Tag Archives: savings

NatWest Search For A New Iconic Piggy #pigsbykids

6 Nov

Have you heard about the NatWest #pigsbykids Campaign?

No? Well, let me fill you in then…

NatWest are encouraging children to save by way of launching a fabulous campaign based around its iconic piggy.

NatWest Piggies have long played a massive part in the banks advertisements and savings promotions… Its actually a huge part of NatWest as we know them! And I for one have always related the two very closely, especially given how I always wanted one of my own piggies. Its fair to say that the last piggy became somewhat famous within its own right, what with it being worth a good few quid nowadays. Maybe your lucky enough to still have one of your own?

Well, its a new generation of saving and with it must come a new generation of pig. So, with this, NatWest are encouraging kids to bank their pennies with a fabulous competition. They are on the look out for a new piggy icon and they want your children to get their creative juices flowing by way of creating one.

The winning child’s pig will then shoot to fame by becoming the brand new NatWest Pig.

Little Man and Alice-Sara have both been extremely busy creating their pigs. They have started the design plan on paper and are now applying their ideas to clay model designs which are not yet complete and still very much a working progress.

Nonetheless, I can’t wait to upload their final designs and enter them into this exciting competition.

It really has given little man lots of motivation, given his not all that keen on art due to his difficulties with fine motor skills and low concentration levels. Its really is a positive step that he feels inspired to give it a go.

I really like the message behind this campaign and love how NatWest are delivering it. This is a fabulous opportunity to get your children’s imaginations over flowing while teaching them why saving money is important. I wanted my children to have a good understanding about the campaign and the reasons behind it! I’m all for children having some degree of independence when it comes to money. Children need to learn the importance of saving and the true value of money at an early age.

I also think it would be pretty awesome to see a design created by a child used in such a way by NatWest. Children tend to have the most magical, wonderful and if not sometimes slightly strange ideas floating around in their heads. So, I for one cannot wait to see what both my children and others produce in the name of #pigsforkids

Alice’s paper creation

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As the competition has a deadline of the 11th November 2012 I wanted to make sure everyone was aware so they could join in the fun and get creating Piggies of their own. However, I will be sure to pop back and share the children’s designs that they are currently creating with the use of some fantastic art materials that were so kindly supplied by NatWest.

Read the information below to discover some of the competition requirements and a link to the full terms and conditions over at Natwest.

The competition is open to children up to 13 years old.

The winning design will become the new NatWest pig.

The closing date for entries is 12pm on 11th November 2012

Terms and conditions apply and should be read over on the NatWest website.

This is an advertising promotion for NatWest.

I am promoting the competition as its one of great interest and something the children will be taking part in themselves. I was not paid to write this but NatWest did supply the children with a great craft kit to help them create their own little piggies.

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Words Written By Me

28 Oct

Wow… What an incredible week its been.

First off I discover I’m one of 10 finalist for the SavooSmartest Shopper Competition” then I go on to be interviewed by four great judges in London.

The competition has a great prize attached. The prize money is generous but you are also given the opportunity to write a “Money Saving Blog” with support from Savoo.

Did I feel incredibly shocked yet incredibly excited about getting this far in the competition? God, Yes…

No matter how far I get in any sort of writing related awards or competitions I still always find that need to pinch myself and pinch myself hard.

Why? Well, there are a few reasons for this but there is one that stands out particularly!

I could say that blogging has opened many doors for me, given me something to tell the grand children (in the FAR away future) but I won’t… Instead I will say how Writing has opened such doors for me instead.

Yes, without the blog how could I do the things I’m doing? But its what goes on the blog that should be noted, after all… What’s a blog without its content.

I wrote a post a while back that spoke about my writing and the reasons why I’d never imagined myself doing what I’m doing today. You see, writing was never my thing (just read this), if anything expressing myself through written content was something I struggled with and therefore disliked immensely! I remember my English teacher telling my mother how I had this amazingly creative mind that I was just wasting by not using it to reach my full potential! Once she started that if I could just put down on paper that creative vocabulary of mine, then we could sell books. I knew even at 12 that this was sarcasm. I’d been a bit of a diva and spoken back to the teacher who was simply not impressed with what I had to say (I had detention for weeks to follow). However, she was always impressed by whatever writing I’d reluctantly produce and she did think that by continuing to write I’d open up a whole new inner passion that I never knew I had.

“Blah blah blah…” I’d think to myself as I impatiently tapped my finger nails on the desk while yawning in an exaggerated manner. Teachers were never right, not by this girls knowledge anyway! I actually remember being sat thinking “Oh stop banging on about it miss… Its Not gonna happen!”

