Look in my Letterbox #82

Another week, another Look in my Letterbox! I had a really busy week with lots of wins arriving. It always makes my week a bit more exciting. 

Here's what I received this week:

Wins:
Pirate craft book
 This was a surprise win! I don't get many of these so it's always nice when one arrives. This came from a web entry at the Primary Times website. C will absolute love making these with me.

Blog goodies
 I am so bad when it comes to organisation for anything never mind just blogging. I won these during National Stationery Week from That Lame Company on Twitter. They will hopefully give me a kick up the bum to be more organised.

Line drawing 
 I was so excited when I won a line drawing of my children and when I received the finished article, I was absolutely blown away with how amazing it was. It's by the insanely talented Frankie's Doodles.

Diamond earrings
 I won these on Instagram from Diamond Heaven and it is by far my most valuable win in my five years of comping, with an RRP of £1,900. I didn't want to believe it until they arrived but here they are and they are absolutely stunning.

C decoration
 This was another little Instagram win from Be Bright Designs. It will be fab on C's wall!

Star Wars book
 I won this in a May 4th Star Wars giveaway and it is so cool! It's Star Wars written as a William Shakespeare play.

Sticker set
The Secret Life of Pets was the first movie that C and E saw in the cinema so when I saw this little giveaway when scrolling Twitter early one morning, I thought I'd enter for E. She was so excited and basically stuck all of the stickers in her sticker album right away.
 
Cordial
 Bottlegreen had 50 sets of these to give away over Facebook and Instagram and I was one of their lucky winners. I'd never actually tried this brand before but they are so lovely!

La Redoute clothing


 I have my lovely friend Jenna who writes at Chic Geek Diary to thank for this amazing win. She tagged me in a giveaway that La Redoute were running on their Facebook page. The prize was £1000 split between you and a friend and because she won and I was the tagged friend, we got £500 credit each! The above is what I ordered with my £500. I kitted the family out!

Bows


 This was another little Instagram win - you guys know I love my bows!

Skirt and Bow set


I won this beautiful skirt and a bow to match on Instagram too. The picture isn't the greatest but it's unicorn print - so pretty!

Purchases:
R plates 
My wonderful boyfriend Chris passed his driving test a few weeks ago so I bought him some magnetic R plates for his car. 
 
Fidget spinners
I also bought two fidget spinners (one for Chris and one for C) as they are all the rage and obviously couldn't be without them!

Reviews:
Bigjigs Dungeon
 I am part of the Bigjigs Play Patrol and this Dungeon is the second item that we have received to review. It's super cool so look out for my review later this week.

Book
This may be a little bit premature considering we haven't got an official autism diagnosis for C (although I'm 95% sure that we will get one) but I am hoping that we will get some helpful tips from it. I will publish my thoughts soon!

Other: 
Ant with Rolling Egg 
 This is a giveaway prize from the lovely people at BRIO. Keep an eye on the blog to be in with a chance of winning.

Did you receive anything nice last week?
 

Lucy Locket Wooden Biscuit Set Counting Game - Review

I've always said that the best thing that I ever did for my four year son C was give him a sister. E is two years old so is mobile, can talk and communicate well with her big brother. The closeness in age means that they can play games together happily. One of their favourite things to take part in is pretend play. We have a wooden kitchen set, cleaning set and tea set and they will play with them constantly, if they aren't making up little scenarios with their toy figures!


When Lucy Locket offered us the chance to review one of their Wooden Biscuit Counting Sets, I jumped at the chance because I thought it would go down well with the children and it didn't disappoint.

The set comes in a small box (15cm x 11cm x 6cm) and contains 10 wooden biscuits (five different types) and one tea cloth. Each piece is made of thick, durable wood, which is smoothed down making it perfect for little hands. I love how bright and colourful they are and they replicate real biscuits. I always fancy a pink wafer when the children are playing with it!


C and E both enjoyed pretending to be having afternoon tea and sharing out their biscuits evenly between them. E can be quite difficult when it comes to sharing but she surprised me when playing with this set. She would even pretend to be baking her biscuits in her toy kitchen then feed them to myself and her daddy. 




Not only do you have the pretend play and sharing aspect, but they soon discovered that each biscuit has a number on the reverse. C is starting primary school and September and has recently been teaching himself how to add numbers together. These have been a great tool for me to assist his learning. E, on the other hand, is a little bit younger so is only just learning about numbers and how to put them in order. She previously would skip a few out but this set has been great for number recognition and I'd often line some up in order then ask her to pass me the number which comes next, making it into a fun game. She does prefer to stack them then knock them all over though! 


