Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Race For Life

Just four weeks from now and I will be doing the Race for Life.

I've been training! I'm currently about half way there, but that's just walking. I'm thinking now I'd like to jog a little. I will see how it goes. My health varies on a day to day basis, some days I'm ok, some I'm not. I've just endured four nightmare days and now I'm wondering how on earth I will cope if I'm really ill by the time the race comes around?

 I'm committed now, I have to do it no matter what. 

So, how has my training plan gone so far?

Well, I've been drinking more water. A simple step but something that so many of us don't do enough of. Keeping yourself hydrated is very important. My goal is eight glasses a day. Sometimes I don't manage that, but now that I'm trying to be more aware, I am drinking more than before.

I have my new trainers. Not always necessary, in fact generally it's more comfortable to train in your old faithfuls. However, it's always nice to receive a little incentive and a nice new pair of trainers has had me wanting to go out more to try them out.

I have a Fit Bug. Again, not a necessity but it is recording all my activity for me. I've only been using it a couple of days so I can't comment too much, but it's always nice to have something that encourages you on your way.

I'll also be starting on Kiqplan very soon, which is an online program to help to train for races like this. Kiqplan also do programs for slimming, and getting rid of baby tums or beer bellies.

Two weeks ago I buried another family member lost to Cancer.
Hell hath no fury like a woman in pink!
Take a moment to sponsor me and let fight this awful disease together!
Thank you x

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Kids in the Kitchen - Fudge

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen and it's the last one of the month. We love it when you join in and let us know what you've been up to in the kitchen with your kids. This week we made some fudge, but before I get on to our recipe I'd like to say thank you to those who linked up last week.

The girls from Mummy Plus Two Girls made a fantastic pizza with a smiley face. Kids always have loads of fun making pizza.

Over on Mummy of Two little Miss A made some Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Cakes which look totally scrummy.

The linky is open for another week before we start a new one, so do come and join us and I'll share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and here on Kids in the Kitchen next week.


Now this recipe is not entirely child friendly as it involves boiling a sugary liquid which will stick and burn. However, I found that if I did the hot part myself, there was plenty for my little chef to help with afterwards and she was really excited to be making her own sweets.


  • 397g can of condensed milk
  • 150ml of milk
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 115g butter


Put all the ingredients in a pan and melt slowly over a low heat
Bring to the boil and then simmer on medium heat stirring constantly so it doesn't stick
Simmer for around 15 -20 minutes until the mixture reaches 118°C
You can check the temperature with a sugar thermometer or test the mixture by dropping a small ball into a glass of icy water and it should form a soft ball when squished.

Leave to cool for about 5 minutes.


Prepare a tin by lining it with greaseproof paper
Mix with hand mixer in the pan for about 5 minutes until thick, smooth and starting to set.
Poor mixture into tin and smooth the top
Leave to cool and set
Cut into chunks

So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.

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Monday, 25 May 2015

Monday Musings - A Camping Trip Down Memory Lane

I haven't been camping for years. These days the focus is more on glamping than camping, well I can tell you, there was nothing glamorous about our camping holidays. They were lots of fun though.

First I remember we would 'weather' the tents. That means that mom would get them out and put them up in the back garden for a day or two. When we were old enough she would let us have some friends over to sleep in them. I don't think we ever lasted a whole night in the garden though.

The tents were frame tents and took forever to put together. They were huge, or they seemed to be so when we were young. They would have at least two bedroom areas and a living area. We would have air beds and sleeping bags to sleep in.

Holidays were a family affair. I don't remember much before my Dad passed away, I don't think he was a 'camper' although he did like caravans. So it would have been me, mom and my little brother. We would go with my nan and my cousin who lived mostly with her, my aunt and uncle and their four children, my grown-up cousin and her husband and twin daughters who were the same age as my little brother. My uncle would hire a mini bus so we could all travel together with all our equipment. We would take over a fair chunk of the camping field once all set up together.

