How To Find Low Entry Competitions – How To Use Tweetdeck


Welcome to the third part of my blog series all about finding low entry competitions.  If you’ve not yet read the first or second parts in the series then go and read up now how to master search engines here, and how to make twitter lists here.  We are finally at our long-term aim of learning how to use Tweetdeck to find low entry competitions.  As this is such a huge massive topic I’ve broken the sections down to make it easier to learn.  You will need the info from the first two parts to get the best out of this tutorial.

Tweetdeck is a powerful filtering tool for Twitter.  You can quickly and easily use your search engine and twitter list mastery to narrow down tweets quickly and efficiently to find competitions.  Tweetdeck cannot be accessed via an app and is far easier to use on a laptop than a tablet (in my experience).  I’ve highlighted the key features of Tweetdeck below but scroll down to watch the video for the full walk-through and demonstration.

How to use Tweetdeck - to find low entry competitions

Lists on Tweetdeck

Add your lists you made from the 2nd part in our series.  Then filter them by the word ‘win’.  If you don’t get too many results with the word ‘win’ then try filtering by ‘#win’

Searches on Tweetdeck

Set up your favorite searches to find wish list prizes, creative competitions or local competitions.  You can then use Tweetdeck to get desktop notifications when a new competition is tweeted that matches your search.

Local Competitions

By setting up a search column you can even select a radius for tweets to find local competitions.  Please be aware that this is based on where the twitter account is registered so is not always 100% accurate.

How – To

To see how to do all of these and get some other tips then check out the video below.  If you still have any questions about how to use Tweetdeck then please do comment below.  Tweetdeck is such a big area to cover so Continue reading

How To Apply False Eyelashes – Even If You’re Really Really Bad At It

My Top Tips for applying false eyelashes

I love wearing false eyelashes.  It’s great to be able transform your look in a matter of minutes, and false eyelashes allow you to do just that.  The major downside for me with false eyelashes is applying them.  I’ve seen countless beauty videos where they simply daintily place them on an eyelid and BAM amazing eyes.  That doesn’t seem to ever happen to me….

It’s taken me some time to perfect putting eyelashes on.  I’m really not that great at it.  I still end up with them on wonky or in the wrong place.  However over the years I’ve found a few ways to hide my eyelash application incompetence which I’m going to share with you!

before and after - how to apply false eyelashes

Getting the correct eyelash

The eyelashes you’re trying to apply will have an impact on how easy they are to apply.  If you’re really really bad at applying eyelashes then don’t go straight in with massive full volume super long lashes.  Any mistakes you make with a thicker and darker lash band are going to be so much more noticeable.  Opt for a lighter option or more natural lash to get practising with.  If you’re hellbent on thicker full volume lashes though, not to worry as we can still disguise how rubbish we are at applying them!

Shape the lashes

If your eyelashes are brand new out of the packet they should have a nice curve on them already.  This is there to stop the eyelashes from popping up when you wear them.  Because of the shape of my eyes I have to bend them a little bit more which I do round the end of a makeup brush.

It’s super important that when you remove your eyelashes from the packet or your eyes after wearing that you always do so from the outside edge in.  This will allow them to maintain their shape.  The more they maintain their shape the easier they are to apply and the longer the eyelash will last.

Trim the lashes

On most packets you will always see in the instructions ‘trim to fit’.  I have a confession to make – I have never trimmed eyelashes.  I’ve measured up and it seems I have very wide eyelids so it’s not needed for me!

When measuring you want the strip to start where the bulk of your natural eyelashes start.  You do not want the eyelash strip going into the very corner of your eye.  It will irritate them like mad, make your eyes water and the eyelash will just end up lifting and coming off.  To mark the end of the eyelash go to the very outer corner of your eye and count 3 or so lashes in.

