Thursday, 29 December 2016

An Update

Long time no entry :) so the last few weeks have been stupidly busy - I'll try to keep it brief :)

LeoCat - cat got sick - developed a large lump - paid out £200 or so on various vet bills and tests - lump went away by itself - cat back to normal - thanks cat for that - no seriously I am delighted he is well again I just wish he would not do this to me every time it's Christmas or I have a holiday to pay for!

Tattoos - one's fully healed the other is tking a lot longer - may or may not have had a slight reaction to the red ink - which is odd as it was fine on my ass! Next appointment booked for 2nd Feb - was going to get a Cheshire Cat - now I am not sure in case I am allergic to the red ink and the cat is rather pink - thinking of an Alice one instead

Holidays - booked for Orlando again - booked via Disney with my Disney tix and a good neighbour hotel as well - cost of around £600 per person without the flights(ouch) but it is for 3 weeks - flights out to be booked next month and return flights in Feb

Christmas - been and gone stupidly spoiled as always - thanks to family and friends for that :)

Comping - I haven't been doing any for a few weeks - time to recharge and rethink and so on - okay I admit I have done a few advent ones but have skipped lots of days

Works Xmas do - went well got drunk didnt completely embarrass myself although may have outted myself to the entire staff - oh well its not like I was hiding it!

Reviews - having some issues with amazon only allowing me to do like 5 reviews a day even though they are verified purchases - gah!!!

hmm let's see anything else?

Well had a couple of dates - they didnt go well - they were dumb and boring and I was probably creepy and weird haha - gonna try online dating but it's such a damn effort

Well thats it - all up to date with my rather boring life now :D

I have decided in the new year to -revamp the blog again and it's purpose :D Starting with a whats in my post blog of the week - I have let the recording of comp wins, freebies and reviews slide a bit so in order to stay on top I am going to do my mail/post of the week an I might even o it as a vlog - it depends on how much I can bear be on screen - also plan on doing more info on comping for newbies and updating my scam and spam info pages

Sunday, 4 December 2016

New tattoos

Got 2 new tattoo's on Friday done at Kat Demon Ink

I'm really pleased with them - they are still healing hence the slightly blurry look to them - they wont be properly healed and looking good for a couple of weeks but I think they are fab so far. The red marks on the left to the side and underneath the paws are from the bloodlines (the tattooist runs the needle across the skin without any ink in it so they can see how you react and also to let you know what it feels like - she did it twice on me as the wrist feels different to further up the arm - the marks will go once they heal - she only did it  on the one arm as I was getting both tattoos in the same place just on different arms).

My mum's really not keen on the tattoos lol she said she thought I was getting a tiny cat - I did point out it is tiny its like an inch and half long if that! But I think they will grow on her - well they will have to as they arent going anywhere :)

I have another appointment booked in January to go get a Cheshire Cat on my arm. Once it's done I am getting it over tattoo'd on the eyes and smile with UV ink and I can't wait.

Bath Christmas Market

Last Saturday I went with the girls from my old job to Bath Christmas Market.

We caught the train at 8.25 (eep) from Cardiff Central with an aim to be in Bath by 9.30 am so we could hit the market nice and early.

We started off our journey with croissants and jam and buck's fizz and yes  despite it being so early it went down rather well.

Things were going well as we pulled into Bristol a mere 15 or so minutes outside of Bath :)

But then things kinda came to a halt as their was signal failure between Bristol and Bath - no-one really knew anything so we were sat waiting on the train for ages. Eventually they told us that the train was returning to Cardiff so to get off!

The service from the train company was pretty shocking - no information - nothing said about replacement bus service or anything.

We eventually decided to get the bus between Bristol and Bath as time was getting on and we didn't want to waste the day.

We found out there the bus went from and joined a HUGE queue as the first bus left fully packed out. Whilst we were waiting for the next bus a replacement train service came around the corner (also packed) as we were at the back of the queue waiting for the bus we decided tried to get on the next replacement rail bus which had just pulled up. We all (all 13 of us) managed to squeeze onto the bus and finally make the last leg of the trip to Bath.

We got to Bath about 11.15 at which point it was manic crazy busy - like you couldnt walk around it was that crazy.

We split up into smaller groups and wandered off to look through the stalls - we agreed to meet at Turtle Bay where we had reservations for lunch at 1.45.

The market was lovely but so difficult to navigate through because it was so crazy busy. There were lots of lovely home made  products, some delicious food and drinks, plenty of entertainment and Bath itself was beautifully decorated.

The Abbey was doing carol services every hour or so and we popped into one of the services - I'm not very religious so to be honest I was going along for the comfy inside seats to finish off my ht mulled cider lol.

The service was nice  - some carols a brief christmas message and very chilled. Unlucky or us they were filming for Songs of Praise on that day and at one point the camera was focused straight on me - I am truly hoping and praying that I am not going to be shown on Songs of Praise today following this - it would do nothing for my street cred lol.

After the carol service we did some more shopping - being the freebie hunter that I am I was delighted to see pedigree and dreamies were giving out free sample sachets - I quickly got a bunch for my kitties and Jac the dog (and I got my friends to get some for me too as they didnt all have animals).

Free kitty treats and dentastix plus money off coupons yay
 We got to Turtle Bay and joy of joy they had 2 for 1 on cocktails :D The drinks were good, the food was great if a little hot!

Around 4pm a couple of us decided we were gonna leave and try to get home - the trains were still down so we weren't 100% sure how that was going to happen.

We got to the station (via  a very cool toy shop) but again noone knew anything. We spoke to staff and they said there would be no replacement bus service as all the bus drivers had reached their driving limit. We eventually decided to get the train to Bristol Temple Meads and get home from there.

The train to Bristol Temple Meads was running late and we were lucky to get it as the next few after were cancelled! We got to Bristol Temple Meads and there was just 1 train running to Cardiff - now if I was the train company knowing that the had cancelled 4/5 trains to Cardiff I would look at getting an extra train put on or add in more carriages but thy didnt - they had 2 carriages for everyone - it was crazy we were all standing and people couldnt get on.

We eventually got to Cardiff at like 7pm - phew

Overall Bath market was really nice and I really enjoyed my brief visit and will deffo go back next year but will book a hotel and spend a night so I can really explore and enjoy it all.

Monday, 28 November 2016

It's beginning to feel like Christmas

Despite being a bit of a bah humbug when it comes to ridiculously early Christmas trees and decs going up, adverts and songs I actually really like Christmas - it's a great excuse to gorge myself on crap, watch rubbish sentimental mush on the TV and get pressies!

Normally I dont partake in any Christmas activities before December (other than buying gifts which I do mega early to avoid the craziness). However this year for the last 2 weekends I have done Christmassy stuff and it's actually been quite fun:)

A week ago Saturday I paid for a friend, myself and her 2 children to visit a local garden centre where they had a Santa experience set up.

You start off by checking in at a podium and then you write your letter to santa which can be posted  at a small post box.

Then you get called in by some elves to the boarding gate to board your sleigh ride to lapland!

The sleigh ride is cute - it's a bunch of benches covered in furs with a large screen showing a film of how you fly into lapland - bubbles get blown through from the ceiling and the kids enjoyed it.

The sleigh unfortunately lands at the back of Santa's workshop and the elf village and the boiler isnt working so all the kids had to throw snow balls (white pompom balls) into the generator pipes to make steam to open the door. After a valiant effort the doors are finally opened and you head into the elves house.

