me reading the book. It's a bit of a random prize but brilliant none the less.

£50 Pets at Home Voucher this was a low entry facebook competition where you had to post a picture of you pet in their home and I posted a picture of Boycie one of our bearded dragons. The voucher has come in very handy for buying some new decor and lights for the vivariums and some bugs to feed them.

Eyeko Mascara - there were 1000 of these available and I was really pleased to have won one. The tube is well cool it's more like a toothpaste tube than a typical mascara tube, but they RRP at £19 which is nuts!

Boss Baby Blu-ray - this arrived through the post as a surprise, I have no idea where from but J has loved watching it  and it was a film I was actually looking into buying. However J now wants us to get a baby as he thinks people just knock on your door and deliver them.

Another fab LEGO win soon followed, this time with Smyths on facebook in one of their Force Friday competitions. We won a LEGO BB-8 which is amazing! and a Star Wars Path of the Force Lightsaber RRP £49.99!!! The lightsaber has been put away for Christmas.

Next up was a small instagram win of a personalised box frame from Littleunicornwishes. I'm torn between getting a Christmas themed frame or one with a letter J in for the boys room but he does have quite a lot of personalised name plates and things.

You may remember last month I won a Deluxe barbecue, well it came and we decided it was too big for us as there is only the three of us and although I like a BBQ only Ant is the big meat eater. So I did a deal with a friend where she got a bargain and we got a little bit of money to use towards a smaller barbecue. No sooner had I dropped it off and got back in the car I got a notification from Nisa on instagram to say I'd won a Weber Compact barbecue. Just perfect for us.

Bandai ran a competition across their social media pages to win a Power Rangers Star Sword Star Shooter and we were picked as one of the winners. J will love this however I'm not looking forward to the prospect of getting shot!

J won a LEGO Batman DVD from one of the kids mags we buy and enter via entry form. We actually already own this on blu-ray from a previous win so we are sending it to a comping friend for her son to enjoy :)

Another instagram win came from Espa who ran a comp giving about 20 prizes away and said they were sending me a surprise product. I am really pleased as they sent me the Pink Hair and Scalp mud which is £34 a jar and absolutely amazing!!!

MONUSKIN sent me a facial wash through a competition they ran around 3 months ago where you had to follow them on instagram and fill in a form. As it was so long ago I thought I hadn't been successful but it arrived and the reviews sound great.

Another kids mag win for J of a Nickleodeon goodybag which contained a light up fidget spinner which he loves! a tub of Nickelodeon slime which again he loves (but I don't as he got some on his brand new school vest and it had to be binned) and a JoJo Siwa bow which we have given to a comping friend for her daughter.

I won a beautiful corded bracelet with mother of pearl beads from Celestial Design on facebook.

Pip.Milburn ran a competition on instagram to win a Strong Girls Club tshirt, a grey tshirt with a golden pineapple on the front and a gorgeous smelling Relax candle from Soul_Candles. It was a lovely wee pick me up and the candle smells AMAZING!

I won a £50 Amazon voucher from Sytner Seat for answering a picture quiz I'd seen on my timeline. I had intended to use this voucher for LEGO but hubby got in their first and bought himself Forza 7!

CraftsBeautiful on instagram gave away some adult colouring books and i won a beautiful Birds of Paradise one. It has some gorgeous pictures inside one of which I'm considering framing in my room as I love it so much.

On the same day I won the colouring book I also got a message on instagram from Poundstretcher to say I'd won a mug which says 'I'm not bossy I'm the boss!' and is going to be given as part of a Christmas present.

A lot of compers have been trying to win personalised Onken Yogurts, or Yougurts as they are calling them and whilst I'd had a couple of goes I'd not got lucky (I'm too lazy and lack the motivation to do comps like this daily so tend to just do them when I remember or see them on friends walls etc) my lovely friend Emma posted that she had won one so I decided to copy her ingredients and won one! Yay for Emma haha. It was cherry, rhubarb and mango flavour that I won.

loveyourhome.yorkshire ran a competition across their insta and facebook for some wax melts and snap bars and I was chosen as a lucky winner. One of the items specified was out of stock so she sent me a few alternatives. They smell great and as you can probably tell I love candles and melts so these are a fab win for me!

