Friday, 30 June 2017

Word of the Week - Spots

This week my word choice was easy, especially with two kids down with Chicken Pox.
I saw a program on television where they said that Chicken Pox got worse with each family member that caught it, and boy they were not wrong.

First was Boo, and within 5 days she was scabbing over and back to school after 7 days. We had a couple of days where she felt poorly, but she didn't complain much about the spots and didn't scratch too much with an application or two of calamine lotion.

Then came The Little Man, again he was poorly for a couple of days, but the spots seemed twice as many. His poor little face was almost totally covered bless him. The calamine helped but he looked like a ghost he had to have so much applied. We did have a night or two where he didn't sleep much because of the itching. It's coming up to 7 days now and he's nowhere near as clear as Boo was at this stage. Maybe he will have cleared up enough to go back to school on Monday.

Just a couple of days later and Star was complaining of feeling unwell. "look!" she said as she showed me one lonely spot on her belly. I kept her off school just in case and by lunch time she'd quite a few spots on her belly and back. Within 24 hours she was totally covered in spots from head to toe, I've never seen so many. And not tiny spots either, it seems that because she is bigger the spots are bigger, some of them are huge! She's been so poorly with it as well. The only peace I've had is when I've let her lie in a bath of oily lotion  which has helped ease the itchiness and burning. She's been very concerned that she may be dying she's felt so ill. People should not underestimate the awfulness of chicken pox.

My eldest son, 29, has been unwell since Tuesday, he's been having hot sweats and his throat was sore. Since I discovered that you can't get shingles from Chicken Pox I've not been too worried. I know he had Chicken Pox as a child. Then yesterday, I noticed his face was looking rather spotty, and he had a few on his arms and one on his tum. No, they can't be Chicken Pox I assured him. As I watched him slowly become spottier and spottier throughout the day, I'm really not so sure.

The Reading Residence

Unfolding Journeys from Lonely Planet Kids - review and give away

As you know, here at the Raisie Bay household we love our books. We've been a big fan of Lonely Planet Kids books for quite a while, despite us not being big travellers. There are other ways of finding out about the world.

The book I am reviewing today is Unfolding Journeys - Following the Great Wall

ISBN: 9781786571977 Language: English
Authors: Stewart Ross, Victo Ngai
16 pages, 16 pp colour | Dimensions: 934mm x 305mm

"From the dusty desert of Gansu province to the rolling waves of the Yellow Sea, this amazing journey takes you past flaming mountains and ancient wonders. Watch out for mighty fortresses, giant pandas and the extraordinary Army of Terracotta Warriors.  Along the way you’ll discover breathtaking wonders of nature, visit modern China, and see how the traditions and landscape of the Great Wall are changing. You’ll also encounter fascinating ancient Chinese monuments and amazing creatures living near the Wall."

Created in consultation with William Lindesay OBE – author, presenter, geographer, researcher and leading non-Chinese expert on the Great Wall.

The first thing you notice about this book is that it doesn't read like a normal book by turning the pages.  It starts off with an information page and fact file and then you are off on your journey along the Great Wall of China. As the book unfolds each part of the journey is marked with short facts which are numbered 1-49. If you want to find out more detail you can look up the number on the reverse side. By the time you have finished you will have unfolded the pages of the book into an eight page frieze of the Great Wall, with all the detailed facts listed along the back.

The book would be a great learning tool for a pupil wanting more information on the Great Wall. It would look good pinned up on a wall or board for reference in a classroom. The frieze is illustrated throughout making it attractive as well as factual.

The book is aimed at children aged 7 plus and is priced at £12.99, although at the time of publishing this post it can be purchased for just £8.70.

The Book I am going to give away is Unfolding Journeys - Secrets of the Nile.

