New trends Christmas decorations

John Lewis Christmas press launch reveals what’s hot for Christmas 2014

 

Two years ago it was Winterland, Christmas Holiday, Theatre, New Japan and Lapland and last year it was Rural Life, Odyssey, Vintage Market, Winter Wonderland and Forest Festival.

It does leave me wondering just how many variations there are on the Christmas theme! So it was with eager anticipation that I jogged along to the launch of the 2014 John Lewis Christmas collection.

 

Christmas scene with dog

 

This year themes range from the nostalgic, travelling back in time to Christmas past, through to fun and feel-good themes. And as usual we’re sharing the themes with you and asking which is your favourite in our competition to win a fabulous John Lewis 2014 Teddy Bear.

If you haven’t already seen the new John Lewis Christmas advert, or if you just want to see it again – here’s Monty the Penguin. I’ve been working with John Lewis for a number of years now, and I think this is my favourite Christmas advert yet.

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Six hot Christmas 2014 trends

 

So here are the top Christmas trends for 2014 as chosen by John Lewis – I wonder which will be your favourite?

  • Croft
  • Christmas Past
  • Copenhagen
  • Vibrant Vintage
  • House
  • Festive Friends

 

1. Croft

Beautiful and considered, Croft evokes a relaxed feeling with neutral tones accented with soft textiles, perfect for creating a white Christmas.

 

Croft John Lewis Christmas 2014 trend

 

2. Christmas Past

This trend brings the outdoor in with natural materials, woodland creatures and frosted berries. It’s the perfect look for capturing the essence of a cosy Christmas in the country.

 

Christmas Past John Lewis Christmas 2014 trend

 

3. Copenhagen

A key theme for 2014 this is the very essence of Scandinavian style – simple, contemporary and fashionable. Materials are natural and are used in modern, sometimes intriguing combinations such as the blackboard baubles, that can be written on.

 

Copenhagen John Lewis Christmas 2014 trend

 

4. Vibrant Vintage

A nostalgic, colourful collection of trims and accessories inspired by the past such as mouth-blown glass baubles from Eastern Europe and jewel toned droplets, perfect for a Christmas tree.

 

Vibrant Vintage John Lewis Christmas 2014 trend

 

5. House

A carefully selected collection of fun, contemporary decorations and lights, to create a cool and colourful Christmas theme.

 

House John Lewis 2014 Christmas Trend

 

6. Festive Friends

A fun and colourful theme ideal for a children’s Christmas. Highlights include the singing Santa lantern, owl tree decorations and this year’s Christmas character, a cute sausage dog which features across decorations, tree skirts and soft toys.

Festive Friends John Lewis Christmas 2014 trend

 

 

Competition Time

Win

 

John Lewis 2014 teddy

 

 

 

 

 

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We’ve got a John Lewis 2014 medium sized bear to give away to one lucky reader.

All we want to know is which is your favourite Christmas decorations trend from those above?

Pop it in the comments box below – but only one comment per person please.

 

So don’t be shy – tell us which is your favourite of our 2014 Christmas trends?

Good luck!

 

Alison x (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

You can visit the John Lewis Christmas Shop here.

Photographs: John Lewis

 

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Tuesday 9th December 2014.

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Tuesday 9th December 2014. The winner will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions, loquax and  Competitions Time. If you are the lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

 

 

150 Years of John Lewis

Fun celebrations and a new range a celebrate landmark anniversary.

 

Which will you choose – John or Lewis?

150 years of John Lewis

 

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of a business that has grown from a humble draper’s shop opened in 1864, to the £4 billion international, award-winning business it is today; John Lewis Cheadle is pleased to announce plans for a series of commemorative events.

Kicking off on 3rd May, the shop on Wilmslow Road, will host a number of activities such as:

  • Children’s treasure hunt
  • Facepainters
  • Balloon modeller
  • Live music

As part of the 150th celebrations John Lewis will be working in partnership with Barnardo’s. John Lewis Cheadle has chosen to support the Benchill Sure Start Children’s Centre in Wythenshaw.

 

Exclusive anniversary range

 

Collaborating with some of Britain’s most loved brands and designers, John Lewis Cheadle are offering in store and online a carefully edited collection which has been produced exclusively for the anniversary.

The electrical department has teamed up with the iconic Henry Hoover brand to offer the opportunity to buy  a John or a Lewis Hoover, and in the Home department their own design studio is paying homage to the brand’s design history by taking key heritage prints from the archives and using them on new modern products. ‘

 

John Lewis heritage teapotJohn Lewis 150 anniversary cushion

 

National events

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The week will also see the launch of a series of national events, including a fantastic roof garden for it’s Oxford Street store in London.

Working with Tony Woods, Royal Horticultural Society National Young Designer of the Year, and John Lewis’ own gardeners, one of the capital’s largest urban rooftops has been transformed.

 

John Lewis Oxford Street Roof Garden

 

Competition time

Win

 

To celebrate 150 years of John Lewis, we’ve got a John or a Lewis Hoover to give away to one lucky reader.

