Monday, 31 March 2014

Its MAD I'm a Finalist in the Outstanding Contribution for The MADS 2014


MAD Blog Awards 2014 is a massive awards ceremony for Bloggers. This will be its 5th year running.  I am greatly honoured (in shock, flabbergasted and delighted to boot) to be nominated for Outstanding Contribution.



THANK YOU EVERYONE who took the time to nominate me and felt I have contributed to an amazing little boys cause.

I had no idea when I started my blog the actual power it could have.  Being able to spread a message to the world in moments.  I love the stats, how many people have read my blog and where in the world people are reading it.  I like to see every week the figures vary, thats the geek in me. 

Who remembers life before emails? Do you remember the office PIGEON HOLE?  Being an office junior many moons ago, I remember having to print off stacks of memos, filing them in the office Pigeon holes.  Wow, technology has come a long away in a short length of time.  Email was born and the digital data domination stayed and developed to what we have today.
 



I am overjoyed to be nominated for such an amazing award, their are 9 other bloggers, all amazing writers, they share their passions and dedication for their chosen charities and beliefs to raise awareness for magnificent causes, some have huge amounts of followers while other do not, its a very much mixed group.  We have all be recognised for making a difference and blogging about our experiences.

Thank everyone, who nominated me, I feel very privileged to be chosen, I feel I have been heard.  I have had much fun, met a lot of generous people, compers, bloggers and lovely companies whom all have donated, time, money and goods.



The MADS already have 5 blogs shortlisted the finals for the following categories and 10 blogs shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution:

Blog of the Year
Best Blog Writer
Best Baby Blog
Best Pregnancy Blog
Best Family Travel Blog
Best New Blog
Best Craft Blog
Best Food Blog
Most Innovation Blog
Best Thrifty Blog 
Best School Days Blog
Most Entertaining Blog
Best Blog Photography
Best MAD for Family fun
Best Homes & Interiors Blog 
Outstanding Contribution


 Its most votes wins, voting is open until midnight on 24 April 2014. Apart from the Outstanding Contribution which will be decided our lovely judges.  Wish me luck!

If you are wondering why I have been nominated, a little boy, Noah Collins had been born with Cerebral Palsy, he attends my sons school. The school asked if any parents could help raise funds for Noah. His parents need to raise £80K so they will be able to go to America, for an operation that will change Noah's life. Noah's operation is planned for next month, May.  I thought I would put my blog to good use.  My hobby as Comper I have met some lovely people within social media and wanted to help Noah. I arranged an online raffle.  I have tweeted, emailed and phoned companies for donations, then I asked, begged & harassed all my followers on twitter and facebook for more donations.  I used the Social Media sites as a huge charity tool.  This had all been done publicly, I hope its gained Noah some airtime, opened lots of eyes, ears and emptied pockets.

If this is the first you have heard of Noah Collins, he still needs £20K any donation big or small would greatly be appreciated, products, services, hotel nights, everything that can be auctioned or raffled please contact his dad Dave Collins with your donations; otherwise cash donations most welcome Justgiving.com #HelpNoahWalk (with Noah's complete story here.)  



Good luck to all the MAD finalists, I am very much looking forward to the evening and meeting lots of amazing people and great bloggers.

Don't be shy, sat hi.

Lucy x

I like mine black, strong and all day long, COFFEE! Carte Noire collection Expresso Review

Getting to know me as a coffee lover, I used to be a huge fan of instant coffee drinking massive mugs all day long.  I would often leave half drunken mugs, mostly in the morning, sometimes only having a couple of sips, always having the good intention of drinking them. I hate wasting food and drinks.  I recently got a Nespresso machine, now I never waste a drop, the Nespresso Machine is so easy to use, taking a few seconds to add water, the capsule and cup (no milk required).  
 

The luxury of a home Expresso is 2nd to none, however saying that you have to drink a good Expresso to compare it to the High Street Coffee Shops.  I have taken notice there are a lot of capsule/pods coffee drinks in the supermarkets, the coffee aisle is awash with different brands available. 

