Category Archives: - Competitions

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Win a Samsung Smart Camera with Birds Eye

The lovely people at Birds Eye have given me a Samsung Smart Camera to give away to one lucky reader.

 

A few months ago, Birds Eye hosted a competition called A Birds Eye View – where families were asked to take fun and creative images during their dinner time.

Exhibition Image 1

The winning images were displayed in  ‘A Birds Eye View’ exhibition  which opened on 30th September at The Pic Gallery in central London  It was an exclusive photography exhibition presented by the world famous photographer Martin Parr.

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Birds Eye have also put the best of these photos into a virtual gallery at http://birdseyeview.birdseye.co.uk/gallery  and they are inviting you to take a link.

Exhibition Image 2

For one entry to win a Samsung Smart camera – all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

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Win a Made to Measure Blind from Blinds UK

Blinds UK has been online for over 5 years and has furnished over 1 million windows.

They are by far the largest retailer in the UK with over 4,000 made to measure window blinds and curtains for sale on their website.

The extensive prduct range includes

You can choose your new blind or curtains by type and style of blind, or by colour.  Each blind is individually made to measure.

Now Blindsuk.net are giving away a fabulous City blind, worth up to a value of £300.  This prize is made-to-measure, meaning you won’t have to worry about fitting your window (providing that it’s rectangular of course!).  This is a  fuss free, modern and stylish addition to any room!

City blind from Blinds UK

If you would like to win this stylish blind, please enter the Rafflecopter below.  Please note, this can only be supplied and fitted at a UK address, so please do not enter if you cannot use this prize – there is no cash alternative.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/made-measure-city-blind-form-blinds-uk#sthash.NTP0djgg.dpuf

Win a Wood Watch from JORD Wood Watches

I was recently given the opportunity to review a beautiful wood watch from JORD wood watches


They have an amazing range of watches for men and women, all beautifully crafted in natural woods.JORD_Delmar_Series_Red JORD_94A_Series_Natural_Green_&_Maple JORD_Sully_Series_Cherry_&_Maple       JORD_Ely_Series_Cherry (1)I love the design of these watches and so I selected the Ely watch in Green maple for my review. Although shipped from the USA, it came very promptly. First of all I love the beautiful packagingIMG_4054 I think the J logo with the tree is very clever, both on the box and etched into the back of the watches JORD_Wood_Watches_Backplate   Inside the box, the watch is sumptuously presented on a black pillow with silver printing on it. IMG_4055 IMG_4588[1]   And here it is on my wrist – doesn’t it look lovely x IMG_4056 I love how the colour seems to change in different lights – onmy wrist it looks green, in the box it looks brown.  I’m also amazed at how lovely and light it is.  it has a very easy to operate catch and several links that can be removed in order to adjust the fit. If you would like to win a JORD watch of your very own then please enter the Rafflecopter widget below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Motivating Mum Slimpod Challenge 2014

Yes ladies, it’s that time of the year again.  The first sunny days have arrived and some of us are looking to peel off our winter clothing and reveal    –   OK let’s not go there yet

 

For many of us the first warm days of spring bring thoughts of summer clothes, shorts and dare we say swimsuits and bikinis?  No wonder so many of us go scurrying off to our nearest weight loss solution provider and get back on our diet of choice. Continue reading

Win a Yogart Starter Kit with Beanies

The lovely people from Beanies Flavour Co. have given me a Yogart yogurt making starter kit to test out and another starter kit to give away to one lucky reader.

Beanies Yogart Maker

If you have never made yogurt at home before – it’s very easy – you just mix the sachet with water and leave the mixture in the machine for 8-12 hours.

We love home made yogurt in our house.  I used to work in the dairy industry and I know how long it takes to get fresh yogurt from the place it is made to the supermarkets and then home to you – it’s quite a few days.  The idea of eating it within 24 hours of making it – it just has to be healthier – and it tastes just yummy.

The main problem we had when we got our kit was deciding which flavour to make first.  the children were arguing between strawberry and lemon, so in order to solve the problem (and also in the name of research) I got my trusty hot water yogurt maker out and made them both side by side.

If you do get this yogurt making kit from Yogart, please do not read the instructions that come with the yogurt maker – they are one of those that have clearly been translated somebody who learned English somewhere very strange indeed.  Everything you need to know is on the outside of the sample pack.

So we mixed our lemon yogurt with water:

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and put it in a pot in the machine and switched it on:2014-01-17 16.00.52 (300x225)

Yogurt is made by allowing milk and yogurt cultures to ferment at a certain temperature for 8-12 hours so the yogurt cultures reproduce and the milk becomes thick.  The Yogart machine does this by running at a low electrical current and gently heating the yogurt.  The one thing that was missing was a timer to switch it off after 8-12 hours.  That would have been the middle of the night for us so we let it run for 16 hours.

The other yogurt maker that I have does the same thing, but you start by dipping the yogurt mixture in boiling water and you leave it in an insulated bucket to cool down – also over 8-12 hours (but we left that one for 16 hours too).

The results were exactly the same – rich, creamy, gloopy yogurt with a sharp tangy taste and no fruity bits or lumps in – just the way my children like it.  We spooned it on cereal, we had it with fresh fruit, we added it to smoothies and both flavours vanished in less than a day.  All in all we are very happy and I’m looking forward to making the other flavours.

