Keeping Strong!

It’s been a year now since I received the news of my Cancer diagnosis. I entered the consultants room in the hospital knowing deep down that something wasn’t right with my health. I didn’t have the symptoms that you read about, I didn’t lose weight or have bleeding but I did feel tired a lot and fought with fatigue. I just knew that the lump that I was feeling wasn’t right. I knew deep down that it was bad. I didn’t want my family to come with me to hear the words but I couldn’t stop them from being with me.

I came out of the diagnostics room a different person. Hearing the consultant tell me that I had Cancer changed my life and my family’s life. After going through every emotion possible, which took a good few months, and crying for what seemed like eternity I became stronger. I became to realise that I could allow this disease to beat me or I could stand up and fight it with every little piece of energy that I have.

Keeping strong is the only way to carry on with this disease.

I only have one focus in life now and that it to be around for as long as I can for the sake of my children.

It’s easy to keep strong with the support of my family and friends.

I am no longer Angela. I am now Angela who has Cancer. I am now Angela who is stronger.

I need now to not look back on the what ifs but to look forward and to stay positive. To keep my head clear of any negative thoughts.

I may have had the diagnosis that we all dread to hear but I am still here, I am still a Mum to 3 wonderful children. Cancer doesn’t stop that and will never take it away from me. No matter what I will always be a Mum. Being a Mum is what has made me strong, It is what made me fight for my life.

Having Cancer has made me realise that we need to enjoy life, enjoy each others company, stay focused for here and now.  I make more plans than I did before, I don’t hold back on doing something. I need to look after myself more, not only keeping my body strong but my mind too.

There are times when it all becomes a little too much. When I think back to my time in hospital I used to thank god that every morning I woke up. I thought that it was my time. I never thought that I could pull through, But I did. Slowly I became stronger. I tell myself now that I am still here and I am still Angela, I am still a Mum and I am still someones daughter, sister, cousin, aunty, friend or colleague.

I would like to thank everyone for the support that you have all given me, either through social media or personally. Without you all I wouldn’t be able to stay focused and learn to look after myself.

I will keep my head clear of any negative thoughts, I will keep a smile on my face and I will keep on being strong.

 

Developing Imagination and Creativity with #Starwarsreads and Giveaway

To celebrate Starwarsreads Egmont have invited along 10 bloggers to participate and help promote the Star Wars books during the month of April ready for Star Wars Day on May the 4th. Egmont have asked us to join them.

With a house full of boys this campaign seemed like an ideal one for the boys to get their teeth stuck into, especially when I found out that one of the books that we would be receiving was a ‘Make & Do’ book. I am always encouraging the children to not only read a good range of books but also to become more creative in their artwork.

We was sent 3 books to read and look through20170405_182147

The Star Wars Make & Do book is ideal for budding artists, young and old. I love a good craft and this book has some amazing crafts to try out. My son and I couldn’t wait to make up a finger puppet from the book.20170405_182319

Joseph is a Yoda fan, he is, so obviously this was the first activity we tried. The instructions are easy to follow, numbered and illustrated. It tells you the list of materials you will need.

Firstly we drew around my sons finger on a piece of paper to get the size of the finger puppet. We cut it out and used it as a template to get Yoda’s body and cloak. I drew the shape of Yoda’s head using the picture on the book as a template. Using the template we cut out two heads on green felt. The only thing we did differently to the instructions was to use a glue gun to attach the body together and a material felt pen for the face instead of using a needle and thread.

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Once gluing all the pieces together we added on Yoda’s hand, eyes and lightsaber

 

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What do you think of our mini Yoda Finger Puppet? We love it and so does Big Yoda

I couldn’t wait to attempt in a drawing so decided upon trying to draw Obi Wan. Following the step by step instructions, I summoned my skills to sketch the wise warrior.

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The Art Pad is on the right hand side of the book and the activity book on the left hand side.

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I am pretty chuffed with myself. It was a quick sketch and only took me about 10 minutes. I absolutely love activity books like this

Check out this flippy

 

It truly is an awesome book that will help you create cool crafts, design your own masterpieces and bring your own ideas and drawings to life.