I remember one time we went to Weymouth and set up in the corner of a field. Overnight we had the most awful storm and woke up in the morning in the middle of a huge muddy puddle. It was a pain to dismantle the tents and put them up somewhere else, so we un-pegged them then all got inside and grabbed a pole and 'walked' them to another part of the field. It must have been a sight seeing our tents walking across the field. Obviously not a sight we saw as we were all inside them! I'm happy to report the rest of the holiday was storm free and sunny.

me and my cousins

We had no real comforts while camping, we'd have to use the shower blocks for washing. They were usually run by coins so you had to be quick before your money ran out. The sinks were in the shower block so we'd have to carry our bowls of washing up over there too.

We did a lot of cooking on our calor gas cooker back at the tents. There was so many of us it was too expensive to eat out often, although we did enjoy the occasional fish and chips by the sea front.

We started these camping holidays in the mid 1970's and I believe the last one was in 1982. By this time most of the children were growing up and the older family members wanting more comfort from their holidays.

They were such happy times.

My lovely nan (who left this earth nearly 20 years ago now) my auntie and one of my smaller cousins.

Step Back In Time Linky on The Purple Pumpkin Blog

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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Starting a Herb Garden

There is nothing nicer than being able to pop into your garden and pick the herbs you need to flavour your food. I've always had a herb garden but not since I moved into my new house so now it's time to start one up here. The Little Man was a willing helper while we sat at the table in the sunshine and filled little pots with compost and seeds. I wrote the labels and he stuck them on. He had lots of fun and made tons of mess, but no worries, he said we could clean it all up with a magic stick!

Hopefully the seeds will soon start to grow and then we can plant them out into the garden. I can't wait and I'm sure the Little Man is just as impatient. I can't wait to see his face when we start to see the seeds sprout. Now I just have to decide the best place to plant them. I'm thinking maybe the front garden as it's nearer to the kitchen and it would be nice to be greeted with the smell of herbs as we come home. 

My favourites are chives and dill, I love them with fish, I love rosemary with lamb, but did you know it also tastes really nice with chicken? I've never grown garlic before but I use it all the time so I'm hoping that it grows. Basil and oregano are great with pasta dishes. What's your favourite herb?

I'm linking up with Country Kids from Coombe Mill, it's been such a long time since I made and outdoor post, hopefully there will be more to come.
  Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Kids In the Kitchen - Damper Bread

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. I hope you have been busy baking up a storm with your kids this week, we'd love to see what you've been up to and you can always join in with our linky. All posts are shared on Pinterest and Twitter and will get a mention here on Kids in the Kitchen next week.

Last week we were joined by the Free From Farmhouse and showed how to make fabulous, and really easy, Vegan Biscuits with the help of little J.

The linky is open until the end of the month and you can join in as many times as you like.

Damper Bread.

The first time we came across Damper Bread was at a family fun day with the scouts. They twisted the bread dough onto sticks and cooked it over a hot campfire. I've always wanted to try and make the bread at home but not over a campfire. Boo was my willing accomplice and she enjoyed reading and following the simple recipe from my bread book.

I'm not a fan of Soda bread because I really don't like the taste of Soda. Damper bread is very similar in texture but without the taste of soda. There is no yeast so no waiting for it to prove, and it is made with ordinary flour as opposed to bread flour. In fact the ingredient list is small and it's so quick and easy to make. I'm tempted to make it regularly now, especially as it was a huge hit with the kids.


  • 500g self-raising flour white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 40g butter
  • 2tsp caster sugar
  • 225ml milk
  • 125ml water


  • preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6, grease a baking sheet and set aside
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
  • chop butter into chunks and rub into the flour with fingers
  • stir in the sugar
  • add the milk
  • then add the water a little at a time until you have a soft dough
  • turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently for a few minutes
  • shape into a round loaf shape and place on the baking sheet
  • cut a cross in the dough about 1cm deep
  • brush the loaf with a little milk and then dust with a little flour
  • bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown
  • transfer to a wire rack to cool

So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.

