Month: April 2015

Blogiversary Giveaway #7 | Win 1 of 10 Bottles of B.O.N Oil

-Giveaway now closed-

B.O.N Liquid Gold Pure Tissue Oil is an award winning non-greasy spray that can be used on both the face and body. Full of natural plant oils including avocado, grape seed, and rose hip, it provides large quantities of vitamin C and vitamin E, and it also has a delicate rose fragrance.

It can be used every day, after a shower, in the bath, as a massage oil, or sprayed directly onto the body to hydrate and nourish your skin, soothe the body, and to prolong a tan. It can also be used as a rejuvenating eye treatment, and is ideal on hands and nails, as both a cuticle oil and a luxurious moisturising treatment.

I’m currently using B.O.N Liquid Gold on my expanding bump and I LOVE how nourishing, light and absorbent it is. I love the stuff so much I have got my hands on ten bottles to GIVEAWAY to My Little Babog readers.

To enter:

LIKE My Little Babog on Facebook

LIKE Wholefood Wholesale on Facebook

and finally COMMENT below.

Competition closes Thursday 14th of May and is only open to residents of Ireland and UK. Part of this competition is hosted on Facebook but is not endorsed by Facebook. All opinions are as always, my own.

Irish Parenting Blog Awards

On Saturday night I attended the Irish Parenting Blog Awards in the Odessa with my partner Joe. It was a night of networking, fun and games and a chance to meet all my virtual blogging friends. Since I began blogging almost a year ago I’ve come to realise there is a whole new world of people out there just like me. We all have a passion for writing, networking and sharing with others.

Upon arrival the headline sponsors Glenisk served canapés, they were divine; I even took some home for the kids. We ate a delicious three course meal, there was complimentary wine, I was sober of course and the atmosphere was wonderful. I finally got to meet some amazing bloggers and friends in the Irish parenting community. We played charades, head and tails and it wasn’t long before #IPBawards began trending on Twitter.

At 9pm we made our way to the Odessa roof top for the ceremony presented by Sylda Dwyer of MindTheBaby,ie. I was a finalist on the night, up against some crazy talented bloggers in my category and I’m ecstatic to announce I won the Best Newcomer Blog award. I can honestly admit I was genuinely shocked when my blog name was called.

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I also won the award for worst speech on the night too, I’ve presented myself with that one. The shock factor mixed with nerves and the realisation of having to make a speech got the better of me. I mumbled a few swear words on my three or four steps to the stage.

I’ll be forever grateful to my peers for nominating and voting for me. It’s a huge confidence boost being recognised and rewarded in such a way. I will treasure my teapot trophy created by Colorines Wonderful. It’s awesome!

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The night was a huge success all thanks to the wonderful committee behind the event headed my Lisa at mama.ie and not forgetting the fantastic sponsors. We even got loaded goodie bags to bring home too. I also won a beautiful hamper from one of the sponsors BirthingMamas, full of Essencia aromatherapy blends. I’ve already played with them and they’re breath-taking.

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You can check out the amazing bloggers who won on the night HERE and check out the #IPBawards tag line on twitter.

Team IPB ROCK!!

You Know You’re a Mammy When…

You Know You’re a Mammy When…

1.       You buy an extra pack of baby wipes to clean up random spills, finger prints and your entire bathroom.

2.       A twenty minute shower with a locked door feels like a day at the spa.

3.       You have an audience whilst showering, shouting the most awkward of questions.

4.       You often finish up showering with only one leg shaved and have you have a frequent presence of unwashed conditioner in your hair.