The biggest win of the month for us has to be a Sphero Ultimate Lightning McQueen which is RRP £299.99 this was an effort comp which was found in the effort section of Compers News. It was run with Tesco and Hallmark you had to buy a card (so I bought myself a birthday card haha) and then print out an entry form and design a race car. Me and J did a picture of a car together and filled in the form about why we thought it would win the race. I sent it off and thought nothing of it as I expected it to get loads of entries and our creation wasn't the best however we received an email telling us J had won and they are coming to present it on the 3rd October. From what I've seen online it looks amazing!!!

Another lovely instagram win came from lisa.bramley who runs Apple of My Eye. I won a gorgeous necklace that is double sided and says 'First my mummy, forever my friend' This was such an apt prize to win. I got notification of the prize on the afternoon but in the morning on the walk to school I'd been trying to coax J in by saying 'you are going to have so much fun at school today, you are going to make some lovely friends and get to play with them' and he replied 'but mummy you're my friend can't I just stay home and play with you?' which melted my heart and so it was perfect timing for the necklace.

Anatomicals did another instagram comp where the first x amount of people to comment and send a picture received 2 facemasks. I'm going to use one myself and put the other in a Christmas hamper.

I won a magnetised energy bracelet from dream_goddess_sweden and good_balance on instagram. I'm not sure if I've noticed an improvement on my energy levels or how I'm sleeping but it's pretty and I like it so will keep wearing it.

J had another mag win! This time from Kraze mag for asking why old men had hairy nostrils haha. He originally asked why his grandad had hairy nostrils but when I filled the form in I thought it might be a bit personal so changed it to old men. The mag answered his question and he will love the goodies as since winning the blu-ray earlier in the month he's really enjoying the film.

We finally had a twitter win towards the end of the month and won a Mini Hornit. These are a light which you can fasten on to childrens bikes or scooters. They have a solid light as well as the chance to have flashing lights in either white or green and they have 25 sounds from a bell ringing to a dog barking which can be activated by a button that sticks on the handle bars. J has had great fun changing the sound and setting it off while riding around on his bike.

Another childrens mag win of a Shopkins Swapkins bundle! It had 24 blindbags inside! J loves blind bags and surprise eggs so took great delight in opening them however I think we only ended up with 5 different ones as we had a lot of dupes.

Another 'surprise' egg type of prize came from Tubz Brandz Ltd on twitter. They sent us 6 of the new Sqwishland suprise balls, some marshmallows and a chocolate egg. J tried to make an unboxing video on my phone for this bless him but the lighting and quality wasn't brilliant so we couldn't upload it. I need to get him back in my room where we have a better back drop and lighting for videos rather than just in the living room.

Novicemama_char on instagram did a competition for a cute heart plaque and some headbands which I won. I've chosen a lovely Robin design which I think will be perfect for Christmas. We've never really done the decorations, we had a tree once for about 3 days, so I'm looking for little bits and pieces that will help the home feel more festive.

Carabao have been running a competition on their cans of energy drink to win football tickets. I'm not a fan of football but Ant brought me some ringpulls home from work so I went on the Lucky Learners facebook group I'm in to see how to enter. Whilst reading the comments I noticed a comper saying they really wanted to win Man City tickets so when I got the Congratulations screen pop up I sent them a facebook message asking if they'd like them and they said yes! I hope they have a great time.

Emoji lunch bag from the cheesestring daily, I have won 3 of these now and as great as they are I'd love some of the other emoji items like stickers.

Youngblood ran a competition across their social media pages giving away Colour Lip Crayon kits. I was an instagram winner and chose the Angeleno shade. I just really love the little lip shaped pouch that thee products came in. I think it's very quirky.

Another small win was a bottle of Cloudberry Bubble Bath for J from goodbubbleuk on instagram.

Since updating the apps on his phone hubby keeps getting twitter notifications when people he follows tweet about certain subjects, one of the notifications he got was about the hashtag #PowerRangers and was because UKMumsTv were having a twitter frenzy. He asked me what he had to do and I said just retweet the competition posts they put up and he won a Power Ranger jigsaw for J which is fab!

I received an email on Thursday afternoon from our local radio station advising I'd won 4 tickets to go see the new LEGO Ninjago movie which we've been to see today and J loved it. Previous readers will know that cinema trips are usually a big no no for the boy but we actually managed a full movie! It was fab we also got a free LEGO keyring each which is super cool and we followed the movie up with a meal at a local All You Can Eat place that I won back in April in an Easter Competition.