I love the attention to detail that has been put into the Wooden Biscuit Counting Set, especially with the different shapes and paintwork of the biscuits. I cannot recommend this set enough as it's been both fun and educational and my children have been playing with in constantly since it arrived.


The Wooden Biscuit Counting Set retails at £16.00. You can find out more about their fantastic toy range at the Lucy Locket website or you can keep up to date on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
 

Look in my Letterbox #81

Eek, I've been such a bad blogger lately. I had fallen into a bit of a slump so I, untentionally, stopped writing the posts I'd regularly write and posts for linkies I'd join up with. I'm vowing to get back into them now so first up is a new Look in my Letterbox! It feels like forever since I've written one so in case you aren't familiar, I literally write about everything that I received in the post that week! I'm quite a nosey person and I know I'm not the only one! Here's what I received last week:

Wins:
Wow Toys & Book
 We absolutely LOVE Wow Toys so I was thrilled to win this in their Twitter giveaway. The book is fab, we have a different themed one already, and love it.

Smurfs bundle
 I won this from Mumsnet on Twitter and was delighted. The kids love the Smurfs and E even wore the Smurf hat for two hours straight when it arrived.

Abeille blanket
 How lovely is this blanket? It is amazing quality and the colour is beautiful.

Signed Steve Backshall books
 I absolutely love Steve Backshall so I may have fangirled a little bit when these arrived - all signed inside too!

 Willow the Pillow
I won this gorgeous pillowcase alongside the Abeille blanket that I showed above. It is beautifully soft and I can't wait to get it on E's bed. It's so cute!

Purchases:
Alternative Press magazine
 Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore Panic! at the Disco and Brendon Urie. This is an American magazine so after stalking my local newsagents for two months and everywhere being sold out online, I finally got my hands on a copy!

Did you receive anything nice last week?



Turning Tears into Smiles with Elastoplast

I have always been a huge advocate of getting kids outside and playing rather than being stuck inside on tablets and games consoles. I spent 99% of my childhood playing outdoors and I knew I'd get my own children to like the outdoors too. 

  My youngest child, two year old E, has no fear whatsoever. She will run around everywhere and climb anything that she comes across with no thought of any consequences. I follow her like a little puppy as I'm so afraid that she will hurt herself. I know that I need to let her do her own thing more and stop wrapping her in cotton wool. My four old son C is the polar opposite. He worries about the littlest of things so he gets very afraid to do things sometimes and always needs reassurance. We are currently in the process of having him assessed for autism so I'm not quite sure if that goes hand in hand. Despite this, he still loves being outside and exploring the world around him.



As all parents know, little ones are not always as steady on their feet as we are, so bumps and grazes are inevitable. Both of my children like to think they are independent but when they fall over and hurt themselves, a mummy or daddy cuddle is always needed. Kisses and hugs work better than anything as well as reassurance that they are superheroes and falling over happens to everyone. It's all part of learning and growing up! 


Mums and dads are there to soothe their pains and let them know that they will be okay. When this happens to C, he does take it really badly and almost becomes obsessed with his injuries. When he was two years old, he fell and cut his chin on his toy wooden market stand and was left with an impressive scar. Almost three years on, he still talks about "how sore it is" to this day! I do find it hard to calm him and relax him but the promise of ice cream always works a treat - as well as promising a plaster! For some reason, plasters are magic and instantly make the pain better. It's even better when they are character ones! C is obsessed with Star Wars and I'm pretty sure E thinks that she actually is Elsa so these new character plasters from Elastoplast instantly stop tears and make the kids happy.



Elastoplast are my favourite brand of plaster because the quality is fantastic and much better than the cheaper replicas. They've been sold in six countries across the world since 1924 so I'm clearly not the only one who would sing their praises! I feel that they are a brand that you can rely on - I often find myself reaching for one of their plasters when I've cut myself whilst cooking - not just for kids!


This post is an entry for the Britmums #TearsIntoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast http://campaigns.elastoplast.net/plastermoments/uk

 

Thanking the NICU Nurses This #InternationalNursesDay

Today is International Nurses’ Day and Pampers want to encourage us to thank the nurses who have helped my little fighter and my family during the hardest times of our lives.


