Word of the Week #6 2019

Hello and welcome to the home of Word of the Week, a nice and simple weekly linky, with everyone welcome to pop by and share. You reflect back on the past week and sum it up in one word. Then share your word with us in a blog post, with as little or as much explanation as you like.

There are not too many rules with this linky, just remember to read at least another couple of posts in the link up after adding your link. Do try to stick to the theme of summing your week up. I will read and comment on all posts and tweet them out for you. I also have a Pinterest board devoted to Word of the Week and I will add posts to Mix (formerly Stumble.) Please add the badge below to your post so that others may find us and join in. If you comment or tweet then please use the hashtag #WotW

If you are unfamiliar with the Word of the Week linky then please feel free to ask any questions. New linkers are always welcome, we love to hear what you have been up to in the past week.

My Word of the Week

This week has been dominated by illness. Star caught a virus which started making her feel ill on Sunday and is still hanging around.

On Monday we took Star to the GP and were told that it was ‘just a virus’ and that she just needed rest, fluids and paracetamol. Which is what we were doing anyway.

Then when Boo came home from school she went straight to bed. She’d felt unwell at school but they didn’t call us, so by the time she came home she felt really poorly.

By Tuesday, no1 Son also had the virus and he was really poorly too. It’s funny, but when he gets sick he remembers being a small child at my Mum’s where she would give him boiled lemonade and egg and soldiers. These are the things he asks for whenever he is sick. I like it because it reminds me of my Mum, but I’m pretty sure the cure is old fashioned now.

As of yet, the Little Man has managed to stay healthy, I think it’s because he’s kept as far away from his siblings as possible. Eldest daughter has barely come out of her room when she’s been home.

Graham hasn’t felt very well and I’m feeling a bit rough, but we are not as poorly as the others have been. Fingers crossed we don’t get any worse.

I’ve had to miss my treatment at the hospital, I really didn’t want to go carrying such a nasty virus around vulnerable sick people.

Raisie Bay



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Five Reasons why you Should Listen to Audible

I started listening to Audible a few years ago. I’d been doing a self-awareness course which involved listening to mediations.  I enjoyed the meditations so much I decided to look for more, and that’s how I came across Audible.

Audible is a fabulous seller and producer of audio entertainment. It’s free for the first month and then £7.99 per month afterwards. Each month you get a free download credit which you can use on any book or book collection. I’ve used mine on books worth £15 to £60. You can also get audible versions of your current Kindle downloads for £2.99.

I joined up for my free trial and straight away downloaded a book on meditations. After that I became hooked as I realised all the things I could with Audible. Here are my top five reasons why I love Audible.

1. Meditations

This is how I came to Audible, so it’s mentioned first. When you find a good mediation audio book you can just plug in and relax. It’s an amazing experience and so simply. I’d recommend anyone wanting to try any type of meditation or relaxation to give Audible a try.

Why would you want to meditate? Well, as well as relaxation, meditation has so many other benefits for your body and your mind.

You can find meditations for health, anxiety, sleep problems, mindfulness, self-healing, hypnosis, success, language learning. Practically anything you need.

Personally, I like mindfulness mediations like this one from Vidyamala Birch

2. Get Fit and Healthy

Whether you want to shed some pounds, try a new diet or learn a new exercise regime, Audible has an answer. It’s like listening to your own personal trainer or dietitian.

The cookbooks are great, much better than having a book propped up in your kitchen. No more losing pages and having to search with sticky fingers, or losing space on your worktop. Now you can have the recipes and instructions sent straight to your earbuds. Easy to follow, less mess, more space and no more running back and forth to read the next step.

Or if you are looking for a new way of exercise, why not listen to some motivational books to get you moving? Sometimes just hearing about how someone else has achieved their health goals can be incredibly inspiring.

Or maybe you’d like to improve your sleep patterns, or just learn the best ways to look after your body?

There is so much to find on Audible Like Tip The Scale; Introduction to Body Weight

3. Fiction

When I worked in the public library, we would load boxes of cassettes for people to listen to fiction on. They were mostly borrowed by old people or those with visual impairments. I never really imagined myself enjoying listening to fiction but Audible has given me a new love of books.

