Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Gruffalo's Child - Review

On 23rd December we went to Birmingham Town Hall to see the Gruffalo's Child.
I took Star and Boo and we were all really excited. We have the book and have seen the animation on tv, but now we were off to see the live show.
The girls were mesmerised from beginning to end. They never took their eyes off the stage and joined in with everything. I really enjoyed the show too (I just hope my nasty cough didn't disturb anyone too much)
With just three actors throughout, a very simple set and basic costumes the show was simple but very entertaining. The songs were lovely and the girls were soon singing along. We all had different favourites, Boo liked the snake with his shiny coat, he was a real party animal. Star liked the fox, but then foxes are a favourite of hers anyway, she loved his big bushy tail. My favourite was the owl who taught us how to fly.
The show is advertised for 3 years plus and I do think that a lot of the younger ones that had been brought along did find it difficult to sit still for the whole show. There was a small child in front and one behind us that spent most of the show crawling around the floor. They didn't distract my girls though, at ages 5 and 7 I think the show kept them captivated.

You can catch the Gruffalo's Child at the Birmingham Town Hall until 16th January 2013, then it will be on tour around the country until 16th June. All dates and venues can be found here.

Our trip to see the Gruffalo's Child was arranged by the lovely Cat from Yellow Days, a big thanks to her for arranging this and to Birmingham Town Hall for the tickets.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Elf School - Center Parcs Monthly Challenge

This months challenge set by Center Parcs and Tots100 is all about Elves and what it takes to be a perfect Elf.

Why not take part, you could be chosen as one of the wild card family bloggers for Center Parcs and win a holiday?

I asked my girls what they thought about Elves and they give me this list;

hard workers
makes toys
works for father christmas
fix things
wrap up presents
wear green
incredible artists
pointy ears

We then used these attributes in our poem:

Welcome to Elf School

So you want to be an elf?
Let us show you what we've seen.
First up is a costume, a nice little jacket
A pointy hat, and it's best if it is green.

Next you have to be good at art,
You will be fixing things, making toys,
And helping to wrap presents
For Santa to give to good girls and boys.

Elves are proud of their pointy ears,
They are happy and kind and strong.
They are tiny and clever and work very hard.
And With Santa is where they belong.

And now, here are my girls being good little elves :-)
Merry Christmas xxx

Thursday, 13 December 2012

A Wriggly Nativity

This time of year, just before Christmas is lovely, especially when you have young children. I love the Nativity plays and carol concerts and even the school Christmas Fayre's. My first memory goes back to my Eldest Daughter when she played an Angel in her nursery. All the little Angels came into the room swirling around until they reached the centre. Then they stopped and began to sing. Well, they all did except Eldest Daughter who suddenly became incredibly shy and spent the whole song sucking her finger. At least she didn't cry!

When Star was in nursery I was really looking forward to her Nativity. It had been such a long time since I'd attended any school activity and even though it came when times where tough then it was a touch with the real world rather than the hospital bed side I was currently glued to. Sadly, it never happened because Star got poorly and couldn't attend.

Both Star and Boo have made up for it since then though, last year they both took part in a lovely musical 'Bethelehem's Buzzin' which was really great. Even gthe Little Man was singing along.

This year Star is taking part in a carol concert next week, and Boo took part in the 'Wriggly Nativity'
She hadn't been very well but after lying around doing nothing for five days I thought that maybe sending her into school for the nativity might just make her feel a little better. She wasn't being sick or anything, just hot and sleepy all the time. So, on Tuesday I arrived at the school to watch the show. Boo was a little sheep and barely took part at all, she didn't join in any of the songs or dancing and just looked ill. There was a couple of times when she brightened up a little but it was obvious that she was just trying to make an effort. Bless her, she said afterwards that she really enjoyed it but I kept her off school for another couple of days afterwards to make sure she was fully recovered. I did feel guilty but it's so hard to decide what to do when there are no other symptoms of illness but listlessness.

Here is a little pic of the children being Wriggly!

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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Review - Tattoo Love Duvet Cover from Yorkshire Linen

With a large family I find I am always buying new bed linen and at Yorkshire Linen I find they have some fantastic bargains and a wide choice. I was happy to review the Tattoo Love single duvet cover set which I used on my eldest daughter's bed. The colours fitted in perfectly with her pink and plum colour scheme.
The cover came with a matching pillowcase, it was well packaged and arrived quickly. It is made of 50/50 polycotton which means it's crisp and fresh feeling without being harsh. It washes at 40 degrees and can be tumble dryed and ironed on cool.
I found the fit really good, sometimes I wonder if there is a standard single size as I've bought a few covers that have been too big and the duvet moves around inside. This one kept in it's place and stayed comfortable.
The cover currently retails at £11.99 in the sale, regular price is £19.99.You can also buy the matching curtains for £24.99.
Yorkshire Linen have a really good range of bed linen in all sizes from single to super king size and their prices are really competitive.

