Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Ed Place - The Home Education Resource

Sometimes kids need a little extra help with their learning at home. Sometimes parents choose to educate their children at home. I've done both.
When my eldest daughter was young she did the last three years of her education at home. We did have help with tutors and I really don't know what I would have done without them. Back then the internet was fairly new and their was little in the way of home education resources online.

When Star was in her halo brace and couldn't go to school she had a year of home education. Again, I had help from a professional tutor, but this time we found lots of helpful resources online.
Then there is Boo, who has had a little trouble catching up with her peers and I've been giving her that little extra push with online activities to help her improve, and it's worked.

Today I'd like to tell you about a new program that I've found EdPlace. It's a comprehensive educational resource that's available 24/7. All content has been written and checked by teachers with over five years experience. It is 100% national curriculum aligned and prices start from just £10 per month for one subject and £15 a month for all subjects. You can even trial the program with full access for fourteen days for just £1.

EdPlace is the most accessible online educational tool in the UK. They believe every parent should have access to quality educational support that effectively helps their child succeed. As parent champions, their mission is to become the most trusted partner for parents with the biggest impact on their child’s education. They do this by providing parents access to the best educational tools, technology, resources and teachers. They cover English, Maths and Science across the National Curriculum in Key Stages 1 to 4 (age 5-16). They see big opportunities to help parents by blending the best online tools with leading resources created by their teachers.

Once you sign up to EdPlace you are assigned topics for your child based on their year and their progress will be adapted to their progression.You can keep check on how well your child is doing through the parent dashboard. There are also fun and customisable  rewards to keep your child motivated.

What do you think? Does your child need a little extra help at home with their school subjects. I know as they get older the homework increases, do they really need more work on top of that? I do believe that if a child wants to improve on their school work, at whatever age, if there is someway of making the learning fun and rewarding they will do it. Then there is always the problem of revision, EdPlace can help with that too.

Also, you can get up to £10.50 cashback at TopCashback, and £10 off any subscription with the code 10FREE

Disclosure; This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Great British Bake Off - Cottage Loaf

I'm really getting into the Great British Bake Off now, despite the missing Mary, Mel and Sue. It's all about the baking after all.
This week was bread week and I love baking bread...but I've not done so for a long time. The signature task was to bake tea cakes, something I've never tried before but I may try one day as I do like a nice toasted tea cake with my cuppa. The technical challenge was a cottage loaf, again I've not made one before but I do remember making a mini one many many years ago at school. Finally, the show stopper was a bread sculpture, yes, like I'd have the time, or energy for that!

So, I went for the cottage loaf. I love making bread kneading by hand but with my hands giving me so much trouble lately, it was good to have two little helpers to hand, Star and Boo, who each took turns with the kneading.

The recipe I used was a basic white loaf recipe.


500g bread flour
25g butter
1tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1tsp dried yeast
320 ml of warm water


rub the butter into the flour
add the sugar, salt and yeast,
mix in the water a little at a time until you have a firm dough
knead the dough for 10 mins and leave in a bowl covered with cling film, or a tea towel for about 1 hour
knead the dough again and shape into two rounds, one slightly bigger than the other
Put the smaller mound on top of the larger one and push two fingers all the way through both rounds from the middle of the top round.
leave to prove, covered lightly, for a further 30 mins.
Bake at 180 C for 40 mins, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

cottage loaf

Mummy Mishaps

Saturday, 16 September 2017

My Sunday Photo

I love receiving flowers and these were delivered yesterday. The lilies have yet to bloom but it's still a beautiful bouquet. They are a lovely addition to my home especially as the summer days are ending and Autumn is creeping in.

I really miss having flowers in my garden. In my last home we had lots both in the front and back garden. We have lived here four years now but nothing has grown for us. We have some plants in the front, but no flowers, and nothing at all out the back. The soil is terrible so I bought some pots of plants, but even those have refused to grow. Maybe next year will be different.

