Friday, 26 May 2017

Word of the Week - Bad

I can bet there is not one person in this country that has not been disturbed and saddened by the terrorist attack in Manchester this week. It's been a very sad week and it's hard to focus on other things, especially when the media will have the events pushed down our throats at every opportunity. My only hope is that something good will come of this, the country is on alert and the scum being dragged out of hiding. We need to find them and deal with them properly, make an example of them, let them know that we won't be terrorised by them, we will find them and we will stop them. Then we need to find ways of stopping them from getting into our country. If someone comes under the radar and then leaves the country for places like Libya or Syria then they should be stopped from coming back here, the intention seems obvious to me. Then we have to find a way that will lead to peace in our land. I'm not with the let's retaliate by bombing them and see how they like it tribe. It's been proven that it just doesn't work. We have to look closely at what caused the unrest and why they are targeting us and stop it. I believe it can be done. I believe that we have been doing it wrong.

Back to my week. I have been having problems with Star again. I sent her to school on Monday even though she protested she wasn't well. Then she was sent home again after being sick. So I kept her home for two days sent her back when I believed she was well and she was sent home after being sick again. I do believe she has had some sort of sickness bug because I caught it too. This is the first time I've been sick since my illness and it was awful. Imagine not being able to bend over the toilet properly (ok maybe that's too much information) but not only that, every time I was sick my stomach muscles contracted and stayed contracted for ages afterwards in spasm which was really painful. I've had a couple of early nights this week feeling very very sorry for myself.

The weather has been bad too.. Ok,  the weather has been hot and sunny but it's bad for me. I can't cope with the heat and have found it difficult to keep cool, apart from my feet which I'm sure are dead as they are constantly like blocks of ice no matter how hot it is. I've had a burning sensation not experienced before all along my spine and down my legs. It's like I'm constantly on fire, apart from my feet. The sun has also brought out the neighbours, my peaceful days are interrupted by loud music from all directions interrupted only by several lawnmowers.  I can't escape, even with the doors and windows shut, which causes me to cook slowly.

From today things are going to change, things are going to be good.
Today I am going to buy my new power chair with the money I've collected from some fantastic donations. I'm so excited, I will have some freedom to escape.

And escape is the next thing on my mind because on Monday we are off on a short break to the sea side. I have been worried about it but with my new power chair it should be a fantastic break. I won't feel like a burden, I will be able to get around by  myself. We will have the chance to chill and relax and the kids will have fun. I can't wait to gulp in some sea air. The sun won't bother me at all!

So this week has been bad, but next week is going to be so, so  much better.

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes - Book Review

Our latest book review is Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes, Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse by Stella Tarkson. 

Paper back: 128 pages
ISBN: 978-1-78226-345-6
Publisher: Sweet Cherry Publishing
Author: Stella Tarakson
Illustrator: Nick Roberts

This is the first book in a series written by Stella Tarkson and we loved in, we'll be sure to be reading more, the teaser at the end of the book has got us hooked.

Lets start with the 'blurb' on the back of the book.

Life hasn't been easy since Tim's dad died - the kids at school call him Cinderella because he's always at home doing the housework while his mum's at work. But when Hercules unexpectedly turns up in this living room, life starts to  get a while lot more interesting! Super- strong, but no so super-smart, when Hercules sets out to help him Tim is left picking up the pieces.How do you convince a hero, that you don't need his help?

 Poor Tim, you immediately feel sorry for him having to do housework for his mum straight after school. He's being bullied at school and he misses his mum who is having to work two jobs. Then he smashes an expensive Greek vase by accident and that's when his troubles start.

Hercules appears but only Tim can see him. Hercules wants to help but all he succeeds in doing is make things so much worse. Tim wants to get rid of him and Hercules wants to go home to his wife and daughter.

I love how the book develops the characters for further series, Hercules may be a bit dim but Tim still learns from him, in particular how to deal with the bully at school. Tim's mum is hardworking and understanding and Tim has a great relationship with her, so much so that he tells her everything.

The book is fast moving and each chapter leaves you wanting to continue with the next. I read it with my 6 year old boy and 11 year old daughter. It was easy enough for them to read but we enjoyed reading it together. there is a puzzle which if solved will send Hercules home, my 11 year old worked out the puzzle in no time at all, although it was a little harder for Tim and Hercules.

