Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Folli One Review and Competition

My husband started getting a bald patch way too young (yeah, they all say that!) and keeps his hair really short to try and hide this fact.

It's a shame because I did love his wild and curly hair. I don't suppose he'll ever go back to the wild and curly look, but I do prefer him with hair than without.

A few months  ago he tried some FolliOne  Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo and amazingly his hair loss stopped and he even had a few tufts growing where he'd previously been bald. I tried the shampoo too as I've been prone to a lot of hair loss myself. Although I'm not going bald I did find a lot of loose hair in the shower after washing my hair, and it fell out so much I have had to keep it tied up tight while cooking. Also my hair brush was always full of loose hair after I'd brushed it. Since using FolliOne Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo my loss has decreased and my hair feels thicker and the improvement is very noticeable.

Then we were contacted and asked if we would like to try more FolliOne products, the Extra  Strength Growth Stimulator  and the Liquid Hair Nutrition.

My husband has been trying these for a few weeks now and this what we have found.

FolliOne Anti Hair Loss Shampoo.

This shampoo claims to  regrow hair and reduce hair loss, improve the condition of your scalp, prevent dandruff and make your hair thicker with more volume. That's a lot to expect from a shampoo. When I had the first bottle I really didn't expect much, but as I have already claimed we were pleased with the performance we found after just a few weeks use. 

It contains no sulfates, no silicone, no parabens, no formaldehyde and no synthetic colours or fragrances. It is also not tested on animals.

The shampoo is meant to be used as a regular shampoo and as frequently as you washed your hair. We both use this and although my husband uses his like a regular shampoo I prefer to massage it into my dry hair, then rinse it out and wash with my regular shampoo. The smell is not too strong and it doesn't last, but I did find it a little drying and preferred the smell of my regular shampoo and conditioner.  We both had similar results of hair growth and prevention of loss.

FolliOne Liquid Hair Nutrition.

This liquid promotes hair growth from the inside. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and can be used instead of any usual dietary supplements. It can be used by men or women but I opted to let my husband take this as I felt he needed it more. 

You take a little pot of the liquid each day before food. The taste is said to be pleasant but we found it not nice at all. The good news is that it's ok to mix it in with fruit to make a smoothie. If you've ever taken a vitamin and mineral liquid you will be familiar with the taste, it does smell and taste a little like orange or vitamin C.

I like that the liquid is a dietary supplement so even if it doesn't improve your hair you will still get lots of healthy benefit from drinking it. It's good to be able to have something that works from the inside to compliment the products that are applied on the hair.

FolliOne Extra Strength Growth Stimulator.

The growth stimulator is applied to the area where you require more hair growth. It comes with a dropper for ease of application and you only need to apply 1ml a day. This one is for men only and works best on males under the age of 45. 

The product claims to increase hair growth and decrease hair loss, give visibly thicker hair and promote slow and steady hair growth. It needs to be used over a longer period of time to give the desired effect, regular use over four months should give the required results. The product needs to be applied twice daily.

I've not tried this personally because some of the ingredients may encourage growth hair in other places which is not really what us women want. The good news is there is also a similar product made especially for women.

Our Opinion

We really thought the shampoo to be a great product, that's why we were happy to try more products from the FolliOne range. My hair has stopped falling out so much and my husband has already experienced some hair growth. With further use my husband is hoping to see more success and I will update my post when this happens. 
All products are easy to use and to slip into a daily routine. Apart from the taste of the liquid nutrition we have no complaints about the use of any of these products. The taste can be improved by making a smoothie with the mixture. 
I do think that it would be silly to expect these type of products to produce a miraculous mane of hair in a relatively short time, but we have already seen an improvement in the amount and condition of hair in the short time we have been using them. 

I can now offer you the chance to win two products of your choice from the FolliOne range. Just fill in the following widget for your chance of winning. You can visit the site to see what products are available for both men and women.