ISBN: 9781786571052 Language: English
Authors: Stewart Ross
16 pages, 16 pp colour | Dimensions: 230mm x 305mm

"From the golden beaches of the Mediterranean, travel upstream to explore the cultural, historical and natural wonders of ancient and modern Egypt. Find out about Egyptian pharaohs and explore their treasures, tombs and mummies; visit modern Egypt and see how the landscape of the Nile is changing; discover the Pyramids and other wonders of the ancient world; and encounter some of the exotic creatures that make the Nile their home." 
Created in consultation with Anthony Sattin - award-winning author, journalist and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

If you would like the chance to win a copy of this book please fill in the gadget below.

Terms and Conditions

1. UK only (sorry)
2. Giveaway closes  27th July 2017
3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
4. There is 1 prize of a Lonely Planet Kids 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 26 June 2017

Chicken Pox

When I was little my Mum said to me,
"Mrs SoandSo's little girl has chicken pox so I'm taking you to play with her."
I was bemused, did my mum want to cheer up Little Miss SoandSo?
"But Mum," I groaned, "I don't like Little Miss SoandSo, she picks on me at school."
Mum wasn't having any of it though, and I was dragged down the street despite my protests.

Little Miss SoandSo didn't look poorly but she was covered from head to toe in horrible red spots. She didn't want me to see her like that and immediately started being mean by not letting me touch any of her toys.

Mum and Mrs SoandSo had a cup of tea in the kitchen while I sat watching Little Miss SoandSo play with her toys. Then she went and sneezed on me!!
Mum was overjoyed, "oh, she'll catch them for sure now" she beamed.

So, there I was, a young child forced to go and visit a sick child that I didn't even like and it wasn't even to cheer her up, it was to catch her horrible spots. I can still see her sitting there scratching herself while playing alone.

Mum was not so happy when I didn't catch Chicken Pox.

Quite a few years later, when I was eighteen, I was at work when a customer bought her children in on a school day. I asked her why they were not at school and she said they had Chicken Pox, but it was ok because the spots were out and they were no longer contagious.
She was wrong.

A couple of days later on a Saturday morning, I was enjoying a lie in when my cousin came to wake me. She gave me a shake and as I popped out from under the blankets she squirmed....
'Eugh! you are covered in zits"
WHAT! I hadn't got a single spot when I went to bed. In fact I had really good skin and had avoided teenage acne completely (well, apart from the odd spot on the tip of my nose!)

I crawled out of bed and looked in the mirror. She was right, but to be honest, I felt so sick it just didn't bother me. I looked over my body as I struggled to get dressed and found it was not just my face, I was covered in spots. I was covered in Chicken Pox!

For an entire week I barely moved, or ate, or even spoke. I had pox in my mouth, my eyes and my ears as well as everywhere else. I was so ill. I am living proof that it's better to get Chicken Pox as a child. Mean Little MissSoandSo wouldn't even share her pox with me.

Mum got my little brother, aged 10, to bring me drinks and keep me company and sure enough he caught them too, but nowhere near as bad as me.

A couple of weeks ago we had a letter from the school saying that there was a Chicken Pox epidemic. It was Boo who caught it first, she was feeling unwell for a couple of days but soon felt better. Her spots where everywhere imaginable but they didn't seem to bother her too much. I smothered her with calamine lotion and she didn't scratch. They have scabbed over and started to disappear now and she is back at school.

Then yesterday the Little Man was feeling unwell. He cuddled up to me on the settee and soon fell asleep, very unlike him to sleep in the afternoon. Then I noticed he had a couple of spots on his neck. This morning he was covered from head to toe in spots, he even had one on his eyeball. I was really worried about this but it soon healed up and now he has nothing but a little bloodshot in his eye.

This morning Star woke up with a headache and sore throat. We thought she was trying to wing a day off school, but she did have a high temperature. So, we let her stay home and sure enough the spots are starting to appear now.

Well, that's all three of them!

I did get worried about catching shingles seeing as I'm a little bit old and have an auto-immune condition. However, Mr Google informs me that you can't catch shingles from Chicken Pox, although you can catch Chicken Pox from Shingles! 