There are fun illustrations throughout the book which add to the charm of story. Hercules always appears as big black character as you would expect to see on an ancient Greek Vase.

Talk of the Town

Laura's Lovely Blog

Disclosure: We were sent a free copy of this book as a member of Boolino Friends, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

We Love Manchester

My heart goes out to all affected by the attack in Manchester on 22nd May 2017.

I give my love and prayers to all the victims, their families and their friends.
I give my admiration to the emergency services that attended and helped.
I hope that we can overcome this time of conflict and terrorism and live in peace once more.
I stand with the people of Manchester at this awful time.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Second Time Around

I was in the kitchen the other day with the radio on in the back ground when Chumbawamba came on with 'Tubthumping' (also known as 'I Get Knocked Down.') I was suddenly transported to a holiday at Butlins and the kids were having a whale of time as it was the featured dance of the week and if you joined in you got a prize (usually a sweet.) Then it dawned on wasn't my little kids, it was my adult kids! Wow, how time flies. Tubthumping was released in 1997, twenty years ago! I think my holiday was in 1998 though, it was memorable as it was my first 'single parent' holiday. And I was still young and attractive enough to get chatted up by the redcoats, hahaha!

First thought...isn't it funny how hearing a tune can transport you to a certain place in your timeline, a certain memory, a certain emotion.

Sometimes I think I'm lucky to have a second go at motherhood, sometimes I wonder what on earth I was thinking!

First time around wasn't easy, especially after their Dad left. But I always loved being a Mum, it has always been the most important thing in my life. Yes I worked, and at one point I had three jobs just to keep us going, but my kids always came first.

When the kids were young teenagers I met my current husband. We had a lovely little family and enjoyed life to the full. But, I always longed for another baby and my Husband wanted a child of his own.

So we started trying for a baby. It didn't happen straight away and because of my age (late 30s) we were given all the fertility tests quite early on. We were okay and should have been able to conceive, so I was told that I probably had secondary infertility.

Then after two years it happened and I had my third baby at the age of 39 (almost 40.) By this time my older children where 16 and 17 years old.

When my baby arrived it seemed like I was a first time mum. Not only had it been so long since I'd had a baby, so much had changed, from nappies to buggies, to being able to take your pushchair on the bus. It was all a different experience.

The next baby came along pretty quickly now that my fertility had been given a kick start. So at the age of 41 I had two teenagers and two baby girls. My family was complete and I was so happy.

Then a few years later The Little Man arrived, I didn't think I was pregnant, I thought I was going the menopause. I was so shocked when I did the test to rule pregnancy out. Having a baby at 44 puts you on the 'at risk' folder at the maternity hospital and you get so much extra care.

So here I am now, in my 50s (ooh that feels scary!) with three young school children. We were talking the other day about age and when Star is my age I will be 91, when the Little Man is my age I will be 98. I lost my Mum when I was 42, so I expect I won't be around that long for the Little Ones. I should be around to see them grow up into adults though, especially if my new treatment works.

It does feel strange because most people I know that are my age, my long time friends, are now grandparents and are living the golden years. I see them post photos on Facebook of their grand kids while I'm posting photos of my own kids. Sometimes I feel jealous of them, they can have fun with their grand kids and then pass them back to their parents. I don't get a break from mine.

Really, I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel really blessed to have all my kids, and blessed to have done the motherhood thing twice over. I'm so lucky.

And thankfully, when I was trying to conceive Star I joined some forums where there were other women my age trying to conceive too. I've stayed in touch, mostly on Facebook, with most of these women. So, they balance out my long time friends by posting photos of their kids which are almost the same age as mine. I even have a friend who, like me, had a surprise baby rather late on.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Would you have a baby in your later years? Would you do it all twice? I'd love to know.

I'd really appreciate any comments on my Qutee, or you can use the comment box as usual.

Debs Random Writings

My Random Musings

Lucy At Home

Sunday, 21 May 2017

My Sunday Photo - 21st May 2017

I learned to crochet when I was a kid, I never really tried it again until I was pregnant with my first born, but I didn't do very well. Then about a month ago I was in Hobby Craft when I decided to buy some crochet hooks and wool and try again. I also bought a book of Amigurumi patterns.

