A close up view of a dinosaur skeleton

February Half Term on a Budget + Half Term Busy Pack Giveaway

what are you Planning For Half Term?

Is anyone else excited about half term? I have to admit, I’m one of those Mom’s that’s struggling to cope with not having constant access to my son’s time. He recently started school (how dare he)! We did SO much as a family when he was a toddler! My husband is self-employed and I was on very long-term sick leave from a part-time job and am now self-employed too, so we’ve been really spoilt for time together – until September last year.

So, much like when I attended school as a pupil, I find myself living for the school holidays again. We love to travel and experience new things as a family, so for months before each school holiday, I’m desperately looking for things to fill the precious week(s) with.

Prize wins and school breaks

As you know, I’m a complete comping nut, so a large proportion of my holidays and day trips are luckily, at least partially, funded by my addiction. As yet, I haven’t been lucky for the February half term though. My Easter and May Half Term breaks are completely sorted, with holidays in Wales and Spain respectively from competition prizes. But, for the fast approaching February half term, I’m a little bit lost. I wouldn’t usually leave planning this late, but just hoping that my impending operation isn’t set for that week would probably be a bit frivolous.

Despite trying to put off planning completely until I have a definitive surgery date, I couldn’t wait any longer for FOMO on the deals! I thought it might be helpful to share my findings with those parents that don’t have the luxury of ‘planning’ their half term week. I’m also running a giveaway alongside my suggestions for those of you that are either currently unable to fund trips out or unable to take time off work. I’ve put together a little at home fun pack for you guys, so read on for entry requirements!

February Half Term on a BudgetA coin being placed into a piggy bank

February is actually a weird time for a school break. It’s still really cold and dull and theme parks/attractions are not open properly yet. I certainly haven’t saved enough to go abroad yet and England is currently a bit cold for the glamping option within my budget. Having said all that, the low season nature of February means that there are some fantastic deals to be had!

Merlin attractions

Last year I was lucky enough to win a Merlin annual pass from the ongoing Kellogg’s prize draw. To say that we have put this to good use would be a bit of an understatement. I’d highly recommend investing in one of these if you have kids aged 4-15!! Even without an annual pass, Merlin have some pretty attractive deals available this half term and I will be adding a couple to our wish list.

Legoland Windsor – Junior builder week

We have a 5-year-old boy, so Lego has been in our lives for a couple of years now. We’ve visited Legoland resorts in Orlando, Windsor, Manchester and our very welcome new home town Discovery Centre in Birmingham. Despite being a bit pricey, there is such a lot to do at all of the Legoland sites we’ve visited. This half term, Legoland Windsor, like most theme parks, are not fully open. The hotel, however, has gone all out to ensure that little ones can still have a fun lego-filled break away. Junior builder week offers a wide range of hotel based activities such as building a rollercoaster, discos, family speed build challenges and treasure hunts. An overnight stay can be booked for half term week for as little as £38 per person.

My son meeting the Gruffalo

Chessington World of Adventures – Animal Adventures

Chessington have gone a similar route as a lot of theme parks for half term, in that they’re partially opening and putting more effort into the few attractions they open. Chessington’s offering “Animal Adventures” looks to be a lot of fun. They have a live interactive “How to be a zookeeper” show which sounds amazing. Also, some of the little kids’ rides, like The Gruffalo River Adventure are open. Their overnight package for half term starts at £141 for a family of 4 and I can highly recommend the hotel. I love a good themed hotel (cal me tacky) and they really pull out the stops Chessington.

Littlebird deals

I’ve been entering competitions on the LittleBird website for some time now and in the past week, noticed their family club membership. They currently have a trial period, which I have taken up, of just £1 for 30 days. This will last through the half term break if you sign up now and gives you a great opportunity to check out the benefits, before you decide whether to commit. Please note that you will need to cancel if you do not want the trial to auto-renew!

Here are a few of littlebird’s great money-saving half term offers (no membership required):

Horrid Henry: Here’s something a little bit different! There is a Horrid Henry event at BFI with preview screening, Q & A session and an animation workshop. Ideal for fans of the popular tv show and books – use this link for 20% off, from just £3.25 each!

Kidzania: is another very popular London-based attraction for kids aged 4-14 years. It’s described as a city run by kids, so make of that what you will! There is a ton of interactive fun to be had though. You can save a whopping 50% off through this link!!

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N: The hugely popular interactive exhibition for your little Marvel superheros is now available from just £10 – Save up to 42%!!

Deals included with Family Pass for £1 trial, which I will definitely be taking up are:
  • 50% off Drayton Manor Tickets – it’s worth the £1 literally just for this deal – especially if you have little Thomas the Tank fans!
  • 50% Off Chessington World of Adventures day ticket – great if you’re local
  • 40% off at most Vue Cinemas – Hello Lego Movie 2!!!
  • Kids eat free at La Tasca, Las Iguana, Bella Italia and much more….

stay Local to save even more

We often tend to stay quite local when we haven’t had any wins, to keep costs down. We’re lucky enough to live in a big city with lots of attractions for kids, so it’s pretty easy to find cheap or even free things to do. If you’re based in or around the Birmingham area, I would highly recommend Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for a free day out. They always put so much effort into planning for kids events throughout the school holidays too. This February there is junk modelling (£1), weird and wonderful object handling (free) and mask making (£1).

