Tag Archives: competition

Creative Wins Round-up

Having just received an email today for my first win of 2015, which was 3rd prize for my jewellery post, I thought I would do a round-up of creative wins from last year. I did a similar post last January looking back at 2013.

I know that some of my readers regularly enter my giveaways, but have you tried creative competitions too? They are fun and usually have a lot less entries too. I’ve been lucky with photo, cookery, video, blog post, pinterest and instagram competitions in 2014. And there are plenty for the children too, although I have to say that my boys have been a lot less interested in drawing and colouring this year. They usually prefer to spend time playing on their ipods but they still make time for fun activity based competitions. However they’ve got clever now – when I mention a competition, they ask me what the prize is and then they decide if they want to enter.

Starting with the boys.  Here are  their winning pictures.

Son2 won a book for his fish picture

Son2 won a “Bright Stanley” book for his fish picture

Son2 was very proud to get his prize at school in the John Lewis competition

Son2 was very proud to receive his prize at school in the John Lewis story competition

Son1 won a ghillie suit for his flowers

Son1 won a comouflage suit for his flowers

And the boys regularly took part in This Mummy Loves Draw With Me monthly linky and struck lucky in September winning a box of crafting goodies. Sadly it looks like the linky has now stopped.

The boys had great fun doing the Warburtons Half & Half Term Games sports challenges and we won lots of sports kit for this photo of the boys doing the short jump.

Doing the Short Jump

Doing the Short Jump

We won £100 of Amazon vouchers for our photo of son2 as a #sunaware superhero. He then also featured in the #sunaware video.

#sunaware superhero

Son2 as a #sunaware superhero

We won £50 of Co-op vouchers for this fun photo where son2 refused to look at the camera as he didn’t want to see the heart he was holding.

love coop

Our Local Loved Trusted winning entry

A top tip is to always take several different photos. Son2 won a set of Sue Hendra books and a Mr Potato Head costume for this photo of Mr Potato Head that he made.

Son2 hiding behind his Mr Potato Head

Son2 hiding behind his Mr Potato Head

Plus another shot of Mr Potato Head won him a runner’s up book in a different competition.

mr potato head

Son2’s Mr Potato Head

We also subsequently entered the photo of him hiding behind Mr Potato Head into another competition for which he won a magazine subscription. So three prizes for making Mr Potato Head, not bad.

Son1 won a runner’s up Nature Explorer backpack containlng binoculars and other goodies for his Robot #rollmodel. Son2 also entered but wasn’t so lucky.

Son1's robot #rollmodel

Son1’s robot #rollmodel

The boys won some toys for their road safety creativity.

Road safety

Road safety

And son2 is still waiting for some books he won last month for drawing Hairy Maclary online. The boys both seem just as comfortable drawing on either a computer with the mouse or on a tablet with their finger as they do with a piece of paper.

Yet Another Blogging Mummy started last year with yet another win with Mission Deli Wraps having done very well with them already in in 2013. This time my Elf wrap won me some festive DVDs which we waited until this Christmas to watch. The boys loved The Grinch best. And as far as I could tell, nobody else even entered this one.

I won DVDs for my ELF wrap

I won DVDs for my ELF wrap

My recipe for Mini Garlic Pizza Wraps won 3rd prize in a Gourmandize competition, which was a month’s subscription to Bonjour French Food, who kindly then gave me a 2nd month free as they had a spare box. We really enjoyed these, so I purchased a gift box for a close friend for Christmas.

My Vine #willitgrill video won 3rd prize, a barbeque and even better, I was supporting Cancer Research by entering. With son1 undergoing chemotherapy, I try to do all I can to support cancer charities.

Having got an iPhone this year, I tried my luck at Instagram competitions and won £50 of John Lewis vouchers for my #iloveadvice photo.


My winning Instagram photo

There are always plenty of creative competitions at Halloween for costumes and pumpkin carving. These are probably a little more popular than most creative competitions, so we were pleased that our pumpkin won us tickets to Harry Potter World. We are looking forward to our trip there sometime this year.

Our winning pumpkin

Our winning pumpkin

My Green Pancakes recipe blog post won £100 Sainsburys vouchers and my tyre safety blog post won £250 John Lewis vouchers. And who would have thought that just eating biscuits could net us a prize. But it did, I won £100 John Lewis vouchers for my 42 Days of Summer blog post.

