Friday, 31 August 2012

Holidays are over

It's time for the kids to go back to school and despite having a couple of stressful days with my brood I'm really not looking forward to it. My older girl moves up into year three and is really stressing out about it, she doesn't deal with change very well. My younger girl is moving into year one and constantly talks about her reception teacher as if she hasn't actually taken it in that she'll be in a different class. My little man is going to a preschool for a couple of days a week. It was a tough decision to make to send him but I finally decided that it would do him good to be with other children his age. Sadly, it's going to break my heart and I'm deeply regretting it already.

My school run buddy, who calls for me every morning so we can walk our children to school together is actually a male who has taken over the role of caring for the children. I guess things will be different for him too as his youngest is about to start nursery. So it will be a big change for us both and we will actually have free time on our hands. I was thinking of doing a course but so far haven't found anything I really want to do, or haven't done already. My next option is volunteering, I will have to make up my mind soon, the holiday is over now!

The last few days I've spent sewing name tags into the school uniforms. I've checked twice, maybe more that I have everything. Going back to school can be such a stressful time it's good to know everything is in order.
I've written before about the uniforms available at Next, but they also do some really cool accessories.
For p.e. my children have these colourful pump bags

Red cloud pump bag £5.50  Navy Star Pump bag£5.50

There are matching lunch bags with bottles
Red cloud lunch bag £8  Navy Star Lunch bag £8

For when the weather gets colder this gorgeous three piece hat, scarf and gloves set with keep them cosy 
multi coloured three piece set £12-14



If you are a real worry wort like me then Next have a fabulous checklist you can use to make sure you've not forgotten anything.



Thursday, 30 August 2012

Parenting Tips - Teeth Cleaning

As a parent of five I thought I could share you some parenting tips that I've adopted along the way. I'm not an expert, just a mother and I can't guarantee that any of my tips will work for you, but they have for me.

Teeth Cleaning: Up until the age of two years you are supposed to clean their teeth yourself. Great in theory, but what if they won't open their mouth, or stay still for long enough, or scream the house down because they just don't want you to do it. Here are a few tips that have worked for me. You can also use them for a an older child if you need to, only they will be the one doing the brushing and you can supervise.

Children love to look at themselves so make sure you have a mirror they can see themselves in. Tell them to smile at themselves and see their teeth. Then tell them you will make their teeth lovely and shiny and clean for the bestest smile ever.

Try singing a tune, there is a great one that goes to the tune of the hokey cokey:
Put the toothbrush in, the toothbrush out, in, out, in, out, brush it all about. First you do the front and then you do the sides, then spit the toothpaste out.
Sing again with a rinsed toothbrush but change last line to spit the water out.

Try different flavoured toothpastes. My little girl absolutely hates mint so I managed to find a children's strawberry flavour toothpaste for her. Here are a few I've found online:

Lavara Strawberry tooth gel
Toms of Maine Silly Strawberry toothpaste
Green People organic mandarin toothpaste





When they are a little older, (or if they really won't let you do it for them) let them copy you. Brush your teeth at the same time and let them see, children love to copy grown ups.

Cleaning their teeth is something that children will be doing for the rest of their lives so try not to make the experience traumatic. Keep trying, but don't fret if it doesn't work out every time.



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This post is a part of my parenting tips series, I hope you will find them interesting. There is a tab at the top of the page where you can view other tips that I have previously posted. If you would like to share your tips I'd be happy to hear them in the comments section or please visit us on Facebook and join in there.
Thank you xx
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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My Little Pony Party

My 7 year old daughter asked for a My Little Pony party for her birthday. Here in the UK My Little Pony is only just starting to make a come back so I found that finding tablewear was not so easy. I did manage to find most of what I needed on Ebay though, and I bought a table cloth in pink from a local store.
For decoration I used balloons and Happy Birthday Banners, they were not My Little Pony related but I tried to match the colours.
As my daughter's favourite My Little Pony is Rainbow Dash I found I could also get away with a rainbow theme. I used this on the cupcakes, decorating them in rainbow sprinkles. I also used it in the birthday cake but more about that in a minute.

For Activities we started by decorating pony templates which I had made and printed on to card. I cut them out before the party. The girls were given pens, glitter glue and glitter to decorate their ponies, then we finished them with strips of wool for their tails.
We also played the usual party games of Pass The Parcel, Musical Statues and Musical Bumps. Everyone attending managed to win a little prize.
Then we had an apple hunt to feed the ponies. I hid cardboard apples all around the garden and the girls went out to search for them. When they brought them back to me I rewarded them with pony food (sweeties) and the one who brought the most back won a little prize.
my little pony template
Pony Template

some of the finished ponies


For Food we had a buffet spread of sandwhiches, sausage rolls, salad, chicken dippers, crisps, cupcakes, biscuits, salad and fruit. A little good and a little bad :-)
my little pony party
The party table


The Cake I made myself and you can see how here. I wanted a rainbow cake but not the usual layers of coloured sponge because I find these a little sickly with all the butter cream in between layers. Also, it's difficult to do a rainbow cake that doesn't end up really high. So I had a go at mixing colours within the cake and I think it turned out nice. The cake I wanted white to contrast the colourful interior, then I decorated it with a fondant pony and rainbow.

my little pony cake, rainbow dash
My Little Pony Cake

rainbow cake
Rainbow cake


There was only a small turn out but the girls had lots of fun.