 

John and Lewis Hoovers

They retail at £129.95 so this really is a fantastic prize (you can read the product details here).

All you need to do is leave a comment in the box below telling us whether you’d rather have a ‘John’ or a ‘Lewis’ Hoover and why.

Me – It would have to be Lewis after the author of one of my favourite children’s books, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis.

 

Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photographs: John Lewis

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Tuesday 6th May 2014.

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Tuesday 6th May 2014. The winner will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.

Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.

Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.

Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)

Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February 2014). Winner Laura Vitty.

Ethical African Bags – win a BagsandMore demi lune bag and scarf (3rd March 2014). Winners Sandy Hendry and Jenny Miller.

Manchester Fashion Bee – win an Essential Burt’s Bees Kit (11th March 2014). Winner Angela Norton-Kelly.

Home Is In The North – win a Lomas & Lomas lampshade (17th March 2014). Winner Beatrice Henderson.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – win a Mum’s Mumisms typography print (19th March 2014). Winner Natalie Gillham.

Celebrating National Puppy Day – win a pooch brooch (21st March 2014). Winner Claire Deakin.

Health and Fitness Workshop – win a place on a health and fitness workshop (1st April 2014). Winner Toni W.

Gorgeous SS14 Fashion Trends – win luxury nail lacquer (3rd April 2014). Winner Michelle Wild.

Bonbon Chocolate Boutique – win a luxury box of chocolates and £10 Golden Ticket (8th April 2014). Winner Bonnie King.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonbon Chocolate Boutique

Delicious treats from the Northern Quarter

 

With Easter fast approaching, we’ve been checking out Bonbon Chocolate Boutique in the Northern Quarter and chatting to chocolatier Sharon about some of her favourite flavours.

Regular foodie blogger Elaine and photographer Jenny were our lucky chocolate tasting duo! But we haven’t kept all the good stuff to ourselves – read on and you too could be getting chocolatey with our top Bonbon competition!

 

Over to you Elaine ……

Elaine

 

I say forget diamonds, chocolate is a girl’s best friend (well for this girl it is anyway!).

Especially chocolate that is made with love and has exciting flavour combinations.

I like chocolates you can savour and really enjoy, so when Sharon from Bonbon Chocolate Boutique came to tell us about what she does AND brought some to try I was very happy indeed.

Sharon has been making her own chocolates for just over a year and started by selling at local markets before Bonbon opened its doors.

 

Bonbon Chocolate Boutique.

Hot chocolate

 

The boutique and cafe is tucked away on a corner of John Street and has just four tables inside to sit and enjoy their famous hot chocolate – some say the best in Manchester – or some of those renowned cakes from sister company Teacup Kitchen.

 

Handmade chocolates

 

Sharon prides herself on making all the chocolates and truffles by hand. She makes 100’s per day using fresh ingredients and no preservatives so they are actually better for you (good news) and many varieties are vegan or dairy free too, including the hot chocolate.

 

Sharon

 

Known for their flavour combinations, the chocolates are crafted so that you can taste all the different elements throughout.

We asked Sharon which was the most unusual flavour and without hesitation she told us it must be the Stilton & Caramel! However it’s one of the most popular flavours and so she makes them every week.

 

Salted Caramels

 

Our selection was less controversial but very enjoyable all the same.

 

 

Pistachio & Vanilla

 

A light vanilla cream centre that you actually taste first before the rich dark chocolate coating and then a subtle nutty flavour from the pistachio on the outside.

 

Coconut & Lemongrass

 

Toasted coconut pieces on a Valrhona milk chocolate shell. Inside is a fresh tasting lemongrass ganache – full flavoured but not overpowering. I would liken it to the ultimate Bounty, all that is missing is your own dessert island to enjoy it on.

 

 

Chocolates by Bonbon

 

 

Rose & Cardamom (v)

 

Dark chocolate with a gloriously perfumed centre. The filling has warmth from the cardamom and then the rose flavour really comes through to finish. It genuinely makes your mouth water and I think this is my favourite of the four.

 

Salted Caramel

 

A combination that is always a winner in my house. This unassuming looking cocoa dusted dark chocolate is generously filled with liquid salted caramel gold. You could very easily eat another so you get the enjoyment of the shell cracking and the caramel pouring out.

 

Chocolate and wine matching

 

If this has tempted you to pay a visit, Bonbon is open from Wednesday to Sunday (Monday and Tuesday are spent making more chocolates for us all).

There is also an upcoming event with Hanging Ditch where six of Sharon’s creations are being wine matched. Bon’ditch as the evening is called takes place on the 16th April (see Hanging Ditch website for details).

 

 

Competition time

Win

 

We’ve got a Bonbon Golden Ticket gift voucher (redeemable to the value of £10) and a box of luxury handmade chocolates to give away.

 

Bonbon vouchers.

All you need to do is leave a comment in the box below telling us all about your favourite chocolate story.