Follow on Bloglovin

Thank you for joining me. If you like my blog I'm looking for nominations into this years MAD blog awards in the School Days category. It would so kind of you to take a moment to vote for Thank you x

Tots100 MAD Blog Awards

Sunday, 17 May 2015

My Sunday Photo

The Little Man was having one of his attention span of a newt days.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon so I took him outside to plant some seeds.
The start of my herb garden.
He didn't mind that the sunglasses were pink.


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Why Do We Hate Blogger Competitions?

Blogger competitions, do you hate them or love them?

When I say Blogger competitions I don't mean competitions hosted on blogs for everyone to enter, but the ones that a blogger enters by creating a post on their blog.

So why do bloggers hate them?

Well, why would you spend hours writing a post for a chance of something in return, when in most cases you can get something for writing a post? Do competitions de-value the blogger? Basically there seems little incentive for the blogger to write a post that they wouldn't normally write for only a chance of a return.

A working blogger will have a set amount that they accept in payment for writing a post for someone else. Or if they are doing a review they expect to receive the product and then spend time writing about it. With a competition it is not guaranteed that the blogger will receive anything for their work so why should they do it?

In reality blogger competitions offer a company or brand a lot of exposure and possible SEO for much less return than paying bloggers a fee for the promotion. This tends to stir up anger amongst the bloggers. They will complain that most entrants are working for nothing, but the brand is still getting the exposure.

A recent competition caused even more of a stir when the brand wanted to vet the blogs that entered so that they would only receive the best kind of SEO in return for their competition. The prize was good, but was it really fair to not allow someone to enter because their domain authority was not up to standard?

If tempted by a competition I'd always advise that you read the terms and conditions. Some will ask you to write a post then choose the winner at random. You may find yourself putting in hours of work on a great post only to find that the winner had written just  few lines to win as Michelle from The Purple Pumpkin Blog discovered. I recently checked terms and conditions for a competition to find they wanted the post written in 300-600 words. My draft had already exceeded 800 words.

So, we can see that there are benefits for the brand holding the competition but are there any benefits for the blogger?

I guess that depends on the competition. Some prizes can be really good, a lot better than you would expect for writing a post normally. So although your chances of receiving anything at all, the opportunity of winning can be a big incentive to write something.

Some bloggers will enter a competition if the prize is something they really like, or competition fits in nicely with something they would write about anyway.

Bloggers who don't normally write for money or do reviews may be tempted by a competition. For some it's not all about what you can earn, but the chance of winning a really nice prize might be too much to miss.

Some bloggers do not get paid huge amounts of money for their posts, or get to review fantastic holidays or great appliances, so a blogger competition may be a perfect opportunity for them.

In the non blogging world competitions are run in a similar way. Entrants are asked to submit something that will give the brand publicity in return for the chance to  win a prize. Even competitions where the only thing you have to do is give your contact details you are actually giving away the opportunity for them and other companies to contact you for advertising purposes in the future (although you are able to opt out if you notice the small print or remember to tick the right box) So most competitions are set up in mind with a greater value to the competition setter than the individual entrants.

Personally, I like Blogger competitions. There, I've said it. It's like a dirty little confession.
Here is another confession. I've won a few! A couple of fabulous holidays and a fantastic and expensive toy which arrived just before last Christmas. Not things I would normally get the opportunity to review.

It's not just the winning though, I like the competition, the challenge. I like to work on my entry, try to make it individual, stand out, make it a winner. I get disappointed when I don't win but I don't automatically think...ah I should have been paid for that post. I take it for what it was, a competition.

I only enter competitions that I'm really interested in. I have to either really want the prize and believe that the entry will fit nicely on my blog and not look totally out of place.

Like most things in life, there will be those that love and those that loathe.

So, in summary here are my pros and cons....please feel free to add yours in the comments.