5.       You can’t see the floor of your car.

6.       You re-define “sleeping-in” to any time past 6.30am.

7.       An early night is going to bed the same time as your children.

8.       You have reheated your tea/coffee in the microwave for the 100th time.

9.       Your kids see you naked more than your other-half.

10.   Going to do the weekly shopping is like taking a vacation.

11.   You forgot to put the wheelie bin out AGAIN.

12.   You will never be able to sort, process or print all the photo’s you have taken.

13.   You’ve been washing the same load of laundry for the third day in a row because you keep forgetting to dry them.

14.   You can do almost anything with one hand.

15.   You consider time on Facebook as spending time with your friends.

16.   You mop the floor, you know the kids are guaranteed to spill something.

17.   Your home is covered in valuable pieces of artwork that didn’t cost you a thing.

18.   You get poop on your hands and you don’t even flinch.

19.   Everything you do is an adventure.

20.   Your kids use your smartphone more than you do.

21.   There is nothing more excruciating than standing on Lego or a kinder surprise toy.

22.   You no longer laugh at the parents of hurricane hell raising children on Channel 4.

23.   You will spend most of your days with a howling resident on the bottom step of your stairs.

24.   Counting to three will be your most commonly used phrase.

25.   There is a finger in your ears, nose or mouth and it’s not yours.

26.   You prefer cuddling and kids movies to hitting pubs and clubs.

27.   You have discovered the miracle of YouTube Kinder Surprise videos.

28.   Picking up a baby and sniffing their butt is not only normal, it’s necessary.

29.   You don’t speak with adults but S-P-E-L-L.

30.   You have convinced your kids that hovering is a game.

31.   Receiving hand-me-downs is like winning the lottery.

32.   You save lives on a daily basis.

and finally – Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience that never ceases to amaze and you wouldn’t change it for the world. But you might trade in a few hours for some me-time!

If you liked this post you may like Things you’ll do different on your Second baby or why not follow me on Facebook for more real-life Irish mammy posts and updates.

I’m a Best Parenting Blog finalist in the Maternity & Infant Awards and I would love if you had 30 seconds to vote for me. Click the image and scroll to Best Parenting Blog half way down the page and vote for My Little Babog. I’d be forever grateful!!

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A Day in Family Life with Berit Alits Photography

I was recently invited to take part in a ‘Day in Family Life’ shoot with Berit Alits, a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

A Day in Family Life shoot is when a photographer joins you and your family in your home half as a guest, and half as a photographer shadowing your daily routines, capturing a visual diary of images as they happen with no posing or direction.

At first I was very anxious about inviting a complete stranger into my home but nowadays with technology I was able to research everything before finally agreeing.

Berit arrived last Sunday and highly recommended continuing our normal daily routine to keep the captured moments more real and honest. As advised we didn’t dress up nor had our hairs done. I wore my everyday BB cream, leggings and had my hair the way it would be any other day because that is how my kids will remember me. As for the kids and the other half, they wore their everyday clothes too.

Kayla took to Berit immediately and began requesting pictures, posing in true fashion within moments of her arrival, while Frankie wasn’t fazed by her presence at all. Daddy on the other hand is camera shy so he found it a little awkward adjusting to been followed everywhere. Although within an hour he was fine.

Berit was so professional at all times. She was fantastic with the kids; she blended in and interacted as she snapped some precious moments that the kids can revisit and put an actual picture to their memories when they are older.

Berit took close to one-thousand photo’s on the day and we received just around three-hundred beautiful images. Here are some of my favourites…

He got a boo-boo…

And yes that’s a five year old wrestling a pregnant woman…

Off to Taekwon-Do…

All that excess energy landed her five minutes on the naughty step…

Bathtime…

We went to our usual fairy hunting spot on the outskirts of Blessington in Co. Wicklow…

While the day itself was long it was an unforgettable experience. The photos will be cherished and something very precious to look back on in years to come. Berit has an amazing eye for capturing the beauty in everything in front of her lens, and as an added bonus she is such a lovely person I would highly recommend Berit for all your photography needs.

If you would like to read more on a ‘Day in Family Life’ shoot, or to view Berits amazing wedding and portrait portofolio check out www.beritalitsphotography.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Who Needs a Gym

Frankie has found his feet, he’s not walking exactly, just crawling and climbing EVERYTHING! The sofa, the dog, the presses, the window ledge, the stairs, the doll house, the washing machine, the bed, my leg, the toilet, absolutely everything!

Also every single thing that he has EVER touched goes in his mouth since he began crawling. So far this week I have fished Lego, beads, little Sofia characters, Play-Doh, the hoover cord, toilet roll, crayons, dog food, pebbles and the end of an unplugged charger from his mouth.

Most of the five year olds toys come with small parts and regardless of how careful she is something always falls or gets left behind. I’m like a patrol officer threatening to throw out everything as I’m constantly trying to baby-proof the house.

