Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Reading in the Sales!

I know, it's almost half way through January but that doesn't mean that the sales have stopped. In fact Waterstones have some fantastic book bargains at the moment and I've selected a few to share with you.

£12.95 £6.49

I really can't resist some nice stationary and these set of 3 notebooks look lovely. The covers feature an illustration by Milli Marotta and sparkling gold foil. In the pack there are two plain notebooks and one lined.

David Walliams (author), Tony Ross (illustrator)
£12.99 £6.49

One for the kids (And parents) and in hardback too! David Walliams writes such hilarious, but heart warming stories. This is a keeper for sure.

Dan Brown (author)
£20.00 £12.99

One for Dan Brown fans, it's so good when you can get the latest in a fiction series at such a bargain price don't you think?

Sinclair McKay (author)
£12.99 £6.49

This sounds really interesting, I love puzzles and riddles and we are planning a trip to Bletchley Park this year sometime. This one is on my to buy list.

Rosamund Young (author)
£9.99 £4.99

Have you ever wondered exactly what cows get up to in their day to day lives? Surely it has to be more than eating and wandering around fields? This is a lovely book about cows and their hitherto secret world.

Tom Hanks (author)
£16.99 £9.99

Proving that Tom Hanks is not just a talented actor, (Just how many films has this guy appeared in?*)
here is a lovely collection of 17 short stories featuring type writers in each one. I really want to read this one, it sounds intriguing. 

Axel Scheffler (illustrator), Julia Donaldson (author)

£12.99 £6.49

I cannot finish my list without featuring a Julia Donaldson book. My kids have now grown out of Julia hoo! but this hardback book is a complete bargain and will give so much pleasure. 

You can see these books and a whole heap of others in the Waterstones Sale Here.

*Tom Hanks has a appeared in at least 65 Movies (And that's the best figure Google could offer me!)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

So Funny I Pee'd my Pants!

Sorry if you are expecting something really funny in this post, the simple truth is, incontinence isn't funny at all. Not when a cough, sneeze or even a giggle can cause you to have a 'whoops' moment. It can happen to any woman too (And some men) it doesn't matter if you are young, old, fat, slim, fit, unhealthy or pregnant.
There are ways to improve your bladder, exercise, drinking more water and so on. But even so, there are always times when your bladder is under stress. And you have to have a really strong bladder to withstand a round of sneezing. I have a little saying, 'Sneeze three times in a row and it's really time to 'go'.'

I'm disabled and partially paralysed. I need a little extra protection and up until now I've used pads. Now I have had the chance to review Giggle Knickers and I'd like to share what I think of them.

Giggle Knickers are discreet, eco friendly, washable knickers with added protection. Their claim is to be a 21st Century Solution for 21st Century Women.


Giggle Knickers are just like normal pants. They have extra protection fitted in so are a little more bulkier in the gusset area. However, they feel as comfortable as wearing normal pants and you don't get any curling or sticky bits sticking where it shouldn't be, and nothing moves around. The Giggle Knickers I have had a lovely soft thick elastic trim which didn't cut in and felt really comfortable. 


Giggle Knickers come in sizes XS to XL which in UK sizes ranges from size 4 to 18. I think they could go a little higher for the bigger women. Currently there is only one style of Giggle Knickers but there are more on the way, from shorties to thongs. They are inviting people to vote on which comes next on their website.


Giggle Knickers have a 4 layer core, after a comfortable cotton layer to keep your skin safe, the first is a layer that keeps you dry, the second layer pulls liquid away, the third layer holds the liquid without pooling and the fourth layer stops your clothes from getting damp. After trying them I can honestly say I felt totally dry at the end of the day. They hold around six teaspoons full of liquid, so great for those little accidents. They are not recommended for people with serious incontinence issues.


Giggle Knickers are £15.99 (currently on offer for £12.99) but I'll go by the original price. Lets say you just have two pairs then that will cost you £31.98. For someone like me I'd probably need at least four pairs which work out at £63.96. I've worked out that in a year the amount of pads I would normally use would cost about the same.

Cost to Environment

It's estimated that two billion sanitary products are flushed down Britain's toilets every year. Even if you don't flush it away the amount of products produced in this Country alone is huge and it all has to go somewhere. Giggle Knickers are made to be eco-friendly. They can be washed and re-used and even  come in recycled and recyclable packaging. 

Even More

Giggle Knickers even support the Free a Girl Movement and for every purchase they donate 20p to the charity as well as raise awareness.