I often sit wondering what she would say if she see me now?

I’m not claiming I’m the best writer! I never read the stuff I’ve written and think to myself wow girl… You sound amazing, go write for a living!… Though I did actually make myself cry once when reading a post id written some months after I’d first published it! My point being, I’m always immensely humbled when I receive an email from a reader complimenting my writing style. I am used to getting emails from readers claiming that I’m an inspiration for sharing my life as a parent to a child with Aspergers and sen. I’d also get those thanking me when I would help them access educational services or advise them on the education laws surrounding their child’s special educational needs. And although i’m just about getting to grips with such words, its those emails and comments that claim my writing to be anything other than bog standard that leave me shocked yet amazed.

If you had asked me as a small primary child or even a raging mad hormone infused teen, if I’d ever see myself writing in the future, and more to the point… actually enjoying it , you can be bet your house on it that I’d quickly respond with with a swift “NO” followed by a burst of giggles (the type that implies you must be insane to even ask).

What I’ve leant is… Miss Whitehead, you were right! Yes, I love to write, I do express my feelings so much better on paper, and if I could chose to do anything during my “Me Time” I’d do exactly what I’m doing now… I’d write!

Did I want to grow up and find myself writing a blog? No!

Did I ever think I’d see any of my writing published in print? No!

Did I ever dream I’d be nominated for any type of blogging awards? No!

Did I ever once think Id go on to collect a Mad blog award (inspirational) in the name of my blog “A boy with Aspergers” for not one but two consecutive years? Whatever… This one is followed by that Swift burst of giggles that again imply your craziness.

Did I ever imagine that people would read about my little self and that blog of mine in the papers? Ha-Ha-Ha… Joker!

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I’ve learnt that by combining my passions with words and sharing them through written material in whatever format I choose, I’m able to gain something back that is incredibly rewarding! That something is the knowledge that by doing something I love I’m providing others with something they relate too, laugh at, learn from, take inspiration from or simply just enjoy!

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That is something wonderful… And Its something I’m not planning on stopping… Not for a very long time.

So, whether I’m blogging about the ups and downs of parenting a child on the autism spectrum, what I’m wearing, how to make your own face mask, sharing tips on how to get the most out of eBay or simply where to get the best shoes for the littlest price, it doesn’t matter… Why?

Because each would mean nothing without the passion I hold for the things I believe in, the things I enjoy and finally the desire to translate them into words, words written by me.

Every time something amazing comes from something I’ve typed on my Mac… I go through these same motions!

Its these motions that have inspired me to blog today… Who knows what tomorrow may bring.

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Christmas Shopping onboard a P&O ferry

7 Dec

18

Days till Christmas

Have you ever considered doing your Christmas Shopping on board a ferry? Well, I hadn’t, that was in-till I received an invitation to do just that!

 It’s not often you get an invite to come shopping on the P&O ferry is it? So myself and fellow mummy blogging friend ‘Romanianmum’ headed to Dover very early Sunday morning to catch a ferry to Calais. 

 The morning started off a very eventful one, as I raced to Victoria station to meet Romanianmum and catch the National express coach to Dover. I did make it, but only by the skin of my teeth and was most grateful for the sit down once on board. 

 After a 2 hour drive up the motorway we arrived in Dover and headed straight for the check in. We arrived rather early and found the service provided by the check-in team to be exceptional! They even offered to put us on the earlier ferry as we had arrived so early. We very politely declined, preferring to catch up over a coffee and a naughty ciggy instead. 

 When it was time to finally board, being foot-passengers we were taken by shuttle bus to the ferry via the normal passport and secretary procedures. The Ferry was huge and I have to admit to having a few butterflies given I’d never stepped foot on one before. 

 Once on board I was impressed at the sheer size of the ship, it was massive and could easily carry 1000 men or more. There was a gaming zone, loads of places to eat and drink from restaurants to smaller Costa Coffees. The ship was also really festive and you couldn’t miss there lovely Christmas tree. 

 I also noted that the ship had its own Bureau de change offering 24/7 foreign exchange onboard, meaning you don’t have to worry about currency exchange prior to boarding.

  P&O had so kindly upgraded us to club lounge which I guess made this a whole different travelling experience all together. Impressive really doesn’t seem to do it justice. The lounge is located at the front of the ship on the upper decks and you are surrounded by glass windows giving you a beautiful view out to sea. We were offered a host of treats from Champaign to some beautiful lunch time delights.  