Debs Random Writings
Mummy Times Two

Sunday, 25 June 2017

My Sunday Photo - 25th June 2017

a single pink rose

It seems like everyone is sharing flower photos but I'm a bit late to the party.
It seems like my garden is late to the party too as it's not given me many offerings so far.
I have four planters, one containing orange lilies, which have flowered but are already looking tired.
One containing white Carnations which are just starting to flower, one containing Lavender which looks half dead but the other half is starting to blossom, then there is my miniature rose bush which I had high hopes for but so far just this one little bloom. The leaves don't look so healthy either.
I've tried having my planters in different parts of the garden, but too far and I cannot reach them and too close and they don't seem to get enough sun.

Next week my husband is picking up some pallets and he's having a go at making some raised flower beds. I really hope he does and that we are able to grow more. 

I post all the photos I visit on my Pinterest Board, if you see your photo and you would rather not have it pinned then please let me know and I will remove it. 


Sunday Snap

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Our Half Term Holiday

We went on Holiday at half term to Haven Littlesea Holiday Camp in Weymouth. It was our first time to this particular camp, but not our first time to a Haven Park. We really loved it and will definitely go back there, probably next year. I know these type of holiday camps are not everyone's cup of tea, but they suit us just fine. We love caravans and we love holiday camps which have everything on site.

We were so lucky with the weather, it rained when we arrived and it rained on the way home but in between the weather was lovely and warm and mostly sunny.

The first day we stayed on site and settled into our caravan which was lovely and clean and had everything we needed. We spent the evening in the arcade and having a chip shop supper.

Day two we went into Weymouth. We had a little trouble because Star was determined that she wasn't going and it took us over an hour to persuade her. I still don't know exactly what her problem was but she was incredibly anxious. Once we were in the car and on the way she wasn't so bad, until she thought we were lost and then she got worked up again. We know not to talk about being lost or not knowing where to go as it distresses her so much, and we were lost but trying to remain calm about it. Luckily the journey was pretty easy and it was only because of road works and a diversion that we lost our way, but we were soon back on track and old Tom Tom was very helpful.

When we arrived they wanted to go on the beach. This was not what I had planned, I thought we could walk along the sea front and visit some shops and leave the beach until another day. I was over ruled though and in the first shop buckets and spades where purchased and we headed straight to the beach.

I can't go on the beach in my wheelchair but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had beach wheelchairs for free use. I didn't feel comfortable about using one so I just sat on the promenade where they were lots of  deckchairs. Dad and kids played on the sand in front of me, and went down to the sea to paddle. I could see them all the time.

kids on the beach

While on the beach we also got to watch a Punch and Judy Show, which was good fun if a little un PC. Boo particularly enjoyed the show and sat right at the front.

After a couple of hours on the beach we were all hungry so we went to a cafe to have a late lunch. Of course, with no planning I had no changes of clothes or towels and the kids were in a mess, so it was lucky there were plenty of cafes with tables outside.

Day three we planned our day at the beach better, taking a picnic, spare clothes and towels. We were on the beach at around 11am and stayed there until around 3pm. As well as playing in the sand and sea the kids also had a jump on the beach trampolines.

trampoline on the beach

On the evening we had a lovely meal at the pub restaurant and the kids played in the playground while waiting for the food. It was all very nice.

The kids loved the arcade so wanted to go there all the time, it couldn't be avoided because it was central to everything else, if you wanted to go to the entertainment club, the swimming pool or the restaurant we had to go through the arcade. We found that by making a budget of how much we could spend when we went there helped.

The swimming pool was fantastic. There was two indoor pools and one outdoor. The girls went to a pool party which was for the over eights so the Little Man couldn't go. Dad went with them and they had lots of fun while I had some quality time with my Little Man.

The kids and Dad also had a swim in the outdoor pool and I was shown how to get by the poolside in my wheelchair which was really nice. I am not confident that I could actually cope in the water just yet, but it was nice to watch my family having so much fun.....Then, as they were getting out of the pool to go to the other one and have a go at the water walkers, a disaster almost happened.

