Monday, 31 December 2012

My comping year of 2012

I have just been looking back at my comping success over the past year. I have won 56 prizes in total from packets of sweets to vouchers. On my wish list this year I wanted to win vouchers, I certainly did and this and had lots of luck in November. I won £100 Argos vouchers, £100 Morrisons voucher and £100 Marks and Spencer vouchers all in the space of 2 weeks!!

My blog post here about homemade Halloween outfit won me a fantastic bundle of goodies from Moneysupermarket worth over £500 alone. 

My favourite competition is definitely the Cloggs facebook competition where you had to make shoe cake or cakes, these bagged me a £50 Cloggs voucher.
Shoe cupcakes

I won a few prizes from blog competitions and my favourite one has to be from the princess and the pickle  blog pudsey adventures colouring competition, there were so many prizes and it was all for a good cause. We had so much fun taking part and the kids were talking about it for ages, we also received a lovely box (yes box!) of prizes for taking part.
About half of my prizes were creative competitions, so it definitely proves its easier to win them. I'm going to think of a wishlist for next year now, although i have a feeling it will be pretty much the same!

So my total of 56 prizes is £7981 this includes the kitchen makeover which I didn't end up taking. The terms and conditions weren't clear and we just had a 'bad' feeling about it.
So not including the kitchen 55 prizes came to the total of £1481. I'm determined to beat this total as its about half of what I did last year. But I am very happy and grateful for all the prizes I have won this year.

Happy new year everyone and good luck with your comping in 2013!!!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Next dress for Christmas competition

Next... I love it! Its my favourite shop to go for the kids clothes and I quite often go there first when I'm looking for something for myself. On Christmas day we always have new outfits, I just think it helps to make it extra special when you have 'posher' clothes on, as well as being a great excuse to wear a dress! I've been browsing the website and there are quite a few things that take my fancy! Having 3 children I spread it out and I have already bought my 2 year daughter this beautiful dress, I actually bought it in October before it disappeared off the shelf!

It was £24 and next have some really nice neutral tights to go with it. I know I'm already going off Christmas day, but I've just seen these and have to get them for Millie! I just love them, I'm sure she will as well!

Snowman Rudolph Tights Two Pack
As for the boys who are 6 and 4 I usually dress them the same, which they love by the way! But this year Leon seems so much more older than Toby and has his own things that he likes. He's really into waistcoats at the moment!! I think he would look great in these:

 Turn-Up JeansNavy Lace Hi Top (Younger Boys)

Toby who is 4 is a bit more a of a cheeky chappy and to be fair doesn't really care what he wears! He's one of those little boys that look stylish in whatever he wears and can pretty much get away with wearing anything! I like this outfit:
Red Tartan ShirtNavy Snowman SweaterDark Wash Check Lined JeansRed Tartan Shoe (Younger Boys)

As for me, I like to wear something simple and comfortable but dressy at the same time. I love wearing crisp new clothes on Christmas day. I'm usually in need of new clothes at this time of the year as well. I have my eye on these:

Dogtooth Jumper DressWet Look LeggingsBlack Glitter Mid Heel Ankle Boots

dress leggings shoes
As for Dave, well i can't choose what he wears can I? But I can certainly influence him!! I really like this, its fun and stylish. Holidays are coming t-shirt.
Navy Christmas Coca Cola® T-Shirt
Now I know this is supposed to be for clothes but how nice is this, I love it.
Bark Wreath
This is an entry to Northern Mum blog, thanks for hosting the giveaway.

P.S. I have no idea why my pictures turned out blurry, or how to do fancy things with pictures!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

My winning weeks :)

Recently I have won some really good prizes from all different types of entry methods. Firstly I won £100 Morrisons vouchers  in a competition I saw in compers news magazine. There was one winner per store and you had to purchase a Heinz product and send off the coupon found in store.  Not long after I got a call to say I had won.

I won a fantastic prize bundle from the princess and the pickle blog. Our prize bundle was worth over £100. I donated £5 to enter the competition, you should head over and enter their new competition and donate to the charity whilst your entering. More info here. 

Next I won a Halloween bundle from my homemade Halloween blog post. We won the group's category and bagged a fantastic prize bundle including 4x cinema tickets, 4x Alton Towers tickets, £100 marks and Spencer vouchers and a £200 haunted happenings voucher.

Last week I won a £100 voucher from Argos over on their Facebook Page, you had to donate your unwanted toys to banardos through Argos take a picture and summit it onto their Facebook pages. This is a picture I won with:
The competition is still open and you can enter here. Make sure its a picture of you saying Good-bye to your toys, some people have summited any picture. Admin have said on the wall it needs to be a picture saying bye-bye to toys! Closing date is 27thNovember.

