Sea Life Centre, plus Blue Planet #giveaway

Ladbrokes are celebrating one of their new promotions, an Octopays game, so wondered if we would fancy a trip to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham. I won’t lie, it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. Continue reading

Dalani Home & Living – Twin Competition

I’d love to say this was my workspace, it’s not.  But I do have a trestle table, white walls and red accents in my office, so surely I am on my way to this kind of design nirvana.  I also had a huge declutter last month, following William Morris’s famous mantra, so I am feeling ready to embrace interior design. Continue reading

Win Merci Maman personalised jewellery

I have some lovely Merci Maman personalised jewellery to give away, and a 10% discount code to share, read on.

Merci Maman sent me a beautiful, and contemporary sterling silver charm bracelet, with the names of my children on. I love that it’s minimalist, but still beautiful enough to wear every day and that the braid comes in a range of colours. The hearts also come in a gold plated version.  I love that it doesn’t catch on knitwear or clank against my laptop, as my old fashioned charm bracelet does. Here’s a close up from Merci Maman’s website:

I absolutely love that the writing has that irresistible French charm about it. Mine makes me imagine my children (they’re not called Hugo, Lucas and Thomas) through Parisian tinted spectacles, perched on seats in a pavement cafe, wearing clothes from a designer children’s boutique, swinging their feet merrily while cheekily dunking croissants in hot chocolate.  Day dreaming aside, it makes me think very fondly of them when they’re not with me.  *Cough* loudly to alert any Dads in the vicinity, it would make a beautiful mother’s day gift.

Merci Maman specialise in hand engraved and hand embroidered personalised gifts.  With Valentine’s day also coming up Merci Maman have offered a Duo Open Disc Bracelet set to give away to one lucky reader. It is shown in pink and black here, but comes in wide range of braid colours.  They would make great gifts for partners, or friends or children. They can be engraved with messages, names or dates.  In fact Merci Maman had an order for a Marry Me engraved charm bracelet last week. *Sigh*.

There are some great ideas for personalising your charm bracelet:

Discount code

I have a 10% discount code to share over the next week.  Just enter alexanderresidence2012 in the discount code box at checkout, ends next Friday.


CLOSED – winner via was number 55. Congrats to @Pagan500.

To win a Duo Open Disk Bracelet set worth £70, which consists of a pair of bracelets with the braid colour and engraving of your choice on a sterling silver or gold plated disk, just leave a comment below.  Please make sure I can contact you, twitter handles or emails are great.

For extra entries, leave an extra comment for each of the following you have done/do already

Liked Alexander Residence on facebook

Liked Merci Maman on facebook

Tweeted I want to #win @MerciMamanGifts Valentine’s charm bracelet at @Aresidence

Liked @Aresidence on Twitter

Liked @MerciMamanGifts on Twitter

Subscribed by email

Subscribe to the Merci Maman newsletter via their homepage in the left sidebar

Good Luck!  Competition ends Wednesday 8th February 2012 at 12 midday.  Winner will chosen using a random number generator and will be notified immediately, and will be put in touch with Merci Maman.  Order will need to be with Merci Maman by 11am Thursday 9th if the winner requires the gift for Valentine’s Day. UK entries only.

Dolphin Tale – film goodie bag giveaway

We were invited to see the family screening of Dolphin Tale in London, sadly it was too far away, but being a film lover, I thought I would share the news, and the love, with this rather generous goodie bag giveaway.

Dolphin Tale has done amazingly well at the box office in the US, beating the re-release of the Lion King. Great cast too.  It was released here in the UK yesterday if you’re thinking of heading to the cinema this weekend.  I am going to take my daughter and her friends as a half term treat.   Here is some information on the film, best of luck winning the goody bag!

Dolphin Tale, starring Harry Connick Jnr and Morgan Freeman, is inspired by the amazing true story of a brave dolphin (who also stars as herself in the film) and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life.

Watch the Trailer

Swimming free, a young dolphin is caught in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail.  She is rescued and transported to the Clearwater Marine Hospital, where she is named Winter.  But her fight for survival has just begun. 

Without a tail, Winter’s prognosis is dire.  It will take the expertise of a dedicated marine biologist (Connick Jnr), the ingenuity of a brilliant prosthetics doctor (Freeman), and the unwavering devotion of a young boy to bring about a groundbreaking miracle—a miracle that might not only save Winter but could also help scores of people around the world.