When you trim the eyelashes make sure you cut from the strip side – not the lashes side.  Always cut from the outside edge of the lashes.

eylure 070 and eylure 101

Getting the glue correct

You only need a thin layer of glue for lashes.  The trick is to wait about 30 seconds or so for the glue to actually become tacky.  This means it will stick better and wont slide about when you put the eyelash strip on.

Always apply a little extra to Continue reading

What I Won – Check Out My September 2017 Unboxing


It’s the start of another month, which means yet another review of another month of comping!   For those of you that are new to the blog I’m a comper.  You can read more about my comping and why I do it here.  But the short story is that after having to quit work due to keep up with my sons additional needs I needed to find something that meant we could still afford the nicer things in life!

I’m having a slight change up of my monthly winning posts.  Starting with this one!  From now onwards you’ll be seeing the prizes I unboxed this month.  This was I can actually share pictures of all my prizes as I will have already received them.  It also means I can finally tie this in with a unboxing video!

what i won - september 2017
So it’s your choice, for those that prefer watching videos, here it is below this paragraph.  For those that prefer reading about wins then scroll past the video and ready my usual blog post!  If you watch the video you’ll soon discover why I’ve put of filming for so long.  I also Continue reading

Never Be Afraid To Share Ideas – Our Gaming Adventure

Opportunity Knocks

You may remember my last post all about taking opportunities and the amazing things they can bring. Well it’s time to tell you all about an opportunity that I took that turned into something amazing.  Check out the video below from Currys PC World to see just exactly what happened!


Meet Nikki, winner of our Ignition Moment competition and brains behind Everybody’s Gaming

Posted by Currys PC World on Friday, September 29, 2017


Back in July Currys PC World were running a competition to ask you for your ‘Ignition Moment’. Currys PC World wanted to know what was your passion project that you wanted to get up off the ground. One lucky winner would get a brand new HP 360 laptop, a £500 bundle of tech matched to their ambition as well as a mentor to help make the passion a reality.

My Ignition Moment

I knew immediately when I saw this what I wanted to do. I’ve previously written about accessible gaming on the blog which went down really well. It’s something I’d like to do more of but I don’t feel a blog lends itself as well to gaming as YouTube does. So i decided to pitch my idea of setting up a YouTube channel focused on family inclusive and accessible gaming.

My Entry

To enter you had to send a video talking about your idea which was no more than 15 seconds long! 15 seconds is not a lot of time to get an idea across! I had to be really clever with choosing what I wanted to say and how I presented it! In the end I went with a short piece of introducing me and Chase and then a clip of Chase gaming with our current method of filming.

Being Shortlisted

Shortly after closing I received an email to say I had been shortlisted! I was asked to contact Currys PC World back so they could give me a phone call to discuss my idea in more detail. I ended up having my call with them only about 20 minutes after getting my shortlist email!

After discussing my idea with them in full I felt quite optimistic. They seemed to like my idea and I felt they were able to sense just how passionate I was about inclusive gaming.

A few weeks later I got a follow-up email to say that I had won and shortly I would be contacted to arrange filming as well as time with my mentor. I was beyond excited to win. The tech and new laptop is lovely but what I was really looking forward to was being provided with a mentor to help answer my questions about how to set up a successful YouTube channel

Filming and setting up the channel

The next few weeks were very hectic! We did 2 full days of filming with a few weeks in between. Filming was done at my house (which I was thankful for so I didn’t have to attempt to get Chase and all his gaming equipment on a train). The day before filming a massive box arrived with all my prizes in it!

I received Continue reading

The Power of Saying Yes – A Nutty Experience


Opportunities are never lost, someone will always take the one you miss

I’m a big believer in taking an opportunity when it becomes available.  Sometimes I even force myself to take opportunities even if my immediate reaction is to run away screaming ‘Nooooo’.  Why do I do this?  I do this because I’ve found no matter how scary or how much hard work an opportunity looks it usually results in something amazing happening.  On the occasions it doesn’t I can at least feel safe in the knowledge that I won’t be sitting there thinking ‘What if?’