You will usually find that museums, galleries and lots of heritage attractions are free entry and provide a fun, educational way to spend time with the family. Money Saving Expert are a great site to find free activities. Here are a list of over 170 free museums throughout the country, why not see if there is one local to you!?

Giveaway

As promised, for those of you unable to book breaks or day trips this half term for whatever reason, I’ve put together a fun little busy pack of activities for one lucky winner and their kids. This has a range of items to keep the kids entertained if they’re staying at home, with grandparent’s throughout half term. I will aim to post this out on Saturday 16th February, but please keep an eye on your inbox, as I will need address details quickly to allow for this!

A picture of the prize I'm giving away, as described below.
February Half Term Busy Pack

The prize consists of:

  • Power Rangers Interactive Figure for use with mobile App/Game
  • The Secret Life of Pets Moving Characters Craft Kit
  • Grafix Craft your own Lady Bird Stepping Stone
  • Disney Frozen Ink Stamping Set
  • Disney Cars Glitter Art Picture Set
  • Marvel Ultimate Spider Man Glow Wand
  • Star Wars Wild Space Pencil

 

Kids’ Half Term Busy Pack

Please keep your eyes open for my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram competitions too, as all will be kid friendly giveaways this month!

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database! Competitions listed on Loquax! I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I receive a small fee if you decide to purchase via any of my links. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

 

 

My Prize Wins 2019 and beyond

As my old prize wins post was getting a little long, I’ve decided to start a fresh one for 2019. I’ll be using the same format as previous years, as I think bulleted lists are more easily digestible. I will however be linking to reviews etc of these prizes as the year goes on and hopefully, the prizes roll in. As I mentioned in my top wins of 2018 post, the start of 2019 is already looking pretty killer!

2019 prizes

  • A T2 goodie bag full of tea and associated products
  • A madness special edition album and board game set
  • A box of 10 of 2018s best children’s books from Egmont publishing
  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse – The Art Of The Movie
  • A Lightbox display with changeable letters
  • An Exit ladies watch worth £139
  • A 7 day all-inclusive 4 star family holiday to Port Aventura World resort!!!! I’ll be taking this in May 2019. Comping goal for the year achieved on 9th January – and yes I did have to go live on the radio (Heart FM) for this one!!! Post coming soon about stepping out of your comfort zone.
  • A Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Smart Phone worth £500
  • A one of a kind illustration from How to Train your Dragon 3 signed by the director
  • A Transformers Bumblebee movie rubix cube style key chain
Fireworks display

My Top Wins of 2018

As with most of us, for me the end/beginning of the year has led to a bit of reflection. I had a decent year for comping, but I don’t feel that it was my strongest. I have much higher hopes for 2019. Join me as I explore how to get the prizes I want and share my ideas and tips along the way. As my year is already off to a good start, I have decided to begin a new “My wins” post for 2019.

Whilst not my favourite year of wins, I did still have some great ones in 2018, so I’ve picked out my favourites below. (You can check out the full list here) I thought I would use this opportunity to thank the kind prize givers and pay it forward, as let’s face it, without them, what are we all doing here?!? (In the comping community, not on earth – I’m not feeling that reflective)

A wooden hear plaque with the words I am grateful embossed into it
Comping literally improves my life!

The Prize providers

So, whilst there were a few larger wins for me last year that came from big brand names, I would have to say that the majority of my wins were from small businesses. In fact, half of my favourite chosen prizes of the year came from small businesses and therefore I feel it’s only right to thank them properly.

Hafoty

I would like to thank Hafoty Farm Cottages for their super generous prize of a 7 night stay in one of their luxury accommodations in Snowdonia. I will be reviewing my stay in April, so please look out for that, but for now, here’s a bit about them.

Hafoty are a family run business, who own six picturesque barn conversions in Snowdonia, North Wales, nearby Anglesey, the Llyn Peninsula and Caernarfon. Their 4 star self catering cottages range from characterful, traditional cottages to stylish, modern conversions.

You can check them out on Facebook for some stunning shots of their properties and grounds. The local area is filled with stunning views and plenty of attractions suitable for all ages. It would make a great base for any family holiday, but especially for those with a penchant for action and adventure! On a personal note, I should mention just how helpful I have found them throughout the booking process. You can certainly see how they won “Best Holiday Cottage Accommodation – North West Wales” at the Welsh Enterprise Awards 2018.

An image of the back yard breakfast area of one oh Hafot Farm Cottages
Here is the lovely breakfast terrace area at the cottage I have booked for April. The views from that bench are incredible!!

