Looking Back Over 2015

2015 has been a very up and down year for me but there are a few things that have turned the year around. It was back in March that I started my little blog up. I had a very trying January and February so decided to take my mind off things by starting blogging. I wasn’t quite sure where my niche would be in the world of blogging, so I decided to blog about what I love to do and that is entering competitions, reading any type of book and gardening. So Book Lover, Competition Addict and Gardening Enthusiast was born. I am still not 100% happy with the name so that is something I’m going to work on this year.

I have won lots of competitions throughout this year as feel so lucky to have done so, although around the summer I took a bit of a comping break due to the severe morning sickness I had and the tiredness that crept upon me. 
Which leads me on to the best part of 2015 and that was finding out I was pregnant with our first baby – a girl! 
She could arrive any day now that I’m 37 weeks so the word excitement is very understated at the moment! 
As soon as I hit my second trimester I began to feel so much better and had that enthusiasm to enter as many baby competitions as I could and I won quite a few great things. The biggest baby win was winning the toddler bed, it is so adorable with a bears face as the headboard. I went on to win lots of nappies, baby clothes, a couple of changing bag sets and various nappy rash creams and ointments. Not forgetting for me, a mum to be pregnancy pamper set, nursing bra, bump band and a maternity nightdress. 

         

Before I started my maternity leave ( which officially started yesterday!) I took my 4 weeks annual holiday due to me from work which started at the beginning of December. This was perfect for me as I had lots of time to rest up and enter all the advent competitions I could find. But unfortunately I had very little luck this year and only won a set of sauces and chutneys on a Twitter advent competition. I did better winning on the ordinary competitions throughout December. These included a set of childrens books, chocolates, a case of 9BAR energy bars, a necklace and a DVD. 

                           
            
I wish you all lots of luck and a Happy New Year.
Rachel xx

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Tips on Entering Advent Competitions

Well it’s that time of year that is the most exciting time for a comper! Advent competitions are run daily by an enormous amount of companies giving away fantastic prizes. They can range from electrical goods and gadgets at the top end, down to discounts off their sites for a limited time. 

Some companies start on the 1st December with their 12 days or 24 days of Christmas, whereas others may start on the 12th December with their 12 days of Christmas. I have spent the first week of this month gathering up all the daily advent competitions that I want to enter everyday and sorting them into a folder on my laptop so I can quickly enter them each day. 

The key to entering advent competitions is to be organised and only enter the ones you really want to win, as there are thousands out there and if your time is limited you will find it hard to enter all of them. 
There are many competition sites that have the lists of advents in sections. These are some of the types of advent competitions out there:
  • Instant
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Web based

The sites that I use to find the advent competitions are: The Prize Finder, Competition Database and MSE (Money Saving Expert). I also search for them myself on Twitter using just the search bar.

Today is my first day of maternity leave, so while I wait for baby girl to arrive I will be keeping myslef busy with the advent competitions!
I wish everyone the best of luck and hopefully we will all win some lovely prizes.
Rachel xx

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Granola, Stretch Cream and a Picture….

As all compers know, there can be times when you go through a very quiet spell with no wins at all. This has happened to me through most of July. August started off better though with a couple of Twitter wins, a facebook win and a WEM (winning email – these are very rare and when you receive one you will be jumping up in the air!).
The picture below shows some lovely packs of granola that I won on Twitter with @lizisgranola The pink apple and cinnamon one is amazing! It’s very crunchy, with soft apple pieces and just enough cinnamon without it being overbearing. I have been taking it to work to have for breakfast with a pot of yogurt drizzled over the top. Perfect for that slow release energy needed during my pregnancy.

I won the Pregnacare vitamins and stretch cream with OK Magazine and they sent me a WEM to let me know I’d won. WEM’s are very exciting and this win has just come at the right time for me. The stretch cream is very useful at the moment as I feel myself growing!
I won the lovely book Snowflake Bay by Donna Kauffman on Facebook from the author herself. It was an international giveaway and arrived with some lovely cards from Virginia. I love looking at international stamps from packages abroad so was chuffed to bits to see this one arrive all the way from Virginia, USA. When I get through my back log of book wins I am sure you will see a review up of this on my blog and Goodreads. 
           
