My Volunteering Story

I’ve always enjoyed giving up my free time to help others and have done many roles from working with old people to sorting clothes in the back office of a charity shop.  Each time I volunteer I get a real sense of achievement and it feels great to give something to others at no cost.

I currently volunteer for the Warwickshire Central branch of the NCT (National Childbirth Trust), it may sound strange to hear that I’ve never actually used the services of the NCT but some of my close friends relied on the prenatal groups, breastfeeding counsellors and friends they have made at postnatal drop ins so I knew that choosing the NCT as the charity to offer my time and services was a good choice for me. After speaking to some local NCT members they have told me that they don’t know what they would have done in the early days with their newborn without the support network they have thanks to the NCT so even though I have no experience of the services just to know how much others have gained from the courses and friendships makes me see how important the NCT is to parents.

I started volunteering as the Branch Treasurer last October which is one of the core roles, I  basically manage the branch finances which is actually a lot harder than it sounds and has had me pulling my hair out at 3am when totals haven’t been adding up!

I most recently took on the role of Newsletter Editor, the New Addition newsletter is published 4 times a year and I’m responsible for planning each edition, sourcing and writing content and laying out the pages for printing.  Our Newsletter currently has 64 pages so it’s a great opportunity for me to put some of my blogging/freelance writing skills to use.  I’ve only ever worked on online newsletters before so this is definitely a challenge for me.

I’d love to stay volunteering within the NCT for the next couple of years at least and if any other suitable roles come up I know I’ll be jumping in to help with both feet, the benefit of working from home is that you get to pick your own working hours which for me is usually before 8am or after 9pm in the evening.

If any of my readers are also NCT volunteers I’d love to hear from you, if any printed Newsletter Editors out there have any advice for me my ears are open.

Mind Body Soul Experience – Manchester 2014

Would you like to get your hands on one of two pairs of tickets to the Mind Body Soul Experience  held at Manchester Central in Manchester on the 10th and 11th May 2014?



MBS Saturday

The Timetable for Saturday

MBS Sunday

 

The Timetable for Sunday

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Competition ends 16/4/2014.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tatty Tot

I love finding out about new brands who sell and manufacture children’s clothing that is a little bit different to what you can buy on the highstreet, Tatty Tot are a brand that loves children and loves children being children.  It’s that sort of ethos that makes me want to work with a brand.  As soon as I saw the pictures of the Tatty Tots collection I knew I wanted to work with them, I buy a lot of Arthur’s clothing from European brands that you can’t buy in the UK as I like him to look a bit different to the Next and M&S Babies and Tatty Tot clothes remind me so much of some of the European styles I’ve seen.

Tatty Tot

The Country Trousers £47.50 (Top Left) are my favourite item out of the whole collection,  they come in 3 different material types which are Cotton Mix, Corduroy or Moleskin and 6 different colours.  I can picture Arthur wearing these in summer and winter and I’m sure they will be really hardwearing.

If I had a little girl I would be dressing her in the Tea Party Dress £49.50 (Top Right) It reminds me of something Alice in Wonderland might wear.

The Lined All In Ones £44.50 (Bottom Left) are jut gorgeous and I wish Arthur was smaller so he could wear them.  If I had another baby I would definitely be purchasing one of each design.

The Reversible Dungarees £47.50 (Bottom Right) are great value for money as you are basically getting two designs for one price.  The small hearts/bell flower design is my favourite by far.

Tatty Tot recently launched their When Was The Last Time You Did Something Childish Competition  To enter all you have to do is post a picture, story or even a video showing just how childish you can be! Tatty Tot will be selecting the 10 funniest, cutest, most creative or simply the most childish entries on the 20th April. These entries will then be posted in an album on their Facebook page and finalists will be encouraged to get all of their friends and fans to support them in order to win £200 worth of Tatty Tot products.

silly face

 

My Entry would be the picture above!  I find having a small child brings out the child in you and the ability to make shameless silly faces on a daily basis.

 

To take part in the competition you need to tweet @tattytottweets or message them on Facebook with your entry, Don’t Forget to mention in your entry that you saw the competition on Madame G’s Lifestyle.  Participants must like the Tatty Tot Facebook page and follow Tatty Tot on Twitter (depending on how you enter the comp) as well as using the hashtag #PlayfulParent in your entry.

The competition will close on April 13th at which point 10 finalists will see their entries live on the Tatty Tot Facebook page. The race is not over yet as each finalist will be encouraged to invite their friends and fans to “like” and “share” their favourite entry. The winner will be the one with the most popular entry on April 20th and will get to choose £200 worth of Tatty Tot products.

