My Sunday Photo 28th October 2018


my two girls dressed up as witches when they were much younger, the photo has been turned to black and white and distressed.
Hubble bubble toil and trouble

It’s Halloween week and we are on half term, yay! On Monday we are going to a local farm to pick our pumpkins and carve them in a special workshop. Here is our photo from last years efforts.

a line of my three children with their carved pumpkins with a purple witch.
Pumpkin carving at Becketts Farm

The kids are planning to take their own templates this year to carve. I think last year was the first time they carved alone, I’ve usually done most of the work. I don’t mind but it can be hard work and the mess is horrible. So I’m glad we’ve found somewhere to go and do it, we just bring the carved pumpkins home so no mess, and the kids will be provided with all the tools needed and assisted with their carving.

Here’s Some I Made Earlier

Three carved pumpkins lit up in the dark.
Three carved pumpkins

I’ve a big feeling that the templates will be pokemon ones as that’s what they have requested for me to carve in the past.

I don’t think we will be doing much this Halloween. The kitten has to go in for his pre-op in the evening so the kids will have no-one to go trick or treating with. We will probably have neighbourhood kids knock on the door so I’ll have some treats ready for them. 

My kids have not really enjoyed dressing up for years now, the Little man is only eight, but he’s never enjoyed dressing up, even though he’s had some fabulous costumes like The Gruffalo and Scooby Doo. So, we’ll leave out the costumes for this year. Maybe we’ll celebrate with a kid friendly spooky movie like Casper and some Halloween baking treats. 

Here are some Halloween baking treats we’ve made in the past.

Pumpkin and Orange Cake

Meringue Ghosts and Chocolate Sweet Cake

Night Terror Torte

Toe Nail Dusted Sweet Cakes

Sunday Snap

My Sunday Photo 29th July 2018

Birthday Cake


I used to love baking and decorating cakes, but now it looks like Boo has taken over my job. She was determined to do the decoration for her own cake so I let her.

First she made the fondant rabbit. I asked her if she wanted help and even gave her a step by step guide, but she preferred to do everything herself.

I baked and iced the cake but left everything else to her. The only thing I had to help her with was the grass, I showed her my clever little trick with a sieve. I wanted to pipe her name on as I know this can be tricky, but she wasn’t having any of it, I think she did a good job.

The Birthday

Boo turned 11 on Friday and we didn’t have a party. To make the day special we invited her best friend to tea and let Boo help with the shopping. They ended up with Fake KFC drummers and chicken strips, pizza, mini sausage rolls and mini cheese and onion rolls. For afterwards there was macarons, party ring biscuits, mini angel cakes and, of course, birthday cake.

We lit her candles on the cake and her friend carried it in to her while we all sang Happy Birthday to her.

They then played in the garden in the sunshine before it was time for her friend to go home.

I didn’t make a video of Boo decorating her cake, but here’s one we did last year of her decorating a Valentines cake. She definitely has a talent.




Sunday Snap


My Daughter’s 10th Birthday Dog Making Party – updated

Earlier this year we reviewed some cuddly toy making kids from Splodge Teddy Parties. The girls really loved them so I decided I would buy a pack for Boo’s Birthday party.

I let her choose which ones she wanted, she could have had unicorns, dragons, zoo animals, there is so much choice. Eventually she settled on Dogs. I decided to get the 8inch ones because that was the size we reviewed and they were perfect.

The box arrived with all the unstuffed dogs. Just before the party we put each dog in a bag along with the stuffing and a birth certificate. I kept back the little hearts to give to them at the right time.














When all the children had arrived at the party I gave them all a bag and they were thrilled with their dogs. We settled down to stuff the dogs, the girls found them easy, it was just the Little Man and his friend that needed a little help. When they were almost stuffed I gave them all a heart to kiss and wish on before placing inside their dogs. The animals are so easy to fasten, there is no sewing involved. the stuffing goes into an internal bag and that is closed with a pull tag. Then you close up the dog by the velcro strips. The stuffing won’t come out if the velcro is undone, it is safe inside the bag.












