My Sunday Photo December 23rd 2018

Christmas 1983

In loving memory of my Mum who passed away ten years ago on December 25th 2008.

My Nan and Mum Christmas 1983

One particular icy day, a week before Christmas 1983, my mum fell and fractured her arm. It didn’t stop her getting everything done for Christmas though. It was her favourite time of year. Together with my Nan they would cook up a gorgeous Christmas dinner and we would have loads of treats. Nan’s mince pies where to die for.

We didn’t have a dining room and the kitchen was small, but we did have a big round table that Mum used to put in the middle of the living room on Christmas day for us all to sit together for Christmas dinner. I would help lay the table while watching Top of the Pops on the Television. The after the Queen’s speech we would all pull a cracker and settle down to eat.

There would be various other family members visit throughout the day with extra presents for us all. It was always fun, even the washing up wasn’t so bad with us all chipping in. Everyone was in good spirits, and even though my Nan has a bottle in her hand here, I didn’t see her or Mum drink more than one glass of wine with dinner.

Boxing day all the family would visit for a party. Mum and I would move the furniture around to make more room, and we’d blow up balloons and give everyone party poppers. We’d play music on our Stereo gram, usually albums that I’d had as Christmas presents, and after a few drinks there would be some dancing in the middle of the room.

Then we’d rest for a while until it was time to get ready for New Years Eve. For this the whole family would save a little money each week in a Post Office account and it was all pooled together. We’d hire a hall, a dj and all my aunties would chip in preparing a huge buffet. We would have a huge table of drinks for the adults to help themselves. There would be loads of decorations, Mum and her sisters would work all day making it look totally amazing. Then we would party all night.

Thank you Mum for giving me these happy memories. They keep me going through the sad ones, like sitting with you in the hospice back in 2008 watching you slip away from me forever.

For anyone missing someone this Christmas, I know how difficult it is, but eventually the happy memories are what you grab in those sad moments. It’s okay to be happy without them, even though it’s hard.

Merry Christmas to all My Readers, Peace and love to all,

Anne xx

Sunday Snap

Hospital and Family Memories

Last week I left you as I tackled my roller coaster life. Well, I’ve been so busy since then, but things seems to be getting better. With school visits, shopping and a day out at an inflatable theme park spirits have been lifted a little. Even though I’m a little exhausted too.

Hospital Memories

This week I will be in hospital for the first two days, so I may not be around much. Or I might be if I can get on the internet while in the hospital and I’m bored enough. The hospital is like my second home now, I don’t even have to give my name when I walk into the reception of my usual ward.

It takes me back to just a few years ago when it was the same for Star at the Children’s Hospital. It was Christmas 2013 when she was first fitted with a halo, how appropriate. She earned her nickname Star for all that she went through, she truly shone despite the pain and sadness. Now she has to see her consultant just once a year, but she still has to see a nurse every three months and has another appointment with the very busy geneticist next year. The good news is that she seems to be doing just fine, and she copes so well with her pain. Yes, she is a Star!

Family Memories

This weekend Graham’s brother came up to visit from his home in Dorset. He brought his two young children with him. We had Graham’s Mum come to visit too and they all stayed for the day. It was so lovely to have family around, the kids ran riot and made an awful mess, but I loved it. I do think that my kids are way to quiet and tidy sometimes. When my older two were little the house was never tidy, but they didn’t have laptops or phones to play on. They did have the Nintendo, but still liked to play and make mess. My kids, even when not on devices, will do quiet stuff like draw or read. The Little Man loves his Lego, but he always puts it away after playing. 

Having family around brought back memories for both me and Graham. When we were young the house was often full of cousins and aunts and uncles. We used to have visitors all the time, or we’d be the ones visiting. My mum had five sisters and two brothers, so there were many, many cousins. Usually, me and my two cousins of a similar age would be on tea duty and be sent to the kitchen on a regular basis to make pots of tea for everyone. 

These days it seems a rare occasion when we have lots of family visiting, or we visit family. Most of my family dissipated when my Nan passed away, but one of the main issues is the age differences in my own family. Two of my  brothers are a lot older than me and their children are even older than my eldest children. So the only cousins my youngest kids have are Graham’s brother’s and, as I said before, they live in Dorset. 

Families tend to be smaller these days and families don’t always live close together any more. I know that when I was little, four of my aunties and my Nan all lived in walking distance from us. 

I do miss those family days though. Even though it meant more arguments, more mess, and definitely more cups of tea. It was never dull.

Do you come from a large family, or have a large family now? Do you get together a lot with family?

I’ll leave you with a photo of a tired out Christmas cat 🙂 

black and white cat sleeping on the back of the settee with Christmas decorations in the background.
Mix It Up Linky

Tales From Mamaville

Debs Random Writings

My Sunday Photo December 2nd 2018

It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

The tree is up!

Yesterday we decided to put up the Christmas decorations.  Boo had gone out with a friend for the day but Star and the Little Man were quite keen to help with the tree and in fact I just let them get on with it. 

We’ve chosen a new home for the tree this year and it’s a bigger space than usual. Now, I’m thinking that my tree looks way too small. Or my kids are getting real big. Or a mixture of both. After Christmas I’m getting rid of this tree and buying a new, bigger one next year. 

I always think Christmas trees look better in the window, when I was growing up we always lived in houses with big bay windows and that would be were our Tree was put up each year. In this house we do not even have a window! What we do have is large patio doors, but you can’t really put a tree in front of them. 

Ah, we don’t even have a chimney for poor Father Christmas!

Have you put up your Christmas decorations yet?

Sunday Snap

Christmas Shopping with a Difference at Etsy

Have you ever had a difficult gift to buy, someone that you want to treat with something special but just can’t find that special thing? Then you may want to consider the Etsy market place. If it’s handcrafted, vintage, custom or unique it’s on Etsy.