  • Gives bloggers the opportunity to receive something much bigger than they would normally get for writing a post.
  • Can be a fun challenge
  • May provide fresh and interesting content for your blog
  • May bring you more visitors to your blog or get you notice more


  • Can feel like a whole lot of work and effort for only a small chance of return
  • De-values bloggers by using them for SEO and promotion purposes when they should be paid
  • Some competitions can be poorly run
  • The entry may not fit in with the rest of your blog
  • May not add anything of interest to your blog readers
  • May not fit the tone or voice of your blog
  • You may get lots of nagging e-mails about the competition

Thank you for joining me. If you like my blog I'm looking for nominations into this years MAD blog awards in the School Days category. It would so kind of you to take a moment to vote for Thank you x

Tots100 MAD Blog Awards

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Organic School Dress Review

Boo's reaction when she saw her new school dress was one of delight. I was so pleased because I know she had been expecting a gingham summer dress rather than a grey pinafore. She loved the little bow decoration, the cute, unusual coconut shell button and the pockets. When she tried it on she loved how comfortable it felt and how it hung, we had lots of twirling going on. The comments she received when she arrived in the playground also made her smile, her friends liked her new dress too.

The Dress came from Eco Outfitters who provide organic cotton school uniforms. It is made from 100% pure organic cotton. The cotton gets softer with washing and as it has not been treated with chemicals it also shrinks a little. The cut of the dress allows for 5% shrinkage. It can be machine washed at 30 degrees but not tumble dried.

As Boo is eight in just a few weeks time I decided to get the 8-9 year size which was a little generous in size for her. The claim was that it would shrink after washing but I didn't notice it much. The skirt still sits just below her knees. I think she will have some growing space which is nice as the material feels as though it will last.

I always use non-biological washing liquid for my washing because I do have other family members with skin issues and I find they get less irritated. I can't use fabric conditioner for the same reason. I washed the dress at 30 degrees on an eco wash. (may as well go all the way on the eco stuff!)

I was worried about not being able to tumble dry, the tumble drier is my best friend, especially in a household of seven. However, I don't tumble dry the school sweaters either so I hoped it would dry like them. I hung it on a coat hanger on the outside of the wardrobe and it was dry overnight.

Because of not tumble drying it did need ironing. Now, me and my iron are not best friends and I only get it out when absolutely necessary. I was pleased to find that the dress ironed really easy and quickly. I did iron it inside out as I worried about shiny bits that you sometimes get when ironing uniforms.

The dress, being a pinafore, is sleeveless and has a button fastening on the one shoulder and three push button fastenings on the side. It has a gathered skirt and a cute belt decoration with a bow. It sells at £18.95 to £19.95 which is a little more than I would usually pay for a school dress, but the quality does show and it's nice that it's organic cotton. I have bought organic cotton clothes before and love the way they feel nicer as they get older and they really do tend to last longer. They are kinder on the skin and help protect the environment by reducing the use of pesticides and protects water quality.

Boo loves her new dress and wants to wear it every day.

Family Fever
Disclosure: we were provided with the pinafore dress from Eco Outfitters in return for a honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Kids in the Kitchen - Chocolate Cupcakes

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. This week Boo insisted she wanted to make chocolate cupcakes so I left her to it. The Little Man came in to help with the decorating. I'll tell you how they got on in a moment, but first I'd like to say thank you to those linking up in the past week.

It was lovely to see the return of the beautiful Miss T from The Beesley Buzz who made some scrummy Postman Pat Cupcakes.

Monkey and Mouse shared three fabulous dairy free recipes for kids, Pizza Pods, Fairy Cakes and Bread Rolls.

And the lovely Annabel from Tickle Fingers has been busy cooking with 50 toddlers over six days while raising loads of money for Save The Heroes. Do take a look at her incredibly inspirational post which is also full of fabulous photos and great tips for cooking with toddlers.

I share all posts on my Pinterest Board which is a great place for inspiration.

Follow Anne's board Kids In The Kitchen on Pinterest.