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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Hello Kitty Party

I love kids parties, I ask my children what sort of theme they want then I do my research and plan away to my hearts content. I used to end up with a million and one bookmarks but now I find Pinterest is a fantastic tool for storing things. Here is my Pinterest Party Ideas board. As you can see I look around the Internet for inspiration and ideas and put them all on my board so I can go back to them at any time. Another well used board of mine is the cake one!

My little girl asked for a Hello Kitty Party. First up, it was fairly easy to purchase the table accessories I needed, there are plenty of places that sell the cups, plates, serviettes and table cloths you just need to shop around to find the best value. Then using the colours on the table wear I bought matching balloons and found some printable cupcake toppers. I then made a cake to match.

I made up the cupcakes and covered them in pink frosting, then I attached a cut out cardboard Hello Kitty circle that I'd printed by sticking it to half of a plastic straw and pushing it into the cake. Very simple and very effective.

The cake was pink with blue, green and yellow spots. I decided to do a two tier cake and I made a fondant Hello Kitty to go on top.

On the morning of the party the cake was attacked by my 2 year old little man who had decided to have cake for breakfast and I had to do a patch up job at the front! TIP: Put your cake somewhere safe and well away from little hands until the very last minute :-)

To start the party I set up a table in the garden (lovely having kids parties in the summer!) with some art things. I bought some pre-cut plain white cardboard cats and supplied, pens, crayons, glue, tissue paper, pom poms, googly eyes, glitter and sequins. Then I let their imagination run riot and they had loads of fun decorating their cats.

We played the party favourites, pass-the-parcel, musical bumps and musical statues. TIP: little children find losing in games very difficult so here is what I do. First of all I make sure that I'm the first one out...no-one ever wants to be first out, so it makes it a little easier if it's not one of the children. Then I give myself a little treat or sweet for being the 'last winner' (they are all winners, you see) If you do this you will probably find that the children really don't mind being out because they are still getting  a treat. Also, it's wise to have two top prizes as I have found there are always TWO competitive children at any party and you'll never decide the winner!

While the children where eating their food I set up the next game. I find children love hide-and-seek type games so as this was an Hello Kitty party I thought all the little kitty's would like to find a mouse. I found a photo of a cute mouse  and printed it off on a couple of sticker sheets. I then used cardboard toilet roll tubes cut in half to stick the stickers around. (I rarely dispose of toilet roll tubes, they have so much use left in them) Then I hid these 'mice' all around the garden for the children to find. When they found one they had to bring it to me for their reward. 

Finally we sang Happy Birthday and the birthday girl blew out her candle before I handed out the cake. All the children went home with their decorated cats, prizes and party bags. I never go over the top with party bags, usually a few sweets and a balloon along with a small novelty toy, like a whistle or party blower, will do. 


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Back To School with Next

I love having my children at home during the holidays but I have to admit, I do miss the routine of getting ready for school in the morning. I'm not saying that it's easy, with three little ones to get ready in a time slot it's anything but easy. However, it does mean that everything gets done by a certain time, and then I get a little time to myself. This September will be different because my little man will be going to pre-school two days a week as well. I'm really not sure I'm ready to let go, but I know he's such a sociable little man that he's going to love every minute.

Now is the time that parents are putting together their children's new school uniforms. I know a few mums that have had it sorted since before school ended..wow! I did manage to get the official school sweatshirts before the end of term but that's about it.

These days you can buy cheap uniforms practically anywhere, pick them up with your weekly shop at the supermarket even. You don't need to pay a ridiculous amount of money for uniforms these days, there is so much competition, but it's good to know you are getting good quality as well as value. That is why I've picked out my choice of uniforms available at Next.

For the Girls:

  • Pink Padded Coat £30-£36
  • black plimsoles, £4.50
  • Poloshirts, 2 pack, available in white, blue, yellow or red £6-£11
  • girls white puff sleeve shirt£5-10
  • school tights in packs of 3, available in grey, light grey, black, red, navy, green
  • girls black bow shoes in wide or regular fit £26-£34
  • pleated skirt available in navy, grey or black, £5-10
  • swimsuit available in navy, pink or black, £8-£11
For The Boys:



  • Boys short sleeve easy to iron shirt available in white or blue, 2 pack £7-£12
  • boys flat front trousers, available in black, navy or grey and in slim, standard or plus fit £7-12
  • black grainy leather strap shoes, availabe in wide or standard fit £30-36
  • boys parka coat in navy or kahki £30-£36
  • boys socks, available in grey,black or navy £5 per pack of 5
  • black plimsoles £4.50
  • poloshirts 2 pack available in white, blue, yellow or red. £6-£11 per pack







Saturday, 4 August 2012

Warm Up and Win, Samsung competition

In celebration of the London 2012 Olympics Samsung are running a fantastic competition with amazing prizes. To take part you need to submit a 5 second video of you, or someone else doing either a Relay run, long leap, triple jump or star jumps. It really is easy and fun. Take a look at the website at some of the entries so far.
Samsung have informed me that they don't have enough entries so hurry up and you could stand a chance of winning on of their prizes:

  • 1st prize – £5,000 John Lewis Voucher + GSIII Mobile Phone
  • 2nd Prize – £2012 Sports Voucher + GSIII Mobile Phone
  • 3rd Prize – GSIII Mobile Phone + Galaxy Tab

Also, if you download the free Samsung Hope Relay Application, for every mile you do Samsung will donate £1 to charity. 
Go and take a look today, even if you don't enter the videos are fun to watch http://www.youtube.com/SAMSUNGMOBILEUK


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 me...is 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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