Win a choice of any two Follione products #5

Disclosure: we were sent the products for free to try and review. Products like this can take a long time to work so I cannot claim any hair growth miracles just yet, but I will update after a month or so to let you know how my husband is getting on. I can vouch for the shampoo as we have been using this for longer and it really does improve the look and feel of your hair with regular use and my hair loss has decreased a lot. I hope you have found this review helpful and good luck with the competition. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

Black Friday Super Deals

It's Black Friday and love it or hate it there are always some great deals to be had.

I've been asked to share a few really good deals with you today.


PrinterPix Have some fantastic deals on site with up to 75% off, just think of the lovely Christmas gifts you can create! You can also purchase now and add your photos and create your products later, so it's a great time to take part in this promotion.


Lakeland is one of my favourite shops so I'm thrilled that they have some lovely offers with 50% off! A big shout out to my future hubby or anyone wishing to buy me a wedding present tomorrow hehehe.

My Geek Box

My Geek Box have some fabulous offers for you.


·         2 for £35 on Christmas Sweatshirts, or £19.99
·         10% off full price lego (selected lines)
·         3 for £20 construction kits
·         3 for £18 gifts
·         Up to 80% off Tech
·         3 for £22 on Pop Vinyl


·         £3 1st Lite Geek Box -  Code: LITE3
·         £10 1st Geek Box -  Code: GEEK10
·         £10 1st Kids Geek Box - Code: KIDS10


Claire's are offering a fabulous 40% off so lots of lovely gifts to be had there, and don't forget all those accessories for the Christmas parties. 

Create and Craft

Maybe you like to make your own gifts? Create and Craft is a brilliant craft supplies shop and they too have some fabulous Black Friday Offers.

I really hope you enjoy these offers that I have shared with you, it would be great if you let me know of your fab buys in the comments. 

The links provided in this post are all affiliate links and will bring me a little bit of profit if you use them. Feel free to check out the site separately if you don't wish to use affiliate links. If you do, then thank you. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Return of the Young Prince

photo of the book, The Return of the Little Prince

When I was young I read a book that left an impression of me, The Little Prince, by Antione de Saint-Exupery.  Written in 1943, the timeless book has been the most translated in the French Language. It tells the story of a little boy from a tiny planet who is on a journey far from his home. He meets an aviator who's aeroplane is broken and tells him of the strange adults he has met.
I read the book again more recently to my children and the feel of the story was so different from an adult point of view. The Little Prince was bemused at the things that adults did, now I can see that I have done the strange things myself while growing up.

I was excited to find that there was a new book about The Little Prince called The Return of the Young Prince by A.G Roemmers. The illustrations are by Piatari Posti and are quite delightful and similar in style to the original illustrations in The Little Prince.

photo of some of the illustrations in the book, The Return of the Young Prince

Although, the book is about the same Prince from his little planet with the flower and the volcanos and of course his sheep in a box, it does take on a different feel. The change of author is apparent although the style is similar. Just like the first book this second one is written for both children and adults. There are many things that can be taken away from it.

The Young Prince is found by the road side by a man on a long journey through the roads of Pategonia. The Young Prince asks questions and the driver gives him detailed, sometimes philosophical, answers. The driver is seeking a way to make his long journey more interesting while the young boy is lost and confused.

In trying to help the young Prince the man takes on a very different journey through human values that often get forgotten in adulthood. Things like friendship, family, community and compassion. The Little Prince took the boy on a journey through the values that adults abide to and mocks them. In this book we find out what values are important to the Prince and are reminded which ones we should aspire too.

The book is easy to read although some might find the long dialogue of the driver a little too much. It's not very long at only 156 pages and the chapters are short. It's style is typical of children's book. It's also appealing to adults because it reminds you of the human values that we push aside as we grow up. There are things we can all learn from young people.

The Return of the Young Prince can be purchased on Amazon for £6.99 in hardback. It would make a great Christmas present for a child or maybe even an adult that love The Little Prince when they were a child.

Talk of the Town

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the The Return of the young Prince in return for my review of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. There are also affiliate links in this post.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

My Sunday Photo 20th November 2016

As Autumn turns to winter the afternoons are colder and bleaker. This photo was taken while I was waiting for my kids to come out of school and I'm thinking it won't belong before the view is of frost or even snow.