I was asked to review a single duvet set, opinions are my own.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Our Day Out at the German Market

The kids had an day off school this week because of a gas leak and no heating. So I took them into town to visit the German Market. We are lucky to have an amazing German Market every Christmas time. It's a lovely place to pick up quirky unusual presents, often handmade. The food is lovely too, I really enjoy the German sausages, but you can also buy lots of sweet treats too. We bought some flavoured marshmallows on a small wafer covered in chocolate, I believe they are called Schokokuss, or chocolate kisses.
Schokokuss, yummy chocolate kisses

The kids of course loved the fairground rides there, a big favourite is the Carousel.
Here is the Little Man enjoying his ride in the carriage;

The Girls had a ride on a small coaster which they loved

We all had a lovely day!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Google Doodle for my Birthday!

It's my birthday. Jeez, birthdays are so difficult around certain ages. They are brilliant when you are a kid and the special ones, 18, 21, 40 etc are always special, but there are times when you just wish it wasn't going to happen. I mean who really wants to be reminded that you are getting old.
So today I opened my lovely cards and a presents, felt a little disappointed in my other half who completely forgot (only a little disappointed because he never remembers anyway) had a low point where I really missed my mum (She got sick around my birthday four years ago and didn't make it past Christmas) and enjoyed the attention given to me by my older kids.
One of the highlights of my day (yes, I know I'm sad) was logging on to my laptop and seeing this:

My very own Google Doodle. Hey I'm famous, even if it's only on my laptop :-) 

So I'm another year closer to getting my free bus pass. 
I'd like to finish with a big thank you to everyone who sent messages via Facebook and Twitter xxx

Friday, 23 November 2012

Praying For Kerry

Update: Sadly Kerry didn't make it. My heart breaks for her husband and three small children. Rest In Peace lovely lady xxx


I've never met Kerry but I've read her blog for a long while and like many other bloggers I was shocked and dismayed to hear of her plight. In the summer she suffered a brain haemorrhage due to a ruptured aneurysm. She has been in hospital ever since making little recoveries then suffering more setbacks. Her husband has been left in charge of their three small children and has been wonderful in keeping the blogging community up to date with her progress.

He has been updating Kerry's blog for her:


Liska from  NewMumOnline has had a wonderful idea. She wants everyone to join together on Saturday 24th November and give their positive healing thoughts to Kerry. She writes:

So I ask that you hand over your blog and your heart, on Saturday 24th November and let thoughts of Kerry, aka Multiple Mummy ripple through the cyber waves.
Let us all say a coordinated prayer for her at 10 p.m. on Saturday 24th November.
Of course if you are not religious and do not pray, then medidate, or make a wish, or do what feels right for you. 
Please if you can, do a dedicated blog post to her on Saturday so that she has her own HEALING CORNER of the world wide web on Saturday...

I have been praying for Kerry and her family since hearing of her plight and will continue to do so, and I'm sure many others will join in, in whatever way they can.

This poem was written by Alice, I found it on Pinterest

Please also visit the Pinterest board for Kerrys Healing prayers

Update: It is now a little after 11pm on Sat 24th November and the support for Kerry has been amazing. The blog hop listed below has almost reached 100 posts, I'm sure it will be more by the time it has finished. On Twitter we managed to get #Healing4Kerry trending for almost an hour.
I hope and pray that we have made a difference somehow. Standing together to fight for this lovely lady, family, friends, acquaintances and strangers speaking out as one voice in support for her and her family. I truly hope she begins to recover now and is soon re-united with those that love her most. 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Kids Lunches

My girls have started having lunches at school instead of school meals. I've started having nightmares about what to put in said lunches. Who would have thought packing a small meal each day for little ones would be so stressful? Confession time: when my older two were little, they had in their lunch boxes exactly the same as mum would make me, one cheese sandwich, one banana and a packet of crisps. These days kids are taught about healthy food, crisps and such are frowned upon. Lunches have to be healthy and tasty. So let the nightmares commence.
I have a board on Pinterest on Bento. Mainly because Eldest Daughter is a big Bento fan and introduced me to it a couple of years ago.
Here is some Bento we had at Mount Fuji restaurant:

 So I collected bento pictures and soon realised that I could do Bento style lunches for the girls. Pinterest is such a great resource for storing things of interest so I was soon finding all sorts of blogs and sites that are helping me think of new and interesting things to put in the lunch boxes. The lunch boxes I use most are Easy Lunchboxes which can be purchased from Amazon. I was lucky to win a pack of four in a competition a while ago. I love them because they already have little compartments. You can also use little boxes to keep things separate or even silicon or paper cupcake cases.
The first time I used a sandwich cutter I was horrified at the loss of bread, what a waste. Well, it can always be used for breadcrumbs (and I'm sure to find more recipes) The thing is, if you put whole sandwiches you'll probably end up with just as much waste at the end of the day. Most kids don't eat all the bread.
Here is a fab pin from my board, my girls would go for this

So Thanks to Pinterest my inspiration has been fired and I'm sure I'll come up with some healthy and interesting lunches for my girls. Here is one of my early attempts.  This is a home made bread roll hedgehog with raisin eyes, home made cheese puff snails on a bed of lettuce, with a cucumber fence and some grapes.

Do share your lunch box ideas and recipes, and if you have any ideas of what to do with leftover bits of bread.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Center Parcs Monthly Challenge - The Rivengre

Each month for the next 10 months Center Parcs will be setting a challenge and by taking part you could be chosen to be a Center Parcs Family blogger. For full details please see the Tots100 page. This months challenge is asking for you and your family to paint a picture or make a model of your dream water ride.

This is what my daughters came up with.
First I showed them the new water ride at Center Parcs Elvedon Forest, the Tropical Cyclone.

Star decided to call our water ride The Rivengre. The ride would be all the colours of the rainbow and have lots of twists and turns. You can choose which colour you wish to ride down, but the colours will change on the way down to the pool. Each person would ride on an inflatable animal, from a crocodile to an elephant. Boo added that she would like the ride to be very very fast, little daredevil that she is. The ride would be like a helter skelter, but with several lanes. At the end it would be like a bumpy slide, the kind you get at fairgrounds, before you plunge into the pool, hopefully still on your inflatable animal.

Here is a picture board we put together of The Rivengre, and the original drawing by Star.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Polly the Polo, My Very First Car

I was a late starter into the world of motoring. I decided to learn to drive when I reached 29 years (and my personal taxi  husband had run off with the car another woman)
It took just five months and I was ready for my test. My lovely instructor assured me I'd be fine so long as I didn't get Mr Brain as my tester. Guess who I got? Yes, Mr Brain! Apparently he was the worst in the centre and barely passed anyone, especially first time.
I think he liked me. While I was sobbing after he gave me the results he was saying 'did you hear me properly, I said you Passed!' (I had heard him, it was just too emotional)

So it was time for my first car. The advice was, get a banger, your first car never lasts long no point in wasting any money. So I got a banger, a 1982 Volkswagon Polo in dark blue. She looked a little like this:

I called her Polly and she was with me for two years. I loved her dearly and she served me well. We did have a couple of little bumps, like the time I forgot someone was in front of me at a junction, and the little argument we had with a concrete post in a car park. (stupid place to put a concrete post!)
When she finally gave up on me, I traded her in for.....another VW Polo!

Do you remember your first car?
This post is an entry into Carcrafts First Car competition

Saturday, 3 November 2012

I Wish I Could Skate

I'd love to be able to ice skate, to glide along the ice with poise and grace, twirling, balancing, jumping feeling like my feet belonged to someone else. Ah, my feet would have to belong to someone else! Grace and poise are two things I really don't possess, and I have no sense of balance. I've been skating twice and both times I built very strong relationship with the bar around the edge, which when I attempted to break free gave my bottom the chance to resume it's relationship with the ice. And I'm not exaggerating. I do love to watch skating though and I was thrilled when my daughter brought home tickets to see Disney On Ice, Passport to Adventure home from school.
I took my three girls with me, Eldest Daughter, Star and Boo. We had to go practically straight from school which meant dinner was had at a fast food restaurant. We managed to arrive at the NIA Birmingham with half hour to spare, which gave us chance to browse the incredibly over priced goodies on offer. I have been before so I knew before hand that I'd need to pawn the jewellery for this 'free' night out. Popcorn £8, candyfloss £7 and Slushie £8, I know they came with souvenir mugs and hats, which made them slightly  more worth the price, but it was sad that you couldn't buy them separately. The hot chocolate was only £1.70, I'm cheap and easily pleased.

So goodies bought we made our way to our seats for the show featuring Micky, Minne, Donald and Goofy as they went on a magical journey to meet the Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Lilo and Stitch and Peter Pan. The girls loved it, Boo clapped so hard she made her hands red. They enjoyed the interaction and were old enough not to be too scared by the scary bits (The giant Ursula and the giant Crocodile) Star was a little freaked by the fireworks, but there wasn't many.
So we had a fantastic evening and would definitely go again.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Competition Winners

I've now closed the three competitions that were running on this blog and would like to announce the winners.