I pin My Sunday Photo pics I visit on my Pinterest Board. Please let me know if you wish your photo to be removed.


Sunday Snap

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Word of the Week - News

We've had good news and bad news this week, which would you like to hear first?

Okay, let's start with the bad news.

Last Friday I ended up in A&E and discovered that my condition is progressing much faster than I would like. Roll on my time to visit my consultant where I'm going to ask for treatment to stop it progressing further. You can read the full story on my post here. The pain is still pretty bad every-time I stand up, but hasn't woken me up for the past few nights so I guess that's not too bad.

So, although I've been feeling pretty rough this week we have also had some good news!

Our car was fixed and returned, yeah, I did miss Bernard while he was gone. I'm still waiting to hear if I can drive, I'm dreading it if they say no, but I do have my special controls and I never drive when not feeling well, so fingers tightly crossed. In the meantime I have to rely on hubby, but we are still having trouble with my back seat driving, I need to realise he's not a bad driver and I don't need to act like a driving instructor.

But that's not the best good news.

I haven't mentioned it too much (probably worried I would jinx it) but my daughter, Star, had genetic testing earlier this year in May. We knew we would have to wait four months for the results but it's been a hell of  a long four months. The geneticist has spotted some familiar signs of a really rare condition called Loeys Dietz Syndrome. It's a nasty condition which comes with a dodgy heart and can be a killer. At first I fretted like crazy, but then I read some more about the condition and there is only one person in the UK with it, so I figured that Star would be okay. Well, the results came back and she doesn't have it! How fantastic is that!
Not only that but she doesn't have any other indicators of heart related conditions like EDS type IV or Marfan Syndrome. There is a chance that these may develop later in life as she does have so many indicators, in particular for Marfan Syndrome, but they realise this and will check her yearly from now on. Just for peace of mind.

Next month Star goes to see her neurological surgeon to see how her neck is. I am feeling quite confident about this because she seems just fine and rarely complains of neck pain any more. Thankfully they are also keeping a check on her for this and again she will be having yearly check ups.

The only problem at the moment seems to be the stomach one, but we are working hard on that one and she sees a specialist nurse every six weeks. We'll get to the bottom of it I'm sure. (there is a joke there somewhere but I'm not willing to share it!!!)

I'm focusing on the good news this week and hopefully, in just a couple of weeks time, I will have some better news on my health.

Oh, and I've worked out how to dictate my blog posts if my hands do give up, so don't worry, you won't be getting rid of me that easy :)

The Reading Residence

The Weekend Box with Snazaroo Face Paints

Many moons ago, when my older kids were young I was a professional Face Painter. I say professional, I mean, I used to get paid to go to fetes and parties and face paint loads of kids with whatever they wanted. I had a huge kit of face paints and printed cards for the kids to choose what they wanted. I remember one party when all the little 4 year old's decided they wanted to be tigers, except for one little boy, he wanted to be a dinosaur!

This week we tried out a new Weekend Box special complete with Snazaroo Face Paints!

weekend box logo

My Little Man is a big fan of The Weekend Box, he received his first back in 2014 when he couldn't wait to get started so he was photographed in his pyjamas. We also reviewed a Chinese New Year Box where we made fortune cookies long before the bakers on the Great British Bake Off. We even gave the Mini Weekend Box a whirl last year.

The box came with two mini sets of face paints which Snazaroo are introducing.

First, let me give you some information on the mini sets.

Mini Theme Pack Information

Snazaroo, the nation’s leading face paint brand, launches it’s first ever Mini Theme Pack range, combining favourite face paint colours into handy palettes to help turn little monsters into little fairies in no time at all.

Priced at just £2.99, the bite size packs come with everything parents need to recreate looks at home: three colours, a brush, a sponge and an easy to follow 3-step guide. At a compact 10cm by 11cm, they’re perfect for every occasion, helping to transform playtime into a magical world for children no matter where they are.