I hoover every single morning while Kayla eats her breakfast and Frankie mashes his into his hair and regardless of how many times I do this, he will always find a crumb. ALWAYS. Nothing is safe. Nothing I tell you. He loiters around the bin, the dog bed and toilet too.

He is fascinated with everything and regardless of my redirection he returns to investigate and explore every single object that crosses his path. Even Tinkerbell our

lab is exhausted from just looking at him.

He’s slowly driving me insane. I can tell you honestly, I am in no rush for my this little monkey to learn how to walk. He sure keeps me on my toes and this time next year there will be two of them. I’m screwed.

Sophie La Girafe Review & Giveaway

Teething toy, Sophie La Girafe was born in France over fifty years ago. She measures 17cm and is a flexible, slender and soft toy that babies’ can squeeze and chew safely. Sophie is a 100% natural toy, free from phthalates and BPA free. She is also painted with non-toxic food-grade paint.

When Frankie began teething about six months ago I struggled to find a teething toy that would fit in his little hands. My neighbour rescued us one evening when he gifted us with a Sophie La Girafe, a little squeaky giraffe shaped teether designed for little hands no matter what position it was held it in. Being Frankie, he put it straight to his mouth and found immediate comfort as he chewed and drooled over her.

Frankie has mauled and gnawed on every inch of her body, from her ears, horns and legs. It’s definitely a favourite here. She is very light and her long legs and neck were easy for him to grip especially when he was younger. He also got very excited when he heard her squeak. Her flexible & soft body means that he can manipulate her into different positions too.

I found Sophie very effective, so when we lost her on our travels one day I picked up another and she was loved as much as the first. I’d recommend a Sophie La Girafe for babies’ aged 3-12 months old; she is a classic teether that stimulates senses whilst soothing them too.

I have managed to get my hands on a standard Sophie La Girafe to GIVEAWAY to one lucky My Little Babog reader.

To enter:

LIKE My Little Babog on Facebook

LIKE Sophie La Girafe on Facebook

and finally COMMENT below.

Competition closes Sunday 26th of April and is open worldwide. Part of this competition is hosted on Facebook but is not endorsed by Facebook. All opinions are as always, my own.

Another Scan, Another Smile

It was another anxious although exciting bump day. I had an appointment with my consultant to see peanut on the big screen to monitor development and to check her anatomy in view of the increased nuchal translucency seen by our sonographer at my ten week scan.

I went alone as the other half was working and unfortunately the Coombe have a no children policy at scans. Something I completely understand considering some of the news we have received but I would have loved have to taken Kayla along, to share the moment with her. She is really excited and already rearranging her room and drawing pictures of her little sister.

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My doctor sensed my anxiety and within a few minutes of screen time she told me there was no visual structural abnormalities or soft markers present. Fantastic news! There are limitations to an ultrasound, something we are all aware of but the outcome is still very positive. Everything from the four chambers in the heart, along with vessels, the brain and spine all appeared normal.

Accepting the possibility of our baby having Down Syndrome has been hard, we have questioned our decision about refusing further tests and it has been very stressful at times. I’m a big worrier but I cannot praise our Doctor enough, she has been fantastic. Her empathy, compassion and bedside manner has been second to none. And no matter how our journey ends I will always remember her and for that I will always be thankful.

Where’s my Glowing Complexion?

While I cannot wait for my little bundle to arrive, to see her little face, to show her off to the world, I can only tell you I cannot wait until this pregnancy is over. While blessed, grateful and very lucky to be able to conceive, I’m certainly not enjoying being pregnant. Third time lucky does not apply here.

I love looking at my growing bump in the mirror, realising there’s a person in there, feeling the warmth of flutters and kicks, and day-dreaming of what kind of person she is going to be.

I love when Frankie points at my belly when I talk about the baby. I love when Kayla sings nursery rhymes to her little sister, kissing and hugging my bump, ever so excited.

However, I’m hormonal, I’m tired and I certainly don’t have a glowing complexion.

I cannot chase Kayla in the park, I’m exhausted. I cannot jump on the trampoline, I feel sick. I cannot enjoy food because I have heartburn. And finally I cannot laugh, cough or sneeze because I’ll just piss myself, literally!