The elves house is nicely decorated with a tree and lots of lights, there are little beds to sit/lay on, cuddly toys and 2 elves waiting for you. The elves teach you the rules of being an elf and then you learn their song (jingle bells). After they have finished training you in the way of the elves you head through another door into the enchanted woods where you have to spot magical and christmas creatures in the woods around you. Once you have found all the creatures the elf in the wood gives you your very own set of jingle bells and then you have made it in to see the big man himself!

Santas room is dark with lots of sparkly lights and a "log" fire. The kids all sit on cushions on the floor in front of him and he asks them some questions about what they have learnt before calling them up one by one by their name. The kids get time with Santa to tell him their Christmas wish list and time for their accompanying adults to take some pictures. Mrs Claus is also on hand with her camera to take pics too (which you can choose to buy if you want). Santa gives the kids a magical voucher that allows them to pick one toy from his toy shop and then you collect your qualified elf certificate and make your way back to reality via a rather dark tunnel lit with sparkly lights.

Once back in the real world you then get to head to the toy shop and pick out a gift and check out the pics taken by Mrs Claus before head out.

For November dates the experience cost £10 per child and £3 per adult and the whole experience lasted around 35 minutes. Numbers on each booking are limited and they were sold out. December dates cost slightly more at £12 per child.

The rage of toys available in the toy shop was really good and they had things there from baby up to 12/13 years old and included things like rattles/teethers, playdough, colouring set, magic set, toy cars/motorbikes, hair braiding, dolls, ponys, action figures and tills. Photos if you wanted them started at £5.99 for a basic one and then they had deals on for buying multiples or getting them in different formats e.g. in a bauble or a snow globe.

My friends 2 children (aged 8 and 4) both really enjoyed the experience and after we had finished we spent some time looking at all the lovely Christmas ornaments and then walking to the aquatic centre on site and looking at all the fish - they had a tank where you could go underneath and then put your head into a box in the tank, a nemo/dory set up plus lots of unusual and tropical fish which the kids loved. They also have a reptile centre on site so we did a quick wander in there to see the snakes, lizards and spiders before having a look around the pet shop - as it's so cold they only had guinea pigs in their little petting area and the guineas were hiding out in their house.

After spending Saturday at the experience I went back and did it all again with H and my sister :) H again loved the whole thing although I'm not sure Santa was too impressed. When he asked her what she would like for Christmas she said a dog, so he said would you like anything else? and she thought for a minute before saying yes a dog bed lol

H was very pleased to post her letter to Santa - we may have exaggerated her good behaviour slightly hehe

I think the Santa village and experience at Pugh's was brilliant and we will deffo be booking and going back next year...although I might not book out to go twice on the same weekend next time!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Being Me

Someone asked me today about being me - because I am in their words "odd"

The thing is I could be like everyone else, I could pretend that I'm someone I'm not and do it well - I did for a long time - I fitted in, I was quiet, I watched what I said and pretended and it sucked.

I'm generally happy now although grumpy but the grumpiness isn't misery its just general grumps and certainly I'm not sad I am exasperated, bugged, irked and annoyed but not sad, crying, upset or miserable.

But fitting in did make me miserable, pretending to be someone I wasn't made me wonder what was so bad about being me and question myself and at one point I hated myself and it wasn't fun or a good place to be so I had to make the choice - did I want to be someone who was unhappy but fitted in with everyone's ideas of who I should be, have lots of 'friends' who liked the fake me and do things I didnt like or I could just be me, have a couple of mates who didn't care that I might spend 2 hours talking in detail about a Disney movie (and not pick up on their signals that they really would like to talk about something else, anything else than disney!) or spend hours planning my escape from a cannibal and do things I like to do like colouring or wander in a field singing eminem badly.

I made the choice to be me, no pretending, no lying and that's that.

Yes I am odd, yes I am missing some social filters, yes I dress however I like and yes this is me and if people dont like it then that's fine because I like me now and I choose to be myself

Monday, 21 November 2016

Everything's coming up purple!

A couple of weeks ago I went to see the hairdresser to get my hair dyed -  I really wanted an all over jobby with some super bright turquoise dye but my lovely hairdresser refused to do it - now I could have gone elsewhere to get it done but I like my hairdresser a lot - she's good at what she does, shes nice and local (like round the corner) and she's cheap!

So she suggested she put some highlights in my hair and then dye the highlights with a semi permanent to turquoise

The result was pretty good I think

But it wasn't  quite what I wanted so I left it for a few weeks to let my hair heal from the bleach for the streaks and then I ordered a home hair lightening kit from Smart Beauty on amazon. I also ordered a few different semi-permanent dye's including a really nice Arctic Fox Purple Rain and a directions hot pink and lilac :)

As it was my first time in a looonnnnggggg time bleaching my hair I followed the instructions to the tee

- cut a small 3cm bit of hair from under at the back of my hair and tied it with cotton
- made up a tiny amount of the bleach and sealed up the packages with sellotape
- did a patch text with the made up bleach - on the inside of my elbow and covered with a plaster
- painted my tester patch of hair with the bleach and checked in on it every 10 mins to see the setting time
- washed and dried my tester patch of hair and then did a strength test

and finally

- did a practice dye of the hair with some of the pink dye to make sure it would take

After all this I found out that the ideal 'baking' time for my hair wit the bleach was for 35 minutes and that my hair was lovely and strong after it :)

48 hours after the patch test I was good to go

The kit comes with gloves and an applicator brush but you need your own mixing pot - a thoroughly cleaned plastic takeaway pot works fine - you also need some clingfilm to cover your hair with whilst it's baking and an old towel or hairdresser cape to protect your clothing from it.

I luckily have plenty of random hair dying bits at home as for a long time I used to do my hair in different styles and colours -  I got my old hairdressing cape out and my little bowl and mixing brush (the one supplied had too short a handle for my liking). Re-read the instructions and was good to go.

I started by separating my hair into 4 sections - and then started to apply the bleach kit starting on the back sides (middle of hair and the the ends and finally the roots on each section before moving on to the next) then the front bits. You have to do this fairly quickly as, as soon as that bleach hits your hair it starts to work!

I managed to get most of my hair covered reasonably evenly although it's a bit hard when your hair is longer than chin length and you cant see the back of your own head! The instructions call for a reliable friend but as I didnt have one to hand I just went for it and hoped for the best!

I covered my hair in clingfilm and waited for the bleach to work.

Interestingly I learned something new and a rather valuable lesson - if you have turquoise streaks in your hair and you apply bleach all over then those streaks will turn a kind of neon green and they will sear across your hair!!!

I found this out when it came to wash the bleach off and my hair was bleached a shocking white blonde with neon green hues throughout! Ooops!!!

Luckily my hair didn't seem at all damaged by the process and after a shampoo and a good condition (Aussie Miracle Repair). I was able to dry it off and apply the dye - originally I was going to go for half pink and half purple but I didnt think the pink would take on top of the green so I decided to go for all over purple.

After reading the reviews on the different dyes I bought I decided to use the Arctic Fox as it was a darker colour and had the most longevity.

This dye smelled absolutely amazing - it's an american company and they scented it to smell like grape :D Lovely

I applied it all over - I didnt bother using the tinting brush I literally just put on some gloves applied and rubbed in all over -left it on for about 2 hours and voila!