Chocolate Cupcakes

We make cupcakes a lot, but it's something the kids feel comfortable with, so I let them. I decided to teach Boo a simple recipe so that she would know easily how to make cupcakes herself.
We have some old fashioned scales, and although the show grams it's the ounces that show up in big letters. I told Boo the basic ingredients then said we needed 4 ounces of each and left her to weigh everything out. She was a little confused about the eggs, but I told her that a large egg weighs around 2 ounces so she would need two eggs. We weighed them just to make sure. 

I deliberately left out the cocoa powder until last. She wanted to know if we needed 4 ounces of cocoa powder but I said we only needed a large spoon, but we had to take out a large spoon of flour first and then put in the spoon of cocoa powder into the flour. 

I think she had fun working it all out.


  • 4oz (120g) self raising flour 
  • 4oz (120g) caster sugar
  • 4oz (120g) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs (15g) cocoa powder


  • cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl until soft and smooth
  • add the eggs and mix well
  • take out 1tbs of the flour and replace with 1tbs of cocoa powder
  • sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and fold in gently
  • put a spoonful of mixture into each of 12 cupcake cases in a tray
  • bake at 180C/gas mark 4 for 15 minutes.

For the icing

The little man mixed together
  • 3oz (85g) butter with
  • 6oz  (170g) icing sugar
  • 2tsp cocoa powder

until smooth and creamy. 

So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.

Follow on Bloglovin

Thank you for joining me. If you like my blog I'm looking for nominations into this years MAD blog awards in the School Days category. It would so kind of you to take a moment to vote for Thank you x

Tots100 MAD Blog Awards

Monday, 11 May 2015

My Life and Pain

Way back to when I was a little girl I can remember pain.  I would wake in the night and cry, waking up my parents. The pain would be in my legs, my knees or my ankles. Occasionally it would be in my neck or shoulders. I know that mom had taken me to see the Doctor because she always said that she'd been told it was growing pain. Then later, it was cramp. I think at times she thought I was just attention seeking, especially after my baby brother was born. Then my Dad passed away. I decided not to complain so much, mom had other things to worry about. I did lose a lot of time from school though, I didn't always say it was pain in my legs, sometimes it was tummy ache or headache.

Most days  I felt okay. I would play with my friends, I would run and walk with no problems. If I did too much then I would find sleep difficult but I didn't actually make the connection back then. The more I'd done in the day, the worse I felt at night.

I've always been double jointed, or hypermobile as they like to call it these days. Still, I wondered why I could be so bendy yet so rubbish at gymnastics. I had no balance, no poise, no grace. I was always falling over. My body is the wrong shape, my limbs are too long. I found quite early on that I could pop joints, as a child I developed a tic where I was popping my shoulder out, I became addicted to loud click it would make. The pain was addictive too in a strange way. I managed to stop myself when the kids at school started commenting. I can still do it now, but it hurts more. 

As an adult I have managed okay. I've worked full time, sometimes doing quite strenuous jobs. With one job I was on quite strong painkillers from the GP when I did some damage lifting. 

My pregnancies have been painful, but I honestly believed that everyone felt that way. Surely most women felt that their bones where going to break carrying that extra weight around, their legs ached every night and they never felt comfortable, they found it difficult to even get dressed, just like I did. With my third child I felt the horrifying crunch of my pelvis and was diagnosed with SPD, I could barely walk. I had an epidural with my first child, it didn't work. I never bothered again. 

Going to the dentist has always been a nightmare. I stopped going when they stopped offering gas. I said it was because I didn't like needles. I don't mind needles, they bruise me something terrible, but I'm not afraid of them. The anaesthetic at the dentist never worked but they didn't believe me. They thought I was just being silly. Then I had a good dentist who made sure I had enough anaesthetic, which was at least twice as much as normal. The only thing I've not been able to have is a root canal filling, it was less painful to have the tooth extracted. 

In my mind I believe that I don't complain much about my pain. I try to hide it as often as I can. My family will disagree, they think I'm always ill, I've even been accused of being addicted to painkillers. I try not to take them unless I really have to. If they knew how much I do hurt all the time they probably wouldn't believe me anyway, who would? Who can possible hurt so much without having some serious disease. Surely it must all be in my head?