The last two weeks I was anxious and terrified I was leaking fluid. After a trip to Coombe I found out I was leaking, not the kind of fluid protecting my baby though, I was leaking urine. How glamorous! I’m spending my days practising my pelvic floor as I peel potatoes, hoover and go about my daily chores. Baby number three has really taken it’s toll on my body.

And then there’s all this nonsense about glowing during pregnancy.

I hate getting dressed. I feel fat, like HUGE, and shoving another sweet, cake or crisp in my mouth doesn’t help.  I have an awful sweet tooth. Healthy food just doesn’t satisfy me. I find myself excited putting the kids to bed so I can gorge on sugary foods.

Then the breakouts follow. My skin is dreadful from my recent awfully bad eating habits. It’s spotty, it’s dry and sometimes it hurts.

Hormones, did I mention I’m a raving lunatic? Kids are kids, they will spill, there will be crumbs, and they will act up at inappropriate times.

Everything annoys me. The way my partner sits on the sofa agitates me, the way Kayla spends a year closing the gate on the stairs bugs the shit out of me and the fact my dog Tinkerbell is my shadow and will be for the next few months is driving me utterly insane.

I love the sun. I love the outdoors. I do not like being pregnant, the sun and outdoors combined. I don’t like the rain, snow or wind either.

I know, I’m just a whingey cow! Oh look cake…

Tips For A Woman Who Wishes To Breastfeed | Guest Post | Love of Living

Tracey Quinn is a 25-year-old first-time mother to baby Billy who is 10 months old. She lives and blogs from Dublin and is generally obsessed with all things baby. She also loves posting recipes and is never without her camera. For everything from breastfeeding to baking, you’ll find her parenting and lifestyle blog over at Love of Living.

Tips For A Woman Who Wishes To Breastfeed

This post is simply information to help a woman who wants to breastfeed. It is not connected to opinions about formula or other people’s choices. 

I was never completely sure if I would breastfeed. I was scared because none of my friends breastfed and it wasn’t exactly the norm around me. I look back now and can’t believe there was ever a chance that I wouldn’t. It has been such an important part of my journey as a first-time mother. It’s afforded me so many beautiful moments, it’s free, it’s always with you and at the right temperature, and watching your baby grow big and strong because of your milk is just an incredible feeling. 

I’ve learned a thing or two on my breastfeeding journey, and when I look back now these are the things that I would tell a friend who was hoping to breastfeed her baby. I hope it helps some of you. 

1. Skin to skin is very important. When your baby is born try to get skin to skin as soon as possible and for as long as possible. This is an important moment for your baby, for you, and indeed your breastfeeding relationship. It helps to stimulate the milk production, it regulates your babies temperature, and it initiates your baby’s rooting reflex. Amazingly these beautiful babies are born already knowing that their mother has milk for them. It’s incredible really. 

2. It is completely normal to feel like your baby is feeding 24/7 for the first six weeks. Just surrender to it, embrace it and trust your baby and your body. It’s all part of the process and an important element in what makes breastfeeding so easy and convenient a few weeks down the line. Your baby is “placing the order” and telling your body how much milk to produce for when they are bigger in a couple of weeks. A lot of women find that this “cluster feeding” happens in the evening times. Embrace it and set up camp. I used to get comfortable on the sofa, watch my favourite tv shows and have plenty of snacks and water to hand. I grew to cherish that time as my baby was snuggled into me feeding for several hours. Even now I look at each feed as an excuse to sit down, wind down, and have a few moments to relax. Cluster feeding is completely normal and is to be expected.

3. Your lips might feel dry and you will feel an insatiable thirst almost immediately when you start to feed your baby. Drink plenty of water and have some Vaseline or lip balm to hand. 

4. Eat enough. It’s really important for you to have enough energy and healthy calories when feeding your baby. Surprisingly you only need about an extra 200 calories a day when breastfeeding. This would be a thick slice of brown bread as opposed to an extra meal. What matters is where your calories are going. So don’t count or get obsessed with any form of dieting. Simply eat a varied healthy diet with plenty of protein, vegetables, and fruit. Eat the kind of foods that give you energy and help your body do what it does best. 