It happened so fast I cannot believe that it was real. The Little Man was first out of the outside pool and ran immediately into the big pool. He was too fast for me and I couldn't get into the big pool area with wheelchair. I called to Dad but before he'd even got out of the water I watched as my little man dived head first into the deep end of the pool! He can't swim, in fact he's never been to a pool before so I imagine he had no idea what he was doing. Thankfully a life guard was walking past as he fell in and he immediately scooped him out again unharmed. I think he definitely needed a lesson in pool safety and I'm horrified we hadn't talked to him before. But we were lucky, he was safe and unharmed, and it hasn't put him off swimming.

The water walkers were great fun, the kids had so much fun in them. The girls have tried them before but Boo didn't like them because they were too hot inside. This time, however, they all enjoyed them very much.

watter walkers

There were things we didn't manage to do while there, I think mostly because we spent so much time on the beach. If the weather had not been so nice then we probably would have spent more time visiting other places. We have already decided that next year we are going to extend our holiday so we can fit more things in.

Country Kids

Friday, 23 June 2017

Word of the Week - Hot

Well, you certainly cannot look back at this week and say that the heat has not dominated it!

We had our Father's Day BBQ on Sunday and the weather was perfect for cooking outside. I have to admit though, two BBQs in one week is a little much, I'll be happy not to have another for quite a while.

On Monday, Boo went back to school after her chicken pox had all scabbed over and they were off on a school trip. She went to the Butterfly Farm in Stratford On Avon. It was really hot and I was disappointed to hear that the children were only given one drink all day! A lot of parents have complained to the school, but it's a bit late now, it's just a good job they didn't have any children faint in the heat. Boo had a lovely day though and was happy to be back with her school friends.

The rest of the week has mostly involved my feeling that I'm melting on the settee with both patio doors open. There is just no escaping the sort of heat we've had this week. Even with fans blowing. Night times have been the worst, the kids haven't been able to get to sleep for ages, and the neighbours think it's okay to let their kids play outside on their bikes and scooters until 10pm. Even when I was a teenager my mum made me be home by 9.30am on school nights, these kids are the same age as mine.

On Thursday night I checked on the kids as usual before going to bed myself and the Little Man was soaked in sweat! I stripped him down and opened his window a little more, but there just wasn't any air blowing in.

I had trouble sleeping myself and I take drugs to help me sleep!  I had the bedroom window wide open and the curtains but it was just so hot and humid. When I did fall asleep I had a nightmare which woke me, and then I heard a car skidding and a loud crash followed by lots of shouting. I thought I was still dreaming, but no, I was wide awake and even hung my head out of the window to hear what was happening. It must have bee a few streets away as I didn't see anything or anyone. I then couldn't get back to sleep wondering what had happened.

We haven't had any storms here yet, and yesterday it was only slightly cooler. I do like a good thunderstorm as it clears the air and makes it fresher. Fingers crossed the weekend won't be so hot and humid.

I'm linking up with the Reading Residence for the Word of the Week Linky.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Driving Back to the 80s

I was a teenager in the 80s so it's a very special decade for me. I had a boyfriend in 1982 and he had a Triumph Spitfire Convertible. It was incredible driving along with the the wind in my hair, very exciting for a teenager. Sadly, some jealous person filled the petrol tank with sand and the car was never rescued.

One of my favourite 80s programs was Knight Rider, and Michael Knight's best friend was his car Kitt, an AI computer module in the body of a highly advanced robotic Pontiac Trans Am. Kitt was always coming to the rescue and I would have given anything to own a futuristic car like that.  

Then in 1985, Back to the Future was released with the fabulous De Lorean Time Machine Car. I loved the film and I loved the car. Back to the future also had two brilliant sequels featuring the De Lorean which was finally trashed at the end of the third film by a train. A couple of years ago I got to see Paul Bradbury's De Lorean at the Gadget Show Live, which he'd modified to look just like the one in the film.

You can see more cars from the 80s Films and Tv over on Virtue Lease Cars site. How many of them do you remember?

I asked my hubby, Graham, which would be his favourite car from 80s Tv and he said it would have to be The General Lee, a Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard. In the opening  scenes of the show you see the car fly over a police car!