Free a Girl India aims to fight against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children. We do this by raising awareness about the problem of child prostitution and the impunity of offenders of child prostitution. We believe there is a need to change the conversation, to mobilise society to rally behind the girls that have fallen victim to this crime, and to demand justice. It is important to break the silence in many countries about child prostitution and the need to prosecute the offenders. Find out more.


Overall, I think I'm sold. I was most taken aback by how utterly comfortable these knickers were, they didn't cut in or ride down. I felt totally protected too from those little ooops moments. There was no evidence of any accidents at the end of the day, the knickers still felt comfortable and dry. The shape size and colour were exactly as I would have chosen, but it's good to know that there are more designs on the way. They are reasonably priced for a pair of knickers, maybe a little more expensive than ones I would normally buy but considering that they are so much more than a normal pair of knickers they are definitely value for money. Plus, I wouldn't need to buy any more pads.

Disclosure: I was sent a pair of Giggle Knickers for free in return for my honest opinion. Please see my notes below on positive reviews.

Monday, 15 January 2018

If You Fell Down Yesterday, Stand Up Today

a frosty twig with the quote, if you fell down yesterday, stand up today by H.G. Wells
photo courtesy of Les Anderson

If you read my post last week, Let Me Not Beg for the Stilling of my Pain, then you would have probably noticed that I was not as upbeat as I usually am. I try my hardest to be positive but sometimes, even while trying, I feel pretty bad inside.

I was really ill, I'd been ill for weeks and I really thought it was time to just give up. But giving up is not really in my vocabulary.

Last week I spent every day in hospital as an outpatient. I received my IVIG treatment for the third time. The first time I'd had very little result, the second time I'd had some good signs but the side effects nearly killed me. This time I was scared about the side effects and had little faith in the treatment. I also harbour guilt for taking such an expensive medication when it was not doing me any good, but talking to other patients they all said I needed to keep going as it does get better. 

So, last Monday I had fallen. I had fallen hard and didn't have much hope in getting back up again.

But, I did. I had my treatment, I have had very minimal side effects, and I feel much better!
Okay, it's not been a miracle cure, but I have less pain (I have to say that again, I have less pain!!) and I have a little more energy. I feel better inside and my positivity has returned. I'm standing up again. (Almost literally but only for short periods,) and it feels good. I have already been booked in for my next two treatments but I will see my consultant before then. Depending on how long I feel better for he may change my treatment dates. 

I have a lot to look forward to this year, and although it started pretty rough, I now have lots of hope that things are going to be just fine.


School Runs and Shopping Trolleys
Debs Random Writings
Naptime Natter

Friday, 12 January 2018

Word of the Week - Intravenous

As you can guess, it's treatment week for me as I go to hospital each day to receive my IVIG. That leaves me very little time for anything else.

Today is my last day and I'm feeling okay, no side affects as of yet and a decrease in pain...fingers tightly crossed.

Another thing that happened this week was that my kids went back to school. It was a little stressful at first but more for me getting everything ready for them, than for them. They were excited to get back and have been great.

So that's my week in a nutshell! How's your week been?

The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Beating the January Blues with Office Narnia

What's your work space like? Do you have room to yourself? Do you share with others? Do you work from home. I've always preferred working with others so we can chat while working, mostly about the stuff we'd rather be doing than working.

Now I work from home, although I don't really consider it working, but I do put plenty of hours in on this little blog of mine. Even so, I do often find my mind wandering to other things and places. How I would love a view out of my window, something other than a soggy garden and a shed. I'd love to be able to look out on rolling countryside, or to see the sea from my window. Now that would be just perfect and I'd be happy to work all day.

Now imagine having a magic filing cabinet that you could transport you to anywhere you wanted to be. What would be your office Narnia? Where would you go to beat the January blues?

I'm thinking, sitting by the poolside reading a book, not too hot, but warm and breezy. It would have to be quiet too, the pool could be empty, but I like to be near water. Maybe the pool could be a private one in a mansion, high in the hills with rolling countryside all around. I would pick up my book, read a few pages, then lie back and just relax. Drinks would arrive when I was thirsty and food when I was hungry. I'd have nothing to worry about, I could stay there all day. See how easy it is to let your imagination run away with you.

Disclosure: collaborative post

Monday, 8 January 2018

Getting Cosy at Home for the Winter Season

Do you like to change your home according the season? I know I like things bright and airy during the summer, but in the winter months my focus is on warm and cosy. This often means putting up some thicker curtains in my living room and adding lots of throws and cushions. It's nice to get warm and cosy on these cold winter evenings. I've also crocheted my own little blanket to keep my legs warm.

It's not perfect but it's my first attempt, and it's very cosy. 