My last two wins of the month were both on instagram.

I won a brooch making kit and glitterlips and stardust from Glitterlips. The brooch kit is right up my street as I love crafting and I'm sending the stardust to my friend as her daughter is a dancer so it will be perfect for her.

The last win is one that I won for me and a friend. We both get a back to school pack with an Art and Stationery set, Rainbow pencils and a Colouring Activity Pack and those were won from irishfairydoor on instagram. I love comps where I win something for me and a friend. It gives me more of a buzz getting to do something lovely for them and giving them a treat.

So there you have it, if it wasn't for social media and the support of some fab people I would be well and truly buggered. I'd like to think I'm proof that you don't have to enter EVERYTHING all the time to be a winner.

Friday, 22 September 2017

You gotta have faith...

In the words of Limp Bizkit - You Gotta Have Faith.  
(Or George Michael depending on your music tastes) 

I've been a little quiet the last few weeks. because J starting school didn't go quite to plan. 

I'm currently feeling like a rubbish mum and that I'm letting my son down and just want to talk to somebody who maybe understands.

My son is almost 5. He has suspected ADHD with some autistic traits. He started school on the 4th September. His first week was 8:55-11:45 and apart from struggling to follow instructions, running off, leaving the classroom etc it wasn't too bad. The second week on the Monday I dropped him off took him into the classroom and said hello to the teacher and TAs and he went off to play. I went to hang up his coat on his peg and I left for home. In the meantime he has decided he wants to go home and so whilst it was busy with so many people in the foyer and entrances has managed to slip out unseen and leave school grounds. Luckily I left when I did as I saw him and he has no road safety awareness at all. I managed to coax him towards me by saying I needed his help tying my lace and putting my umbrella up. (I am also disabled so running at him wouldn't have helped either of us) and I took him back into school. At which point I was crying and shaking. They got some staff to take him into class as he had to be peeled off me and they took me in the office to calm me down and talk and it was decided that as he gets spooked by the large groups his start time would be moved to 9:15 and he'd finish at 1 this week (should have been 1:15) and then the following week when he should be full time he would finish at 3. 

Every morning was a battle getting him in. He would drop to the floor and lash out so I would have to carry him and they'd have to peel him off me. They've started using a LEGO super hero sticker book to help get him in on a morning as he's a huge LEGO fan and I thought things were getting better.
Thursday I pick him up and they say can we have a meeting when you drop him off in the morning as he is struggling and we need to talk about what happens next. 

Friday morning I go into a meeting with the head, the teacher and the senco. They tell me the communication they received from nursery didn't prepare them for how J is and almost played down what he was like. They aren't used to someone quite so young and quite so adept at opening/unlocking/problem solving as J (the head reckons he's got a real future in engineering!) he doesn't join in with group activities, won't play with other children (although they are trying to work on this) keeps trying to run off/leave at lunch times he's struggling to sit in the canteen with everyone and wants to be off and about and is needing staff with him the whole time to ensure he is sat eating. There is other stuff they said but at the moment my heads like a tv with static sorry. So their suggestion is that for the next few weeks he won't be going full time he will be doing 9:15-11:45. They hope that getting everyone else settled in a routine may help him, and will also make it easier to focus on him. They are going to have the locks moved higher in the hope it stops him escaping (after drop off he can only get out of the building not out of the grounds as it's locked by a magnetic lock) and also get the complex needs team to come and assess him. They had lots of positives to say about him - he's very funny, bright, clever, brilliant at building and working things out etc.

I just feel a bit like I'm failing him and like I should be doing more to help him. It's hard seeing everyone else with their 'perfect children' who can read and write their name and are little angels and feel like J is going to be labelled as the naughty one and that it is in some way my parenting to blame.

So I guess in the mean time I just gotta have faith - in my boy, in the school and in myself. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

What an Awesome August

How scarily fast did August speed past? It's now September and I am faced with the fact that I can no longer say I am in my twenties anymore, and also my baby is starting school this month. How on Earth did this happen? haha.