Back here in the UK, cars were not so fancy, in fact it's hard to find any UK television programs that feature cars, but there is one iconic one. The Trotters Reliant Van from Only Fools and Horses. This one has a special place in my heart as my Dad used to drive a Reliant Van, only his was blue and he did have back windows. 

If you have children born in the 80s they may remember the first appearance of Postman Pat. He's still around today and he's driving his LDV Sherpa Post Van.
" Everybody knows his bright red van, people stop and smile as he waves to great them."

I hope you've enjoyed my road trip back to the 80s. Do let me know your favourite 80s vehicles or let me know if you've heard of the ones I've mentioned here.

disclosure: this is a collaborative post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Teacher Gifts Guide and Competition

It's that time of year when it's almost the end of term and parents start thinking of gifts for their kid's teacher. In the past I've spent ages with my kids making home made gifts or baking cupcakes. Last year I wasn't well enough and this year I find that they are getting a bit old for the home made things so I will have to buy presents again. Thankfully, Star is now in Secondary School so I only have to buy two gifts for Boo and the Little Man.

Do you buy presents for your kid's teacher? Tell me what you are buying this year for an entry into my new competition for a box of Cadbury's Chocolate for sharing. A great way to get the summer holiday started.

First though, please take a moment to browse some of the teacher's gifts that I've found. I would love it if you were to click through as there are lots of other gifts available on these sites and I'm sure  you will find something that's just perfect for your child's teacher.

Box of Treats

Last year I bought Star's teacher a one off box of treats from Boxcitement. She was absolutely thrilled with it. You can find some bargains on the sale page.

boxcitement gift box

Tea Lovers Gift

Who doesn't love a nice cuppa! This gift from Twinings is just lovely and they have many other gifts in their shop too.

twinings tea gift

Travel Books

Why not inspire the teacher to get away from it all during the break with a fabulous travel book like Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travelist

ultimate travelist book

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Now this is a great gift for any teacher, they can go home, bake themselves a delicious chocolate chip cookie in less than a minute and put their feet up, relax and enjoy! Contains 3 portions to microwave in just 45 seconds.

chocolate chip cookie mug mix

Cat Mug

Do you know that your kids teacher is a cat lover? Well, then they would love to receive this amazing Cat Mug from My Geek Box. You can find all sorts of geeky gifts  at My Geek Box from Doctor Who to Star Wars and much more and prices start from less than £10. So check them out if you are looking for something a little bit different. 
cat mug


Chocolate is a great gift but you could make it even greater buy buying a personalised Dairy Milk bar from Cadburys. You can personalise bars from 110g for £4, 200g for £5, 360g for £7 and 850g for £12. So, something to suit all budgets. It's real easy to do too.

personalised chocolate bar

Competition Time

To get your Summer Holidays off to a good start I'm giving you the chance to win a Cadbury Treasure box full of 18 bars of chocolate for sharing. (or not!)

cadburys treasure box

Fill in the widget to enter and Good Luck!
You can find another competition on my blog here.

Terms and Conditions

1. UK only (sorry)
2. Giveaway closes  21st July 2017
3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
4. There is 1 prize of a Cadbury's 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Good Food Show 2017

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the Good Food Show and Gardener's World Live at the NEC Birmingham. I couldn't wait to go but unfortunately we couldn't go when we wanted to. On the Thursday I was struck with a migraine, then on Friday, Star was feeling to sick to go to school. So, we had to go on Saturday with all the kids in tow.

It was a little more stressing taking the kids and we didn't manage to see all we wanted to see. We even did't get to go around Gardner's World Live which was really disappointing.

What we did get to do though is see the lovely, and fit, Joe Wicks cook in the Super Theatre. He was very entertaining and the meals he cooked where really easy but looked so tasty, and they smelt real good too, even nose sensitive Star was enjoying the smell.

