#Bucharest, #Romania: Inspiring #Travel.

It came as a surprise to me to be facing the world’s second-largest building.  As you can imagine it is grand and imposing.  Neo-classically styled it has 12 storeys with 3100 rooms, and it isn’t even finished yet!

I’m not visiting Dubai or the Far East; I’m in Europe.  Built in 1984 the Palace of Parliament is Ceausescu’s most infamous creation.  I’m in awe as I visit Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

romania1

The imposing Ceaușescu built Palace of the Parliament, or People’s Palace in Bucharest.

A stroll around the city provides an endearing mismatch of eras that leaves me wondering what century I’m in.  Modern office buildings sit next to remains of medieval churches, by their side French palaces with baroque facades.  A centre for artisan culture alongside fast living.  It’s no wonder Bucharest earned the nickname, ‘Little Paris’.

I take in the towering ‘Arch Of Triumph’ and the 19th century Roman Athenaeum, this is a city packed with sights.  Some may not appeal to tourists; Stray dogs, beggars, loud traffic, and a tangible element of the underworld.  Put this aside and exercise caution as you would in any city.

With so many sights where to visit next is the question!

With so many sights where to visit next is the question!

From districts haunted by communism to the lively open-air bar scene in the historic centre.  Bucharest is, both architecturally and culturally, an inspiration.

This is my entry into the National Geographic Travel Writing competition.  The brief is to write 200 words on your most inspirational travel experience.  The closing date is January 24th 2014 and there is a fantastic prize up for grabs of an unforgettable trip to Vietnam.  Be lucky!

 

Creative #Competitions I’m entering this month! Jan 2014

I found at the end of last year I turned into a very lazy comper, sticking mainly to facebook and twitter competitions which took just a moment to enter.  Not that I will be stopping that as I’ve had some great wins, but I wanted to go back to doing more involved and fun competitions too.  The kind that really got me hooked on this fabulous hobby almost 15 years ago.

Pinterest is something I’ve been aware of but never used to its full potential, so I’ve been having practice over Christmas, and now I’m looking for competitions on there with low entries.  This year I’m especially interested in any prizes of furniture, home decor, household goods, etc. as I wish to completely revamp my property.   Thats why this competition to win a £9000 new bedroom from Furniture Village really caught my eye!

http://www.furniturevillage.co.uk/magazine/Competitions/New-Year-New-Bedroom.aspx

You can have multiple entries but you need to submit each individually with a new board.

I came up with my first bedroom idea centred around the theme of Hollywood glamour, you can view my entry here.  I submitted this on the 9th Jan and then I was a little disheartened as on the Furniture Village facebook page their resident blogger released a post entitled Hollywood glamour on the 10th!  I had a feeling this might prevent me from winning as the judges might think I hadn’t had my own idea so I came up with 2 further entries.  My second entry, submitted on the 16th Jan, was all about the perfect bedroom for peace and quiet and can be viewed here.  Finally on the 18th Jan I submitted my seaside bedroom theme found here.  It was time consuming entering this competition, I estimate around an hour to complete each board as I was really looking for the right pieces, but the prize is of such a high value I felt it was worth the effort.  Fingers crossed!

The closing date for the competition is 20th January 2014 so be quick to get your entries in.  Feel free to share with me your boards too.

Another Pinterest competition here with Next to win 3 x £100 Gift Cards.

http://www.pinterest.com/nextofficial/new-year-new-you/?utm_source=Twitter+&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_term=Monday1300&utm_content=130102014&utm_campaign=socpinterest

Here is my entry: http://www.pinterest.com/MeSueYouWho/new-year-new-you/

And now for some photo competitions……….

I’m not sure photo competitions are altogether ‘creative’ but I’ve found just that little bit of extra effort involved can reduce the number of entries.  Although this one from Topshop just because of who they are will undoubtedly be very popular.  But as I love my not so little William I thought I couldn’t miss out on this opportunity for him to have his image on a pair of socks, (and the pets owner also gets a £250 gift card)!

http://insideout.topshop.com/2014/01/is-your-pet-the-next-topshop-sock-star

To enter, simply tweet or Instagram a picture of your pet @Topshop with the hashtag #TopPets by 26th January at midnight.  This is the image I entered of William, I’m guessing it might not be ‘kooky’ enough for Topshop but he wasn’t in dressing up mood whilst I was wanting to enter!

WillyBillyBaby

I spotted another pet photo competition with Pets At Home so thought I’d make double use of the photo while I was at it.  You do need to be a VIP club member, the winning prize is a £25 gift voucher, and it closes on January 31st.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/pets-at-home/facebook-vip-pet-of-the-month-competition/10153286884000372

And my final competition for this post I haven’t actually entered yet, I’m pondering how I’ll persuade a friend to join me in dressing up as a man as its really a fabulous prize………  but it requires a ‘bromance’ photo!  Send in your pics before the 13th February for the chance to win a VIP experience to the England v Ireland Legends match on 21st February at The Stoop.

http://www.englandirelandlegends.com/#!competition/c1ede

Would be great to see your entries to these competitions so feel free to share with me on facebook or twitter, and of course do let me know of any wins.  Happy Comping!

