We were sent this box to help in creating this post.
Are you excited for Christmas? The kids certainly are and were very happy to be sent this fabulous Christmas Eve box from L.O.L Surprise.
The box came with two Christmas cards, two of their fantastic surprises to unbox and a onesie in Olivia’s size – she loves it and doesn’t want to get out of it!
The kids happily wrote their cards out (Olivia with Jack’s help, of course) and then couldn’t wait to get unboxing their surprises!
First up was the L.O.L Surprise Pets. As always, this comes with the surprise figure and a number of different items: the special magnifying glass and secret code to decipher, a crown, a pooper scooper type thing as well as the sand to dig into and a water bottle. We ended up with Miss Skunk from the Glam club, Fancy rarity. Isn’t she super cute?
Then we opened the surprise from the Glitter series. We had the figure, the little slip of paper with a riddle shoes, bottle, dress and a tiara. We opened it up to reveal Center Stage who is from the Dance club and is of Fabulous rarity.
This was such a lovely Christmas Eve box for the kids to open and play with – their L.O.L Surprise collections are growing quite nicely; we’ve got quite a few now from every series. You can find out more about L.O.L Surprise and the different series and figures to collect here.
Do you think you potentially have a PPI claim? Have you realised there is only eight months left to claim? Perhaps you aren’t sure if you have a claim as you aren’t too sure what it is?
The PPI claim deadline is the 29th of August 2019, a date set by the Financial Conduct Authority for people to claim any money back that they may be entitled to from mis-sold PPI.
So what is PPI?
PPI is Payment Protection Insurance, it is an insurance designed to cover loans or credit cards in the event of accident or sickness so you don’t miss out on repayments. However it has been widely mis-sold across the board with people either paying for pretty much worthless cover or in some instances, paying for it without even knowing they have it or agreeing to it!
The problem with the original ‘selling’ of this insurance is that those selling were incentivised to sell it whenever they could, leading to the vast amount of mis-selling. If you feel like you may have been mis-sold such a policy, you need to dig out your paperwork and file a claim. The worst they could say is no but you could find yourself owed thousands.
Believe you could be owed?
Now you know all about PPI and think you may be owed a claim, you will want to make sure you have all the paperwork to hand. It may be a little difficult if you don’t have the paperwork – after all, there is no time limit on how far back you can go to claim so you may not always have the paperwork left over from many years ago. It isn’t impossible to source the paperwork though and you could still then potentially file a claim.
If you believe you are eligible for a claim, you may want to know what sort of compensation you are entitled to. This PPI claims calculator can help you work out an estimate of what you may be eligible to receive. You simply need to input the type of PPI claim you have (loan/mortgage or credit card), what your monthly payments were, the payment time period and when the financial product was taken out. Once you have filled in all the details, it will calculate an amount for you.
Once you’ve found out what PPI is and know what compensation you could be entitled to, you will want to claim, right? But you have a very short time period to get it done in so you will want to get started right away! You can either do this yourself using templates, sending evidence to the bank in question with an explanation on how the insurance was mis-sold to you. Some were told it was compulsory – it wasn’t. Some had it added without their consent. Make sure you tell them exactly how it was mis-sold to you and you should receive an outcome from the bank within around eight weeks but they can sometimes take a little longer.
If you find the prospect of doing it yourself daunting, you can use a no win no fee PPI claims company to help you with your claim, such as Canary Claims. They will help you throughout the process and if your claim is unsuccessful, they won’t charge you a penny.
With the deadline looming, it is so important to check through your old paperwork and bank statements to see if you are entitled to a claim. If you aren’t, then you haven’t lost anything. If you are, however, then you want to receive the compensation you are entitled to before the deadline ends – otherwise you won’t be entitled to that money at all!
Good luck to those who are currently going through the claims process and if you aren’t but think you may be entitled to one, make sure to get started straight after Christmas, you don’t want to delay!
We were sent some craft materials to aid with this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
If you love crafting then you will probably have heard of Baker Ross. We were recently sent some of their Christmas craft materials – see how we got on below. If you are looking for something to do over the Christmas holidays, Baker Ross crafts are a great idea.
As you can see, we were sent a vast variety of items so we thought we’d give a few different crafts a go.
First of all we made the Christmas cards. As you can see, Olivia was so pleased with her creation and didn’t want anyone else to touch it! These were super simple to make – everything was provided in the set, all you needed was some glue.
Do you have any festive traditions? We usually buy a new decoration for the tree – well, two now that Olivia is here. This year, we made them thanks to our Baker Ross craft kit. Even Steve got involved! We picked out the box of festive ceramic decorations, Jack chose a star, Olivia chose a snowflake and Steve chose a tree. Using the fabulous paint pens that were also provided, we set to work making the decorations.