The Solar Mobile Charger was won by Emma Shilton

The Kiddicare Baby things were won by Marsha Taylor-Daniel

The Tickets to Sid's Show were won by Esther James

Congratulations to all winners :-)

Commiserations if you didn't win but there will be more competitions coming soon.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Meet The Family

I think it's time I introduced you to my family. First up here are my older two, Son no1 and Eldest Daughter

Ok, I'll admit it, this photo was taken 20 years ago :-) No1 son is now studying for his Accountancy degree despite having Asperger's Syndrome. Eldest Daughter is learning Japanese.


Now here is big girl, who from now on wants to be known as Star!

Of course she is my star, with a 16 year gap she was long awaited. Last year she was diagnosed as having high functioning autism and although things are going well now we have no idea what the future will hold for her.


I'd like you to meet Boo! so named even before she was born.

She's my cheeky five year old who never fails to entertain. She doesn't seem to hear things the way everyone else does which causes much amusement. Especially the time she was dancing around with a stick pretending to be a Biscuit Ear!! (musketeer) 

And here is baby no 5, most often referred to as The Little Man

He might look like an angel, but believe me, he's a little devil :-)

So there you go. I do have a photo of me and the Other Half, but that will have too wait because I can't find it (???)

Here's some family facts:
Each of my children has a grade of lighter hair, starting with no1 Son's almost black hair, to Little Man's blonde locks!
I started with a boy who was born by Caesarian Section, and finished with a boy born by Caesarian Section, the three girls in between were all natural births.
No1 son and Boo have brown eyes, the rest have blue. I have brown eyes, dad has blue.
My first three children are all really tall and lanky, the youngest two are shorties!
My lightest birth weight was Eldest Daughter at 7lb 2oz, the heaviest was Boo! at 9lb. 
No1 Son was 10 days late, Eldest Daughter was born 2 hours after her due date, Star was 2 weeks early, Boo! was born 2 1/2 hours after her due date, Little Man was born on his due date. So only one of the five went past their due date!!
My longest labour was 18 hours for no1 son which resulted in an emergency section. My shortest labour was Little Man because he was elective section (i.e. no labour) the others averaged 5 hours!
Eldest daughter was breech up until her due date, she turned and I went straight into labour. Little Man was breech and refused to turn.

Linking this up to 3children and It 'Oldies but Goldies' because even though I'm biased I think my family is beautiful :)

(unfortunately I can't get the button to work but the link above will take you to linky)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Half Term Autumnal Art

With the little ones off school this week I've been trying to keep them busy. Yesterday we went for a walk and picked up some gorgeous autumn leaves in all shades of golden brown, yellow and red. They were a little damp so we stacked them on the buggy shopping net and by the time we'd walked around the shops they were almost dry. I left them spread out on the table for a little more drying time. Then we pulled out the glue and paints and let the fun begin.

3ChildrenandItThis has been submitted to 3Children and It's Oldies But Goldies Blog Hop

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Proud to be a Center Parcs Family Blogger

See my badge at the side there --------->
It means that I have been chosen to be a Center Parcs Blogger and I'm really excited. I won the opportunity through a competition by Tots 100 and my Pinterest Board.
I've always wanted to visit Center Parcs but haven't up until now, so it's going to be completely new and fresh to me. My family love outdoor activities and being in the countryside. We don't even mind cold weather, we just love being outside. I'm sure already that we are going to love it at Center Parcs.

Yesterday I was invited to Sherwood Forest Center Parcs to meet the PR staff and other family bloggers. We had a lovely relaxed day and took in a lot of the sights as well as an activity and a lovely lunch.

The activity was painting pottery which was good fun. I'm not really an arts and crafts person (unless you count my cake decorating) so it was a little out of my comfort zone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it's definitely something I will be doing with my family when we take our holiday.
before and after :-)

The finished product

There were a lot of holiday makers there, obviously enjoying the October sunshine. I love the idea of travelling around the park on bikes. The play areas are fantastic, my kids are really going to enjoy those, and the boating lake looks like fun too. We've been canoeing before so we know that's something we'll be doing as a family.

We had a lovely lunch at the Forester's Inn before setting off for another walk and getting to see some of the lovely accommodation on offer. The tree houses are amazing.

I think we have finally decided that we are going to take our break next Spring, around April or May. We have also decided who we are going to ask to go with us, yes we can take another family too! We will be going to Whinfell Forest and I can't wait to tell you all about it. Before then watch out for some fun activities and challenges that I will be set.