The Giveaway

Thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures, Alexander Residence has some brilliant film goodie bags (including a beach ball, beach towel, plush toys, photo frame, pencil kits, bracelets and stickers) on offer for 3 lucky winners. To be in with a chance of winning, just answer the following question in the comments…

DOLPHIN TALE is based on the true story of which dolphin who was found trapped in a crab trap?
  1. Summer
  2. Autumn
  3. Winter
Competition ended Wednesday 26th October.  UK entries only.   Please leave your Twitter or blog address. Feel free to tweet for extra entries: ‘I want to #win a DOLPHIN TALE goody bag @Aresidence’, please just leave an extra comment to let me know.

Winners: comment numbers 5, 7, 14.

© 2011 Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved.

Listography My Wedding and some competitions.

I will start by saying I am no royalist, but I see no reason not to make the most of an extra bank holiday.  I will be attending a friend’s Royal Wedding party, not because I want to watch it, but because I want to see my friends.  However, once surrounded by excited girlfriends who aren’t married, I may succomb to an excuse to gawp at a wedding dress and nod sagely as the wedding unfolds. 

In preparation for imparting married lady wisdom I thought I would take up Kate Takes 5 invitation to reflect on the improvements we would make to our own weddings.   It was perfect, but there’s always room to tweak.

1.  Don’t become Bridezilla.  In the run up to the big day, don’t spoil a romantic getaway to Verona bickering about lack of interest in discusssing table decorations.

2.  Don’t panic on starter’s orders.  I was supposed to be entering to Nina Simone’s  Feeling Good.  I had my cue all rehearsed, but in nervous excitement I charged in, there was a bit of music, but no lyrics, Nina didn’t even get to Feel Good.

3.  Offer the Best man and Woman something medicinal to calm them down.   For some reason they were more nervous than us, even without the getting married bit.

4.  After a year long health kick and beauty regime your wedding day is not the day to beg crafty cigarettes from fourth cousin Nigel.

5.  Ask the photographer to focus on someone other than me for some of the shots.  I know generous aren’t I?

I will leave you with two chances to win something to help this bank holiday go with a swing.  Innocent offered me some vouchers to try their lovely orange juice.  They are having a street party competition to win champagne and other street party paraphenalia.

Pampers are also offering a chance to show off photographs of your little princes and princesses celebrating the bank holiday, to win a day being treated as royalty and a year’s supply of nappies.

Oh and one last bit of fun, if you need to get in role for the day why not invent a Royal Wedding Day Character?  Take a grandparent’s first name, your first pet and a street you have live on.

I am Lady Winifred Ouzel-Cedars, bottoms up!  And who are you?

Penny in Miffyland and a GIVEAWAY

Penny was beginning to get very tired of being pregnant, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her husband was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book’, thought Penny, ‘without pictures or conversation?  And then Penny’s Mummy and Daddy suggested a visit to an art gallery.   From behind a pillar appeared a white rabbit… (Thanks to Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)

This was taken when I was pregnant with Miss L (just thought I would make that clear), at an exhibition of Dick Bruna’s illustrations at Manchester Art Gallery .  I loved his work as a child but as an adult the exhibition gave me a whole new appreciation.

Bruna used to be in advertising before he went into illustrating kid’s books.  I think this really shows in his knack for communicating powerful messages simply.  Although his illustrations are far from simple to create.  Often it can take Bruna all day to get an expression just right. “For me, less is more. I work very hard on tears, making two or three of them, and then finding that one tear is more effective”. 

Miffy is 55 this year, but doesn’t look a day over 5.  But even more remarkable, Dick Bruna is 82 and still works every day in his studio in Utrecht. has a great selection of Miffy goods which would make great Christmas presents and stocking fillers. With Miss L starting school next year I am very drawn to this Miffy lunchbox:

I also have two to giveaway to two of the people who leave a comment below.  Please remember to tell me how I can contact you. 

For extra entries you are very welcome to tweet ‘I have entered the Miffy giveaway  #win #comp’  /follow my blog/ follow me on twitter @Aresidence/ mention this prize on your blog.  Please leave a separate comment for each you have done so I can allocate a number to each entry. 

Good Luck!  This is open until Thursday 16th December.  I am sorry but UK entries only.

Results of the Usborne Giveaway

I can officially announce the winner of the Usborne touchy feely baby Christmas book is: Lou (Congrats – I will tweet you to get your address).

If you didn’t win never fear I have another very sweet little giveaway to do with that gorgeous rabbit Miffy.

Thanks for entering.  Enjoy your Christmases with your newborns and take LOTS of pictures!