Mr Glam & Geeky

Mr Glam & Geeky AKA Dan doesn’t always follow the same thinking as me.  However he recently surprised me a few months ago by taking an opportunity that resulted in dressing up as a bee, falling into a massive pool of milk and walking away with a years supply of cereal.  This post is all about his amazing opportunity he took!

Taking That opportunity

Regular readers to my blog will know i love to enter competitions.  I saw that Crunchy Nut on Facebook were looking for their ultimate crunchy nutter.  I am not a crunchy nut fan but my husband really does love that stuff!  They had loads of boxes of their new peanut cereal to giveaway if you entered and barely any entries.  I tagged him in their post asking for videos of people eating crunchy nut in unusual situations.  As usual I forgot about it and presumed he hadn’t done anything until a few weeks later he told me he had won a free box of Crunchy nut’s new peanut cereal!

I was so impressed with his video he had made.  He had filmed himself eating crunchy nut out of a beaker with a pair of snipe nose pliers whilst wearing a lab coat and safety spectacles.  I’d like to add a disclaimer at this point that he doesn’t work in a medical or analytical lab so this was not a breach of health and safety ( you’ll discover why I’m writing this later!)

An Unexpected Message

A few months later he received a Facebook message from Crunchy Nut to say he had been selected as one of the ultimate crunchy nutter finalists. Crunchy Nut would like for him to come and film a series of ultimate Crunchy Nutter challenges to compete for the crown.  For agreeing to do this he would get a years supply of Crunchy Nut!

Dan ummed and erred about taking part.  If he won his semi final he would have to have come back in for another day of filming, meaning taking holiday time off work.  I encouraged him to just go for it as it was a unique opportunity.  A chance to have a day off from working, and family life and have the chance to do something fun for himself for once.  Dan eventually decided he would take part!

So what happens when you say yes?

Crunchy Nut arranged and paid for all of Dan’s transport to and from the television studio in London.  Dan had to fill out a lot of forms detailing medical conditions and release forms before he took part.  They also needed his exact measurements for a costume…. Continue reading

Laundry In a Large Family – The #ECoverLaundry Challenge

Laundry in the Hunter-Pike household

For many households, ours included, laundry is an almost never-ending task.  No sooner have we washed, ironed and put away one set of laundry the wash basket is already full again and another wash load is necessary.

Being a household of 5 (sometimes 7) washing is in no short supply.  Having lots of younger aged children means that the basket fills up quickly.  We’re also a cloth wipe household for the little kids.  This means instead of spending a huge amount of money on baby wipes we use reusable cloths for face and hands and wash them.

ecover laundry - sorting out the laundry

A not so typical wash load

A typical wash load for us could include;

  • Chocolate covered t-shirts
  • Various orange stained items of kids clothes
  • Dribble Bibs from Chase (due to his medical condition we go through several a day)
  • Chase’s school uniform and swim kit
  • Husbands work clothes
  • Lots of Geeky T-shirts and skinny jeans
  • Underwear
  • Cloth wipes for hands and faces
  • Towels
  • Bedding
  • What seems like a billion odd socks
  • Various receipts that I forget to empty out of my husband’s pockets

Does anyone actually enjoy laundry?

I’m not a fan of most aspects of doing the laundry.  I’m guilty of putting a load on and then Continue reading

Everybody’s Gaming – Our new Family Project


On the blog I’ve previously written about accessible gaming and our fantastic visit to Sega.  So it should come as no surprise to you that we love gaming in our family.  We’re all very passionate about gaming and the opportunities and fun it provides to everyone in the family.

Everybody’s Gaming

Sharing how we game as a family and include Chase in our gaming is something I love to do.  So with that in mind I am delighted to say that I have launched a dedicated YouTube channel to share our inclusive gaming story!  The channel is called Everybody’s Gaming and you can check out our introduction video below!

