Listful Thinking – review

Are you a list writer? I know I am, and that it rubs off on my kids. So I was thrilled to find this book aimed at Tweens, so perfect for Boo.

Listful Thinking – list out your life.

The Blurb

This guided journal of lists is the prefect place to celebrate yourself and what makes you sparkle. As you write, you’ll discover what matters to you, and you’ll capture special moments in time that you’ll love looking back on in the future. You can create over 200 lists that span a huge range of subjects like the following:

*from tuba to fiddle to melodica, list all the instruments you’d love to jam out on

*List as many famous animals, fictions or real, as you can in 30 seconds!

*write a list of all the things you’d do if you were invisible for a day.

You can start this journal at the beginning or skip ahead to find the page that matches your mood. Be proud of who you are and who you’ll be!

Our Verdict

As far as journals go, this one is unique and quite ingenious. Their are so many pages to scribble in your lists, each one with a decorated border so it’s pretty to look at too. The headings give you plenty of food for thought without being too complex. By filling it in a child will have something fun and insightful to read back later. Also, it will give the child a chance to order their feelings and thoughts on many different subjects.

It’s also a nice simple way of writing things down, it’s much easier to scribble down a quick list than write out a full page of text.

Adapting a Home for Disabled Family Members

When I moved into my home five years ago it already had most of the requirements for a disabled person because it was a newly built house. I had no idea that just two years later I would be so grateful for these. If my house had been older I may have had to make a lot of changes. This post is a guide to what changes may need to be made should a loved one become disabled.

Whether a disability is borne out of a chronic illness or unforeseen trauma, living with one isn’t easy. Many disabilities impair one’s capacity to get around, which is why it’s important for family members and loved ones to create an environment suitable for accommodating their unique needs. And although many new homes are designed to aid persons with disabilities, often, older homes need to be retrofit to do the same.

That said, if you have a loved one or family member with a disability, here are a few things you can do to make your house more comfortable and inviting for them: 

Major Renovations


1. Change your flooring

photograph of a hallway with wooden floors and doors

If you have marble floors or a carpeted hallway, it might be good to replace them with hardwood floors or ceramic tiles. These different types of flooring provide traction for wheelchairs, not to mention being easy to clean.If you don’t have enough money to re-floor your property, The Spruce suggests covering it with linoleum instead. Aside from being resistant to water and stains, it doesn’t hold on to dust and is good for wheelchairs. We have wood effect linoleum in our hallway and people often believe it’s real wood. It’s great for my wheelchair and makes exiting the house easy.

2. Widen hallways and doors

photo of a white dining room with a table and chairs and a sliding doorway

Your home’s doors need to be at least 36 inches wide for standard-size wheelchairs to fit through. A carpenter can usually complete this job within a day, as it is pretty straightforward. 

However, if you want to make the adjustments yourself, you can install doors with swing-away hinges. You can also opt for dividers and sliding doors, which not only make access easier, but they can also make your home look more open and spacious. From the selection of internal doors on Screwfix, it is evident that your choice can impact the overall look of an entire room or home. This is why when choosing new doors, you need to make sure they are functional, as well as beautiful. 

3. Add a downstairs toilet

photograph of a bathroom with shower, toilet and sink unit

If you find installing wheelchair platforms, stair lifts, and wheelchair climbers too expensive, you can renovate your home to make another bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor for your disable relative to sleep. This way, you won’t need to worry about how they will get up and down the stairs regularly.

Minor Renovations


1. Change door and cabinet knobs

photograph of a door handle on a white door

Door knobs can be difficult to use if they have limited mobility in their wrists or hands. It’s better to use door handles that will allow your doors to be unlocked and opened using only one hand. Locks, bolts, chains, and peepholes should be placed between three to four feet from the floor, so they can easily reach it.