I’ve also tried entering Pinterest competitions and my board for the #VCLifeHacks competition won me a £50 Amazon voucher.

Other creative wins were a photo of my Asparagus Frittata which won me a spices hamper. And enhancing a photo of son2 using the Appy App, won us some juice. And a photo of me munching on a cookie I made won me a personalised recipe folder. And I submitted my existing Christmas Lights blog post from last year to a competition. I didn’t win the main prize but did get a £25 lighting voucher. I also won £100 Red Letter Day voucher for a photo of myself covered in post-it notes. Gosh I did look silly but the prize certainly made it worth while.

And I can’t end without a word of thanks to SuperLucky Di who has inspired me to focus my comping on creative competitions. Sorry Di that we didn’t win the Autumn/Winter 14 Blogger Style Challenge, although we did make the shortlist.

The boys Christmas wishlist

Sonia of Mummy Constant is running a fun competition for bloggers sponsored by Debenhams. Bloggers and their children need to come up with their Christmas toy wishlist from Debenhams.

I knew the boys would love this. But I did set them a time limit for choosing otherwise they would still be at it now. And it would be an incredibly long list. Pretty much everything except Barbie! They took turns but they have similar tastes in toys and both approved of each other’s choices.

So they chose a game each first. Son1 loves playing Temple Run on the iPad and was overjoyed to find that a Temple Run board game also exists. Meanwhile son2 already has several Angry Birds catapult games, but discovered another one that he would like, the Angry Birds Classic Table Top Action Game.

Son1 has already written that he wants Minecraft things on his letter to Santa. So no surprise that he chose the Minecraft Survival Pack toy. He already has all the books and a hat, but no toys. Both boys are addicted to playing it on their iPods and I keep overhearing them talking about stone cutters, diamonds, emeralds, etc. And I had to persuade son2 to reword his request to Santa for Minecraft on the exbox. Bless his spelling. We don’t have an XBox and his letter now says Minecraft on the Mac. So I may find my time on my Mac gets curtailed, but as there hasn’t been a version released for the WiiU yet and as I don’t intend that we replace our gaming platform, it looked like options were limited.

And son2 managed to find a Star Wars LEGO set that neither of them already have, the LEGO Star Wars Death Star Troopers 75034. And I must say that we do have lots!

Then another family favourite from son1. The Beano joke book. The boys have lots of vintage Beano annuals and comics which used to belong to their uncle and love reading these again and again.

Son2’s next choice of a Moshi Monsters MICRO Spaceship is a little young for them in my opinion but both boys still love playing with their Moshis. In fact a more modest request on Son2’s letter to Santa is for Woolly. We do already have Woolly but it belongs to son1 and son2 particularly wants his own.

Son1 had a look around the science toy department and came up with a rather gruesome suggestion of a Gross Science Zombie Hand. Definitely not my cup of tea.

And finally I suggested the last item to them and I’m very happy that they agreed. A Large LEGO storage head 4032. I just hate it when I tread on Lego – so painful.

And not of interest to the boys, but I was pleased to see that of these products are priced at an affordable level. A couple of the items were already reduced in price too.

Christmas Toy Wishlist


The Beano Joke Book
£5.99 – debenhams.com

Large LEGO storage head 4032
£20 – debenhams.com

Minecraft Survival Pack
£15 – debenhams.com

Moshi Monsters MICRO Spaceship
£12 – debenhams.com

Gross Science Zombie Hand
£10 – debenhams.com

Temple Run board game
£7.50 – debenhams.com

All I want for Christmas is ….

Nude Jewellery is an independent London jewellers who stock a wide and varied range of contemporary jewellery. They are running a competition for bloggers to write a post, selecting a piece of jewellery as their Christmas pick from their website.

They have designer jewellery handmade by leading local, national and international designers, unusual jewellery and bespoke jewellery so plenty for me to browse around. There are some amazing items. I am really spoilt for choice, but I’ve finally decided that my Christmas Pick is this beautiful necklace.

Fleur - Garnet Silver Pendant

I was really attracted to this beautiful Fleur – Garnet Silver Pendant. Absolutely stunning in my opinion. I’m sure I would get some great compliments wearing something like this unusual beautiful piece.

