Saturday, 23 July 2016

My Sunday Photo - 23July2016

What could  be nicer than a bunch of children having fun in the garden in the sun...mmm, let me think, a nice cocktail on the deck of cruise ship maybe?

Yesterday it was Boo's birthday party, it's not her birthday until next Wednesday but experience has shown me that if you have a child with a birthday in the school holidays then it needs to be as soon as possible after they break up!

She chose a craft party and we made some lovely things, decorated biscuits, trinket/sweetie boxes and shrinkie fridge magnets. There was also lots of colouring, gluing and sticking going on. Then after the party feast they were let loose into the back garden for some imaginative play. They all had lots of fun.

Next up is the Little Man's birthday party in just two weeks time, followed by Star's birthday (no party) two weeks after that...Summer is birthday time!

Fancy a slice of cake?


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

School's Out For Summer!

Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote this post about how worried I was about my youngest children's school. Today is their last day and I'm glad to report that I'm feeling happier now.
I haven't managed to get them into another school, there was no room for both of them at the same school and I didn't want to have to run around 3 different schools picking them all up. So they will have to stay at their current primary school for now. However, there has been a change around with the teachers and I found out yesterday that the Little Man will be staying with his current teacher in the next year which is good as she knows best how to deal with him. Also, Boo is going to have Star's teacher for next year and I believe that she is currently one of the best teachers in the school. So, at least I know both children will have the best teachers for the next year.

This morning we attended Star's Year six leavers assembly. They did really well with no interaction from any teachers. The whole thing was set as a news interview where they were interviewing a current pupil as if he was a grown up and had become the President of the World. They worked through all the values they had learnt at the school and told us how they had helped the former pupil to become so mighty. It was also done with a little tongue in cheek moments and there were breaks in the broadcast for musical interludes and certificate awards to the teachers. The Ukulele playing was particularly good. At the end of the 'show' the children were all presented with special t-shirts.

Here is Star 'proudly' showing off hers.

Of course at the end of term we have the presenting of teachers with gifts. I usually put a lot of time and effort in making the gifts with the kids, and have even been furiously baking 24 cup cakes the day before the last day of term. This year I wasn't up to all that so I bought gifts. I was really happy with the gift I bought for Star's teacher, and she was really happy with it too, she said she'd never had a gift so thoughtful and nice. She was actually quite emotional so I knew she meant it. So what did I get her?

It's a Boxcitement Thank You gift box. I also bought on of these for a really good friend and she was equally pleased. If you want to know more about Boxcitement, I did a review for them recently here on Raisiebay.

So, in a couple of hours we will be picking up the kids for the last time until September. I've been meaning to write a bucket list of things to do over the summer but I didn't get very far. The Little Man decided to write his own but all it included was computer time, eating and sleeping. However, I'm not too worried about being so organised though because our calendar is filling up quickly and I'm already thinking this summer is going to fly by.

So, plans so far include...
hospital trips (Which can be combined with bench hunting and Pokemon Go)
Reading Bench hunting (last year we did Owl hunting!)
A trip to Hatton Adventure World.
Star will be going to summer school for four days including a trip to Stratford-On-Avon
Family Pizza outing for Star's birthday
Party for Boo
Party for The Little Man
Then we can fill in the other time with Pokemon Go...which will probably include parks, rivers and wildlife centres.

I will also be bringing you some special news in early August..shhh for now ;)

So, Bring on the Summer. I am ready, are you?

Monday, 18 July 2016

What's in Your Box This Week?

Welcome to this weeks What's in the Box? The weekly linky where I invite you to come and share all your blogs or vlogs on anything box related, whether it's a subscription box or something nice you've received in the post, anything is welcome.

I've had a couple of really different boxes this week. One was addressed to my daughter and contained a selection of wonderful activities for her to do which are educational and fun. We've already done a couple of them and I'm getting my review ready so do watch out for that. The box was from Brainboost and they do subscription boxes for ages 2 -12 years.

My second box was most definitely not to be shared with the kids. I was sent a box of craft beers from Honest Brew. It didn't take me long to get stuck in as I do love a nice cool glass of beer...oh and they sent me a lovely glass too. Watch out for my review coming very soon. I'm thinking I may be tempted to sign up to this one!

I've decided to set up this linky so that subscription box lovers can link up and find out what everyone else is getting.

It might give you some ideas of the best ones to sign up too!

In the future I hope to feature some of the best posts that have linked up, so please do join in. I'll also tweet your posts and share them on my Facebook page. I'll also comment on all submissions.

Now for the Rules, don't worry they are easy.

  • link up your subscription box post or video, it can be any kind of box
  • take a look and comment on a couple of other posts in the linky, it's only fair and you may find something exciting to subscribe to.
  • include my badge so that others may find the linky and join in.
There you have it, simple!

