Friday, 1 June 2018

My Marvellous May..

Another month is over with and we are now in the 6th month of 2018, June. Where oh where has the year gone? It feels like only yesterday I was writing a blog post about what we had won in January. Comping has been very hit and miss this month, other engagements have meant that there have been times where I've just not bothered with entering comps, in fact there have even been days where I've not even turned the laptop on when usually it's on everyday, even if just for a little while. Whilst I haven't won such big prizes like the Little Tikes bundle last month I've still had some fab wins and it's proof that you don't have to enter everything to win but just focusing your attention sometimes can be a big help!

My first win of May was a Willow and Wild box on Instagram. They are a craft and gardening subscription box aimed at children and Jacob received the Snapdragon and Radish box. We planted the seeds and they are currently on my kitchen windowsill. We haven't had chance to do the craft projects yet.

BookTrust have a campaign running this year called Bath Book Bed and so there were lots of blog competitions around to win bundles and we were lucky enough to win one. It came in a lovely cotton bag and had Peppa Pig shower/bubble bath, Peppa Pig toothpaste and Peppa Pig toothbrushes and then 3 different books.

One of Jake's little obsessive quirks are glasses; normal glasses, sunglasses, toy glasses, he loves them all. So he was really pleased when I won a pair of  Hulk 3D glasses in light of the new Avengers film. He was even happier when 2 pairs arrived so we could both be Hulk!

QVS Beauty on Instagram gave away bundles of make up brushes and I was lucky enough to win some.

Another Instagram win was from lauren_loves_xx she does regular giveaways and had posted she would be doing some random giveaways through the day where she would post a picture and the first person to reply tagging friends would win the item in the picture. I turned my notifications for her posts on so that as soon as she posted I could click on and I was lucky enough to win a Revolution Concealer.

Both me and the hubby won Pepsi Glasses and a Walkers bowl on the current purchase necessary promo. We keep trying for the tv.

On May the 4th there were loads of Star Wars comps about and I used tweetdeck to hunt some out. Although it's not technically a Star Wars prize I found a comp for a children's app called Peg and Pog which I won.

The Star Wars prizes didn't allude me though and we had some fab wins!

A Star Wars Block book from Abrams Chronicle Books

A fab double sided cushion from Character World that I loved so much I've bought a second one!

A brilliant bundle with Central Retail Park that had a light saber, a Storm trooper back pack, an R2D2 night light teddy and a BB8 Alarm clock!

I also won some Star Wars pin badges after saying I'd love them for my back pack and sending them a picture of it in its pink storm trooper glory complete with Porg key-rings.

Our first kids mag win of the month was a Bizzy Bub. It was an entry form from Mixit Magazine and they'd missed the space for the competition off the entry form so I wrote it on a post it note and stuck it to our entry form and we won.

We won a book from Scholastic Kids called Dinosaur Firefighters and J has really enjoyed it so it's become our current bedtime story.

Another book win was Iguana Boy Saves The World from Toppsta. I thought it might be a good introduction to chapter books for Jake but he's not hundred percent taken with it at the moment.

WKD picked me as a winner of a crate of their bottles on Instagram, I expected them to just send a coupon out in the post but they sent the actual crate of glass bottles!

A small prize of baby socks on Instagram have gone in the baby box in the spare room.

I also won a Too Faced Lipstick on Instagram from greencatbeauty

I won a personalised Carafe on Instagram from smartphoto and chose to have the quote 'It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live' which is from Harry Potter engraved on it and then I have filled it with fairy lights. The photo doesn't do it justice. It's lovely.

My first Facebook win of the month was a Mowgli Street Food book. You had to say what your favourite street food is and I said a slice of pizza from dough boys. There is a recipe in for butter chicken which I'm looking forward to making this weekend.

I won a make up bundle on Instagram which was a simple comment and tag and then I won a £15 credit for next of kin apparel and I ordered this cute bodysuit as I love that it's similar to The Offspring lyric, I also got a romper with a different design too.

Jake was off School ill and so it was lovely to receive two parcels for him from Kids Magazines to cheer him up, one was a book called Emmeline The Cheeky Pup and the other was this awesome Grossery Gang Bug Strike bundle!