Me – It would have to be a trip to a chocolate factory in Switzerland where the air was so thick with the smell of chocolate you could almost eat thin air!

 

Bonbon Chocolate Boutique, 9 John Street, Manchester, M4 1EQ

Website: bonbonchocolate.co.uk

Tel: 0161 839 4416

Email: hello@bonbonchocolate.co.uk

Facebook: facebook.com/BonBonChocolateWorkshopt

Twitter: @Bonbon_NQ

 

 

Elaine x

 

Photographs: Jenny McAvoy, Bonbon

 

 

Other restaurant & café reviews:

Teacup Kitchen – Northern Quarter

Ginger’s Comfort Emporium – Afflecks Palace

Artisan – Spinningfields

Caffine & Co – Longford Park Chorlton

Manchester Food & Drink Festival preview

Room Restaurant – City Centre

Didsbury Lounge – Didsbury

Salvis – Exchange Square, Manchester City Centre

The Parlour – Beech Road, Chorlton

Linen – Manchester 235

The Angel – Northern Quarter

Stock Restaurant – Manchester City Centre

The Oxnoble – Potato Wharf

Etrop Grange – Manchester Airport

Thomas Restaurant – Northern Quarter

Saffran – Trafford Centre

The Blue Pig – Northern Quarter

Yang Sing – China Town

 

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Monday 21st April 2014.

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Monday 21st April 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.

Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.

Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.

Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)

Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February 2014). Winner Laura Vitty.

Ethical African Bags – win a BagsandMore demi lune bag and scarf (3rd March 2014). Winners Sandy Hendry and Jenny Miller.

Manchester Fashion Bee – win an Essential Burt’s Bees Kit (11th March 2014). Winner Angela Norton-Kelly.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – win a Mum’s Mumisms typography print (19th March 2014). Winner Natalie Gillham.

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. The winner is Bonnie King.

 

 

Gorgeous SS14 Fashion Trends

Which is your favourite?

 

The Tweet Seat was back in action again last week at Manchester Arndale, with a plethora of bloggers being treated to a behind the scenes look at some of this season’s hottest fashions.

 

SS14 Fashion Trends

 

Fashionista that I am, I arrived in a woolly hat – staying for a grand total of five minutes before rushing off to The Lowry where we had tickets to see Goldfrapp.

However – it was long enough to be thoroughly inspired by the four key looks that the Manchester Arndale team had put together.

 

SS14 fashion ideas

 

Here are my interpretations of the four different looks.

 

1. Pretty Things

pretty things

 

Embrace your ladylike side this season with the most girly of trends. Think fondant fancies and all things sweet.

Bubblegum pink, baby blue, lavender and lemon.

 

Pretty Things

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2. Paintbox

paintbox

 

From pillar-box red to cobalt blue and yellow, this bold and bright trend is not for the faint hearted.

Clean lines, tailoring and short hemlines, in the brightest colours will help you stand out from the crowd.

Pair with clashing bright accessories, like a bright clutch or chunky colourful necklace to really make a statement.

 

Paint Box

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3. 3D Floral

3D Floral

 

Nothing says Spring / Summer more than florals and the latest looks don’t disappoint with everything from soft pastel prints and vibrant hues, to darker and edgier garden prints.

 

Over sized motifs and 3D motifs add a fun twist to this romantic trend – and for the daring fashionista, more is more! Try pairing two floral separates together and add over sized floral jewellery to truly bloom!

 

3D Floral

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4. Bold Statements

bold statments

 

Whether you fancy Aztec or geometric, there are some dazzling prints around that promise to add a stand-out twist to any SS14 wardrobe.

Monochrome and neon prints are perfect for a glam night-time look and this season’s designs look stunning when partnered with clashing bright jewels and statement accessories – the bigger the better!

 

Bold Stagements

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Competition time

Win

 

Courtesy of Manchester Arndale, we’ve got two bottles of O.P.I Nail Lacquer to give away to one lucky reader.  OPI Nail Lacquer

Just leave a comment in the box below telling us which of our four is your favourite SS14 Fashion Trend to be in with a chance of winning.

 

 

SS14 fashion trends

Me – I love the bright clashing colours of paintbox!

 

Good luck!

 

Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photographs: Manchester Arndale. Click on the individual sets for more information.

 

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Thursday 17th April 2014.

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Thursday 17th April 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.

Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.

Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.

Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)

Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February 2014). Winner Laura Vitty.

Ethical African Bags – win a BagsandMore demi lune bag and scarf (3rd March 2014). Winners Sandy Hendry and Jenny Miller.

Manchester Fashion Bee – win an Essential Burt’s Bees Kit (11th March 2014). Winner Angela Norton-Kelly.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – win a Mum’s Mumisms typography print (19th March 2014). Winner Natalie Gillham.

 

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. The winner is Michelle Wild.