It's not the best of photographs, it was taken on my phone through the car window. It's too cold for me now to get out of the car to meet my kids, that's Daddy's job, but I still like to go and wait for them in the car so they don't have to walk home. They still have to walk to school in the morning though. 


Sunday Snap

Friday, 18 November 2016

Say It With Chocolate - Morse Toad Review and Give Away

I came across this fabulous site, Morse Toad, that lets you make your own personalised chocolate messages, how cool is that! Even cooler, check below for a special offer code and the opportunity to win a personalised card yourself.

Straight away I thought what a fantastic way to say thank you to my lovely man for marrying me. So I ordered this special message which comes in a lovely box with a personal photo that I uploaded.

Just to say I love you in chocolate

The photo quality is a bit poor, sorry, but it says Just To Say I Love You. (I had to sneakily take pics with my phone so my other half didn't see.) This box cost £12.50 plus and extra £1 to add a photo.

Still on the wedding theme I ordered one of the favours that Morse Toad offers. 

G&A chocolate wedding favour

I was incredibly impressed and if I'd not spent a small fortune on my favours already (I'm getting married next week) I would certainly have chosen these. As they were a sample I also got to taste the chocolate which was really nice, and you do get a fair bit in these little boxes. They cost £1.80 each, and contain three chocolates that can be personalised to your requirements.

But, I do realise that most of you are not getting married soon, no problems, Morse Toad offers chocolate for every occasion. It's nearly Christmas, and if you have kids you may be thinking about a gift for their teacher. How about these lovely messages?

Happy Christmas Teacher chocolate

There are loads more to choose from on the site, this one costs £15.50 and an extra £1 to add your own image. There are other cards for just £12.50. Postage is free on all orders over £5.

Then there is that nightmare Christmas gift to choose, the Secret Santa. Worry no more, Morse Toad has lots of chocolate messages to choose from, or you can make up your own personalised message and add your own photo. 

sorry it's not a unicorn in chocolate

It's really easy to make a chocolate message on Morse Toad.

  • Write your own chocolate message or choose on of their selection, there really is something for every occasion
  • If you wish you can add a photo of your own, or simply choose one of Morse Toads Designs.
  • Add an additional note to go with the chocolate, this will be revealed when the recipient pulls out the card. You can write up to 200 characters.
  • Your card is shipped quickly or you can reserve a special date.
  • After the chocolates have gone, the card can be kept in a wallet as a long lasting memory
I was pleased with the delivery which was within two days and the packaging was good too. The card arrived in a sturdy box and was padded with paper inside so it didn't move. They can be posted through most letterboxes.

The chocolate is especially delicious and I would highly recommend it. Often with these kind of gifts the focus is on the message and the chocolate is just a treat, but with these I'd say the chocolate exceeds the sentiment of the words. Each piece is a nice sized mouthful so you do get a fair amount of chocolate in your message. In my personal opinion I think these cards are well worth the money.

Here's the special offer code I mentioned. If you'd like 10% off your order just quote 'raisiebaychoc'

Finally, just fill your details in the widget to win a £15 voucher to spend on products of your choice from Morse Toad.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shopping - Word of the Week

This week I've done a lot of shopping.

On Monday it was the normal food shopping but we had it delivered as I went out with Graham last week to do it and it took me two days to recover!

Then we had to go to another supermarket to get a few things they didn't have in the first, or didn't arrive in my delivery. We also took the opportunity to buy the kids some new pyjamas and browse the Christmas aisles which was much nicer than doing a big food shop. This supermarket also has nicer mobility trollies than my usual shop. They are more comfortable and easier to control.

I've ordered my wedding cake to be picked up next Friday, how exciting is that. I've gone for three tiers of plain iced cake and I'm going to dress them up myself, fingers crossed it goes well. I would have liked to have made my own cake as it's something I've done before but it is a lot of hard work and I just don't have the strength to do it all. So, buying the cakes and decorating them myself seemed a perfect alternative. 