With five vibrant themes – Summer, Carnival, Halloween, Christmas and Easter – kids are covered all year round. The colourful summer packs include a fun Festive Mask (made up of bright pink, white and royal blue) and a Jester (featuring grass green, white and purple).

A touch of water is required to use the paints. All Snazaroo products are hassle-free to wash off and are suitable for sensitive skin types, while the face paints are fragrance-free and specially-formulated to be gentle on the skin.

snazaroo logo - paint a smile

We had a  Tiger kit and a birthday party face stamp kit. 

I love the idea of a stamp kit. It saves so much time and the kids are still happy. You just dampen the colour, press the stamp into it and then press it on the child's face. If you've ever face painted a room full of kids at a party you will understand how time consuming it is, now you don't have to hire someone to do it for you, just use stamps instead! They are so easy the kids can do it themselves.
It's also better for younger children. Although the paints are safe to use it's best not to use too much on children under 3 years.

The Tiger kit came with three colours, a brush and a sponge. There is also a guide on how to paint a tiger on a child's face. On the Snazaroo website there are plenty of guides and videos to show you how to face paint, and they are so easy to follow in just three steps!

My little man, like that little boy in the tiger party, wanted something different. So we looked through the guides and he chose a bear.

I used the green paint from the party kit and the white and black from the tiger kit and this is what we came up with. 

Using just a small amount of paint and water I helped my little boy become a grizzly bear!

a little boy with face paints to make him look like a bear

Snazaroo face paints are made in the UK and are skin friendly, paraben free and are made from premium cosmetic ingredients to be gentle on children's skin. Because Snazaroo face paints are water based they are easy to wash off. I remember that face paints where difficult to get off, involving lots of scrubbing and washing. Not these ones though. I removed my son's grizzly bear with a single baby wipe! There was no residue left behind either. 

Once upon a time I face painted my daughter as a black cat and even after we'd spent an age washing it off, her face still looked 'stained.' It's good to know that Snazaroo face paints are easy washable. 

I think £2.99 is a very reasonable price to pay for a small face painting kit. They are small with just a few colours but with a little imagination you can create lots of lovely designs on your child's face. I find face painting fun, so we both have fun together. 

Star, my 12 yr old daughter, has sensory issues with smell, she refuses to be face painted herself but also gets distressed when she is near a child with face paint because of the smell. She was fine with these face paints though because there was no odour at all. 

I think the little man will have lots more fun with these kits of face paint and I would consider buying more in the future...it will soon be halloween! 

Disclosure; I was sent The Weekend Box with Snazaroo face paints for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Family Fever

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

King Pong - Review and Give Away

We've been trying out this new game from Drumond Park, King Pong. My kids love games that they can all play together and especially ones that give them lots of giggles. I think King Pong is going to be a favourite.

Assembling the Game

Before you play you have to put the cube together. This is quite a simple task although it does help having two people to put the top on so all corners slot in together at the same time. As I was on my own at the time I did manage it myself but I could see how it would have been easier with two. You start with the base, assemble the trays, attach the two parts of the pyramid in the middle, plug in the window holders in each corner, slot in the windows and then place the lid on top. The balls are then placed into the trays ready for playing. The game comes with full illustrated instructions. If you are playing with only two players then you can block off the other two corners with the extra pieces provided. Similarly, you can block off just one side if you have three only three players.

The Rules

The rules of the game are quite simple. Using one hand only, bounce the balls into the cube through the holes in the window or the lid. The balls have to bounce in, and you cannot bounce them through any other players window.

Playing the Game

The starter shouts King Pong, or ready, steady, go, or 3, 2, 1, go...we tried them all and everyone at once starts bouncing their balls into the cube.
The object of the game is to empty your tray of all balls. If a ball drops on the floor the player who threw it must immediately go and pick it up before returning to the game. As you play you will get many balls coming back out into your tray, you need to get them all back in as soon as you can.