Relive the story of Star Wars with The Force Awakens Illustrated Story Book. In The Force Awakens, Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister first order has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed. With the support of the Republic, General Leia Organa leads a brave resistance. She is desperate to find her brother, Luke, and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy.

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This book has beautiful illustrations, at first I thought they were photographs from the film but when you look closely you can see that they are drawings

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Every page has an illustration on it, making it an ideal book for children to follow. It is intended for children from 6 through to 8. My children are 5 and 9 and they both enjoyed flicking through the pages and looking at the cool pictures. This book consists of 125 pages, which doesn’t have many words to read but that’s just what a story book is.

The Star Wars Rogue One Book is aimed more for the older children, a junior Novel that doesn’t contain any images leaving your children to use their imagination when reading it. Relive the excitement of the film with this action packed story. The rebel alliance has learned of the existence of a terrifying imperial weapon, capable of destroying entire planets: the Death Star. A thrilling tale of ordinary people who choose to do an extraordinary things.

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These book will make a perfect addition to any child’s bookshelf.

As i said at the beginning of the post that this was a starwarsreads campaign with 10 bloggers involved, take a look at http://icklepickleslife.co.uk to read what they think of the books that they were sent, also try your luck with in their giveaway too

Egmont are giving a lucky reader the chance to win the Make & Do book as well as Adventures in Wild Space books for young readers

For a chance to win these awesome books then enter via the rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

  • Competition ends 4th May 2017 at midday
  • Open to UK residents only
  • The prize will be sent directly from Egmont
  • The winner will be drawn by rafflecopter
  • The winner will receive an email and will need to respond within 24 hours in order to receive the prize

Good Luck 🙂

We was sent a copy of the books for the purpose of this review and giveaway. This is a collaboration post.

I ho I ho Its back to work I go!

Well after 11 months off sick, 5 and a half weeks of intensive chemo and radiotherapy, 9 days in hospital for an infection, 7 weeks in hospital over the Christmas holidays for 2 major operations I have been given the go ahead by my doctors to return to work (part time only).

Today was my first day back at work. I arrived for my return to work interview at 9am and worked until lunch time and I loved being back.

I finally feel like I am actually getting somewhere with this disgusting disease.

I will not let it defeat me.

Yes I have to ease my self back to work, only working a few hours a day, and No I will not know how i will feel unless I do it.

My doctor, nurse and oncologist agree that a phased return to work will be best for me. I am still suffering with tiredness due to lack of iron in my body and after 6 B12 injections and daily tablets I am still feeling a bit fatigued but my body needs to heal itself after everything it has been through and as long as i take it easy then working shouldn’t be a problem. It gets hard when I get home and then the working carries on as a parent, but my children understand and are very helpful. I am luck that my eldest enjoys cooking as he has been ever so helpful in the kitchen.

It felt nice to have a bit of normality back in my life rather than trips to the hospital or doctors for appointments.

I saw my oncologist yesterday and was told that there will be no more further treatment needed. The tumour and 48 lymph nodes that were taken out of my body were cancer cell free. I need to go back to the hospital every 3 months and I will have scans every 4 months to keep an eye on me but basically they are just monitoring me for the next few years. I am not saying that I am in the clear by no means but I am on the ride side of recovery.

My normal hours are from 8:40 – 3:30 but I am now working from 10:00 – 2:00. Which means less rushing around for me in the morning and afternoon and I shouldn’t get as tired with not having to wake up early to take the children into breakfast club. I am happy with this and hopefully it will only be for the next half term and then I am hoping that I will be strong enough to return back to work full-time. It felt good to be back at work, just being a TA and not being the person sitting at home waiting for the world to pass by.

Am I happy to be back at work? YES

Am I going to regret going back? NO

Only time will tell if I can handle the work load. My work place have been excellent and very supportive to my needs.

I am looking forward to a being a colleague again and working with the children

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Thank you for reading and following my story

Thankful for being a Mother

Last weekend was Mothering Sunday

A day where children shower there Mummy’s with Love, presents, cards and time

A day where Mums from all over get to have a day off and spend it with their Children.