I'll leave you with some photo's;

Catch up with some other Center Parcs family bloggers:
Jo, from 'Thoughts From the Kitchen Sink
Jenni, from Ginger Bisquite
Rachel, from Here Come The Girls

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Sid's Show Live - Win tickets!!

This competition is now closed

Sid Sloane from CBeebies is soon to be touring with his fabulous new stage show, Sid's Show. The show will be crammed with songs, games and magic as Sid embarks on a journey to find his favourite socks and shoes. Sid will travel to the bottom of the sea, the jungle and outer space in his quest that will delight children aged over 3 years.
Find out more about the show by following Sid Sloane on Twitter 
and liking the facebook page 
The tour dates, starting 28th October 2012 and finishing 30th June 2013 can be found on the site

We have on offer a family ticket, comprising four tickets in either of the following combinations: 2 Adults and 2 children, or 1 Adult and 3 children, to any single performance on the tour (winner to decide - subject to availability). NB. The October dates are not included as part of the competition. Please find general competition Terms and Conditions copied below.

For your chance to win just answer this simple question in the comments:
'What has Sid lost?'

Winner will be announced on 31st october 2012.
Good Luck!

Competition Terms & Conditions:

1. This competition is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland aged 18 years or over, except for those associated with the production company, their families or anyone else associated with this competition.
2. All information detailing how to enter this competition forms part of these terms and conditions.
3. All entries must be received by the advertised closing time date.
4. One entrant shall win a family ticket comprising of either: 2 Adults & 2 Children or 1 Adult & 3 Children to a single performance on the UK Tour
5. The winner may be required to take part in publicity.
6. All prizes are non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives. The prize is subject to availability.
7. Events may occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of the prizes impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter, and accordingly the Promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.
8. Raisie Bay  is responsible for the first part of the promotion, which is the publication and adjudication of the competition. All other facilities connected with the provision of the prize are the responsibility of the Promoter.
9. English law applies and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts shall prevail.
10. The October 2012 performances are not included as part of this competition.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Guest Post for Wriggly Rascals - Is Something Wrong?

I was asked to write a post for Wriggly Rascals, a fabulous advice website. Moira is typical of many mum's who think there may be something wrong with their child's development but don't know whether they should do something about it. I've been in this position myself, twice now, I reacted differently each time so hopefully my story will give a view of what you should do if you ever find yourself in this position.
Please take a look at my story on Wriggly Rascals and while you are there you will find lots more interesting questions answered on pregnancy, babies and toddlers.

Read More........


About Wriggly Rascals
Wriggly Rascals was set up by Shona Motherwell, a frustrated mum of twins Mhairi and Archie to get mums together to share pregnancy, baby and toddler advice via quick surveys to get the facts about what other mums do. Our mums pass on loads of great tips to mums who have asked for help. If you would like some advice, get in touch at

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

One Mums Lend Us Your Voice meme

"ONE Mums (ONEMoms) was brought about through the notion that all parents share a connection, and if we come together and build on that connection then great things can happen, we can spread the word and so a whisper becomes a booming noise, echoing around the world."

Seasider in the City set up this Meme to raise awarenesses of the One Mums campaign  They are not asking for money, just for your voice to help them to be heard over the world. They are fighting disease and poverty, particularly in Africa. They are shouting about the good they have achieved and the potential they have to achieve more.

Here is my entry:

One Mum

Once I only thought of myself
Next I fell in love
Even then my heart had more room

My children fill my life with love
United as a family
Meant to be together
Special moments shared

Monday, 8 October 2012

Epic Straws from Cravendale

You must have seen the ads by now, Epic Straws are available to collect until December 16th, and they really are good fun.
We were sent two packs of straws to play with. The girls had great fun making their own creations, but mummy had to help to get them so they would actually work. Then we got the milk out and the races began. The Little Man couldn't wait to join in too.
Then once we were done the straws pack up in their net bags for easy rinsing in the sink.

I was sent two packs of Epic Straws for this review, you can find out how to get your own straws at

Friday, 5 October 2012

Solar Mobile Chargers, review and competition

This competition is now closed

I was sent four solar mobile chargers to review from
The models I am reviewing are:
The Lite
The Buddy
The Pocket and
The Classic.
Read on and find out about our fabulous competition where you could win the Pocket Solar Mobile Charger.