So now you have the chance to win a Yogart starter set of your own.  Simply visit the Yogart site, and tell me which of the yogurt flavours do you like best and what flavour would you like to see added to the range?  Then fill in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note: if you do not visit Beanies website and/or you do not leave a comment below then the remainder of your entries will be invalid. Only tweets which have been registered on the Rafflecopter widget will be counted

 

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Make it Happen in 2014 – and Win an iPad Air

Following on from my monthly topic of Goals and Resolutions comes this great opportunity from Lloyds Bank.  They would like you to visit their facebook page and make a pledge  of your goals for 2014.  One lucky Motivating Mum reader who pledges on the site and fills in the Rafflecopter below, will win an iPad air, and you also stand a chance of featuring in the Lloyds Bank advertising (and of course of achieving your goal!) Continue reading

How Being a Savvy Shopper has changed my Life

This blog post forms part of my entry into the “Are you the UK’s Smartest shopper” competition sponsored by Savoo.  Please do leave comments and feedback on this post, and share it with your friends using all the social media buttons at your disposal.  If you decide to enter the competition yourself, please link your blog post on here with a comment at the bottom, and I will come and support you too.

I first met the Savoo guys last year.  They wanted me to do a bit of marketing for them on Motivating Mum, and to bounce some ideas off me.  In return, they signed me up as a Savoo Deal Pro,and took me off to New York, to the savings.com conference – a trip which really changed my life.

Let me just paint a picture of where I started from – my husband works in the City, and  I was also an accountant before children.  We were used to buying what we wanted – I wouldn’t say we were extravagant, but neither did we scrimp. When I gave up work  it was a bit of an eye opener that our income reduced by half while the family members increased, but I made a few basic adjustments and we got by.

The reduction in City bonuses, coupled with the increase in expenses for children as they get older, start school and take up expensive hobbies, has slowly crept up on us.  Our budget is being squeezed at both ends.  Now suddenly,  I am having to make some choices – should we take a family holiday this year?  And just how many pairs of new shoes do I need?

My trip to the SaveUp conference was a real wake up call.  We heard stories of women on the breadline, saving money to pay for life-saving surgery, or to repair a house damaged beyond habitation and not insured.  We heard from business people whose business had failed taking them from £200,000 a year to the benefits queue. The common thread is that all of these people had been able to turn their lives around through adopting basic money saving techniques.

The realisation hit me like a thunderbolt.  If these people with real hardships and family disaster were able to turn themselves around, then it was time that little spoiled me got off her prim backside and did something about our family finances.  It struck me, I am the Mum – I am the centre of this family and the keeper of the purse-strings.  I have to do what I can because if I don’t then who will?

I brought a whole load of ideas back from New York and developed some techniques specifically for the UK.  I’ve been playing around for the last year, finding money saving methods that suit me.

What I have discovered, is that it is possible to make regular and substantial savings on things that I buy, whilst sacrificing very little in terms of quantity or quality of what we are eating, wearing or doing.  I don’t spend huge amounts of time on it – at the end of the day I am running several small businesses and a home, so my free time is limited.  But it is very gratifying to see how much I have changed my extravagant habits, and saved some considerable sums along the way.

I know there is more that I could do if I needed to or wanted to.  I know that people get by on a lot less than we spend, and I’m well aware that some of the things I have maintained in our new cut-down lifestyle would be considered extravagances by others.  But I am happy that we are living a lifestyle that still feels comfortable and happy, and I am not spending all of my life penny pinching.

I’m also really enjoying sharing what I do with others.  I have blogged at length on this subject and I am finding that people want to read about it.  We all love the extreme couponing show, it’s funny and a bit mad, but what people want to know is can I do a bit of couponing and save a bit of money, without getting obsessed, and without giving up all the little extras that make life special.  My experience over the past year says –

“Yes you can, and I can show you how”

These are the top things that I have done over the past year that have contributed to my savings:

  • I switched my utilities, mobile phone, broadband, car insurance, home insurance and pet insurance to cheaper deals.  I found the deals using price comparison sites and services like Which to compare prices and value for money between the service providers.
  • I now do my shopping across the main online retailers and do not stay loyal to any one.  I keep tabs on the prices I pay for things that we like to eat and I follow the offers, stockpiling goods when they are at a special price.
  • I  make full use of loyalty cards, Nectar, Tesco Points, Boots advantage, and also a cashback card from Utilities Warehouse . I cut coupons whenI find them (I don’t obsess about this) and stack them together with Nectar points and the cashback card to produce great savings when I shop.
  • I shop for Christmas and birthday gifts throughout the year, looking out for deals on Groupon etc. I have a list of all the family members I buy gifts for and I know what they like.  Last year we also did some home made gifts which went down a storm.
  • I don’t have the latest gadgets.  I will get an iPhone 4 in the week that the iPhone 5 comes out.  I’ve wanted one for ages but I am happy to wait for the price reduction, as my iPhone 3 is still working just fine.
But my biggest savings tip of all is just the most boring one. -
To Save Money, Don’t Go Shopping

I ‘shop’ a lot less now.  I buy things I need and much fewer things I just fancied because they were there.  Shops are designed to suck us in, but I’m just not doing it any more – like a smoker who needs to avoid bars, I am doing my best to just keep out of the shops.

Has this changed my life – yes definitely.  OK my life was not so bad before, but now I have less guilt, less worry and can feel ten times better about myself.  Plus we were able to afford to go on holiday for two weeks of unrestrained extravagance this year.

And that, in the end, is what it is all about.

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