Win A £25 Amazon Voucher!

This year sees some changes to the world of data protection, with the introduction of GDPR and while there are lots of things going on behind the scenes with bloggers talking about the implications it will have on us, it has also raised many questions.

For anyone who knows me via my Facebook or the UK Bloggers group, you will know I have long been a fan of Rafflecopter, they have allowed me to check entries as much as possible to make sure the winner isn’t a cheat and I had my qualms about Gleam, for which I was very vocal.

With the changes of GDPR however, it got me thinking, are either of these competition entry systems going to do any moves to change to make sure they are in line with the new regulations. I reached out to both Gleam and Rafflecopter on twitter posing this question and only Gleam got back to me, in fact, they have been very good at answering the plethora of questions I have thrown their way about the old issues I had with their system. All of which seemed to have been rinsed out in the wash.

Now Rafflecopter may just be busy people, they may have no idea what GDPR is, after all, they are a US-based company. (For anyone interested, Gleam is based in Australia). Who knows! But it does leave me pondering, do I pull up my big girl pants and say hey OK Gleam won out in the end, or do I tough it out with Rafflecopter and hope as the time comes they may look to check how their application conforms with the GDPR standards.

Of course, me being me started talking about it with friends and myself and Sarah from Life In A BreakDown decided we would pose the question to you, which application do you like best Rafflecopter or Gleam and for the next two weeks will be offering a prize of £25 Amazon vouchers both via a Rafflecopter giveaway and a Gleam giveaway asking you, our readers.

This week we are staying original and keeping with Rafflecopter, to enter you just need to answer the poll and the question which is simply asking what you would like to see from our respective blogs this year, it could be a prize, a written series or a certain review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If Money Was No Object…

This is a collaborative post.

We all know what we would do if we won the lottery – but what if money was no object? Some people may say they are one and the same but we’ve all heard the stories of people spending all their lottery money and being left with nothing once again – there was even an article this weekend about a man who did just that. I know exactly what I would do if I won the lottery but there is so much more I could do if money was truly no object.

Make My Families Houses More Accessible

It is my deepest regret that I never had the finances to do this for my Dad before he passed away and I wish I had the finances to do it now for my grandparents. I would love to make their houses more accessible. My grandparents currently have a stairlift but there is so much more that could be done for them that would help with their mobility. Neither of them can use the bath anymore and find the bathroom quite hard to get around so I would love to be able to put in a walk in shower for them. They also have that weird setup where their toilet is in one room on its own and the sink and the bath are in another – I’d love to knock down the wall between them to make it easier to get from A to B.

I have other family members who have mobility problems and I’d love to be able to help them too. Every person should have an accessible house, especially a bathroom. It is a basic need. I’d love to be able to help them live the happiest life they can.

I’d Hire My Mum

I bet it sounds super silly but my mum would never be able to cope without working. I dread to think what she is going to be like when she retires! We’ve always said that should I ever go back to full time or my freelance career takes off in such a way that we would be looking for childcare, that we’d pay my mum and get her out of retail. I’d love to be able to do this – my Mum would love to spend all that time with the kids but she’d still feel like she was working.

I’d Pay Off Debts

My brother is one of my biggest inspirations. He’s done so much for me over the years and if money was no object, I’d love to pay his debts off for him. He borrowed off my Dad to start his business and paid him back and then, like we sometimes do, got hit with an unexpected bill. I’m not sure where he stands right now – he may even have paid it off – but I’d love to have been able to help him out to repay him for all of the times he has helped me. I’d also do the same for my in laws – they are in the process of selling their house but there have been so many problems and these problems are literally guzzling money day to day. I’d love to be able to help them if I could.

I’d Help Family Fulfill Their Dreams

I am quite happy to say that most of my family have achieved what they wanted to do. My cousin has recently completed a golf scholarship in America, another has been going round England talking about Gothic literature. But there are some family members who’ve had to shelve their dreams for certain reasons, including financial. I’d love to eventually to be able to help them to fulfill their dreams.

What would you do?

Why I Am Glad HMRCTalk Is Around

This is a collaborative post.

I set myself up as a sole trader back in January 2014 and boy, it wasn’t easy. If I was to do it now, I think it would be relatively easy to set up but back then, I really did struggle. I visited the website, I called them on the phone and came out none the wiser, if I am being perfectly honest.

I’d started working freelance so knew I had to set myself up and went online to see how to do it. We all know that the site can be super glitchy at times and this time was no different. Once I managed to get in, I was very confused by it all and needed someone ‘real’ to talk to so I gave them a call.

Now we all know that ringing HMRC can also be a tiring experience, ending up on hold for hours on end. I managed to be on hold for over an hour before getting through to someone and even then, don’t feel like I knew any more than I did before.

I hate ringing them up, whether it be for sole trader stuff, tax credits or something else. It takes ages to get through to someone and even when you do, you can guarantee that they will say different to someone else who works there. I’ve lost count of the number of people I know who’ve been told two or three different things by different members of staff there.

This is why I am glad HMRCTalk are around. People like me need it broken down in more simpler terms – laid down bare,exactly it is. They provide helpful articles to inform people about policy changes and things to do with self assessment and benefits and they also provide hard to reach HMRC contact numbers so you don’t end up on hold for hours before getting cut off before speaking to someone. We all know how frustrating that can be.

