My Love For Shopping Won Me A £500 Groupon Voucher

This Valentines day I discovered a great competition on the net while googling for Valentines competitions.

The competition was for bloggers and was being run by Groupon in partnership with Bloglovin. The brief… To write a post showcasing what you’d love to receive or give another for Valentines day.

The prizes being offered were almighty generous… 1st prize £500 Groupon Credit, 2nd prize… £250 Groupon Credit, 3rd prize… £100 Groupon Credit.

Given I was actually having a pretty rubbish valentines day with the love of my life snoring on the sofa by 7pm, meant that I had no problems kicking back and creating an elaborate list covering things I knew I was never gonna get! Well, not this year, not next year… Not ever! It wasn’t a bunch of flowers I wanted after all, but a whole day of pampering like a princess! Shopping for shoes and raving in Greece or some other place hot were just a handful on my list.

Well, I opted for a video and text entry and was delighted in discovering that I had bagged the first prize of £500 Groupon credit. Actually… the word “Delighted” Seems a bit of an understatement! This lady was made up with excitement and couldn’t wait to start shopping.

As I’ve got the Groupon iPhone App downloaded, its made it pretty easy to check out the daily deals! I really don’t know how I haven’t spent the lot already given they have had some awesome offers on during February. Well, I’ve spent just over £150 and have a new shiny cupcake maker, two tickets for the Hobbycraft show at excel this April, lash extensions, Banksy tees, a love film subscription, 2 tickets for hairstyling for myself and a friend at a top salon, and a potable dvd player and family film package on the way. Not bad for £150 wouldn’t you agree?

I’m really looking forward to the craft show at Excel. I’ll be heading there on the 6th April (my birthday) the day after I return from a Butlins holiday with the kids.

We received the Cupcake maker yesterday and my daughter is delighted at how “Pink” this is. I’ll be sure to showcase some finished cupcakes in the coming weeks.

So watch this space!

Oh… And if you haven’t yet experienced Groupon I’d suggest you hop to it!

I’ve Got A Love For Shopping

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Ok, in all honesty Valentines day hasn’t been that dreamy! I’ve spent it washing, tidying and painting. Where’s my Valentine you ask? His snoring on the sofa! Looks like a date with Eastenders for me!

Well, at least I have my dreams and a Groupon competition I’ve discovered on the net has given me the perfect excuse to showcase them.

So… What was the challenge? All I had to do was pull together a blog post that describes my perfect Valentines day, with particular attention on the gifts I’d like to receive.

Now I know that this wish list of mine is likely to seem a tad far fetched, especially given its already gone 8pm and the one I call my valentine is snoring like Daddy pig from Peppa pig on the sofa! But hay… whats a girl without her hopes and dreams?

First check out the little trailer I created below then I’ll give a little more detail on just how well I’ve dreamt this all up!

So as you can see, being woken to a gift of stunning earrings & breakfast in bed would be much appreciated, as would the delivery of 12 beautiful red roses.

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There would be no time to sit around. starring longingly into one another’s eyes! First I’d be whisked off up town to London for a no limits shopping spree. I’d be able to engage my love for shoe shopping without protesting form the ‘other half’!

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We’d eat lunch at a smart little restaurant then I’d be taken to have a tattoo of any wild thing I wanted, before settling down and relaxing with a full body message.

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Suddenly, just when I think my already blissful day has reached its climax, I discover we are not heading home but instead to the airport.

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Totally speechless (and that’s a first for me) I discover my loved one, has packed my bags and arranged for them to be delivered to the airport. I then find myself boarding a plane that takes me to a magical place of peace and tranquillity.

The hotel is devine and the beach has wonderful fine white sand.

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The king size bed is a wash with gifts including that of beautiful delicious belgium chocolates. Having filled my tummy, I slip into a little black number and as it approaches the early hours of the following day I find myself partying to the sounds of old Skool garage and a little drum&base just like I used too.

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Filling a tad tired but extremely happy, myself and my valentine stroll along the peaceful beach as the sun begins to rise. Here I’m lavished in diamonds by way of a big fat diamond sparkler! For me? Oh, yes… it so is?

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And then…..

I wake up!

Yer… Ok, Maybe next year!

This is my entry into the Groupon ‘A love for shopping competition’

Love for shopping

Shabby Chic Hand Painted Heart and Twinket Set

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Valentines day, another reason to get all creative and crafty!

Yes… I know we’ve only just done Christmas and New year but Valentines day is just weeks away and if you’re planning on handcrafting items for loved ones or creating valentines gifts with the kids then Now’s the time to get going… After all last minute is so not fashionable.

I’m actually hand decorating a paper mâché large hanging heart and matching small twinklet box for my bedroom dresser. Its actually not a valentines gift for anyone other than myself (if that counts) but this would make a lovely gift for that special day! Plus, it wouldn’t seem at all right to not share it with you guys.

