Advent Calenders 2018 Part Two

I previously wrote about some unusual advent calendars you can buy this year, from pork crackling to coffee pods! This time I’m going a little more conventional with chocolate and alcohol. Better hurry though, it’s nearly December!


The kids always love a chocolate advent calendar so here’s a few of my favourites for the kids and adults, with some fabulous money saving bargains to boost.

Have more than  one kid and forever getting their advent calendars mixed up? Why not get a personalised one from Thorntons, you can even buy 3 for 2 saving up to £20. Here’s the Snowman personalised Advent Calendar for £7.

The Rituals Advent Calendar is my personal favourite from Thorntons. Not only is it full of delicious delights, it’s also incredibly pretty. At £12 it’s also part of the 3 for 2 deal.

Get all of your Cadbury Favourites in the Heroes Advent Calendar and at the moment you can get £1 off making it £8.98

Or maybe you want to go with the traditional choice of a Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar. Currently priced at £2.19.

Alcoholic Advent Calendars

I will admit, I’ve never tried an alcoholic advent calendar, I’ve had chocolate, cosmetics and even stationary, but alcohol is something I’ve yet to enjoy. I think it would be nice to open one after the kids have gone to bed and have a tipple. Of course they tend to come with a higher price tag too! I think I may stick to chocolate (or pork crackling) but here’s a few I’ve found to share.


Gin is very popular at the moment, as are gin Advent Calendars. This Edinburgh Gin Advent Calendar has 25 5cl bottles of gin for you to enjoy. It costs £120 and is exclusive to John Lewis and Partners.

The Gin and Tonic Advent Calendar is a little different, it comes with a full bottle of Lakes Explorer Gin and then you open the door to a different 200ml tonic mixer each day. Again, exclusive to John Lewis and it costs £95.

Wine and Prosecco 

“Wine down” to Christmas with 24 mini bottles from around the world. This Advent Calendar is the ideal way to countdown to Christmas. Each door conceals a 187ml bottle of red, white or rose wine. The cost is £70.

Next is a lovely selection of 200ml bottles of prosecco, cava and sparkling wines. It also includes a 20cl bottle of Lanson Champagne for Christmas Eve. The Prosecco and Fizz Advent Calendar is exclusive to John Lewis and Partners and costs £125.


This Beer Advent Calendar contains a selection brewed by Adnams in Southwold. Designed to take you on a tasty beer adventure from lagers via pale ales, it provides a very “hoppy” start to your Christmas celebrations. It comes with a total of 9.9ltrs of beer for £70

Have you got your Advent Calendars yet? Which would you go for? 

This post contains affiliate links which will cost you no extra if you click them but may earn me a few pennies. Merry Christmas

The Secret Woodland Activity Book

Author: Mia Underwood
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Button Books (7 Nov. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1787080263
Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.2 x 21 cm

The Secret Woodland Activity Book

The Blurb

Discover the magical, playful (and sometimes shy) woodfolk who inhabit a secret woodland hidden on a remote island in Scandinavia. If you can see them, then you are one of the lucky few and can help them with their important work by completing the activities inside this book.

Things to do include: colouring in, spot the difference, paper crafts, join the dots, word searches, number games and scenes to create with stickers.

The Author

Mia Underwood is a designer and illustrator based in Brighton, UK. She loves a creative challenge and working with traditional and digital illustration as well as creating 3D characters. Being half Danish she particularly enjoys creating scenes with characters that conjure up the mystery and romance of dreamlike imaginary woodlands within Scandinavia.

Pages from the book showing the woodland folk suck as elves and bugs

My Verdict

Oh to be a little girl again, this book is 64 pages of delightful imagery that invites you to take part on every page. There is so much to do in this book; join the dots, colouring in and drawing, crafty makes like a wishing star and mobile, puzzles, tasks, story writing, recipes and so much more. All in a mystical woodland theme. It comes with over 150 stickers and it even shows you how to draw a Unicorn! 

Available November 2018 for £9.99 from Amazon or GMC Publications

This would be the perfect gift for a child of 4-8 years. 

pages from the book showing woodland creatures playing musical instruments

Disclosure: I was sent this book for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Laura's Lovely Blog

Treasure House

I’ve recently discovered a brilliant way of exchanging good quality kids clothing in the website Treasure House. 

Did you know that the clothing industry is the 4th highest polluter in the UK? It takes 2,720 litres of water to make a t-shirt. The production of 1 kilogram of cotton garments uses up to 3 kilograms of chemicals. Clothing consumption produces 1.5 tonnes of Co2 per household per year. The equivalent of driving 6000 cars.

But we all need clothing, including our kids. Treasure House offers a trading system with children’s clothes from 18 months to 12 years.  The help you achieve smart savings without compromising on quality. Recycling and swapping slows the need to manufacture brand new clothes, saving energy and water while limiting wast. You can also save money on your kid’s clothes. Clothes that don’t pass the quality check are donated to Save the Children. 

How it Works.

Do you recycle your kids clothes? My methods in the past have included donating to charity shops and selling on Ebay. Now, my donations will continue to the charity shops, but those nicer clothes that I try to regain a little of my cost back by selling on Ebay have a new home to go to. My kids still need clothes, so exchanging them seems a much better offer.

With Treasure House you request a bag which you then fill with your kid’s unwanted clothes. 

Treasure house only accept good quality and better branded clothing. They have a huge list of brands they accept but there are also brands they don’t accept like Tesco, George, Primark. So these are still good for the charity shops or Ebay.