5. Sleep when the baby sleeps. I NEVER did this. I laughed when people said it to me. But looking back now I realize that the washing could have waited, the floors could have been hoovered later, the dishwasher wasn’t going to shout at me if I left it, and it really would have been better for me to sleep when my baby slept. This is especially important for preserving your energy and feeling your best. This is such a special time in your life. You are doing an amazing thing and you deserve as much rest as possible. Those day-time naps with your newborn are seriously special moments. 

6. Don’t obsess over sleep. There are many reasons why a baby wakes several times at night and believe it or not it is actually a good thing. Ditch the watch, ditch the clock, and just go with it. The night feeds will settle eventually, but feeding on-demand is an important part of establishing your supply and creating the best breastfeeding relationship as possible. This article sums it up nicely. 

7. Ask for help. You can’t be all things to all people. Ask people to bring food or help in other ways than holding the baby. It will help you out so much more in the long run. 

8. Breastfeeding is not painful. Some people do experience cracked nipples, pain and discomfort. These can be attributed to latch issues, tongue-tie and various issues in the early days. In general though, breastfeeding is not a painful experience and can be a reason why people do not try when they want to breastfeed. There is a sensation whereby you feel your “let down” and some people feel it more intensely than others. It is basically a tingly feeling caused by the moment your milk starts to flow. Before I had my son I had never heard of a “let-down”. I assumed milk flowed immediately. For some people it does (and this is why women wear breast pads to absorb any milk that may leak). Turns out I had the opposite issue. My let-down is rather slow so it can take a minute or two of stimulation before the milk starts to flow. If you experience a lot of pain or discomfort seek the help of an experienced Lactation Consultant. It was the best thing I ever did. I saw Sue Jameson who is based in Dublin 6. She was amazing. She came out to my house and after an hour with her I had a whole new sense of confidence and happiness about breastfeeding. Also stock up on Lanolin Nipple Cream and Multi-Mam Compresses. Both are available in Boots or your local pharmacy. There is also nothing wrong with using nipple shields. Billy had problems latching until he was four months old. We used nipples shields for every feed and they worked a treat. One day he just didn’t need them any more. A friend of mine has been using them for almost eight months now with no issues. They are also available in your local pharmacy.

9. Buy a few nursing bras in advance. There are some lovely ones on the market. I’ve bought them in Penneys, H&M, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare, Debenhams and believe it or not, Aldi. Another handy tip is to stock up on string tops. I have about ten black and white string tops that I wear under everything. It makes feeding in public easy and more comfortable for me. 

10. Co-sleeping is something that works for many people who are breastfeeding. It’s a personal choice but for me co-sleeping was a god-send. We all slept much better from day one. I learnt to feed my son lying on my side and him on his side in front of me. He would drift in to a peaceful sleep and he was always right there beside me if he needed to feed. We exclusively co-slept for 14 weeks and then he happily transitioned in to his crib. At this stage night feeds were not as frequent and getting up to feed him was no big deal. It is of course important to follow the guidelines for co-sleeping for your babies safety. Never co-sleep if you have drank alcohol, taken certain medications and perhaps you might invest in a bed rail. This is something that gave me a lot of peace of mind. 

11. Try to forget about the numbers. Where formula feeding is quantified by certain Oz at certain times, breastfeeding is supply and demand. Do not compare yourself to a friend who is formula feeding as it is completely different. Feed when baby wants to feed. They know exactly what they are doing and they know what they need. 

12. Feeding in public can be a bit daunting at first. This is because breastfeeding is still not the “norm” in Ireland. I have NEVER ever had a negative comment made to me though. In fact, quite the opposite. There are a lot of handy places to know about when you are out and about feeding your baby. For example Mothercare have a “mummy room” where you can comfortably feed your baby on a rocking chair and avail of their cool drinking water and baby changing facilities. The Jervis Shopping Centre also have a lovely baby changing area with seats and individual cubicles. Most cafes and restaurants also have comfortable seating and areas that are handy to know about when feeding. It’s all about feeling as comfortable and calm as possible for each mother. Stressing and being rigid and panicky only ever had a negative affect on my let-down which proved very stressful when my baby was hungry. Relax, remember you are doing the most natural thing in the world, and remember that most people are thinking “fair play”. 