The pictures dont really do justice to how amazingly bright this purple is (we have crap energy saving light bulbs and unfortunately its dark and gloomy outside all day thanks to the torrential downpour - gotta love the Welsh weather)

I really like the colour it has put on my hair its bright and fab - interestingly there was little to no leakage onto my pillow last night - normally you get a lot of spotting from this.

The only issue I had with this dye is that it's really hard to remove from your skin after - I have blueberry coloured ears and patches on my arms and hands where I couldnt get it off straight away but after 2 showers it's started to fade from my skin (although not my hair yay) The dye does not come with anything other than the dye - you need your own gloves, tint brush and mixer bowl.

Overall the cost  of doing this at home was just under £15 - £5 for bleach kit and £10 for dye. I already had a hairdressers cape, tint brush and pot for the dye as well as plastic gloves.

I think over-all the home kit worked out well because I have had plenty of experience of doing my own hair and wasn't nervous (I had a plain brown dye on hand in case it went really wrong!) but the bleach kit was super easy to use and the instructions clear and easy to follow so I think an absolute beginner could use it without too much difficulty.

I am quite pleased to have gone back to bright colours on my hair and also that the bleach doesnt seem to have caused much in the way of damage

Friday, 18 November 2016

Rant Warning!

I pretty much live my life out on social media - twitter, facebook and instagram being my platforms of choice although I can also be found on youtube, pintrest and snapchat as well.

So I kinda get why people post so much stuff on there - that's what I do as well it saves me actually having to grab individual people and say hey look at my new shoes are they amazing? Or here is another photo of me at Disneyworld with Mickey!

But this week a couple of things have bugged me.

1. I've been on two dates with someone recently and they tried to change their status to say they are in a relationship with me on FB! WT actual F?!?! I've never updated my FB relationship status even after being with someone for a year - I feel a bit cringey over it - I hate talking about relationships and my sexuality anyways it bugs me - I'm not a touchy feely emotionally mature grown up as it is (I ended  my last relationship by text which I know makes me an asshole but I couldnt face tears or the possibility of them going bat shit crazy!) I dont say I love you, I dont do PDA's and I dont do updating my FB relationship status everytime I screw someone (literally or figuratively) and because of this I have apparently led this person to doubt my sincerity and belief in our relationship - IT WAS 2 DATES! JUST 2 LIKE WE WENT OUT TWICE!!!!! since when has that equated to a relationship? I mean do you even know my favourite colour, my plans for the future or whether I am actually a psychopath rampaging around the Welsh landscape collecting nipples from people I date in order to create a lifesize model of Angelina Jolie? No you know none of these things! We have spoken via messenger, we have met twice, we are not in a damn relationship and if we were I still wouldn't put it up on FB people dont need to know that shit - they need to see photos of my shoes, my holidays and food...oh and the pets doing stupid things or looking cute - thats the whole reason people follow me!

2. Twitter bots - it seems like every asshole with a billion bots on twitter is following me right now - I get them frequently due to the fact I do comps and reviews but right now I am getting them RTing just my regular random thoughts and tweets. Its super annoying as it fucks with my twitter ap and messes up my notifications. 

3. Random businesses that have no products or services that remotely relate to my photos commenting on them on instagram offering their products and services - an example being I posted a picture of a curry - I get a random post offering to design my company logo - the only company I have is that of weird crazy bunny boilers (see point 1) - now if it was a company who did curry sauce, a restaurant or something it wouldnt bug me cos at least I might be interested in them.

4. Friends on facebook who share or message me stupid chainmail shit - you know the type of crap I mean? I'm sending this to you cos your a strong capable woman send it to 5 others including me to prove your awesome - if I dont get it back your a nasty piece of shit and a nuclear bomb will be shot up your ass in 24 hours or the more common share this lucky 4 life clover and you will win the lotto - sort of thing. I never respond to them, I never share them, I dont even send you a thumbs up when I receive them and if people continue to send them to me I dont even warn them I just block them! Yet still they come - people who dont believe in ghosts or aliens or actual science do believe that by posting an FB message they will become instantly rich, solve world hunger and get a visit from the postcode lottery people off the telly!

I don't know if right now I am just being an unreasonable miserable cow or if people are just being really stupid and annoying - I'm going to go with it's other people being dumb asses though 

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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Birthday Blues

My Birthday this year has been cursed from start to finish!

First I was due to go to Alton Towers with a friend but they cancelled :(

Then 2 days before my birthday I had a wisdom tooth extracted.

The day before my birthday I got sent home from work early because I was in so much pain.

Then the day of my birthday I didnt feel great but my friend had bought us tickets to go to a local firework display with her 2 kids. We walked to the display from my place (around a 2 mile walk) we literally got around the corner from the fire station and her youngest kid suddenly threw up. We went on anyways but the poor kid continued to be sick so we had to leave early. That night I wake up and throw up too!

Th day after my birthday I lose my voice completely and feel a bit fuzzy headed

Now 3 days later I have a full blown headcold - we are talking snot and mucus central - its delightful!

I think this is probably going down as my worst birthday ever - it even beat my 13th Birthday where my dad picked up all my mates in his Robin Reliant 3 wheeler (sure now it's cool but back then I was dying on the inside) and proceeded to make it walk by lifting the wheels off the ground as he raced it around the multi-storey car park with them in it and I was too fat to fit into the really fashionable shell suit my mum gt me from the market! Sad Times!!!!

On the plus side I have treated myself to a few little small gifts this year - namely 3 pairs of shoes and a new tattoo (which is being done on 2/12 as they are so busy) - I also received $$$ from my family instead of gifts which makes me very happy - normally they buy me chocolate (I'm diabetic and fat I really dont need choc!) or smellies (which I can't use due to allergies) or something else which is kind but not needed - however as I go to the USA pretty much every year the $$$ are great it means I can buy stuff out there which is awesome - I also got some jewellery pieces which are cute too and an Anna from Frozen dress which I'm super pleased with - next year I am so dressing up as Anna on holidays and my niece has an Elsa outfit we are gonna look amazin' haha.

I had fully intended making a red velvet cake for my birthday but figured that nobody wants a cake with a side helping of snot so will be waiting to do that until this col has shifted a bit.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Bonfire Night Birthday

My birthday happens to fall on Bonfire Night.

This year I am heading out to a local firework show that is put on every year by the local fire service. They charge for entrance and they have music, food and stuff going on all night.

The money they raise goes towards their charity fund which local hospitals, schools, hospices etc can apply to for funding for specific equipment.

The great thing about them is that they fund items that other charities might not fund such as car seats, the extra large buggies for older children, specialist and sensory toys as well as smaller things like buggy covers. They write a cheque direct to the supplier and send it out to the professional so the item can be ordered for the family quickly with minimal delay.

The firework display is always really good and there is always a really amazing turn out too.

I wish that there were only scheduled displays - I hate the weeks leading up and after bonfire night which are basically an excuse for people to set off fireworks non-stop from like mid October until February!

My cats and the dog are terrified and it's a nightmare when your trying to drive and they keep going off. 

It's also crazy how cheap they are too - I've seen them being sold in a local £1 shop, surely they cant be safe or rigorously tested at that price. 

So in short - go to a professional display, stay safe and enjoy Bonfire Night

Comping - Facebook Comps

Lot of people ask me about comping the main questions being is it a con and how do you comp? Firstly yes there are cons out there but there are also many companies who are giving away loads of prizes on social media.

As for how to comp - I give you my guide to Facebook Comps

Now firstly before going any further please understand this is just my take on it - other people will comp in their own way which may well be different. Different doesnt mean worse or better it just means different and what works for me might not work for you however hopefully this will be a useful guide to the basics.