The aim of the game is to get rid of all your balls by bouncing them into the unit faster than they roll back out into your tray. When your tray is empty you close your pivoting door and if you are first to do so then you have won. 


We found the game lots of fun and very energetic. You need to play on a hard surface so that the balls will bounce, but the balls do fly around a lot so be careful of losing them under the sofa, the tv cabinet, the coffee table or wherever. Because of the rule of picking up a ball as soon as it's dropped we found that they don't get lost because they are retrieved straight away. 
The girls, aged 10 and 12 picked it up really quickly and managed to get a lot of balls bouncing in and soon starting getting tactical. The Little Man, aged 7, had a little more difficulty so I can see why the game is rated 8+ years. He still had lots of fun though, and we found that we made a good team with me bouncing and him running around to pick the balls up.

And if you want a few laughs and ideas on how to handicap top players or enhance your game, take a look at this! Pimp My Pong, King Pong

Take a look at our little video and then see how you could win the game for yourself in our latest give away.

For more information and stockists please visit www.drumondpark.com

Now it's your chance to win a copy of this fabulous game, RRP £24.99. It would make a great Christmas Present!
Just a few little rules of entry:

Terms and Conditions

1. UK only (sorry)
2. Giveaway closes  10th October 2017
3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
4. There is 1 prize of a King Pong game
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 after 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: We were sent a game of King Pong for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Family Fever

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Keep on Hoping, Keep on Wishing but Most of all Keep on Believing

Last week I went to A&E because I really thought there was something wrong with  my heart. It felt like someone was sitting on my chest, crushing me and making it hard for me to breathe. I called my GP but I was told to go straight to A&E. I was given a red card on entry which meant I was seen straight away. They put me on a ECG monitor and checked me over. Then I was to wait to see a Doctor. As I was waiting over two hours I figured that they'd worked out that I was not having a heart attack.

I saw the Doctor and after lots of questions and further examination, and a consult with someone higher up the decision was that my pain was due to my condition, Stiff Person Syndrome. There was nothing they could do for me and I had to see my consultant for treatment. They couldn't contact my consultant so that's up to me, but I have an appointment in two weeks so I'm not sure they will see me any sooner.

For now I just have to deal with it an accept that this pain is yet another one I am going to have to get used to.

I also have been getting pain in my arms and hands, getting dressed has been really awkward. Again, I've been told it's due to my SPS which is progressing. I was affected from my waist down, now it's from my neck down. No, from my head down because I also get triginemal neuralgia which is another symptom of SPS and affects my face.

My first reaction to the news was to panic. I sobbed. I don't want it to progress so soon, I knew it would eventually but it's not even been two years yet. A lot of people with my condition (which is not a lot really because it's so rare) have died within three years. The positive side to this news (for me anyway) was that they were not diagnosed in time and did not receive the right treatment. I'm extremely lucky to have been diagnosed so quick, and there are treatments available, so I'm still hopeful. What I am worried about it my consultants lack of concern, he didn't even follow up to see how my last treatment (in June) went. I'm going to have to be firm with him when I see him next. I can no longer wait six months between appointments, if he's too busy to fit me in then I will see someone else.

So after my self pity, (I really don't want to lose my hands and arms, if my legs don't want to get better I'll deal with that but I can't lose my upper limbs, I just can't) I've decided that I'm going to bring out my fighting spirit. I've researched all the treatments that might work and I want to try them until I find one that does work. Of course, I would have to get the rarest form of an extremely rare condition, which means my consultant will have fight for the treatments, but I'm determined not to give in.

I also need to be pro-active. I have let my diet slip again and I do get lazy. Activity causes me pain, but if it's the only way to keep my body doing what I want it to do then I need to be more active. I will walk more, I'm thinking of getting some of those comfortable crutches that support the arm so they don't feel all the stress of holding me up. I have a friend who is great with alternative medication and although she's been having a rough time this year with her own issues, I think she's ready to start advising me again now. I am also in contact with other sufferers which helps a lot.

