Word of the Week #3 of 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. 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

Illness

Illness, a cup and box of tissues against a dark background.

Ah, not a good word I know, but it’s not so bad. I was really poorly last weekend and it’s left me feeling weak, but I do feel better now. Sometimes it’s just necessary to do nothing and give yourself time to heal.

I’ve also been fitted with a heart monitor this week which is a bit strange. It’s like wearing a pedometer on my waistband but with wires attached to my body. The sticky pads are starting to get on my nerves and I’m counting the days until I can take them off on Monday morning.

I’m not the only one though, Star got sick on Tuesday. She came home from school feeling unwell and ended up not going in for two days. It’s the first time she’s been off sick this school year which is good for her. With her condition she has lost a lot of time in previous years. The school have been more upset with her breaking her track record than how poorly she’s been. They even offered to let her sit in the library all day just so she could get her attendance mark. It does annoy me that all schools think about is their attendance figures. Star will go back to school when she’s feeling fit, I’m not having a sick child in school to please anyone.

This weekend is going to be fun. The Little Man has some fun things to review for me, and we are hoping to get a little fresh air now that we have got our car back! I really didn’t like the lease vehicle we had while our car was being repaired and it’s been over 14 weeks that we’ve had it. When we get our car back I may be able to drive a little myself. I don’t really like my hand controls, but I’m sure I could get used to them if I drove more, and since I changed my medication I’m not getting vertigo very often now.

So, although it’s not been a good week health wise, I’m looking forward to a good weekend and I’m sure next week will be better.

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

Raisie Bay



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What’s in a Name?

Today’s Blogtober16 Post is ‘What is the Meaning Behind Your Blog Name?’
Well, my blog is Raisie Bay and the meaning is obvious isn’t it?
No?
Well, before this I had a blog called ‘Baby Number 5’ I think that was easy to understand. I also had a blog called Mostly Cake, again easy. 
Before that I had a blog called Okasanne which I think is quite clever. Okasan is the Japanese Word for mother, and my name is Anne…so Mother Anne, if you understand Japanese that is. We like a lot of things Japanese in our house, like food, games, manga and anime. I also have a Japanese speaking family member.
So, back to Raisie Bay. It’s my name. Honestly I get so many e-mails addressed to Raisie Bay, people really do think it’s my name. I’ve had conversations with people who have called me Raisie! 
It is actually my name!
Not right now, but I was married before and my name changed. I never had a wish to change my name back for personal reasons, but since my mum passed away I wanted to keep a little part of my name going. So, Raisie Bay is an anagram of my former name with one letter missing. I couldn’t get it to sound right mixed up so that letter had to go. Also, I missed out Anne, which is the name I use now. 
So there you go, clear as mud isn’t it, hehehe. It’s just my former name mixed up. 

#Blogtober16

Mad Blog Awards 2016

Last year I was extremely lucky to make it the Mad Blog Awards Ceremony as a finalist.  I didn’t care that I didn’t win, there are so many blogs out there just being chosen as a finalist is a wonderful experience.

The Blog Award nominations are open for this year and of course I’d love to be nominated again. I think my blog fits nicely into the School Days category with my having three school aged kids.

I will be thinking long and hard before making my nominations, but I already have a few favourite bloggers that have me reading all the time so I do hope they are taking part. Conditions of taking part can be found on the Tots100 blog, so do make sure that if you want to take part you have added a badge or e-mailed Sally at Tots100. Good luck everyone!

Let me tell you a bit about my blog and what I’ve got up to over the last year.

Well, I turned 50!! Yes, I know, I’m officially half a century old. I was in a panic about it all year, but when my birthday arrived in November, I had a wonderful day and was spoiled tremendously by family and friends near and far. I even had two new pets for my birthday, Doc and Marty my dwarf hamsters. I don’t feel 50, in my head I’m still stuck around my early 30s, but that’s ok, with 3 young kids to keep me busy I don’t want to feel too old just yet.

We spent last summer owl hunting! The Birmingham Big Hoot had us on an adventure trail that took us several journeys to spot all the owls. Then in September we went to a big exhibition of all the owls to say goodbye to them. We didn’t find them all, but we did have lots of fun.

In June I took part in the Race For Life and raised money for Cancer Research. The race was started by my Little Man’s friend who is now two years in remission. It was a brilliant day, the atmosphere was amazing. I’m just really sad that I can’t do it again this year.

In August I took Boo to London for a special cookery class with the lovely Bee Berrie. We had a fantastic day despite me having a migraine hangover. Boo really is in her element when cooking and has ambitions to be a top chef when she grows up. She wants to own her own hotel with bedrooms on the top floor, a restaurant in the middle and a car park underneath, she has it all worked out!

Then in September it was time to go back to school as usual. It was the first time that I was saying goodbye to all three of my children at the same time. The year before Star had not been well enough to return to school and the year before the Little Man was too young. So now we are child free all day. This year Star goes to Secondary School and this has been a huge worry for me. I had already decided which school I wanted her to go to, and I’m pleased to say she did actually get a place there. I will be writing again soon about how we are going to handle this transition.

We had a nice but quiet Christmas but shortly afterwards our lives were about to change drastically forever. First the kids Grandad passed away quite suddenly while I was taking him to hospital for a routine x-ray. This had a massive impact on us all and it was a very sad start to the year.