I’ve put together my gift list of some of the special things you can find on Etsy. There is so much to choose from though, if you don’t like anything I’ve put you can always go and look for something else.


The slime stores are my go to places. It’s where my girls go to spend their pocket money. Forget about those pots of gooey snot like slime you can buy in the shops, on Etsy you can get some incredibly beautiful and long lasting slime. It’s all made to order and there is so much to choose from. Here’s a few from our favourite seller SlimeMarshmallowsUK

My girls will be getting these in their Christmas stockings.

a pot of light brown coloured slime with gold sprinkles from Etsy
Egg Nog Scented Christmas Butter Slime

Egg Nog Scented Christmas Butter Slime is an eggnog scented layered slime, with thick slime at the bottom, butter slime in the middle and a layer of clay on top! Mixing them all together is very satisfying! From £6.

blue and white slime with sparkly snow flakes and stars from etsy
Shimmering Snowflake Slime – Scented

Shimmering Snowflake is a tri toned cloud slime consisting of dark blue, light blue and white! Its topped with snowflake fimo slices and iridescent star glitters!  From £6


When it comes to jewellery, Etsy is your place. There is so much to choose from but don’t worry, it’s all easy to find. Just check the categories for what you want and narrow your searches. You’ll soon pick up something that’s perfect.

I’m going to show you a couple of items that I’d love to receive myself.

a beautiful heart shape necklace with lapis lazuli from etsy
Lapis Lazuli Heart Necklace

A Beautiful Lapis Lazuli Pendant

Individually Handcrafted using a water clear resin with lapis lazuli, aluminium and golden metallic glitter. £40

When I saw this pendant I fell in love instantly. I really love lapiz lazuli, but this is really unique. 

a green stone bracelet with a turtle charm. from etsy
Sea Turtle Bracelet

The Sea Turtle bracelet is hand made in England. It features Grade-A Green Aventurine and Howlite gemstone beads, measuring 8mm diameter and threaded on to high-quality stretch cord. The Sea Turtle is Peruvian ceramic and hand painted, measuring approximately 13mm

I love bracelets, I love semi-precious stones and I love turtles. This is one example of how you can find something perfect for someone on Etsy. 

Musical Gifts

Have you ever given anyone a mix tape? Are they a thing of the past now, do people still share their favourite music. Maybe it’s done on a USB now? Well, I’m old fashioned so this retro mix tape really caught my eye. It’s an actual cassette with a USB stick.

A cassette mix tape with a USB stick from etsy
Mix Tape USB stick

UNIQUE and ORIGINAL gift: This is an authentic USB Mixtape using a REAL TAPE CASSETTE. £15.99

Our retro AUTHENTIC Mix tape is the real deal – manufactured in the UK so premium quality is assured – Exactly the premium quality and original retro design that you would wish to give a loved one as a special gift. 

a guitar key ring from etsy
Guitar Key Ring

Abalone Guitar keychain 

Guitar keyring, finished with iridescent shimmers of Abalone Seashell. £12.60.

The perfect little gift for a guitar player

Christmas Decor

While you are shopping for your presents, why not take a look at the Christmas decorations on offer at Etsy. 

Personalised Wooden Name Family Christmas Tree  £8.09

Set of Superhero minifigure Christmas Baubles £4.99+

Personalised Christmas Stockings £10.42

Felt Christmas Tree Decorations £4.50+

A collage of Christmas decorations from etsy

Have you considered buying your Christmas gifts from Etsy?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which will cost you no more to click but may earn me a few pennies. Thank you for clicking and Merry Christmas.

Advent Calendars for 2018

We all love Advent Calendars but often don’t try anything different from chocolate ones. I’d like to bring you something a little different this year and have sought out some Advent Calendars with a twist. Or, with no chocolate at least!

Disney Collectable Coin Advent Calendar

Disney coin collection advent calendar

For Disney fans what could be better than opening a calendar with limited edition collectable coins. There are only 5000 of these calendars world wide which makes them even more special. If you want to get you hands on one they are currently available at My Geek Box for only £59.99

Lego Advent Calendar

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar

Do you have a lego expert in the house (honestly, who doesn’t?) This Lego Advent Calendar features 24 lego Star Wars themed gifts. As well as Star Wars you can also buy Lego Friends and Lego City advent calendars. Find them all at John Lewis, the Star Wars Advent calendar retails at £20.

24 Days of Merry Rituals

Ritual advent calendar

There are many cosmetic advent calendars out there with lots of different price tags. I’ve chosen this one because the products sound perfectly lush and the price isn’t too bad either. The 24 Days of Merry Rituals Calendar costs £59.50 from John Lewis and Partners.

The Snaffling Pig Co. Porky and Nice Pork Scratchings Advent Calendar

Pork scratching advent calendar

I did say I was looking for something different and this fits the bill. Described as a beast of and advent calendar it contains all flavours of Snaffling Pigs best selling pork crackling. Exclusive to John Lewis and Partners for £17.50

Twinings Advent Calendar

Twinings tea advent calendar

I’m a real tea fan so I had to include this fabulous Advent Calendar full of loose tea filled pyramid tea bags. From Camomile to Earl Grey, Moroccan Mint to Bollywood Chai Latte. I want one now please! It also comes with a little stainless steel tea bag tidy. You can buy one from Twinings for just £21.99

Personalised Coffee Advent Calendar

Coffee advent calendar

Not a tea fan? That’s okay, next up is a Nespresso pod a day for 25 days. With a little bonus of being personalised so you know who it belongs too! The Personalised Coffee Advent Calendar is available from PressyBox for £49.95

See anything you like? If not then please watch out for my guide on booze and chocolate advent calendars.

Cuddle Fairy

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.