I've been having fun making little animals for my kids and they love them. Of course, they are far from perfect but I am getting better. So please meet Ollie Owl, Betty Bunny and Sidney Snail.
(Just to give you some perspective, Betty Bunny is just 6 inches tall.)


Sunday Snap

Friday, 19 May 2017

Word of the Week - Treats

This week the Little Man has been doing his SATS, I do think it's wrong for children as young as six to have this pressure. The school has been very good but you can see that he has been working hard all week. Today I'll be giving him a treat for all his hard work. I'm not worried about his results, testing at his age doesn't mean anything to me anyway. I know he's capable, he's just too young.

On Wednesday Star had to go to the hospital to see the geneticist. We've been there once before but it was a year ago and she didn't really remember the place until we were actually there. Actually, I hadn't remembered either, except that I knew it wasn't where the letter sent us. We had to go to the Women's Hospital first and then work our way through the hospital to another, older, building at the back. Star got quite upset, first because we had trouble finding a parking place and Dad had to drive around in circles for a while, she didn't like that at all and thought we were lost, and she hates being lost. Then she couldn't understand why were were not at the Children's Hospital when she was, obviously, a child. She still didn't calm down when I told her she was at the baby hospital where she was born. Once we'd made our way through the hospital to the older building she realised where we were. The appointment was interesting, but the Dr is still unsure of what diagnosis to give Star so she has decided to go for testing her genes, which means she had to give blood. Eeek, Star does not like needles. After an already stressful start this was just too much for her and she screamed the place down. I managed to calm her after the first attempt failed because she was too tense. Then keeping her calm so that she hardly moved when the nurse went in for the second attempt. Of course, keeping her calm also involved bribery and I promised her that she would not have to go back into school for the afternoon and that she could choose where we went for lunch as a treat. We ended up at Mc Donalds.

We also treated Star to a fidget spinner as they had tried to calm her with one at the hospital. Of course when the other two came home from school they wanted one too. Treats all around then!

Then on Thursday the girls had a parcel arrive from Ebay. They had been good girls earlier helping Mummy with something important and in return I'd treated them to £25 to spend on Ebay. They chose a package of Littlest Pet Shop toys to share, to add to there already completely massive collection. They were so excited to get their parcel when they arrived home from school and played with them all evening.

One more treat this week was for me. I have bought myself some new clothes for our holiday. I have real trouble with clothes because of my condition, I can't wear anything tight and my clothes have to be soft and comfortable. I bought some harem trousers after reading about them on another blog and even though I've never tried them before I have to say they are lovely, really soft and loose fitting and I am really comfortable in them. They are also rather pretty.

The Reading Residence

Big Little Hippo - Review and Give Away

I've recently sorted out all my kids books and donated a lot of the baby books. Now we still have tons of books but the Little Man was short of early reader books so I need to replenish his stock.

To start off I've been gifted a copy of Big Little Hippo which is great for young children. I'm also giving away three copies of this book in my latest competition.

Big Little Hippo
By Valeri Gorbachev

Little Hippo is the youngest in his family… and the smallest. Smaller than his parents and siblings. Smaller than his friends, too, from old Crocodile to giant Elephant. And even though everyone promises he’ll grow, Little Hippo doesn’t want to wait. He wants to be big RIGHT NOW! But when he helps a creature even tinier than himself, Little Hippo learns that it’s the size of his heart that counts most of all.

9781454919063 – HB with Jacket – £11.99 – Sterling

Available soon from GMC Group

The Little Man was able to read the book to me which is great practice for his reading. We loved the story of the little hippo, he was upset about being so small until he was helpful to a smaller creature and was called big. It shows that it's not about size after all.

The book is hardback with a dust cover. The illustrations are really enticing and we enjoyed them very much.

If you would like to win a copy of this book I have three to give away. Just complete the widget below and good luck!