Joe Wicks at the Good Food Show

After the show Boo was adamant that she wanted to buy one of his books, so we did! It's actually pretty good and although it's not family aimed, (most of the recipes are for one or two) the recipes are easy enough to adapt and I'm sure Boo is going to be able to make some of them. She wants to start with creamy chicken pie. 

Joe Wicks told us of his hope to smash the World Record for the largest ever HIIT* session at Hyde Park on Wednesday 5th July starting at 6pm. He assured us it was going to be a great evening with lots of entertainment as well as exercise. Please take a look at his website The Body Coach if you are interested.

*HIIT = High Intensity Interval training. Train for 20 seconds, rest for 40, and it's over in 15 mins!

I think Joe was definitely our biggest highlight of the show but we did buy some things that were on offer so here are a few more favourites.

Flower and White had some gorgeous cakes and meringues on show and we just couldn't resist. The cakes were also gluten free which is an added bonus. They were so tasty too, little round cakes of delight.

Laura's Fudge was spotted early on by Boo and we couldn't leave without buying some of the delicious flavours on offer. 

laura's fudge, oreo fudge

The kids were really interested in the Baking Products from Bake and Create and we ended up buying some silicone mould from there.

bake and create moulds
I'm big lover of cheese, although I'm not eating it at the moment, but a little treat every now and then never hurt anyone. So we bought some tasty truckles of cheese from Blacks Cheese.

blacks cheese truckle

The kids went wild for the apple samples at Jazz Apples and I have to say I can understand why, they are so tasty. We had to come away with a bag!

Do check out the Jazz Apples website, they have some great resources for kids!

There was so much to see and do at the Good Food Show. We took a rest and tried to persuade the kids to visit the Gardner's World Live Show afterwards but they were totally worn out. Next time we will have to try and go while they are at school. 

Disclosure: I was given a press pass to attend the event, I've not been asked or paid to write this post, by The Good Food Show or any of the exhibitors mentioned.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Even Super Heroes Have Bad Days - book review

We were thrilled to be sent a copy of Even Super Heroes Have Bad Days, we saw Chris Evans (Captain America) read the story on Cbeebies Bed Time. What a treat for mums and kids alike.

Chris Evans on Cbeebies

The book itself was well received by my super hero loving Little Man. It's written by Shelly Becker and illustrated by Eda Kaban.

Even Super Heroes Have Bad Days
Hardcover: 40 pages
Age Range: 3 - 9 years
Publisher: Sterling (7 Oct. 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1454913940
ISBN-13: 978-1454913948
Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 1 x 27.7 cm

It's a great size book and in hardback with a dust cover. It will likely to be a bedtime favourite for a very long time and is built to withstand this.

Here's the Blurb;

When Superheroes don't get their way, when they're sad, when they're mad, when they've had a bad day...they COULD super-tantrum, they COULD but they DON'T, because REAL Superheroes just WOULDN'T they WON'T! All kids have trouble getting a grip on their emotions, sometimes even young superheroes! But what do they do when they're having a bad day? Colourful action-packed illustrations and a dynamite rhyming text reveal the many ways superheroes (and ordinary children, too) can resist the super-temptation to cause a scene when they're sad, mad, frustrated, lonely, or afraid. From burning off steam on a bike or a hike, to helping others, this energetic picture book has plenty of fun ideas to help kids cope when they re feeling overwhelmed.

The message is subtle but it helps kids deal with their emotions just like the superheroes do. The Illustrations make this book really special, they are colourful and full of detail. My Little Man spent ages looking at them and spotting his new favourite superheroes. 

The superheroes are introduced inside the cover of the book. They are not your regular superheroes but they are still strong and brave with special abilities. like Thrash, Typhoon and Zing, Beastie, Lazer Man and Screecher.

It shows all the awful things they could do if they allowed their emotions to take a hold, like kick, punch and pound, knock over buildings like towers of blocks, use laser eyes to ignite forest fires or screech with an ear piercing sound. But they don't, instead they race to rescue people in need, hatch super-plans to help banish world sadness and chase wanted bad guys with a super-charged zing.