Winspiration: Makeover @FruitionSalonS2, Cabaret Tickets, Champagne & a New Bag!

I found your comments on my New Years Resolutions post really inspiring, so I decided it might be a nice feature of the blog to share some of my wins.  I won’t bore you with them all but once or twice a month I’ll send a winspiration!

Towards the end of last year I was lucky to win a competition on twitter from a beauty salon in Sheffield.  It was a simple RT & Follow, the prize was for a hair makeover, full set of nails, and a meal and cocktails at a restaurant.  I wanted to write about this lovely win from Fruition Salon, City Road, Sheffield as it goes to show, as I always find, how accommodating and helpful prize promotors generally are.

Firstly it took me ages to book in the hair & beauty part of the prize as I was overseas for a month, I changed dates on several occasions.  Secondly I was really struggling to get the restaurant part booked in.  But always patient and helpful with me the staff at Fruition got me booked in last Saturday, and kindly offered as I was unable to take the meal and cocktails, to give me some goodies instead!

My hair was done by the very warm and friendly Kerri.  As I opted not to have a colour she kindly gave me a deep conditioning treatment which my hair was very pleased to receive in these cold winter months.  Next I had my nails done and I really felt very spoilt, everyone making a fuss of me and making me feel nothing would be too much.  Just as I was about to leave there were a few nudges and winks……  and I was presented with a bottle of wine, (never fails to make a girl smile)……. and a gift box full of goodies from Lush.  It was a great day!  All the staff at Fruition, both in salon and running the promotion were ever professional.  Here I am very pleased with my prize:

Fruition Hair

Fruition often run competitions over social media, and infact there is one on their facebook page now, so if you live in Sheffield I’m sure they’d be pleased if you give them a like and/or follow:

https://www.facebook.com/Fruitionhairandnails

https://twitter.com/FruitionsalonS2

I have now also had my first wins in 2014.  4 Cabaret tickets & a bottle of champagne to any friday or saturday performance at the Cafe de Paris, London.  This comes in very handy as I’m in London to visit friends this month.  (I had that in mind when I entered the comp)!  It was again a RT & follow on twitter.  On facebook I did a like and share competition and won a lovely new bag from the Camouflage company as pictured below.  So a prize haul of over £100 already, I’m feeling 2014 is going to be a lucky year!

Bag from Camouflage Company

I’d love to hear from you…….  how many wins have you had so far in 2014?

#Competition Terms / #Comping Definitions / #Comper Acronyms

When I first started out entering competitions, almost 15 years ago now, the focus was on postal competitions rather than the web.  There was a lot of terminology that went with the hobby, and still is!  I was a little bamboozled to say the least.  So, for any newbies out there here is a quick guide to some common competition terms you may encounter, along with their definitions.

  • Comper – An individual who enters competitions
  • Comping – The (some might say) art of entering competitions
  • Professional Comper – The Press tend to use this term for very successful compers
  • AIOE – All In One Envelope (a little extinct now but back in the day you would enter multiple competitions from one magazine, for example, by putting all entries in one envelope, isn’t the www a magical thing)!
  • CD – Closing Date
  • DTT – Day Time Telephone
  • E/F – Entry Form
  • FB – Facebook
  • Follow & RT – in reference to a competition on twitter indicating you should Follow the company or individual hosting the giveaway, & RT the competition tweet
  • FPD – Free Prize Draw
  • Like & Share – in reference to a competition on facebook indicating you should Like the page which is hosting the competition & Like & Share the competition post
  • LWE – Long White Envelope (those were lovely days when the postie brought more than bills)!
  • NPN – No Purchase Necessary
  • OOM – Order Of Merit
  • PC – Postcard
  • POP – Proof Of Purchase
  • PPE – Plain Paper Entry
  • SAE – Self Addressed Envelope
  • STD – Spot The Difference
  • TXT – Texting competition ie. Text to Win
  • WEM – Winning E-Mail (more of these please comping fairy)!
  • WTC – Winning Telephone Call

Comping is a hobby which can be very time consuming, but also extremely rewarding.  I sometimes feel I need an assistant though to help me get through all the ones I want to enter!

William

 

If it would make your life easier you can follow me on any of my social media platforms and check out the competitions I am entering:

https://www.facebook.com/sue.mellor.750

http://instagram.com/mesueyouwho

http://www.pinterest.com/MeSueYouWho/

http://www.twitter.com/mesueyouwho

Please feel free to share your accounts below so we can share the comping love!  Also, please do let me know if you have any comping terms to add to the post.