I can listen while I’m relaxing, crocheting, cleaning, I never have to worry about carrying a book around. I especially love to listen when I’m in hospital, I can sit back in my chair and block out the noise while becoming engrossed in another world. I don’t have to worry about holding a book up if I’m reading in bed, or even having the light on!

I love listening to a good story and with Audible you can listen to an excerpt to make sure you are happy with the narrator. You also get a taste of the story, just like reading the blurb on the back.

One of my favourite listens last year was Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

4. Plays/Performance

Want something a little more than storytelling? Audible offers, often exclusive, dramatisations. I loved listening to Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals. Narrated by David Jason, John Culshaw, Matthew Horne, Josie Lawrence and Jaime Winston. It was a real fun listen and I’m now looking forward to listening to Good Omens.

There are plenty of other dramatisations to choose from, like Ruth Rendell, John Le Carre, P.D. James, Jane Austen to name but a few.

Or for no extra cost you can even tune into podcasts, there are so many to choose from and many of them are Audible originals. Maybe you’d like to listen to some comedy from the likes of Ricky Gervais or The Lost Voice Guy. Or you could tune into some Investigative Journalism or Health and Personal Development.

5. Educational

Have you ever fancied learning a new language, then Audible has the resources for learning most languages from French to Japanese. You can find something to listen to on most subjects from geography to science. And don’t forget the podcasts to back up the information.

Audible is also helpful for learning new skills like parenting, finances, self-improvement and many more.

Reading books can seem like a chore sometimes so why not top up the learning process with some listening.

And There is More!

  • Whispersinc for voice lets you switch between Audible and Kindle, so you can listen or read at any time without losing your place.
  • Adjustable listening speed lets you choose a pace that is comfortable for you, from 0.5x to 3.0x
  • The Sleep Timer lets you choose a time for the narration to end so you don’t lose your place, or fall asleep while listening.
  • Bookmark, keeps your place or saves places you may wish to return to later.

I love Audible, whatever I’m listening to I can have it on my phone, tablet, kindle, laptop, it doesn’t matter. I just pop in my earphones and I’m off on some adventure. I get excited when my credit pops up each month, but I also take advantage of other offers that are for members only that appear regularly.

Why not give audible a try, it’s free for your first month

Raisie Bay’s Series of Unfortunate Events, (and some good ones.)

Well, it’s February already and it’s cold! But…we haven’t had any snow, nope, none of the white stuff here.

It Started Well

Last week turned out to be pretty busy with the girl’s parents evening and the visit to the school’s SENDco. I really don’t like going out when it’s cold, but popping from the car into the school isn’t too bad.

The week passed okay until we got to the weekend. Saturday was fine, the kid’s had a good day with very limited laptop time. I am worried about the amount of time they spend on their laptops on the weekend, so we’ve decided to ration it. They helped with the housework and cooking and played with toys, read books and watched a little television. Boo is really into Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. Oh my, it’s so dark, those poor children having to fight off the evil Count Olaf’s schemes every episode. Even the website states ;


All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched and will most likely fill you with deep despair

She is wanting the books to read now, I’m divided on whether you should read books before watching the series or film, but I guess it’s too late for Boo now. I’ll get her the first book and see how she gets on.

Then the Sickness Struck!

On Sunday, Star was feeling under the weather, just laying around, not doing much. As the day wore on she became really hot and felt ill. I sent her to bed with some paracetamol and she managed to sleep through until about 5am. Then she got into bed with me, something she’s not done in many years. We got up at six on Monday and it was obvious she wasn’t well enough for school. She had a really awful day, and I had to change my hospital treatment to another day as I didn’t want to leave her, and I didn’t want to risk transferring the sickness to other vulnerable patients at the hospital.