With the new GDPR rules coming out in May there were lots of promotions to opt in and sign up to newsletters and 'clubs'. A lot of people question if anyone ever wins from newsletter sign up competitions. Well I'm happy to say I won a gorgeous Minnie Mouse Chamilia necklace from signing up to the Chamilia club, I think I saw the advert on Facebook. It's worth £95 and is super pretty, although possibly a little bit too delicate for a klutz like me.

I won with Peter Rabbit Magazine on Facebook again, for the second time this year, this time a DVD which will come in handy for rainy days and make a change from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 which I have watched 17 times this half term as it's what Jake wanted on!

It was Coeliac Awareness/Gluten Free Awareness week and I was lucky enough to win a bundle of Pieminster Gluten free pies. I'm not sure if you've ever tried to do gluten free baking, but I have and it wasn't very successful so I was a bit nervous about what the pies would be like but Oh My Days they were delicious! We will buy them again but they are quite pricey (isn't all dietary needs food?) so they will be for a special treat.

I received another 2 copies of Big Bones books this month although I'm not sure where from?

Another two small Instagram wins came in as we headed into the last week of the month. A craft bundle from Nu who usually do notebooks and a tub of Oppo's new flavour ice cream from guessing what their new flavour was.

I had a nice bank holiday win of the new Maze Runner film on DVD which we are looking forward to watching at some point over the next few days.

I also won some Scolaquip goodies on Instagram which are paint sticks (similar to Little Brian ones) as well as some which you can use on fabric and some which are for using on your face!

I managed to tick something off my wish list this month too! I've been trying for ages to win with Colour Freedom and I finally won some hair dye! I miss having bright coloured hair so I can't wait for it to arrive.

Then it seems the comping fairy decided it's about time I start looking after myself as I had the following wins:
A Tefal Optigrill from Muscle Foods
A Nutribullet from the Belvita purchase competition. Which as well as making smoothies will be used for it's ice crushing abilities to make cocktails with the Cocktail Recipe book I won on Instagram.
Reveal Magazines top 25 beauty buys
and finally,
a crate of bottled water and a bundle of skincare products, again from Instagram.

As you can see Instagram really was my friend this month. My partner has the first week of June off so I won't be doing much comping as we are in the middle of redecorating and also hoping to enjoy some days out with Jake as well as trying to find him a new school as it's been decided a mainstream school isn't suitable and he needs a specialist school.

 My Stats for the month are:
Total Number of Prizes: 38
Total RRP of Prizes: £1018
Breakdown of prize type:

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

I had an Awesome April - my comping month

April the 1st came and with it brought Easter and April Fools Day, and it sure did feel like the joke was on me as for the first time in several years I hadn't won any Easter Eggs and it wasn't without trying.

However that soon changed as on the 2nd April (so slightly late but I shan't complain) I was announced by Jackson's Yorkshire Champion on Instagram as the winner of their Easter hamper. I received a lovely box with an Easter egg, chocolate carrots, chocolate eggs, creme eggs, Malteser bunny's and some yummy Jackson's Bloomers (their bread is gorgeous!) Which more than enough made up for the earlier egg drought. 

I won a lovely book called Astrid Unstoppable and hair clip set from picture_personal on Instagram.

Another Instagram win was some fantastic Address books from MumsOffice they are brilliant quality and I've been really impressed by them :) 

Since gleam took away their daily tweet option I've given blog comps a bit more of a go and won a gorgeous Peter Rabbit Romper and Book from Boo Roo and Tigger Too. 

On the 4th of the month I won 2 bottles of the new drink from Bottle Green on Instagram, i was really surprised that they sent out 2 large glass bottles of drink in the post as I expected a coupon. We've only tried the rhubarb one so far and it was delicious and really refreshing. 

As I mentioned last month we really enjoyed National Science Week and tried to win some prizes related to it. When I spotted How It Works on twitter giving away a Stupendous Science book I tweeted them a picture of one of our experiments me and J had done and was lucky enough to win! It's full of different experiments we can do at home and so is perfect.

Our first children's magazine win of the month was a Blaze Christmas DVD. Jake doesn't mind that it's Christmas themed though as he's still obsessed with the annoying singing reindeer head we got in December so the festive cheer has never left him.

Yenuec on Instagram ran a competition and I won a bottle of Pixi Glow Tonic which I've heard amazing things about and I'm looking forward to trying. I love the packaging, it seems really decadent. 