 

 

 

 

 

Health & Fitness Workshop

Intelligent Health & Fitness for Busy Women, including the chance to win a workshop place

 

I like the sound of this intelligent health and fitness for busy women. Tick, tick and tick! But more to the point what does it actually mean? Does such a thing exist?

Well apparently it does – and personal trainer Sara Perry from Renaissance4Women has the key to the door, which she’ll gladly share in her forthcoming workshop. Even better, she’s giving a place away to one lucky winner – so you too can be party to her wisdom!

 

Over to you Sara ……

Sara Perry Renaissance

 

I was going to start this blog with the following question:

Did you, like me, shed a tear or two when you watched Davina complete that gruelling 500 mile challenge for Sport Relief 2014?

But then I realised I wasn’t being entirely truthful. Really what I needed to ask was:

Did you, like me blub uncontrollably like a baby when you watched Davina complete that gruelling 500 mile challenge for Sport Relief 2014?

I hold my hands up – I was totally and utterly in awe. Gobsmacked, amazed, blown away – pick your own superlative, I can guarantee I experienced it.

 

What physical challenges tell you about yourself

 

Sporty woman with yoga matAnd then I got to thinking how much more a physical challenge like that tells you about yourself than your levels of stamina and fitness.

When I first started training with weights I spent a lot of time telling myself “I can’t”. As time went on I realised that this wasn’t true and at the pinnacle of my training I was lifting 16kg kettlebells up over my head with one arm.

As a result, not only did I become stronger in my body, but my mind became stronger too. If I could lift all that weight and achieve all those physical challenges I could do anything.

I could face up to my bullying boss, and I could start retraining to build a career I love. The possibilities were endless (and still are) and the same goes for you.

 

You don’t have to ‘do a Davina’

 

It doesn’t have to be a commitment to an ultra-challenge like Davina’s or revolve around traditional physical activities like running or cycling.

It might involve trying out a new sport you’ve never attempted before, going on a holiday that involves daily physical challenge or aiming for a personal best in something that you already enjoy. The key is to push yourself to discover what you can do as opposed to assuming you can’t.

 

Women riding bicycles

 

 

Then, next time you’re facing a difficult task at work, or have to tackle a difficult subject with someone just remember what you achieved when you pushed yourself and that chore will suddenly become so much easier to deal with.

 

Workshop

 

In my Intelligent Health & Fitness for Busy Women workshop I’m going to be helping attendees discover how to choose exercise that plays to their personality type turning it from a chore into a pleasure along with giving you lots of nutrition and mindset advice to help them start living a fitter, healthier and happier life.

You can find out more about the workshop here.

 

 

Competition time

Win

I’m offering one lucky 4Manchester Woman reader the chance to win a place on my workshop (value £97.00).

Saturday 12th April 2014 from 9.30am to 4.30pm at the Manchester YHA Conference Centre on Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4NB.

 

 

All you need to do is leave a comment in the box below telling us which sport you’d like to try and why to be in with a chance of winning.

Me – I’d love to have a go at belly dancing!

Good luck!

 

Sara x

 

 

renaissance-logo

 

Web site: renaissance4women.co.uk

Contact: renaissance4women.co.uk/contact

Twitter: @Renaissance_4W

 

Photographs: Free Digital Photos, British Cycling

Disclosure

 

 

Other articles by Sara:

TV Workout

Healthy intermittent fasting

Get in shape in the new year

Personal training for 40+ women

Holiday healthy eating

Countdown to Christmas

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Wednesday 9th April 2014.

Please include a * in your answer if you don’t want to receive updates from Renaissance4Women.

 

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Wednesday 9th April 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

 

The Lounge Gallery – win a Michelle Keeling necklace (22nd September 2013). Winner Alison Ferrara.

The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.

Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.

Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.

Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)

Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February 2014). Winner Laura Vitty.

Ethical African Bags – win a BagsandMore demi lune bag and scarf (3rd March 2014). Winners Sandy Hendry and Jenny Miller.

Manchester Fashion Bee – win an Essential Burt’s Bees Kit (11th March 2014). Winner Angela Norton-Kelly.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – win a Mum’s Mumisms typography print (19th March 2014). Winner Natalie Gillham.

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. The winner is Toni W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating National Puppy Day

A day to indulge in a spot of puppy love

 

According to our round up of National Days in March – 21st March is National Puppy Day. OK so it originates from the US, but that doesn’t mean that we’re immune to photos like these!

 

National Puppy Day

 

Cute puppies

Ahhhhh!

If you want to treat the fur ball in your life then here are a few ideas.

 

Puppy love montage

 

1. Purplebone Pink Stripe Bow Tie Dog Collar £24.99 – £28.99

2. Alessi Lupita Dog Bowl £49.95

3. Mutts & Hounds Bone Print Pillow Bed, Heather £48.00 – £88.00

4. Mutts & Hounds Ticking Dog Bone Toy £16.50 – £18.50

5. Mungo & Maud Pull My Leg Rhino Dog Toy £22.95

6. Barbour Quilted Tartan Dog Coat, Olive £32.95

7. Mungo & Maude Petite Amande Dog Shampoo, 500ml £19.90

8. Mungo & Maud Preppy Lead, 2cm, Beige / Red £92.50

 

There is of course a serious side to National Puppy Day, which also campaigns to stop puppy farming and promotes responsible dog ownership.