The book teaches children that it's okay if they frown, sigh, or cry they just need to acknowledge their emotions and wait for them to get better.

This is a rhyming book which is always a big hit, and along with the fun colourful illustrations it's a great read which kids will love.

We give this book a big thumbs up!

You can find this and many other fabulous books at the GMC Group website

Laura's Lovely Blog

Disclosure: we were sent a copy of Even Superheroes Have Bad Days for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dear Phil Vickery

Dear Phil Vickery,

I was watching This Morning the other day when I spotted a lovely looking cheesecake in the background ad immediately began salivating. I love cheesecake! I had to have this cheesecake.

I watched and waited until your part came along where you showed us how to make the delicious looking delight. Did I tell you, I love cheesecake?

You made it look so easy, there was your shortbread all ready and waiting, "yes, the recipe is on the website you said." Well, you were not wrong, but it wasn't on the same page as the cheesecake recipe, and I'm not sure it was the right recipe, but it was for shortbread, and I hunted it down. I spent an hour making  the mix, chilling it, cooking it cooling it. Then I found that the recipe just gave me enough shortcake to use as the base of the cheesecake, I'd have to do it all again to make the decoration on the top. Hence my poor cheesecake had to go without.

"Pop the strawberries around the edge of your tin," you said. You put one in as an example, you made it look so easy. It wasn't easy. I spent another hour of my time trying to get the bloody strawberries to stick around the edge of the tin! I'd get three in then they'd all fall down, time and time again. I bet you had someone spend an hour putting all of your strawberries in too, didn't you? And they made sure they left you a perfect little gap to pop in the last strawberry. Or maybe they were all glued to the tin?

So, now I'm two hours in the making of this super quick and easy cheesecake and I realise that hubby has bought me evaporated milk instead of condensed milk. "It's the same stuff isn't it?" He said.
Well, no it isn't, but you probably know that. Condensed milk has lots of sugar but evaporated milk doesn't. It's ok though, I knew what to do. You just have to add sugar to a pan of evaporated milk and warm it up until it's dissolved. I've not made cheesecake with condensed milk before, but I guess it's the secret as to why this one is so 'quick and easy.'

My condensed milk was sickly sweet but it's okay because the cheesecake also contains lemon to counteract the sweetness. In fact three lemons and their zest. Have you ever zested three lemons? I guess you have someone do that for you. It took me ages and my arm was aching afterwards. Three lemons and zest is a lot of citrus.

Right, I had my shortcake base in place and the pan was, finally, lined with juicy strawberries, now it was time to make the cheesecake mix. In the video you said it must all be very cold, so my condensed milk was chilled, as was my mascarpone cheese and lemon juice and zest. I mixed the cheese and milk together then added the lemon. In the video I watched in awe as  your mixture instantly became thick and started to set, it was amazing to watch. Did it happen to mine? No! I was left with a custard like substance, a bowl of lemony slop.

Where did I go wrong, everything was weighed and measured, was it because of the home made condensed milk? I put it in the tin anyway and put it in the fridge to chill, after about two hours it started to set. I left it overnight. I reckon it's taken fourteen hours from start to finish to make your super quick and easy cheesecake.
And don't get me started on the mess! How come your kitchen worktop was so tidy? My entire kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it. Okay, I know you are on television and everything is ready for you, but, come on, you could let us know how much mess we would make if we were to try it at home! 
And how did it taste? Well, it was super, super lemony.

Thanks Phil, I won't be trying this again.

By the way, did you know you could make a super quick and easy strawberry cheesecake using a digestive biscuit base (10 mins) a filling of cream cheese, half a lemon juice, whipped cream and icing sugar (10 mins) with an hour to set in the fridge?

Yours disappointingly,

Anne Sweet

My version of Phil Vickery's Strawberry (very lemony) cheesecake 

My messy kitchen after making the cheesecake!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

My Sunday Photo - 17th June 2017

When the kids met the chefs!

Yesterday we went to the BBC Good Food Show and had a fun but tiring day. We didn't get to see many chefs out of these we only saw Michel Roux Jnr and that was only on the big screen while we were outside the theatre he was in. But..we did get to see Joe Wicks in action in the theatre.