A day when children tell their Mums how much they love them and how much they are thankful for them being their mummy

I didn’t receive a shop bought card, or any flowers or a gift for that matter. But what I did get was far more rewarding and priceless. A day with my boys.

I don’t need a card to tell me how much they love me

I don’t need flowers or gifts to know that they love me

I receive kisses and cuddles every day from them, so this day was no exception

Instead we walked along hand in hand on a beach.

We talked and laughed at each others jokes

We ate chips on the sea front whilst the sun shone down on us

We watched the waves hit the shore

We enjoyed each others company

I sat and watched my boys play together, kick a football around and play fight with each other

I should be thanking them for making me the person I am today

I wouldn’t be a Mum without them. Without them I wouldn’t be me!

I am thankful on Mothers Day, as of the rest of the days of the year in being their Mum

My day couldn’t have been any better. I wasn’t upset that I didn’t receive gifts, as I’ve got my boys instead. They showered me with cuddles and kisses. They gave me laughter and fun and most of all they gave me memories of a lovely day together.

I celebrate every day the love I have for them and I know that they love me just as much as I do them.

I only have to hold them to feel their loving touch. Look into their eyes to see the love.

I am thankful for being their Mum every day that I breathe and nothing can take that away from me

 

 

 

 

Marshmallow Sweet Tree Tutorial

Imagine something that no only looks good as a gift but tastes yummy too.

Sweet trees are a very popular gift to give to friends and family who have a sweet tooth. They are easy to make but do take a little time to put together and you do need a little patience. They are ideal gifts for teachers, birthdays, weddings and even Easter as an alternative to a chocolate egg. Designed to make look like a tree but instead of leaves they are covered in a sweet of your choice. They are ideal to share, nibble on or devour at your pleasure and they look amazing as a centre piece for any occasion.

I recently made a marshmallow tree for a raffle a prize to raise money for Bowel Cancer. I originally wanted to add little love heart jelly sweets onto the marshmallows but after searching tons of shops I couldn’t find them anywhere so decided to change it to Giant Milky buttons and a little pearl sweet into the middle to finish it off.

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You will need:

  • A small bucket/glass
  • Plaster of paris
  • A dowel rod or some garden sticks
  • A polystyrene ball
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Coloured ribbon
  • Sweets of your choice, in this case Marshmallows (5 bags from Tesco) pink and white
  • 2 Bags of large milky buttons
  • White chocolate to melt
  • Pearlised balls from the baking isle for decorating
  • Rainbow drops to add at the bottom or any sweet of your choice

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  • Firstly you need to wrap the ribbon around your rod. I couldn’t find a wooden dowel so i used 4 garden rods and attached them together with tape. I cut them to the size that i wanted and then securing the ribbon at one end with some tape I wrapped it around the rods20170320_163022
  • I used two different types of ribbon, one to cover the whole rod and then the other to wrap around sparingly. Secure the end in place with some tape. You don’t have to go to the end as it will be stuck inside the ball and the paris.

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  • Make a whole in the polystyrene ball, about an inch deep. Just the right size for your rod to fit in. Make sure that it is very central, you don’t want a wobbly tree.

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  • Next make up your plaster of paris and pour into the bottom of your pot. I bought my plant pot from B&M. Place your rod into the paris and hold in place until it begins to set. This should take a couple of minutes. Try to be as central as you can. Leave to set overnight. If you don’t want to use plaster of paris and want a tree that can be completed eaten you could try to set your stick into chocolate but it might not last in the hot weather.

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  • Cut your cocktail sticks in half using some sharp scissors.
  • Melt some of the white chocolate in a bowl
  • Place the ball onto the stick and secure in place with some of the chocolate
  • Place a shortened cocktail stick in the centre of the top of the ball
  • Get a marshmallow and dip the smaller end into the white chocolate, just to cover the bottom and then place onto the cocktail stick. The chocolate helps the marshmallow stay in place
  • Once you have the first one in place you then need to add all of the others the same way. I did alternate colours on the rows, so one row pink and then next white and so on

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  • If the marshmallow is placed onto the ball on the smaller end then they should fit around much easier
  • Next place the chocolate buttons onto a plate and using the end of a cocktail stick place some of the melted chocolate into the centre and add-on a pearlised ball20170322_115838
  • Now begin to stick them onto the marshmallows using the melted chocolate. Again, I alternated the colours of the pearlised balls, using the white on the pink marshmallows and the pink on the white ones. This is where you need a little patience as you need to hold the button in place for a little while until the chocolate sets, otherwise they just slip off as you go around the ball towards the bottom

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  • Once they are all in place. Put some tissue paper on top of the plaster of paris inside the pot and then pour in your chosen sweet. I used rainbow drops as they went with the pale colours of the marshmallows but you can use anything even crumbled up chocolate muffin to look like mud.