Directly after birth, my son C was taken straight to NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and at that moment in time I wasn’t in the right state of mind to think about who was there looking after him. I had to trust them. Two days later, when I was able to finally visit C, a lovely nurse told me all about how C had progressed over those two days and luckily he was going from strength to strength. She filled me in on how much of my breast milk he had managed to take and talking to be about what levels of CPAP he was on and she always kept me in the loop with what was currently happening and what they were planning on doing. She (and the rest of the NICU nurses team) were there for him when he needed them, when I couldn’t be there for my own son, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I could see the happiness in their faces when they had good news for me and when I was finally able to hold him after six days, I know they were just as pleased as I was. They would cuddle him, sing to him and just make him happy. They gave him love.

Nurses really are unsung heroes. Premature babies need a little bit of extra care and not only were these wonderful nurses looking after my precious baby and comforting me, they were doing it for the other families who were also in my position. I don’t think that there is anything more amazing. I really struggled with expressing milk and I remember bringing the tiniest amount to NICU at 4am one morning. I cried my eyes out to the nurse, telling her that I felt guilty for not being able to feed my baby. She did everything she did to reassure me that he was doing wonderfully. They had been topping him up with formula and he’d taken to it well. She told me to remember that I was ill too so I needed to relax and take care of myself. This really sticks out to me as I feel like it changed my hospital experience. I took the advice and was a lot happier, meaning that I felt like a better mum for my baby too.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Pampers P3 nappy for premature babies. These NICU nurses have actually teamed up with Pampers to create them. The nurses are in the thick of it day in, day out so in my opinion, they were the best people to ask. They experience the difficulties of oversized nappies every day so the fact that these new nappies have a contoured fit to help babies grow without mobility challenges, breathable material designed to protect their extra delicate skin and noiseless tapes to protect their delicate ears from stressful sounds will be a huge help and it’s probably something that we wouldn’t have thought about ourselves.

Pampers are continuing their partnership with Bliss in their work to support NICU nurses, premature babies and their families as well as neonatal care training and education. Today, on International Nurses’Day, Pampers will donate another £1 to Bliss for every ‘Thank You’ message shared on social media with the hashtag #ALittleThankYou


This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Pampers.

Kids Summer Clothing Wishlist

Since I became a mother almost five years ago, I've developed an obsession with buying the kids clothes. I wear the same outfits day in, day out and very rarely buy myself anything new but I'll happily spend any spare money I have on cute items for the children that I just happen to see. This means that I am forever window shopping and searching online.

LoveTheSales is a website that aggregates sales from around 600 retailers and displays them all in one handy place. They have tons of top fashion brands listed, as well as toys, electronics and beauty brands. The website is perfect for me as I begrudge paying full price for anything and I will always shop a sale or look for a discount code. I think I spent a good few hours looking through the kids section alone! Just for fun, I've put together a little wishlist of my favourite kids clothing items that would be perfect for this summer!

LoveTheSales Converse

My first port of call are always shoes! I'm really into the skater look, especially for my four year old son, C, so he (and I!) basically live in Converse so I was delighted to see some offers. I think these two pairs would be perfect for the kids to run around and play in all summer.

LoveTheSales Joules 
Joules is one of my favourite stores for clothing with cute prints. The quality is fantastic so whenever I do see their items on sale, I have to snap them up. The monkey tee is super cool and I love the plain grey t-shirt as it would be perfect in hot weather. When it comes to my two year old daughter, E, I'm a sucker for pinks and florals so these jumped out to me right away.

LoveTheSales Ralph Lauren

One brand that I'd actually never browsed for clothing before was Ralph Lauren. I just happened to see the brand on the site and thought I'd take a look. I was expecting the prices to still be quite high, even on sale, but I was pleasantly surprised. I do love the famous Polo logo so the cap will be super stylish and I love how bright the joggers are! Moving on to the girl's section and, oh my goodness, how adorable is the peplum polo?! I had no idea that something like this existed and don't get me started on how sweet the checked dress is! I fear for my bank balance!

 


LoveTheSales Gap

Gap Kids is a store that I always go into when I'm looking for something specific like shoes or clothes for occasions such as Easter or Christmas so I never really spend enough time properly looking at what they stock. I know, I've chosen a jacket for summer but to be honest, living in Northern Ireland means that it still probably will be chilly in the middle of July! I am also obsessed with putting E in watermelon printed clothing and I think she's had about four different pieces in her short life!