My start to the year was also very dramatic when I became paralysed within a few hours on New Years Day. I am still unable to walk properly and have to deal with pain on a daily basis. I am recording my journey here and you can find posts on the above tab, Transverse Myelitis.

Last year I promised to write more personally, and I’ve made an effort to do this. You can find all my thoughts, opinions and basically more personal posts but clicking the  My Musings tab above.

I love my little space on the internet which is my blog. I hope you love it too, or at least like it a little. I know I’m not the greatest of writers, or the best in photography, I don’t have the wit to make you laugh out loud when you visit, the greatest of recipes for you to try or the best crafts. What I do have is a record of my life, my family and hopefully something you can relate too when you join me on my journey.

To Vote in the Mad Blog Award please click the following badge and first vote for your blog of the year before being directed to vote for your favourite blogs. You only have one chance to fill in the form as multiples can not be accepted, so be sure you know who you are voting for before you go.

Tots 100 Awards

Bloggers Are Also Bonkers!

Last year I went to Blog Camp and it inspired me to write this blog. I did have a blog (or three) at the time, but I didn’t really have a direction (read as- a clue as to what I was doing)
Going to Blog Camp taught me many things. One was that is was ok to change your blog, you see that’s where I’d been going wrong, instead of changing my blog I started a new one and had several blogs all going in different directions. So I came here, to this blog which was called something completely different and basically a load of crap and re-invented it (to hopefully something a little less crap!)

Last year I also learnt a lot about taking photos and editing them. Something I’m still not brilliant at but I think that’s because I need a more fancy camera that will do all the work for me, any PR’s out there got one they’d like me to review? (If you don’t ask, you don’t get)

There was lots more that I learnt but that was last year and now I’ve just been to Blog Camp  Summit this year and learnt a whole heap more. I just wanted to point out that it was last years event that started me out on the path I am now, and I’m come such a long way (don’t bother going back to look at the rubbish posts in my history, I’ve deleted most of them) and I’ve made so many new friends. I’ve gained so much from my blogging but my proudest moment has to be becoming a finalist in the MAD blog awards. So you see, these brilliant Tots100 events can bring you great rewards.

So what did I learn this year?

Well,. first up, I have to say I’ve become a lot fitter and the four flights of stairs didn’t phase me (I think they almost killed me last year)

A grill session with some great bloggers ( Sally from Who’s the Mummy, Chrissie from Mediocre Mum, Helen from Fuss Free Flavours and Ruth from Geek Mummy) taught me that it’s ok to take time out from blogging if you need to. Also, you need to follow your heart and take your blog where you want it to be. Find your voice and do things your way, it’s ok to do reviews and sponsored posts if that’s what you want but you will learn in time how to balance things out and keep your readers happy. One more tip was to make a sock puppet, but the reason why is a secret only for those in attendance. Finally, Sally gave us a quick lesson on the metrics of the Tots100 ranking, which really is quite simple, honestly.

number of people who love your blog + number of people who loved your blog even more in the last month + number of people who like socialising with you x number of kids you have + how many bathrooms you have – number of people you’ve p**d off in last three years (or something like that)

An advanced SEO session with Judith Lewis taught me that I need to analyse some brilliant keywords for my blog and create a new page for them to bring in the traffic from search engines. This procedure involves much work and spreadsheets, apparently spreadsheets that have pretty colours work better. I can’t go into too much detail here right now (it was a lot to take in and would take up a lot of this post) but once I’ve had a go and worked it out for myself I may just make a new post to let you know how I get on and if it works.

After lunch I went for an interesting talk on Pinterest by Cathy James from NurtureStore. Now, I’ve used Pinterest for a while, I find it a great resource for, well, practically anything I’m planning from parties to picnics, wallpapers to cake decorating. However, I’ve never fully optimised it for my blog, and didn’t really know how. But now I do and it’s pretty straightforward. You can create images specifically for Pinterest to go with your blog posts and you can cross post your images to different but relevant boards (so long as you don’t do it all in one go) Images should be portrait rather than landscape and your boards should be organised on your page with the most appealing images as the cover. Also, up to 50 is the optimum number of boards to own. Apparently Pinterest can bring  you lots of traffic to your site and I have to admit I have noticed this from an image I posted from my daughter’s birthday party last year.

We also had a talk from some PRs from Frank, Volvo, Parent Dish and Argos which was very interesting. It’s always good to know how the PRs work and how they want to develop their relationship with bloggers.

Finally, we had an amusing talk from Andy Cope who told us about his research into why only 2% of us are happy and what we can do about it. In a simple summary you have to stop chasing happiness, for example, stop saying you will be happy when you achieve ‘this’ or you will be happy when ‘that’ happens. Instead you need to chose to be happy anyway. His little tip was to wake up every morning and be thankful that you don’t have toothache. So you need to stop being a mood hoover, moaning about everything and waiting for happiness to happen and instead chose to be happy anyway. I like to think I’m an optimistic person, and I think the best of people and look for the best in situations. Even so I know I’m guilty of chasing after happiness. But now I’m going to just chose to be happy each and every day, and as for the mood hoovers in my life, well hopefully I can make them happy too.

Just one more thing to say, did you know, Bloggers are awesome!! It’s true, I met some really lovely people at the summit and I know some of them will be real friends from now on.
Bloggers are also Bonkers! <<<<< click for more photos

from left to right Jaime from The Oliver’s Madhouse, Charly from PODcast and me!

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.