August has been another very successful month of comping again for me. I've had some fantastic wins. I've also had a little bit of negativity aimed at me for winning which is sad, and does put me off sharing a little bit but I'm still going to share as I hope it will inspire some of you to keep on comping. I'd also like to just quickly respond to comments that anybody who wins lots and regularly must be being dishonest or cheating or greedy. I'm none of those things. There is only me, I only enter as me, I don't sit and enter everything, I don't sit and spend all day comping, I'm selective about what I enter, I fit it in around my family, I will help anybody who needs it - just ask. I'm also going to share this month a little about RRP of prizes and what I've done with some of them, although my list may be a bit higgledy piggledy as my laptop had a brain fart and deleted all my comping spreadsheet and I've had to resort back to pen and paper for the month haha.

Anyway, enough of the moaning and lets get down to business.


My first win was a book called All The Wicked Girls which I won from an online book club I am part of. Books always help I find. If it's not me reading them then my mum or nan usually grab them.

A tote bag - this was my first instagram win of the month, a cute little cotton tote bag which always comes in handy.

Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts. This was also won on instagram. I'm a Harry Potter fan and keep meaning to watch this film but haven't got around to it, the book is a nice memento none the less though.

Beauty and the Beast DVD - this was won from Fabulous and I was really pleased to win it as I love Disney and although it's not the original I wanted to see it.

£20 Tesco Voucher - this was a facebook win from SpoonGuru where you had to comment about the new dietary search facility on the Tesco app. It also led on to a bigger prize later on in the month.

Pearl Drops Tooth paste - from their facebook page, it was a runners up prize, I was aiming for the biggie haha

£20 Amazon voucher - Another facebook win this time from D&T Chartered accountants, you had to watch a video about what you could claim on your tax returns - which was actually really interesting, and leave a comment.

AndyPandy eco nappies - won from instagram and donated to as they were too small for my nephew.

Mens Washbag of toiletries - this hasn't actually arrived yet so I can't tell you what's in it but no doubt it will get put away for one of the men of the family for Christmas - yes I went there.

A Tao and Friends Bodysuit. This was another instagram win and I love the gorilla print it's just so different and cute!

Lip balm - won through a facebook app

Bickie Pegs - won on instagram and going to my niece and nephew.

Max Crumbly books - these were a kids magazine win for Jacob. A little bit old for him right now but another couple of months and he should enjoy them.

Despicable Me Bundle - this was an amazing win with Baby Swap Or Shop. It contained a scooter (which I've given to my nan to give as a Christmas present to my cousins little boy), a 6 in 1 puzzle, a backpack, a minion toy, a unicorn - It's so flufffyyyyyy!!! an r/c Dave and a flying minion. I've put the r/c, flying minion and puzzles in the attic ready for Christmas :)

Diggerland Tickets - I've been entering their comps on twitter for what seems like forever! I finally won a pair this month and due to the stipulations (they end in October but after the 6 week holidays Diggerland is only open weekends and half term) we are going on the 1st September as one last day trip before the boy starts school.

Waitrose Festival tickets - these were won on instagram, unfortunately by the time they announced winners I was no longer able to go on the specified date so they were passed on.

Rapunzel Dress Up Costume - this was won from Rubies Masquerade on instagram. They were running weekly comps and giving 10 costumes a week away across all social media platforms. I gave this to my nan to give to my cousins little girl as a Christmas present.

12 Krispy Kreme donuts - technically the hubsters win although I told him how to enter and as he isn't a regular comper and just dabbles when there are good promo's on I'm listing it here. It was thanks to Nikki at Glam and Geeky Mum that I found out about this competition. You had to send a smiley group picture to Krispy Kreme with the designated hashtag. I'd tried myself but had no luck, hubby won first go.

Knucklebones DVD - won from twitter. My mum loves any type of horror film - including the really terrible ones (I don't know if Knucklebones is terrible I've not watched it, I'm just pointing out my mother has no taste haha), so this is going in her Christmas box.

A bath bomb - won from on instagram thanks to my friend Jenna who tagged me as one of her besties and won us both a bath bomb.

Genuine Fraud book - another from the online book club

£5 Love 2 Shop Voucher - this is from a survey site me and Jacob are part of to discuss childrens TV. Every so often they choose winners from people who have filled in their surveys. This is the third time we have won.

Maz toy - this was from Mazuma Mobile on facebook, and is just a little mini toy version of their logo which sticks on the window. I saw the comp as I was scrolling through and you had to comment what buttons you would press on a Nokia 3310 to type a certain word.