Sometimes I think that, you, my readers, get fed up of me harping on about my condition. But, this is my place and sometimes I just need to share. It makes me feel better, writing things down can be so cathartic and sharing my story may help someone else in the future. I know that reading another sufferers story as helped me, she's into her 16th year and it's been really rough for her, but now she has found the right treatment that works for her and is enjoying life again.

Just a couple of weeks ago my wish would have been to walk again. Now, that's just a dream, a bonus. My wish now is that I can stop this condition from continuing it's progression.

One thing is for sure, I won't give up. I haven't tried half the treatments that are available yet, and as much as I despise the thought of being on medication for the rest of my life, if it gives me more life then I will take it. I have children who need me. My husband needs me. And I don't want them to be my carers I want to be the best I can and the only way to do that is to fight this illness and not let it get the better of me. It won't win, I will! 

School Runs and Shopping Trolleys

Debs Random Writings

Photo by crabtree on Unsplash
Photo by Alex Cagwin on Unsplash

My Sunday Photo 10th September 2017

An old fashioned yellow bike with a basket of yellow flowers outside a shop painted yellow

This is a photo that Boo took for me when we were in Stratford-on-Avon last week. I loved the idea of a yellow bike with a basket of yellow flowers outside a yellow shop. It was quite eye catching.

And I know I've posted this before but here are some lovely flowers that my hubby snapped for me because I'd forgotten my phone when we went to the park. It's sad to think that summer is nearly over. I need flowers in my garden for next summer.

a flower bed of red, white and pink flowers

I pin My Sunday Photo pics I visit on my Pinterest Board. Please let me know if you wish your photo to be removed.


Sunday Snap

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Biscuits, biscuits and biscuits.

I'm a big fan of The Great British Bake Off and bake along with it every year. This year it changed channels and I forgot it was on last week! I did manage to catch it on catch-up tv though but it was too late to bake along. This week again I missed it when it was on, it's just not a good time for me, but I recorded it to watch at leisure. I have to say, I'm enjoying the new show despite no Mary or Mel and Sue. After all, it's about the baking really. The only thing I would say is that it seems a lot more rushed as they have to fit everything in for the adverts. One good thing about catch-up or recording, you don't have to watch the adverts :)

This week it was biscuit week and for a long time now I've wanted to make Bourbons, but I guess I just didn't feel like it, so I handed the challenge over to the kids.

Star went for the cream challenge and she made a softer cookie dough for her biscuits and piped them into rounds before I cooked them for her. Then she filled them with chocolate butter cream. I think they turned out pretty good, even though they were not all exactly the same.

chocolate cream swirl biscuits

Boo just wanted to do her own thing so she made a biscuit dough she could roll and cut out shapes from. She wanted to do different sized hearts but I couldn't find my pack of heart cutters, so she just chose shapes from the box. This is just a small selection of them after she'd piped icing on them.

biscuit shapes decorated with piped icing

When I told the Little Man of the options he said he wanted to make a game. Mmmm a bit adventurous for a seven year old I think! Of course his favourite game at the moment is Mine Craft so he wanted to make Mine Craft biscuits. They had to be square to represent the blocks on Mine Craft. Then he decorated them himself, the middle biscuit is the player and the little ones around it are dirt blocks. I can't really explain it any clearer.

chocolate square biscuits with piped designs

They had loads of fun with their baking and decorating, it was a great way to while away an afternoon. The biscuits all tasted pretty good too, especially as I just winged the recipe.

Next week it's bread week and I've been meaning to bake some bread for a while now so fingers crossed it will be me baking...although the kids will probably want to make some too!

If you want to see what other bloggers have been baking this week then please check out the GBBO blogger linky over on Mummy Mishaps blog.

