#Win Alternative Easter Gifts for Cool Kids

Cool stuff kids march

It is always good to have alternative Easter gifts up your sleeve, that aren’t chocolatey…I have some to win too!

Okido is the arts and science magazine for kids. I had banned kids’ magazines in our house because they are generally impossible to actually write on with any pen known to humans, a bit rubbish, focussed soley on telly watching, pink/blue, covered in plastic tat, expensive, insulting, boring and lacking in anything that is going to set my children’s minds on fire.

How refreshing then to receive Okido. Beautiful pages you can write on, lovely layout, bright colours, colouring pages you would want to colour, art, cooking, science ideas. The stories, poems and illustrations explore emotions beautifully. Continue reading

Avert Valentines Day Meal Disasters #Win a meal cooked in your home by a Masterchef!

Its the simple things, Mr A made me a heart shaped jacket potato

I bet you have some funny or painful Valentines Day meal stories. I know I do.

I will never forget the Singles Valentines night me and my friend J threw at university. We cooked heart shaped pizzas for all our single friends. The evening was going well, wine flowing, a few sparks of romance flying, mainly though, just good friends having a blast. Continue reading

Win the UK’s first gluten free Christmas hamper, plus Ilumi discount code

ilumi hamperRegular readers may remember I did a Illumi review and give away earlier this year. It proved really popular, so many people have food allergies and were on the look out for convenient, tasty and good value short cuts to great meals. Well this Christmas I am really excited to have the UK’s first gluten free Christmas hamper to offer, plus exclusive discounts, just in time for Christmas! Continue reading

Find out your shopping tribe and win a £60 Amazon Voucher

11 cm Obitsu Drta doll with Hegemony77 doll clothes shopping bags

by Hegemony77 doll clothes, on Flickr

New research from Barclaycard and consumer experts at Brunel University, shows that the recent economic climate has changed how we approach shopping and saving money. People now place far greater value on the emotional investment of smart spending giving rise to four new modern shopping tribes. Continue reading

How to do a DIY family photoshoot

Love Mister G’s photobombing of Miss L’s shot of me and Mr A. We did a bit of a family photoshoot recently, we needed a picture of all four of us in a hurry. The results made me realise it was something we should do more often, rather than waiting for the perfect moment to happen or paying for a photographer. I’ve listed the ingredients for a perfect shoot and a lovely Photo Box Photo Mugs giveaway too, the perfect way to celebrate your efforts.
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Happy Campers: OLPro kit and melamine camping set giveaway CLOSED

OLPro have an exciting range of camping products perfect for injecting some fun and glamour into your camp. Let’s face it, camping gear can be a bit brown and green, so it is great to see some colour injected into the products. The red and turquoise colourway is really stylish and I love the co-ordination from tent through to plates. The tent comes in a range of sizes suitable for couples through to large families.

We’ve fallen in love with this camp themed Berrow Hill Melamine camping set from OLPro. I love the attention to detail in the pattern and it really cheered up our last camping trip. We even have a set to giveaway… Continue reading

Ilumi – food for health, wellbeing and food allergies – Giveaway CLOSED

I’ve been sent some Illumi foods to try, and to giveaway. Ilumi have been making nut, gluten and milk free foods for over a decade, making tasty dishes that focus on creating great taste out of what can go in, rather then what is missing. I don’t have a food allergy, but I am vegetarian, so I was interested to see how their ready made dishes might work for me. I can sympathise with those who have allergies, in that so often vegetarian meals are badly thought out.
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My bathroom does the talking

The bath (1867) by Alfred Stevens

Tots 100 have a competition to win a new bathroom by explaining why you would like a new bathroom and what it would look like. Over to my bathroom for…

The why…

It is dark and quiet in the Alexander Residence now, sleep descends like a fog and only the relentless drip, drip dripping of an abandoned tap torments me now. Enough, I say, I shall confess all dear reader, it is almost without realising that people share their darkest secrets and desires in here with me, that I bear that weight like a pipe fit to burst.

Take the lady of the house for example, whilst she may she shine and smile and speak with good manners and eloquence, you would find her quite slothenly in matters of housekeeping. Indeed if you were to run your finger across that sink top, well, then I can see that you dear reader, a pure and houseproud soul, would be quite sickened by the way the dust and grime clung to your finger tip. If you were to run your finger along the shower screen your very soul would recoil at the build of scum and debris.

It wasn’t always like this I must divulge dear reader, for you seem quite horrified at my revelations. Once the bathroom was a place for her to retreat, to dream and to luxuriate. Now she shudders at the sight of my cracked and peeling walls. But let me try to remain in the present, painful thought that is, for I can see you are keen for more tales of disrepair and degradation.

The young master is a curious child, forever littering the bath with small keepsakes and treasures. I must not omit to mention his older sister, as wild as her curls, forever conjuring strange potions in her bath. Between you and me, for you seem a trustworthy soul, there are few nights when they are not to be heard, screaming like banshees when the lord or lady of the house requires them to take a bath. In my hey day children were seen and not heard.

Where the original bath once stood, now stands a strange cubicle, which they call the shower. Between you and me this obsession with showering so frequently is quite baffling, nothing quite like it I ever saw. The lord of the house is sent quite delirious with it, in fact the transformation of his countenance following one of these showers is really quite remarkable. A modern day miracle.