I also think that winter is a good time to add a splash of colour to the home, I may get the paintbrushes out, or just hang a nice picture on a bare wall. Anything to brighten up those dark dreary days. Of course lighting is important too, it gets darker so much earlier and too much darkness can be depressing so I like to keep my home bright whenever I can. As well as adding an extra lamp I sometimes feel that candles add just that little bit of extra light and if they are scented they can also create a warmer welcoming environment.

Our garden in Winter gets very neglected. We can't even venture down to the bottom of the garden because the drainage is poor and it's just like a bog. We really need to get this sorted. Our garden furniture is covered up in an effort to keep it dry and clean. Unfortunately our poor patio table became a victim of storm Eleanor. My hubby had left the parasol up and when the wind blew it over it shattered the glass top of the table. Lesson learnt! You can never be too careful.

Winter is also a time for checking that you are safe in your home, is your heating working properly, have you had your boiler checked. What would you do if it let you down when it was really cold, or even worse, what if it was faulty and letting of harmful fumes?
Do you have secure locks on your doors and windows? With there being much more darkness in winter it creates more opportunities for those that burgle. I know that unexpected disasters can happen any time of year but it's always a good time to check that you have adequate insurance.

Chill Insurance have devised this great little e-book with lots of ideas for decorating and designing your perfect winter home. 


Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

Let Me Not Beg for the Stilling of my Pain

It is during our darkest moments that we should focus to see the light - aristotle
photo credit Annie Spratt - Unsplash

Today I'm off to the hospital for my third round of IVIG (Intravenous Immunoglobulin.) The first time I had big hopes that it would be my miracle cure. The disappointment after nearly broke me. The second time I had less hope but thought it was worth it to keep trying, I'd had a lot of people telling me that it gets better each time you had it. I had a little relief from some of my symptoms, the tingling was reduced, I had a little more energy and my twitching was decreased. However, the side effects were huge giving me massive migraines worse than any I've had in my thirty year experience of migraines. This week I am prepared, I'm going to keep hydrated, at least three litres of water a day. I will take pain killers at regular intervals, and I'm going to ask for  slower infusions which can help. I am hoping that the results will be better than last time and that the side effects will just leave me alone.

I'm going to be honest. Life isn't good at the moment. I have so many issues going on and I feel useless, helpless, I just can't cope. How can I be there for others when some days I can barely hold my head up. I can't deal with it all, it's driving me down into the darkness. And if life's problems are not enough, my health is truly depressing me. I'm scared, really scared, I'm not improving, I'm getting worse. Some days I really believe that I am dying.

I need someone to rescue me, to save me, to make everything okay again.
Maybe that someone is me, maybe I'm the only one that can do this. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not beg for the still of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it
photo credit David Ragusa - Unsplash

School Runs and Shopping Trolleys
Debs Random Writings
Naptime Natter

Sunday, 7 January 2018

My Sunday Photo - 7th January 2018

Post Christmas and before going back to school. The ideal time to get the jigsaw puzzles out. This set, bought by Nanny, was ingenious. Three different boxes, three separate puzzles that all join together at the end. Perfect for three little fingers. It helped them while away the afternoon.

They don't go back to school until next Wednesday, suddenly the holiday feels very long. They have been really well behaved, but I think we are all longing for some routine now.  The Christmas decorations and tree are all packed away. The last of the goodies have been munched away (although we do still have a lot of alcohol left.) Christmas has well and truly left the building and the New Year has begun.

Here's the finished puzzle..

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


Friday, 5 January 2018

Word of the Week - Bed

photo: krista-mcphee on Unsplash

The kids don't go back to school until next Wednesday and despite keeping their usual bedtime they have been getting up later and later. The Little Man still wakes up but he's been getting into bed with me for a cuddle. The girls have not been getting up until about 8am (which, believe it or not, is really late for them, especially Star who is normally a 6am starter!) So, I'm been getting a little extra time in bed each morning. 

I've been suffering really bad fatigue lately, not sure why. When I get tired I get really tired and can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I've dropped off at the lap top several times, and reading a book, crocheting and watching television. I guess that's nothing unusual, but the other day I dropped off in the sink while attempted to wash my hair with the shower head. Thankfully, I was wise enough to realise I wasn't fit enough to take a shower, I'd have hated to fall asleep in there, I may have fallen off my stool! I went out for the first time since Christmas Eve yesterday and fell asleep in the car, luckily, I wasn't driving!

I was so tired that I slept through Storm Eleanor, despite her breaking my glass topped garden table!