Facial sponges and Clean Beauty Co/BYBI products for me and a friend. I won these on instagram from Clean Beauty Co. I didn't realise at the time how much everything was but I received 2 facial sponges at £9.99 each, a Babe balm each which retails at £28 a pot and a Detox Dust each which sells for £22 a pot. So a fantastic treat for me and my friend Sam. 

BKR Glass bottle for me and a friend - another instagram win, these retail at £20 each! It's actually really cute, I was a bit worried about the practicality of them with them being glass but they have a cute rubber/silicone case on in purple which protects the glass. My friend Sam got the other one :)

Mints - these were from Anatomicals on instagram, you had to like and comment on their picture then send them a picture of a kiss so I sent them a picture of Jacob haha. A small win but the two handbag tins of mints come in handy for in the car.

Frozen Hama beads deluxe set and Scented pens - this was a win for Jacob from Animals and You magazine. The pens smell amazing! We've used them to fill in and decorate envelopes for competitions.

Uni-ball handwriting set - won from Uni-ball on instagram. 2 Lovely pens and a notebook which I'm now using to keep track of wins in!

£100 Amazon voucher - this is the bigger win from SpoonGuru I mentioned above. They asked me to do a video about what I thought of the search features on Tesco app. I'm not normally one to do video's etc as I'm very self conscious but I did it and I received £100 voucher about a week later so I was really pleased. I bought myself the Game of Thrones season 1 - 6 boxset, and along with the earlier £20 Amazon voucher 2 batman LEGO sets and a GOTG LEGO set - I have another baby Groot!!

Savse Baby Food - this was on facebook and was for the first 100 people to comment about weaning. It was supposed to be 12 pouches but I received 10. They were given to my brother as my niece has just started weaning.

Ragdoll - a wee instagram win, it's cute. It's going in with my nieces Christmas presents.

Milkshake DVD - won by Jacob from Milkshake magazine

Richard Ward Chelsea London Hair Hamper - this was won on instagram and is fab. I've kept the root touch up to hide the impending greys but some of the other items will be going in a pamper hamper for my mother for Christmas.

3 personalised Birthday cards - these were won on instagram from Skyscriber I chose for them to have Grandma, Grandad and Jacob put on them. They are lovely.

Sterling Silver Pebble Necklace - won on instagram from ceegeejewellery RRP £36 it's very pretty!

Operation Acid - from the Book Club

Citroen toy car - a small toy car won on instagram from john_grose_citroen

Shimmer Powder Eyeshadow - won in one of amwayukireland's daily competitions on instagram

Opihr Gin - won on instagram for being one of the first 80 people to comment on a post

Bopster Play Tent - this is fab! A triple play tent with tunnels to join them up! Won from on instagram. It's RRP £25 and looks great fun.

Chocolate buttons - won on twitter from Cadbury's Daisy the Cow! A low value prize but came in a lovely sparkly purple envelope and Jacob never turns down chocolate!

Open Arms book

Happy Days of The Grump book

Figs and Rouge Flawless Effects Skincare Package RRP £110 won from Pink Parcel on instagram, I will be keeping most of this for myself but some of it will go in my mam's Christmas pamper hamper.

Barbecue! RRP £219.99 won from Regina Blitz, I was so unsure when I won this and didn't believe it as I'd seen a few other people post about winning on this comp so assumed it had broken but it has been delivered and is real and is huge haha.

£50 Cineworld voucher - won on facebook from Rosedene Nurseries. The competition was so you could take your kids to the cinema and buy snacks too however Jacob dislikes the cinema it causes melt downs and sensory overload so I'm going to use it to go see It instead with the hubby as date night.

Henry London watch RRP £145 including engraving. I won this on instagram I had the choice of any watch I wanted with no budget. I chose this Knightsbridge watch for my Dad and will be giving it to him at Christmas.

Make Up Bag - this was an instagram win for the first 20 people to regram. I don't usually do regram comps on instagram. I don't like them. They make your account look spammy. I do them if it's a guaranteed win though so having checked the hashtag etc I knew I was in time.

My First Thomas Railway Pals Playset RRP £49.99 This was won from Netmums and just arrived in the post without any warning or note where it's from. It's going to be perfect for my nephew Aiden for Christmas.

Elsa dress up costume - this was again from Rubies only on facebook this time. This one is winging it's way to a comper friend whose little girl loves Frozen.