I’ve made some beautiful heart twinklet boxes covered in pink rose Decopatch paper and posted them here on the blog last year. My initial plan was to cover both my heart and twinklet in shabby chic inspired Decopatch papers but I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to try something a little different.

I instead decided to paint my heart and twinklet with antique white and jet black acrylic paint. To give both heart and twinklet a really good finish I opted for Mod Podge gloss lustre as this would give it a great shine and strong protective seal.

What I Used…
Large Paper Mâché Hanging Heart
Small Embossed Paper Mâché Twinklet
Antique White Acrylic Paint
Jet Black Acrylic Paint
White Lace Paper Trimming
Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre-Lustre

Tools…
Medium size paint brush
Small brush (for detailing)
Sponge Applicator
Glue brush (for mod podge)
Scissors

What I did…

1: The first step was to use my medium size paint brush to cover both heart and twinklet in a coat of antique white paint. One coat isn’t enough, so leave items to dry then apply a second coat of paint. I found that this paint dried really quickly (30 minutes at the most) which was great as I had to work on one side at a time allowing drying in between.

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2: Once both coats have been applied and items are fully dried its time to add the detailing to both box and heart. I started with the heart twinklet box first. With the jet black paint and small paint brush I applied black paint to the embossed areas on the twinklet. This is a little tricky and fiddly as the embossed area is rather hard to see. I had to be careful not to overdo it but also decided to add additional pattern to make the design more bold and appealing. If you decide to do this, my tip would be, not to rush the process. Remember your applying extremely dark paint to a very light colour. Mistakes would mean a re-paint in the lighter colour and it would likely mean a number of coats to cover such mistakes.

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3: While waiting for the twinklet to dry I started work on my heart. Again I used my jet black paint to add detail to the heart. The heart isn’t embossed yet I wanted to add the same type of design & effect as that on my twinklet as to create a matching set. With this I very carefully applied the paint to the heart doing my best to create a similar pattern as to that on the twinklet. As I had already needed to add extra pattern to the twinklet in a freestyle way, this actually wasn’t much different and therefore turned out to be easier than first expected! With this I was lucky to escape any mistakes that needed painting over.

I decided to apply the black painted design to half of the heart on each side. I felt this would look much better than covering the heart entirely in the pattern… Sometimes less is more! Note… If you would like to try this idea, you will need to first apply the pattern to one side of your heart, allow it to dry for at least 30 minutes, before turning over and painting the pattern on the opposite side.

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4: I then brought forward the lid of my twinklet box and hand painted a similar pattern around the lids edges. I then left the lid to dry for around 30 minutes or so.

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5: I then took my dried twinklet lid and with my mod podge I applied my paper lace trimming around the edging of the Twinklets lid, as shown below. I used the Decopatch technique to apply the paper trimming and again left to dry for around 30 minutes.

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6: Once my twinklet was dry I painted the paper trimming in the same antique white paint (a second coat can be applied if desired)! I then left my twinklet lid to once again dry. (Good job this stuff is fast drying or I’d be here for months!)

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7: Once both items had there detail applied and were fully dried, it was time to apply the Mod Podge. First you must give the mod podge a good stir (remember a little mod podge goes a long way). I covered both my items in a coat of Mod Podge with my sponge as an applicator. Remember as this stuff dries it gets really tacky and you will need to be careful not to apply more stokes of mod podge as it dries or this will make your items look bumpy and untidy. More Mod Podge can be applied once the first coat is fully dried.

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8: Once the first coat of Mod Podge is dry (I’d give it an hour though it is likely to be touch dry much quicker) You can then apply a second coat. I applied my Mod Podge with a sponge as opposed to a brush because brush stokes can often be seen when using Mod Podge. A sponge looks more even and the end result is much better. Finally, I decided to leave it for a few hours to ensure my items were fully dry. Tip: To save time apply the Mod Podge to both sides of the heart and then dry by hanging your heart on a metal pole or similar! Just remember that your heart needs to have room to hang freely, not making contact with any other objects or surfaces as to allow it to evenly dry.

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9: To finish I tied some pretty white ribbon to the hanging loop of my heart and some foam to the inner section of my twinklet (i did this by using my twinklet lid as a template on some self adhesive foam).

So… here it is…

You can use other colours to create any look you desire. These colours work really well for me though I think something like a striking hot pink pattern against a black background would look pretty amazing. Note to tell self… “Create hot pink heart & black heart for daughters bedroom!”

These would also make perfect Valentines gifts. Maybe adding a piece of jewellery inside the twinklet or maybe a few homemade truffles… Yummy.

Thanks for reading and would love to know what you all think.

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