Then Boo came home from School and went straight to bed because she felt ill. The pair of them are off school today, Tuesday. I’m just hoping the Little Man has avoided it. I’ve kept him away from his sisters but you can’t really stop these bugs once they start. Eldest son has caught it, eldest daughter has been hiding in her room when she’s been home. Graham said he feels unwell. If I get it then I won’t be able to go to hospital tomorrow either.

The Bad Tooth

I went to the dentist 3 months ago and she said I needed a filling in one of back teeth. She put in a temporary filling and made me an appointment in 3 months to have it filled properly.

The temporary filling came out at Christmas time while eating a crisp. It didn’t hurt, it hadn’t hurt before the filling was put in.

Then last week it started hurting. I think I had some food in it because it felt better after flossing and cleaning. But the pain came back and I’ve been counting the days until my appointment.

I went back to the dentist and she took a look. Apparently the tooth is so bad now it needs removing, as does the tooth next to it! Then she told me she couldn’t do it because I’d have to be monitored with the anaesthetic because of my medication. So now I have to wait for an appointment at the dental hospital. She did put another temporary filling in though, so I’m only eating soft food until it’s sorted. I hate tooth pain, isn’t it unbearable?

In other News

I finished the blanket I was making with a ‘Crochet Along’ Each month we were given a different pattern to make a square (or two) and then last week it was time to sew them all together and crochet the border. It’s not perfect but it’s so colourful I love it. And more importantly, it’s incredibly soft and cosy. Here is Boo modelling it, she was feeling poorly at the time, but said it was okay for me to take a photo while she pretended to sleep.

Little girl sleeping on sofa covered with a patchwork crochet blanket
CAL Blanket

I’ve also finished the Dragon Hooded Scarf that I was making, and now I have to decide whether to start another blanket or get on with the axolotl pattern.

In the meantime, I’m hoping the sickness bug passes quickly and that I don’t get it so I can go to hospital tomorrow.

Thanks for reading x

Debs Random Writings

KiwiCo, Atlas Crate – review

You may remember my post recently where I was looking for a subscription box suitable for older Children. I have received a few boxes to review but we were excited to start with one of the Kiwico Crates.


KiwiCo is a monthly subscription crate that comes filled with age appropriate STEM projects for kids, from toddlers to teenagers. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Every crate explores a different theme designed to spark creativity, thinking, and learning.

We had two boxes to try the Atlas Crate, which is Geography and Culture and aimed at ages 6-11. And the Tinker Crate, which is Science and Technology and aimed at 9-16 + years.

Everything needed to complete the projects is provided in the crates.

Atlas Crate

The Little Man, aged 8 years, was thrilled with the Atlas Crate. The box contained three activities; Great Big World Map Challenge, Adventure Book and make your own Spinning Globe.

The Little Man was keen to get started on the Spinning Globe as soon as he opened a box. We made a little video of the box opening and him making the globe. Overall it took about half hour, but I sped the video up a little.

What was in the Box?

contents of box laid out on the table, list of items in text.
  • A folder with an introduction and instructions
  • two halves of a plastic ball
  • some wooden pieces to make a stand for the globe
  • an instruction book for making the globe
  • a pack of felt sticky back pieces to stick on the globe
  • a kit for making a booklet
  • a large world map
  • a sheet which tells you how maps work and a challenge to find things
a sheet from the box that tells all the things you can do

The Spinning Globe

The Little Man was keen to start the globe straight away. He pushed the two halves of the ball together and followed the instructions to stick on the continents. Then he had to build the stand for the globe.

The trickiest part was putting the dowling stick through the middle of the globe so it would fit on the stand. Otherwise the Little Man did it all by himself. (with me recording him!) He had lots of fun.

the spinning globe when finished
The Spinning Globe

While having fun making this globe, the Little Man also learned about the continents and where they are in the world.

The Atlas Adventure Book

The Atlas Adventure Book is a little book that can be put together and then taken apart again to add further pages from future crates.

The pack included a fact page on each of the seven continents, a page with a short story featuring Anya the cricket and Milo the Sandpiper and their travels, a front and back cover, string and bead book binders and a pack of stickers.