  We also discovered that we could actually smoke on the upper deck (outside) which will delight all you smokers, I’m sure. However I actually only went for a smoke just twice as I was there for one thing and one thing only TO SHOP! 

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 I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I was a tad sea sick and sadly so was romanianmum, so I’d strongly recommend if you are the type of person to suffer motion sickness then I’d  take something first as to not let it ruin your experience of shopping at sea. 

 Nonetheless, despite the fact we were a tad green, we had a pretty awesome time, we were child free (always a bonus) and ready for some serious shopping.

 The onboard shop was huge and stocked everything from all your finest perfumes to toys for the Children. There was large range of designer handbags and purses, some pretty awesome makeup and lots of lovely chocolate and alcoholic treats to be had. Of course you could also buy cigarette’s at a good reduced price. I loved that the P&O are now stocking products from the high-street chain Accessorize and so did Romanianmum who couldn’t resist the beautiful hat and mittens for her beautiful daughter.  

 There was up to 30 % of beers, wines and spirits and you could save as much as 40% on UK prices for fragrances, skin-care and cosmetics. The toys were also a bit cheaper than most UK retailers and when we travelled they had an awesome 3 for 2 deal running meaning it was even cheaper. I got some fantastic bargains and spent just £99 0n…

Nerf N-Strike

Cuddly George Pig

MR potato head

2x littlest pet shop Blythe’s

Style me up set

Disney Fairies

SEKONDA Watch

 We had decided to do a round trip meaning we would not depart the ship once at Calais which seemed logical considering we were foot passengers. This is the perfect idea for those who just want to come onboard and take advantage of the shopping facilities. P&O currently run some spectacular deals allowing you take this option which are really worth looking into. 

 We headed back down to the shop during the time the ship was docked at Calais and even-though we had plenty of time to shop while the ship was docked we somehow found ourselves still shopping on the way back to Dover and the shop was noticeably more busy. With this I would highly recommend that those doing such journey shop on the outbound journey as this was far less busy, with smaller queues. (We just couldn’t pull ourselves away from the fabulous club lounge).

 We really did have a great child free day aboard the P&O, despite being a little sea sick, the shopping and club lounge really made up for it!

 I have to admit that myself and romanianmum were a tad childish… Just check out the images below. 

 But to hell with it! We were there to enjoy ourselves and that’s exactly what we did. 

 If you fancy getting some last-minute shopping onboard the P&O then why not check out some of their awesome deals

 Oh… and before I forget P&O are running an almighty Christmas Competition over on their Facebook page, giving you the chance to win loads of awesome prizes. All you have to do is fill a virtual stocking with goodies from their online shop and then one winner will be picked at random to win the lot! Yes, its P&O’s way of wishing you all a very merry Christmas! Just Click HERE to enter 

Bag yourself a bargain this Christmas with Groupon

26 Nov

I’m a girl who likes to shop, I’m also a girl who likes a bargain. I don’t have a hidden pot of cash to spend on what I like, I have three children and I’m a full-time carer for my son on the autism spectrum, so… yes, I admit, I like to get things that bit cheaper if and when I can! Who doesn’t?

I never go out and buy anything big or considered a luxury item at full price anymore, I just don’t have that luxury (unless, I have won some money or saved my arse off for months on end in-order to buy it)! Christmas is especially expensive and I like to keep my eyes peeled for a deal or two.

Groupon is a national online company that aims to bring you a selection of discounted offers on everything from hair cuts, clothing vouchers for awesome big name mail-order chains to some smaller independent outlets & high street stores, homeware, gifts, toys, restaurants, club, spas and more. You can sign up for a daily email where you’ll be sent the daily national deal & you can even choose to have them send offers personalised for your designated area.

I’ve known about Groupon for sometime, I’m a member of their Facebook page and have had the emails sent for a few months now! Despite some pretty special deals, I’ve never really got round to grabbing ahold of one! So, when I was asked to review Groupon as part of our Christmas feature, I thought, ‘Yer Why not!’

Groupon gave me a code for a £40 gift voucher towards any of it’s deals. Each deal normally last for a period of 24hrs. I would really recommend that you opt in for the daily email in-order not to miss something amazing. Here’s a small selection of  some of the deals I’ve seen over the past few weeks…


course of 10 Belly dancing lessons, each lasting 90 minutes a session for a mere £14

MP3 player with extras priced at £29 giving you 69% off

Well-being: Deep tissue or Swedish massage with Facial at the Sunshine factory for £34 saving 60%

All day beginners DSLR Photography course for £59, 60% saving.

