Getting Fit At Home To Drop Those Pregnancy Pounds!

Starting a family comes with all sorts of unexpected surprises, especially with a first child. The focus is normally all on the child, getting their nursery ready and learning about feeding and getting a routine established as soon as possible. Something that is often overlooked at first, though, is how long it can take for a new mum to feel confident in her appearance again. Put bluntly, your tummy has grown a lot over recent months, and there’s nothing to dent a woman’s confidence quite like feeling a bit out of shape.

We often see celebrities out and about within a week of giving birth, and you really have to look to see any evidence that they were ever pregnant at all! Let’s just chalk that up to them not being real human beings, and having the funds to get the best that can be bought to look perfectly groomed within days of screaming the maternity wing down (as if they went to an NHS hospital!).

There are a couple of big issues that mums face, and we’ve touched on the first already, and that’s that they may well have been a gym disciple in years gone by, but that’s not going to solve the self esteem issues that are currently rearing their ugly head. The voice of reason clearly says that no-one will be likely to say anything other that asking how the baby is, as you’d never have dreamed of commenting on someone else’s flabby belly after their pregnancy, but the social life of a modern woman just isn’t that straightforward, is it?

The second problem is finding the time to drive down to the gym, get a session in, and get home again. As parents up and down the land know, it’s not too long after the first baby makes its entrance that you start to wonder how you ever filled up those weekends, once lie ins and time to have a Sunday afternoon doze on the sofa are distant memories.

The solution to both these problems is to allow your living room to double up as a home gym. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get fifteen exercise machines crammed in around the sofa, but you can get a couple of fitness DVDs from amazon, and maybe an exercise bike or cross trainer in the corner. The chances are that you can get one for less that your annual gym membership too, and while you wont get the social side of the leisure centre, you can get some very impressive kit that won’t take up too much space at home, as you will find out in this glowing review of a Reebok GX50 cross trainer. It’s actually quite a frugal move anyway, as most families find that they need to tighten their belts in the early days, while all of the costs of buying those nappies and formula add up. Thankfully there’s plenty of ways to save a few quid, so that luxury of home fitness may soon be a money saver compared to the gym!

Win A Baby Nursery Makeover

Having a child is expensive, particularly in the early years. Whether it’s buying bottles and sterilising equipment, car seats or paying nursery fees, it’s said that having a child will now cost you a quarter of a million pounds by the time they’ve finished university.

A great way to offset that cost is by entering the huge range of competitions on the web that let you win prizes that will save you buying those items for your child’s benefit. For example, right now at the time of writing, we’ve found enough competitions that you could kit out your entire baby nursery.

For example, you can win the child’s cot by winning John Lewis vouchers, with plenty of prizes big enough to cover the cot bed and moses basket, and leaving plenty for any other soft furnishings that take your fancy. Don’t forget that you will usually need to buy the mattress separately, as they don’t usually come with the bed frame itself, unless otherwise stated. It’s also advisable to buy a new mattress, as second hand ones have in the past been connected with SIDS, even though many experts say the evidence is not conclusive.

You can find plenty of prize draws featuring nappies and other regular baby buys like baby food and newborn clothing. This is a huge saving – you’ll find that milk formula and nappies can put a huge surplus on the weekly shopping bill in the early days!

Finally look out for electronics, as these can be quite significant one off costs. Items like baby monitors and steam sterilisers are commonly given away in short term contests, and are considered by most new parents as must haves, so if you’re not lucky enough to have been gifted them by relatives, then entering a few competitions will be a great way to give yourself an outside chance of saving some cash.

As with all competitions, the best approach is to enter as many as you can find. That way, the chances of winning something gets better and better. Good luck, and hopefully you’ll be winner in time for the big arrival!

Does Starring In Your Own Reality Show Appeal?

Over the last couple of decades, there’s been a huge growth in the number of CCTV cameras on the streets of Britain. Successive governments have encouraged this expansion, mainly as a crime reduction mechanism. CCTV works to both deter crime as there’s a greater chance of getting caught, and also provides evidence when crimes do get committed.

There’s been a new and growing use of CCTV too, including film making competitions where people star in their own brand of CCTV movies. Even Wikipedia ( now has a reference for films that feature surveillance footage.

How would you feel if you were to feature in one of these productions, perhaps wandering down Lichfield high street and finding yourself in one of ATR CCTV’s systems? The company have been installing more and more recording devices, and they’re reporting a greater number of enquiries away from their traditional business premises market coming in through their website at

Of course, Hollywood blockbuster movies will seal off streets when filming, and often run competitions for extras to win their role wandering around in the background. However, for the lower budget productions, local police and councils are much less likely to agree to closing down an entire road, so get filmed during the hustle and bustle of day to day life.

As the BBC article above discusses, the shift has begun, where the systems recording our every move in public have changed from state and council owned and funded cameras to private schemes which may or may not have local authority involvement. Just as there are competitions with prizes for you to star in big films, businesses are now falling over themselves to win contracts in their own commercial competitions.

morrisons car parkSupermarkets and retail parks used to own and operate their own car parks, but today you’re often likely to receive a ticket from a private enforcement company if you stay too long or otherwise contravene the rules attached to the car park lamp posts. CCTV is now going the same way, so how do you feel about the increased competition where you’re the focus?

Money For Nothing And Food For Free

OK, so it’s a dodgy Dire Straits reference, but that was the tune playing as I queued up in Tesco earlier for the tills. It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to update the site for a few days now, and why not use the Tesco link for inspiration?

There’s been some bad press for supermarket vouchers in recent days, not least becuase of some dodgy scams that have been doing the rounds with things like Asda vouchers and Primark vouchers.

Now, there’s a big difference between these dodgy schemes and genuine competitions, the big one being that the real competitions tend not to promise every single entrant £500 in free vouchers. Clearly, that’s not a good business model for a promotion for any company!

There are genuine ways to win £500 in food vouchers, but they’re far from guaranteed. For example, there’s a Tesco competition that’s absolutely genuine over at although not everyone can win of course!

The moral of the story is to use a bit of common sense. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is, but don’t let that stop you from making the most of the real opportunities that are out there, whether that’s winning life changing competition prizes or finding ways to spend less of your hard earned cash each and every month!

More Ways To Get More For Less!

As you’ve probably picked up, from our dislike of premium rate competition entries, we like to save money. In fact, this extends well beyond expensive phone calls, and into all parts of life. After all, why spend more on something in one shop when you can get that exact same thing in another for less?

That’s pretty much what most home owners in the country have been doing for years now, with only a small (ish) percentage of households ever switching their gas and electricity providers. It’s such an easy thing to do too with a price comparison website, it beggars belief that people don’t opt to buy exactly the same gas and electricity for less.

What’s more, people aren’t taking advantage of opportunities like free and low interest grants for generating electricity with solar panels from companies like Solar Panels Leicester, and choosing to buy all their power instead. If that’s you, you may as well keep entering those expensive contests and dreaming of big cash prizes. Someone has to win I suppose!