There is also some bad news. Over a month ago I was looking online with Star for some faux fur wedding jackets. The short type which are done up with ribbons or pom poms. I thought they would be idea with their flimsy dresses that they will be wearing to the wedding. I wished I hadn't chosen them without Star's help though because the only ones she really liked were from an American company which kept coming up when I searched. They were good value even with the postage so I thought why not go for it. It said delivery was 5-8 days which I thought was pretty amazing, I was on the UK version of the site with UK prices and P&P. Once ordered I got an e-mail which said delivery could take up to 15 days. That was okay and actually more believable and I had more than month to go.
Last week I was getting a bit panicky as the month was up so I contacted them. I was told that my parcel was being held at my local post office and given a reference number. So I contacted my post office and they had no record of my parcel. After a few days going back and forth they have finally agreed to refund my money, within 14 days, how helpful! So I had to start all over again and buy new jackets from the UK with quick delivery, in fact I'm expecting them to arrive today.

Finally, I've been getting on with some Christmas shopping. My daughter's have their coveted Hatchimal's stashed away somewhere safe and I bought my older daughter a M&S advent calendar full of lovely cosmetic treats. She wasn't wholly impressed saying that it was aimed at older women. I think she's quite wrong and so I retaliated by replying well you are not exactly that young being nearly 30!! hehehe. 
The Reading Residence

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Exploring Outer Space with a Sassy Kids Box

My Little Man has  enjoyed the fun of  a Sassy Kids Box in the past and there is something about receiving that little red parcel in the post that gets him real excited. We had a parcel arrive on Saturday and he couldn't wait to switch of Mine Craft and get started. Of course his sisters like to get in on the act two.

The box this time was Space themed and the first task was to make a UFO from the things provided. We just needed to add some scrap paper and glue. You can see how he got on in the video below. Boo was reading the instructions out to him.

First step was to roll up some scrap paper and stick it on one plate. Then he had to stick the other plate on top. He then decorated the plates with the glitter glue provided. He was also provided with a little space alien that came with a parchute. This was placed inside the cupcake paper and then put upside down on top of the paper plates. The final touch was to stick on the little gems.

Also in the box was a bag of mini marshmallows and some cocktail sticks. I added some more marshmallows and sticks so that his sister's could join in and make some constellations following the pictures in the leaflet.

There were also quite a few marshmallows consumed during this task.

The finished result was rather good though, don't you think?

Sassy Kids Boxes are available on subscription to be delivered every two weeks. They are small enough to fit through your letterbox but are packed with activities. Each box contains:

  • Everything For Your Main Activity
  • Super Bonus Activity
  • Extra Fun Challenge
  • Family Game
  • Good Deed Challenge Card
  • Fun Facts
  • Did You Know?
  • Free Competitions To Win Fab Prizes
Each box is £3.99 plus 99p for P&P, but you can get your first box for just £1.99 and 99p P&P

We love our Sassy Bloom Boxes and you can tell the fun my little man had (and his sisters) in this little video we made.

Disclosure: We were sent a Sassy Kids Box for free for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

How To Find "Me Time" as a Mum

photo of a woman relaxing with a book

As a busy mom, you probably feel like one of those circus performers who keeps 15 plates spinning on sticks all at once. While most days you are pretty good at making sure those plates stay in the air, every once in awhile you lose a plate or two. Unfortunately, if you don’t make time to take care of yourself, you might find more and more plates crashing to the ground.
While your kids certainly adore you, they are probably not going to remind you to go take a relaxing bubble bath or do something else that you enjoy on your own. But as Family Share notes, in order to be the best mom you can be, it is imperative to find those pockets of “me time” as often as you can. With that in mind, check out the following tips to make me time a reality:

Carving Out Time for Yourself

Me time as a mom does not have to involve escaping town for three days with two of your closest girlfriends. Of course, if you can swing this from time to time, by all means go for it. But in general, me time involves 10 to 20 minutes here and there that are devoted to you and what makes you feel relaxed, happy, rested and calm. With that in mind, start by looking at your schedule to see what can be eliminated; for example, as much as you love volunteering in your kids’ schools, maybe you can be there one hour a week instead of two. If your budget can accommodate it, consider hiring a housekeeper for a few hours every couple of weeks; this will free up housework time for something more fun. Also, jot down how often you spend wandering around on social media sites every day — you might be astonished to find out how much time you spend on Facebook, and how easy it would be to use some of those minutes for another activity. You can also take an honest look at when you are most energetic — if you are an early bird, you might get up a bit earlier to enjoy your me time before the cavalcade of children wakes up. Or, if you are always burning the midnight oil, you may love focusing on yourself for a while once everyone is in bed.