It was a real good show and we saw Joe cook two very easy and tasty looking meals in just 15 minutes each. There was also some Q&A sessions and some audience participation. The kids loved the show and Boo insisted we go and buy one of Joe's Books afterwards. It's actually a pretty good book with over 100 healthy recipes, Boo really wants to try some out.

I'll be writing more about our day at the show later in the week.


Sunday Snap

Friday, 16 June 2017

Food - Word of the Week

My word this week is food. Now, don't get me wrong, we do have food quite regularly in our house, but this week it's been about the food.

First up, on Monday our food shopping which we have delivered at the same time every week, didn't turn up! I phoned Sainsbury's to find out what was going on and I was waiting for nearly an hour for them to answer. When I did get through I found out that they were having some major problems and a lot of deliveries had been cancelled, but my delivery was still on the van and would be delivered between 6-7pm. There was nothing for it, I had to order a take out. Well, actually, that's not entirely true because we did have food, it's just that I was so fed up about the shopping I couldn't be bothered.

When the shopping finally arrived we found there was no frozen stuff so we had to go out shopping on Tuesday. We ended up buying a BBQ, I've told Hubby it can be his Father's Day present. I don't think he was overly impressed, I have just bought a present where he does all the cooking! It was a bargain at £29 though and I couldn't believe how big it was when it was out of the box and put together. Of course then we had to add extra sausages and burgers to our shopping. The plan is for a BBQ this evening so fingers crossed the weather holds out.

I've spoken before on my blog about my Paleo diet, well, I have adapted it to suit me which means I'm not taking dairy or sugar, but I've had to give a little on the grains, although I am trying gluten free. This week I decided to follow the Summer Diet that came with my BBC Good Food magazine. It fits in perfectly with my diet already and I've found some really lovely recipes. Yesterday I had a delicious lime baked cod with a cucumber, peach, avocado and tomato salad, it was so tasty. Today I had a spelt flour pizza with spinach, blue cheese and walnuts, yummy.
Finally, this week it's the BBC Good Food show at the Birmingham NEC. I was originally going on Thursday but I was suffering from a migraine hangover. Hopefully, I will be there today but if not then definitely the weekend which means the kids will be dragged along as well.

So that's my foodie week. This weekend it's Father's Day so I'm planning on pushing the boat out with my attempt at a strawberry shortcake cheesecake that was shown on This Morning earlier this week. Before they even showed the recipe I could see it in the background and just 'knew' I had to make one.

The Reading Residence

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Shoe Sale at Start Right

I know I go on about shoes quite a lot here on my blog but, though I can't wear the shoes I would like to wear I do like to make sure my kids have nice footwear.

Start Right have always been one of my favourite shoe shops, I was chosen to promote them way back when The Little Man was just two years old and he appeared on the Catwalk for them.

At the moment, Start Right have a fabulous half price sale so I thought I would show you a selection of my favourites.

First lets start with School shoes because it's time to start thinking about getting these in before the new School year starts in September, but do remember that little ones feet grow really quickly! My girls are a little older and I was thrilled to find these reduced from £52 to only £10!!

girls school shoes

For the Boys, how about these tough looking shoes, I know my Little Man would be happy with them. Reduced from £47 to £32.50

boys school shoes

Do you have a pre- schooler? Here is my pick of my favourite first shoes, aren't they cute! They are all leather too.

first walker shoes
4. Super Soft Honey Bee Bright Pink Leather first walking shoes RRP £39 now £20

Start Right also offer measuring gauge's so you can measure your child's feet at home, particularly good when the shops are really busy, or if you have a child that doesn't want to sit still while in the shop.

Small Measuring Gauge £4.99
large gauge also available for £6.99

Why not pop over to Start Right and check out their Summer Sale. Let me know if you grab a bargain.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Start Right and this post contains affiliate links. This means that if  you click through and purchase something I will earn a little money. Thank you for your support. 


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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