Carte Noire sent me their Carte Noire Espresso Capsules to sample, music to my ears, well coffee to my taste buds!



I would not say I am coffee connoisseur however I know what I like and I am a fussy girl for the finer delights in life.  

I start my day with cup and at 3pm when I am flagging and need a power injection, coffee tends to be my best friend.  Lucky for us coffee drinkers and Expresso fans a few sips is all any of us actually need.  


 
Carte Noire a renowned as a top French brand label. Carte Noire had recently launched Carte Noire Collection Expresso. 4 strengths to suit your anyones need and taste.

4 Intensite ESPRESSO

  N°3 Élégant This is a fine, smooth in the mouth and has a subtle taste of cereal notes. An elegant pure Arabica coffee

N°5 Délicat Very silky, slightly richer with a fruity note, this espresso offers all the finesse of an exceptional coffee, pure Arabica


N°7 Aromatique An extremely rich and aromatic smell and taste as a pure Arabica coffee, these delicate hints of cocoa make this perfection for me.

 N°9 Intense Discover an intense, very dramatically rich coffee experience, this is a dark roast of pure Arabica coffee.  Direct, strong no messing Expresso. 


 N°9 Intense is my morning coffee, a great wake-up injection, definitely packing a caffeine punch keeping me going until lunch time.

My love of coffee is to enjoy the roasted aroma, the smell of real coffee beans is pleasure and drinking the N°7 Aromatique hits the spot every time. This is my everyday coffee, very moreish, the taste lingers on my palette, an impeccabile Expresso, highly recommended by me.  



 

*Nespresso® is a registered trademark of a third party without any link with Mondelez International group. Compatible with all Nespresso®* machines bought before July 1, 2013. After that date, compatible with most Nespresso®* machines bought. For additional information regarding compatibility, please see UK: www.CARTENOIRE.co.uk/compatibility.

Each box of Carte Noire Espresso capsules contain 10 single servings, available in all  supermarkets RRP of £2.79. To find out more about the new Carte Noire Collection Espresso click here

This post is an entry in the Foodies100 Espresso Collective Challenge 

This is a sponsored for Carte Noire, this is my honest review.   

Dont be shy say hi! 


Friday, 28 March 2014

Top Cashback Review, Get paid for Shopping!


  I would like to introduce you to Top Cashback


Their name is what it says on the tin, so to say. They are a cash back website. 

Their philosophy is simple, you spend money, you earn money from your online purchases.  They have a list of retailers, mostly great everyday household names, if you plan to shop online with any of these retailers, you can get a percentage of your money back.  Their website clearly lists deals, cash back offers and all the retailers.

TopCashback offers Red hot deals & a range of featured companies.  Cashback can be claimed on Insurance policies, Broadband and Telephone deals to name a few, some of these may even be better then booking with the 3rd party retailer direct. Ensure you purchase via TopCashBack otherwise your cashback may not be granted.  

 Step One: Log on to TopCashBack

Step Two: Register your details



Step Three:  Shop

Very important! 

You will have to enter the 3rd party site via TopCashBack 

(Do not go to the 3rd party site direct)

 

 

Step Four: The cashback will appear on your statement

 

Step Five: Transfer funds to your account or other services you may want to purchase 


Their site is very easy to use, navigation is simple, everything is labelled and explained clearly.  There are no charges to open an account nor close it, no hidden charges to withdraw your earned cashback.  There is an administration fee of £5 for Plus membership. 

There are 2 levels of membership, Classic & Plus, Classic membership completely free. Plus members will pay an annual administration fee of £5.   
 Plus Membership Benefits

I will point out some companies credit TopCashBack quickly, most payments show within two weeks.  Other may take longer if you are buying products and services where you are subscribing to a annual service; telephone networks, boardband, insurance services, these merchants will not pay Cashback until a minimum period has passed. (Most of the companies will have cancellation policies, if TopCashBack pay out the cashback and a customer then cancels their policy, TopCashBack will be out of pocket)  Once the minimum period has passed, TopCashBack will credit your cashback to your account.    
I would recommend purchase via TopCashBack and wait until the end of the year. You could be surprised with a huffy little sum to spend as you like. (Obviously the choice is yours) At anytime if you have any concerns contact the custom care team.      

The site is designed to earn money; once you have sent-up an account, you can refer your friends, invite them to share special deals; every time a friend joins you will earn £7 (currently its £15).

So what are you wanting for : Join NOW
Everyone who joins via my link now will receive 500 Tesco Club Card Points, another offer available.
       
Want to keep upto date with TopCashBack
Follow them on TwitterFacebook


Please note this is an unsponsored post however I am delighted TopCashBack our my Sponsors for BritMums Live 2014.  This is an honest review and I am proud to be working with such a great team.   Please note all rates are correct as of 28th March 2013.

Don't be shy please say hi!

Monday, 24 March 2014

#HelpNoahWalk 20K to go / #Watford #Charity #CerebralPalsy

The past few months have been amazing! Noahs' Charity Fund has boomed via the Tree of Hope  currently its just over £60,000,00, that is mind boggling.  There have been people, young, old and very young getting involved, do gooders, friends, family from all other the country, helping Noah raise money.

Bashing buckets, selling tickets for events, cakes and goods sales, hosting raffles, auctions, all sorts of fundraising to get Noah to American to have his potential life changing operation, so one day soon he might be able to walk.



ONLY £20,000,00 to go! 

If you are a company looking for a noble cause, please don't hesitate empty your pockets or bank account out!!!  Please help sharing the love my local community has in Hertfordshire for Noah!
Dig Deep 

Ways to donate online

 Justgiving.com/HelpNoahWalk


You can donate via your phone 




Every donation counts, big, small.  This money will help a little boy walk.

I see Noah most days, he has the biggest smile of his face, he is the same as every other child.  He doesn't let his disability make him different.  But in all honesty he is different, the older he gets the harder it will be for him to move his legs, he may stop smiling.  The operation in America will be life changing, he is due for his operation in May.  So please spare what you can.

There are a few events in the pipeline, if you can donate any type of prize, his parents will gladly have them. Please contact his dad, Dave Collins on Twitter, anything will be greatly received.

If you have any questions, please contact me, his dad or leave a comment.

All my best Lucy
 xx

I am going to Britmums Live 2014! #BritMumsLive2014 / Linky

I am delighted to say I am going to Britmums!!! 

BritMums is the BIGGEST Lifestyle social media event for Bloggers in the UK, possibly the World! I am very proud and super lucky to say I have been sponsored by Top CashBack a Great Cashback site, currently taking the Nation by storm. Thank you SO SO MUCH TOP CASHBACK!
Top CashBack announced on Twitter they will be sponsoring me, someone rightly asked what is that?




With only 140 characters, I replied:
'A huge social media conference bloggers get together, network with brands, improve blogging skills

BLOGGING - MY STORY


I opened a blogger account back in 2009, sadly I didn't write my first blog post until late 2011.  I always had a feeling inside that I wouldn't be good enough.  Following others bloggers I realised there were actual rules; do's and don'ts to blogging .  Where would I find out all the answers?



However, I kept having flashes of writing interesting subjects I wanted to share, I wanted to get on my soap box and tell the world what I thought and how I feel.  Well, eventually I overcame my fear and the rest is history.

Over the last couple of years I have met some very interesting people, been to some great events all because of my passion for writing.

The otherside of blogging is writing for other people and brands/companies. Blogging has given me great opportunities to work with wonderful companies, test products, attend events and sharing my experiences to an audience, you guys.  Its been an amazing journey so far.

BRITMUMS

Last year a few friends in my social network attended Britmums, they came back raving about how awesome it is. They attended workshops for beginners (I definitely need this in my life), writers and storytellers.  Listen to talks from influential bloggers, people who have been writing for yonks, people in the biz so to say, sharing their stories and offering first hand advice.

There will also be PR/Marketing people there wanting to interact with bloggers to give their brands a platform to share their stories and promote their goods and services. 


BritMums is an awesome opportunity to get yourself out there, I can be a fairly shy person but I want to experience this for myself.  Blogging is amazing, its feels great when a total strangers leaves me a fantastic message and says I enjoyed that post, thank you.  My blog is online, its out there in cyberspace, my states ( thats right I have states) show I have readers, people from all around the world.  Russia, America, Europe, Australia the list if endless.


My advice is you want to scream, shout, laugh, cry, if you have something to share, don't be shy trying blogging.  Its has opened doors for me, there is space for everyone.  I am learning and have learnt times have changed and we live in a digital world.

BRITMUMS LIVE 2014

I understand this year BritMums will be the biggest event ever.  The conference is taking place at The Brewery, London EC1Y 4SD, on Friday June 20 and Saturday June 21.
Blogger Delegate tickets are £95 for both days. I suggest buy now to avoid disappointment, tickets are selling fast.    





Name: Lucy 
BlogIts a London Bird Thing
Twitter ID:  @LondonBirdLucy
Height: 5ft 8ish
Hair: Long, straight, chestnut brown hair
Eyes: Smiling Brown eyes
Is this your first blogging conference?
Hell YEAH!
Are you attending both days?
Most definitely
What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2014?
I want to improve my blog, so advice about hosting, creativity and MEETING PEOPLE JUST LIKE ME!
What are you wearing?
Now: Jeans and a T! At the event... I'm not too sure but definitely a T-shirt with my sponsor +TopCashBack   - YEAH!
What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2014?
Reassurance, am I doing an okay job?  I want to learn how to better my blog


I am attending BritMums, I do feel like a newbie, very proudly wearing a Top CashBack logo, so if you see me, please say hello.

If you are attending please leave me a message, you can also link-up here: BritMums Linky


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Woolly & Tig iPad app Review.


Liam recently turned 4 years old, he is fairly familiar with an iPad.  He has started uses the iPad, he likes watching films, cartoons and some interaction apps.


Me and my little guy, have been lucky enough to play (me testing out) the new Woolly and Tig iPad app, which is aimed up to 5 year olds.



Woolly and Tig is a TV Show on Cbeebies.  Woolly is a friendly, fluffy, caring spider who help Tig with today to today obstacles over coming her fears.

At the start of the app Woolly appears and introduces himself. He can do an array of tricks and needs a little assistance from little hands. So your little people can start to interact with him.


Its very sweet, Woolly has a child's voice, he asks the user to tickle him, sweeping their fingers over around him, to make him do somersaults, Woolly jumps while counting, splashes in puddles, all sorts to keep little children interested.

Liam really enjoys these simple tasks.

On the top left corner there is a Woolly button, press for more interactive fun:   


I would not say its an educational app but it shows our little ones some basic daily routine rules, also helps them develop fine motor skills.  This part of the app helps our little people interact with Woolly by helping him complete tasks.  I found the app very interesting, as my son wasn't too keen for me to show him what to do but, he happily took the iPad and interacted with Wooly by himself.

On the rightside there is a list of awards Bronze, Silver and Gold. I can tell by these which ones he enjoys playing the most, getting dressed and wash my face both gold.  Liam isn't aware of the medal system.  I haven't explained it to him as I felt he is a little young to be competitive.  Its just shows he hasn't been uses the others as much, he plays for fun.    

The picture of a house takes you back to home page, Woolly is always there to welcome little people with something new to do.


Top right is an adult button (Needs to be pressed for a while, so little fingers cant access it) this screen will appear.

 
There is a little daily alarm/timer can be set:
I had set; Getting dressed, Brush my teeth, Wash my face; as an alarm every morning.


In the mornings Liam started using the alarm as a prompt (well, it would wake me-up then I wake him).  Recently we tend to be in a hurry and the iPad becomes a distraction for him in the morning.


All in all its a fun little app (for first time users) Liam enjoys using it.  Great if you can incorporate into to a daily routine but this is not essential to the app to make it enjoyable.  I would like to see the app with a few extras, eating meals and bedtime routine added.

The app can be purchased from iTunes £1.49
both for iPads and iPhones


This is an unsponsored post, I was given the app to use and review. Please note RPP correct as the time of write-up.

Shrek the Musical DVD review

Did you like Shrek the movie? Do you like musicals?


Just in cast you are unfamiliar with Shrek, he is grumpy Ogre living alone until one day the King, Lord Farquaad banishes all the fairytale characters from the Kingdom. Lost with knowwhere to go they land on Shreks doorstep, in dark unfriendly swamplands.  Shreks wants a peaceful life and to be left alone, he cuts a deal with Lord Farquaad for everyone to return to the Kingdom. 
In return he will seek and bring Lord Farquaad Princess Fiona, Lord Farquaads' only desire.  On his journey he meets a loud and clown-like donkey, Donkey! They meet Princess Fiona and all is not what it first seems.
I do not wanting to give the story away, so I suggest you watch the show! Haha 

Well I like both, lucky for me, I got to review the DVD 'Shrek The Musical'!


I wish I could of been able to watch the show live, I love a night out at the theater, the bright lights, the silence before the curtains go up, the atmosphere is electric, however its mostly not possible with 2 little ones. 

So from the comfort of my home, lights turned down low, little-ones with popcorn and drinks on the go!  We really enjoyed the show. 17 great new songs not to mention the stunning costumes bright and sparkly, make-up is amazing, everyone transformed, suiting their role. The Orchestra is a perfectionists.     



The performance is flawless, fantastic great booming, clear voices.  Its very different to watch compared to the cartoon movie but, the magic is there. 

My sons adored Shrek, I like his corny sense of humour which shines through, thankfully this flies over their little minds.  Donkey's cheeky behavior is out being as bad as ever, he is funny, with lots of ones liners my sons did get these jokes.  Lots of giggles from them.

The performance is lively, the cast very talented.  If you are fan of Shrek, maybe not even musicals, give it a go, something very different and entertaining.   The storyline is the same as Shrek but to rein-act on the stage, in a musical form, for me this is a job well done, funny and an entertaining performance.

My sons did get restless near the end but would go off, then come back but they are young 3 & 5.  I lent the DVD to a friend, she has a 10 year daughter. They both loved it, her daughter has been singing and trying to copy some of the routines for days afterwards.

This DVD was released December 2013 and on Digital HD from November 2013.  It was filmed in 2010 and is a recording from live Broadway show, it totally captures the magic of a Broadway performance.


Featuring a 17 all-new songs, along with unforgettable characters and outrageous humour, Shrek The Musical is ogre-sized fun for the whole family!  As a bonus feature, it comes with a Shrek the Musical Songbook with 7 Sing-Along song from the musical.  DVD lasts for 130 minutes. Cert: U suitable for all ages. contains very mild language, innuendo and rude humour <<< Funny!

I hope you get a chance to view, would make a lovely gift to for any true Shrek fans! Can be purchased at most major outlet for about £10. I had seen it at £17 thats too much, shop around.

This is an unsponsored, I was given the DVD to review.

Dont be shy, say Hi!


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Hotel Chocolat Easter Giveaway Ends 4th April - HAPPY EASTER!



The Easter holidays are coming and for most, this is the time of year to indulge and spoil loved ones. Well, Hotel Chocolat know how to spoil us their customers, they have an enormous new Easter Eggs & Gift Collection.  Here are a few new chocolate delights to make you want them, I tell no lies.. I WANT THEM! 

The Splat White Chocolate Easter Egg - Also comes in some other great flavours; Milk Chocolate, Caramel Chocolate, Dark Chocolate - £12.50

  Egg and Chips - £14.00 










There are a fine selection of eggs, bunnies, chunky, crunchy, flavours and textures all for our approval! Hotel Chocolat. Are renounced as a sophisticated chocolate maker, high in coco a true chocolate lover dream.   

Easter is Sunday, 20th April.  I am super happy to be able to treat one of my readers.  I am giving away this luxurious Easter Pick Me Up

 Easter Pick Me Up - £13.00 

There are Easter goodies to nibble and even share if you wish.
Contents:  6 White Praline Bunnies, 6 Salted Caramel Egglets, 4 Raspberry Zinger Egglets. 

Good luck everyone









T&Cs: Starts 19/3/14 Please follow the 6 steps. Leave a comment on my blog, follow my blog by subscribing via email, follow me on GFC & tweet about #LBLGiveaway and follow me @LondonBirdLucy & @HotelChocolat
For extra daily entries please tweet and/or leave comments of over blog posts.
Open to UK residence only
Winner announced on Friday, 4th April 2014
Entries must be 18+ to enter.



 This is an unsponsored post

Please do not be shy, drop by and say hello!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Raffle Winners #HelpNoahWalk


A few months ago I heard that a little boy, needed help. He needs money for an operation in America.  So I decided to help.  I contacted a lot of companies, hotels, sent a lot of messages and emails looking for potential prizes. I had a lot of none replies but in turn I had some delightful responses.  Even fellow comping friends donated prizes.

I actually thought I would sell all the tickets in a couple of weeks, well I was very wrong it has taken me over 3 months.  I have more then likely annoyed a few followers with my continually tweets but it has been worth every one.

I have had a lot of help from some very lovely people, all tweeting #HelpNoahWalk and raising money as well as awareness. 

I am pleased to say I sold the last raffle ticket today at 3pm, raising £800. None of this would of been possible without all my followers, so I thank you all from the very bottom of my heart.  Noah still has away to go. His operation is due in May, fingers crossed the full £80.000 will be raised by then.  I wish him and his lovely parents all the luck in the world.  They are still relying on the good faith of others >> Donations are welcome https://www.justgiving.com/HelpNoahWalk/

Finally I am overjoyed to announce my raffle WINNERS:


1. Noisy Norman - @baybdoll8701
2. Peppa Pig Bingo - @sam83ghs
3. Hallmark Goody Bag - NikitaFrederick/FB
4. An Amazing Puzzle & Game Ravensburger bundle - Sara Jones/FB
5. An Amazing Puzzle & Game Ravensburger bundle - @lemonfancy
6. Complete Bed Bundle from John cotton - @karenl109
7. Now 83 CD - SuziBeaton/FB
8. Sony Headphones - @prettyxcool
9. Mini Kobo Reader - MichelleMurray/FB
10. Box set of Jason Statham DVDs - @chris_woodgate
11. Samsung ES25 Camera - @mclarengurl
12. Josie Gibons 30 Second Slim Workout DVD -@nicolamp
13. Anna Richardsons Summer Body Blitz Diet Book - CatherineWarburton/FB
14. Roald Dahl; Three Tales of Magic and Mischeif (Hard Copy)- @Miamoos_mummy
15. Selection/mix of Beauty products - @LittleMissKJB
16. Bliss Set - @peartsue61
17. Cath Kidston Soap set - @luluhoneybun
18. £50 Rubblesole Voucher - @maximka25
19. Jungle Bunch kids DVD - @FionaWupwoo
20. A pendant, an unique piece of handmade jewellery - ChrisFliss/FB
21. Cute fairy doors - @prettyxcool
22. Body Shop White Musk for men trio gift set - @chris_woodgate
23. SpongeBob Planktons Robotic Revenge Nintendo 3DS game LouiseWong/FB
24. Super Bubble Blowing Machine - @suej1601 
25. A Mens Designer Bracelet from Liora - @janesgrapevine
26. Mito_Q face cream - @luluhoneybun
27. Fake Bake Luxury duo set - @jazza1
28. Kiss Everlasting Gel Polish Sets, including Lamp - @Xennia79
29. Kiss/Fake Bake bundle, lashes, nails and Daily Tan - @chrismse1
30. Slimpod - @yogavicky79
31. Slimpod - @lynnmacmum
32. TanAtomical twin set - @bulinachinashop
33. LolliPop Lane Luxury Baby Blanket & Teddy- @tigerfanjane
34. Britney Spears' Believe 30ml & Kylies' Darling 75ml - @flossiecrossie
35. Fifa 2014 PS3 game - @Jo_Bryan




I will contact all the winners; but feel free to message me if you see your name.
The winners details will be forwarded to the person/company providing the prizes. Prizes should be
with the winners within 28 days. 


Please note Noah picked the winners this afternoon using random.org!