I'll put the linky up every Tuesday and you can add to it until he following Monday. Do tell your friends, this is a new linky and we'd love everyone to join in.

I really can't wait to see what you've had in your boxes!

Here's my badge, the copy code is underneath.

blogbadge photo badge_zpsf0b88074.jpg

Soho Juice Co Cocktails - A Review

The last time I had cocktails was at my friends hen night. We were taught how to make them and then got to enjoy our hard work. It was lots of fun.
I really enjoy cocktails because you always know you are going to get an explosion of flavours. I don't often make them at home though because they can be a bit complicated and you need lots of ingredients.

Soho Juice Co. have aimed to ease the job of making cocktails at home by providing an interesting mixer based on the humble cucumber. The Soho is a soft drink made from a mixture of lemon, lime, cucumber and mint and it tastes refreshing on it's own but is great mixed with alcohol.

I received my Soho Juice in a glass bottle with a plastic stopper. I couldn't wait to get started and flicked through the book I'd been provided with all the cocktail recipes. I decided it had to be a classic Martini.

To make this cocktail I used;

  • 20ml dry vermouth
  • 40ml dry gin 
  • Splash of Soho Juice
  • Some ice cubes
  • A slice of lime (and a little squeeze)
So easy, and very tasty. You are supposed to add a slice of lemon but I love the tangy taste of lime so I added a slice and also squeezed some into my drink. The taste of cucumber really came through, and it also had a very citrus tang. I've never really tasted anything like it and as someone who isn't really fond of cucumber in drinks I did find it very tasty. I would definitely buy Soho Juice again. 

You can also add Soho Juice to Cobble, High Juice and Margarita cocktails  and maybe invent some of your own. Soho Juice works well with so many other flavours. 

Take a look at the Soho Juice Co. website and see what else you can do with Soho Juice.

I was sent a cocktail kit and booklet for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Courage - Word of the Week

When was the last time you did something courageous?

Take a moment to think about that question.

I was asked this question earlier this week and my mind instantly went to the fear I felt when I left my daughter in the hands of the surgeon for her major operation. It felt different from her other operations because this one was the 'serious' one, things could happen, things I didn't want to happen. She could have been left brain damaged, she could have been left paralysed, She could have died. We were told all this before the operation and had to sign a form to say we understood. We could have not signed, not risked all of that and just let her live her life deformed and in pain. It was the most courageous thing I have ever done, letting her go, not knowing what would happen, trusting her life and well being into the hands of someone else.

She came back safe. It was worth it. Our biggest fears revolve around losing those we love.

Now, on a smaller scale I was set to thinking of what scared me in my every day life. I don't like spiders but I wouldn't say I'm scared of them anymore. I have built up my courage slowly and now I can catch them in my bug catcher and put them outside.

I'm also scared of conflict. It happens a lot in my life and I'm the peacemaker. I need to keep things calm, I can't bear it if it isn't. I'm frightened of the consequences of violence and hatred. Even if it's only verbal it can be just as bad as physical. I hate violence of any kind and I will admit to being afraid of it. I feel that sometimes I let my fear of conflict get in the way of expressing my true feelings. That's not very brave is it?

With my illness I fear that I may never get better. I'm afraid of living the rest of my life not being able to walk, not being able to run or climb or do the things I used to do. However, this is one fear I can calm. Yes, I'm frightened but my positivity and love of life itself gets me through this. I'd rather be here and disabled than not be here at all. Most of all my positivity gives me hope. I can accept being disabled even if I fear it, but I can't let the fear stop me from getting better.

That sounds paradoxical and it probably is. I fear not getting better, but I also fear the things I have to do to get better. It's scary getting to my feet and walking in a body that no longer responds naturally. It's scary letting other people see me try. It's scary when I think about falling either inside or outside. If I fall I know I won't be able to get back up alone,  and it will be so painful having someone lift me up. I've been so lucky not falling so far, I've had a lot of near misses in the house. but not actually fallen yet. There is always something to lean on to stop me from going down.

This week I faced up to a fear and I was really courageous.

This week I walked outside! I walked out of my front door and up the garden path to the street. Our path is about 3 metres long and a slight incline. I've not walked on an incline before. I have walked the path with my crutches, but this time I walked alone, no crutches, no sticks. My partner walked with me, there to catch me if I fell.

I didn't fall or stumble, I concentrated very hard and walked unaided to the end of the path. It was slow, it was scary, it hurt, but I wasn't frightened, I felt brave. I did not worry about the neighbours seeing me. I know I walk funny and I do feel embarrassed. I don't want to be laughed at or pitied. I just want to be me, be normal.

I think I might do it again sometime.

The Reading Residence
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