Heating Style

I would like to thank heating style for the stunning Accuro Korle Champagne Anthracite Designer Towel Warmer that I won from their Facebook competition. It is a beautiful piece of equipment and certainly a luxury item for me.

Heating Style are a small specialist business, retailing high-end designer radiators and accessories. They work with industry leading manufacturers to bring you a large range of Vertical Designer Radiators, Designer Bathroom Radiators and Designer Towel Rails available in energy-efficient aluminium, luxury stainless steel or even glass!

Fancy radiators or towel warmers are not something I’d ever considered for my home, given their somewhat luxury status. With that in mind, I was really surprised to find that actually, some of their pieces are way more affordable than I’d imagined. If, like me, you have a passion for interiors and home styling, I would highly recommend you take a look. The designs are show stoppers and so varied that they could be the perfect finishing touch to any room.

In terms of customer service, the team are super friendly and helpful. They couldn’t do enough to advise me when it came to the specifications and fitting advice. My prize also arrived really quickly.

An example of some heating style radiators in a high end lounge set up.

Universal Textiles

Another of my favourite wins was an adult sized Superman hoodie from Universal Textiles. My 5 year old son is a big fan of superheroes and when I saw the competition prize was a hoodie that was exactly the same as one he owns, the desire overwhelmed me to twin with him whilst he’s still young enough not to mind!

The hoodie arrive quickly, was well packaged and the quality is excellent. It’s actually quite a lightweight fabric, rather than the heavy sweater material I expected. For a women’s hoodie though, I felt that this made it hang much better. It’s also thin enough that I can wear it underneath a coat without looking like the Michelin man, which is a huge bonus!

Universal Textiles are based in Leicester, but supply a wide range of clothing, home textiles and work wear both nationally and internationally. They stock quality branded products at very reasonable prices and offer low delivery fees. If you pop over to their website now and sign up for their newsletter, you will be given a code for 10% off your first order! They also run regular competitions on their Facebook and Twitter pages, so maybe you will be lucky too…

A picture of me and my son wearing our Superman hoodies.
In my case winning is twinning!

So with 2018’s prizes reflected on, I’m looking forward to 2019. I’ve already got a feeling that I am going to have a MUCH better year of comping. Less than two weeks into the year, I have already met my comping goal, so I’m going to have to come up with some more! Check out my list of wins for 2019 to date to see why I’m such a happy bunny. I’d love to hear your comping goals for the year.

Happy New Year everyone and happy comping!! x

a cu p of herbal tea and a bottle of Bristol CBD oil in the sun

Full Spectrum CBD Oil Giveaway

Win Full Spectrum CBD oil from Bristol CBD (Closed)

This week, I have joined forces with the amazing Bristol CBD  to bring you a great giveaway. Simply complete the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a 300mg bottle of full spectrum CBD oil.

You may have read my recent review of the very same oil, which I tried myself with huge success (and continue to use daily). If you suffer from any type of ailment, whether it be physical or mental, then I would strongly recommend a read.

2 bottles of Briston CBD oil, one dropper top and one spray

The Giveaway

If you would love to try Bristol CBD Oil then I have a couple of options for you. You can either enter the giveaway below or I also have a discount code available if you can’t wait to find out if you have won or not.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database!

Competitions listed on Loquax!

I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you purchase via any links or codes that I supply. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

A beautiful christmas scene with an armchair and presents in a sack.

Big Christmas Stocking Filler Giveaway

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My final Christmas giveaway of 2018

Well, it’s been a great start to the blog this year! Having launched on 1st November 2018 and already built up a small, but lovely community of followers, I am ecstatic with the progress to date.

As a huge thank you to everyone that’s given me a chance by reading and/or following my little blog so far, I am making my last Christmas giveaway of the year a big one!  So I wish you all the best of luck if you’re entering and a very merry christmas and holiday season.




This competition ends on 16th December and I will be posting it out to the lucky winner on 17th December (providing the winner comes forward straight away), so it should reach you just in time for Christmas.

What’s in the bundle?

After struggling for a while with exactly how to put together a bundle of stocking fillers, I came up with the only solution I could think of. I’ve tried to include something that would be suitable for everyone. So, here we have a 12 piece prize bundle, see below for descriptions and to enter.

This should be ideal for anyone that has a couple of awkward people left to buy for or just need a few extras to complete their gifts. Either way, enjoy!



A picture of a number of giftable items intended as the prize for this giveaway.
A Christmas stocking bundle with something for everyone!

Lotto Social OFfer link button

For the little ones:

A Big and Small 35 piece jigsaw puzzle set

A snuggly fleece Gruffalo hat and scarf set

For the slightly bigger ones

2 x 3DIT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crafting sets

2 x Top Gear Stig Stuff putty tins

An Odd Dog Balloon cross stitch picture set

Super Heat skateboard trading card game




For the full sized ones

A set of 2 official Coca Cola ‘Holidays are coming’ Photo clip frames

A beautiful Tropical Paradise LED dome jar ornament

A 4 piece faux suede Rodier Make up bag set with mirror, key ring and document holder

A limited edition X-Files flash light by Loot Crate

How do I win?