New Years Resolutions 2014 & Wins from 2013

My New Years Resolutions are very simple this year:

1.  To get this blog up and running properly, (after 2 years in the thought process)!

2.  To dedicate more time to comping & enter more creative competitions.

3.  To keep a spreadsheet of all my wins.

4.  To be happy & lucky.

To achieve all of these things I am going to need to focus and it starts now……..

focus

When I started the blog last year I asked you, in this post:

https://how2bbornlucky.com/2013/05/23/210513-210514-prize-log-entry-1/

To guess how many prizes I would win in a year.  I had estimates ranging from 18 to 365, but in general most people felt I would win 52 times – or once per week.  I was very bad and didn’t keep up the log, (or blog), as promised, (hence New Years Resolutions)!  So yesterday I went through old emails, facebook messages and twitter mentions.

I found I had won 28 prizes totally a value of £3180.  

This isn’t a great amount compared to some of my previous years but I am pleasantly surprised.  Remembering I only started the blog in May and had comped very little in the early part of the year, I also spent 2 months overseas during this time, so 28 wins is really for 6 months moderate comping.  I’m very happy, (but will still seek to improve this year)!  It also shows my readers have great guess work as around 52 wins for the year would have probably been right.

As I mentioned in my original post I don’t enter anything and everything.  I do go for the prizes I want.  Often I go in for easy to enter competitions on facebook and twitter but I will look for ones with very low entries.  Infact 2 of the facebook competitions I won this year I knew I was going to win……. as I was the only entrant!  But definately this year I would like to focus more on creative comping, again looking for those low entry competitions thereby increasing your chances to win.

My two biggest wins last year were the trip to London with £500 spending money from Nestle Bueno, and a Caldesi cookery weekend in the Cotswolds worth £1000.  I found I was busy coming up to Christmas so didn’t do much except twitter competitions but had a great run winning Ringside seats at a Boxing Match, Lunch & a Falconry experience, £40 Wagamama Vouchers, £50 GBK Vouchers, a Topshop Personal Shopping Experience and much more!

I have yet to have my first win of the year but I do have my spreadsheet all ready to record it when it does happen and of course I shall be sharing my wins.  It is really great to keep a record of your wins so you can look back and cheer yourself up in those lean times.  Wishing you all a very happy and lucky 2014.

I’d love to hear how many wins you had in 2013?

21/05/13 – 21/05/14 Prize Log: Entry 1

Well, would you believe it………  I’ve only gone and received a WEM today.  For those of you that are non-compers this is a Winning Email, (note to self; post on competition terms would be useful).

A trip to London with £500 spending money, I don’t mind if I do!  It was totally out of the blue and put a very big smile on my face.  I have felt that these past few months I have been neglecting my comping hobby, and I couldn’t even remember entering the competition to be honest!  When I received the email, I thought straight away what great news to share on the blog.  And then I thought…..  wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many competitions I actually win in a year?  When I first started comping I used to keep a log of all entries and wins, I was very efficient.  But over the years I’ve changed computers and juggled jobs, and sadly got out of the habit.

Now I resolve to notify you of all my wins, I think it will be rather fun to see how many ‘entries’ I get up to.  I have started the year from when I made my first post which was actually 2 days ago.  The WEM for your perusal;

294956_250216905121403_1030422743_n

I did a google search to find the competition I had entered.  I was most surprised to find, (given the quality of the prize), that I was infact a runner-up!

http://buenofashion.com/

Win a trip to a fashion capital, New York, Paris, Milan or London @ Kinder Bueno

Win a trip to a fashion capital, New York, Paris, Milan or London @ Kinder Bueno

You and a friend could soon be seeing more of the world in style – 
when you enter our competition to visit one of three amazing fashion capitals.

Grand Prize:
3 x 3 night trips to New York, Milan or Paris for two people including return standard economy flights and accommodation in a 4* hotel to be won.

Of course, fashion’s ‘big four’ are rightfully led by London. And we wouldn’t dream of running a competition without offering the chance to grab a little of our capital’s diverse style.

Which is why 10 runners up will each win a London shopping weekend for 2, with £500 spending money.
Includes return standard economy train tickets to London for the winner and their guest, overnight accommodation in a 4* hotel. 

And the next 100 entries drawn win a £50 Love2Shop voucher.

The competition was a simple prize draw, I only had to complete my name and contact details and the closing date was 30.04.13.

Now!  Can I just have a little ‘get out clause’ on my Prize Log.  When I first started comping I did, (I hold my hand up guys), enter ANYTHING and EVERYTHING going.  But after finding myself receiving items such as a bicycle repair kit, (when I do not even have a bike), and also time factors.  I made the decision to just go for prizes I really wanted.  I do win less, but I win MORE of what I want to win.

Everyone has their own opinions on this, its sometimes nice to give away unwanted prizes as gifts, or even sell them on.  I used to give away lots of tickets when I worked full time as I couldn’t always leave early, or take time off for concerts at short notice.  It did make me popular amongst my friends and it was lovely to hear their stories.  The Comping Fairy brings joy wherever she sprinkles her fairy dust!

Here’s to a successful blogging and comping year, why not leave a comment with your best guess as to how many wins I will be at on 21/05/14.