A Trip to the Cinema is a great treat for kids and a way to keep them occupied over the long summer holiday. It’s especially good on those wet summer days when planned picnics have been cancelled. Even on hot days what could be nicer than a cool air conditioned cinema.

Here are my top picks of family films to watch this summer.

Thomas and Friends, Big World Big Adventures.

When my eldest was a little boy he adored Thomas and Friends, he had all the trains, all the books, all the DVDs. Sometimes I wished he’d never grown up because I loved Thomas too. I might have to drag my Little Man along to watch this new film.

Catch Thomas and his friends at the cinema from July 20th 2018

Get up to 40% off your Thomas and Friends Cinema Tickets here.

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation

I love the Hotel Transylvania films and I’m so glad they’ve made another. This time they are off on a cruise, I’m sure nothing can go wrong…right?

The film also has a timely message of love, acceptance and tolerance of those who are different.

Catch the film in cinemas now, rated PG

Get up to 40% off your Hotel Transylvania 3 Cinema Tickets here.

 

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles are another one of my favourites. Who can resist superheroes!

Incredibles 2 truly shines as a sequel, with top critics claiming it has even outshone the original. Behind the hi-tech adventure that young and old kids will appreciate, there are genuine themes here that we can appreciate – the perils of parenthood, family stress and gender inequality. Smashing the box office, Incredibles 2 deserves a family cinema trip this summer, with lots of popcorn.

Released on 13th July 2018

Get up to 40% off your Incredibles 2 Cinema Tickets here.

Disney’s Christopher Robin

Now, I’ve never really been a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh but this film intrigues me. It’s set around a grown up Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) who is helped by the stuffed animals of his childhood that have now embarked on our world.

You can catch Christopher Robin in cinemas from August 17th, rated PG.

Get up to 40% off your Christopher Robin Cinema Tickets here.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

We love Teen Titans Go! It’s quirky and fun, and sometimes totally ridiculous.

The Teen Titans are a group of sidekicks and minor heroes in the DC Universe. They are very American but that shouldn’t be a problem with the young YouTube addicts of today. (Do your kids have American accents sometimes?) If your kids are a fan of the TV show then they should enjoy the film.

Released on July 27th

Get up to 40% off your Teen Titans Go! To the Movies Cinema Tickets here.

Kids Pass

I hope you’ve enjoyed my top picks of family films for this summer. Let me know if you go to see any of them.

You may have noticed some links that I’ve included offering up to 40% off Cinema Tickets.

These are through Kids Pass

I am a member of Kids Pass and they offer some great offers for families from Days out, eating out and holidays. You can even get discounts on your favourite theme parks. You can sign up for a 30 day trial for just £1 to see if it suits you. Download the app to your phone and your discounts go with you everywhere.

I am an affiliate for Kids Pass so if you join through any of my links I will receive a small monetary reward.



 

New Sofas

Do you remember my new sofas from six weeks ago? Well, even though I really like them, the rest of the family had mixed feelings and now we have ended up swapping them. We had to wait for the new ones to be made but I think they are worth it. The new sofas are a bit different because even though they are leather, they have fabric seats and backs. (Not cushion backs, I’m sorry but they would drive me insane.) They arrived on Monday morning at 7.30am. Just as we were getting the girls ready for school!

I believe everyone is happy with the new sofas. Well they had better be, I’m not changing them again. I’m just glad I was able to change my mind with no issues this time.

Sports Day

The girls are having sports day this week and they are both really excited about it. I was never a sporty person and I hated P.E. and sports day. The only game I really liked playing was rounders. I was good at the long jump, especially having longer legs, I barely had to put in any effort to get further than anyone else. I was rubbish at short distance running as I was a slow starter. I did manage to keep up stamina in longer races though. I can’t remember ever winning anything.

School sports day these days are much more fun, and the girls love them. Star can’t take part in a lot  because of her Elhers Danlos Syndrome. She suffers from tiredness, dizziness and joint pain. She does try as much as possible though and still has fun. The school is brilliant with her, if she says she can’t go on they let her stop.

Boo loves sport, she’s not the best at most things but she tries really hard. I’m hoping that she wins something as I know she will get a real boost if she does. I’ll be waiting impatiently to hear how she does. Daddy is going to watch her.

Update: Both girls had real fun on their sports days, no medals were won but they really enjoyed themselves. Boo did get a trophy at the year six leavers assembly, for being ‘Artfully Creative.’ Now, I’m waiting for them to come home from their last day at school…yay!

Holiday

It feel like I’ve been waiting for this Summer holiday for so long! We really deserve a rest from school. Can you believe, I have spent a whole term home educating the Little Man. He’s done really well and we have folder full of work to show the LEA when they come to check on him. As well as all the curriculum work we’ve also enjoyed learning about electronics, rainforests and magnets. We have even fitted in a little Quantum Physics!

He’s been reading a longer book than usual, Kid Normal by Greg James and Chis Smith. We can’t wait to see how the book ends.

The summer holiday is looking really exciting for us. We start with Boo’s birthday, I’m not sure what we will be doing yet but I do have her presents. Then we have a charity gig to go to and Graham will be on stage doing his part.