Dr LeWinn’s Renunail Challenge

For the past 8 weeks I’ve been taking part in the Dr. LeWinn’s 8 week Renunail challenge, prior to starting this my nails were in a terrible state.  Years of acrylic extensions had ruined my nail bed and each time I tried to grow my nails they ended up splitting or peeling and were so weak and thin.

3 step

I was sent a 30ml bottle of Renunail Nail Strengthener* (£17.50), Renunail Sensitive Nail Strengthener* (£12.00) Renunail Nourishing Oil *(£11.00) and a tube of Renunail Hand & Nail Cream* (£12.00).

Renunail

Apparently there is one bottle of Renunail Nail Strengthener sold in the UK every 15 minutes (Taken from Dr Lewinn’s product information) and after using this and seeing the results first hand I can believe this.  In 4 weeks the product claims to give strong healthy nails.  I would actually go as far to say this is a miracle product! It really does what it claims on the bottle and you can see the results below.

renunail sensitive

 

The Renunail Sensitive Nail Strengthener is infused with Diamond dust and Pearl Powder which helps to harden the nails.  The product is both toluene and formaldehyde-free and powered with Dimethyl Urea (DMU) and Criss Cross Keratin Technology™ that gently hardens the nails without causing them to become brittle.

nail oilThe Nail Oil is formulated with a blend of soothing herbal extracts, intensely nourishing oils and multi-vitamins to condition and soften cuticles promoting exceptional nail health. I use this product religiously every day and have noticed a massive difference in my cuticles since my first use.

hand and nail

 

The Hand and Nail cream is another product that features in my daily routine, packed with Pearl Extract and Calcium it nourishes skin and strengthens the nail’s natural keratin.  It’s not quite potent enough to deal with some of my very dry skin but it does wonders for my fingers and nail areas.

There were a number of Terms & Conditions that had to be adhered to before taking part in the challenge.  You were not allowed to use any other strengthening or repair treatments while taking part in the challenge.  You could not wear gel/shellac overlays or acrylic nails.  You needed to commit to 8 weeks of the product trial and a photograph needed to be sent in each week along with a questionnaire.

renunail_week1

 

The picture above shows my nails immediately before starting the challenge, they were not in a good way at all.  I had peeling to the nails, messy cuticles, dry skin and to be honest I was embarrassed about them.

The Renunail challenge contains 3 steps:

Step 1: Apply 2 coats of Renunail Nail Strengthener and then 1 coat a day for 5 days.  On the 7th day remove .  Build up the layers with one coat a day and repeat for the next 3 weeks.

Step 2: After 4 weeks of use begin to use the Renunail Sensitive Nail Strengthener.  Apply 1 coat every day for 4 days and repeat this process for an additional 3 weeks.

Step 3: Throughout steps 1 and 2, condition your nails and cuticles by locking in moisture to encourage sustained nail growth.  Using the Renunail nourishing oil, apply after each application of the strengthener has dried to ensure cuticles are hydrated.

nails_renunail

 

The picture above shows my nails at week 3 and 6, the difference is massive compared to the first week.  I followed the Challenge to the letter and made sure to keep my nails and hands moisturised with the hand cream at every opportunity.  People started to comment on my healthy looking nails which is something that has never happened to me in the past.

renunail_week8

 

By week 8 my nails are probably as long as I would like them to be, they are no longer paper thin and they don’t split or peel like they used to.

I can’t recommend the Dr. LeWinn’s treatments enough and I only wish I’d discovered the products sooner as they truly have transformed my nails.

*Products supplied as part of the challenge.  I was not asked to write about the brand but felt that others could benefit from seeing my progress.

Kindness – Will You Pay It Forward?

emmys mummy

This morning I answered a plea on twitter from Clare who writes Emmy’s Mummy blog, she was looking for people to take part in something she had signed up to on another blog called Pay-It-Forward.

I need 5 people to comment on this post or email me to say they would like to take part. Each person will receive a small gift from me at some point in 2014. There is one condition to this though, you also need to pay it forward!

You can pay it forward in 2 ways, if you have a blog you need to write a similar post inviting 5 people to sign up.  If you don’t have a blog you need to write a Facebook status inviting people to join in, you will then need to send 5 gifts throughout 2014.

Together lets help to spread some happiness.

I will not tell you when I will send these gifts, you’ll not know they are coming until they arrive, I will need some way of contacting you so you can either leave me your email address in the comments or email me your address.

I already do a few acts of kindness in my daily life, I have been doing this for a while now.

  • I buy a big issue magazine every week from the man outside of H&M in town
  • I volunteer in two roles for my local NCT so it can stay open (one is a core role)
  • I donate as much of our unwanted items to a local shelter
  • I donate a lot of my beauty cupboard to friends
  • I volunteer once a month at a local baby group
  • I support a family through Plan UK

pay-it-forward