Big Little Hippo Book Give Away

Terms and Conditions

1. UK only (sorry)
2. Giveaway closes 17th June 2017
3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
4. There 3 prizes of a copy of Little Big Hippo children's book
5. The data of anyone that enters won’t be passed on to any third parties or used for any unsolicited marketing communications.
6. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social media.
7. The winner will be randomly chosen, and will be shown on this post, with further notifications may be shared on social media.
8. The winner will be notified via email, and will need to respond within 4 weeks otherwise a further winner will be drawn.
9. Prize will be sent out within one week of receiving e-mail details via the supplier.
10.If the prize is not available an alternative may be sent of the same value.

Laura's Lovely Blog

Monday, 15 May 2017

Toys for Your Garden this Summer

I've been browsing John Lewis store online to find some fun games for the kids to have in the garden this summer. Outdoor fun is so important and my kids just love it in the garden. We currently have swings, a slide and scooters but I thought it would be nice to get them some more toys for outside, especially now the weather is getting better, and we have the whole six week summer holiday coming up soon.

John Lewis have lots of choice so I've picked a few of my favourites for you.

Water Based Toys

Lets start with something kids of all ages enjoy...bubbles. This fab little bubble making machine will save you blowing while the kids chase the bubbles around the garden. Of course you can buy them some bottles of bubbles themselves but just tell them the bubble machine is blowing yours for them.

Kids like nothing more than water play in the summer, and what could be more fun than a Super Soaker! Just make sure you stay indoors and leave them to it.

Nerf Super Soaker £16.99

Fun and Exercise

One of the games I truly loved as a child was Rounders. It was fun, you got loads of exercise and it needs very little equipment, like this Rounders Bat and Ball set. I bet you'll be joining in with the kids with this one.

There are so many games that you can play in your garden that don't take up much space. Great if you only have a small garden, the kids can still play outside and have some fun. Here is one of those games, a fabulous Hoopla Set

How about taking  a favourite indoor game outside? All you need to do is make it bigger like this fantastic Giant Tower Game. I remember one of these being outside at a wedding reception a couple of years ago, it was a great success with kids and 'big' kids.

The next game is one of my favourites and I'm definitely getting this for my kids this summer, it's a lovely colourful set of Boules an all time family classic.

Gardening and Mud!

Kids love to help with the gardening, you can get all sorts of gardening tools for their little hands. What aspiring gardener wouldn't love this colourful wheelbarrow and garden tools.

Finally, one of the most favourite things I used to love playing with in the garden was MUD! I would spend hours moulding my mud pies and 'baking' them in the sun. Worms and bugs were added extras.
My mum had loads of cutlery go missing during the summer months. This Mud Pie Kitchen would have been my dream garden toy. 

All we need now is a lovely sunny summer so we can enjoy the garden more!
What are your favourite garden toys or games? Do let me know in the comments.

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

My Sunday Photo - 13th May 2017

This photo seems to be lacking so much, I think it would looks so much nicer with flowers covering those mounds of soil. I'm not sure why they didn't plant spring flowers, just a little down the path there was a plethora of colourful tulips. I also didn't manage to capture the lake in the back ground. You can just see it behind the trees. But, doesn't the sky look glorious, so blue and bright, and the trees are green. Yes, Summer is definitely on the way.

I took the photo in Cannon Hill Park while taking a picnic with my eldest daughter. We sat on a park bench and just enjoyed each others company and the peace of the park for an hour.

I've been going to this park all my life, the tulips reminded me of the Tulip Festival they used to hold here. I remember one year nagging my mum to buy me a pair of clogs! She didn't, but she did buy me a souvenir clog key-ring instead. Then I would come here with my boyfriend when we were in our teens and we would take a boat out on the lake. Later we would bring our kids to go on the boats.

Since having the younger kids they have started doing a beach here in the summer with a fun fair. It's a great day out, the kids love it. They also have a train ride that takes you around the park.

Two years ago, I did the Race for Life here. It's a big park but we still had to double back to complete 5 Kilometres. It was such a fun and exhilarating day and I felt so proud to complete the run.


Sunday Snap

Saturday, 13 May 2017

What Do You Need for A Picnic?

