Monday, 4 April 2011

Champagne lifestyle, lemondade budget

So, here's the thing. I haven't been entirely honest with you. Now I know that most of you are aware that thrifting, to use that handy American-coined verb, isn't all malodorous crimplene and chipped plates from Argos (aah, Eternal Beau...) but well, sometimes it is. Exciting as treasure hunting can be - it's still not entirely glamorous, as anyone who saw me at the last car-boot can testify.

But I've been keeping a secret. I crave new things too. Every time I'm in front of the computer, you'll find me typing my name and address into another site, clicking send, and waiting for my long suffering postman to stagger up the path under the weight of all my parcels. Often by the time they arrive I don't even know what's inside...

Recently, it was my brand new coffee machine with its milk frother. My husband loves Nintendo, so he was thrilled with his DSi. He also liked the £600 Rigby and Peller corset  - made to measure  - although the card entitling me to a year's worth of Nails inc manicures was all for my benefit. I love to have pretty nails. You wouldn't catch Keira Knightley opening her goody bag from the Baftas without polished fingertips, and I made sure I didn't let the side down when I opened mine. Champagne (of course), Grey Goose vodka, American Airlines upgrades to first class, Diptyque candle, Lancome makeup, an hour's massage at The Dorchester Spa, a Longchamps handbag...

Actual Bafta not included

Have I driven you all away in horror? Please don't go! I'm not a secret celebrity or wannabe WAG, and I'm not about to appear in a C4 documentary about compulsive shoppers.  I am of course (whisper it), a comper. All the things I mentioned above are wins from competitions - although I've been sadly neglecting my comping since starting the blog. Now I know it's not the coolest hobby - there are some hardcore types who stake out supermarkets for EF's (entry forms) and have a second (or even third) phone just for entries - but I think the results are worth the withering looks.

I've been lucky enough to win quite a few cash prizes, but if I'd had a quid for everyone who's told me "I never win everything", well it's safe to say I'd be going on a large shopping spree. It always then transpires that they never enter anything - it's a truism, but you do have to be in it to win it! There's no real secret, just volume of entries, on a regular basis, but with experience I have found ways to improve your chances. If anyone is interested in learning more, I'll do another post or two with hints and tips on winning, and where to find the best competitions.

Which brings me full circle back to blogging - although I've been spending a lot of time in blogland, this in itself is a fertile source of competitions. I was lucky enough to win a lovely prize last week - and I'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks so much to Liz at Me and My Shadow for the copy of The Crafty Kid by Kelly Doust. I loved her first book The Crafty Minx, and this looks to have more inspiring and simple ideas for makes - this time for children. I can't wait to sit down with a coffee and have a really good read through all the lovely ideas. (I've already pigged all the chocodores chocolate buttons Liz put in as an extra treat, cheers Liz!)

You're probably all familiar with how a blog giveaway works, there's usually a requirement to be a follower, leave a comment or maybe answer an easy question.Other times you need to visit a website and choose your favourite item, or 'like' a company on Facebook. Sometimes you can obtain extra entries for posting about the competition, adding a button to your sidebar, or letting your followers know via Twitter. In fact, there is a competition running right now on Fashion Pearls of Wisdom with the rather marvellous prize of a £20 voucher for Pearl's fabulous online vintage emporium Why not go and check it out?

In fact, why not enter the competitions currently running on these all these lovely blogs?

The White Chair
Lady Cherry Loves
Raine and Sage
Scarlett Loves Elvis
Home Made Gorgeous
Me and My Shadow
A Thrifty Mrs

Good luck everyone, and if there's anything you'd like me to cover if I write more about competitions, please let me know! 

Linking up to Thrifty Thursdays  at Born Again Crafter, and  the Penny Pinching Party. Also Thrifty Things Friday


  1. Thanks for sharing the blogger contest links! You are so right, you gotta enter a lot to win a little! I like new things too, I got new Le Creuset for Christmas last year to go with my growing enamel ware collection. Sometimes you can find it used, sometimes you just gotta have it now!!

  2. Great post, how lucky are you winning loads of things! well done :) thanks for the mention of my giveaway your so kind.

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  3. You little devil you - love it!! In awe of your comp prowess, yes please do another post on the how to's. I admit i am one of the ones who say they never win anything which was true after spending a whole year doing my Nans Take-a-break magazine comp's, never won a sausage! So would love your expert tips and tbh Im green with envy over the Rigby and Peller corset! Hoping you bring me a little bit of luck now my lovely :o)Scarlett x

  4. Wow, I'm impressed with your competition winning skills. Yes! Hints and tips please, can't wait! I used to enter the odd comp but never won anything. Oh no, will this be a new obsession!!

  5. whoaa! i'm also impressed on your winnings! oh please please make a post on how to win the comps and share your lucky power to me too so I could win some!! i'm going to do a serious of clicking from now on, start from the links that you gave in the post!! wish me luck!! xx Susan

  6. wow i am impressed with all your winnings to i wouldn't even think to do it...but you have to be in it to win so to speak ;-)) dee x

  7. Wow, I've only ever won 2 competitions in my life and one of them was 3rd place. lol.

    It's intersting to see what was in the Ladies bafta bag, I got to have a nosey through the men's one (Stephen Fry's no less!) and there are some interesting diferences.

  8. Thanks for the mention and also for the tips, wow yo won some amazing stuff!!

  9. I used to do a lot of competitions and had some moderate success, but haven't done any for a while. Would quite like to get back into it again, though, so would be interested in another post with your insights into the world of comping. Caroline x

  10. Just to let you know Ive had a productive afternoon entering comps! Just got to now wait for all my prizes to roll in *wink* Scarlett x

  11. We all love to win something - Thanks for my mention. See how you've already given yourself two chances?! and there's not even that many entries. :)

  12. Somehow raffles, bingo, the lottery and giveaways always seem to pass me by lol! Wouldn't mind a couple of lucky hints! :-)

    Jem xXx

  13. Hi there!! Wow, well done on your wonderful wins and thanks for the links to the other blogs too! Have a great week x

  14. haahaa this made me laugh. We all have our weaknesses ;)
    Maybe its something in the water but I have been winning so many giveaways this past month. The biggest one was a letterpress set retailed almost $200! I love winning things!
    Thanks for sharing at thrifty thursdays!

  15. OMG! I loved this post. It is soo true, you have enter a lot to win a little, but you'll never win anything is you never enter anything. This year I've won a few small prizes from the sewing blogs i follow; 80 I-spy squares, 5 Robert Kaufman charm packs, and q super cute handmade pincushion (it's in the mail).

    I've also have had some decent luck with lottery scratch offs, nothing humongous, but up to one thousand. The trick with those are is to play the same game at the same place, meaning you want to play that same stack/book of tickets.

    I would love to hear a post on how you increase your odds at winning stuff.

  16. Oooh yes please, would love some hints and tips about how to increase chances of winning, count me in!

    I was one of those people who always said 'I never win anything' but as you say you got to be in it to win it. I have entered just two blog competitions in the last couple of weeks and have been fortunate enough to win on both occasions. :-)

  17. Awesome thrify post! I have really slipped out of entering giveaways and different competitions as well. But I have won so many awesome things. Thank you for sharing this post at TTF! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


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