Swimwear 365 Goody bag - this was an instagram win. I'm not sure of the full contents although the picture shows make up etc it also includes a £45 bikini which I would never wear for fear of being harpooned and thrown back in the sea so I ordered it in my friends size and will be giving it to her.

3D Pen - this was won on instagram from RedCartridges. It looks really cool and I''ve had a little play with it and managed to make a heart so far, definitely need more practice though!

Jo Jo Siwa Singing Doll RRP £25. This was from Jake sending in a picture of one of our bearded dragons to a kids mag. You don't know what prize you will get till they publish it so whilst not something Jake will play with I'm giving it to my friend for her daughter so it won't go to waste.

No Shame book

2 Emoji Cheese string lunchboxes from the daily competition

£10 Game voucher won on twitter. Perfect for us as hubby is obsessed with his XBox.

Toddler Crochet Poncho won on instagram and going to my mum to gift to her god daughter. It's super cute and will be perfect for these cooler days as we move in to Autumn.

3 Phil Smith Cocolicious hair products won on instagram as a runners up prize. 

A little boys outfit from ukbabybox on Facebook perfect for my nephew. 

Duff prize of the month goes to Kodak who ran a promotion where every entrant won 10 4x4 prints from them. I love my pictures so I entered and obviously won. It turned out to be a £2 discount and postage was still applicable at £3.50 so i gave it a miss as I can get more photo's printed for less at other retailers.

I hope everyone has a fantastic September, lots of luck, 

Dani x 

Monday, 28 August 2017

What I make of Mayka

Everyone has been raving about Mayka - the toy block tape, and being the huge LEGO fan I am I thought I would give it a go. 

It cost £6.99 for a 1m roll. There are other lengths, colours and thicknesses available. 

As mentioned it comes in a roll and the inner section of the roll has a small clamp to hold it in place and make sure you don't unroll it all. Face on the packaging is a winner. However the back of the package is like hell on earth. You have to peel a sticker off to unclip the tabs that hold it closed, only the sticker comes off in tiny pieces - a bit like when you're trying to remove the price tag from a gift - and so it looks unsightly. Apart from this one flaw the packaging is sturdy and works well. 

I decided to make myself a little phone cable holder as I'm forever dropping the cable on the floor when not in use. 

To do so I cut a small rectangle of Mayka, and chose one of my favourite LEGO minifigures - Harley Quinn. The hands on the minifigures are perfect for holding small cables like those for the iPhone. You then simply peel the backing off the Mayka tape and press it onto the desired surface. As long as your surfaces are clean and dry you can remove and reuse the tape so don't worry too much if it's not straight the first time. Then I put the cable in Harley's hand and pressed the back of her legs onto the Mayka to fix her. 

Overall I'm impressed with Mayka. I'm sure it has lots of possibilities which I look forward to exploring and I love the fact its not permanent 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Prizes Won in July

This is a little bit of a long post. July was an absolutely fantastic month for wins for me! Are you sitting comfortably? Then we shall begin... 

Fairytale Post Card Calendar
This is such a cute little prize that I won on Facebook from Heart Felt Illustrations. I love the little red and white toadstools it reminds me of books I read as a child.

BSensible Cotbed Mattress Protector and Pillow case.
This was a facebook win although I only found out I won after searching for my name!

I am so so pleased with this win I have wanted to win Jacob a new scooter as he had outgrown his old one. I found a competition on twitter by Jaffa Fruit that asked you to print out their activity sheet complete a page and then send them a picture. There were 5 entries to this competition in total but we were the only ones to use the hash tag!

Rebusfest Postcards and a pen
This was just a quick retweet comp on twitter.

All The Ways The World Can End book
I won this from an online book club.

Andrex Heritage Prize
This was won on facebook and turned out to be a single toilet roll and a small Andrex puppy toy. To enter you had to upload a photo showing an Andrex memory. I had a picture of our old cat as a kitten playing with a roll of toilet paper and uploaded it with the tag line 'showing that Andrex is for more than just puppies'

Environ RAD Sunscreen 
I won this on facebook and I was the only entrant with Skin3. It's quite a decent size and not cheap and I'm hoping to actually have a use for it over the holidays if the weather ever realises it's supposed to be Summer. 