Now the first thing that you will think of when you hear the word solar mobile charger is how will they work in our wonderful practically sunless country? The idea is to move away from thinking solar and think more of them being portable chargers. Each one can be charged in several ways, in sunlight or by USB via your pc or laptop, in-car, or mains. Once fully charged they hold the charge until ready to use. Take a charged one with you wherever you go and you'll never had a 'dead' mobile phone again. Just plug the mobile into the charger and it will charge.
My partner is forever forgetting to charge his phone and he's there desperately trying to charge it up five minutes before going out. Now he can just plug it into the charger and take both with him. The chargers are small and around the same size as most modern mobiles, so it's like taking two phones with you.
We like going on day trips, our hobby is Geocaching. This means our mobiles are used not only as phones but also for their GPS, camera and internet access. The mobile is a brilliant device, but even when taking two phones with us we still end up losing one or both because of the battery dying. With one of these chargers we can now charge both phones back up while still out, and if the charger starts dying we have the added bonus of solar energy to keep giving it a little boost.

Pop one in the kids school bags and they'll be able to contact you even if they go out straight after school and the battery in their phone has died. If you have a teen you'll know how much this happens, before mobiles you'd worry where they were, then mobiles came along and you are worrying even more because they haven't called you or you can't call them because their battery is dead.

You can also use these chargers to charge other devices. Most chargers will charge a wide arrange of phones including iphone, Motorola, Blackberry, Samsung and Nokia. Some will also charge up your ipods, mp3 players and even your ipad. The Buddy has the most adapters and we put it to test with the Nintendo DS, the PSP, the Wii sensor bar.

Now I won't go too techi on you but here's the bits you need to know about each charger and what I discovered about each one.
One thing I did look up was the meaning of Mah, it is milliamper hour, or measure of a batteries energy storage capacity!

The Lite Solar Mobile Charger (1500Mah)


  • Capacity of battery: 1,500mAh
  • Solar panel input: 120mA maximum
  • Micro USB input: 5V DC ± 5%, 500mA
  • USB output: 5V DC ± 5%, 500mA
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 120 x 65 x 13mm
  • Weight: 108g
This is a compact and lightweight charger with a handy little flexible LED light. 

This is a neat little charger which still does the job. I love the little LED light which you can pull out and twist around. It comes with five interchangeable connectors and can give a smart phone a full charge. I charged this phone by a USB power adapter for 2 hours and used to  to charge up a Blackberry phone. There was enough charge left for a small MP3 player. The back of the phone has a handy light up capacity checker so by pressing the button you can see how much power the charger has. 

The lite retails at £19.95

The Buddy Solar Mobile Charger (2000 Mah)


  • Solar panel 100Mah
  • Battery capacity 2000mah
  • Charging time by AC-DC adapter: 2-3 hours
  • Charging time by PC USB:3 hours
  • Charging time by direct sunlight: approx 15 hours
  • maximum load current:500Mah
  • Lithium-ion batter:2000Mah
This is a sturdy looking charger which comes with 12 interchangeable connectors, so you can use it for practically anything. I tried it on an Mp3 player, the Wii Sensor bar, the PSP, the Nintendo DS as well as a couple of different mobiles (HTC and Blackberry) It has a handy bar on the back which by pressing the buttons will tell you how capacity and charge there is left. It also has a little torch fitted in. The case has a rubberised feel which gives it a sense of strength so you feel happy about sticking this charger in your pocket or your bag. In fact this little buddy has been everywhere with me.

The Buddy retails at £19.95

The Pocket Solar Mobile Charger (2500Mah)

This charger requires you to press a button to begin charging. It is powerful but beautiful with it's lovely curved and compact design. It comes with three interchangeable connectors, Apple, micro usb and mini usb so it will cover most mobiles and smart phones as well as your ipod and iphone.


  • Battery capacity 2500Mah
  • super extended standby time - over 4 months
  • solar panel multi-crystaline 5.0V 1A
  • Input 5v 1A
  • Output 5v 750Ma
  • size 100, 75, 14.5mm

This powerful charger will charge up two mobiles with ease. It will also keep it's charge for 4 months so it will be on hand for an emergency charge. It has a charge level indicator so you know when it's running low. It also has a short-circuit, overcharging and over-discharge protection. 

The Pocket retails at £19.95 (Find out how you can win one)

The Classic Solar Mobile Charger 3000Mah

This is the most powerful of the chargers I was sent to review. It has a much bigger battery capacity and charges your gadgets even quicker. It has a clean and durable design, and me, being a woman, noticed that the back can  also be used as an emergency mirror.


  • battery capacity 3000Mah
  • self charging time:8 hours by laptop, 4 hours by travel charger, 28 hours by solar panel.
  • Solar panel mono-crystalline:5.5V
  • charging and discharging indication lights
  • revers current protection circuit
  • size 60mm x 103mm x 10.8mm
  • weight 104g

This charger also comes in a choice of black or white. It has 5 interchangeable connectors which is sufficient for most needs.  Mini usb (Motorola etc)  Micro usb (Blackberry etc) Nokia, Samsung, Apple

The front is acrylic and the back stainless steel.
The classic retails at £29.95.