The same day as the Glow Tonic arrived I won a silk sleep mask from Hesperfox on Instagram, you had to comment with a time saving hack and they picked mine as a winner.

Hello Magazine ran a Mothers Day competition with loads of different prizes up for grabs and I won a Real Techniques Powder Bleu Brush Set worth £118! 

A Twitter win of a 2017 Extreme Rules/Money in the Bank WWE DVD from WWE Kids mag. 

I then had a lovely OOKiverse book arrive and I can't find where from despite a lot of searching. Me and J have really enjoyed the story behind it and I know there are apps and things related to it so I'm going to have a look into downloading that for him. 

I won a pack of Little Brian Paint Sticks which I love as we've used them for crafting before and they are a lot easier for J to manage as they are like a pritt stick only solid paint and there is less mess and no need for jugs of water with the potential to spill etc.

Will Gowing runs regular social media competitions for products he is showing on QVC shopping channel and I was lucky enough to win one of his Instagram competitions for some Tarte Cosmetic palettes and brushes. 

When I am entering twitter competitions I always try to leave an appropriate comment or reply. Cineworld Cinemas were running a competition for a Wind in the Willows goody bag so I sent them a gif of Mr Toad with hypnotic eyes in my reply. His charm worked and I was announced as the winner. 

McVities have been running a purchase necessary/text competition and I'd tried quite a few times to win only to receive a 50p off coupon so I was shocked to have two proper wins with them on consecutive days. I won a pair of cinema tickets which will cover a date night and one of their 'Family Days Out' which is actually a Buy-A-Gift experience which I plan on swapping on their site and putting towards a driving experience for the hubby. 

My lovely friend Shelley tagged me in an Instagram comp so we both won a case of B.Fresh juices and a book called The Wellness Rebel. 

Toppsta came through with a book for J called Molly's Magic Wardrobe: Search for the Fairy Star. 

On the 19th of April I got a DM from MetroComps on twitter to tell me I had won one of the new Huawei P20 mobile phones. These phones are amazing and rrp £599! I was a bit worried at first as it had seemed too easy to win, you just needed to tweet which handset you wanted and use a hashtag but I needn't have worried as the phone arrived the next day.

We then had 2 kids mag wins in one day! A Peppa Pig Aquadoodle which has been put away for my niece for Christmas and a fab NERF Aerofury Ramp Rage gun from Beano which Jake loves! It was our first ever win from Beano too despite trying for a couple of years! 

A couple of months ago there was a comp on Muller Rice to win mini basket ball hoops, I only entered the once and didn't win but I must have won on a mop up draw as a small hoop and ball set arrived. 

The sun disappeared and the weather got gloomy but this gorgeous t-shirt from luna_and_fin on Instagram definitely brought a bit of cheer our way! 

My inner hippy self loves the bibs by talulalittle on Instagram. They have babies doing yoga on them and I was pleased to win 3 in their Earth Day competition. 

Alongside comping I also do the odd survey site to get a little bit of an Amazon balance going. One of the survey sites asked me to download an app which I did and I got entered into a prize draw for having the app and won £50 which was sent via PayPal to me and spent on a day out with my boys. 

My final Instagram win of the month was some Micellar Water Cleanser for me and a friend from minetanbodyskin. 

There is a purchase comp out on peperami at the moment and I won a day pass to Thorpe Park on it, it's a little far for a day trip for us at the moment but we are going to see if we can combine it with visiting the in laws over summer.

I thought that was my lot for the month, but on the afternoon of the 30th I got a wonderful Facebook message from the Tesco Baby Club page to say I had won their Little Tikes bundle worth over £500! The bundle consists of: 
  • a Group 2-3 car seat 
  • a Fountain Factory Water Table 
  • a Cozy Coupe car 
  • Gas & Go toy mower 
  • Sizzle & Serve BBQ Grill Playset 
  • Tumblin' Tower Climber 

An amazing win perfect for J, my niece and my nephew. 

I had a truly awesome April, I hope May can be just as magic when it comes to wins. 

My stats for the month are: 
Total number of prizes: 29
Total RRP of Prizes won: £1798
Breakdown of prize type:

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Marvelous March

Well after a fantastic February, March had a lot to live up to. It promised the opportunity for lots of creative competitions with World Book Day, Mother's Day and the run up to Easter, however we had lots of snow and it threw everything into much disarray.