Now - Facebook Comps

These fall into various categories but for the most part this post is all about the like and share type although I have the other kind down right at the bottom of the page :)

1. Like and Share

These are the easiest ones to enter and win but they are also the most likely to be scams and like harvesting ones (read about that here)

The main thing with these comps is to read the text - below are some examples of like and share comps - I have screen shot these directly from Facebook but taken out people's names and the companies details - I have left my entries"Ellie Spider" so you can see how I have entered

As you can see this comp specifically asks you to comment who you want to watch fireworks with - now they are not asking you to tag someone just to say who you want to share with however, I have said I'd share with family and friends and also tagged a friend. I have also liked the page and the post. This makes it easier for the company to tag me if I am lucky enough to win. This comp does not ask you to share so I haven't. Notice they have a hashtag in the picture - it's a good idea to use any hashtag (#) that is used in case they use that as a search term when drawing a winner.

This comp asks for you to comment a specific word - to draw the winner they will use a program which searches for that word - if you dont use it then you wont be entered. Again it isnt asking you to share the page or to tag anyone. So I havent. Also there is no requirement to like the page or the post but like previously I have liked to make it easier for the page to tag me if I have won.

This page is asking for you to like the page, like the post, share the page and share the post and tag a friend. Again I have done everything asked and have commented on the post to say that I have done it as well as to tag a friend

Final one again this one is asking for a specific comment - it's also asking for a like. Which I have done.

As you can see it's pretty simple - click on the post; read the instructions; follow the instructions and you done.

Now there are a few things to be aware of:

  • Facebook limits the number of Pages you can like
  • Facebook rules and guidelines specifically state that a giveaway cannot ask you to share in order to enter
  • Facebook will flag your posts as spam if you post the same thing over and over e.g. if you enter every competition with great giveaway liked and shared and do this 10 times in a row it gets flagged as spam
  • If Facebook suspect you of spam or if you like too many pages and posts in a period of time (they havent specified what time) then they can and will:
    • Stop you from liking pages for a set period of time (this can be anything up to 30 days)
    • Remove all the likes you have done for a historical set period of time (this can be anything up to the last 30 days)
    • Stop you from commenting on posts for a set period of time
    • Stop you from sharing posts for a set period of time
    • Stop you from tagging people in posts
    • Block your access to your account
  • Therefore it's important to consider the competition requirements and only like, share and tag when it is specifically asked
  • Be wary of entering comps that ask for you to tag more than 3 people - the more you tag on the post the more likely your post will be flagged up as spam and you will get sanctioned by FB
  • Check if the comp is collection only - most will state if it is - but also be aware of comps which may not state collection only but are for goods and services from a local company e.g. for a carpet and fitting - if the company is based in Glasgow and is not nationwide it is highly unlikely that they are going to drive for 8 hours to your house in S.England and bring all their tools in order to provide and fit you with a carpet. Save your like and share for a company where the prize can be fulfilled.
  • Check the comp you are entering is actually valid for your country of residence. Some comps will be N.Ireland or UK (excl N.Ireland only) - depending on where you are in the UK depends on whether you can enter. And comping isnt restricted to the UK - there are plenty of non-UK comps and unless they state worldwide or similar avoid them. Things to look out for:
    • Non- UK spellings 
    • Comps that are being drawn on non-UK time (anything outside of GMT or BST) so things like EST etc
    • Comps being run by companies that have a non UK website or name e.g. and so on
    • Comps which list the ending date in the non-UK format eg. 11.28.2016 instead of 28.11.2016
    • Check the FB page in the listing there is usually a location if its located outside the UK then its prob not a UK comp
    • You can always post on the comp post - tag the company and ask is this giveaway open to the UK
    • Finally, if a comp is open internationally please be aware that 1. you may have to contribute towards shipping costs and 2. you may be responsible for customs and excise charges which could work out pretty expensive e.g. an ipad could cost you £100 in charges!

2.  On page or linked to app / widget - this might be woobox, gleam, rafflecopter or similar.

  • You normally have to fill in some details e.g. your name and e-mail address.
  • You may be asked to answer a question.
  • You may be asked to visit a page, like a page, follow on other social media (twitter, instagram, g+ etc).
  • Generally there is 1 compulsory element (usually the e-mail) and the rest is optional. Read the text given and follow the instructions and you are in. 
  • Watch out for any extra tick boxes e.g. the sign up to our newsletter ones.
Final Words of Wisdom 
1. Join comping groups - this allows you to make comping friends - not only do you get to see the comps they are entering, they might also tag  you in comps and allow you to tag them - this stops you from annoying all your non-comping mates. It also means if they happen to see your name as a winner they will tag you. It also gives you a place to as questions, get advice and share your good fortunes and wins.

2. Join winner's announcement groups - not all companies will tag you in your wins -by joining a group you stand a chance of being tagged by people so you are less  likely to miss out on your wins.

3. Remember to check your 'other' 'message request' & 'filtered requests' folders on Facebook and your SPAM folder in your e-mail. Sometimes when a company messages you the message will go to one of these folders and you may miss it - some companies expect a response within 24 hours so check them daily it takes a few mins and can be the difference of a great prize or not! Just click on the different tabs in your message folder

4. If you see a comp winner announcement and the winner hasnt been tagged by the company be a good comper and give the winner a tag or share the post to a comping group - most compers would prefer 20 tags when they win than none and miss it. To tag just type @ and the person's name and it should bring their name up in a drop down list. NB it doesn't always work it depends on the persons privacy settings but it works around 75% of the time

5. Finding comps -
- you can find comps by following your comping friends newsfeeds
- comps are regularly posted in comping groups
- some companies run regular comps - check out their page regularly and see if there are comps listed
- visit comping websites - yes there are websites and forums out there dedicated to comps which list hundreds of comps - try competition database, the comping section on moneysavingexpert, hotukdeals, the prizefinder, loquax to name a few, however I would not personally pay to be a member of a website or group that lists comps - it's up to you if you want to but personally I dont pay to comp and I win a fair amount :)
- search for them - try using hashtags to search on facebook such as #freebiefriday #winitwednesday #winningwednesday #mondaymotivation #giveaway etc

6. When you do win - post a photo on your page and tag the company - let them know the prize arrived, be grateful - these companies are running comps to improve their social media  standing, as a way of advertising or to simply get people talking about their products - for some of the smaller companies they dont have a budget for publicity - the comps are a way of getting their product seen - so tell people where it came from, if the product is fab let people know - leave some feedback on their fb page and consider them for future purchases.

Well that's it - hopefully my little guide will be useful to someone - if you have any questions or feedback then feel free to contact me :)

I will be doing separate guides for other kinds of comps soon so please check back :)

Wisdom Teeth Ouchies

So I am going to be completely honest here I have a HUGE phobia of the dentist. It probably stems from the horrible old dentist I had as a child I bit home ONCE and from that moment onwards he literally wedged my mouth open.  He also filed down my mini fangs (yes I had fangs!) which hurt like hell.

Anyways I havent had a dentist for years - I clean my teeth twice a day with a very nice electric toothbrush, I floss and use mouthwash and it all goes well.

Occasionally I get an issue with my wisdom teeth the bottom ones arent fully out of the gum so food can get jammed in there which then causes a little infection - when this happens I buy some Corsadyl or the cheap generic version and use this in place of my normal mouthwash for a few days and it goes away.