 

Competition time

Win

 

To celebrate National Puppy Day, we’ve got a doggy brooch of your choice from the selection below to give away. The prize has been kindly donated by Helen at MisHelenEous who specialises in handmade doggy craft.

 

Dog Brooch

 

You can choose from a Border Terrier, Staffie, English Bull Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Schnauzer, Pug or Basset Hound.

All we want to know is what’s the name of your dog.

Me – we had a black Labrador when I was little called Zebedee, because he bounced like he was on a spring!

Woof woof! (that’s dog for good luck).

 

Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photographs: John Lewis, National Puppy Day, MisHelenEous

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Monday 31st March 2014.

 

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Monday 31st March 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

Indulge Fragrance Boutique – win bottles of perfume (8th September 2013). Winners Gillian Shiels, Leanne Williams, Julie Ward.

Creamline Dairies / Getting Kids to Eat Breakfast – win a Saturday Cookshop course with a celebrity chef (18th September 2013). Winner Sara Perry.

The Lounge Gallery – win a Michelle Keeling necklace (22nd September 2013). Winner Alison Ferrara.

The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.

Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.

Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.

Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)

Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February 2014). Winner Laura Vitty.

Ethical African Bags – win a BagsandMore demi lune bag and scarf (3rd March 2014). Winners Sandy Hendry and Jenny Miller.

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. The winner is Claire Deakin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Is in the North

A new interiors event set to launch in vibrant Ancoats

 

Home is in the North

 

Home Is In The North, an exciting new interiors shopping event is launching for the very first time at Hallé St. Peters located in up and coming Ancoats, Manchester.

Saturday 26th April 2014, 11am – 4pm.

Built in 1859 at the peak of Ancoats industrial boom, Hallé St. Peters and its historic location will provide the idyllic backdrop to host an eclectic mix of 30 independent designer-makers from across the North who specialise in modernising traditional crafts.

 

Halle St Peter's Ancoats

 

The Exhibitors

 

From intricate wirework, surface pattern design, lustre glazed ceramics, bespoke upcycled lighting, fine art illustration and ideas etched in glass, many of the talented exhibitors are united and inspired by the industrial North.

Taking inspiration from key Manchester landmarks, is surface pattern designer Annabel Perrin who used the contemporary architecture of Salford Quays to create her ‘Imperial’ geometric pattern used in her cushions, footstools and fabrics.

Annabel Perin cushions

 

Continuing the ‘Industrial Chic’ trend is bespoke lighting designer, Richard Linford of Greymoose Designs with his upcycled lighting collection that experiments with camera tripods, sturdy steel basins modernised with colourful braided lighting cords.

 

Grey Moose Designs Industrial Style spot lamp

 

For a full exhibitor list click here.

 

Future Design Showcase

 

Home Is in the North, will also be launching ‘The Future Design Showcase’ in partnership with Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Northern Quarter concept store Fig & Sparrow and online market place What I Always Wanted.

The area has been created as a support network to give emerging artists and makers the unique opportunity to meet potential stockists in person and seek advice and guidance about building their brand.

 

Interactive Workshops

 

There is a full schedule of complimentary interactive workshops, demos and seminars taking place throughout the day. Highlights include a ‘Create Your Own Art’ workshop with interiors blogger, Kimberley Hughes of Swoonworthy, who will also be sharing her trend predictions for 2014 during a 30 minute seminar.

 

Home Is …… Where?

 

An event which brings together a collective of unusual and creative designer / makers requires an innovative approach to marketing. Therefore, to support and promote the launch of Home Is in the North, founder and creator Rachael Adams has commissioned a unique and conceptual collection of images entitled ‘Home Is… Where? ‘

Drawing on interior themes such as:

  • Waterside View
  • Industrial Living
  • Rustic Woodlands
  • Opulent Luxury
  • Suburban Independence

Five pop-up rooms were installed in five various locations within Manchester city centre and Chorlton, to explore the concept of modern home.

Whether you live in a semi-detached house in the suburbs or a converted church, hospital, mill, canal boat or even tree house, there are lots of exciting new trends that can transform even the most generic blank canvas.

 

Waterside View at Castlefield Basin

 

Home is - industrial

Photography – Stella Photography.

Interior Credits – Lisa Watson Quilts, Anthony Hughes, Greymoose Designs, Ink Inc, Manchester Mosaics, Natalie Laura Ellen Designs, Annabel Perrin Textiles, Northern Letters, Eclectic Chair, Claire Murray Designs.

 

 

Industrial Living at Greengate Square

 

Home Is in the North Greengate Square

Photography – Stella Photography.