Anyway, I digress.

Here is a breakdown of the prizes I won in March:

I won some cute Teletubbies Pyjama's from on twitter. They run weekly giveaways and their pj's are fab!

My first World Book Day win was this awesome bundle of books! Jake loves the LEGO book.

I won another prize from Jennie Edspire's month long instagram competition I mentioned in last months prize post. Some gorgeous tights and pj's from Slugs and Snails.

On the 5th of March I won a facebook competition from Skipton Building Society and won 2 tickets to a show of my choice at West Yorkshire Playhouse so we are going this Friday to see Dancing Bear which I'm looking forward to. I'm always nervous of winning tickets to shows as I have a few accessibility issues not to mention major anxiety, but luckily all except one promoter have been accommodating, and it means I've seen some amazing shows and bands over time.

I won a prize from Max Factor which is what would usually be a GWP (Gift With Purchase) in Boots and was a full size mascara, lip product and eyeshadow.

I also won a runners up prize on instagram from Pacapod. There were 20 runner ups so I wasn't expecting much but I received a Colby Ember changing bag worth £65!

The lovely Cara over at The Jammy Jigsaw knows my plight when it comes to getting my boy to sleep and stay asleep and she tagged me in a competition on Instagram to win something called a Fidget Bum which goes on the child's bed and zips up over their covers to stop them kicking the covers off.

I received a WTC on the 7th - I hate WTC as I don't like talking on the phone. It was telling me I'd won a local pancake day competition with my Scooby Doo pancake and had won a crepe pan. Oddly enough despite being 3 weeks since Pancake Day this wasn't my only pancake win this month.

We won a £20 book token with our WBD Costume. Jake chose 3 books - Oi Dog! Oi Frog! and Cake. All three of them are fab reads.

I won 2 beautiful Kylie Minogue cushions on instagram which are currently stashed away till my new sofa gets delivered.

Another pancake day win which I wouldn't have known about had a lovely comper not messaged me to say they had spotted my name on Cookson Gold's winners list and I needed to email to claim my prize. My electric crepe maker has now arrived and leaves me plenty of time to practice ready for next years competitions.

I found a low entry gleam competition and won a Stargazer Lottie doll, I also won a years membership to the Azoomee app which is great for Jake.

I won a Flowers scented reed diffuser and room mist from Laura Thomas on Instagram, it smells great and I love all my home fragrance products like candles and reed diffusers so it's great to win new ones to try.

Anatomicals on Instagram did a face mask competition and I won 3 face masks, I seem to do quite well with them on Instagram and have had 3 or 4 prizes from them now.

Makerly Crafts on instagram are entirely to blame for my lack of comping for a few days as I won a mosaic coaster craft kit that I sat and spent ages doing instead of being on the laptop, it was very therapeutic I just need to get round to grouting them then I can take photo's.

Another book for Jake called Something Fishy was won from a newsletter competition.

Then I won a bundle of Easter themed books and a book bag from educating_tina and stitch_me_happy on instagram. The bag is gorgeous and too grown up for Jake so I'm using it to keep paperwork and my magazines in and the books were a great selection. Jake is especially impressed with the That's Not My Chick and a Lego City book called Follow That Easter Egg!

I had a fab win on Facebook which might seem a bit strange to some but it's a 2m RGB LED Tape Light Kit from Simple Lighting. Jake responds really well to lights, he doesn't have a proper bulb in his bedroom but has what is described as a party bulb as it makes colourful swirls on his walls and calms him so adding some more lights to his room is great for us and is helping us to slowly turn his room into a safe sensory space for him.

British Science Week hit and I was desperate to win some science goodies for Jake, we'd done lots of home experiments and I was hunting twitter, Instagram and Facebook for comps. The lovely people at Propeller sent us a Spintelligence kit about Space and then after talking to them about their kits sent us a Numbers one too.

By this point we are at the 17th of the month and Jake hadn't had a kids mag win which is pretty unusual for him. The fact I keep posting them for others and forgetting to enter doesn't help, but then he was blessed with two fab wins!!