Anyways since the holiday in Sept my teeth on the right side have been hurting. I tried the usual regime but nothing has helped so after 2 weeks of only being able to eat on one side of my mouth I gave in and booked an emergency dental appointment. Luckily in Cardiff we have an urgent phone line number we can call and normally they can fit you in on the day or the following day. Unless your receiving some very specific benefits you have to pay cash for the appointment which costs £13.50. They will give you whatever emergency treatment is needed on the spot but wont do routine stuff.

Anyways I called  and ironically got an appointment for 2.30 (haha tooth hurty!) the same day.

I got to the appointment signed the paper work and paid and waited to be seen.

I was literally bricking it my legs were shaking, my mouth was dry I was feeling like I was gonna vom in my mouth!

I hate the sound, the smell and all the little torture tools the dentist has!

When I got called in the dentist was  a young woman prob in her mid 20s and she was assisted by a dental nurse in her 30's - they were both lovely and tried their best to distract me and my obvious knee knocking fear.

After the examination it turned out there was a small infection in my lower wisdom tooth which they treated with a jab and by flushing it out which was unpleasant but okay. Sadly my top wisdom tooth had a hole and a crack in it an they said it needed to come out.

I thought you had to be asleep or something for them to yank your teeth out but nope 2 injections which sucked the one took about 2 minutes to do right in the back next to the tooth and the other was quicker but really high up in the top of my mouth. As the anesthetic took hold it felt really weird because it was so far back in my mouth my throat went numb too! The dentist then literally took a pair of pliers (she called them molar extractors but they were damn pliers!) and yanked (read as wiggled back and forth and pulled) my tooth out. So it didnt actually hurt due to the copious amounts of anesthetic and it didnt bleed that much really because they wadded up a big pad for me to bite on.

After they had my tooth out they asked me if I wanted to take it home which I declined and then told me it was the smallest wisdom tooth I had ever seen - I am pretty sure thats due to the fact I am not wise lol.

The whole appointment only lasted about 20 minutes and both the staff were really nice.

Once the anesthetic wore off it hurt but not unbearably and I have to be honest I am glad it's all sorted but I wont be going back to the dentist again soon (I really really hope).

I'm really hoping that the infected bottom tooth will be sorted with a few more days of cleaning it.

I now have a few days of gargling with salt water until the socket heals where the tooth was removed.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Baking with Betty (Crocker) Brownies :)

Today Miss H was over as my sister is poorly.

She was asking for sweets (figures that just after Halloween she is on a sugar craving high!) but we don't have any - mainly because I can't be trusted with them!

So I decided to try out the Betty Crocker brownie mix I got as part of the Insiders campaign I am taking part in (read more about it here)

Brownies are most definitely not my strong point - like seriously I have tried in the past and had to throw out the whole pan I tried to bake them in so I have to be honest I did not have high hopes of this mix.

However, in the interest of stopping a  3 year old from nagging me to go buy her "cho-cat" from the shop we gave it a go.

The mix calls for 3 additional ingredients - 1 egg, 5 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of oil. Whilst Miss H was washing up ready to get to grips with her role as chief stirring and spoon licker I got the extra bits together into our cute Mickey Mouse measuring cups.

Miss H then poured the water, the oil and with a bit of help the egg into the mixing bowl and set at them with a whisk to make sure they were all frothed up.

I opened the brownie mix bag and helped her pour it into the bowl and handed her the spoon and off she went stirring like a dervish for about a minute - the mix mixed very well - with the previous cupcake mixture I had to do the mixing to get the batter to the right consistency (I dont have a posh kitchen aid type mixer - half the time I just use a fork!) - however the brownie mix is definitely easy for little hands to whip up.

Prep and mixing took around 5 mins and then it was a case of pouring the mix into a tray and smoothing it over.

H insisted that we needed to add something extra to the mix - all I had in the cupboard was some mini marshmallows which she pushed into the mixture on half of the tray

I popped the tray into the oven on gas mark 4 and checked on it after 20 mins - it was little gooey so I put it back in the oven for another 10 mins.

The it was a case of leaving it on the side to cool for 20 mins before cutting into squares and trying.

Now the marshmallowy side looks a bit gross but the marshmallow themselves had kinda crystalised into a chewy toffee like topping which was actually really good. The brownies were slightly crunchie on the top and a little gooey still in the middle - they prob could have done with another 5 mins in the oven but Miss H was demanding her sugar fix by then!

The brownies were a big hit with everyone and my entire home smells of chocolatey baked goodies which is always nice.

I think this brownie mix is great - super easy to use, great results and tasty to eat - deffo something I will look at keeping in the cupboard as its a great quick and easy activity and it has a long shelf life too and the additional ingredients required are basically an egg and some sunflower oil both of which are normally in my fridge/cupboard.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Daith Piercing

So a week ago I got a daith piercing - I read and heard from people that it can help with migraines and as it was only £15 to do I thought what the hell lets go for it.

Firstly the place I got it done is super clean and the guys been doing piercings for years before starting we ran through jewellery options (I went for a plain curved bar) and he showed me the needle in its sealed case and the expiry date and so on.

I have dinky ears (sadly it's the only part of me that is dinky!) so he wasnt 100% sure it could be done but after examining my ears he decided yeah we can go ahead.

Holy mother of god it was painful! Like the worse piercing ever! You could not only feel but you could hear the needle going through the cartilage and then followed the worse bit - the actual earring being fitted!

I bled a little, my eyes watered and I bravely was like yeah that wasnt so bad but it really was - so if anyone is considering getting it done be prepared the pain is intense!

After it was done it stung but no biggy- I chatted to the guys at the studio for a bit - got my little after care pack (a baggy of rock salt and cleaning instructions) and headed off to my car to go do some weight training. About 25 minutes later literally out of the blue it felt like someone had taken a damn metal bar and smacked me alongside my face - it was hard to tell what actually hurt - my teeth, my jaw, my cheek, my inner ear my outer ear even my damn eye socket!

This intense pain /burning sensation lasted like 4 hours - I really didnt think I would be able to keep the bloody piercing in - I was considering getting some pliers and removing it! But the pain eased and I was able to move my head without vomming so I figured it needed time to heal and so on.

When I finally got home around 7 hours after getting it done I knew it would need cleaning. It's really bloody awkward to clean because its hard to see - even using a mirror and its hard to reach. I ended up making up some sea salt solution and soaking a cotton balls and just squeezing it over the area before gently dabbing with a fresh soaked cotton ball. It stung like a bitch and a tiny bit of blood came off.

Sleeping was interesting I am a wriggler and that first night any time I stupidly rolled onto that side I woke up feeling sorry for myself. The next morning I cleaned it again and it was swollen and a bit more blood.

Fast forward a couple of days and swelling had reduced a bit so as well as the 3 times a day soaking with sea salt solution an cotton balls I was also using a clean ear bud dipped in the water to clean behind the ball.

Now a week later it's still slightly swollen and its still a bit sore to the touch. It's still a pain in the ass to clean and if I forget it's there and go to scratch my ear without thinking it hurts like hell.

I can sleep okay without it hurting as it's quite far in the ear and now it's (mostly) a lower more bearable pain it doesnt bother me. I wnt for some blood tests today and got the healthcare assistant to check it out for me and she said it looks really clean and like it's healing well yay

Since having it done I have had one headache (the day after) but no migraines so far. As I usually get 2-3 headaches a week and 2-3 migraines a month I am taking this as a good sign - or it might just be that my body is so traumatised by the piercing its decided to focus on one area of pain for me at a time!