Interior Credits –  Lisa Watson Quilts, Anthony Hughes, Greymoose Designs, Ink Inc, Manchester Mosaics, Natalie Laura Ellen Designs, Annabel Perrin Textiles, Sarah Evelyn Marsh, Eclectic Chair.

 

 

Opulent Luxury at Hallé St. Peters

 

Home Is in the North, Halle St Peter's

Photography – Stella Photography.

Interior Credits – Lisa Watson Quilts, Anthony Hughes, Greymoose Designs, Ink Inc, Manchester Mosaics, Natalie Laura Ellen Designs, Annabel Perrin Textiles, Sarah Evelyn Marsh, Eclectic Chair, Oh Bother Design, Charlotte Nash Textiles, Northern Letters, Claire Murray Designs.

 

 

Rustic Woodlands at Chorlton Ees

 

Home Is in the North, Chorlton Ees, Gary Lomas

Photography – Garry Lomas.

Interior Credits – Lomas & Lomas, Manchester Mosaics, Natalie Laura Ellen Designs, Eclectic Chair, Oh Bother Design, Charlotte Nash Textiles, Northern Letters.

 

 

Suburban Independence on Beech Road in Chorlton

 

Home Is in the North, Beech Road, Chorlton

Photography – Garry Lomas.

Interior Credits – Lomas & Lomas, Eclectic Chair, Northern Letters, Natalie Laura Ellen Designs.

 

Whether you are looking to spruce up your home this Spring, take part in a DIY tutorial or get invaluable advice from our event partners, Home Is in the North will be by far one of the better ways to enjoy your Saturday!

.

 

 

Buy your tickets

 

For £3.00 advance tickets visit Eventbrite and Skiddle. Excludes booking fee.

Advance ticket holders will receive a free copy of our Home Is zine.

Tickets on the door. Adults £4.00. Children Under 15 Free.

To see a full list of exhibitors and more information visit eventsbythesocialbutterfly.com

Facebook: facebook.com/HomeIsEvent

Twitter: @HomeIsEvent

 

 

Competition Time

Win

 

To celebrate the launch of Home Is in the North, we’ve got a beautiful lampshade from Home Is in the North exhibitor Lomas&Lomas.

I love these lampshades – I have two!

 

Sparrow Grey & Blue Lamps

 

The lampshade is handmade with a Sparrow design, created from a photograph of the humble Sparrow and inspired by 1960s wallpaper patterns. As the lampshades are printed in the Lomas&Lomas studio it means clients can pick any colour-way they wish to suit their interior. Colour shown Blue/Grey.

.

All we want to know is which is your favourite pop-up room from the photoshoot?

Me – I love Suburban Independence on Beech Road in Chorlton!

Pop it in the comments box below – but only one comment per person please.

Good luck!

 

Alison x (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photographs: Garry Lomas, Stella Photography, Annabel Perrin, Greymoose Designs

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Monday 14th April 2014.

The winner must be present to collect their prize from Home Is in the North, Hallé St. Peter’s, Ancoats, Manchester (between 11am – 4pm Saturday 26th April 2014).

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Monday 14th April 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

The Independent Interiors Show – win a house hamper (3rd September 2013). Winner Nichola Gill.

Indulge Fragrance Boutique – win bottles of perfume (8th September 2013). Winners Gillian Shiels, Leanne Williams, Julie Ward.

Creamline Dairies / Getting Kids to Eat Breakfast – win a Saturday Cookshop course with a celebrity chef (18th September 2013). Winner Sara Perry.

The Lounge Gallery – win a Michelle Keeling necklace (22nd September 2013). Winner Alison Ferrara.

The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.

Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.

Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.

Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)

Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February). Winner Laura Vitty.

 

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. The winner is Beatrice Henderson.

 

 

 

 

Manchester Spring Fashion Bee

Celebrating Spring and the Manchester Bee

 

Manchester has many symbols – but the worker bee is probably the one we identify with the most. Look at the traffic bollards in the city centre and you’ll see a gold bee telling you that you’re in Manchester City Council.

The worker bee was adopted during the industrial revolution to symbolise the hard work of that era and Manchester being a hive of industry. The Manchester bee even makes it onto our coat of arms on the globe at the top – as well as the Red Rose of Lancashire, three stripes and a ship (representing the rivers Irwell, Medlock and Irk and the Manchester Ship Canal).

 

Manchester Coat of Arms

 

This lovely little bee can be found decorating a wall in the Northern Quarter.

 

Black & white Manchester Bee graffiti on wall

 

I saw my first real bee of the year today in the lovely Spring sunshine. We have a number of hives on our allotment and the beekeeper sells their honey in our local chemists, which beats New Zealand clover honey and the like any day. Plus local honey is also supposed to help the symptoms of hay fever.

 

Fashion Bee

 

So inspired by the sunshine and my first bee, I thought I’d put together a bee inspired collection so that us Mancunians can wear our city’s symbol with pride and style.

 

 

Bee collection

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.

If you see anything you like in the above collection, click on the main image and all will be revealed!