The Endless Possibilities of "Me Time"

Now that you have the reassurance and knowledge that you can actually find these precious pockets of time on most days, it’s time to think about how to spend it. One of the many beauties of me time is that there are no right or wrong ways to go about it. Parenting has a great list of me time suggestions; these include going to the movies with your BFF, heading to the mall for some serious window shopping, taking a nap, reading a book (one that does not feature lifting the flaps), going out for a bike ride, watching a favorite show on DVD or sitting in an easy chair and doing … nothing. It’s okay mom, you really do deserve it.

Try Yoga

You can of course spend your free time as you choose, but if you're looking for a healthy, fun and relaxing pastime, yoga covers all the bases. If you have always wanted to try yoga, you can certainly head to a local yoga studio and sign up for a class, but you can also learn and practice the breathing exercises and poses in the comfort of your own home — maybe during naptime. If you can, treat yourself to a new smartphone that features a Quad HD display — this way, those how to yoga videos on YouTube will be easy to see. The LG G4 features this state-of-the-art display, and if you get the phone as part of a plan with the company, you won’t have to pay a penny out of pocket. Following along with yoga videos online means you can enjoy convenience and complete control, which will come in handy in the event that you need to pause and unexpectedly attend to your children.

Disclosure; this is a collaborative post

Monday, 14 November 2016

Toe Nail Dusted Sweet Cakes recipe

You asked - I made them...enjoy!

This is a recipe from the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook which I am giving away three copies of in my prize draw which ends on 29th November..see widget below for entry.

I asked what my readers would like to me to make from the book and had an overwhelming response for Toe Nail Dusted Sweet Cakes, so here they are.

First though, make sure you have a jar of Truly Disgusting Toe Nail Crumbs in a jar on your kitchen shelf like I do.

Toenail-Dusted Sweet Cakes

"In the past, nose-to-tail -end hunters would source and dismember whole humans - and Toenail Cakes were a great way to use up every last scrap. A full set of fungus-infested toenails was considered a real treat and the original recipe introduced them to the dessert menu. Most tribes now buy pre-packaged joints and cuts, so this updated recipe is for those who don't have easy access to truly disgusting toenails."


  • 125g unsalted soft butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250g self-raising flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tbs milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 400g icing sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 150-175 ml boiling water
  • 200g desiccated coconut


Grease an 18 x 25cm cake tin and line with nonstick baking paper
Beat together the butter and caster sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy
Gradually incorporate the eggs, adding a little flour to prevent the mixture from curdling
Add the flour and salt and fold in with the milk and vanilla extract.
Turn into prepared tin and level the surface.
Bake in a preheated over for 25-30 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out to cool further

Sift the icing sugar and the cocoa powder into a bowl.
Make a well in the centre and beat in enough fo the boiling water to form a smooth icing with pouring consistancy.
Dip the top of each cake into the icing and then coat with the coconut.
Leave to set.

The question can be found in the Rafflecopter Gadget and you can answer in the comments. If you answer in the comments you do not have to fill in the gadget but it will give you more entries into the competion.

UK only, sorry
Please make sure you leave me your e-mail for contacting the winners
Winners will be chosen at random
The rafflecopter gadget will appear on other posts but you only need to fill it in once
No prize alternative will be offered
Prizes will be sent out by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
Raisiebay will not be responsible for unreceived prizes
Prizes must be claimed within 28 days after the close of the competition.
Competition will close on November 29th 2016
All entries will be checked

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 13 November 2016

My Sunday Photo - 13th November 2016

Today I'm sharing a photo of my cute little hamster Marty, he's a Roborovski hamster which are one of the smallest breads. Marty is one year old this week and is currently measuring about three and a half centimetres. He sits comfortably in the palm of my hand, in fact I could probably get two in the palm of my hand.