Book a Collection or request a pre-paid label

Then you can send of your packaged clothes for free.

Receive Online Store Credits

Your clothes are then inspected and awarded store credit. You get more credits for good quality clothing that has been washed and ironed. If your items do not pass the quality check for credits they will be donated to Save the Children. Or you can request for them to be returned to you, but you will have to pay postage for this.

Buy Clothes On Treasure House

When you have your credits you can then use them to buy clothes on the Treasure House Website. If you don’t have credits you can still shop there and find some fabulous pre-loved bargains.

My Experience

The best way to start using Treasure House is to go along and pick a free gift. Yes, they offer a clothing gift up to the cost of £15 for all new customers. I signed up and chose a lovely woollen dress for Boo. It costs just 99 pence for package and postage. 

The dress arrived just three days later and it truly is beautiful, it looks brand new. Also in my package was a bag to use to send off my unwanted clothes. I already have my first stash to send off. I was going to put them on Ebay but the time and effort versus the small amount of cash and Ebay fees really puts me off using it. So now I’m going to send off my clothes to Treasure House and use any credits I receive to buy more clothes for my kids. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

Mix It Up Linky

Word of the Week 16th November 2018


Hello and welcome to the new 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.

This linky has been hosted for a long time over on Jocelyn’s blog The Reading Residence, but now she has handed over the reigns to me. I hope all the regular linkers will come and join me now.

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. 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 my word is delicate, because that’s how I’m feeling.

a wilting flower and the word delicate

At the time of writing this I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I’ve tried to go back to sleep but I can’t. My mind won’t take the rest it needs and I have a poorly Little Man besides me. He is the reason for my tiredness having kept me awake half the night because he was sick. We will take it easy today and hopefully tomorrow we both won’t be feeling so delicate.

Also, we were in another car accident last Saturday, not as bad as the last but we still took a bump. I have much worse whiplash than before and can barely move my neck, while my shoulders feel sore and tender. Graham is feeling the same, so we are both feeling pretty delicate.

I had my treatment in hospital on Monday and although I had a massive migraine afterwards it did pass by the next day. There are after effects though, my head always feels fuzzy for a day or two and my arms are really sore this week after a few failed attempts at my cannula. So even more reasons to feel delicate.

The best thing to do when feeling delicate is to rest and recover and remember that it doesn’t last forever. Feeling sorry for yourself is often frowned upon, but when you feel like this your emotions take a bashing too. So, I’m going to treat myself delicately and hopefully I’ll be feeling strong again soon.

I hope your week has been better, do let me know.

Raisie Bay – Word of the Week

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Now it’s over to you, come and tell us your word of the week.

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Déjà vu

Last week I was back a the hospital to see a different Doctor. I almost got the times wrong but thankfully I checked at the last minute. I seem to be doing that a lot lately, getting times wrong and missing appointments. Or just simply forgetting to do something that I’d promised to do. Anyway, as usual I left the hospital feeling that it was ‘all in my head.’ Why do they do that, unless you are actually at death’s door Drs just don’t want to listen. I had symptoms of my illness for about three years before I lost the use of my legs, but no-one would listen. What if they had? Would I still be able to walk now? Why does it keep happening to me?

It also surprises me at how little attention my condition warrants from doctors. I mean, I have an ultra rare condition that barely any doctor has heard of. I have been diagnosed by a very reputable neurology consultant, it’s not something I made up. If I was a doctor I’d think, ‘ooh that’s interesting I’ve never heard of that, tell me more.’ But they show so little interest, they don’t even ask how it affects me. I sometimes wonder if they would show more interest if I gave it it’s original name Moersch and Woltman Syndrome, maybe Stiff Person Syndrome sounds a little naff to them. The Doctor I saw was also under the impression that I was still diagnosed as having Transverse Myelitis, maybe he knew what that was.

Grumble over, I am having further tests, just in case. Fingers crossed that the doctor is right and there is nothing to worry about. In the meantime I’m going to assume it’s all in my head, and use my head to stop it!

It Happened Again

On Saturday, me, Graham and the Little Man had to go and see a specialist doctor about our injuries from our car accident a month ago. The girls stayed home with their older siblings. We were at the surgery for about an hour, then did a little shopping before coming home.

Graham bought a packet of peanuts to eat in the car. He said the last time he bought peanuts was when we had our crash. I just had to point out that our crash also happened on a Saturday afternoon and there was just the three of us in the car.

Just a few minutes away from home, Graham stopped by a parked car because there was another car coming up the other way. Then, crash! Someone went straight into the back of us. Again! 

Thankfully, it was not as bad as our last crash and I did not need to be stretchered off in an ambulance. The Little Man was upset but unharmed, so there are always things to be thankful for. Tell that to the car hire company that is loaning us the brand new Mazda while our car is still being repaired from the last crash! 


As for the rest of the week, I’ve been pretty busy. As well as going out Friday and Saturday, I also had to go out on Monday and today, Tuesday. I think I may need the rest of the week being glued to my settee. That probably won’t happen though because today it’s treatment day so, as long as I avoid the side effects, I’ll probably be feeling pretty good for the next week or so. 

As well as going out I’ve also managed to finish two crochet projects. One is a Christmas present so I can’t show you that. But I’ll show you a pic of my blanket which took me ages. It’s a gorgeous soft wool and I love the colours. I crocheted it in diamonds and then had to sew them all together. It’s the first time I’ve done this type of project and I found it hard work. I am happy with though.

a crochet blanket in red, white and blue diamonds

Debs Random Writings

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.