The pendant with flowers surrounding red tear shape garnet gemstone centre has a 22mm height and 11mm width and is on a 16-18 inch silver chain. It has been designed and created in the UK.

Have a look around their website at the lovely handmade jewellery. What would you pick?

This post is my entry into the Nude Christmas Pick Blogger Competition.

Creative Play

Gemma of My Mills Baby has challenged bloggers in association with Toyella to share the story behind an image of their children at creative play.

I have so many great memories of my children playing creatively, be it at home or out and about. They mostly go into their own imaginative world together using toys to make up their own stories or re-enact their favourite scenes from games, books or films. They build props out of bricks or lego and use teddies, playmobil people, moshi monsters, angry birds or other figures as the characters in their story. Meanwhile us adults are blanked out and we have to break in if we wish to communicate to the boys.

Difficult to choose just one photo, however with Halloween fast approaching I have decided to share a picture from this time last year. The boys are in costume enacting their own scary story, trapped in the spider web. Son1 is even pretending to eat bugs like a spider would. I don’t remember what happened next, but I am sure it would have been along the lines of being rescued by some of their toys.


So how do your children play creatively?

ToyellaBadgeComp zps7631f58f Calling all Bloggers: Have a #ToyellaChristmas and win £150 in Toys (CD: 25/10/2014)

Disclosure.  This post is my entry to the #ToyellaChristmas Blogger Competition hosted by My Mills Baby and sponsored by Toyella.

A kids’ ski holiday wardrobe

Mark Warner are challenging bloggers to showcase their favourite kids’ ski holiday wardrobe. This challenge is in association with Polarn O. Pyret.

Neither I nor my boys have ever been ski-ing, so I took a look at the Polarn O. Pyret website to see what winter outerwear was in their range. And I was so impressed that I chose my whole wardrobe from Polarn O. Pyret. First up are the ski coat and trousers which I selected to keep the boys warm and dry. These are also padded, so may help with bumps if they fall over. And the reflective stripes will help keep them visible in the dark, post ski-ing. Then I’ve chosen matching thermal long johns and top as a base layer for extra warmth in the cold temperatures in the snow. And I know from my personal experience that ears hurt if they get very cold, so I chose a cosy balaclava hat. Also a pair of gloves to keep fingers warm. Now I don’t know if ski-boots come in kids sizes, but I couldn’t resist these wellies, as they match the balaclava perfectly. Polarn O. Pyret don’t stock ski-boots, but perhaps I should go and check some other stores.

So what would you choose?

Kids Ski Holiday Wardrobe

Kids Padded Ski Trousers
£70 – polarnopyret.co.uk

Kids Padded Ski Coat
£95 – polarnopyret.co.uk

Striped Thermal Kids Long Johns
£18 – polarnopyret.co.uk

Striped Thermal Kids Top
£18 – polarnopyret.co.uk

PO.P Stripe Kids Balaclava
£14 – polarnopyret.co.uk

Winter Kids Gloves
£22 – polarnopyret.co.uk

PO.P Classic Kids Wellies
£22 – polarnopyret.co.uk

Messy Kids

Both my boys can be very messy sometimes. We supposedly have a house rule to tidy up one toy before getting another out, but it is always ignored and the mess spreads from the playroom and their bedrooms to the rest of the house. And also I try to encourage them to put dirty clothes in the basket and to help clear the table after meals, but no it is usually me who ends up doing all that.

Toys everywhere

Toys everywhere!

And what about eating. Will they use knives and forks? Not if they can help it. So fingers get really sticky. Where do they wipe those sticky fingers? On napkins or kitchen roll – no of course not. They wipe them on their clothes. I’ve resorted to trying to insist they wear aprons at mealtimes at home. They tell me it is not cool to wear an apron, so I let them off if they have friends round. I’d quite happily ditch the aprons if they would use a napkin. I thought we would have left the messy eating phase behind years ago after we got past weaning.

Messy eating

Uh oh that sleeve is going to wipe across the side plate

Good job he wore an apron to eat

Good job he wore an apron to eat

They like to help bake sometimes which is great. But a big sigh from me afterwards as I try to clear up all the extra mess. Similar story when we have crafting sessions. I love their creativity, but it is hoover and cloth out for me to deal with the debris. And if they use bath crayons, it is me who has to clean it off.