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  • I added a couple of bows to the stick for decorative purpose.

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Your tree is now ready to gift to someone.

I bought some pink cellophane from the florist and a big bow and wrapped it up for the presentation. I think this type of tree would make a lovely centre piece for a wedding or even a baby shower. Something that everyone could have a nibble at around the table.

 

Hope you enjoyed reading 🙂

Comment below with what type of tree you would make or even share your picture with me if you make up this one.

 

Make your own Yoda Costume for World Book Day and A Star Wars Books Giveaway

World Book Day is closely upon us and it’s time to start thinking about what costume your children will be wearing on the day. My boys normally like to make up a costume from clothes that they find from in their wardrobe but this year my middle boy has requested a rather different costume. Which was perfect as we have been challenged by Egmont publishing to create a Star Wars themed Costume for World Book Day.

Last year we made a last-minute costume by raiding the wardrobes, particularly looking for clothes that were in neutral colours and created Luke Skywalker. This costume has been used many times over the past year and didn’t cost us a penny.

This year, the boy has requested Yoda. This year I am prepared. I ordered some fleece material from Ebay and once it arrived I got out my sewing machine and stitched away.

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You will need:

  • Beige Fleece Material- mtr depending on how tall your child is. and the width of the material. We ordered a metre at 150cm wide
  • Emerald Green Fleece Material – 1/2 mtr 150cm wide
  • Brown long sleeve t-shirt
  • Dark coloured trousers
  • Sewing machine or needle and cotton to hand sew
  • Green Facepaint
  • White chalk or material pen
  • Pins
  • Scissors

Instructions:

I found a pattern online from www.fleecefun.com that I adapted to fit my son. I used his dressing gown as a guide for the measurements and just adjusted the pattern where it needed it. The pattern can be printed out and stuck together to make one big one.

Yoda Robe

  1. Place the material down on the fold and put the pattern on the top. The back needs to be cut on the fold to create one piece and you need two pieces of the front. Use pins to keep it in place and draw around with your chalk. This is where I adjusted the pattern and moved it about to the length and width I wanted. Cut out the pieces. You will only have one back and two fronts

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2. Place the two fronts down on to the back. Tack into place.

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3. Stitch along the under arm and side seam and the sleeve to secure the front and back together. Turn inside out. You can finish off the edges with a hem but I just left ours as the material will not fray.

4. Cut out a long piece of the fleece for the belt.

Et Voila! You now have a jacket fit for a Yoda

Yoda Head and Ears:

I used an old wooly hat to draw around and to get the size of Yodas head.

  1. Lay the green fleece material down on the fold and place your ear pattern on top. Secure in place with pins. Draw around with chalk and cut out the pieces. You should have 4 ear pieces and two head pieces.

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2. Stitch around the edge of the ears

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3. Turn them inside out so that the seams are on the inside

4. Now you need to give the ears a shape by pinching in the straight edges and stitching in place

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5. Place the ears on top of one of the hat pieces, facing inwards.

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6. Place the other hat piece on top to form a sandwich. Secure all in place with pins

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7. Stitch around the edge. Turn the right way round.

8. I stitched a band of fabric along the bottom of the hat as it didn’t quite fit my son’s head and we wanted it to be bigger

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We found that the ears go a little lopsided like a dogs but this can be corrected with a little bit of starch or adding in some wadding when stitching the ears together.

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The last thing we needed to do to finish off the costume was to paint his face green.

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I painted his face green and then added on some lines to make him look a little older.