After the girls had stuffed their dogs they chose names for their dogs and then filled in the birth certificates. Then they coloured in their bags, we turned this into a competition with the best coloured bag winning a prize, which was also dog related.

Party Food

It was then time for the party food, we had cheese and ham baps, pizza slices, sausage rolls, crisps, party rings and chocolate fingers. There were also some little cupcakes that my girls had baked and decorated.

When the food was devoured, the girls had one final task. They each had a plain iced cupcake which they had to write on their dogs name with writing icing and then decorate and add a little candle.

Just before the end of the party we presented Boo with her birthday cake, a big chocolate dog, and sang happy birthday to her before she blew out her candles.















It was a lovely day and I think Boo was really happy with how it all went. The dogs were a big success and each child was able to take home their toy in their bags.














I just can’t believe that my little girl is ten years old already!!

I bought the dogs myself from Splodge Teddy Parties. I’ve not been asked to mention them in this blog post but I’m doing so because I think they are great!


Word of the Week – Cake

Yesterday it was Boo’s 10th birthday, my little girl is growing up fast.

She watches loads of cake making videos and as her party involved making stuffed dogs she decided that she would like a dog cake. We looked at loads when we eventually agreed on one that she liked and I felt I could make.

Since I got sick I’ve not been able to make cakes like I used to. For one, I can’t stand in the kitchen for long periods of time. Also, my hands and eyes don’t work like they used to. It makes me sad, but I always like a challenge, so I challenged myself to make this cake for Boo.

chocolate dog cake

At Boo’s party we made the stuffed dogs which was fun, then the girls each had a plain cupcake to decorate in celebration of their dogs birthday. I also gave them a little candle for their cakes but they were a little rowdy so we decided not to light the candles.

dogs birthday cupcake

Star and the Little Man also wanted to help so they made some cupcakes and decorated them with buttercream and chocolate chips for the party.

So, this week has not only been all about Boo’s birthday, but about the cake!
What word sums up your week?

The Reading Residence

Blooming Great Tea Party 2017

What could be nicer than a tea party? I love tea and cake and getting together with friends to share them.
On 23rd – 25th June it’s the Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party and just by throwing a party you can raise funds for this amazing charity. Pop along to the website and sign up now, register before 19th May to be in with a chance of winning a Ringtons Luxury Hamper.

Marie Curie nurses provide care and support for people living with terminal illness and their families. Given the choice, most of us would like to die peacefully at home with family. Marie Curie nurses make this possible.Their service is free for the people they care for and their families.

For your tea party you could have all sorts of cakes and biscuits, you can buy them if you wish but baking them yourself is half the fun, You can even get the kids to help. My kids love baking and are forever whipping up cupcakes and biscuits.

If you need some inspiration here is my recipe for a simple Lemon Drizzle Cake which is one of my favourites, and it goes down lovely with a cup of tea.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe


200g soft butter
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
250g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
100ml milk at room temperature.
For the drizzle:
lemon juice from 2 lemons, leaving about 1 tsp for icing
2 tbs golden syrup
For the icing:
1 tsp lemon juice 
icing sugar


pre-heat oven to  180C/gas mark 4
grease and line a 1lb loaf tin or 20cm cake tin
Put all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric food mixer or a wooden spoon until the batter is completely smooth.
Pour batter into cake/loaf tin and bake in middle of the oven for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. You may wish to  cover the cake with greaseproof paper for last 10 minutes.
Just before cake has finished cooking put the lemon juice (reserving a tsp for icing) into a pan with the golden syrup and warm gently.
When you take the  cake out of the oven, prick it all over with a skewer then pour over the syrup mixture before taking it out of the tin.

When the cake has cooled remove it from tin and cover it with a drizzle of icing made with the lemon juice and as much icing sugar as it takes to make a runny icing.
Just in case you need some more inspiration, here is my nine year old daughter, Boo, showing you how easy it is to make a chocolate cake.

If I have inspired you to take part then please pop along the the Blooming Great Tea Party 2017 site and get your free fundraising pack. There are also lots of resources and recipes to make your tea party a big success. If you do hold a party I’d love to hear about it. 

You Baby Me Mummy
Twin Mummy and Daddy

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.