Weight Loss hot-pants from Zaggora for £19 instead of £44 (I have these and these already and this is a bargain)

Kids bedroom wall stickers £8 instead of £17

Eight swimming lessons for kids or adults £28 instead of £76

Ice Skating for two at Broadgate ice rink for £8.00 giving you a 60% saving.

Two games of tenpin bowling for 4 people £12 saving 79%

LOVEFilm unlimited rental for 3 month for £6 saving £80%

Vera Wang Glam Princess 100ml bottle £29.99 from the London Perfume company saving 52%

All the above are really awesome deals however, there was one that isn’t listed above that really caught my eye, so much so it was my first ever Groupon buy which I used part of my Groupon voucher to pay for.

Decorative Wall Stickers from Moskys One (£9) Two (£17) three (£25) four (£32) or five (£40) I went for the second offer (two stickers for £17) Funny thing was, I had been looking on the Moskys online site not even two days prior to the deal and I had fallen in-love with two of the large decorative stickers, but at £23 each I just couldn’t justify buying them especially at Christmas time. Of course I jumped at the chance to get my hands on my lusted after stickers when the deal came through, £17.00 for two is an absolute steal!

It was really simple, I just clicked the buy now button and once on the payment page I entered my log in details (new members can sign up from the log in page if they haven’t done so already) I selected the offer I wanted (number of stickers) I then filled in all my details and put in my Groupon code in the designated area provided. You use this box for promo codes or those on gift vouchers, other-wise you can select the option to provide your payment details (number of options such as card and pay-pal) I gave all other relevant details including delivery address and that was it, job done!

You will not be sent your voucher in-till the offer comes to an end (this will be sent in an email) nonetheless you are sent a confirmation email and even the chance to spread the word, send the offer to a number of friends and for everyone who buys it your account is credited £6 (nice little earner for those with the big diary of contacts, especially at Christmas).

My deal lasted 24 hours, I brought it quite late with 22 minutes to spare, a few hours after it was closed, Groupon sent my voucher. This means that when I go to purchase my stickers from Moskys I just enter my voucher code and the money is deducted at the checkout just leaving me the postage and packaging to cover.

I haven’t yet order my stickers and I have until the 14th December to do so (it’s on my to do list)! Remember to read the T&C of each deal, some have exemptions, all have a day in-which they run out, some sooner than others. Deals on services such as treatments, hotels, meals, activities , etc., state if there is any additional VAT and online orders of all items will detail any additional shipping chargers ect. All can be checked before making a payment. If your voucher is for a deal on a product, you will normally be given an estimated delivery time (example allow 1-2 weeks for delivery) I found this most helpful, and most will especially if buying gifts for Christmas.

I later found my second “Must have deal” which was a Bratz on the mic fashion doll from KidsPlaystore.com Valued at £49.99 but priced up as £17.99 on the Groupon deal, giving me a saving of 64%. I read the T&C which state I will need to pay an additional £6 P&P and must allow up to 3 weeks for delivery which means it should be here in time for the big C! Which will delight my daughter I’m sure! 

I only got the above deal yesterday and plan to order both my deals in the morning, so here’s hoping the Groupon partners supply a good a service as Groupon has so far, making this a fantastic way to shop.

The experience for me has so far been excellent, I’ve received a good level of customer service, found the ordering system easy to follow, and have been sent emails as and when I should be. All the deals are 100% genuine and the full retail price can be seen on the individuals website. Groupon also offer really cheap last-minute holiday which they are practically giving away in some cases! Groupon can also provide gift vouchers, and they host some great competitions from time to time.

A great range of deals, with some interesting gift ideas to give to your loved ones. I know that I’ll be using Groupon again, I’m just waiting for that next special deal.

Groupon experience so far 4/5 stars.

Given my orders go through on the retailers sites OK and deliveries are good it will easily go up to the full 5 stars.

Check out the all new Groupon TV ad

Back to school with Matalan

6 Sep

Some weeks back, I wrote a post giving some, ‘Back to school tips’ to fellow parents of children on the autism spectrum. One of these tips related to shopping and the common issues experienced when having to shop with a child on the autism spectrum. With these issues in mind, I made the suggestion of purchasing your, “Back to school necessities” online, and to do so within good time!

Well, I must admit, that I myself failed, “Yet Again” to follow my own advice. Last week I still had school shoes, lunch boxes, PE kits and more to buy!