2. Add accessible accessories to your bathroom

Photograph of a bathroom with mirrors,

Showering and sitting on the toilet can be challenging, especially if they have restricted in terms of their movement. Installing handy bathroom accessories like shower seats and sturdy handrails will be very helpful—and are easy to blend in with your bathroom’s overall design. If you have more resources, you can follow the designs featured on the Telegraph and overhaul your bathroom to turn it into a wet room. This means that it will have no moving parts or doors that need to be opened or closed. It’ll be turned into one seamless room that can easily be accessed even if your family member is in a wheelchair or walker.

3. Add sufficient lighting

photo of a living area with sofas and lots of lighting on the ceiling.

Whether they are using a walker or a wheelchair, it’s important to make sure every nook and cranny of your home — including the stairs, rooms, and hallways — is well-lit. An electrical technician can help you improve your home’s lighting and make sure you leave no dark corners. Long hallways should have light switches at both ends and the switches should be reachable from a wheelchair.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your driveway and garage, too. Garden paths need to be wide enough for wheelchair access and the paving should be wheelchair- and walker-friendly, Lushome notes that some of the most important considerations you need to look at when it comes to your driveway are safety, access, drainage, and aesthetics. Once you’ve crossed out all these off your list, your home will be ready for any family member with a disability.

Overall, minor and major home improvement projects for the benefit of a disabled person are a welcome change. And while you’re at it, why not take into account your loved one’s style and preferences? For ideas on choosing a theme, have a look at our guide here on Raisie Bay

Activity Boxes for the Older Children

I’ve always been a fan of subscription boxes whether they be for the kids or for me. I’ve tried so many of them and most of the favourites were activity boxes.

I try to get the kids interested in doing other stuff at the weekend rather than just sitting on their laptops or other electronics. The girls still like to play with their Littlest Pet Shop figures or Pokemon, and the Little Man likes his lego. But getting them interested in anything creative is really difficult. Boo doesn’t even like to bake cakes anymore *sob.*

Then the Little Man asked me if he could have another Weekend Box. I thought that he was maybe too old now as they are aimed at younger children, usually up to six years and the Little Man is now eight.

So I did some research and found a few boxes aimed at older kids which I’d like to share with you. We’ll be reviewing some of them in the future, so do watch out for that if you want to find out more.

The Weekend Box – STEM activities

The Little Man asked for a Weekend Box and he will get one. By revisiting their site I was thrilled that they now do STEM activity boxes for 7-12 year olds.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, the things your child learns at school. So, not only are these boxes fun, they are educational.

Example boxes include catapult engineering, bug catching and natural disaster simulators. The weekend boxes are delivered once every 4 weeks.

You can get your first Weekend Box (either 3- 8 yrs or 7-12 yrs) for just £1 and then £8.95 per box afterwards with free P&P You can earn money for referring others and points for answering questions or doing quick reviews. The points can be used against paying for your boxes.

Our review of these boxes will be published soon and I’ll link it here.

KiwiCo

KiwiCo has subscription boxes from 0 to 14 years! The crates go up in levels of learning,

  • Tadpole – 0-36 months, explore and discover
  • Koala – 3-4 years, play and learn
  • Kiwi – 5-8 years, science, art and more
  • Atlas – 6-11 years, geography and culture
  • Tinker – 9-16+ years, science & engineering
  • Doodle – 14+ years, art and design
  • Eureka – 14-104 years, engineering and design

(nothing if you are over 105 though!)

There is plenty for all ages and especially my children, so we are really excited to be trying out these boxes very soon. You can read our review of the Atlas Crate here.

The prices vary on the boxes you choose, and whether you pay month by month, 6 or 12 monthly. The crates cost from £12.97 to £15.26 apart from the Eureka box which costs from £19.09 to £22.91 per month. Or why don’t you try a free box on me, you just have to pay shipping.

Mel Science

Mel Science is a fascinating chemistry subscription box aimed at ages 9-14 years.

When you subscribe you are sent a starter kit which will contain all the equipment you will need to for your monthly experiment kits. You are also sent either one or two experiment kits per month.