It's going to take a long time to heal - the piercer said normally 6 - 9 months but can take longer.

It also looks kinda cool it's very dainty and cute so even if it doesnt work for the migraine and headaches I'm probably going to keep it in.

Oh and in case anyone thinks I am a wuss about the pain? I have had other piercings in the past none hurt like this not even the more "sensitive" area ones, getting the tattoo didnt hurt like this, testing my blood glucose levels, having multiple injections or having to give myself regular injections in my stomach and legs - none of these things hurt as much s this one small piercing!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Baking with Betty (Crocker)

Once again I have been chosen to take part in an Insiders EU campaign (to find out how to join the Insiders and take part in fabulous projects like this on please click here and read my guide)

So the idea behind this campaign is to get people like myself who are not the best at baking to get involved in it and to encourage them to introduce it to the kids as well :)

I applied as it seemed a great opportunity to introduce D (aged 6) and H (aged 3) to the joys of baking.

Happily I was chosen to take part YAY and a couple of days after the e-mail telling me I had been chosen (long with 2500 other insiders!) my goody box arrived.

One of the great things about the Insider's campaigns is they literally send you everything you need to take part - not just the products (which are awesome!) but:

A booklet with ideas and all the campaign info as well as business cards about the Insiders which you can hand out to friends, colleagues and family who might be interested in joining.

As this campaign was all about Baking - we also got 5 fantastic recipe cards to give us ideas of what to make with out free products - we might be baking out of a box but these recipe cards lets you create ideas out of the box too!

A fun little activity plan for the half term week of ideas of what else you can do with the kids :)

A ridiculously generous amount of money off voucher 20 x £1 to be exact - with the offers on in various stores (ASDA e.g.  have buy 2 Betty Crocker products for £3) your friends and family and yourself will be able to use these vouchers to buy the products at less than half price - who doesnt love a bargain!

FREE PRODUCTS!!! The best bit lol - for this campaign we have been provided with a box of velvety vanilla cake mix - you can use this to make a cake like on the pic on the box or for cupcakes; A box of brownie fudge mix; a packet of choc chip cookie mix and a tub of vanilla frosting/icing. The recipe cards use these products to make various goodies so there's plenty there to use.

Now my original plan was to make something out of these products in the week BUT it's my turn to take cakes into work on Monday following Selasi leaving Great British Bake Off - so I persuaded H & D that we needed to do some cupcakes this weekend.

We decided to try making our own design and I needed to make enough cupcakes for the whole of work plus some for H&D too (and me of course!) so I used the vouchers and got 4 packs of vanilla cake mix in ASDA for £2 and we got baking!

We decided to throw caution to the wind and to make some multi-coloured cakes. It was surprisingly easy and super effective!

We mixed together the wet ingredients (water, sunflower oil and 3 eggs) and then mixed in food colouring - I only had red, blue and purple so we did those colours we then mixed the wet in with the boxed mix and voila coloured batter appeared :

Rainbow batter mix!

We made up a batch each in blue, purple and red and then another batch au nautral and then it was just a case of lining the cupcake tray with cases and spooning the mix in and baking

Blue cupcakes cooling

Red cupcakes cooling and purple cupcake mix ready to go in the oven
Once the cupcakes were all baked (each batch took 20 mins to bake and about 5mins to make up the batter) we let them cool and then decorated them with the delicious vanilla icing - I dont have any posh baking equipment so we literally used a tea spoon to scoop a dollop of icing out and stuck it on the cake and then decorate each one with stuff from the cupboards!

We have sprinkles on purple, smiley faces and flowers on plain cupcakes

We have witches and chocolate patterns on blue cupcakes

We have flowers and butterflies on red cupcakes and marshmallows on purple
H & D loved decorating the cakes - the only rule they had was that they had to make 5 of each pattern which they stuck too until the last batch of blue ones and then they just used up the last bits of chocolate however they could!

After making the cupcakes there was lots of little bits  of different coloured mix left over. Rather than throw it away I decided it to try making a marble effect loaf cake. I poured the red in first, then topped it with some plain, then added the purple and topped with the last of the plain and finished off with the blue. It came out amazingly well!

 After all that baking we all took a well deserved bake and tried the cakes out - they are delicious!

Overall we spent around 2 1/2 hours making up the cake mixes, baking the cakes in the oven and then decorating the cakes. D & H each had 4 cupcakes (not in one go!) and I am taking 40  into work with me. We also have the delicious marble cake which is sliced up and wrapped in clingfilm and stored in a nice air tight container.

We did use all the cake mix provided plus another 3 packets (still have one spare) and the whole tub of icing as well as some smarties, some buttons, some chocolate orange and some sprinkles and a whole box of eggs!

The mix was very easy to do - we dont have a mixer so we mixed everything by hand and everything blended well and baked and came out exactly as it was supposed to - it was really super easy to do.

We are going to try making brookies (brownies v cookies) using the last 2 mixes next weekend as I think we have enough cake to last us for a bit now :)

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Cats Vs Friends!

Recently I have been let down by various friends who make arrangements and then cancel last minute  or who think it's okay to change plans, bring other people along or just be late - it's driving me nuts!

As most people who know me in person know I have some real anxieties around time keeping - I hate being late for anything or having other people being late for things. I like organisation and routine and plans which, well, go to plan.  When things deviate from this comfortable norm for me I feel edgy, grumpy and less inclined to be social!

So I have decided that from now on I am going to be a grumpy old crazy cat lady and stay home with my cats instead and here's why:

1. My cats dont give a shit if I walk around stark bollock naked - they don't care if I havent brushed my hair, wear matching socks or look 'presentable'

2. My cat's do not judge my meal choices, snack decisions or alcoholic binges. They dont care if I am fat or thin or ordering a pizza at 2am just cos I fancy a snack - their only concern is whether I will pay extra for the cheesy crust that they like!

3. My cat's do not make plans with me and cancel or change them - they stick to the routine of get up, get fed, nap nap nap, play nap some more get fed and bed - it's  a routine I can understand and relate to!

4. My cat's do not bore me with photographs of their holidays or their family get togethers! If I follow you on social media I get to see these already I shouldn't be forced to look through them a second time - ooh a pretty tree, some flowers, a blurry shot of a butterfly, some random strangers dancing in a conga line and so on

5. My cats are always up for a movie or box set night and dont care if we stay up til 4am watching netflix together!

6. My cats never obsess about my relationships or current lack or relationships, they dont need to know every detail of every sexual encounter or what colour wallpaper someones bedroom has!

7. My cats do not feel the need to pay false compliments and then get all upset when called on that bullshit - seriously dont lie and tell me shit because your afraid of hurting my feelings especially when I have already told you on previous occasions I hate to be lied to even if it's a nice lie just tell the truth damn you!

8. My cats dont care that I swear like a trooper and sometimes run out of suitable swear words so make my own up - that's  right you swaddleboggingpubichair eating turdakon!

9. My cats dont care that when I get anxious or stressed I bite my nails until they bleed and mix up people's names - they dot mind what I call them so long as I'm talking to them. Friends get upset if after 4 attempts your still unable to remember who they are!