It was a beautiful sunny day on Wednesday and my daughter and I decided to have an impromptu picnic in the park. First we whizzed around Aldi and picked up a few snacks and treats. Basically we picked up anything that took our fancy, so we ended up with sausage rolls, vegetable crisps, mango, strawberries, pain au chocolate, chocolate chunk cookies and some bottles of peach green tea and strawberry green tea. Then we went on to the park and ate our wares on a park bench by the lake.

Our picnic was unplanned and we just went with the flow but usually I do like to put a bit of planning into our picnics as it's something we like do as often as we can.

So what do you really need for a picnic?

Something to Carry Your Picnic in

If it's warm weather then picnic cooler bags are a great idea. They will keep all your food and drinks cool and fresh whatever the weather. They often fold flat when your done too so easier to transport. The traditional picnic basket is the sign of an expert picnic maker. They look great and are a great way of transporting everything you need.

A Place to Picnic

You can picnic anywhere really. We often picnic on a rug in the back garden, or you can go to the park, the beach, any place you can set up and eat. When we were young and playing up our parents used to say 'we'll send you on a picnic on the motorway if you don't behave!' I wouldn't advise it, although we did once have a picnic high on the embankment of the M5.
If the weather is rubbish, picnic on the living room floor!


The food is a very important part of the picnic and basically anything goes. 
  • Sandwiches
  • bread
  • pasta salad
  • salad
  • dips
  • crackers
  • bread sticks
  • fruit
  • vegetable sticks
  • crisps
  • sausage rolls
  • drinks
  • cookies
  • cakes
See, it's easy to throw a picnic together so what are you waiting for?


Ok, if you are planning an outdoor picnic then it's probably best to wait for better weather. A picnic in the rain is no fun, a windy picnic can be a bit disastrous too. If it's too cold your teeth will be chattering too much to eat. So a nice warm sunny day is best. If that's the case then why do we British like picnics so much? 

Somewhere to Sit

You can't really have a picnic standing up can you? But you can sit anywhere really, throw a big picnic blanket down and you can sit on the beach, the grass, use your imagination. Or you can find a picnic bench which are often located at places of interest or parks. You can even buy portable tables and chairs that you pack up and take with you wherever you want.

You Baby Me Mummy

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post, all words are my own.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Word of the Week - Rollercoaster

This weeks post is difficult to write, not because it hasn't been a roller coaster of a week, but because a lot of it is not my personal story and there is only so much I can share.

I live in a big home with four adults and three children and sometimes things just erupt like a volcano. It seem sudden but then you realise that it's been building up slowly like a roller coaster ride on it's ascent. Then after the eruption you get the descent and the plunge of emotions all around. We had our ascent begin the weekend with the big eruption on Monday. Tuesday brought us all down with a massive extra sadness that one family member had to deal with outside of the family but made us all realise just how suddenly things can change. (Not that we don't have heaps of experience in that area already.)

Then to bring us back on the up, the sun shone beautifully on Wednesday and me and my eldest girl went for an impromptu picnic in the park. We purchased our food from the supermarket and ate from a plastic carrier, not very civilised, but lots of fun, and also peaceful.

I've been feeling on an emotional roller coaster myself, first because of my new treatment. I'm happy that I'm going to be getting it, but also scared that it may not work. Even if it does work I'm worried about being on it for the rest of my life.

Whatever life's roller coaster throws at us I'm sure we will deal with it, one day at a time.

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Blooming Great Tea Party 2017

What could be nicer than a tea party? I love tea and cake and getting together with friends to share them.
On 23rd - 25th June it's the Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party and just by throwing a party you can raise funds for this amazing charity. Pop along to the website and sign up now, register before 19th May to be in with a chance of winning a Ringtons Luxury Hamper.

Marie Curie nurses provide care and support for people living with terminal illness and their families. Given the choice, most of us would like to die peacefully at home with family. Marie Curie nurses make this possible.Their service is free for the people they care for and their families.

For your tea party you could have all sorts of cakes and biscuits, you can buy them if you wish but baking them yourself is half the fun, You can even get the kids to help. My kids love baking and are forever whipping up cupcakes and biscuits.

If you need some inspiration here is my recipe for a simple Lemon Drizzle Cake which is one of my favourites, and it goes down lovely with a cup of tea.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe


200g soft butter
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
250g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
100ml milk at room temperature.