I do actually have two Roborovsk hamsters, Marty has a brother called Doc. I don't get to photograph Doc much as he is so much faster than Marty. He can also sit on my hand, but I have to be careful as he likes to run up my arm and try to escape.

I chose these hamsters as a birthday present last year. I saw them in the pet shop and they were so cute huddled up together. I bought a large cage for them and two of everything as suggested...but they did nothing but fight after I brought them home. Doc attacked Marty so bad that I thought he wasn't going to make it for a while, but I bought another cage and separated them and, thankfully, Marty got well again. As you can see in my photo he's a handsome little fella.

Being nocturnal I don't really get much time with my pets. In the morning I wake them up and give them water and food and let them run all over my hand. I wish I could cuddle them but they are so small there is not much to cuddle. So, I have to settle for a little run on my hand and I can stroke them with my thumb.

Every weekend on of the kids help me to clean out their cages. It's a fun job with Marty as he runs around and plays on our hands. It's not so fun with Doc, he constantly tries to escape and it's a bit of a panic. If one of them did escape I doubt very much that we would find them. They are very tiny and very quick. In fact, I don't think our cats would find them either!

We have to keep them separate to the cats. They are put on a high shelf in the daytime while they sleep and the cats take little notice. We move them to the kitchen when they are awake at night and keep the cats locked out of there. The cats would have problems getting into the cages, but I'm sure if they were determined enough they'd find a way.

The lifespan of these little creatures is only about three years. I can't believe they are already a year old. They bring me so much pleasure even if it's only for a little while each morning. Marty is my favourite because he comes running towards me in the morning, whereas Doc takes lots of persuasion to come and sit on my hand. Doc is definitely the Grumpy one, whereas Marty is friendly and wants to play.


Sunday Snap

Friday, 11 November 2016

Bad - Word of the Week

It's not been a good week.

Let's begin at the beginning. Monday started ok, I went food shopping with Graham. We went to a big supermarket and I got to ride around in one of those motorised shopping trollies. I bet you've seen them by the entrance and thought, 'oh if I could wizz around the store on one of them, wouldn't it  make shopping fun.'  Well, it's not that bad, except that it's  really hard not running into people who are in a world of their own, or in a rush, or not looking where they are going. I've not had an accident yet, but it means a lot of concentration on my behalf. Anyway, we were there for around one and half hours and I  was getting very pained and tired when we got to the checkout. Our shopping came to £195 which was a huge shock. I normally spend around £160 and even then I've popped something extra into the basket, like a jumper or dress from the clothing range. But this was just general shopping and I couldn't work out why I'd gone over, I even had a shopping list with me.

I was so pained when we got home I was good for nothing.  I decided that the next day I was going to do nothing but rest.

The next day Star was really upset and didn't make it in to school because of those horrid boys that had been bullying her. Then I had a call from my eldest daughter asking me to get her some particular noodles that are only found in one supermarket and not the one we'd visited the day before. So I had to drive again. I could have said no but she had a very stressful day ahead and I didn't want to upset her. I actually quite enjoyed the drive, but I was getting these strange shooting pains in my lower back. I got the wrong noodles, my daughter wasn't happy and my back was getting worse. Tuesday was bad.

Wednesday I got up. That was it. I was in so much pain with my back I could do nothing! Star went back to school, which was good, but I was in pain all day long. When I went to bed I couldn't sleep because of the pain. That's saying something considering all the meds I take. I was convinced that a trip to the hospital was in order the next day. My Eldest Daughter was on a late shift at the hospital and then had to stay there on call all night. I told Graham this but he was still worried that she'd be coming home and waited up for her most of the night. She didn't come home until 5am.

Thursday I was unable to move again and Graham had only had a few hours sleep. I couldn't ask him to take me to the hospital (I didn't tell him how I'd felt it was necessary) but I did get to see my GP. He gave me some more stronger painkillers and thankfully they helped to ease the pain. I know they are not going to make me better, but if the pain is what I think it is then maybe I can ride it through without going to hospital. I can't bear the thought of having to have another MRI, what a coward! And what if I was to be admitted again, I'm getting married in two weeks!