Just a few of the experiments include, Tin hedgehog, hot ice, martian rust, galaxy in a flask, starch penguin and many more.

The Starter kit is free when you subscribe and each kit is £29.90, you can cancel at any time.

We will be reviewing Mel Science soon, so please come back to read, I’ll post the link here when it’s ready.

Geo Journeys

These are fun subscription boxes aimed at children 4-10 years to explore Earth and beyond.

There are two types of subscriptions Geo journey to explore Earth and Space journey. When you sign up you get an explorer pack followed by monthly packages with further adventures and countries to explore. They are in line with Keys stages 1 & 2.

What’s in the explorer kit?
Suitcase – personalised letter – map – travel journal – passport – stickers – photos – activity booklet – travel ticket on a string.

What’s in the monthly packs?
Personalised fact filled letter – 2 photos – fact postcard – stickers – activity booklet – travel ticket on a string – a souvenir such as a boomerang from Australia.

You can pay for 6 months at £85, or 12 months from £155. Or you can pay monthly £25 for the first pack and then £12 per month.

Letterbox Lab

Letterbox Lab promise every you need to complete experiments all neatly fitted into a box that fits through your letterbox.

They come in two age groups, the Explore Box for children aged over six and the Investigate Box for children aged over eight.

As I am looking at boxes for older children then it’s the Investigate box that I’m most interested in. So what’s in the box?

  • 6 to 9 bigger and better experiments in every box
  • 24 page full colour, illustrated booklet
  • Series of 12 different science kits
  • “Level up” badge
  • Certificate and free gift in every thrid box

The Letterbox Investigate box costs £20.50 per box and £2 P&P

Mysteries in Time

Mysteries in time logo

Mysteries in Time is a history box aimed at kids aged 7-11 years. Aimed at teaching the kids history in a fun way, each box arrives in a cardboard time machine. There are two boxes to choose from a classic or bumper box. They both contain the same apart from the Bumper Box also including a craft and a history inspired gift.

The costs are £7.95 per month for the Classic Box and £12.95 for the Bumper Box. You can read a lovely review of this box over on The Reading Residence.

I hope you have found this list useful, please do come back to read my reviews.

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

First Birthday of the Year

It turned out to be quite a busy week last week. Well, busy in my terms anyway, compared to not doing very much at all.

I had to go out and buy my first born some birthday cards which is always a task. Do you think I can remember how many siblings he has and which card will be appropriate for each one. You may think it easier to take them to choose their own, but I think I’ll pass on that and get them myself. Cards purchased I decided to pop into nearby M&S to buy a birthday cake. The choice was not brilliant and despite us being a large family, I couldn’t really justify buying a cake for sixteen. What I did buy was a chocolate tray bake which looked really nice, and was already cut into portions so no arguing over who gets the biggest slice.

I also popped into Boots to look for something a little extra for my son and discovered that they had a lot of their Christmas gifts on sale for half price. So I stocked up! I’ve got a few family birthdays in the next three months so that will save me loads.

I really enjoyed the shopping trip. It’s good when we go somewhere newly built because they always accommodate wheelchair users, sliding doors and no steps are such a bonus that walkers take for granted. The only problem I did have was that it was so cold I lost all feeling in my legs. It was a struggle to get back in the car afterwards.

The Birthday!

My son’s birthday arrived, but his birthday present didn’t. I’d ordered him a really nice gift online over a week ago and it didn’t turn up in time. I don’t like late presents, I believe that everyone should have gifts to open on their birthday and not have to wait, even if the gift is worth waiting for. I had however, stocked up on some gifts on the previous days shopping trip, so he had some to enjoy. Then when his main gift arrives it will be an extra treat.

As it was his day he decided that he wanted us to go out shopping so off we went again. Thankfully the weather was a little kinder which meant I didn’t suffer so much, but after spending two hours walking around he still didn’t buy anything.