10. My cats have never hosted an intervention because they think  I am self-destructing, acting crazy, have a serious shoe addiction habit or to tell me it's time to be a grown up and get a mortgage and settle down. They accept me with all my idiosyncrasies (should that be idiot-syncrasies) and dont try to change who I am to make me fit into their idea of who I should be!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Mental Health Awareness Day

So October 10th was Mental Health Awareness Day I wanted to write about it but decided to wait because for those people living with mental illness, their friends, family, health professionals and neighbours everyday is mental health awareness day.

Both my half sisters have mental illnesses and it impacts on them every day of their lives, it also impacts on us as their family.

One sister has Bi-Polar disorder and psychotic episodes - the psychosis is controlled by medication the bi-polar is not. How it impacts on day to day life varies depending on her mood - some days she doesnt get out of bed, she doesnt clean her home or herself, she will refuse to take her meds or self medicate with alcohol.

She has three adult children, the oldest lives with her foster parents who have been responsible for her since she was around 4 years old - she is now 26 and has learning and physical difficulties - something my sister would never be able to cope with. She visits my sister regularly but doesnt understand why her mother is dirty or refuses to go out and do things. Her comments hurt my sister who doesn't understand why her daughter is ashamed of her. The second is 24 and moved out just before she was 16 - due to her mother's issues she was provided with her own small flat. She  moved out because she couldnt cope with living with her mum, the state of the home and her mother's lifestyle. She rarely contacts her mum or the wider family and suffers with depression. The youngest is 18 and has aspergers, she lives with er mum - she has severe social anxiety and unfortunately like her mum has poor personal hygiene which doesnt help with the social anxiety and awkwardness.

This all has a huge impact on our family, from checking on her every day to make sure she is okay, on her meds, not taking someone elses meds (she did that one time and it took us like 2 weeks to get the doctors and health professionals involved and helping and then it took like another month for her to stabilise on her own meds again!), to trying to get her house clean and in a livable state to stopping her from getting involved with people who would harm/take advantage to her, to making sure her animals are okay (she has a ridiculous amount of pets from tarantulas to dog to lizards/reptiles!).

It's exhausting and it's a thankless task - she doesnt appreciate our help, she doesnt want it a lot of the time, she can say horrible nasty things, she can be needy, her home and body odour are disgusting and she can be an embarrassment. But on her good days she is a lovely person, she can be kind and caring and smart and funny but mental illness has caused her to have more bad than good days.

My other sister has mild learning difficulties and suffers with depression and ADHD. When people think about ADHD they think of hyperactive kids bouncing off the walls - they think it's something people grow up and out of. How it impacts on my sister is different. She struggles to concentrate - this means she will start doing something like cleaning the kitchen and then she will get distracted. She will look at a room thats untidy and not know how to start to clean it - she gets muddled and clutter fatigue. She hoards things. She can't manage to budget her money, pay her bills etc If she gets £100 a week on a Monday and has a bill due on Friday of £50 she wont plan to save £50- she will spoil her kids and grandson with the £100 and then come Friday she wont have any money left to pay her bill! She has 2 children. The oldest is 24 and has a 6 year old son. The youngest is 3. The oldest and youngest live with her and the grandson spends every weekend and most of the school holidays. She loves the kids and grandkids and will do anything for them but she isn't good at being a parent - she wants to play and have fun and they all love being with her but she isnt so good at things like discipline, routines and is more of a friend than a mum to them.

Like with my other sis we have to call her or see her everyday - my mum will call her every morning and make sure she has done her house work, planned her meals, knows what appointments she has to attend, remind her to pay her bills and so on. We also call her every evening to make sure the kids are sorted, the houseworks done and to check everything that needs to be done for the morning is. We also take her shopping, make sure she has paid bills, make sure she has electricity / gas / water etc

This sister is a lot more fun to be around, she's generally happy and easy going (depression is controlled well with medication) she wants to please people and is generous to a fault but we spend a lot of time checking up on her and making sure everything is okay - when we are on holiday we have to call home and check in every other day as well as staying in touch on FB (thank god for the internet) - in fact on our recent holiday she forgot to pay her phone bill and spent her money so we had to sort that out from the USA!

Neither of my sisters have carers so keeping an eye on them falls directly to their family and friends. So like I said at the start we live mental health awareness every single day! We have to make council officials, health professionals, friends, our employers etc aware of mental health issues. We have to ensure that they are both safe and because they both have children we have to make sure they are taken care of too. Both are considered to have full mental capacity so we often struggle to get information from health professionals - even though neither can manage without support! It's a difficult situation to be in.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Holidays :)

I'm baaaccckkk

Sadly I am back home, the holidays all over :(

We had a great time despite being in NYC when the bombs went off! and the UN was meeting oh and Obama was there!  We also enjoyed Orlando as always with plenty of fun in the parks and shopping.

I thought I would just post a really brief over view(for lots of photos and shiz you can always check out my insta and fb pages where I posted random stuff using the free wifi :) )

Hotels: for more detailed reviews and pic feel free to check out my tripadvisor reports on them

1. Travelodge Central Gatwick - we paid like £58 for double room B&B. Room was fine - included aircon which was quite and effective - bed was comfy, usual shower/hair/body wash in dispenser on the wall in the bathroom. Brekkie was OMG amazing :D  all you can eat cooked breakfast plus pastries, toast, cereals, yoghurts, fruit etc and tea coffee and juice - we stuffed ourselves and then stuffed ourselves some more! It was included in our room booking but for those who dont have the B&B option it cost like £7.99 and is deffo work that!

2. Days Inn & Suites Jamaica JFK Queens New York - I paid £280 for a double room with a king!(it so wasnt!) bed for 3 nights. Room included tea/coffee, fridge, private bathroom with toiletries, free working wifi, flat screen tv etc. and working AC. Hotel located in an industrial area but lots of places around it are closed down and the rumour was that the area is being gentrified with new schools and parks being put in - from the buildings and stuff around I would say thats probably right. Hotel was 5 min walk from major subway station and shops, food outlets, cinema complex etc. Hotel was clean, staff friendly, breakfast good selection. Free transport to and from airport was a bonus but we couldnt get through to arrange the airport pick up so had to gt a cab ($20 including tip for a 20 min ride) but were able to arrange to go back to the airport via the shuttle. Would happily stay here again.

3. Floridian Express on International Drive, Orlando - I paid $450 for a double room with 2 queen beds for 9 nights. Room was huge with 2 queen beds, a desk, chest of drawers, storage space, private bathroom with shower, bath, toilet, sink, fridge and microwave but no kettle or coffee machine) working but incredibly loud ac, working wifi. Also included a free breakfast (limited choices of waffles, toast, 2 x cereals, tea/coffee and juice), free shuttle to the parks, free printing of boarding passes. Location great right opposite wet n wild, next to a dairy queen and some gift shops, lynx bus stop literally right out front and trolly stop less than 100m walk away. Within 5/10 min walk to walgreens, lots of shops, restaurants etc. Daily housekeeping. Again would happily stay here again.


To NYC (JFK) from Gatwick - we flew Norwegian air - we did not pre-book out seats together or book any food on the plane. We checked in 4 hours before our flight - were assigned seats together. Flight was comfy and not fully booked so we had a row of 3 seats between 2 of us. Ended up buying drinks on flight at $3 each for a can off pop but as flights were only around £200 still a bargain

JFK - MCO (Orlando) - we flew jetblue - flights cost £100 and included 1 piece of checked baggage. Got upgraded for free to the extra space seats - free onboard wi-fi and free snacks and drinks - flight was delayed due to thunderstorms in the orlando area and we spent like an hour sat on the tarmac before being allowed to get off on arrival.