Yet, I must confess he remains quite blind to the broken door, the mould creeping up my walls and the cruel way the steam laps at my paintwork. The lady of the house cruelly taunts my pipes with her long hairs, until I am choking…


The what…I think my bathroom has said quite enough, he is prone to being melodramatic, but he has a point.

My dream bathroom is Victorian. I dream of returning my shabby modern bathroom to it’s Victorian roots. Bathrooms shouldn’t be boring, minimalistic, clinical spaces. They shouldn’t be littered with kid’s toys, plastic bottles and harsh lights. They should be places to dream a little.

They should be places to luxuriate, with candles, armchairs, plants and curtains. I might have nowhere near enough room for a washstand and an armchair, and it might just be for show, but a shelf with an old wash jug and bowl wouldn’t go amiss. I want a fern, a big oval mirror, not a cracked and square cabinet mirror. I want a treasure box for the kids toys, not a plastic storage box. I want another one for my trashy magazines, bath bombs and chocolates. I want this…

A tin bucket for my backscrubber and sponge. Fluffy purple towels. I want Victorian perfume bottles and somewhere to put my wine and candles…

And a novel to devour….

It goes without saying I want a roll top bath.

CLOSED Win Theatre tickets and dinner for 2 in London

I am really excited about this month’s giveaway. It combines four of my greatest passions: British Summer Time, theatre, food, and time with the one you love. In fact five, I really loved the music behind this show as a kid…have you guessed from the pic?

As I arrived in Nottingham from London at 6pm last night, it hit me it was still light! The clocks are springing forward on Sunday, so going to the theatre of an evening won’t seem so much like forcing myself out of hibernation.

This month’s giveaway is in partnership with Allianz Global Assistance:

Allianz Global Assistance offers quality travel insurances to millions of travellers worldwide and wants to celebrate the start of the British summer with you! Allianz Global Assistance wants to give you the chance to make more use of the additional daylight on offer starting when the clocks go forward on Sunday.

Win an amazing night out with Theatre and Dinner for 2 in London!

PRIZE: Two tickets for the musical “Thriller” in London and a two course dinner in a choice of one of ten restaurants. Drinks are not included. Price includes service charge and VAT. Tickets are for an evening show Sunday-Friday, or the matinee on Saturday or Sunday. For a show in April -June.

The lucky winner was number 29, Angela Wright!

To enter just leave a comment below telling me what the best thing about theatre is and please subscribe to the Alexander Residence by reader, or by email:

Enter your email address:
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Up to 3 extra entries for each of the following, but please remember to add an extra comment for each one you have done.

  • Like Alexander Residence on facebook
  • Follow @Aresidence on Twitter.
  • Tweet something like:  #Win London #theatre tickets and dinner for 2 with @AllianzAssistUK http://wp.me/p2d61f-2l9
Terms and Conditions
  • Four entries maximum per person
  • Entrants need to use a separate comment for each entry
  • The winners will be selected at random.
  • The prize, as described in detail above, will be supplied on behalf of AllianzAssist, not by Alexander Residence, and is non refundable and non exchangeable.
  • Closing date Midday Monday 15th April.
  • Winner will be notified by email and have 7 days to respond, after which time a redraw will take place
  • UK entries only

Listed with: ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

CLOSED Win one of 4 sets of 1000 Instant Print Business Cards.


Latest comp here A pair of Thriller tickets and dinner for two!

Instant Print gave me the chance to design some new business cards. I was impressed with the quality, they have a shiny, almost photograph-like film on them which makes them feel extra special. Both the text and images I chose reproduced really clearly although sorry my phone camera hasn’t reproduced that smoothness here.

I decided to go for a collage, as I like visuals and it isn’t easy to get across the different things I do in a few words. Rather than have my blog header I wanted a card I could use more generally too.  Images also make a good talking point when meeting new people whether in a work capacity or at a blogging conference.

Originally I wanted someone else to design them but with all my arty friends busy in the run up to Christmas, I designed them myself. It was actually really easy, I used Picmonkey to make the collage and a Publisher template Instant Print supplied me. Instant Print also have templates for other art programmes like Photoshop. Delivery was super fast.

Congrats to @fivegoblogging, @sophiescouse, @mymummyspennies @mizzielizzieb

GIVEAWAY – Instant Print have 4 x sets of x 1000 cards to give to 4 lucky winners

Winners get to submit their own design to Instant Print (in the same way I have) – which will then be printed by Instant Print, to enter just leave a comment below and please subscribe to the Alexander Residence by reader, or by email:

Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Up to 3 extra entries for each of the following, but please remember to add an extra comment for each one you have done.

  • Like Alexander Residence on facebook
  • Follow @Aresidence on Twitter.
  • Tweet something like:  Win a pack of 1000 Business Cards with @Aresidence http://wp.me/p2d61f-29N and InstantPrint.co.uk
Terms and Conditions
  • Four entries maximum per person
  • Entrants need to use a separate comment for each entry
  • The winners will be selected at random.
  • The prizes will be supplied by Instant Print, not by Alexander Residence, and are non refundable and non exchangeable.
  • Closing date Midday Thursday 28th February.
  • Winner will be notified by email and have 7 days to respond, after which time a redraw will take place
  • UK entries only


Never get locked out again Yale Giveaway CLOSED

Some of the most important doors in my life have had Yale locks, my parents, mine. There’s something that says home and safe to me about Yale. But if like me, you are prone to losing your keys and staring blankly at the lock, I have just the giveaway for you. Continue reading