Also this week we've heard back from several of Graham's family members that they won't be able to attend the wedding. We have to arrange a substitute Best Man as Graham's first choice may not be able to make it (it's a very good excuse.) And I have two family members who are breaking my heart because they are refusing to come to the wedding. I knew all along that they wouldn't come but half of me thought they would change their minds and the other half thought I'd be able to deal with it. Both halves are so wrong.

After trying everything in our power, and the school trying out their strictest punishment apart from exclusion we found out yesterday that Star is still being bullied at school.

This morning I woke in pain again and the new painkillers are making me really fuzzy and tired. So I had to miss Boo's Remembrance Day Assembly at school. I don't think I've ever missed anything at school like this before. Boo was very understanding and Daddy went instead. But it still makes me feel sad.

And Trump became president of America!

So yes, this week can only be described as bad.
Next week has to be better surely?

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Night Terror Torte and Competition

I'm currently running a competition where you could win one of three copies of the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook. fill in you details in the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance of winning.

Here is my first recipe from the book, Night Terror Torte.

hoxton street monster supplies recipe book

The instructions say.."Be sure to think truly appalling thoughts as you make this torte -  you will find that the screams of your victims will have an extra edge of misery if you do."

Well, I didn't really have appalling thoughts but I did make it while in a lot of pain, so hopefully some of my victims felt the benefit...*insert evil cackle*

Actually, as you can see from this recipe, the torte is incredibly delicious and I would definitely make it again.

Night Terror Torte

Ingredients, serves 8 monsters:

200g caster sugar
4 tbs water
2 oranges, thinly sliced
475g sweet shortcrust pastry
100g butter, soft
100g ground almonds
2 eggs, lightly beaten
100g of dark chocolate


  • Put half the sugar and the measured water in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the orange slices and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes until the oranges are tender and most of the syrup has evaporated. let cool.
  • Roll out the pasty on a lightly floured surface until a little larger than a greased 9 1/2 inch fluted loose-bottomed tart tin.
  • line the tin with the pasty and chill for 15 minutes
  • Line the tart with nonstick baking paper, add baking beans and place on a baking sheet.
  • bake in  a preheated oven, 190C gas mark 5 for 10 minutes
  • Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden and crisp.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 180C, gas mark 4
  • Beat together the butter and the remaining sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Add the ground almonds, then gradually beat in the eggs until smooth. Set Aside
  • Reserve 10 of the best orange slices, then drain and chop the rest.
  • Stir the chocolate into the almond mixture, then mix in the chopped oranges.
  • Spread into the tart case, arrange the reserved orange slices on top and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tin.
Slice and Enjoy!

The Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Cookbook comes from the Hoxten Street Shop found in East London (unsurprisingly on Hoxton Street) and is the purveyor off all kinds of everyday items for the living, dead and undead. Due to a curse all profits got to The Ministry of  Stories, a creative writing and mentoring charity for young humans. At the shop you will such goodies as Earwax Cubes, Salt Made From Tears of Anger or Banshee Balls as well as the fabulous cookbook.

So if you are looking to treat that monster in your life, you now know where to go.

So let's get on with the competition. 

The question can be found in the Rafflecopter Gadget and you can answer in the comments. If you answer in the comments you do not have to fill in the gadget but it will give you more entries into the competion.

UK only, sorry
Please make sure you leave me your e-mail for contacting the winners
Winners will be chosen at random
The rafflecopter gadget will appear on other posts but you only need to fill it in once
No prize alternative will be offered
Prizes will be sent out by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies
Raisiebay will not be responsible for unreceived prizes
Prizes must be claimed within 28 days after the close of the competition.
Competition will close on November 29th 2016
All entries will be checked

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

How Easy is it to Produce a Canvas?

Recently we had relatives to visit that we had not seen for a long time. They were admiring the canvas on the wall we have of the kids and asking how we had it done. I told them that it was all done online and it was really easy.

I then showed them my photograph books, we have quite a collection now because I love them. When I was younger, photo's were collected from the printers and painstakingly arranged one by one in an album. Now you can do all the arranging online and get them printed in a photobook. They look fantastic and the photos don't fall out!