MCO - Gatwick - we flew Norwegian air - again didnt pay to prebook our seats together or for food - got stuff in the airport to take on plane. Again lucked out and got sat together in a row of 3 with a spare seat so could spread out. Sadly despite our flight being at 1am couldnt sleep due to a young baby who screamed for the entire 7 hour flight! Paid £30 online prior to flight to take extra case home - much cheaper than being over at the airport.

Overall -flights with norwegian on the dreamliner were good - the entertainment was limited with no music channels and limited tv shows, games and older movies available. The toilets were larger than average and clean. Seats were comfy and there was plenty of room - there was also plenty of room in the overhead lockers. Food choices - we didnt buy food we took stuff on the flight (pringles, cereal bars and chocolate) and we purchased sandwiches after security in the airport. We were lucky that we got sat together - by not prebooking our seats or booking food we saved over £200.

Flights with jetblue were great and will deffo look at booking them again (sadly they only do internal flights)


NYC - crazy busy but lots of fun - we used the subway easily and managed to get around without difficulty, plenty to see and do,  we visited china town, 9/11 memorial and statue of liberty/ellis island. We found plenty of cheap places to eat that were not only cheap but healthy too (I had a kale, chicken and wild rice soup in one which was delicious). Will deffo be visiting again in the future!

Orlando - this year we only did SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens but still enjoyed ourselves, the queues at all the parks were non-existent we pretty much walked onto every ride we wanted. The weather was great we had 2 days of rain - the day before we left and the day we left - we just went shopping :) Food as always was great we ate a variety of places and mostly healthy stuff  too. We used the lynx bus system to get around, along with the occasional UBER and trolley ride. The highlight for me was riding Falcon's Fury in BG which I hadnt ridden before and of course my fave rollercoaster - Sheikra :)

In total for the whole holiday including spending money, parks/admissions, ubers, transport, flights, hotels, travel insurance etc I spent around £1400 which is under the £1500  budget I had for this years hol :)

Insiders Campaign - UniBond Renew Silicon Resealant

So last month The Insider's had a new campaign running to try out UniBond  Renew Silicon Resealant - I was keen to be chosen for the campaign because my bathroom is disgusting! The council fitted a new bathroom a few year ago but failed to put in any ventilation - due to this the sealant around all the tiles over the bath have literally turned black with mold!!! We have tried everything from scrubbing them, to using antimold sprays and nothing has shifted it - the mold seems to just spread continually and it kinds freaks me out - as well as look disgusting and foul!

Normally when I take part in these campaigns I get an e-mail telling me I have been lucky enough to be chosen (YAY) but this time they didnt send out an e-mail and I just got the product turn up.

However, I knew it was from the campaign as it came with all the usually information packs, some Insiders cards to pass out some great discount coupons and of course the product itself. Just on a side note - when you sign up fr the Insiders and get chosen to take part in a campaign they literally provide you with everything you need to try the product, spread the word and give family and friends samples or great discount coupons to try the product at a discount too.

So in my parcel I got a full size product to try out, an info booklet, 5 x £2.50 off coupons and some sheets to record conversations and chats with family and friends and insiders business cards to hand out to anyone who might be interested in trying out the product. You also get access to a blog on the insiders website where you can chat and share tips with other participants, a dashboard where you can share inks to reports you have written and report on conversations you have had and a media corner where you can share photos and  things - alll in all very comprehensive.

Now I received my pack on 25th of August but due to being away camping for a long weekend I didnt try it out until the following week (and then I went on holiday to the USA for a couple of weeks!) so I am a little late in writing this post!

Here are some pics of my bathroom tiles - which as you can see they are blackened and moldy and just generally gross despite cleaning!

 Before using the UniBond I cleaned the tiles and the sealant (yeah I know it doesnt look like it but seriously this has been scrubbed and then cleaned with anti-mold stuff!)

I let them dry off naturally and then dabbed over with a cloth to ensure they were completely dry.

The UniBond is supposed to have a special shaped nozzle and applicator which makes applying the sealant easy - unfortunately I did not find this to be the case - it didnt fit tidily between the bath edge and the tiles or along the corner of the wall - however it would work fine against a flat wall but that isnt really the problem area I have.

In the end I used the applicator to squirt the product out and then my fingers to smooth it over (I wore latex style gloves which kept my skin safe from any nasties.

The product was okay - it didnt exactly give me fresh new looking tiles but it did take away some of the blackness and nastiness.

It dried fairly quickly and withstood being scrubbed when the bathroom was cleaned.

Due to going on holidays I left it like the pictures but now I am home again I plan to go over it again as I think it needs to be given a second coating to get it completely clean looking.

Overall I am quite pleased with how it looks - I think it looks a lot better even if more work needs to be done - hopefully this weekend I can finish it and it will be even better.

NB for more information on the insiders please click here and see my review page :D - you can also find details about their previous, current and upcoming campaigns as well as sign up to take part by clicking here :) they offer opportunities across different countries in the EU including the UK so click on the section relevant to you for more details.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Holidays - New York City & Orlando

This time in a week I will be somewhere over the ocean way up high :) on a jet on the way to JFK!

I've not really done NYC before only just passed through it on the way to somewhere else so I am looking forward to visiting.

We only have a few days in NYC before hopping another flight to Orlando. Orlando is pretty much my fave place in the world to visit - this year is going to be a little strange as it's the first time in around 9 years where I am not visiting Disney!

My travel itinerary so far is:

Thursday 15/9 Travel by coach from Cardiff to Gatwick - we have a later coach so I can do important stuff in the morning like drop the dog off to my Aunt who is looking after him, cleaning the kitty litter trays (full empty and scrub as my dad just empties and scoops them), flea treatment for the cats, changing the bedding and so on and so on - also have to leave my dad instructions on which bins go out when, how to use the washing machine and how to use my netflix account lmao

We are staying at the Gatwick Central Travelodge - we have stayed there a few times before - it's your standard comfortable relatively quiet travelodge - around 10 mins by bus from Gatwick and super easy to find.  We actually got a really good deal - B&B for 2 people for like £60 which is great.

Friday 16/9 - We are gonna have brekkie at the Travelodge and stay there until midday which is the latest checkout time and then head over to the airport. Our flight isn't actually until 5pm so we will head to the No. 1 Lounge around 3pm to get some food before our flight.

I actually cheaped out on the flights so we have no hot food booked and we dont have our seats together so hopefully an early check in will sort the seats -  gonna pick up some sarnies and crips at the airport to take on the plane - nice and better value than the £50 they wanted!!!

We arrive in JFK around 8pm local time and are staying at a hotel in the airport (another travel lodge!)

Saturday 17/9 - we plan to head into NY proper and go to china town and 9/11 site

Sunday 18/9 - we plan to go to Statue of Liberty :)

Monday 19/9 - we have a flight at 2pm from JFK to MCO (Orlando)

We are staying at the Floridian on International Drive so will check in and then prob get an Uber to walmart to get some supplies (Oj, milk, snacks, drinks and that) and have dinner at cici's or iHop both of which we love :D

Tuesday 20/9 - Tuesday 27/9 - we have tix to go to SeaWorld, Aquatica and Buschgardens and we will of course hit the malls and outlets and thats it :D

Wednesday 28/9 -we are coming home

That's kinda my plans so far - we go to Orlando so often I dont really have any concrete plans - we will just chill and enjoy ourselves