Mummy Mishaps

Friday, 8 September 2017

My Word of the week -Speed

This week seems to have raced by so quickly. My kids are still home, they don't go back until 18th September! Today we went to pick up their new badged uniform items. It was fairly quiet in the shop, no idea why maybe it's because everyone else's kids have gone back to school already!!

We've not really done much this week so it does feel strange at the speed it's passed by. We've had to pop out a few times but mostly we've been at home. We've been really lazy to be honest.

The most exciting moment this week was having our car taken away for repairs (After it was hit by a van while parked outside a couple of weeks ago) and we had a new courtesy car.

I love the colour but I find the car really uncomfortable for my stiff body. When we moved into this house, 4 years ago next week, I hired a Nissan Juke because I didn't have a car at the time and we needed something to run between the old house and new for a couple of days while we moved. I loved it then and really enjoyed driving it. This one I can't drive at all because it doesn't have my hand controls and I just find it small and cramped inside. The seats feel uncomfortable too. Everyone else loves it though. 

We should get our own car back next week, so it won't be around for long. 

My word of the week was hard to choose, we've done nothing but the week has gone so quickly and the only excitement has been a car...so I've gone for Speed!

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Our Day out at Stratford Upon Avon and the MAD Museum

I haven't visited Stratford On Avon for many years so I was excited at getting to visit the place with the kids. Of course everyone knows that Stratford is popular with tourists because it was where William Shakespeare was born and it is the home of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre which sits on the river side. It really is a beautiful place to visit.

The plan was to picnic by the riverside but a couple of things got in the way. One was the hassle of getting out the door which didn't leave me time to make a picnic, the other was the weather, which was a little bit dreary. Normally we wouldn't let a little dark clouds and occasional drizzle put us off but one of the ways we'd managed to get out the house was to promise a certain family member lunch in Mc Donalds. We did have a little walk along the river and went the wrong way ending up walking along the canal instead.

After a bumpy start we scoffed our Mc Donalds and decided to go to plan B which was a visit to the MAD Museum. After a short walk we arrived at a tiny entrance and went upstairs to a small museum. It cost me just over £25 to get in and I can honestly say it was money well spent. We all loved it. Just in case you are wondering, MAD stands for Mechanical Art Design. I've created a little video of some of the things we discovered there.

As well as the installations there were many things for the kids, and adults, to do. There was the opportunity to build a huge marble run out of many different pieces of wooden blocks. There was also three whole walls in which to build marble runs out of. It's kind of hard to explain so here's a photo, just imagine to be able to move all of those pieces to make your marble run. (then imagine it spanning three walls.)

There are also all the touristy things to do in Stratford On Avon. Like see Shakespeare's Birthplace. You can, of course go inside, but we gave this a miss because it was getting late. Plus, I don't get to see much in my wheelchair.

We loved the Nutcracker shop where it's Christmas all year around.

The Teddy Bear Shop is also a must visit, the girls loved it in here.

And the Royal Shakespeare Theatre which sits on the riverbank. The glass part at the top is a restaurant, I bet the views are amazing up there.

Of course there are many more things to see and do in Stratford On Avon but we are going to have to return because this was all we had time for. Maybe next time we will go the right way and take a walk along the river front. We might even fit in a boat trip!

please pin me

Country Kids

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Children Love Theme Parks, But Parents Don't Love The Prices

Last weekend we had a trip to a local fete and their were rides for the kids. I was surprised that they were free and the kids had a great time without me having to tell them they couldn't have another go because all our money was spent. Going to a big theme park is a different story though.

All children love spending time at a theme park and going on all the rides with their friends or siblings. The issue is that ticket prices are often high, and so some families can’t afford to give their kids that experience. The tips and tricks published on this post should help to turn the situation around. These ideas will help even those on the lowest incomes to spend an unforgettable day at Alton Towers or another top attraction.