4 Cans of Carling 
I don't drink but hubby doesn't mind the occasional can so these are for him. I won them on the Carling Tap It app comp

Funny Bunny Game 
This was won from one of Jacobs magazines and has been put away for his birthday or Christmas 

Disney fridge magnet
This was from the Disney Dream Girls facebook page, they ran a caption competition and even though I didn't win they liked my entry and asked to send me a little something anyway 

Chocolate Science Kit 
This was a facebook competition running with Science4You and was to celebrate World Chocolate Day, just a simple like and comment and is full of moulds and things to make your own lollies

Picnic hamper, treats and tennis rackets. 
This was a local facebook competition with WFYouth. It's a lovely prize and I am made up about it. Slightly jealous how amazing WFYouth are though as we don't have that kind of thing in my area. 

A popsocket 
This was a facebook competition and they were giving away one pop socket every time a certain tennis player won a match. These stick on the back of your phone and then you can pop them out to use as a prop to stand your phone up or to hold so you don't drop it. Really useful if like me you like to watch youtube videos in bed. 

Childrens apron 
This was a competition I found on twitter and you had to sign up to a newsletter. I never really take much notice of this kind of competition but gave it a go and was really pleased to be picked as their winner, I think it must have been relatively low entry. 

Holiday Bathtime bundle 
This was a competition run by the Little Bathtime Company on facebook. We got sent our choice of their product - which smells amazing! Some Usbourne sticker books, an inflatable beach ball and some swimming toys which Jacob has been playing with in the bath! 

Eat Beautiful Book 
This is from a Neals Yard Remedy rep on facebook. There were only two entries and I can be a bit apprehensive about entering anything run by an MLM rep as it can sometimes lead to spam or a hard sell but the lady was fab and the book is awesome! 

This is a book from the online book club mentioned above :) 

Now TV Sports pass 
Won on the Carling Tap It app 

Cake Decoration hamper 
This is by Rainbow Dust on twitter and is amazing! Full of fancy edible glitters, food colourings, edible paint etc. I am looking forward to getting creative. I especially love that I got sent some yellow and black colouring as I think Jacob would love a LEGO Batman birthday cake! 

Imagine Dragons CD 
This was an instagram competition where I commented saying it would be nice to have something decent to listen to in the car. 

Minion Activity Pack 
Won from the Frubes daily competition - which I keep forgetting to enter. 

The Hangmans Hitch book 
This was a facebook competition by Britains Next Bestseller. They asked a question about Jaws - the book rather than the film, and I was the only person to answer. 

Copper Kettle and Toaster Breakfast set 
We've recently had a new B&M open locally and they ran a competition to win a Breakfast Set and I was picked as the lucky winner! It's a gorgeous set and the store is awesome! 

Minions Bundle 
This was a twitter retweet comp with AMC Cinemas. I did tweet them a picture of Jacob with a minion teddy although I'm not sure if that influenced things or not. Jacob was very pleased with his bundle of goodies although I want the stress minion for me haha. 

Power pack and touch screen stylus
On world emoji day I went all out searching for comps, I have a pic and a video of me with the poop emoji painted on my face. I found a competition asking for the first ten people to tweet them their favourite 3 emojis. I was one of the first and then let some of my friends know so they could enter too. 

Emoji Stamp 
Another World Emoji Day win, the company decided to give everyone who entered a free stamp and I chose a gold smiley face which we've used to stamp our postal competition entries and to give Jacob praise :-) 

My Jacob loves sunglasses. He has several pairs and it's never enough! This was another emoji comp on twitter by CarWow who gave the first 5 people to identify what the cars their emojis represented a pair of sunnies, despite not having much knowledge of cars I knew enough to get the answer right and Jacob was very pleased. 

S.T.A.G.s book 
Another book from the online book club site I use 

£30 Amazon 
Won from signing up to a newsletter :) 

Creative Wellness book 
Won on instagram from MindfulnessEtc this is a really nice book and I'm looking forward to looking into it more as i am really trying to focus on my crafting more as I find it calming 

Tombola Goody bag 
This was won from Tombola on twitter and arrived just as I was dishing up pizza and had a pizza cutter in - bonus! 

