Learning to accept my body

You may see me in the street, you may pass me by and smile at me. I may nod my head and smile back. I may look and appear normal. But, behind my smile, behind my eyes I am fighting. Fighting to accept what I have become. Fighting to accept where my body is.

I have a hidden disability. Something you can not see, nor do I talk about it. It’s not something that makes a comfortable conversation.

I am embarrassed of what I am; of what I have to carry around with me.

8 months ago I had surgery to remove a tumour from my bowel, from the offset of this I have a colostomy.

Don’t get me wrong I am happy that I am still alive, but it has knocked my confidence. I no longer feel womanly. I take time choosing the right type of clothes to wear. I got rid of dresses that were figure hugging, vests that were tight and my pretty little underwear sets are a no go. I can’t even leave the house without having to carry my medical supplies with me – no more clutch bags for me.

I used to have a flat tummy, even after giving birth to 3 children there were never any marks on it. My tummy was one thing that I was happy about on my body. Shallow? Maybe!

Now, I have a swollen tummy with a scar that goes from the belly button down towards the pelvis area. Either side of the scar the tummy protrudes out. I have to wear trousers, leggings and underwear that are high waisted.

I have never been a body confident person, living with a colostomy is just another hurdle for me to get over.

I am learning to chose the right type of clothing that hides my imperfections. But summertime and holidays are a scary thought.

How am I going to cope on holiday, in the heat with a bag stuck to my tummy and wearing a bikini on the beach.

I am happy that I no longer have cancer but I live with a constant reminder of what I have gone though. I carry a trophy around on my body.

I have to accept that this is me now and I have to learn to love my body again. I have to become comfortable with it. It gave up on me once, I don’t want it to do that again!

I was born to be real not to be perfect. My life is on a new path now and I need to embrace it to the best that I can.

BBQ Salmon with Vita Coconut Oil Maranade #reachforthebeach

With the Summer holidays coming up, more and more if us will be dining Al Fresco. With the hot, hazy days ahead of us, what better way to eat your evening meal on the BBQ.

We do love a BBQ!

We are always on the look out for healthier ways to dine outside. As a family we are cutting down on the amount of red mead that we eat and introducing more vegetables and fish

Vita Coco Coconut oil is 100% raw, organic and cold pressed making it the ultimate cooking ingredient. It can be used in place of other cooking oils in baking and frying, it can even be added in to your coffee or used to whiten your teeth.

This recipe is a quick and easy meal to do on the hot rocks or in the oven if the weather decides to ruin your day.

20170715_164317

INGREDIENTS:

Fillet of salmon

2 tbsp Vita Coco Oil

1 chopped clove of garlic

tsp of chopped chilli flakes

1 tbsp cider vinegar

tbsp of chopped mint and coriander

Pink himalayan salt

Half the juice of a lime

METHOD:

  • Place the fillet of salmon onto some tin foil
  • Drizzle over some olive oil and a pinch of himalayan salt
  • In a small pot, add in the vita coco oil, chilli flakes, lime juice, chopped garlic and the chopped mint and coriander. Mix well.

20170715_161227

  • Place over the top of the fillet and then wrap it up into the tin foil, creating a parcel.

20170715_161303

  • Once your BBQ is nice and hot, place onto the grill and cook until the salmon flakes easy with a fork, roughly about 15 minutes.

Serve with a side salad and some slices of lemon.

Whats good about this recipe is that once you have wrapped the salmon in the foil parcel it can be placed into the fridge ready to use later on in the day. Especially saving time when you are entertaining.

20170715_164424

This is my entry into the Foodies100/Vita Coco #reachforthebeach  competition

 

A Letter To My 14yr Old Son

Dear Son

When I found out that I was pregnant with you, it was quite a shock! I doubted myself and my ability to look after you. Even though I was 24, I thought that I was still to young to have children. I didn’t want to fail you as a parent and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take on the responsibility if looking after a young baby.

As soon as I began to feel you move around inside of my tummy my love for you began to grow, you was mine – all mine.

The day you was born, my life changed.

The moment you came into this world you brought an ache into my heart that I had never experienced before, a love that was so strong it brought to tears to my eyes and a pain in my chest. You taught me the meaning of unconditional love.

You was a mummy’s boy and I was your biggest supporter. With every milestone that you reached; crawling, first steps, first word, first pee on the potty, I reveled in euphoria.

You was such a clever little boy. At 2 years old you showed an interest in cars and used to point out to me all the makes of them as they passed by. I had no idea where you had learned it from as I didn’t drive and had no understanding of them myself. I remember sitting on a bus one day; you was looking out of the window and was pointing out the cars as they passed us, saying their names and getting quite excited. The other passengers were laughing and encouraging you by asking you what the next car was. You knew them all!

You have, to this day, a presence about you that leaves people in awe. Such confidence in yourself, no matter what it is you try you will always put everything into it.