I am not great at talking to people on the phone and with people telling you different things, you never quite know which one you should listen to. I find it especially hard as a blogger and a freelance writer – it is almost like HMRC hasn’t quite caught up to the fact that it can be a career yet and they don’t quite know what to do with it. With so many people asking as the blogging world continues to grow, hopefully we will have some more clear guidelines soon.

Until then, I will be relying on HMRCTalk to help me when I don’t quite understand. If people are prepared to take the time to understand everything and write it for us readers in a more comprehensible way then I am all for it. Did you know about this fantastic resource? Will you be using it when you need a better understanding of things like this? I know I’ll be bookmarking it for future use – I need all the help I can get!


Zak Storm Hover Vehicle, Collectable Coins & App | Review

Item sent for consideration of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Jack loves his toys – you can probably tell that from all the reviews we’ve done in the past year or two – and he loves finding new ones.

We were recently sent a Zak Storm Hover Vehicle with figures (£14.99) and a collectible coins 4 pack (£4.99). These are available to buy from Smyths. Zak Storm goes on lots of adventures and is a ‘Super Pirate’. Jack has only recently discovered him and is obsessed. Zak Storm is a new animated series that is becoming increasingly popular. The story begins when he steals his dads special necklace and enters a surfing competition but ends up being sucked into the Bermuda triangle by a giant wave. He then finds himself as the captain of a ship called The Chaos and this is where the story on the app begins.

The racing red Hover Vehicle comes with a Blazz Zak action figure and a collectable treasure coin. All you need to do with the coin is to scan the code into the app to receive some fantastic digital rewards for use in the mobile game – these include weapons, powers, worlds and health. Jack loves playing games on the tablet so this was a welcome addition and a feature he adored.

The collectable treasure coins were also a welcome addition for Jack, knowing what he knew about the digital rewards he could get off of them. Each coin features a unique QR code which he scanned into the app to reveal his rewards. He’s very keen to get some more coins so he can get some more rewards!

Jack has been obsessed with the app since the Zak Storm toys arrived. He’s loving playing it on his own or getting us to sit with him and help him out.

The app is available on iTunes here and is lots of fun – Jack downloaded it onto both my phone and the tablet and has had great fun playing it and scanning the codes on his coins to see what he was rewarded with. It really makes their play experience even more special – it ties both the physical toys and the game together and helps them to develop the story further in their imagination if they wish. I’ve already caught Jack playing with the figure and Hover Vehicle pretending he is doing what he has been playing on the app.

There is the possibility to make in app purchases on the app as with most games but these are easy to turn off – handy when you have a child that would probably purchase more rewards if he could!

Jack has been very impressed with the Zak Storm toys and app and has been telling his friends all about it. I personally love the use of technology to make for a even better product – it is a great feature and means Jack can play with Zak Storm whether he is playing with the physical toys or battling away on the app.

What do you think of the Zak Storm range? Have you got any yourself?

Win A Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Day & Night Machine

Tommee Tippee, the UK’s leading baby feeding accessories brand, has refreshed its best-selling Perfect Prep machine. The Perfect Prep Day & Night prepares a formula feed bottle to the perfect temperature in just two minutes, with new features including volume control and a glow light setting for easier, happier night feeds.

Nicknamed Your Dream Machine, Perfect Prep Day & Night provides parents with the peace of mind that comes from knowing their baby’s bottle will be perfect every time, right around the clock. Real-life mums and dads helped create the next generation of the best-selling machine, with new design features a direct result of their feedback and suggestions.

Nicola Wallace, Marketing Manager at Tommee Tippee, commented:

“The Perfect Prep Day & Night is a huge and exciting launch for us. Like everything we do, each part of this new product development has been carefully considered with parents in mind – to make the journey into and throughout parenthood as comfortable as possible.

“Sleep, or lack thereof, can become a huge strain for new mums and dads, and the new product features work to combat this. Parents are at the heart of the Tommee Tippee brand, and we’ve got their backs once again with Perfect Prep Day & Night: it’s their Dream Machine!”

Tommee Tippee designed the original Perfect Prep based on the insight that mums find it difficult to prepare a bottle following formula guidelines, as these require the water to be boiled and cooled for up to half an hour before serving. This was difficult, time-consuming and certainly not practical at 3am. The concept was simple: to make this process easier, faster and more accurate, for happier parents and happier babies.

Perfect Prep Day & Night is available in four shades (White, Black, Grey and Red) and is available to pre-order now and on full sale 18th March.

You can view the campaign video below:

Product features include:

  • In just two minutes your bottle is fully prepared at the perfect volume and temperature
  • Silently prepares bottle while the home still sleeps with volume control to minimise night time noise
  • Our glow nightlight shines gently making night time feeds clear & simple
  • Clear, easy to use digital display makes bottle prepping as smooth as your baby’s bum
  • The Perfect Prep Day & Night machine works with most bottles and formula brands
  • Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Day & Night is now available to pre-order at Amazon, John Lewis & Mothercare. RRP £130.00

You can find out more information about the machine here and why not keep in touch with Tommee Tippee on their Facebook page here and get involved in the community?

To celebrate this launch, I have teamed up with Tommee Tippee to offer one lucky winner their very own Perfect Prep Day & Night machine. To enter, all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is UK only and ends at 23.59pm on the 7th of March 2018. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway