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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winners announced!

So the competition to win a Grip'n'Sip cup has come to an end!
I have used to select the 3 winners (screen-shots below)
The 3 winners are:
Comment number 19 - Michelle U
Comment number 4 - @zanacel
Comment number 24 - Laura Copley
Well done!
If the winners could please contact me with their name and address I can send the cups out and hopefully they will get to you before Christmas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Co-operative Membership Fund

The Cooperative Membership Fund
The Co-operative Community Fund is a grant scheme, which helps local communities throughout the UK. Thousands of clubs, community groups and local charities have benefited.
The scheme is funded by generous members of The Co-operative donating some of their share of profits, which is then given away in the form of small grants. This year The Co-operative Members have donated £1.2 million to local community groups across the country. To qualify for a grant projects must address a community issue, provide long term benefit to the community, support co-operative values and principles & be innovative
The Co-operative has real values and true commitments, not just empty corporate mission statements. When we claim something, it's true. When we commit to change, we make it happen.
There are some great stories happening in local communities and The Co-operative supports those stories and helps them to happen.
Bexley Swimming Club
What is The Co-operative Community Fund?
The fund is made up of donations from our members who have chosen to give a percentage of their twice-yearly share of the profits. This year The Co-operative Members have donated £1.2 million to local community groups across the country
The Community Fund is a registered charity and is governed by The Co-operative Community Investment Fund (CCIF). This board of trustees are responsible for ensuring funds to projects are given in line with the Charities Commission guidelines.
The Co-operative Community Fund operates on a truly local level.  The money each region has to give is the money that members have donated in their area. Projects are allocated by postcode..
Grants vary from a minimum of £100 to a maximum of £2,000.
Groups have to apply for the funding and the application form is available on their website.
To be successful a group must:
  • Carry out positive work in the community (it does not have to have charitable status to apply)
        And the project must:
  • Address a community issue
  • Provide a long-term benefit to the community
  • Support co-operative values and principles
  • Ideally be innovative in its approach
I thought maybe this project could help a number of places in my area. There is an art centre which could do with being refurbished. If the centre was refurbished there would be more space to display photographs and paintings from local artists or photographers. There is also a theatre which many groups hold performances.  

This is a sponsored post.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

The stress I have encountered after returning to work!

Hi everyone.
I just wanted to share my recent experiences with you. As you may know I recently decided to start work (you can find out more here!)
As a single parent I knew there would be a lot to sort out benefit wise; signing off income support, housing benefit and sorting out working tax credits. As I have no clue how to do any of this, I made an appointment with the lone parent advisor at my local job centre. I thought that she would sort everything out there and then for me..... this was not the case. She gave me a contact number and told me to ring the in work team. I did this and the man I spoke to didn't know what team I was asking for!
I then rang the income support office and explained I had started work and I needed to end my claim for income support. I thought once I had done this everything would fall into place..... this was not the case!
After signing off income support I rang up the working tax credit office and answered their questions and they updated my file. From friends I thought the tax credits would take FOREVER! But within a week I had received  my payment and award letter. Along with this I had received a letter from my local council saying I was no longer entitled to housing benefit because my job wasn't expected to last more than 5 weeks..... this was not the case! I was confused and didn't know what to do. I started to stress!
I knew my job was permanent and would last well over 5 weeks! After a number of telephone calls the problem was discovered. When I signed off income support they didn't ask where I was working or how long my employment was going to last. They presumed it would last no more than 5 weeks!
I went back into my local job centre yesterday and *fingers crossed* have hopefully sorted it out. Only time will tell and I will only know once I receive my award letter!
From this experience I can totally see why people who have been on benefits do not return to work. The job centre say they give you the support you need when you need it; but this was not the case!

Has anyone had any stressful situations when they were trying to return back to work?

Aside this problem, I am settling into my new role well and Jack is gradually accepting mummy is going to work and settling into nursery. He has picked up a number of colds and coughs (the joys of nursery's!) and brought mummy home lots of lovely paintings. The nursery tell me he is forming friendships there now as he is going more regularly. I am confident the tears I see when I leave him are only crocodile ones!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I became famous; why don't you?!

Ever fancied knowing what it's like to be famous and being in the public eye?

Well now you can! I uploaded a photograph of myself from my computer and the site did the rest! It's that easy! You can even connect it to your Facebook.

There is no excuse not to become famous! Simply head over to the HP website and become a star today!

You can find HPUK on Facebook where they run some fantastic competitions.

This is a sponsored post.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My time as a SAHM is drawing to an end!

Hi everyone!
Today I got the call I had been waiting for! A few weeks back I applied to become an assistant manager at The British Heart Foundation. I went for a 'work trial' and really enjoyed myself. The manager was really friendly and the work place had such a relaxed atmosphere. I know it's not going to always be calm and relaxed but I am ready for the challenge. Just think of all the bargains I can get my hands on!!
I decided to apply to work  for The British Heart Foundation as about 6 months ago, my granddad was told he had to have a quadruple heart bypass. He was assigned a British Heart Foundation nurse for when he was discharged. She was amazing, she allowed him to recover in the comfort of his own home. She helped him keep the house tidy, cooked and also changed the dressings.
I wanted to give back something to the charity and I feel working for them I will have more of an insight to what the British Heart Foundation does and how it helps people.
I am excited to be starting a job, but I know it's going to be tough. Jack doesn't like going to nursery for one morning a week but I am sure if he goes regularly (3 days) he will start to enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What should I do? I need some ideas!

Hi everyone! As you may know Christmas is only 46 days away, which means it's 44 days until my little boy Jack turns two! It's gone so quick. It seems like only yesterday he was a newborn baby. Before I know it he will be starting first school! Last year for Jack's first birthday I had a small party at a Wacky Warehouse. Not many people came with it being so close to Christmas. This year I am not sure what to do. Would it be over the top if I hired a church hall and a DJ for a second birthday? I don't want to let him down if you know what I mean; but at the same time I don't want to waste money! I am not sure if he is at the age where he would appreciate a disco; I know he loves music and dancing. On the other hand I was thinking of just going to a local farm with my Jack and my mum and having a small get together with some music. Would it be wrong not to invite any of his friends if I was to have a little family party? I don't want my friends to think I don't want to include their children but at the same time I don't want to arrange something and have only 4 or 5 people turn up!
Help me out with some ideas please! What do you think I should do? How have/would you celebrate a second birthday?

Friday, November 05, 2010

How great would it be to win a year's salary?

What would you do if you won £40,000?

Just imagine of all the things you could do with a year's salary! Maybe you would invest it or spend it all? Book a holiday for the family? I know there would be a number of things I would do.

First I would put £20,000 aside because I know I can spend money quickly!
Next, I would pay my rent for a year. Always nice to know the rents paid!
I would book a holiday for me and Jack to go see Santa in Lapland.
Maybe, if I had any left after buying lots of new clothes.... a new car?

For a chance to win a year's salary all you need to do is buy anything using PayPal, and  the more times you buy, the more chances you get!
There are a number of sites you could buy from Toys R Us, Halfords,, Nike, Napster and Dell.

Here are some ideas of what you could buy for a chance to win £40,000!
Treat your little one to a bike for Christmas from Toys R Us or even Halfords!
Why not get a new Sat Nav from Halfords?
Check out for fantastic 3 for 2 offers!
Maybe treat yourself to some lovely trainers from Nike?
You could even buy music from Napster!

Go and have a browse on the websites above and you could get all your Christmas shopping done and enter yourself  for a chance to Win £40,000!

Find out more
Enter now for your chance to win
This is a Sponsored Post

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Nûby Grip'n'Sip cup review

Jack was sent another cup from Nûby to review. This one is called Grip'n'Sip. It holds 10 oz or 300 ml. It's suitable to use from 6 months. Jack is nearly 2 and loves drinking from this cup. The handles allow him to hold onto the cup easily and the soft silicone spout allows him to drink easily. It is a very light weight cup even with 10 oz of liquid in.

The teat is Vari-Flo which means it allows the child to control the flow of their fluid by using their own sucking strength. So, the stronger the childs sucking action the wider the teat opens. The teat is removable and can be replaced if it becomes danmaged. You can buy the replacement teats from their website for only £1.99.

I put the cup through a tough test! I hung it upside down for about 5 minutes to see if it was really spill proof. For the first few seconds a little fluid did come out of the air valve hole, but soon stopped. There was no major spills or leaks while it was hung! Overall I think this is another fantastic cup from Nûby.

I have three of these cups to give away (two pink and one green). To enter all you need to do is comment on this post and I will use to select three winners. This give away will end on 30th November at 10am. 

Click Here and 'Like' NUBY UK on Facebook! Be sure to tell them that I (Single Mummy; One In A Million) sent you!
Twitter fans can follow Nuby UK @nubyuk on Twitter! Remember to tell them that I (Single Mummy; One In A Million) told you to follow!

How to celebrate Bonfire night safely

I have been thinking about taking Jack to a firework display for Bonfire night, but in the back of my mind I have been thinking he may not enjoy all the loud bangs and the massive crowds of people.
I have thought of a few ways we could celebrate it at home together.
We could make lots of lovely chalk and crayon firework pictures or even a bonfire collage.

For the chalk and crayon firework pictures all you will need is:

  • Black paper
  • Coloured chalks or crayons
  • Glitter
  • Glue stick
Using the coloured chalks or crayons draw firework patterns onto the black paper. Add glitter for sparkle!

For the bonfire collage you will need:
  • Large sheet of gold card
  • Glue stick
  • Yellow, red and orange tissue paper
  • Brown paper or card
  • Twigs
  • Sticky tape
Cut a bonfire shape from the card. Cut flames from the tissue paper and glue them onto the card. Try not to glue them flat but bend them and only stick bits down, this adds texture and makes the flames look real. Using the brown paper cut some rectangular log shapes and glue these onto the bottom of the fire. Finish off by taping on some real twigs to bring the collage to life and add even more texture!

After looking on babyworld; I found some interesting advise if you do want to take your little one to a firework display. I thought I would share these with you.
  • Noise: A small baby or timid older child may not relish a noisy firework display, putting a thick, cosy hat on little heads is a must.
  • Cold: If you're planning to be outdoors for a while on a nippy autumn evening, you'll have to make sure your baby keeps warm - the best option is probably a forward facing babysling. Toddlers will need several layers, especially on little feet which get very cold in wellies.
  • Walking: You often need to park some distance from a public firework event, as these are always popular, so if you've got a toddler remember you  may need to take a buggy or - even better - a backpack carrier.
  • Fear of the dark: Some small children don't react well to being outside in the dark - remember it's an unusual experience for them and you may need to be ready to retreat home quickly if all goes pear-shaped.