Messy cooking

Messy cooking

Messy cooking

More messy cooking

Messy craft

Messy craft

Drawing on the bath

Drawing on the bath

Another niggle is why do they use non-washable pens at school. We have school shirts with black lines which don’t wash out.

And I hate these rainy autumn days right now as it means extra cleaning in the hall from all the leaves and pine needles etc that get walked into the house.  Thank goodness they do usually remember to take shoes off in the hall.

So tell me what mess your kids make?

Two Little Fleas


Disclosure.  This post is my entry to the “Messy Kids” Bloggers’ Competition hosted by Jen of The Mad House and sponsored by Two Little Fleas.


I love the idea of upcycling however I am not very skilled at DIY. So when I saw the upcycling competition being run by Claireabellemakes in association with Able Skills, I initially was stumped as to what to blog about. Claire has made a Metallic Desk Tidy which visually reminded me of the Desk Tidy I made as a child for my dad out of loo roll tubes. He used it for years. None of my current craft projects are upcycled, although the boys sometimes make models from old junk. I have kept some tiles, with the idea of using them in a mosaic, but that is unstarted.

junk modelling

Then I had a great idea to show you photos of the extra shelves in my wardrobe and cupboard. I use these for shoe storage and cd’s respectively. Please excuse the mess in the cupboard. It is in the boxroom and is where I hide anything I don’t know where else to put. The shelves are home-made from pieces of chipboard I think. I admit I didn’t make them myself. They were already in the house when we moved in.

shoe storage

cd storage

But I am on the lookout for something old and unloved that I can upcycle into a planter for my garden. Maybe an old bath perhaps. I was very taken by the idea of using old boats as flowerbeds that I saw in the summer and blogged about here. In our garden at our previous home, we used old railway sleepers to edge the flower beds.

Autumn/Winter 14 Blogger Style Challenge

Debenhams are running a competition for bloggers to showcase two outfits based on any of their six AW14 trends. One outfit for the blogger. And the second outfit is to be for another blogger who should be nominated to take the style challenge too. There are £500 voucher prizes for both bloggers.

So for my first outfit, I’ve chosen the Pinks & Berries AW14 trend for myself.

And I’ve chosen the Winter Greens AW14 trend for the second outfit for Super Lucky Di whom I’m nominating to take the style challenge too. I hope Di likes green!

Pinks & Berries
Winter Greens

Blackberry pancakes

Pancakes are always a favourite in our household, so with all the blackberries around recently, I decided to make some blackberry pancakes. For sweet pancakes, I always include sugar in the batter.

blackberry pancake

Ingredients (makes about 10 pancakes)

150g blackberries
2 eggs
200g flour
600 ml milk
2 tbsp granulated sugar
spray oil


Wash the blackberries and ensure there are no bits of stalk or leaf.
In a large jug, whisk the eggs, sugar, flour and milk.
Add the blackberries to the jug.
Spray the oil into a frying pan and heat on the hob over a medium heat.
Pour some of the batter into the pan and allow to spread to your desired pancake size.
Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side.
Serve and enjoy.

blackberry pancakes

Although my pancakes may not be the most elegant looking pancakes, they are very tasty especially when served with maple syrup. And if you are after a savoury pancake, take a look at my Green Pancakes recipe.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

Link up your recipe of the week

Disclosure. This post is an entry to the Rix Recipe competition

Draw With Me – Favourite Pastimes

My boys are very pleased to see that Draw With Me is back on “This Mummy Loves” blog after a summer break. Draw With Me is a monthly competition for children and this month the theme is favourite pastimes.

When the boys looked at Boo’s drawing of Minecraft, they initially both wanted to draw Minecraft too, as that is also a favourite hobby of theirs, but I suggested they do something different for variety.

So they opted for drawings related to some of their favourite reads. They both love reading and you can see their latest vlog here, plus a book giveaway which is closing later this week.

Son1 loves reading his Beast Quest books and has done a drawing of some of the beasts.

beast quest

And both boys love reading the Beano comic. We have a huge box of old Beano comics from about 30 years ago. So son2 has done a drawing of some of his favourite characters. There is Dennis the Menace and Gnasher, Lord Snooty, Ivy the Terrible and Minnie the Minx.


This Mummy Loves...

This post is an entry to Draw With Me.