Start saving as soon as possible

Of course, the easiest way to pay for theme park tickets is to start saving in advance. While some people might think that’s impossible given their financial situations, the infographic below offers some excellent advice. It highlights how the average family wastes money every month. Use it to make improvements.

Look for voucher deals in newspapers

Lots of national newspapers publish vouchers for cheap theme park tickets these days. Indeed, some of them even offer two for one deals that would slash the price in half. In most instances, people will have to buy the newspaper for a few weeks to get all the coupons. Still, that’s much cheaper than paying the full price at the gate.

Purchase tickets online using discount codes

It’s always sensible to search online for discount codes when purchasing theme park tickets. Most of the top attraction have an option during the checkout process for people to enter their promotional codes. That could assist families in saving a fortune.

Put the tips and tricks from this post into practice, and there is no reason the entire family can’t enjoy a day out at a theme park this summer. Enjoy!

Designed by Sunny.co.uk

I will hold my hands up to being quite rubbish when it comes to money, it slips through my fingers. These tips have shown me where I've been going wrong. I'm definitely an impulse buyer and I can't go into a supermarket without coming back with twice as much as I went in for. I've started writing down and keeping the receipts of impulsive buys and take-aways and it has shocked me how much I've been spending over my limits.

Do you have any other great tips? Or are you willing to share your bad habits.
How do you save up for days out and holidays? I'd love to know in the comments.

disclosure: collaborated post.

Monday, 4 September 2017

A Journey to the Center of the Earth - book review

Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth is a masterpiece of adventure and this stunning edition features more than 50 full-page illustrations by the distinguished artist Édouard Rio. Accompanied by his nephew Harry and his guide Hans, Professor Von Hardwigg follows a coded message left by a 16th-century alchemist into a subterranean world that is home to marvels from the prehistoric past.

Hardcover: 375 pages
Age Range: 8 - Adult
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Language: English

I will admit that I've never read the book before, I've only seen the movie, and that being the original movie from 1959! The latest movie in 2008 is written as a kind of sequel to the book.

The book was originally written in 1864 in French. It has been translated into English and this publication has been abridged and altered. It is the most popular reprinted version of the book. 

It reads easily and can be enjoyed by older children and adults.

I love that this book is leather bound which means it will be stored on my special bookshelf of leather bound books. The pages are edged with gold and their is an integrated ribbon bookmarker. Add to this the lovely illustration plates and you have a gorgeous book that is a delight to read.

For those unfamiliar with the story it involves a young man, Henry, his Uncle, Professor Von Hardwigg and a guide called Hans, entering a volcano to follow a path to the centre of the earth. They encounter many things on their amazing journey including giant mushrooms and prehistoric creatures. 

Although not completely true to the original Jules Verne story, this book is a good read for any age.

Available from GMC Distributions.

Disclosure: This book was sent to me for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

My Sunday Photo - 3rd September 2017

two kids in a teacup ride at the village fete

Can you believe it's September already? There are already signs of Autumn on the way and we'll soon be preparing for Christmas. Sorry, but it's true.

Desperate to make the most of the last days of summer we visited the local fete yesterday. It was a lovely sunny day and the fete was in the park. We were not sure what to expect as we had not been before but we had a real good time. Best of all, the rides were all free. I'm really feeling the pinch at the moment and I was worried that I'd be saying 'no' to the kids after one ride each, but it was great not having to worry about how much I had in my purse. The kids went on the tea cups and other rides, they enjoyed the bouncy castle and the inflatable slide and the Little Man even had a go on the Go Karts. There was a magician performing much to the delight of Boo who loves magic shows.

my boy concentrating on driving a go kart around the track

We had a lovely time and not having to worry about the kid's fleecing me dry meant I could spend my money on other things and I came away with some second hand cook books, some nice home made chutney and we enjoyed some nice spicy vegetarian Indian food.

I will make sure we go again next year.

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Sunday Snap

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I've also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me...is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I've loved. If I don't love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It's always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I'll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.
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