They also have a Disney section but I honestly think I'd be here all week collating my favourite pieces as we are all massive Disney fans - especially E who has an obsession with Elsa. Pop over and take a peek - you won't be disappointed!



(Post via LoveTheSales)

What I Won - March 2017

I am super duper late with this one, as I was with February's wins, but I promise I'll get April's win up by the end of the week too so that I'm up to date.

March was an average month for me, win-wise. I spent a good amount of my free time entering online competitions and it seemed to pay off. Here's what I won in March:

1) PJ Masks Owlette costume (RRP £24.99) from UK Mums TV


I won this in a PJ Masks themed Twitter Party hosted by UK Mums TV. I have recently been avoiding Twitter parties because they take up too much time but C and E are absolutely obsessed with PJ Masks so I was desperate to win a prize. E loves her costume but now C wants a Gekko one!

2) Men-u styling clay (RRP £12.95) from Mankind
Mankind ran a huge giveaway on Random Acts of Kindness day and I think there were quite a few prizes to be won. I received an email to say I'd been chosen as the winner of some men-u styling clay which is perfect for Chris as he's always buying it!

3) Cookie Monster onesie (RRP £7.49) from Cartoonito Parents
C loves Cookie Monster and has quite a few Cookie Monster toys so I had to enter this one when I saw it on the Cartoonito Parents Facebook page. As you can tell from his face, he's pretty chuffed with it!

4) Advanced screening tickets to Kong Skull Island from Cool FM
I always check my local radio stations websites for local competitions. Last year I won advanced screening tickets for Batman v Superman and this year I won these by doing the same!

5) Clarks and Joseph Joseph bundle (RRP £49.99) from Clarks


I won these in a pancake day competition where you just had to tweet Clarks your pancake pictures. I've wanted Joseph Joseph kitchen goodies for ages but could never justify the price and we love maple syrup!

6) Sudocrem goody bag from Sudocrem
I didn't get to take a photo of this before the kids stole most of it but it comprised of some Sudocrem tubes, a flash, kids hat and sunglasses. I won this in a World Book Day competition on Facebook. You had to share a photograph of your child dressed up.

7) Corset top (RRP £29.99) from Blue Banana
Blue Banana are an alternative clothing website that run daily flash giveaways on their Facebook page. The style of clothing is so me so I had been trying for ages to win a finally did and it is gorgeous! The giveaways are still running and all you have to do is like and comment on the daily post before 2pm to be in with a chance of winning.

8) Scooby Doo bundle (RRP £146.92) from Scooby Doo magazine
This was an email entry competition that was published in Scooby Doo magazine. We didn't know we had won so it was a massive surprise when it arrived. C is chuffed to bits!

9) Bioglan Inulin and Tom Kerridge cookbook (RRP £27.75) from Bioglan Supplements




I won these in a simple 'like and comment' giveaway on the Bioglan Instagran page. Instagram giveaways can be really low entry so it's definitely worth searching for them yourself.

10) External hard drive and £50 Love 2 Shop vouchers (RRP £130.00) from Broadband Buyer

I absolutely love this win! I was in need of an external hard drive for quite a while but never had the spare funds to buy one. The vouchers were a wonderful little bonus!

11) Hotel Chocolat box (RRP £22.50) from Victoria's Vintage
I love love love Hotel Chocolat so this was right up my street! I won this in a 'retweet and follow' giveaway with Victoria's Vintage blog. Check it out if you haven't already - it's so pretty!

12) Case of Skinny lager (RRP £14.99) from Skinnybrands
Who doesn't love an alcohol win? I won this on Instagram again with a 'like and comment' giveaway.

13) Jamesons chocolates (RRP £2.00) from Candyland
Because the Hotel Chocolat box just wasn't enough! This, again, was a really low entry Instagram 'like and comment' win.

14) VTech Little Friendlies Moosical Beads (RRP £13.99) from Parent and Baby Hub
How cute is this?! I love VTech toys and this will make a lovely gift this Christmas.

In total, I won 14 prizes worth £483.56 in March 2017. In comparison: In March 2016 I won 36 prizes worth £449.56, in March 2015 I won 7 prizes worth £237.98 and in March 2014 I won 7 prizes worth £104.45. It's going in the right direction!
Have you won anything nice lately?

 


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