We’re hoping to update with a new video at least one a month.  As you can imagine filming in our house is hectic but if I can upload videos more often than that then I will.  If you like our introduction video then please subscribe to the channel.  We’re off to EGX a gaming convention next weekend so our first video is going to be all about the convention!

How Everybody’s Gaming became possible

There’s quite a back story to how this all became possible.  I’ll be able to share full details in a months time or so hopefully.I must give a special mention to the gaming charity Special Effect as without them Chase wouldn’t be able to game.  But I can tell you that you’ll eventually be able to see our story elsewhere on the internet!  If you’re not into gaming but do like reading the blog then don’t worry! The blog will continue as normal with new posts being updated once a week (more or less!).

What do you think of the new channel? Comment below or give us a thumbs up on YouTube!

This blog has been verified by Rise: R827200ac9904eea6935506522b7b9cba

Hip Hip Hooray – Harper finds her feet

When will Harper Finally find her feet?

The biggest question I’ve had on my lips since Harper came out of her hip spica plaster cast is when is she going to start walking?

After doing a huge amount of research there really didn’t seem to be any consistency for an answer to this question.  Obviously I knew that having never walked before starting her hip treatment this would make the process longer.  Harper not only had her plaster cast on for almost 4 months but previous to that she endured months of treatment with a pavlic harness and a hip splint.

I updated on Harper’s progress only a few weeks post spica removal because she was making leaps and bounds in her progress.  Only 2 weeks after having her spica removal she was pulling up to stand and attempting to walk with her v-tech walker.  Unfortunately the improvements stopped there for quite some time.  Harper seemed quite reluctant to bear weight for any longer for a few seconds.  I decided not to push her immediately as I imagine her hips can’t have felt too nice after all of her previous treatment.


Little over a month ago I decided to start using some of Chases’s old exercises i was recommended for him to develop healthy hips when he was Harper’s age.  Harper was never assigned physio post hip treatment which I felt was a little odd given how tight her hips would be.

After only 1 day of simple encouragement Harper decided she would weight-bear a little.  Once Harper realised weight-bearing was a possibility she was climbing and standing at everything she could get her hands on.  Slides included!

Eventually Harper started easily pushing round her v-tech walker and was happy to take some steps as long as someone was holding her hand.  Harper seemed very reluctant to walk without any assistance though.  Despite all my best encouragement tricks she wouldn’t have it.  I had one last trick up my sleeve.

Harper’s turning point

Now Chase is back at school and Brooke is a regular visitor to nursery I decided to take Harper to local SureStart centre with other children.  This is the first time we have attended without Harper being in a splint or hip spica.  At the beginning of the session she sat and watched the other children playing about.  Within a minute she stood up and then toddled off around the room copying them!  I was amazed.  I sometimes wonder if she’s seen Chase crawling about at home and thought to herself, “Chase doesn’t walk – walking must be overrated”  It was wonderful to finally see her take her first steps even if she was a very tired grumpy baby by the end of the session.

So here’s to a major milestone for Harper.  Having a child that will never walk unaided means I don’t regard walking as the be all and end all but given the difficulties she’s had with her hips so far I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pleased.  In total it took over 15 weeks from cast removal to reach walking unaided.

Harper’s next appointment

With less than 3 weeks to go until her first scan since her hip spica removal appointment I’m pleased that she will be able to walk into the Doctor’s office.  Now I’ve just got to remain optimistic and hope that she’s grown into her shallow hip sockets.

I’ll be updating on the blog as soon as we’ve had our next scan with the results.  Follow me on my Facebook page or subscribe by email on the right hand side of the blog to keep up to date.

What I Won – Check out my August 2017 wins

Another Successful Month of Comping

It’s the start of another month, which means yet another review of another month of comping!   For those of you that are new to the blog I’m a comper.  You can read more about my comping and why I do it here.  But the short story is that after having to quit work due to keep up with my sons additional needs I needed to find something that meant we could still afford the nicer things in life!