Next up is the Little Man’s birthday and I’m really hoping we can get out for the day. We have yet decided where to go  but I’m sure it will be fun. I have most of his birthday gifts ready.

Mid August we will be going on holiday, it’s a camp in Devon that we went to 8 years ago. Before the Little Man was born. We had such a brilliant time there that I’ve been waiting for a chance to go back and now I won’t have to wait too much longer.

After the holiday we still have some excitement as it will be Star’s birthday before they go back to school.

Rain

I think that when it rains it’s going to be so welcome as we’ve waited for so long now. It’s just not the way we expect our summer to be is it. We had a tiny bit of rain the other day, I was actually sat in the garden and felt it. Sadly, it was not enough to even leave the patio wet.

I want to it to rain now, a nice big downpour to bring back the green!

Then it can go away again and give some more weeks of glorious sunshine. I’ve never been a summer lover but I have to admit, I’ve felt so much better in the heat, the usual aches and pains are really not so bad. I can see why chronically ill people decide to move to hotter climates.

IVIG

IVIG, is the treatment I receive for my condition. I have it by infusion in hospital once a month and it seems to be helping. Before I used to have to wait 3 months for a treatment, but the monthly one is working much better so I’ll be telling my consultant at my appointment in October. I have been waiting patiently for my consultant appointment, I’ve been doing some research and want to ask him about some other treatments.

There won’t be too much waiting for my next treatments though. I have one next week and another the day before we go on holiday, how brilliant is that! Having it monthly also seems to reduce the side effects because the dose is smaller.

 Waiting

Hand holding a watch

Photo by Jaelynn Castillo on Unsplash

My word of the week this week is waiting because I’m waiting for so many things, thankfully they are all good.

 

Debs Random Writings
The Reading Residence

 

I’m a big lover of Cadbury Chocolate and a native of the original Cadbury land of Bournville.  Today I have two treats for you. One is a discount code on an Inventor Selection, the second is a chance to create your own chocolate bar and have it made and sold by Cadbury’s.

Inventor Selection

I’ve always been a big fan of the Cadbury Letterbox selection, well now you can make your own by choosing four of your favourite bars in the Inventor Selection. What would you pick? My selection would be Caramel, Fruit and Nut, Oreo and Oreo Mint.

All four bars arrive in a box slender enough to go in the post, so you could really make someone’s day and send them a super gift. It’s only £10 too. If you use the code MADBURY you can even get 25% off your order. Double yummy.

a box of a selection of Cadbury Dairy Milk Bars

Become a Cadbury Inventor

How would you like to invent your own Cadbury Dairy Milk? Pop on over and have a go 

First choose three ingredients, then give your bar a name. Fill in your details and you could win the opportunity to go to Cadbury World and see your invention come to life. It will also go on sale for a limited period (make sure you stock up!)

The competition runs until July 31st so enter soon, and good luck!

I made my ultimate bar, what do you think?

a cadbury dairy milk bar invention called Tea Break and made with biscuits, ginger and lemon green tea

 

I’d love to hear all about your inventions, let me know if you enter the competition.

 

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

 

 

Ash, my new kitten, is now nearly fifteen weeks old, so I thought it was time  for an update.

a kitten lying on the settee

 

I love this little kitten so much, he’s been a pain at times, but he’s also very loving and sweet.

He’s still sleeping with me as I can’t trust him with our other cat Sabrina overnight yet. He has now found a spot by window on the floor where he likes to sleep best. I guess he can feel a breeze from the window which keeps him cool. He’s so fast though, as soon as the Little Man opens the bedroom door in the morning Ash is out of there in a shot. We let him go as we’ll be joining him soon.

When we first had him he was so tiny he had difficulty going up and down the stairs, now he races up and down them.

He is a good boy and always uses the cat litter tray. He hasn’t wrecked anything yet, but he does like climbing up the curtains and having a good chew on any shoes or slippers left around. Thankfully, he scratches on his post and hasn’t had a go at our new settees.

He loves it if there is a moth, fly or even spider in the house, he will keep on trying until he’s caught them. He’s going to be a good hunter when he grows up.

He has an amazing colouring, stripes on his body and spots on his belly, it’s like a cross between a cheetah and a tiger, so we call him a chiger! He’s got such big ears he could be a bat.

Ash and Sabrina

Our other cat Sabrina is still not happy, but you can’t blame her. Whenever she comes in the house Ash can’t wait to play with her. He follows her around, hides and pounces on her, runs at her then runs away quickly, he’s a proper tease. But poor Sabrina is not amused and just bats him away. I guess it’s a good job we’ve had such good weather as Sabrina is spending most of her day outside under the trampoline.

We keep their food separate so that Sabrina doesn’t have to share with him. They are on different food at the moment anyway. I’ve caught Sabrina having a sneaky snack on his baby food though.

I think things will get better once Ash is older and a little calmer.

At least Sabrina gets the house to herself once Ash has come to bed with me.