£100 Amazon Voucher 
This was won from free-lottery. I found the comp on instagram but you actually had to email to say what you would spend the voucher on. I'm really really pleased with this win and put it together with the £30 earlier and bought 3 Harry Potter books (I have them all anyway but wanted the set with the modern illustrated covers - obsessed haha), some HEKO wind deflectors for our car, a Morphy Richards supervac which I love! and a Guardians of the Galaxy LEGO set bought for two reasons - it's LEGO and baby Groot.

Now TV Sports Pass 
This like the one above was won on the Carling Tap App 

Nu Notebook
I don't normally take part in facebook live competitions, the lag and time difference irritate me and I don't seem to be very lucky on them but this was a comp where you had to say what the person was doodling, I said daffodil and won a notebook. I love notebooks and stationery. 

This was an instagram competition by Chicago Town and I won a voucher for a free pizza, not the most earth shattering prize value wise but pizza is always good! 

Love You To The Moon heart plaque 
Another instagram win, this time from Archieandbay. 

Gorjuss planner 
Calendar Club were running a competition on facebook and twitter to win planners and diaries and I said I'd specifically love to win a Gorjuss one as I love the designs and luckily I won! It starts the 1st September and has a great set out so will be fab for when the boy starts school for me to keep a track of things. 

Gryffindor Journal 
This was won from PGUK Books on twitter, made up with this as I love Harry Potter and they also sent me a Hogwarts journal, both are in my room on the shelf with my Harry Potter books and quote. 

Kong: Skull Island Blu-Ray 
This one you had to comment if you could see 2 film characters go head to head who would you pick. Hubby said after the recent film he'd like Spider-man and Iron Man to fall out and go against each other and was chosen as the winner. 

Kill Me Twice book 
Another book from the online book club site. 

Hotel stay and meal for 2 
The hotel is actually local to me but that's good as I'm not used to leaving my boy so the plan is to book it for the night before my birthday and have a nice meal and trip to the cinema and hopefully a nice nights sleep but still be close enough to come home if needed. 

Churchill umbrella. 
Jacob has a bit of a thing for Churchill slippers so I commented on a picture on their facebook page which I didn't think was a competition of him wearing the slippers and they replied saying we had won a Brolly! 

Paw Patrol Live family ticket and Ezee Beads play set 
This was a twitter competition and I was chosen as the lucky winner, I originally intended to let my friend take her children as they are big fans but they couldn't make it so we were brave..... and I am so glad we were as we had an amazing time and Jacob loved it! I anticipated a melt down like we get at the cinema but he was fine.

Custard and Pudding book. 
This was won from the Ambrosia monthly competition where you have to upload a picture of yourself with one of their products. I shan't be getting chosen as a model any time soon. 

Rapesco desk set.
Another twitter competition, they asked what colour set you would choose if you won and I replied Hot Pink and showed them my desk. Really pleased they chose me as a winner :) 

£20 Frugi voucher 
This was won from the Dolly Dowsie blog facebook page, you had to comment where you like to go on picnics and I said Aysgarth Falls which is a beautiful spot to visit. I'm pleased with this win as Frugi clothes are beautiful! So bright and colourful! 

A Cuski 
Cuski's are a type of comforter for baby. This was found on Ask the Midwifes facebook page and had 3 prizes and 4 entries. 

A LightBox 
This was won from StyleStudioUK they were giving away 10 across all their platforms and as I really wanted a Light Box (I was actually intending to go get one from Maplins at the end of the week) I made sure to enter and was really pleased to be picked as a winner on instagram! yay! 

A Minions bundle 
This is the same as the bundle we won from AMC Cinemas with the tin lunchbox, stationery set, magnets etc only this time we got a whole family of stress minions which makes me a happy mama. This was won from one of Jacob's magazines. 

£50 Voucher for the Frozen Food Warehouse 
An ultra low entry twitter competition with @FryFamilyFoodCoUK you had to tag a friend and I tagged hubby and mentioned how much we like our local store. £50 will be fab for us and will buy my hubby lots of his favourite Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings (they are amazing - try them! £2 for 8 in the fridge section) 

So there we go, an awesome month for me. As well as all the wins mentioned above we were also chosen as Toy Testers for Asda which I found out about from another comper. Jacob got to meet all his favourite characters and then play with lots of toys for 2 hours then got an awesome goody bag afterwards to say thank you! 

This is how September Should Be

It's been a while since I've blogged. I was in a fog and family life, my mental health and the real world kept me away. I would ty...