 

 

Competition time

 

Burts Bees

 

To celebrate Spring and bees we’ve got an Essential Burt’s Bees Kit to give away.

All we want to know is your best bee story.

Pop it in the comments box below – but only one comment per person please.

 

 

So don’t be shy – whether it’s the best honey sandwich (Winnie the Pooh style), the memory of a bee feasting on a sunflower whilst on holiday or trying to remove a stinger from your foot when you were little, we’d love to know?

Good luck!

 

Alison x (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

Photographs: Manchester City Council, Alison Staples, Polyvore

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Tuesday 25th March 2014.

The winner will be the first name selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Tuesday 25th March 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

The Independent Interiors Show – win a house hamper (3rd September 2013). Winner Nichola Gill.

Indulge Fragrance Boutique – win bottles of perfume (8th September 2013). Winners Gillian Shiels, Leanne Williams, Julie Ward.

Creamline Dairies / Getting Kids to Eat Breakfast – win a Saturday Cookshop course with a celebrity chef (18th September 2013). Winner Sara Perry.

The Lounge Gallery – win a Michelle Keeling necklace (22nd September 2013). Winner Alison Ferrara.

The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.

Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.

Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.

Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)

Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February). Winner Laura Vitty.

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. The winner is Angela Norton-Kelly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethical bags from Africa

Celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight with ethical African bags from BagsandMore

 

We’re in the midst of Fairtrade Fortnight (24th February – 9th March 2014) which focuses attention on better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.

So it’s a perfect time to hear once again from Jackie Savage at BagsandMore. Jackie who is from the north west specialises in ethically sourced bags and accessories.

We’ve asked her to tell us a bit more about how her bags are made and introduce us to this season’s additions to her collection.

 

Over to you Jackie ……

Jackie Savage

 

After all the terrible weather the UK’s suffered over the past months, nothing could be better to cheer you up than a bag or scarf from BagsandMore.

In my last 4Manchester Women guest blog (read here), I told you a little bit about the ethical background to our bags from Madagascar.

 

This Indian Ocean island is one of the poorest countries in Africa. In 2012, its population was estimated at just over 22 million, 90 percent of whom live on less than two dollars per day.

Any initiative which offers to improve the lives of the people has to be a good thing, and our bags achieve just that.

 

African bag with stars

 

The work involved in making these bags is complicated and it’s important to appreciate the input of the craftspeople working in these communities.

Making raffia bagsThe inner layer of the bag is made from reeds which are harvested and hand woven to create a light-weight inner basket which adds strength, durability and shape.

The outside of the bag is made from the leaves of the raffia palm which are harvested then hand processed, dyed and sun dried before being hand woven into these colourful designs as mats ready to produce baskets.

 

The mats are cut ready to be assembled for the outer surface and appliques. The bags are then individually machine-stitched together with their linings and finished with the leather straps and corners, which are put on again by hand.

Finally all the elements are brought together and this is what you see here – our BagsandMore bags!

 

African bags.

The work involved in making every bag is demanding. However it not only provides income, it also offers an opportunity to develop new skills and generate self-respect.

So when you buy a beautiful Madagascan bag, remember the person who has put much time and effort into making that bag in Africa. Check out the new additions to our range below.

 

African bags poppy and terrier

 

Buying handcrafted items

 

Finally, a story to demonstrate the importance of recognising the role of the artisan in every hand-crafted item you see for sale:

A woman saw a beautiful crocheted dress in a local shop so went in to find out the price. When the artisan told her how much the dress would cost, the lady thought that the price was too high and said “I want to buy a dress from you, but I think you charge too much.” The artisan was a little taken aback but replied “OK, how much do you think I should charge?”

The lady replied “I know the cost of the raw materials and the yarn, the ribbons and the buttons. I will even factor in the price of scissors.” Eventually she gave the artisan a price based on these calculations.

The final price which the woman had calculated was a lot less than the original price, but the artisan thought about it and said “OK then, give me a week”. 

The woman was very pleased with herself and told all her friends what a clever deal she had negotiated. 

A week later her parcel arrived. Full of excitement the woman opened it and inside discovered yarn, ribbons, buttons and a pair of scissors. Angrily she contacted the artisan and asked “How could you do this to me? I asked you for a dress and you sent me a box of yarn, ribbon, buttons and scissors?!”

The artisan quietly replies “My dear, you got exactly what you paid for. If you think there is something missing, you need to pay for it.”

The moral of the story is when you buy handmade goods you are not just buying the materials, you are paying for the time, effort, love and dedication which goes into making the product. Never undervalue this element – it is the most important one.

 

Competition time

 

bag & scarf

 

To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight and the launch of the new BagsandMore SS14 collection, we’ve got a gorgeous demi-lune bag (first prize) and a Mara Marin scarf (second prize) to give away to two lucky winners.

All we want to know is:

What’s lurking at the bottom of your bag?

Pop it in the comments box below – but only one comment per person please.