I am giving away a Pocket solar mobile Charger as described above. It comes in a gift box.
To win this lovely prize all you need to do is perform on small task. I have recently set up a Facebook page to accompany this blog and it's in need of a few likers, so please head over and like the page if you wish to be entered in the draw. You can say hi on the page if you wish :-)


Thursday, 4 October 2012

So Long Ago

Here is my first born as a tiny baby.
It's not very good quality as it was taken from a cine film recording which had been transferred to CD.
The video was taken by my older brother 24 years ago.

This picture shows my baby Craig, my mum who passed away Christmas day 2008, and Gordon the Gopher (remember him? and Philip Schofield) Gordon is being 'worked' by my younger brother who passed away New Year 2009. 
I only found the video last year and it gave me 4 minutes and 24 seconds of beautiful precious memories that mean so much. 
So maybe not the clearest, cutest or funniest of baby pictures, but one that means the world to me and now I'm sharing it with you. 

"This blog post has been written as an entry into the Tots100 competition in association with Boots Mother and Baby"

Would I Change My Children?

I wrote a post on another blog about a tv program I had watched
about autism. It was in the Extreme Love series with Louis Theroux.
One of the questions that I was faced with after watching the program was would I wish my children to be different. My eldest son has Aspergers Syndrome, he was diagnosed at the age of 12 and he is now 24yrs. My 7 yr old daughter also has high functioning autism, she was diagnosed last summer. They are both verbal and live relatively normal lives. My son is currently in his third year of an accountancy degree. My daughter is in yr 3 and if she does as well as her big brother then I will be happy.
I can ring the changes in my two autistic children's lives. With my son I found it hard to accept he was different, that's why he was diagnosed so late. Sadly we got to the stage where I had to cry for help, even though it had been offered to me before and I'd rejected it. The most difficult years were from where my husband left us (my son was 9yrs old) to mid teens (about 16) My son was hard to control, violent, angry, un-cooperative and generally difficult. He couldn't understand what was happening and neither could I. I didn't handle any of it very well and I'll put my hands up to that. It's not been plain sailing since then, but things have improved and mostly my son is a wonderful, caring person. He's different, yes, but he's a good person who is trying to find his way in a complicated world. We are getting there slowly, I just hope he makes it. I used to fret that he didn't have girlfriends, or even friends. I worried that he would never find a job. I accepted that he'd probably be living at home for all his life. Sometimes I see a glimmer of hope, a sense of change, a wistful thought that maybe things will be different for him in the future. Would I change him?
My daughter is about to face her most difficult years. Being in mainstream school with other children emphasises her differences. I hate seeing her sad because she doesn't understand the rules of friendship. I know with a sinking heart that life is just going to get harder for her. The choices I face are keeping her in a mainstream school or finding her somewhere else to continue her education. With my son Mainstream didn't work and he was transferred, it took a look time for him to catch up with his education but he persevered in the end. He did, however, find life much easier in his new school.
So would I change her?
Such a difficult question and one I can't really answer with conviction. Yes, of course it would be easier if my children did not have autism, easier for me and for them. Life can be difficult for autistic children and adults, but hopefully with more awareness the future could be better. It would be nice to think my children will lead lives just like anyone else, get married, have children of their own, have jobs, all the things other people do.
Yet, I love my children just as they are. They are difficult at times but mostly just a little different. They are still my children and I would feel like I was betraying them or letting them down if I wished them to be different. So my answer would have to be, no I wouldn't change my children, but I would do anything to change other people's negative perspectives of them.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

My Thoughts...

I'm sticking my neck out here as I know this is a sensitive subject and everyone has their opinion, but this is my opinion, my thoughts. Yesterday evening a five year old girl went missing in a Welsh village.
Today social network sites have gone bonkers with everyones wishes and opinions and even judgements. I hope it's a good thing, surely with everyone talking about the disappearance there is more hope of finding her? I hope so. You have to hold on to that hope and pray that she will be returned safely to her family.
I have a five year old daughter. I would crumble if she went missing, it's every mother's nightmare. So why risk it? Why take chances? Because you do, everyone does at some point. My daughter is safely in her bed at that time in the evening, but what if she had asked to stay out with a friend just a little later? I might consider it, she might have older friends to look after her. My daughter only ever plays in our garden if she's on her own, or with her sister. I don't think it's safe for them to play anywhere else. But I don't live in a village where everyone knows everyone else, and most likely looks out for each other. The girl was taken from the street, but what if the person who took her knew exactly what he (or she) was after? They may have been brazen enough to take a child from their home or garden while mum was busy cooking.
So you may say the child should have been in bed, or the parents should have been watching her at play, or she should have been playing somewhere safer, but every parent has that time when the rules are not so strict, everyone gets called away, has something else they might need doing that only takes a minute, has heard the phone ring, no-one can be on the ball every second of every day. These things happen, no matter how careful you are. The situation may not be the same, but things still happen. Your child might be in the care of someone you trust implicitly while you are at work and something might happen. I wish these things did not happen, but they do.
Instead of assigning guilt we need to focus on supporting the parents and praying for the safe return of their child.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Welcome to Kiddicare Nottingham - review and competition