13. Have confidence in the fact that your baby is getting all that they need. This will happen naturally if you feed on demand night and day (the night feeds should calm down), baby has a good latch, and you are looking after yourself in terms of eating enough and drinking enough. Your body takes everything it needs from your body/diet to make milk that is perfect for your baby. Isn’t that amazing? If you are concerned about your baby and feel they may not be gaining weight then you can talk to your public health nurse, but I would nearly recommend a Lactation Consultant or a breastfeeding counsellor from Cuidiu first. They are specialists in the area and can give you their undivided attention on the matter. This also goes for the hospitals. While there are dedicated Lactation Specialists in the hospitals, and midwives to help encourage you, the support is not enough. I’d nearly expect that. Read up while you are pregnant, attend a Cuidiu Breastfeeding Support group while pregnant and familiarise yourself with the subject so that you can feel confident in your decision to breastfeed. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way. Own it!

14. Surround yourself with women who breastfeed. This can be as simple as attending one of the support groups I mentioned above. I attended the Cuidiu group every week for a long time. It is an excellent way to meet new friends, meet other breastfeeding mothers who are in exactly the same position, and most importantly to have a hot cup of coffee and a biscuit. It’s some “me time”, gets you out of the house, and you will get amazing support and advice from the breastfeeding counsellors who are available to you at each meeting. You can find your local group here, and remember you can attend whilst pregnant or at any stage of your breastfeeding journey be it a day, a week or a year (and beyond) in.

15. Nappies. This is the standard way that a hospital monitors and charts your babies digestion in the early days and first few weeks. A good amount of wet and dirty nappies each day usually points in the direction of everything being on point. However, remember that breastfed babies don’t necessarily soil their nappies as often as formula fed babies. A breastfed baby can go up to 10 days without a “dirty” nappy. They will have wet nappies regularly though. This has happened to us on several occasions and everything was absolutely fine.

And finally, the most important thing. If you hear any of the following comments – COMPLETELY IGNORE THEM. They might be coming from a good place, but they bear no help whatsoever. You know your baby. Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience and before you know it you will be doing it in your sleep (sometimes literally) and you will let all comments completely wash over you. Again, remember breastfeeding is not the norm yet. It’s a bottle-feeding culture and some friends and family will probably inadvertently try to turn you off the idea of breastfeeding. Be strong Mama, you are rocking it. 

Are you feeding again? They couldn’t still be hungry? 

A bottle would really give you a break. 

Do you not think it’s important to let Daddy feed the baby to bond? 

You are always holding that baby

Your baby is completely taking advantage. They are spoiled. 

You have that baby ruined.

X was formula fed and they turned out just fine 

NEVER let the baby in to your bed. Worst thing you can ever do. 

You look wrecked. Are you still breastfeeding? 

When are you going to stop breastfeeding? 

How do you know the baby is getting enough? They seem hungry. Would you try a bottle of formula?

A bottle of formula at night will make your baby sleep through the night. 

For specific questions, I highly recommend this book, and this website

For more articles written by this Tracey  you can find her blogging away at Love of Living or find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You won’t be disappointed!

Win Tickets to the Pregnancy and Baby Fair

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The Pregnancy and Baby Fair is the largest consumer exhibition for the nursery and baby market in Ireland and they will be at RDS Simmonscourt this Saturday & Sunday from 10-6.

The Early Learning Centre will have their very own playzone. Really Grand Events will be entertaining babies, wobblers and toddlers. There will be expert advice from Ireland’s leading professionals in midwifery and parenting and lots of bargains and some freebies along the way too.

Some of the exhibitors include Nessa Robinson Photography, Mummycooks.ie, Mothercare, Turtle Tots, SuperValu, Adams Cloud, Clevamama and Baby Elegance.

I have two pairs of tickets to GIVEAWAY to My Little Babog readers. For your chance to win a pair of tickets comment below or like and comment on the giveaway post on Facebook.

Competition closes tomorrow evening. Both winners will be announced on Facebook and Twitter at 9pm. Tickets can be collected from the box office at the fair.