Well, thank you Matalan for saving me from what may have been, a shopping nightmare! Little man has been known to have some almighty mid shop meltdowns and I didn’t fancy another!

Yes, the lovely people at Matalan sent me an email setting me a challenge. I’m pretty used to challenges, but in this case it was the welcomed type!

The Challenge

Matalan online sent me a £50 voucher,  all I had to do was spend it carefully, getting as much for my £50 as possible. Lastly, I was to share my bargains here with my readers!

No problem, I’m not only a mother but a woman who loves to shop!

Bring it on!!!

So,  from the comfort of my sofa, with no meltdowns, anxiety or tears, I went shopping at Matalans online store.

On loading the site, I discovered that there was a sale showcasing items from just £1, (Oh yes, that’s my type of sale)!

So, voucher at hand, here’s what I got…

1) Girls button shoes (Black) Price: £8

2) Boys black trainer (Black) Price: £7

3) Black slash design leggings, Sale Price: £1 (reduced from: £6)

4) Back to school wheel design lunch bag, Price: £5

5) Back to school wheel design drinks bottle, Price: £2

6) Girls red school cardigan, Price: £4.50

7) Grey baker boy girls hat, Price: £3

8) Red Pump bag, Price: £1.50

9) Black Velcro Plimsolls, Price: £2.50

10) Girls five pack of briefs, Price: £3.50

11) Girls Hooch studded biker boot, Sale Price: £3.75 (reduced from £15)

After having added all the above to my trolley, I discovered I still had £8.25 left to spend, and what with having already got all I needed, I decided to get…

12) 3 Price red pan non stick pan set, Sale Price: £5.50 (reduced from £22)

13) Non padded Balconette bra, Sale price: £2 (reduced from £6)

14) Daisy white D plus bra, Sale Price: £1 (reduced from £6)

Total £50.25

Ok, Ok, I went 25p over, though I think that’s good for me.

That’s 14 items listed there, didn’t I do well?

Red pump bag £1.50, black plimsolls £2.50 and 5pk of girls briefs £3.50

Girls Baker boy hat, £3

Left: Boys wheel design lunch bag £5 and right matching bottle £2 

Red girls Cardigan, £4.50  

Delivery

delivery was super fast, arriving at my door with a smile just two days after I placed the order. My delivery was free as part of the challenge, however, Matalan are offering all customers spending £40 or more a special delivery rate of just £2 for a limited time.

Exclusive

I also received an exclusive reward, ‘A boredom busting voucher booklet’ entitling me to a discount of 20% of at ‘Yellow Moon’ as well as lots of other offers to keep the kids smiling such as, Kids bowl free, kids go free to Merlin attractions, (Legoland, Chessington and more) 2 for one on visits to Merlin attractions and many more.To little man’s delight the boredom busting booklet also contain a 25% off City sightseeing bus tours (yep, we’re going next week).

I am unsure if the promotion is still active. To find out, or check for any other offers, check the Matalan site or the blog (URLs at the bottom of the page).

Sale

The Sale is currently still on and is offering some items at a massive 75% off  As you can see from the above, it hosts some great bargains!

For me my best buy has to be the Hooch boots that had a fabulous £11.25 saving. These will do Alice-Sara proud in the winter I’m sure! They look really well made, as-well as being bang on trend.

Leggings £1 (were £6) Girls biker boots by Hooch, £3.75 (were £15) 

The non stick pans, well, how can you resist a price like this? £5.50 is a steal.

Non-stick pans in Red, £5.50 (was £22) 

The two bras are a bargain at £6 each but getting them both for £3 is super, and was simply my little teat to me! (Sorry guys I haven’t posted a pic of these but you can check out the underwear range online)

We decided that the leggings were much to nice for PE and having only cost £1 we are very pleased with them.

Even the items not in the sale were a steal. Little man has problems with his fine motor skills, making laces a problem! His black trainers with velcro fastening are ideal and a great price too!

Girls Black button shoes, £8 

Boys black trainers, £7

Autumn range

I was sent some fantastic books showcasing the new women’s and homeware range for the Autumn. The books were super posh and came with CD-ROMs

It’s clear to see that Matalan’s have had a redesign and I was pretty  impressed and excited at what was on offer throughout both of these books.

Looks like its going to be a fantastic Autumn at Matalan this year.

to shop at Matalan just click HERE

Visit the Matalan sale Here or the blog HERE

Like Matalan on Facebook Here Twitter heads, follow Matalan on twitter by clicking HERE

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