 

Photalife

 

Sunday Snap

 

I’ve known Rebecca who blogs at The Beesley Buzz for a few years now and when she asked if she could write something for Raisie Bay I was happy to host. Rebecca discovered her young daughter had Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis back in 2015. And now her husband Richard is doing something incredible to make a difference to the lives of children who suffer from JIA by starting the Juvenile Arthritic Research project.

I’ll leave it to Rebecca and Richard to explain….

We have loved reading Anne’s blog for so many years and one of the reasons that we keep coming back time and time again is because of Anne’s honesty when things are tough on the health front. Raising awareness of medical conditions, especially less common conditions, is so important – not least because others will know they are not alone when going through it themselves. Awareness can help early detection and diagnosis when symptoms first come about. Awareness can help with understanding and empathy. And so we were honoured when Anne agreed to host a guest post about Juvenile Arthritis. Despite affecting 15,000 children in the UK, many people are still not aware that arthritis can affect children.

What is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (or JIA)?

JIA is diagnosed in children and young people under the age of 16, and is a different disease to adult-onset rheumatoid arthritis, and entirely different from age-related osteoarthritis. The term ‘idiopathic’ means that, despite a number of theories, the exact cause of JIA is currently unknown.
As we already mentioned, many people are not even aware that children can get arthritis. At present, there is no cure.

JIA is an autoimmune disorder where the body starts to attack the joints, causing inflammation, pain, discomfort and reduced mobility. Left unchecked, JIA can lead to other health conditions as the immune system attacks other organs, as well as permanent disability and long-term health implications. Many children with JIA suffer from uveitis, where the immune system attacks the eyes; if not stopped this can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness. Some forms of JIA lead to systemic inflammatory damage, where other organs are damaged and, in the most severe forms, this can be fatal.

Current treatments for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Nowadays there are a range of treatments available but no cure. The standard treatment is Methotrexate – a chemotherapy drug that works by reducing the immune system. This is often supplemented with other medications (such as painkillers and steroids) when required. However, methotrexate has side-effects and is not always effective. In fact, it is ineffective in treating JIA in around 35% of all patients. Where patients do remain on the drug, they often experience sickness (for which many take anti-sickness medications), hair loss, headache, mouth ulcers, and weakness. Methotrexate is also cytotoxic, and can cause liver damage for which regular blood tests are required.

Where children and young people are unable to take methotrexate, they may move on to ‘biologics’ – the next level of drugs. These work in a variety of ways, but all work to reduce the immune system.
As a result of having their immune system reduced, children and young people on anti-JIA medications are more likely to contract illnesses. Even relatively simple illnesses can become severe and life-threatening.

Prospects for children and young people with JIA

Around half of all children and young people with JIA will go into remission within ten years. However, the remaining half continue to suffer from the disease and need to take medication for life. This means that around 50% of all children diagnosed with JIA will continue to experience the negative symptoms of the disease, and the side-effects of the drugs, for their entire life.

What is life like for a child with JIA ?

Trinity is six years old. She was diagnosed with JIA when she was two. For her, JIA looks like this:
Weekly injections of methotrexate, causing sickness and increasing the number of other illnesses and infections she suffers as her immune-system is reduced

  •  Folic acid supplements six days per week (to combat the side-effects of the methotrexate, such as hair loss)
  •  Blood tests every 2 to 6 weeks (to monitor liver damage due to the methotrexate)
  •  Physiotherapy exercises at home five times per week
  •  Regular hydrotherapy sessions
  •  Regular x-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs of affected joints to monitor progress
  •  Eye-drops during uveitis flare-ups
  • Antibiotics when infections set-in
  •  Podiatry-prescribed insoles
  • Specially-fitted shoes
  •  Use of a wheelchair during flare-ups
  •  Appointments with: paediatric consultants every three months: eye specialists every three to four months: paediatric physiotherapists every six months: podiatrists every six to nine months
  • Regular admission to hospital with secondary illness and infections

Trinity’s experience is not uncommon but, in some ways, she is one of the ‘lucky’ ones as her JIA is currently responding to methotrexate and joint damage is currently being prevented.

All of this is to enable her to live as normal a life as possible. She is not alone. There are thousands of JIA patients across the country, all of them on similar treatment regimens to Trinity. A life of injections and treatment, hoping for remission but planning for a forever without it.

The Juvenile Arthritis Research (JAR) Project

In January 2018, Richard Beesley took a step of faith and founded Juvenile Arthritis Research in order to find a cure for JIA. Richard has a background in biomedical research from the Institute of Child Health, and experience in running clinical trials and research programmes, and has worked in research, project and programme management in a number of public and private sector organisations – most recently in local government. He is the father of Trinity, who has had JIA since she was two years old, and husband to Rebecca who had JIA from the age of ten some thirty years ago.

JAR has the support and endorsement, both in terms of our aims and methodology, from the leading research teams in academic research. Our aim is simple – to find the cure for juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Juvenile Arthritis Research is a project of the Jabez Charitable Trust. This allows the project to continue with minimal administrative overheads whilst having the integrity and accountability of a registered charity.

Further information

You can find out more about Juvenile Arthritis Research, including ways you can get involved and support us, at www.jarproject.org. Even if you cannot get involved yourself, simply sharing this blog post will help take us a step closer.

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