So if you would like to win this entire bundle of gifts, just enter using the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A beautiful christmas scene with an armchair and presents in a sack.

You still have time to enter this other great giveaway I have on:

Win a Nightmare Before Christmas Wallet – E: 16/1

 

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database!

Competitions listed on Loquax!

I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are Amazon affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee from Amazon if you purchase via my link. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

Jack Skellington Wallet

Win a Disney Nightmare Before Christmas Wallet




Win a Disney Jack Skellington Nightmare Before Christmas Wallet

For my penultimate Christmas giveaway, this week I have a fabulous Disney Jack Skellington wallet to give away to one lucky reader. The competition ends on 16th December, please see the bottom of the page for terms and conditions.

We’re huge fans of Tim Burton’s A nightmare before Christmas in this house. We watch it as both a Halloween and a Christmas movie as it can easily get you in the mood for both. It’s a film that transcends age ranges and I know plenty of adults, as well as children that love it. The prize is a bi-fold canvas wallet with all over print and plenty of space inside for money and cards, as well as the all important photograph window.




Jack Skellington Wallet

For your chance to win this awesome prize, just complete as many or as few options as you like in the rafflecopter below. Obviously the more methods of entry you complete, the higher your chances. Plus I have put a few daily entries in there, so you can go nuts if you choose to!

Win here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

This giveaway is provided by Prizewarriors.com.
Entries must be received by 16th December 2018.
The prize is one Disney Nightmare Before Christmas Wallet.
Open to UK residents over the age of 18 only.
Entry is via the Rafflecopter form and amount of entries awarded will depend on the number of actions performed by user.
The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date. 
Please respond within 7 days of your winner notification email or the prize will be redrawn.
I will try to get the prizes posted out to arrive in time for Christmas, however please bear in mind Christmas post times and that you will need to respond quickly to enable me to do this. Therefore please allow 14 days from claim for delivery of the prize.

More chances to win!!

I have a couple of competitions closing today (30/11) at midnight. There are also these awesome Doctor Who figures and a  My Little Pony giveaway finishing in the run up to Christmas. Also, remember to check back next week for my final giveaway of the year, which will be a bundle giveaway. My final giveaway will close on 16th December, so that I can get the prizes posted out to you in time for the big day!


I have also recently written a blog post about how to win the biggest Christmas toys of 2018. This contains plenty of links to toy giveaways elsewhere, so if you’re still trying to fill those stockings, I would recommend having a look.

A fireplace with christmas stockings surrounding and a lit candle.
Lotto Social OFfer link button

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database!

Competitions listed on Loquax!

I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you purchase via my links. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

4 young children in a group hug with smiling faces.

Winning Together

4 young children in a group hug with smiling faces.Is winning something that we can successfully do together?

Inspired by the newly found knowledge that 1 in 5 jackpot wins are by syndicates, I’ve been looking at the concept of winning together. I’ve joined forces with Lotto Social, who have kindly allowed me to share an amazing offer with my readers. Before I go into the details, however, the concept of Lotto Social has inspired me to look at whether “winning together” is something that would translate into the comping world. After all, whether it’s lotteries or competitions, the goal is the same, we all just want to win!


sharing winnings with others

The idea of winning together is not a new one for me. My Nan has been an avid comper for many years, so comping is in my blood.  For as far back as I can remember, she’s bought the same magazines every single week, just for the competitions section. She spends hours completing the various puzzles and posting the little slips away each week, in the hope of bettering the lives of herself and her family.

As a child and even now, in my 30s, whenever I visit my Nan, she will always have a post-it note tucked away with a list of comping questions she needs help with. In reward, she promises to split the prizes with me. I love this idea of grouping together comping efforts and sharing prizes. I feel that it could potentially work well in the wider comping community, providing it’s easily shareable cash prizes on offer. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments, as it’s something I would seriously look at setting up for the Prize Warriors group, if I had enough interest.




How I discovered syndication

Perhaps the most common form of prize sharing is syndication. I’ve always thought the idea of lottery syndication is genius. It’s a simple but effective idea, more players equals more tickets purchased. More tickets purchased equals more chances to win. The jackpot is so ridiculously high for lotteries, that sharing winnings has never been a worry to me!

I first came to syndication in my late teens, whilst working in a factory painting police helmet plates. Each department where I worked ran a small syndicate, with 20-50 members, organised by an overly enthusiastic colleague.Being me, I joined up willingly and actually had a couple of wins too! It never amounted to much once divided into 50 of course, but any winnings were always a very welcome bonus to minimum wage. It was really exciting winning with a group of people, as the atmosphere was great and we’d often go out together and spend the winnings (usually in the pub!) The possibility of winning big together felt nice, it was a buzz and I certainly miss that.