We got home, picked the kids up from school and then it was time to go our for our dinner. He’d chosen Frankie and Benny’s for his treat. The restaurant is only a few miles from our home but as there are seven of us and our car is a five seater, we had to order a taxi. But, no-one wanted to go in the taxi (well apart from the Little Man who thought the car looked like a Lamborghini) so an argument was brewing. It was sorted eventually though and we all arrived at the restaurant at basically the same time.

a soda float drink in the foreground with a little boy tucking into his dessert behind it

The food took ages as the restaurant was very busy. It seemed every five minutes the lights went down and they played Happy Birthday to someone while taking them a cake with candles. My son would have walked out if I’d arranged that for him, thankfully I know better. In fact we had a poll while we were there, Boo, Star, No1 Son and Eldest Daughter said ‘no way,’ but me, Graham and the Little Man said we would enjoy it.

We all enjoyed our meals, with everyone ordering something different which just goes to show how difficult I find it making meals that please everyone at home.

Going Home

Then it was time to leave and to stop the argument with the taxi again, Graham said he’d make two journeys. He took the girls home first while I stayed with my two sons. We waited for the bill (ouch!) and then walked over to the arcade that was in the bowling alley opposite. As soon as we were in there I was reminded of summer holiday camps. The kids love nothing more than walking around amusement arcades playing all the games and trying to win toys from the grabber machines. We were not in there long though, Graham was back and looking for us.

When we got home the birthday boy went in first and the living room was in darkness apart from the candles on his cake. Then the girls jumped out and yelled Happy Birthday! He’s not one for surprises but this was so lovely I think he really liked that they had thought to do it.

After all that we had eaten, do you think we could manage birthday cake? Of course we could!

The Aftermath

It had been a couple of really busy days and I’d been out two days in a row. I had to pay the price, my body gave up completely and I spent a whole day doing ‘absolutely nothing!’ I always feel guilty, like I’m deliberately being lazy, but I have limitations, and boy do those limitations hit me hard.

By the next day I was feeling more rested and able to move a little. But, when I get knocked down like that, I worry about doing anything that will make the pain come back.

Thankfully, I’m feeling much better now and ready to face the week ahead.

January

So, January is almost over, but Christmas seems like it was a lifetime away. I’m one birthday down already, and the rest of the year is laid out ahead. So much to do, so much to see, so many new friends to make. How can anyone feel depressed in January when it’s a whole new beginning?

Now, I’m longing for Spring and warmer weather. I want to see flowers and leaves on the trees. I want to feel the sun warm my bones. In my Autumn years I’ve turned into a Summer person. All my life it’s been the cold weather that I’ve loved, brisk walks on chilly days, playing in the snow, early days and wrapping up warm. But since I got sick, feeling cold is really not an option because it hurts so bad. So, I long for the heat that I once shied away from, just because it feels better.

Are you a winter or summer person?

Mix It Up Linky
Debs Random Writings

My Sunday Photo 27th January 2019

Hot Dogs and Woo Woo’s

a pulled pork hot dog on a bed of chips with bbq sauce
Pulled Pork Hot Dog
Woo Woo Cocktail

It was my eldest son’s birthday and we went to Frankie and Benny’s for a meal out on Friday.

I’d already had a busy day as eldest wanted to go on a shopping spree. He didn’t spend anything, but at least we got him out for a while. I’m so glad it wasn’t so cold. I’d been out the previous day to buy a few things and it had been freezing.

Then on the evening all seven of us went out for a meal. The staff at Frankie and Benny’s were lovely, but did have to wait such a long time for the food. eldest daughter thought it a good idea to have cocktails, well, obviously not the kids, or Graham the driver. I had a Woo Woo, it sounded nice with Vodka and peach schnapps. Then I chose a pulled pork hot dog for my main, I was a bit surprised to find a frankfurter hot dog underneath the pork. If I’m really honest, I didn’t enjoy it that much.

It was a good evening though, and so nice to get out as a family, we don’t do it often enough.

Sunday Snap

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.