Living just off the Gloucester Road in Bristol I am totally spoilt for independent stores. In fact it’s one of the reasons I moved here. I love that when I have a friend’s birthday coming up I know I can walk just five minutes up the road and pick out a present made and sold by a local designer or craftsperson.

I am really happy then this month to be bringing you a competition from The Dressing Room to celebrate Independent Retailer Month. The campaign highlights the important role smaller, local, independent retailers play in the communities they serve, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole.

According to the Centre for Local Economic Strategies for every £1 that is spent with a local, independent business, between 50p-70p circulates back into that local economy. Buying locally supports local traders, their suppliers and the people they depend on to run their businesses. Buying locally boosts the local economy, rebuilding confidence in the community, enabling local businesses to prosper and grow.

Besides, isn’t it just nicer to know you are supporting a real person, their livelihood and their family, wherever they are, rather than a massive faceless organisation?

In the spirit of all things indie The Dressing Room, an online indie fashion boutique, are giving one of my readers £150 to spend on their gorgeous American Vintage range. The range is full of really stylish but practical pieces in beautiful colours. One of my favourite items is this jacket, called the ‘Fayettville printed pineapple jacket’ because, believe it or not, of all the places in the US, I have actually been to Fayettville! It’s just down the road from where I drank my milkshake.

American Vintage

If you’d like to win £150 to spend on new clothes (obvious question of the day) then just get friendly with the little widget below. The competition will close at the end of Indie Retailer Month on 31st July.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am not the most organised of people but I make up for it by being pretty organised.

That sounds weird right?

Let me explain what I mean. One thing I am hopeless at is remembering birthdays. I know this about myself though, so at home keep a big box of cards and wrapping paper and small gifts so that when (normally if) I remember the night before that I’ve forgotten a friend’s birthday I can rummage in my box of goodies. Tada!

It even makes more sense financially as you can bulk buy when things are on offer. Goodness me, how annoyingly efficient I am. View Post

I am a Taurus.

This means I am all about the good things in life. “Think physical pleasures and material goods,” says one website, “for those born under this sign revel in delicious excess. Taurus adores comfort and likes being surrounded by pleasing, soothing things. Along these lines, they also favour a good meal and a fine wine.”

It is true. I do revel in delicious excess.

A situation like this is my idea of a good time: View Post

The competitions just keep rolling in here at Slummy single mummy!

Today, following our recent review of the LEGO Wear range at www.miniwardrobe.com, I am able to give you the chance to win a Giokit of your choice.

Giokit is a new idea in children’s wear, where each piece becomes a creative opportunity. The kits contain everything that kids need to colour, decorate and customize their own t-shirt. Pretty cool, huh?

After a 40° wash, all the colours and decorations disappear and the t-shirt will be ready for another new art session. Hours of fun for those kids who prefer to draw on a wall/random object rather than paper. I quite wish they did them in grown up sizes, that way you could just buy the one t-shirt and draw a different design on it every day to look like you have a whole wardrobe full of t-shirts. That’s how it works, right? View Post

This may seem a bit of an odd one, but bear with me. I have a bit of a soft spot for ARDO as when Belle was born, (and they were called something else), we lived about two minutes walk from their head offices in Taunton and I was always popping in for much needed nipple cream.

Ah, the stories I could tell you about my cracked nipples.

When Belle was a few months old and the cracks were healing nicely, I started training as a breastfeeding counsellor, and breastfeeding became a big part of my live for a long time. I won’t bore you with the details, but you can read a bit more of my story over on the ARDO blog if you feel so inclined. View Post