Lotto Social Advetrt with sunny beach scene

How do Lotto Social help you to win together?

Lotto Social are a site that offer the opportunity for its members to join an online National Lottery syndicate. As someone who is always looking to up my chances of winning at everything, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have a go, especially with their amazing sign up offer.

They have kindly allowed me to share this offer with my readers, just click on this link to take advantage. This gives you 10 lines in your first draw for just £1. They also currently have an additional bonus offer, I’m not sure how long for, but it worked for me. Just click the green pop up bubble on registration and for the same £1 you get:

  • 10 EuroMillions lines
  • 10 UK Millionaire Maker entries
  • 5 FREE Instant win games – win up to £7k! (I actually got 10 free instant wins!)
  • 90 Days No Win, Money Back Guarantee

Following this offer, you can choose to continue your membership for £5 per week, which will give you 10 lines in the draw on both Tuesdays and Fridays, or you can cancel any time you like. Another nice option they have is that they offer winnings as bonus funds. Bonus funds are offered at 4 times the value of the win and can be used to purchase more lottery tickets. I think this is a very attractive offer for small wins of a few pounds.

For me it was a no brainer to at least give the first week a try! For less than the price of a 1st class stamp, that’s a really good amount of chances to win. I’ll update you on how I got on once the draws are made! Please remember that you must be 16+ to become a member.

A screen shot from Lotto Social demonstrating the syndicate
Here’s my first syndicate allocation. Wish me luck!!

Free Instant Win Games

I was also lucky enough to get 10 free turns on some of the instant win games they have available. The instant win games offer further opportunities to win cash, however, unlike some simple win or lose games, these also give you the opportunity to collect points. If you win points instead of cash, these can then be redeemed against other instant win games. My 10 free turns actually turned into 2800 points, which is quite a few free games, all of which give you the chance to win real cash. At the moment I’m popping into my account every day for 5 minutes or so to play through some points. I haven’t won any cash yet, but I do win back a lot of points, so it seems that you will have plenty of opportunity to win for free!

An example of one of the instant win games available on Lotto Social
Here is one of the free games I was awarded with my sign up offer. Following my 8 free spins, I ended up with 2800 additional points to redeem against other games!

Lotto Social OFfer link button

Giving back whilst you win

This was another attractive benefit of Lotto Social for me. I am not by any means a wealthy woman, but I do love to find any way that I can to give to those less fortunate than myself. Lotto Social actually gives back a percentage of their profits to community based charities. November’s proceeds went to youth homelessness and anti-bullying charities, both very worthy causes. What’s more, as a member, you get a chance to help decide where this money is directed each month. This is a great way to help improve the lives of other, whilst trying to improve your own. So, I guess it’s also a form of ‘winning together’.

A picture of people jumping up together on a beach in the sunset
Good luck!

Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you purchase a membership via my link. This does not cost you any extra and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.




A picture of 2 boxed Doctor Who figures

Win Doctor Who Wave 4 Figures




Doctor Who Figure Giveaway

This weeks addition to my Christmas competitions series is going to be a great present for kids and adults alike. If they are Doctor Who fans, that is!

I have two very cool boxed figures from the BBC Wave 4 set of figures, Skovox Blitzer and The Foretold (Mummy Creature). These are 3.75 inch articulated figures and the ideal gift for any collector or fan of the franchise.

How do I win them?

I’m going with Rafflecopter again this week, as the Gleam problem doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Simply fill in the form below for your chance to win this pair of prizes.

Don’t forget, I have a whole host of other competitions running throughout November and December. Check out the links below if you haven’t entered those yet:




 

Win a Christmas themed photo shoot for your kids or pets + a 7×5 print – Ends 24th November

Win a Barbie Colour Change Glam Bag – Ends 30th November

Win a Night at the Awards Board Game – Ends 30th November

Win a bundle of My Little Pony Plush Coin Purses – Ends 30th November

 

Also don’t forget to check back regularly until 16th December, as I will be posting a new competition each week until then. You can keep up to date with all of my new competitions and posts by entering your email address in the sign up box at the bottom of this page!

Enter Here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Terms and Conditions:

This giveaway is provided by Prizewarriors.com.
Entries must be received by 7 December 2018.
The prize is two Doctor Who Figures.
Open to UK residents over the age of 18 only.
Entry is via the Rafflecopter form and amount of entries awarded will depend on the number of actions performed by user.
The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
Please respond within 14 days of your winner notification email or the prize will be redrawn.
Please allow 14 days from claim for delivery of the prize.

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database!

Competitions listed on Loquax!

I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are Amazon affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee from Amazon if you purchase via my link. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

An advent calendar with a Christmas tree image

Advent Competitions




How to make Advent Competitions work for you

December is fast approaching folks, and for us compers, that means that advent competitions are just around the corner! This can be an exciting time for compers as there are way more prizes on offer than in any other month of the year. It can also be very stressful trying to keep up with it all. Whether you love or hate them, entering advent competitions can be fun and lucrative, providing that you make them work for you.