My day out was a trip to Dreams where my son purchased a new bed for himself. We spent a lot of time browsing the beds. I've decided that I'd like one with two separately controlled adjustable beds, but hubby fancies one that has a tv hidden away in the bottom. I don't really like televisions in the bedroom, but if it means he doesn't have to watch football downstairs then it's worth it. The kids liked my adjustable beds and got really quite comfortable in them. Star has decided that she wants a Tempur Cloud mattress for her bed costing around £1000 for a single mattress! ....mmmmm.....if she would like to spend more time in it, it may be worth it. (or not!) 

I think our bedroom could do with a serious makeover, but we won't have the finances this year, I'll just have to keep dreaming! (see what I did there?) 

The Reading Residence

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my readers!

I know I'm a little late but we had an awful Christmas and New Year's Eve, so last night we had our traditional munchies, film and family time and it was much more relaxed and finally we can celebrate the New Year.

Although it was a really tough week I'm happy to report that the kids had a great time. Their little face on Christmas day where all I needed to make Christmas special. There is nothing like that feeling and I will miss it when my young ones grow up.

So, with Christmas over it's time to start thinking of the New Year and what it will bring. Yesterday marked my second anniversary of being ill. Next week is the one year anniversary of my actual diagnosis, Stiff Person Syndrome with Progressive Encephamyelitis with Rigidity and Myoclonus. 

Next week I go into hospital for the third round of IVIG (Intravenous Immunoglobulin.) The last time it left me with the most horrid migraines that I thought I was dying. Seriously, I've been a migraine sufferer for over 30 years and I'd never experienced anything like it. It was also a hemiplegic migraine which meant I also suffered paralysis and my poor hubby thought I was having a stroke and took me straight to A&E.  Next week I am going to be more prepared, plenty of water (at least 3 ltrs a day) and regular pain relief. I am staying positive. The first time I had IVIG I thought it was going to be my miracle treatment and when it didn't work I plunged into depression. The second time, after the awful migraines had stopped, I did see some improvement. It wasn't the miracle I seek, but a little relief from some of my symptoms was well received. Unfortunately they didn't last. I can see myself getting worse all the time and this scares me so much. The life expectancy for someone with my condition is 3 years and I am now into my third year! The good news is that the condition is incredibly rare so it's difficult to go by the original life expectancy because most of the deaths were in the early days before they had worked out any kind of treatment. Also, most of them had other conditions as well, cancer, diabetes and epilepsy. I don't have any underlying condition that is life threatening.

Next week I am hoping for less side effects and more positive results, those who have IVIG regularly tell me that it works better each time (but it also stops working after time.) I have to stay positive!

I'll be honest with you, my positivity has not been around for the past week or so. I wanted to take a break from my blog and social media because I felt that being negative was not the impression I like to give. I like to show my positivity, I'm faced with so much trauma every day but I find sharing positive blog posts and messages helps to keep me focused. However, when you are feeling low and close to wishing this life would end right now, it's so hard to express exactly how you feel without it looking like you are seeking sympathy, or even worse, trying to make others feel bad.

Sometimes, though, you have to be honest, and honestly I've been feeling CRAP. Everyone around me, apart from my little ones, has made me feel sad and low. My illness has been awful, I have felt so so ill, and all the time all I've wanted to do is enjoy the holiday and feel the Christmas spirit. And my family has just made me feel worse. I've put up with so much sh*t in the past week, too much. If it wasn't for my little ones I think I would have just given up on everything.

But, my little ones have been my joy in the madness. They have been so happy and carefree. I may have been frustrated with them a couple of times but it was nothing that I'm not used to. Also, my little Star became a young lady over the holiday. She's really growing up now. I know she is behind in maturity, but some things you can't delay, and a 5ft 5 inches you cannot think of her as a little child anymore.

So, today is a new day and despite the fact that my arm has gone into an incredibly painful spasm that has now lasted more than 12 hours, I am going to keep plodding on and dig deep because my positivity is in there somewhere. I cannot allow myself to go into this year feeling so low.

I have much to look forward to this year. I am staying hopeful that next weeks treatment will be a good one. Then in April I am going on a fabulous Blogger Retreat which I'm really looking forward too. In August we are having our first 7 day holiday in many years (We usually just have a short 4 day break) the kids are going to be so excited. There are places I want to go, things I want to see, memories I so want to create. If this is going to be my last year it's going to be great! But of course, it's not going to be my last year, I'm not ready for this stupid condition to beat me yet. I'm ready for a fight!

It doesn't matter how many times I fall, I will always pick myself up and carry on. When I did the Activation Game  I exercised being the best possible version of me for a day. It's always a great thing to strive for, being a better version of yourself, and something that I often try to practice.

How about you?

School Runs and Shopping Trolleys
Debs Random Writings
Naptime Natter

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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