Winning these prizes is definitely going to make Christmas a bit easier this year! I'm so pleased I have won £100 a week for the past three weeks ,it goes to show when you put the effort in it pays off.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Postcard comps......

I'm sat here writing out postcards to win competitions for all different prizes. I find myself wondering so many things. This year I haven't won a postcard comp, in fact I think the only postcard comp I have won is a bottle of mouthwash from what I can remember. I try to match up with the theme of the competition, so if its to win a car i use a car card, if its a shopping comp I use a shopping card etc.

I've cut up my birthday cards to make eye catching entries. I find myself wondering does it really matter what they look like, does the promotor really put all the entries in a pile and pick one out? I must enter about 20 per month. I suppose this is very little compared to some people. This doesn't include entry forms.

When a company offers entry via text or postcard do you have a better chance with a certain entry method? I have been a subscriber to style at home magazine for the past year and I have entered at least 2 entry form competitions with them per month (sometimes they have more). There is also entry methods via phone or text. I always feel they would prefer the entry form as it proves I read the magazine.
Have people stopped entering postcard competitions because the price of stamps have gone up? I know i haven't because I think if less people are entering then I must have more chance of winning!! I don't have any friends that comp so I don't really have anyone to compare to.
So what are your thoughts on postcard comps?

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Homemade Halloween how to make a bride, a groom, a bat, a robot and a ghost!

Halloween is one of my favourite times of year and my children are getting to the age where they can celebrate it to. We have had a great time this year making decorations and different types of Halloween food. we invited a few people round and had a little halloween party.
This was my best costume ever! My mum made the dress and I modified it. My mum is a seamstress so always has plenty of scrap fabric. To make this you need to start by making a long white dress, sew a bit of lace on and it will automatically look like a wedding dress. Then for the blood i used water and red food colouring. I made it look dirty with grey and black paints from the kids bedroom. As for the flowers... they were a birthday present and I left them to die!! The whole thing cost nothing. You could easily re-create this, you could buy a long white dress from a charity shop or ebay quite cheaply.
Now dave's costume was a little more 'expensive'!!!! The suit and tie cost £4 and the white shirt he had in his wardrobe unworn for years. We used the same red food colouring and grey paint. We just ripped and teared parts of his suit. Both costumes have gone to new homes after selling them on ebay, its really nice to know that someone else would have enjoyed them this year.
This year I wanted the kids to be comfortable with what they were wearing and enjoy wearing them so we decided to let them choose, apart from Millie, as she has only just turned 2 she doesn't really know whats going on. I made a ghost outfit for her. Leon isn't keen in all things scary and opted for a bat costume, and Toby wanted to be a robot!! I told him this wasn't 'halloweeny' but he insisted!
So Leon's first ,he doesn't like facepaint or hats so his was really simple! All you need is a long sleeved black t-shirt from the sale rail in Matalan and a pound shop umbrella.
Take off all the other parts and just leave the long metal bits in.
I glued in the metal bits in the ends and then you need to sew them to the umbrella near the top. I also put duct tape round the top ends so they woundn't poke him.
 And there you have it bat wings, this isn't the best picture as he was to shy to have it done proper!
Next is toby's which is super easy. All you need is a box, dryer duct, kitchen foil, grey spray paint. Obvisouly this is really easy to do, we added some hazard tape for extra effect. once you have made the box, glue the foil on, add some hazard tape. We had some old dryer duct we never used and cut it to size for the arms and legs and sprayed it, once he had the costume on we cable tied the arms to the box. You will need spares for when they need the loo! Face painted and all ready to go!
Millies dress was the first ever dress I have made, it was so easy! The great thing is that for halloween outfits it doesn't have to be perfect. This was made from 20cmx100m pieces of old cotton sheeting (again from mums) but you could use an old sheet, curtains, as long as it white! I sewed it all together and sprayed grey spray paint around the arms and bottom of the dress. Added cobwebs from last years Halloween decorations and all ready to go!
And here she is... the biggest camera lover of the family!!!
We made these outfits mainly from things around the house! Here's our total costing:
Leon - black t-shirt £2 (matalan)
            Black umbrella  £1 (poundland)
Total cost £3 plus other things around the house needle, thread and duct tape.
Toby Kitchen foil 79p (instore)
Total cost 79p things from sround the house hazrd tape, cable ties, dryer duct
Millie £0
We had a fantastic Halloween and everybody loved their costumes! This is a entry into the homemade halloween competition.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Half Term Shenanigens

Today was our first day back after half term, we had a great break and with so many creative comps around we all joined in. Having 3 children I never know weather to get them all to do the same colouring competition and enter them all or to do a different one each. This half term I entered them in different ones. Here's some of our entries, firstly there was the Tesco competition, Leon who's 6 entered this:

Next was his entry to win £100 worth of fireworks and we sent his monster picture. This is a great effort for Leon as usually he's not keen on drawing things. He much rather make things.

