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

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.

Laura's Lovely Blog

Kid’s Books Round Up Review

Here are few books that my kids had for Christmas. This post contains affiliate links.

Castle Adventure Activity Book.

front cover of kid's book
Castle Adventure activity book

Paperback: 64 pages
Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Button Books (1 May 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1787080218
ISBN-13: 978-1787080218
Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 0.8 x 29.2 cm

The Blurb

Knights, princesses, jesters, jousting and feasting – this fabulous activity book based around castles has got the lot! The pages are crammed with all sorts of great activities, including dot to dot, spot the difference, colouring in, simple makes and other engaging puzzles. Fun and educational, Castle Adventure Activity Book features beautiful, bright illustrations that will draw children in and keep them busy. And while they are enjoying the mazes, matching and counting, the games are helping them to develop a wide range of skills, including observational, conversational and motor.

Verdict

This has been perfect for my Little Man, aged 8 years. It’s kept him occupied lots over the holiday period. There is so much to do with all the puzzles and picture colouring and he still loves stickers. It’s engaging and fun and I was really surprised at just how much is packed into the 64 pages. It really should be called a bumper book of activities.

You can pre-order the Castle Adventure Activity Book on Amazon for £7.85

The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Tom Browning

Paperback: 40 pages
Age Range: 5 – 6 years
Publisher: Sterling; Reprint edition (7 July 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 145491355X
ISBN-13: 978-1454913559
Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 0.8 x 28.7 cm

The Blurb

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house … For decades families have gathered together to read Clement C. Moore’s enchanting holiday poem. Featuring beautiful original illustrations by award-winning artist Tom Browning, this stunning edition stands apart from the rest. Browning has created a classic Saint Nick the quintessential round, jolly, white-bearded figure that everyone imagines. The look is timeless, filled with warmth and sentiment: exactly what Christmas should be. The story’s enduring charm and Browning’s memorable art make The Night Before Christmas a must-have for any child who is just discovering the tale and every adult who has loved it forever.

Our Verdict

We already have a copy of this story, a wonderful Christmas poem written by Clement C. Moore which it is believed he first wrote in 1822 for his Children under the title ‘ A Visit From St Nicholas.’

This paperback copy is delightful with it’s illustrations by the painter Tom Browning who is renowned for his artwork of Father Christmas. It’s a must read poem before Christmas for any young child, and as old as it might be it is still fun.

I did have some explaining to do to my kids, what is a ‘kerchief, what are sugar plums? What does droll mean and what is a pedler? I do love the traditional version of the poem though, and with the old fashioned illustrations it’s a perfect version of the story.

Laura's Lovely Blog

Transport and Animals Activity Books

What could be a better stocking filler this Christmas than an activity book or two. They are great for keeping the kids occupied on visits to relatives or restaurants, or to enjoy at any time. My kids love activity books, they are the best boredom busters and can be taken anywhere.

Today I’m bringing you two books from the fabulous Alain Gree, Transport and Animals.

Transport Activity Book

This entertaining transport-themed activity book will be very popular with any child that loves things that go! Activities include spot the difference, colouring in and other engaging puzzles to keep children busy for hours on end.

Publisher: Button Books
ISBN: 9781787080225
Number of pages: 64
Dimensions: 295 x 220 mm

Animal Activity Book

This fabulous animal-themed activity book will keep young children entertained for hours. The pages are packed with all sorts of beastly business, including dot to dots, spot the difference, colouring in and mazes.

front cover of Animal Activity book with illustrations of several animals including a lion, a tiger, a giraffe and an owl
Animal Activity Book by Alain Gree


Publisher: Button Books
ISBN: 9781787080188
Weight: 64 g
Dimensions: 295 x 220 mm

My Verdict

I love that these books are so packed with fun activities. Each page is full of colourful illustrations which invite the child to join in. The books have 64 pages so there is plenty to do. In the middle of each book are four pages of stickers which the child can use in the books to complete to puzzles and pictures. 

Puzzle page from the Animal Activity book, showing a snake shaped animal race game, a Jungle pals word search and two animal jokes
A puzzle page from Animal Activity Book

At £7.99 each book you will get hours of entertainment for your child, and while they are having fun they will be learning too. The books will engage the child with the lovely illustrations and fun puzzles while teaching them skills such as problem solving, counting, observational and motor.

The books require some reading and writing skills so would be suitable for children who have those. There are also pictures to colour and the stickers which can be enjoyed by all children.

a page from the transport activity book showing a rocked activity, some boat sums and a map reading activity
A page from the Transport Activity Book

Disclosure: I was sent these books in return for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links

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

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.