We was asked by Egmont Publishing to choose a Star Wars Character to dress up as on World Book day to celebrate the release of the new book The Cold. The book is due out in March and is the latest to be published in the series of Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space books. Read about the first two that were released last year here

‘The Adventures in Wild Space takes place in the period betweenStar Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope. Star Wars fans can meet a whole host of new characters, including a new droid, CR-8R, and a new villain, Captain Korda. It follows the Graf family Mum, Dad, Daughter and Son whilst they tour wild space as galactic mappers.

It is a time of darkness. With the end of the Clone Wars and the destruction of the Jedi Order, the evil Emperor Palpatine rules the galaxy unopposed. After their parents were kidnapped by the ruthless Imperial Captain Korda, young explorers Lino and Milo Graf set out to find them’

The Cold is the fifth in the series of the exciting junior novels written by Cavan Scott. Siblings Milo and Lina have picked up the trail of their kidnapped parents – but an ambush in the depths of Wild Space leaves them stranded on a desolate planet. With an old enemy out for revenge can they survive THE COLD?

The series is ideal for any young Star Wars fan out there. My boys are aged 9 and 5, both have really enjoyed reading the books. They are full of adventure, action packed and fun to read.

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I find these Star Wars books are always good for those reluctant readers as they are so gripping and adult like but simple enough for children to understand and read. The illustrations are in black and white and simple but just right for the books.

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The books in the series are ideal for children from the age of 8. Although, my son is 5 and he enjoyed reading them, just occasionally asking for help on a few words and for explanations on what some of the words meant. The characters are fun and make the stories exciting. The books are quite short which helps keep the child’s attention and with few illustrations they are ideal for those readers that are moving away from stories that are highly illustrated. They help children make predictions about the future content without looking at the pictures to help them.

Egmont are offering one of my readers the chance to win a full set of Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space books

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Three of the five from the series

The Cold http://amzn.to/2jUCPFv

The Dark http://amzn.to/2kjmKMW

The Steal http://amzn.to/2kjmKMW

The Nest http://amzn.to/2kjtnyK

The Snare http://amzn.to/2jUQewX

All book available to buy from Amazon on the links above

To be in with a chance enter via the rafflecopter below. Competition ends 19/03/2017

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looking for more Star Wars Fancy Dress inspiration for World Book Day Take a look at Princess Leia by We Made This, R2D2 by ET Speaks From Home, Hans Solo by A Strong Coffee and a Storm Trooper by Ickles Pickles.

 

No Bake Energy Boosting Date Balls

Raw food and no baking is becoming very popular. I am always experimenting in different ingredients to make healthy nutritious snacks for my children.

When I was diagnosed with Cancer last year, I researched what food the body needs to help fight those bad cells. As a family we changed our diet and now consume more foods that are not baked and that are raw, with no added GMO and organic. Does it help? I don’t know but it tastes good and we do feel more healthier.

These energy balls are mostly made from medjool dates that are high in fibre and an energy booster. They are simple and quick to make and are super healthy.

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Ingredients:

  • 24 Medjool dates (or similar) de-pitted
  • 2 tbsp refined Coconut oil
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 2tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp organic cacao powder
  • 3 heaped tbsp organic oats
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1tbsp chia seeds

Method:

Place the dates and coconut oil into a blender and blitz to a paste, add in a little bit of water to smooth it up.

Add in the peanut butter and ground almonds and blitz to combine it all.

Empty into a bowl. Mix in the cacao powder, maple syrup, oats and chia seeds.

Place in the fridge for half hour.

These balls are quite oily because of the coconut oil.

Take out of the fridge and take a heaped tsp and shape within the palm of your hands to make a ball.

Wrap each ball in some cling film and store in the fridge.

 

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These balls are ideal for grab and go food as they are stored in the fridge and wrapped in cling film it makes it easy for the children to grab a healthy snack when they need one.

They are high in fibre, minerals and vitamins promoting a healthy bowel. They also provide energy for people who suffer from anemia.

As long as you have the base of the dates and coconut oil you can experiment with adding in different ingredients. Our next one we are going to add in desiccated coconut or even roll the balls in the coconut or cacao powder. You could even add in dried fruit.

Thank you for reading 🙂