So don’t be shy – whether it’s a supermarket receipt for family size Toblerone, a pair of flip-flops or some emergency wet wipes , we’d love to know?

 

 

Good luck!

 

 Jackie x

 

bags-and-more

 

Web site: bagsandmore.co.uk

Twitter: @JBagsandmore

Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Bags-and-More

Email:  info@bagsandmore.co.uk

 

 

Photographs: BagsandMore

Disclosure

 

Previous articles from BagsandMore:

Eco-friendly accessories

Summer in the South of France

Fashionable French Lemons

A February post card from France

A Christmas post card from BagsandMore

Introducing BagsandMore

 

By taking part in this competition you are agreeing to 4Manchester Womens Terms & Conditions for competitions and prize draws.

 

Competition closing date: 9pm Monday 17th March 2014.

The winners will be the first names selected at random from all respondents. No purchase necessary. No cash alternative. The Editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Closing date is 9pm Monday 17th March 2014. The winners will be notified immediately. Only one entry per person. UK entries only. No automated entries. Supporting ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions and loquax. If you are a lucky winner, your contact details will be forwarded to the providers of the prize, strictly for the purpose of fulfilling the prize and not for any other purpose.
Please note: Should you be notified as the winner, and you do not respond within 2 days of our notification, we reserve the right to re-draw the winner.

 

Previous competition winners (last 6 months)

Creative Stitches & Hobbycraft Show – win tickets (1st September 2013). Winners Claire Jackson, Pauline Rendell, Joanna Arthur, Fran Morgan, Liz Ferguson, Michelle Smith, Dil Price, Pam Gregory, Linda Weatherley.

The Independent Interiors Show – win a house hamper (3rd September 2013). Winner Nichola Gill.

Indulge Fragrance Boutique – win bottles of perfume (8th September 2013). Winners Gillian Shiels, Leanne Williams, Julie Ward.

Creamline Dairies / Getting Kids to Eat Breakfast – win a Saturday Cookshop course with a celebrity chef (18th September 2013). Winner Sara Perry.

The Lounge Gallery – win a Michelle Keeling necklace (22nd September 2013). Winner Alison Ferrara.

The Perfect Princess Party – win a Princess fancy dress outfit (14th October 2013). Winner Emma Wolski.

MINILAND Manchester – win a family day pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester (6th November 2013). Winner Andrea Lloyd.

New trends Christmas decorations – win a John Lewis Christmas 2013 teddy (11th November 2013). Winner Rachael Barratt.

Luxurious home products – win a throw from Linen Loft (15th November 2013). Winner Chris Fletcher.

Personalised Christmas Gifts – win a personalised mug from Photobox (18th November 2013). Winners Katrina Steward, Nicola McConnell.

Bathroom makeover – win a selection of pamper products (14th January 2014). Winner Georgina Jacobs.

Travelling with Kids – win Cryin Air travel packs (22nd January 2014). Winner Lily Bowers.

Farmhouse Breakfast Week – win a breakfast hamper (27th January 2014). Winner Janet Rumley.

Easy Valentine Heart Cookies – win heart shape cookie cutters (3rd February 2014). Winner Donna Lawton.

Black Dog branches into fashion – win a designer t-shirt (5th February 2014)

Interview with Rianna Phillips – win a designer mini pouch (11th February). Winner Laura Vitty.

 

 

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our competition. The winners are Sandy Henry and Jenny Miller.

 

The Big Allotment Challenge

Green fingers needed to take part in a new prime time TV programme

 

We’ve had The Great British Bake Off, The Great Interior Design Challenge, The Great British Sewing Bee and now it seems that there’s even more mileage to be squeezed out of this tried and tested format.

The next one to feature in BBC2′s portfolio is currently in production -  a primetime gardening show called ‘The Big Allotment Challenge’.

As the custodian of an allotment myself I have to say I’m tempted!

 

The Big Allotment Challenge

 

Be on a show!

 

And so the search is on for a handful of talented amateur kitchen gardeners.

The series will follow them as they transform a plot of earth into a patch of beauty and reveal all the wonderful possibilities that can be unlocked from allotment growing.

Kitchen gardening and growing your own produce is an amazing way to live and this series celebrates that.

Producers are on a nationwide search, looking for contestants to feature in the series – those who have the skill and dedication and who could dig their way to victory and be crowned the winner of The Big Allotment Challenge. People who can cultivate the perfect carrot, make their green tomatoes into award winning chutney and turn their dahlias and sweet peas into floral arrangements fit for a Queen.

So whether you’re an allotmenteer, a city living window box grower, or a gardening enthusiast, the producers want to hear from you!

 

How to apply

 

The Big Allotment Challenge

 

It couldn’t be easier to apply; all you need to do is email grow@silverriver.tv or call 0207 907 3401 for an application form.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on the 13th of March 2014.

 

Good luck!

 

Alison x  (your 4Manchester Women Editor)

 

 

 

 

 

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