Lately the pain has spread. I now get pain in my hands and wrists. In the past the pain in my upper body has been limited to my neck and shoulders. I've been to the GP who tested me for Vitamin D deficiency and I was borderline. Now I'm taking Vitamin D for three months before he will check anything else. I'm not sure he will find anything.

My little girl has been diagnosed with Elhers Danlos Syndrome, something I'd not even heard of a year ago. Her diagnosis was based on her hypermobile joints, her pain and because she subluxed her cervical spine and they had trouble fixing it because her ligaments were too lax. Elhers Danlos Syndrome is a connective tissue disorder, the tissues are too lax and the joints can sublux, or pop out. Symptoms of EDS include having difficulty with anaesthetics and easy bruising, sufferers can also have problems with their teeth and gums. Other symptoms that both myself and Star have are gastro problems, headaches and sleeping problems. I also have dizzy spells and brain fog. 

Other things taken into consideration when diagnosing someone with EDS is their family history. Both myself and Star's older sister have symptoms. 

I don't have an official diagnosis, but Star's doctor believes that I have EDS too. For the first time in so many years I can actually put a name to why I feel so much pain. It's not all in my head. I will still go on hiding it as much as I can though, It hasn't beaten me yet, it sure isn't going to now.

This month is Elhers Danlos Syndrome Awareness month, if you wish to find out more about the condition please visit

I you are wondering why on earth I am doing the Race for Life then I can tell you I was inspired by the amazing Lara Bloom and you can find her story on YouTube in Issues With My Tissues

Friday, 8 May 2015

MAD Blog Awards 2015

Every year you'll find me asking for nominations for the MAD blog awards. They say you don't have to be MAD to enter, but you do have to be a mum or a dad. I could possible fit both categories (I mean mum and mad, not mum and dad!)

Raisie Bay has been part of my life now for almost four years (next month!) We've been on quite a journey and the whole time I've been trying to find my niche, or my voice, or whatever it is that makes a blogger stand out from the crowd. I'm not sure I've succeeded, or that I ever will, but I'm still here and I'm still trying and I'm thankful that people do stop by to read me.

A friend said to me just before Christmas that she liked my old blog, the one where I wrote from the heart. This made me think that maybe I'd lost my way a little and I am trying to find that path again, but without being too open. My audience is a lot bigger than it was then and I'm not sure I can be so personal, but I'm trying to find a balance. That's why I started up Monday Musings (which is not always posted on a Monday.) That's my voice, my thoughts, I'm trying to let go a little more. 

I also have a weekly linky, Kids in the Kitchen. Now into the second year it's not the most popular linky on the blogverse. I don't get bloggers waiting with their posts for my linky to go live so they can drop them off first. There have been a couple of weeks with just one or two linkers. However, it was never really my intention for it to be link drop, or comment collector. What I have found is that there are some lovely bloggers out there who join in for the fun and I've made some good friends. Just in case my non-blogging readers are wondering what I'm going on about, it's the weekly post I write about a recipe that I've made with my kids and encourage others to share their recipes.

My blog is my little corner of the internet. My online diary of things I've done and places I've been. Stories of my life and my children. Raisie Bay has followed my baby boy turn into a school boy, my little girl go through the nightmare of a broken neck, a change of home and a change of school for the kids. A lot has happened in the last four years and most of it has been recorded here.

For the future of Raisie Bay my promise is to hold back less, give you more of my voice. Be a little less afraid of sharing who I am. Learn how to take better photos and share them with you. Continue to come up with great recipes to share, especially for the kids. Share with you my journey, the things I have coming up this year like my daughter's official diagnosis (hopefully) and my doing the Race for Life, plus lots of fun outings including a pilgrimage I have planned (but it's under wraps for now.) Continue to raise awareness of what it's like living with disabilities. Show you more pics of my cats (I have to put that in, everyone loves cats...and just in case you don't, we are thinking of getting a dog too!)