A Spynet watch which he has taken great delight in using to photograph my ceiling a lot ha ha.

and a Nintendo Switch!!!! Buzzing as we really wanted one for him as I think they are a bit more child friendly than the Xbox One that his Dad has.

I didn't win any Easter Eggs this year *cries* but I did win 2 bars of Ocelot chocolate on Instagram which my OH ate.

Then I hit a bit of a lull (probably too much time playing on the Switch and less time comping) but a Toppsta win and hand mask from Instagram kicked my butt back into gear a little.

Nick Jr announced me as a winner of a fab Paw Patrol bundle which came super quick!

Then I won a coffee scrub on Instagram which will be fab for getting my skin summer ready.

A gorgeous soft Bobo Buddies Rabbit comfort blanket on Instagram  which is lovely!

I won 2 copies of Big Bones books on Instagram, one was for my bestie but she won too!

My final win of the month was from a twitter party with BrainBoxGames about #InclusivePlay which is very important to me as Jake can often be seen as an outsider. The prize is a Recycle Me set about making models from recyclable items which Jake will
love as we love our crafting.

Summary of the month:
Total Prizes: 30
Total RRP of Prizes won: £1202
Breakdown of prize type:

Here is hoping for an awesome April for everyone 
Danielle x 

ps I also won some Dorito's on the purchase comp but I haven't included those in any total as at the time everyone was winning, plus I gave the coupons to some compers to use x

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Easter - how do you do yours?

So we are now on the 3rd of April and hopefully most people have recovered from their chocolate hangovers.

Easter is an interesting one for me, we are aren't religious, we aren't traditional, we aren't the kind to go OTT I don't think. There were a mixture of posts on Social Media about how people do Easter, which leads me to the question - 'How do you do yours?' Are you the kind of person to roll an egg down a hill? Only buy your child one egg? Buy your child 20? Or go full out and buy them presents and eggs and have Easter as a second Christmas?

In previous years I have been lucky enough to win our Easter eggs but that didn't happen this year! I was going to have to put my hands in my pockets and buy the boy an egg.

Jake is very much a fan of Nerf guns and having battles with his Dad but the ones we own are a bit cumbersome and hard for him to use alone so when I spotted Nerf Eggs at £4 in Tesco I decided one of those would be perfect for him as the toy would be fab and it wasn't too much chocolate.

Whilst in Tesco I also spotted the new Orchard Games mini games. These were £4 each or 2 for £7 and look great. The price of some Easter Eggs can easily be £7 so I decided to get him Build a Beetle and Little Bug Bingo. I love Orchard Toys games anyway, they are perfect for working on turn taking, learning to follow instructions, speech and understanding.

On the Saturday morning we visited our local Smyths toy store and they were running an egg hunt. Jake was given a little rabbit ears headband to wear and we walked around following clues. Luckily they were mapped out in the order of the store and it was more me solving them whilst Jake asked for everything but at the end of the hunt he received 2 Easter Eggs and a small bag of Lego.

My Dad dropped off some Easter treats for Jake and I have to say he chose the two things from M&S I would have chosen too. I love this little dinosaur egg cup. It's cute, practical and will hopefully encourage Jake to try boiled eggs - if not I think his Dad has plans to use it for his breakfast haha. The Thomas egg is brilliant for Thomas fans, it's a perfect replica of the childhood hero, all made from delicious milk and white chocolate.

All the Easter fun had hyped Jake up and he hadn't even eaten any chocolate yet! It meant he was up at 2:15am though asking if the Easter Bunny had been? He hadn't. Due to him not going back to sleep I didn't get chance to hide the little plastic eggs around the house so I told Jake that the EB couldn't hide the eggs as he had been awake and he couldn't risk being seen so there would be no egg hunt. Around 10am I got the chance to sneak into the garden and hide our brightly coloured plastic eggs and then I went back inside and pretended to received a call from the Easter Bunny who told me that as he couldn't hide the eggs in the house he had hidden them in the garden instead. Jake donned his bunny ears and basket - both £1 from Asda and headed off to find his rewards. Once he'd found them all he spent ages hiding them again and recollecting them. Over. and. Over. and Over.

In the afternoon we did some crafts painting some eggs and making these super cute finger puppets. The kit was £1 from Asda and simple enough for Jake to do with a little help from Mama.

So that's how we did our Easter.