Some people like to have their Christmas trees matchy matchy without any homemade decorations on the tree – I’m not like that. I love it when Jack makes one at school and brings it home or they create ones like they did with the Baker Ross ceramic decorations. I’m sure you will agree they are quite lovely!
Another option for the tree was these cute penguin baubles. I let Olivia loose by herself without guidance from me on this one – so her penguin ended up with all the body parts in the wrong places, haha! These were also super simple to make – we were provided with the baubles, the string, the stickers for the body parts and the most we needed were glue and scissors – something all crafters would have anyway!
The kids especially loved making these as they were so fun and so quick that they could finish one and make another!
We really loved doing some Christmas crafts with the products Baker Ross sent us and we still have a few more to do – the perfect activity over the Christmas holidays! The Christmas range is currently on sale here so make sure to grab some if your kids love crafting. Don’t forget to check out their general crafts too – we will certainly be getting more once we’ve finished these crafts!
We all know how necessary bills are but how frustrating they can be. We all know that, at certain times of year, some bills are more expensive than at other times. Here is how you can save money on household bills in 2019.
Consider your homes energy efficiency
There are plenty of ways you can do this. Use energy efficient light bulbs rather than regular ones, turn off electricity and gas where possible when not using it – obviously some appliances have to remain plugged in but others don’t so take them out and turn the switch off.
It is also important to consider your windows. Heating is such a big bill for many, especially at this time of year, and often you will find that heat is escaping through your windows. Double and triple glazing not only keep the heat in but also keep the sound out. Consider double glazing for homes in Worthing & surrounding areas if local or look for a reputable business closer to you. The soundproof windows by Newview Windows are great for efficiency – after all, you don’t want to be paying all that money for heating for it all to be escaping, do you?
Something you may not have considered when it comes to your household bills is the fact that you could potentially switch the companies you are using for those bills. Some companies offer you money or another incentive for switching – or you can, in fact, use a cashback site and actually earn money back from the switch. If you find your bills creeping up and not at what you believe you agreed, consider to switching to a company that is cheaper.
Meal plan and stop buying name brands
Some people consider this a bill, others don’t. I personally do as it is probably the most expensive out of all of our bills. I always take time at the beginning of the year to try to reduce our food bill down a little more, especially after an expensive December, thanks to Jack’s birthday and Christmas, of course.
A great way to save some money here is to meal plan – work out what meals you are having and when. Steve has darts on a Wednesday and Thursday night and Jack generally has a roast dinner at school on Wednesday so I know that we can all have something small on a Wednesday. The kids normally have a ‘treat’ style dinner on Thursday as Steve is out. Friday, Jack has a club so he sometimes has something different to us before the club or has something with us afterwards. All other days of the week we have the same meals. I then buy my food around the meal plan and this keeps our costs down.
These are just a few ways you can save money on your household bills in 2019. What steps you will be taking to keep your costs down?
Living in a village like I do, I know the true importance of supporting independent businesses, especially family run businesses. It saddens me to say but big name brands often don’t have any intention of getting involved with the local communities as they know their business will most likely survive the economy anyway. They also often mass produce things or offer labour on a large scale and make it harder for smaller businesses to compete.
It is so important to show these local family run businesses our support, whether it is from buying from their shop or tearoom (we have a wonderful tearoom in our village, run by two sisters and it is absolutely incredible – I rave about it on Instagram stories a lot!) or choosing a local trade company to do some work for you, rather than opting for a larger business – perhaps someone like Cheshire based timber joinery business, Reddish Joinery – they are a family run business that has been run by many different generations of the Parrott family for many years. They’re trusted window installers and have many years experience. Why would you want to choose an impersonal bigger business when you know you’ll get the job done with a personal touch from a business such as this?
We’ve seen so many campaigns about shopping our local high streets over the past few years but it seems some people still haven’t got the message. I admit, I am guilty of buying products or services from bigger businesses at some points – but I do try to always use the businesses in my local community first. Unfortunately, in my village, sometimes you simply can’t get the thing you need and you have to shop further afield.
Smaller businesses will treasure your custom much more than those businesses turning over millions of pounds in profit in a year – all the big bosses at those companies care about is getting people in and out the door, having spent a fair amount. They will always put the customer first and will go the extra mile if required to help their customers. By going the extra mile, they will please their customers who will, in turn, tell people about their fantastic experience. They may get involved in community schemes such as clearing the park of litter, raising funds for those in need.
I have plenty of anecdotes I could give you about local businesses who have gone the extra mile to help others in our community but I’ll stop at just the one. We were about to lose our Post Office in the village until a local businessman who runs his own family run business stepped in and offered them the space in his shop – this was such a relief for the older members of our community who would have struggled to get out of the village to get their pensions and really did us all proud.
It goes to show that these businesses, whilst of course wanting our business, are prepared to help our communities thrive and we should, in turn, be helping them to do the same. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I think it takes a real community spirit to run that village, don’t you?
Do you choose family run businesses in your local community?