What are Advent Competitions?

In recent years, advent competitions have become a very popular and novel way for businesses to promote their range, whilst spreading a bit of Christmas cheer at the optimum time of the year for retail sales.

Most competitions are set up as an actual advent calendar, with prizes available behind every door. Each day you will have access to the prize behind the coresponding door. The most common entry method is usually name and email address, so they are nice and quick to enter. Most start on December 1st and run for either 12 or 24 days. The prizes can vary greatly in size and value depending on the organisation providing them. You will also find that some companies like to add in special offers behind some of the doors, rather than prizes, so unless it’s somewhere you were already planning to shop, I would avoid these.

My Advent Competition method

A great way that you can make advent comps work for you is to be selective. There are a couple of things that will happen if you try to enter all of the advent comps you find. Number one, you will become stressed and overwhelmed. Number two, you won’t have the time to enter the usual non-advent comps that are still available in abundance. And don’t forget, as many people focus on the advent comps, those regular comps will be receiving way less entries than usual, increasing your chances of winning!

I’m going to hold up my hands now and admit that I am a bit of a comping geek. Well, you would hope so considering I write this blog! But, even in my life outside of comping, I’m a planner. I plan and I research and I organise. This year I have decided to share my geeky method with you lucky people! Some of this might seem obvious, however, simply by being married to an incredibly non-organised person, I understand that won’t be the case for everyone.

Step 1: Research

Probably a bit of a bold term, research, but for want of another, it does the job. So, this year, I have discovered that the advent competitions have been announced even earlier than last year. I’m guessing we’re going to have a ‘Christmas music in shops’ type situation here and eventually they will be announced the same week as Halloween! Still, in this instance I won’t complain as I think it’s great. Both The Prizefinder and Loquax have their advent lists available and as of checking yesterday (19th November) the links on Loquax are already ‘active’. By active, I mean that links to the various advent websites are live, you just can’t enter the competitions yet. Update: As of 1st December Competition Database also have live advent links!

Have a real good look at what’s available outside of the normal comping sites too. I would recommend going to the websites of brands that you love to see if they will be doing one, as it may not be listed elsewhere yet.

Step 2: Selection

Be picky with these comps! As I mentioned above, there are a LOT of them. Bear in mind that a lot of them will run right up to Christmas eve, or day and therefore if you are looking to use the prizes purely for Christmas presents, you’re probably better disregarding them after a certain date (I suggest around 16th December). More than ever, with advents, I only focus on the prizes that I really, really want.

With the advent links available so early, you can save so much time. Most advent comps will start on December 1st, so if you can have already picked the ones you want to enter before then, you’re at a distinct time advantage!

Step 3: Build your collection

What I do from here is to build my own link collection. I have a folder on my toolbar which contains links to the advent comps that I am interested in entering on a daily basis. As they run for different periods of time, I rename the link to reflect the closing date. I don’t care what the prizes are at this point, as I’ve already decided it’s something that I want in the selection stage, so renaming it as just the closing date lets me know when to delete the link and focus my attention on the rest. Below is an example of what I have set up so far for this year.

An example of using toolbar folders to store advent competitions links
As you can see, I’ve been very selective and there are only a few for now, but you get the idea!




Step 4: Enter and Update

This is the order I choose to do my competitions in, you may prefer a different order, but the main point is, have an order! I enter the regular comps closing that day first, then go through the links in my advent folder, followed by any new competitions if I have time. I would suggest keeping the links in each advent folder to a maximum of 15 and then selecting open all. This saves confusion and has a nice methodical feel to it. If you have more than 15 links, I would suggest numbering folders along your toolbar i.e Advents 1, Advents 2. Throughout December, I will follow this routine. It’s also worth noting that some advent competitions are not announced until the day that they open, so it’s certainly worth checking back through the advent competition lists available on the bigger listing sites to update your collection.

Top Tips

  • Don’t forget about the regular competitions. These will have way fewer entries due to the advents, thus making them easier to win.
  • Focus on locally based advent competitions, such as your local shopping centres and indepedent shops, as these will have far fewer entries than the bigger brands!
  • Use form filling software such as Dashlane to complete your entries quicker
  • Read Facebook notifications last! It’s an overwhelming part of social media comping on any day of the year, trying to read through every single tag notification. At advent time, it can be hellish! Don’t let notifications distract and confuse you, enter those in your collection first, read notifications later.
  • Have some sort of Christmas themed photo ready for competitions asking for one, and they will. If it has your kids dressed as Elves etc, that would be a bonus but the broader the appeal, the better as it can be used in different categories.

My Top Picks this year!

So here’s a little updae for you (3rd December). I’m really enjoying the advents this year, how about you? I thought I would to a round up of my top 10 advent competitions this year, let ,e know if you have entered any of them.

  1. AMC – A Walter White Christmas – amazing idea, I love this one, really unique and quirky
  2. Grindstore – Nice to see an alternative brand joining in, they have some interesting prizes
  3. Magic Radio with Sky Cinema – This one is awesome. So much effort gone into it, love the design. Excellent for movie fans
  4. Travel Up – I love the look of this one and it has some amazing prizes, if you know me, you will know I love the travel and day trip based prizes the most!
  5. Family Travel Association – Whilst the pay off vs. effort for this advent/game is meager, you have to love the idea! The puppetry video scenes of classic movies are hilarious.
  6. Radio City’s Signature Living – The prizes are insanely luxurious hotel stay and I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but all 25 days are available now. I’ve already entered for the month!
  7.  My Mail – You do need to register for an account for this one, but the prizes are HUGE. We’re talking holidays and £10k diamond rings!!
  8. Vegan Life Magazine – I realise this is a slightly more niche appeal. However, after years of endless Christmas gift basket competitions that I can’t enter because they don’t cater to me, this is a welcome treat!
  9. Scenic Tours – Another attractive calendar with great travel related prizes and mostly high value.
  10. Keel Toys – Lovely toy based prizes daily, with the opportunity to win a huge hamper of toys on top of that on 19th December.

Dont forget, I still have a couple of my competitions open for this year, with one more to follow this coming Thursday (6/12). See Links below:

Dr Who Figures Giveaway

My Little Pony Plush Coin Purses Giveaway

Disney A Nightmare Before Christmas Wallet

What did you win?

As much as it might seem a little bit neurotic or time-consuming to follow my above suggestion, I really do recommend it, as it will save you a lot of time and stress in the longer term.



I’m interested to know if you use any other methods to enter advent competitions and how it works for you. Also, let me know what you win! As much as I am a bit of a ‘bah humbug’ when it comes to Christmas, there’s something really fun about advent calendars. I used to love them as a kid and have desperately been trying to win myself a beauty advent calendar for this year! I love the thrill of seeing what’s behind each door. And who wouldn’t want a new surprise every day!?

Good luck everyone, enjoy yourselves and I hope you win big!

How to Win 2018’s Top Christmas Toys




 

Every year at this time, there are a huge amount of new toys introduced to the market, that every kid ‘desperately needs’. As parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles etc, we often feel under great pressure to fulfil these ‘needs’. I, for one, am going to find it a real struggle to provide the thousands of toys on my son’s list! And, he’s an only child!

Which toys will be most popular for Christmas 2018?

So, with the above in mind, I want to try to help reduce that burden on you to buy EVERYTHING. Recently I’ve paid a lot of attention to articles created by the main toy shops and online retailers listing what they consider to be the top toys for Christmas 2018. Below, I’ve compiled a list of what I consider to be the top eight desired toys/categories of toys this Christmas, as a result of that research. For each toy on the list, I’ve provided as many links as I can find to competitions where you can win them.

Make sure to check back regularly for more opportunities to win the toys that your kids are asking for, because I’ll keep updating this post between now and Christmas.

 

1.LEGO

At my top spot this year is LEGO. It’s surprising to me that a toy that has been around for so long remains as popular as Lego does. I do, however, really love that, at the number one spot, is a toy that encourages dexterity, design and concentration skills. This year, with lots of new sets available just in time for Christmas, including the sought after Harry Potter range, I’ve seen LEGO pop up on every single toy shop list I’ve read. In addition to a wide range of Harry Potter sets, new sets from the LEGO Friends range, Duplo range, Creator range and Ninjago range, all appeared in top 2018 Christmas toy lists.

Here are some links to LEGO competitions that are running throughout November and December. Please note the end dates at the beginning of each link. I will try to keep the list as current as possible, but some of them may close before I get the chance to update it.

  1. E: 04/12 £150 to sped on LEGO
  2. E: 05/12 Harry Potter LEGO bundle
  3. E: 07/12 Fantastic Beasts LEGO set
  4. E: ??? Harry Potter LEGO bundle
  5. E: 03/01 LEGO Winter Train Set

2. Barbie

Another toy that seems to have been around forever and manages to keep its popularity is the Barbie doll. A number of items from the Barbie range appeared on the many top 10, top 50, top (#random number) lists that I’ve read. Sought after dolls and sets this year include; Barbie Baby Doctor, Baby Care Clinic Ambulance and Barbie Dolphin adventure range.

Here are the links to the Barbie related competitions that I’ve found:

Currently all closed: Will update in new ones found…

I appreciate that this is a wide category of toys, but as STEM seems to be a real buzz word for parents and teachers at the moment, I felt it deserved its place on my list. STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, in case you were wondering. They are toys designed to make learning fun for kids and as someone who is currently arranging a science themed birthday party for a 5-year-old, I can confirm that they succeed. On the top toys lists, I came across many different types of toys, catering to a wide age range, that fell under the banner of STEM. Some of the most sought after ranges this year are Learning Resources including Botley the coding robot, the Nickelodeon Experimake range, such as Experimake Sludge and Slime and Gravitax sets from Ravensburger.

Here is a list of the awesome STEM toys that are available to win online right now:

  1. E: 4/12 Detective DOT Megapack (Coding Toy)
  2. E: 9/12 Beaker Creatures Super Lab and Magnifying Chamber in £450 bundle!!
  3. E: 18/12 Geomag Gravity Up and Down Circuit
  4. E: 23/12 2 Single Ready2Robot Packs

4. The Grinch Movie and associated merchandise

As a huge Dr Seuss fan, we are very excited, in our house, that they have decided to revive this absolute classic. We were lucky enough to see the live performance of The Grinch last Christmas at Universal Studios in Florida. It was amazing! And yes, I did shed a tear lol. My son, who is almost 5, has the gorgeous young Grinch toy from Build a Bear factory on his Christmas wish list (aka hidden in my bedroom). I’ve also seen a plethora of related merchandise and clothing available for the Grinch movie. Unfortunately, the actual Blu-ray release is not until February 2019, which is a shame.

A picture of Kellie's son, a 4 year old blonde boy, meeting some characters from the Grinch production they watched in Florida in 2017
My son meeting some of the Whos from the live production of The Grinch last year at Universal Studios, Florida

Here are some links to competitions where you can win Grinch related prizes:

  1. E: 15/12 The Grinch Collection Edition Book bundle
  2. E: ?? Grinch Plush Toy

5. LOL Surprise Toys

LOL Surprise Eggs were huge last year, with parents being forced to pay way over the odds for items that had been bought up in bulk and sold on eBay at ridiculous mark ups. Well, they haven’t really lost much popularity in the mean time and this Christmas will see the launch of their LOL Biggie Pet Figure, LOL Bigger Surprise and LOL Surprise House ranges. These 3 items appear on a lot of the top toy lists, as well as the original range still having notable popularity, given the collectible nature of the toy.

Here are the links for LOL Surprise related competitions that I have found

  1. E: 15/12 LOL Bigger Surprise (2 winners)
  2. E: 1/12 LOL Surprise Doll House
  3. E: 18/12 LOL Bigger Surprise
  4. E: 20/12 LOL Surprise! Doll House

6. NERF Guns and associated toys

Anyone with a child that watches YouTube will appreciate (or not) the popularity of NERF guns. In the US they’ve been popular for decades, but they’ve also become increasingly popular here in recent years. They also seem to interest kids from a very wide age range! Although intended for ages 8 and up, my son has been interested since his 4th birthday and I also know teens that still love NERF. This year, the new and sought after additions to their range are NERF Laser Alpha, NERF Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K Blaster and of course, the Hauck NERF Battle Racer is still popular, particularly with younger kids.

Here are some links to where you can win NERF toys in time for this Christmas:

  1. E: 15/12 Translucent LED NERF Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

7. My Little Pony

My Little Pony have been around since I was a little girl (I’m showing my age now!) and it was really nice to see that they have brought out a retro range this year that look just like the originals. These toys have had a real resurgence in popularity in recent years and this year is no different. Both the Ultimate Equestria Collection and Mega Collections appear in the top anticipated toy lists for 2018.

Here are some links that I have found to win My Little Pony toys:

  1. E: 7/12 Set of 3 My Little Pony plush toy zip purses (this is my giveaway)
  2. E: Ongoing? My Little Pony Bundle of Figures

8. Board Games

Another very broad category here, I know. It makes me very happy though, that in these days of technology overload, the number of board games on kids’ Christmas lists continue to increase. Ironically, I’m pretty sure that YouTube is the culprit for the rise in popularity, due to the millions of unboxing videos, however as long as they’re still being appreciated, where’s the harm! There are a lot of board games from different manufacturers appearing on this years top toys lists. Here are a handful of the most frequently mentioned titles that I came across during my research; Pie Face Canon, Don’t Step in it, Fortnite Monopoly, What’s in Ned’s Head and Soggy Doggy.

Here are some links where you can win a whole host of different board games. They are actually one of the most abundant giveaway items this year, so if there are any on you kids’ lists then I would recommend starting here:

  1. E: 04/12 Wally The Washer
  2. E: 05/12 Super Ski Jump 
  3. E: 6/12 Jumanji Orginal Board Game
  4. E: 06/12 Wally The Washer
  5. E: 10/12 £110 worth of Drummond Park Games
  6. E: 10/12 Wally the Washer
  7. E: 10/12 Rapidough
  8. E: 12/12 Word Bandit

Where else can I find toy competitions?

And of course, in addition to those links I have mentioned above, I must recommend the following pages’ toy categories. These sites have been very good to me in the past when sourcing presents, so I wish you the best of luck with winning some for yourselves. I would love to read your comments about what you are/were trying to win this year and whether or not you succeeded.

Competitions Database Children and Toys Competitions

Loquax Toys and Games Competitions

The Prizefinder Kids and Toys Competitions

Please note: There are Amazon affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee from Amazon if you purchase via my link. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.