My relatives were amazed at the books and the canvas and thought they would be really difficult to make. Actually, the canvas are really easy and I'm going to show you how.

First though, let me tell you some great news, Printerpix are offering my readers 30% off and Free delivery (UK and Ireland only) on all orders between 7th and 24th November. Use code: PIXBlog to claim your discount...and maybe grab a Christmas Present or two!

Here is a little video I've made to show you how easy it is to make your very own Canvas on Printerpix.

Please let me know if it has encouraged you to make your own canvas and don't forget to use my offer code of PIXBlog to get 30% off and Free Delivery (UK and Ireland)

Monday, 7 November 2016

Lonely Planet Kids - Cities

I have been sent two fabulous Lonely Planet Kids books to review all about Cities.

How cities Work is a fantastic interactive book with lots of flaps to lift and unfolding pages to see inside buildings and under the streets. 

Children will love to see how cities work from the stinky sewers to the skyscrapers. Each page is packed with information and there is loads of fun to be had by checking what's under the flaps. Some of the pages just keep unfolding creating a huge view with so much to see learn.

Check out what is going on in a skycraper building and lift the flaps to find out what is happening behind the windows.

Watch how pages unfold and unveil a wealth of discovery.

How Cities Work is a hardback book of 24 pages. The illustrations are by James Gulliver Hancock. It's aimed at readers aged 7+ and priced at £12.99

The second book is The Cities Book and throughout the pages discover interesting facts about many cities around the world, from Aucklan, Beijing and Copenhagen all the way through to Zanzibar town. Young readers are taken on an incredible tour through 86 of the world's greatest cities. 

Bright colourful pages full of photos, illustrations and maps take your child on a trip of a lifetime. 

The Cities Book is a hardback book with 212 pages. It is aimed at readers aged 8+ and priced at £14.99

From Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th November, Lonely Planet Kids will be at an inspirational Pop up Photography Exhibition with a whole host of child friendly travel work shops and activities. It's taking part at the Boxpark at Shoreditch and is free entry.

The entire exhibition runs from 8th to 20th November 

Where? Boxpark Shoreditch, London, UK (unit 26,
What time? Mon-Wed and Fri-Sat 11am-7pm, Thurs 11am-8pm, Sun 12pm-6pm
Entry: Free

Disclosure: I was sent the two Lonely Planet Kids Books to review free of charge. All thoughts and opinions are my own and I have not been paid for this post. 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

My Sunday Photo 6th November 2016

I've chosen another photo from Brick Live this week. We had such a fun day and this was after our visit to Toys R Us and our purchase of  many  bricks. Most of them are put away for Christmas but the smaller packs and free gifts kept the kids busy all morning last weekend.

I love this photo because it so depicts their attitudes. Daddy is the silly on, The Little Man is just daft, Star is becoming a little self conscious now, which is a good thing as it means she is maturing, even if it is later than her peers, and Boo is the serious one, she's good and kind but really does take everything so seriously. I don't think Daddy will ever grow up and I'm pretty sure The Little Man is going to be just the same.

Happy Sunday everyone, I hope you're having a lovely family day like me.


Sunday Snap

Friday, 4 November 2016

School - Word of the Week

This week my word is School.

The half term is over and the kids are back at school. They went back ok, I think they do actually look forward to going back and seeing their friends. They don't give me too much hassle anyway. I don't like having to rush around in the morning, but it's nice to get a little peace and quiet in the daytime. I do look forward to them coming home though.

Then just two days back and we have problems with Star. I have already written about this in detail in my previous post so I won't repeat myself here. Things are still not good but she is still going in so hopefully she feels confident that things will improve.

Yesterday my younger kids school was on the local news because their dinner lady was chosen to cook with the chef Glyn Purnell in his restaurant. Two of the Little Man's classmates were interviewed for the news item.

Finally, today we are invited to a special Diwali Assembly by the Little Man's class. I've already had an earful of their Diwali song. It's always nice to be invited into school for occasions like this. As my children grow up I see these days fading away.

The Reading Residence

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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