Toby's picture of a bat which has been entered to win a charm.

This is my entry to the prizefinders latest competition to win a young dracualas dvd.

As you can see I have been busy while the kids have been in bed! These took me ages to make and I was really pleased with the way they turned out. Its for the hey you guys competition. You need to summit a piece of art to do with E.T.

E.T. cupcakes

And finally my pumpkin this will be entered into many competitions. The pumpkin carving competitions are set so high this year there are some unbelievable carvings out there. I don't have the time (or patience) to carve such masterpieces, so I decided to do something a bit different.

We had great fun over the half term and Leon can't wait to get his teeth into the next competition. Now for Halloween I've spent most of today making 3 children's costumes...a bat, a robot and a ghost.
All will be revealed shortly...

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Cakes win prizes

Appliances Online have launched a new blog, so they are hosting a blog competition to win over £400 worth of goodies. As soon as I saw it, I new I had to enter I don't need much of an excuse to make some cupcakes, I love making them. My obsession started last yer when I won a cupcake course!

I like to try different types of cupcakes I made amaretto, lemon chello, strawberry and coffee for my wedding, the coffee went down well with everyone, except me as I don't like coffee, so I made coffee ones today. I'm trying to cut down so its the perfect choice!!

I just use a basic cupcake recipe, but made 24 so double what I usually make. Start by mixing 8oz butter with 8oz sugar and mix until light and fluffy, add 4 eggs a bit at a time. Mix 2 teaspoons of instant coffee with a splash of boiling water. Finally add 8oz of self-raising flour and mix with a spoon. Pop in the oven on 180 and cook for 10-12mins!

Whilst the cupcakes were cooking I set to work on the icing, its takes quite a while to make the topping and by time I had made them the cakes had cooled. I added butter cream to the top, I mixed 100g of butter with 200g icing sugar, it was too much I had loads left over!!

So what do you think?

spoooooky Appliances online

Close up, these are my favourite.

Bones, brooms and blood stained 'a'

Hope you like them!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Super Hero's Lost powers #kodakavengers

Some naughty builders dumped tons and tons of soil and bricks into our garden, I had no choice but to call the super hero's to help me move it.

But... the superhero's had had a really busy day saving lives, helping the community, Iron man decided he couldn't help on this occasion as he desperately needed a nap, so off he went to charge his powers. Captain America set to work but he discovered he had lost his powers....

He set about to find them...

He jumped here, there and everywhere...

He searched high and low....

"ah ha I have a plan, lets call the hulk!"

The Hulk was more than happy to help with the super hero duties

Now thats done lets look for your super powers....

Finally afters hours of searching Captain America finally found his powers.

This is an entry into the Brit mums #kodakavengers competition. We all had great fun in the garden and the boys (including dad)came up with the story as they went along. Thanks for hosting such a fun competition and thanks to brit mums who sent the masks out to us.

Monday, 1 October 2012

My latest prize

I have won my first big win for ages today, a £50 cloggs voucher from the cloggs facebook page. I really wanted to win this competition just because I love designer shoes but I can't always afford designer prices. So i thought long and hard about it and decided to make cupcakes mainly because I  love making cupcakes and so i could include cloggs in my entry. I had a good look at their website and decided to do little cake toppers of all the brands they had. Admittedly they did take me all week to make, here's the finished entry:

I've had my eye on a pair of hunter wellies for ages, just what I need in time for winter.

I have also joined Pinterest so I can enter other competitions, so far I have only entered one as I have got completely side tracked and spent most of the time looking at the images rather than pinning and repinning. I haven't really got used to it all yet. But if you like follow me at

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Jenny craig UK competition

Jenny Craig UK are hosting a fantastic blogging competition to win £400 towards a bike and a 28 day weight loss plan. You can find all the information to enter here.

Since having my 3rd child i have been about 2 stone over weight, before my holiday, this year I managed to lose half a stone. I am quite fit, I run and exercise at home. My big problem is food, I love it, especially chocolate, as soon as the kids go to bed the choccy comes out. So my questions is....

How do I break the habit, do I gradually 'wean' myself off chocolate at night time, or just try to stop altogether?