The Little Man set to decorating the covers with the stickers which he enjoyed. Then he placed the pages inside the covers and we fastened them together with the binders. The pages are card so the book will survive being taken apart and new pages added.

cover of the Adventure book, showing a blue page with a map of the world decorated with stickers
Pages from the book showing facts about Asia and the Antartica

The Great Big World Map Challenge

When the Little Man first opened the box he was very excited about the world map and I think we will put it on his bedroom wall.

a folded world map and a booklet explaining the challenge

The accompanying leaflet has lots of useful information about maps. It explains latitude and longitude and how a compass works. Then there is a challenge to find things on the map using the given map key and compass rose. The Global Scavenger Hunt sends you on an adventure around the world to find things like The Seven Wonders and the Seven Summits. You can also search for the homes of amazing animals and even famous shipwrecks. It’s a great, educational and fun activity.

Our Verdict

Overall, this crate has given the Little Man at least an hour and half of activities. He can return to them again and again, finding places on his globe and map and reading his book which he can add pages to.

The Little Man gives this crate a big thumbs up for age related activities that were both fun, interesting and educational.

If you would like to try a Kiwi Crate you can use my special landing page to get one for free, you just have to pay shipping ($4.95 in US $9.95 Internationally.)

https://www.kiwico.com/raisiebay

Mix It Up Linky

Word of the Week #5 2019

Hello and welcome to the home of Word of the Week, a nice and simple weekly linky, with everyone welcome to pop by and share. You reflect back on the past week and sum it up in one word. Then share your word with us in a blog post, with as little or as much explanation as you like.

There are not too many rules with this linky, just remember to read at least another couple of posts in the link up after adding your link. Do try to stick to the theme of summing your week up. I will read and comment on all posts and tweet them out for you. I also have a Pinterest board devoted to Word of the Week and I will add posts to Mix (formerly Stumble.) Please add the badge below to your post so that others may find us and join in. If you comment or tweet then please use the hashtag #WotW

If you are unfamiliar with the Word of the Week linky then please feel free to ask any questions. New linkers are always welcome, we love to hear what you have been up to in the past week.

My Word of the Week

Proud

photograph of person holding a school book and the words 'Parents Evening' at the bottom

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

This week we have been to the school twice. Once was for Parents Evening where we talked to the girl’s teachers and discussed their reports.

I am so proud of my girls, every teacher was so happy with them. Not a bad word was said. This means a lot to me as they have both struggled in the past. Star has had difficulties because her illnesses and disabilities mean she has lost a lot of time from school. And poor attendance really does affect their work.

She is year 9 now and since starting year 8 her attendance has really improved and so has her school work. She is really doing well above average in History, and all her other subjects are at the required level or above. Apart from P.E. which is to be expected.

Boo is in year 7, so it’s her first year at the big school. She has had difficulties in the past with keeping up with the work. I hate to say it, but she was a slow learner. It seems, however, that she is finding her pace now and is catching up. She is meeting all her levels in everything but maths. There is still time to improve on that though.

Boo was voted by her class to be on the school council and she has a shiny badge to wear. Her teacher said she did really well in the first council meeting, she showed her voice and took part in it all. I am so proud of her for this, she’s always been popular, but she’s also been pretty shy. Speaking up is a big achievement.

The Second Meeting

I just wanted to mention the meeting we had at the school with Star’s SENDco and the physical disability adviser. It’s so good that the school have a detailed record of her conditions and what she can and cannot do. They arrange for all her needs to be met, and I believe this is why her attendance has improved so much. If she’s not feeling 100 percent she knows she will get the help she needs, so she will go to school anyway. I was concerned that she spent too much time in the SEN department, but, as her report showed, she’s obviously still keeping up with her work.

I’m proud of the effort that Star makes to attend school as well as her grades.

Footnote: I’m not ignoring my Little Man, his school parents evening is not until next month as they are moving into a new school building at half term. I’m sure I’ll be proud of him too (fingers tightly crossed!)      

Now it’s your turn, what have you been up to this week?

Raisie Bay



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A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

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.