So if you've a minute or two to spare, I'd love it if you would take time to put your votes in for this years awards. I think my blog would fit nicely in the School days category as I have three children at school.
To vote go to
pick your blog of the year and then go on to the categories page.
my URL is

Many thanks!

Tots100 MAD Blog Awards

A few things we've been up to on the blog over the past 12 months.

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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Hub of the Home

When I was little the kitchen was the hub of our home. It's where everyone congregated to chat and drink tea and put the world to rights. The front room was for guests and was always kept neat and tidy. The kitchen was were all the action was and the kettle was always boiling.

My wish now is to make my kitchen more homely. I want people to feel welcome and comfortable in there if they've popped in for a visit and chat. I want the kids to feel happy playing around the table, just like we used to. Play board games, or colouring in books or even doing homework. I don't want to be stuck in the kitchen alone while I cook meals and bake all day, I'd love some company.

First step is to give the kitchen a makeover. It's not bad at the  moment, but it's a little drab. It needs a little more colour and maybe some decoration. I'm thinking a lick of paint. Maybe a nice welcoming green or warm yellow and some pictures on the wall. I have some lovely art work that the children have done that I'm thinking of having framed. One step further than drawings on fridge. A nice colourful clock and maybe some plants, perhaps even my home grown herbs.

Groves Nursery

Storage is important. It's nice to keep the work surfaces free from clutter. I have lots of cupboards for storing things away but it would be nice to leave some things on show, or to hand. A nice fruit bowl always looks lovely and a spice rack that fits in with the decor, I hate having to rummage through the cupboard for my spices and you can get some really nice spice racks that look lovely on display.

Legend Spice Rack

The dining area is going to be one of the most important areas if you want people to spend more time in the kitchen. You can find dining tables to fit most spaces, and extending tables are great for when you have extra guests but don't want to take up so much room all the time. I also believe in a selection of table clothes, in particular a few throw away ones for children's messy activities. My daughter Boo already loves laying the table for dinner like I used to do for my mom when I was little.

My kids already love being in the kitchen helping me cook, each week we are cooking up a storm and I try to record as much as possible for my Kids in the Kitchen feature. They are also in there enjoying crafts around the kitchen table, it's a lovely big space they can all work together and the mess is so much easier to clean up.

I can't wait to get started on making my kitchen more appealing. I love it in there already, but that's because I'm always cooking. Now I'm looking forward to having some company because I know my grandma never spent a minute alone in her kitchen.

So if you pop around you'll be sure of a warm welcome and a nice cuppa with a biscuit or two, or maybe even a slice of cake!

Thank you to Tesco for help in bringing you this post.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Kids in the Kitchen - Apple Jacks

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. This week we made Apple Flap Jacks but my little cooks were feeling a little reluctant to help out so I called them Apple Jacks which is a character from My Little Pony. Straight away Boo became more interested to find out more.

Apple Jack

Each week on Kids in the Kitchen I invite my readers to come and share their child friendly recipes or whatever their kids have been up to in the kitchen. I then share these posts on Pinterest, Twitter and here on my blog. So please feel free to join in anytime, each linky lasts for one month and you can post as often as you wish. It's all about the sharing.

Last week the Free From Fairy shared some delicious looking Date and Ginger bars which look so simple to make.

Apple Jacks

3oz butter
3oz caster sugar sugar
3oz golden syrup
8oz porridge oats
2 apples

I used porridge oats. Most recipes will ask for rolled oats which are slightly different in texture, but I find that porridge oats work so long as you are not adding too much moisture.

To lessen the moisture we first peeled the apples, cored them and then grated them  into a sieve. 
We then squeezed out as much juice as we could. Boo really enjoyed this job, it's a great job for little people.

melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar in pan over a medium heat
once melted mix in the oats and the apple gratings
put the mixture into a shallow pan lined with greaseproof paper
bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C/gas mark 4
let cool and cut into slices. (makes about 10, depending on how big you cut them)

So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)

Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.

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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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