This beautiful framed artwork I won with @StudioCanalUK on Twitter is one of my most treasured competition wins. Every now and again I love to win things for my house and this is one of those special ones that will take pride of place on my wall.
           
I love to her about other people’s competition wins so feel free to share your stories. I think it gives everyone determination to keep on entering.
Rachel xx

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Win a copy of Atonement by Ian McEwan

It’s been a while since I ran a competition due to troublesome morning sickness and extreme tiredness! So now I am feeling much better since hitting the second trimester, I want to get back to some kind of normality which is blogging and comping.
I first read this exact book over 10 years ago, and is one of my favourites, now I would like to share this beautifully written book with you. Atonement by Ian McEwan was also made into a film starring Keira Knightley and  James McAvoy. 
The story is a gracefully written English drama about two young lovers, Cecilia Tallis and Robbie Turner. Their lives are torn apart one summer’s day in 1934 when Cecilia’s jealous younger sister Briony constructs a lie and accuses Robbie of a crime he didn’t commit. This results in Robbie being placed in prison. The consequences of that day are shown over the course of six decades where Briony spends the rest of her life trying to atone for what she did.
           
You cannot cosy up with a great book without some chocolate, so I am also giving away a few little chocolates to go with Atonement.
To enter this giveaway, please fill in the Rafflecopter below. Due to postage costs this will be a UK only competition. Good Luck.
Rachel xx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

There is one prize of a paperback copy of Atonement and mini chocolates as shown in the image above – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter.com from all valid entries and be notified by Twitter. The winner will have 14 days to respond with a valid UK postal address before a new winner is selected. Open to all UK entrants aged 18 or over only. Facebook and Twitter are in no way associated with this giveaway. 
Entry to this competition confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

See more competitions at: ThePrizeFinder

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
U, ME AND THE KIDS

Mummy To The Max

A Very Exciting Time!

Well it has been a few weeks since I last blogged, and this is the reason why! My husband and I are expecting our first baby. It has been a long two years for us and we are so excited we are finally at this point. 
I have had the most terrible morning sickness and the usual tiredness that goes with being pregnant. So whilst working full time I haven’t had the energy in the evenings to blog or comp. I have been getting home from work and falling asleep on the sofa, so my poor little blog and readers have been neglected.
Now I am past the first trimester the sickness has worn off and I am feeling must better. My energy levels are coming back up so I am ready to get back on the blogging and comping train!
             
While starting back up my regular comping routine, I am very lucky to have won these wonderful and very useful books. The Baby Keepsake book and planner is absolutely adorable. It contains lots of little useful notes and pockets to add your own bits, while charting your progress. It’s perfect and I can’t wait to start filling it in. 
My pregnancy 2015 has a week by week guide and is very useful in what is about to begin happening to your body. I love the baby name section, choosing the correct name for your baby is such an important part, as they will be stuck with it for the rest of their life!
My mission over the next few months is to enter as many baby competitions that I can find, so hopefully I can win a few bits to help us on our way.
Rachel xx

Latest Competition Wins

I know it’s been a while since I posted any of my competition wins, but it has been a very slow month. Sometimes this happens, but it makes me even more determined to enter lots more.
This lovely tea I won from Twitter with Redbush, it’s perfect for that relaxing afternoon cuppa.
     
I was pleasantly surprised to win this cute little cereal bowl complete with a bottle of honey. My mum loves honey, so this will make a lovely little gift for her. 
I won this lovely box of gorgeous beauty bits from Lets Talk Beauty on Twitter. I think having a little card popped in the box made it very personalised and so thoughtful. I am going to share some of the bits out with my sisters. 
                           

I hope you have all been very lucky lately, I love to hear what your recent wins are?
Rachel xx