For the drizzle:
lemon juice from 2 lemons, leaving about 1 tsp for icing
2 tbs golden syrup

For the icing:
1 tsp lemon juice 
icing sugar


pre-heat oven to  180C/gas mark 4
grease and line a 1lb loaf tin or 20cm cake tin

Put all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric food mixer or a wooden spoon until the batter is completely smooth.

Pour batter into cake/loaf tin and bake in middle of the oven for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. You may wish to  cover the cake with greaseproof paper for last 10 minutes.

Just before cake has finished cooking put the lemon juice (reserving a tsp for icing) into a pan with the golden syrup and warm gently.

When you take the  cake out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer then pour over the syrup mixture before taking it out of the tin.

When the cake has cooled remove it from tin and cover it with a drizzle of icing made with the lemon juice and as much icing sugar as it takes to make a runny icing.

Just in case you need some more inspiration, here is my nine year old daughter, Boo, showing you how easy it is to make a chocolate cake.

If I have inspired you to take part then please pop along the the Blooming Great Tea Party 2017 site and get your free fundraising pack. There are also lots of resources and recipes to make your tea party a big success. If you do hold a party I'd love to hear about it. 

You Baby Me Mummy
Twin Mummy and Daddy

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Make it a Happy Father's Day With Cadburys - gift guide and competition

Father's Day is coming up next and I'm sure most Dad's would like one of these gifts from Cadbury's Gift Shop. Read on for your chance to win a choccie prize in my new competition.

The Hero Dad

What could be a better gift than this Heroes box of delicious treats.

CONTAINS: 1 x Cadbury Heroes 185g, 1 x 110g Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar, 1 x Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy bar, 1 x Double Decker, 1 x Crunchie, 1 x Wispa, 1 x Dairy Milk Freddo, 1 x Chomp bar , 1 x Fudge
Cost: £10

The Vehicle Loving Dad. 

Cadbury's do some great Corgi toys for those Dad's that have never really grown up. As well as this fab plane you can get a Mini,  a Routemaster Bus and a Tanker


CONTAINS: 1 x Boxed Cadbury Dairy Milk Bi-Plane by Corgi- Special Edition Die Cast Model wingspan 9.5 cm . 
Cost: £8.99 for plane, £5.99 for other vehicles 

The Beer Loving Dad.

I bought one of these for my husband on his birthday, it really is a lovely gift, Cadbury Bars and Beer.

1 x 200g Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar, 1 x 200g Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut Bar 1 x 200g Dairy Milk Caramel Bar, 1 x 200g Dairy Milk Whole Nut Bar, 1 x 500ml Hambleton Ales Stallion- Premium Yorkshire Bitter, ALC 4.2%, 1x 500ml Hambleton Ales Thoroughbred - Premium Pale Ale 5.0 ABV, 1 x 500ml Hambleton Ales Good As Gold Ale ALC 4.5%
Cost: £18

The Toblerone King Dad! 

Even better than a bar of Toblerone, a bar of King Dad Toblerone. Dad's would love this.

1 x King Dad Toblerone Milk 360g. Cost £4.99

The Wine Loving Dad.

What about something bigger? this gorgeous Chocolate and Wines Hamper would certainly make a Dad's day special.

1 x 16 Little Black Pigs Pinot Grigio 75cl, 1 x 16 Little Black Pigs Shiraz Cabernet 75cl, 1 x 420g Chocolate Eclairs Carton, 1 x 187g Heroes Carton, 1 x 321g Roses Carton, 1 x 180g Milk Tray Box, 1 x Cadbury Boost Bites Bag, 1 x 110g Dairy Milk Bar, Cadbury purple organza bag with 2 x Fudge, 2 x Chomp, 2 x Freddo, Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons and Cadbury White Buttons 
Cost £50

The Sweet Dad.

What about the Dad who Doesn't like chocolate? Don't worry, Cadbury's still have the perfect gift. Take a look at this Sweet Gift Hamper.