I sometimes wish that you were still that little intrigued boy. I often miss him, thinking about what you were like as a small boy. The way you used to line up your cars in colours, sizes and models. How we could never pass by a Bob the Builder ride that was outside the supermarket because you would shout to have a go on it. When you used to come in to my room at night and sneak into my side of the bed for a cuddle. And, you was always full of energy, running around I circles in the living room because you wouldn’t give in to your tiredness.

You was such a caring, thoughtful young boy – Still are!

You filled my days with such pure delight

Over the past 14 years I have watched you grow from a young boy into a young man. You are still caring and thoughtful. You have learnt so much but there is so much more for you to learn now as an adult. Life is a continuous journey and I am so glad that I am a part of yours. You have hopes and dreams and aspirations. Their will be challenges but I have confidence in you that you will overcome them, you will make mistakes, as everyone does, but remember, that is how we learn. You will have times of contentment and times of sadness, life has its ups and downs. You are a strong boy who will overcome them all.

This past year has been a tough one for us all, you have shown such maturity and your attitude towards my illness has been a positive one. If anyone could be optimistic about their mum having cancer its you! You tell everyone that my illness has taught you how to grow up, how to fend for yourself and how to be positive.

You have taught yourself to cook and to look after your siblings. Your attitude towards it all has been a positive one. Giving me support and showing me that you are much more to me than just my son. You are my friend.

You are an incredible, unique boy and I want you to know what an amazing young man you have turned out to be.

There were days when I was in hospital, when I woke, to find you sitting by my bedside holding on to my hand and stroking my head. You are such a caring boy. Full of love and compassion.

You have such a bright future ahead of you and I trust that you will accomplish anything you set out to do. You have a drive to succeed. You are your own person, have your own interests, thought and opinions and are not afraid of showing who you are to others. You are clever and very knowledgeable. I have no doubt in my mind that you will succeed.

Follow your heart, hopes and dreams and become the man whom I know you will turn out to be. Be yourself and accomplish great things.

I am who I am because of you. I love you dearly

Your forever loving Mum

 

Cool Summer Lemon Slush Recipe

This slush is just perfect for hot summer days, it will keep you cool and refreshed and help you beat the heat.

We have been very lucky lately with the weather and have even had a good couple of weeks where the temperature has hit above 25c. Keeping cool, without constantly standing in front of a fan isn’t easy. I promise that this slush will keep you hydrated but also cool you down.

It is quick and simple to make, which makes it an ideal drink to make with the children.

IMG_20170708_185505_746

INGREDIENTS:

Half a lemon

A few sprigs of fresh mint

Handful of ice cubes

Coconut Water

This amount would make enough for one person just double up the ingredients if you want to make more

METHOD:

Place everything into a blender, leaving the coconut water til last. Add in enough to cover over the ice and blitz away. I kept some of the rind on the lemon as this gave it that extra bitter taste.

20170708_184103

Now all you need to do is relax on the sun lounger with your cool summer slush in one hand, sun glasses on and a good book in the other.

NB: You could add in some gin or vodka for an adult slush

Enjoy!

Young Driver Experience – A day to Remember

Could you imagine learning to drive before the age of 17?

At Young Driver, a center that gives children from the age of 10 an opportunity to get behind the wheel and experience driving with a qualified instructor. Children can learn to drive at one of the 60 UK centers where they are taught in a specially designed training area. The training area includes; sharp bends, mini round-about, parking spaces, traffic lights, and junctions.

Young Driver follow the Driving Standards Agency curriculum, which means that what 10 – 17s learn at YOUNG DRIVER is exactly the same as they will learn on the road at 17. The children are given a Drive Diary to record their progress and this is one of the most important parts of the programme – moving forward is the aim!

Their personalised Drive Diary charts individual progress and current level of driving and is completed by the instructor after each driving session. The instructor talks them through it and explains where they could do with some more help or whether they can progress to the next step. The Drive Diary can be given over to their driving instructor when they begin their official lessons at the age of 17 and the instructor will then know what their experience level is.

 

My son, who is 14 years old, was lucky enough to be invited along to the Bluewater Center to experience for himself what it is like to drive a car. The center itself, is situated within the blue car park at Bluewater shopping center. There is a section of car park outside that is specifically designed for a  beginners’ zone, that has a full road system with traffic signs, road markings, junctions and parking zones. In this way it encourages responsible driving.

20170617_112754 (1)

As soon as we had arrived, he was called up by his instructor and taken along to the car that he would be driving. Before he could turn the key he underwent a safety check and was taught how to use the mirrors, signal and when to manoeuvre. He had full control over the steering wheel and pedals, however the instructor had pedals that would over power his if an accident were to happen. He started off slowly, to get used to the feel of the steering and clutch. Not long on the road and he was soon snaking in-between cones and maneuvering the car into a figure of eight in the parking lot. Whilst, he was driving he was continuously given advise and constructive criticism from the instructor. He spent 60 minutes out on the road, building up his confidence and learning some important skills of control and responsibility. He now knows how to drive safely and properly, putting him leaps and bounds ahead of other 17 year olds.