Dani x

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Zimpli Kids make Sensory Play Simple!

Sensory play is becoming more and more popular with parents and Early Years settings because of the huge benefits it has on children. You only have to look on Pinterest or do a quick google search to be overwhelmed with ideas and as fantastic as they all are, some of them can be very daunting and can put you off. Sensory play doesn't need to be difficult, or take days to set up, especially when you have companies such as Zimpli Kids who put together simple to use products such as their Slime Play and Gelli Baff which are easy to use, fun, hassle free and affordable too.

The new in thing with kids seems to be tubs of slime, and I will be honest with you, I hate the stuff and think it's a bit of an abomination. I don't like the texture - cold and claggy, and I don't like the fact Jake dropped some on his school shirt and I couldn't get it out! I tried all the tips mentioned on google and nothing worked so it went in the bin and I've been anti-slime ever since. Until now.

During British Science Week I was looking for things to do with Jacob and if you follow me on social media you will have seen that we did lots of experiments including Lemon Volcanoes and Lava Lamps with oil and alkaseltzers. Jacob really wanted to do slime but all the recipes we looked at involved about 17 ingredients and things like borax and having heard horror stories about children getting chemical burns I just wasn't willing to risk it. I popped into our local Entertainer toy store to see what children's Science kits they had in and was drawn to a shelf of Zimpli products and they were all half price!! Bonus!

I chose two products Gunky Green Slime Play and Colour Change Gelli Baff.

Jake was super excited that Mama was finally letting him play with slime!

We set up in the spare room where I do most of my work with Jacob and instead of needing 17 ingredients we needed 2 things a bowl full of warm water and the packet of Slime Play. Simple! The packet of slime play just looks like coloured sand but as you sprinkle it in the water and begin to stir it with your hands the powder dissolves and it starts to thicken up.

Whilst it was still quite thin Jake dunked his hands and then decided that green slime needed something submerging! Scooby figures! and so he began pretending the thickening slime was ghost goo. What great imaginative play. Once we'd finished playing with it we washed our hands and put a lid on the bowl as we wanted to come back to it later.

When we came back to play the slime had thickened up even more and so as it was supposed to be a Science experiment I decided we would look at viscosity. Jake has a speech disorder so it can be a little bit confusing to gage his understanding of things so asking lots of questions and getting him to give a running commentary is a great way of working on this. I asked him to tell me what it felt like and do simple tasks like see how high you can stretch the slime? Can you hold it in your hand? Will it pass through a sieve or a colander?

When it came to clearing up it was so easy I was shocked! You just need to keep adding water to dilute the slime and then it pours away! Magic! And mess free!

A couple of nights later I remembered the Gelli Baff. We had chosen the yellow colour change. Inside the packet were 2 sachets of powder marked step 1 and step 2. Step 1 was yellow, and step 2 was blue. Similarly to the slime they looked like coloured sand. The instructions said to add a couple of cm's of warm water to the bath and then sprinkle step 1 in and stir with your hands till it thickens, keeping step 2 for clearing up later, then you can add a little bit more water up to approx 8cm. Unlike the Slime Play the gelli bath wasn't smooth but like little lumps of jelly. Jake loved it and was soon laid in the bath and 'swimming' in it then pouring it over himself. He told me it looked like yellow snow and you should never eat yellow snow and you shouldn't eat this kind of jelly either. As he had laid down in the bath full of Gelli Baff he had some of the crystals in his hair and I did worry how hard they would be to get out especially as Jake doesn't like his head touching. I didn't need to worry though. Once Jake had had enough of playing and wanted to get out we took the step 2 sachet and sprinkled it over the bath tub and turned the shower on, Jake helped mix the step 2 powder in and the yellow Gelli Baff started to turn to green water, we pulled the plug and Jake rinsed off under the shower as it all drained away and then a final rinse of the bath and all signs of the fun he'd had were gone!

I was really impressed with both the Zimpli products we tried and would definitely recommend them. They are so easy to use and clean up and Jake really seemed to enjoy playing with them. I love that they had different colours available so you could use them in themed activities and we are looking forward to seeing what else the brand has to offer.

My Marvellous May..

Another month is over with and we are now in the 6th month of 2018, June. Where oh where has the year gone? It feels like only yesterday I w...