This month has been a bit nuts.  The 6 weeks school holidays means my usual routine is all thrown up in the air.  Combine that with winning an amazing epic prize that will be taking up some of my free time, means that I haven’t been comping as much as I would like.  I’ve still had some amazing wins though with some really nice wins from effort and judged competitions so let’s get stuck in with this months prizes and how I won them.

A Power Bank

An effort creative competition I found using Tweetdeck.  The competition was ran by Camping in the forest on Twitter.  They wanted to see pictures of you in the forest releasing your inner child!  There were two hashtags you had to mention but I think I was one of the few people the week I entered who had used both.
I didn’t win 1st prize (a GoPro) but did get a very nice power bank as a runners-up prize instead.

Nike Pitch Ball

Chase won this from a magazine competition entry (email) in Match of the Day magazine

Wheels Whizz Board Book

A RT to win competition ran by Mumsnet books on Twitter.  I thought I would just be receiving one book, so was pleasantly surprised when not one but Continue reading

The Toiletries Challenge – UPDATE

The Toiletries Challenge Update

So it’s been over 6 months since I started my toiletries challenge.  My collection of toiletries had grown so large that I set myself the challenge to make us of what I had and limit my spending on toiletries to just £20 for the entire year.  After a one month update I decided a 6 month review would be better!

How much have I spent on toiletries so far

I’m at the grand total of £10 spent so far on toiletries.  The entire £10 spent was on shower gel and shampoo that had purchase necessary competitions on them.  The shampoo I actually happened to need as well so that was a bonus.  The shower gels have been added to toiletries collection.  However that £10 was well spent because one of those purchases resulted in me winning a 32GB Apple ipad Air 2!  

It’s worth noting that my spend for toiletries does not include makeup.  I have however been on . top of my spending with makeup and haven’t splashed on any expensive brands.  When I ran out of foundation I waited around for a discount code to be valid before purchasing my favourite foundation.

How much of my toiletries are left?

The amount of toiletries I have left has been reduced.  This has been mainly thanks to eBay.  I had such an accumulation of expensive brands I decided to sell some of the surplus ones. Using Buy it now instead of bidding meant the items sold for a decent amount that I was happy with.

Handwash is something we normally fly through in our house due to the sheer number of sticky and dirty hands the kids seem to pick up.  Instead of buying handwash I’ve been decanting the cheaper showergels into the handwash bottles as they become empty.  Using shower gel as handwash has worked great and is helping to bring down the huge amount of shower gel I’ve collected.

Where possible the samples of products have been used in preference to the full size products.  I’ve not yet found anything particularly amazing that I want to buy a full size product of.  One full size product that I started to use over the past 6 months though has been amazing; and that’s Khiel’s Iris Extract Activating Essence.  I’ve also found a great new low-cost skin care brand.  I’ll be talking more about that brand and the Khiel’s product I’ve been using in their own blog post later next month.

Some additions

I have managed to add to my toiletries collection without spending any money.  I’ve had several fab prizes that included bath and skincare products.  This is likely why I’ve managed to keep so well to my budget I think!

Upon taking a photo of my toiletries collection I realised that maybe I haven’t cleared as much as I had hoped too.


I would say though I have approximately half the amount of toiletries that I did at the start of the year.  I would have liked to reduce it to clear a bit more cupboard space.  The next four months I will aim to clear even more.  Besides what good can a moisturiser do if it’s not being applied to skin!

4 months to go

So I’ve only 4 months of the year left and a whopping £ 10 budget left.  I’m pretty sure this will be used for more purchase necessary competitions as I still have enough left (fingers crossed) to last the year.  I’ll then be ready for the usual influx of toiletries that come my way at Christmas!  My bathrooms drawers are feeling a lot more organised though that’s for sure.

Did you make an effort to clear your toiletries stash this year, if so how did you get on?