1 x 192g Maynards Bassetts Mint Favourites Bag, 1 x 165g Maynards Bassetts Sports Mixture Bag,1 x 160g Maynards Bassetts Midget Gems Bag, 1 x 200g Maynards Basset's Pear Drops Bag, 1x 190g Maynards Bassetts Wine Gums Bag, 1 x 190g Maynards Bassetts Jelly Babies Bag, 1 x 165g Maynards Bassetts Sports Mixture, 1x 192g Maynards Bassetts Sherbet Lemons Bag, 1 x 165g Maynards Bassetts Wine Gums Tangy Bag

Cost: £15.50

There is so much more to choose from at the Cadbury's Gift Shop. There is something to suit every budget too. 

I'm offering a Heroes Treasure Box to one of my lucky readers and all you have to do is fill in the Raffle Copter entry form. Don't forget to read the Terms and Conditions below. This is a UK only competition. (sorry)

Why not tell me in the comments which gift your Dad deserves this Father's Day?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

1. UK only (sorry)
2. Giveaway closes  7th June 2017
3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
4. There is 1 prize of a Cadbury's Heroes Treasure Box
5. The data of anyone that enters won’t be passed on to any third parties or used for any unsolicited marketing communications.
6. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social media.
7. The winner will be randomly chosen, and will be shown on this post, with further notifications may be shared on social media.
8. The winner will be notified via email, and will need to respond within 4 weeks otherwise a further winner will be drawn.
9. Prize will be sent out within one week of receiving e-mail details via the supplier.
10.If the prize is not available an alternative may be sent of the same value.
11. There is no guarantee that this prize will be sent out in time for Father's Day.

Disclosure: This post contains affliate links, if you click through I will receive a small payment from an affiliate program. Thank you for your support x

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

6 Reasons Why You Should Pick Up Your Pens and Start Colouring

pot of colouring pencils
photo by Joe Shillington

As a child I liked nothing more than a good colouring book and a pack of pens or pencils. There was no better gift at Christmas or on my birthday and I would forever have my nose stuck in a colouring book or drawing pad.

My kids are no different, they love drawing and colouring too. For years now I've always felt a little sneaky when I've borrowed one of the kid's books and coloured in a picture myself, but now adult colouring is actually a thing!

In fact it's a really good thing and highly encouraged.

When I was in hospital last year my husband took me down to the hospital shop to buy some magazines to keep me occupied. Then I saw an adult colouring book and some pencils and bought them instead. I found them very therapeutic, and since then I've not stopped colouring.

Why is Adult Colouring so Good for you?

  1. Colouring reduces anxiety and by focusing on the colouring you can prevent negative and unhelpful thoughts entering your mind. Keeping you calm and relaxed and not focusing on physical or emotional pain. Psychologists have been prescribing colouring books to their patients for years.
  2. Colouring uses parts of the brain that enhance concentration and focus which help with problem solving and organisation skills. You are using your brain to balance complex colour schemes and make the picture aesthetically pleasing.
  3. Colouring helps your fine motor skills and vision by incorporating the parts of the brain needed to do these things and of course the physical exercise. 
  4. Colouring allows you to let leash your inner creative. You can colour in any way you want and choose any colours or colour combinations that you desire. It takes you back to your childhood and reconnect you with your inner child. Therapists believe that this can stop you from being so hard on yourself and so self-critical.
  5. Meditation is the art of doing nothing, it's also the art of emptying the mind which helps you relax. A lot of people find it difficult to meditate but colouring can give help to induce a meditative state. Mandalas are perfect for this with their concentric designs.
  6. Colouring has an end result which means you get a sense of achievement. So, as well as the health benefits you also get a feeling of accomplishment and have something nice that you may wish to display...even if it's only on your fridge door! 

It's so easy to get started. There are many pages online you can just download a few colouring pages. You don't really need any special equipment, just paper and pencils or pens. There are many colouring books you can buy from many places.  is a good place to start. You can choose from flowers, animals, geometric shapes and even celebrities like Harry Styles or Johnny Depp. There are colouring books to suit everyone now. 

I have quite a collection of colouring books now, I started with geometric patterns and then I was given a Where's Wally colouring book which is quite challenging. My favourite over all though is my Terry Pratchett colouring book which my son bought me for my birthday.

Have you tried colouring yet? Has it become a hobby?

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. All words are my own.

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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