Yesterday myself and the Little Man took a trip to Nottingham to visit the new Kiddicare store which has just opened. Read on for a review of our day and the chance to win some baby goodies.
We went to Nottingham by train, which the little man found very exciting.

I decided that the best route would be a walk along the canal. It was a lovely sunny day and I was so glad I chose to go this way.

The Store:

 The store is bright and colourful and there are places for children to play. This is Little Man in the enclosed play area in the canteen. Keep them occupied while you grab a coffee and a bite to eat.

The choice of pushchairs is amazing with prices starting from just £19.99. They also stock the top brands like Stokke and Phil and Teds. You can also buy all the accessories you need and test your pushchairs out on their track. This photo shows them on shelves but they are also available around to the store for you to push or fiddle with and truly make the right choice for you and your little one.
 If you are feeling a little tired walking around then you can take a seat on one of these colourful stools dotted everywhere.
Then you can be off again to view the amazing range of car seats, nursery furniture, high chairs, stair gates and other safety items, nappies, clothes, name it! Everything you need for baby!

 The car seat area has a fun area for kids to watch cartoons while you choose the best seat. You'll find plenty of advice and they will fit your car seat for you for no extra cost.

If you are buying for someone else and in a hurry you can wrap your gifts up before you leave at this wonderful gift wrapping station.Kiddicare also offer a Very Important Baby service which is like having your own personal shopper for baby things. There is loads of advice on offer because choosing what you need for your first baby can be a daunting experience.

One Thing I loved is the wide aisles, you can easily manoeuvre your pushchair around without knocking things over. (I'm always knocking things over, such a bad driver!) Also, Little Man likes to grab things off the shelves (he's that age!) as we walk around, so it's good not to have to get too close. The store is all one floor and each section is well signed so you can see easily where you need to go. There are help desks everywhere and a welcome desk at the front of the door. It also has a canteen, a baby nursing area and a toilet area. 
I love this bib bunting, so cute.

The Canteen: 

I tried a cheese and tomato panini which was toasted and brought over to me. Little man had a goody box which you can fill yourself from the choice available. We chose fruit, carrot sticks and a drink. He also had a packet of crayons in the box, which was left blank for the children to colour in. The seating was comfortable and roomy and the children's play area was available to stop the little ones from getting bored.

There were also two stations for you to warm bottles or baby food, they are happy for you to bring your own. Then there is a lovely cosy area for mum's wanting a little privacy to breast feed their baby, complete with rocking chairs and foot stools. 

A blurry photo of the cakes available :-)

Loo Lane:

Loo lane is what kiddicare lovingly call their toilet area. It really is a lovely place to visit, honestly!

 First up you have the colourful wall charts letting your little ones (and big ones) see how tall they are. I'm as tall as an ostrich!

The nappy changing area is bright and colourful
The loos themselves have enough room to push your pushchair in so you don't have to leave baby outside alone if you are on your own. (yeah, no need to use the disabled loo) and each one has a mummy loo and a toddler loo. Ingenious :-)


The store also has an event room which will be hosting Baby Signing, Baby Yoga and Baby Massage. We were given a trial of Baby Massage and Baby Yoga. They thoughtfully provided us with dolls and teddy's to practice on. I had little man with me but he was reluctant to lie on the floor and join in, a little too old maybe? Although I did learn some useful techniques I will be able to use at home, on both little man and a little reflexology to help Big Girls knee problems. 

Competition Time:

now for your chance to win some goodies from Kiddicare. On offer we have a lovely Giraffe changing mat, a  teether from Born Free, a pack of two bibs, a pack of two dummies and a fabulous book, 'What to Buy For Your Baby' (a really comprehensive guide to everything you need from birth to toddler with useful pull-out shopping lists.) Total prize value £26.95
To enter this competition all you have to do is follow this blog (by GFC or email) and leave me a comment to say you have.
You can earn an extra entry by liking our Facebook Page where we will be holding more competitions in the very near future. Good Luck Everyone!
Competition open to UK entrants only (sorry!)
competition prizes

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I've also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I've loved. If I don't love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It's always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I'll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.
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