His instructor was fantastic, professional and made him feel safe at all times.

20170617_105702

Since his experience, he has become more road aware and is definitely more confident and prepared for when he can hit the road.

20170617_113053

We made a video of his experience

My son certainly left with a big smile on his face and is now eager to get behind the wheel.

I would highly recommend the experience for any young child who wants to get ahead of their peers and become a much safer driver. A very valuable and worthwhile experience.

30 minute lesson – 10-17yrs – £34.95

60 minute lesson – 10-17yrs – £64.95

To find out more about the experience or to make a booking, head on over to their website www.youngdriver.com

We was given this experience for the purpose of this review.

Disney Pixars Cars 3 Franchise review

We love a bit of Disney in our household, especially after our recent visit to EuroDisney. The boys have a newfound love for it and are enjoying it even more. They are spending more of an interest in Disney films and the characters; from the old ones to the new.

Disney isn’t just all about tiaras and marrying princes there are also many of the old classics like Lion King, Bambi and Pinocchio – also not forgetting the high-speed, blazing fast racers of Cars.

One of the latest Disney films to be released on 14th July, 2017 is Cars 3. The legendary Lightening Mcqueen strikes again and finds himself out of the game when a next gen- racer Jackson Storm hits the Piston Cup. Hoping to get back in the game, Lightening seeks the help of a young technician Cruz Ramirez.

Disney have announced an exciting new product collection that will bring the high-speed action of the highly anticipated Disney•Pixar film Cars 3 to households nationwide.

The boys already have the previous DVDs of Cars and a few of the franchises to play with. So they were all revved up when they were sent some of the latest products to review.

20170621_201624

Jackson Storm Remote Control Car RRP £17.99 (disney store)

Lightening McQueen Speed Launcher By LEGO Juniors RRP £7.99 (disney store)

Cars 3 Drinks Bottle RRP £6.99 (disney store)

Cars 3 Book of the Film By Parragon RRP £5.99 (asda)

Lightening McQueen LEGO Launcher – The youngest couldn’t wait to get stuck in and as his older brother – who absolutely loves LEGO – was away he took the chance to start with the speed launcher. He doesn’t normally show an interest, as much as his brother, for Lego but he was really excited to build the car. The sets are ideal for children aged 5-7

20170621_201719

It was easy to build – just as the box says with simple to follow instructions. He started with the car first and then on to the launcher.

20170621_202703

The instructions are picture related, so he found them easy to follow and keep up with. Each page showing you what pieces were needed for that particular part.

Whats great about this set is that it is a usable toy after it is built. The wheels turn and the launcher actually works. It doesn’t launch the car very far but it is still fun to build and play with. It also gives the children a sense of achievement and pride, having built something by themselves. He would normally take sets apart once he had built them but this one has stayed by his bedside and is being used every day. He was very proud of himself for putting it together.

20170621_202714

Jackson Storm Remote Control Car – Get the feel of what it’s like to race in the Piston Cup with this remote control car. It may be small but it is very powerful. The car is a designed in detail with some impressive artwork and comes with a steering-wheel controller. The controller is easy to use; it drives forward and backwards, steers left and right. It is the perfect size for little hands and simple to use

20170622_070613The actual size of the Car  is L15 x H5 x W7cm approx.

Any child that loves Cars would fall in love with this little beauty. It is rear wheel driven and very responsive. It is turned on by using the middle button on the centre of the wheel control. We found that If it is not used for a while it tends to turn it self off and all you have to do is press the button again to get it working.

The design is sleek and very eye-catching, It is a solid and sturdy car. We took it to the garden to see how well it would drive over the patio (excuse the weeds)

The boys have had so much fun with this car. I do believe that there are more to collect, so you could hold your own Piston Cup and see who could be the winner.

Cars 3 Drinks Bottle – These drinks bottles are ideal for little racers to keep hydrated, with detailed artwork of Lightening McQueen and Jackson Storm, they are bright to look at and perfect for pack lunches. They have a rubber tyre detail around the bottom of the bottle giving little hands that extra grip when drinking from the bottle, but also keeps them sturdy when placed on to the table.

20170621_201635

The lid also has the tyre detail with a button to open it. Once the lid flips open it has a flexible straw hidden within.

The bottle holds 12oz and is only designed for cold drinks only. They are easy to come apart to wash and store well in the cupboard. The size of the bottle also makes them perfect to fit into lunch bags.

I found that with the fun designs the boys were asking for their bottles to be filled up more than normal, they make drinking cool!

Cars 3 Book of the Film – This 144 page paper-back book with an 8 page full colour insert is excellent for any budding reader. Once you have watched the film you can relive it again and again in this book.

‘When the legendary Lightening Mcqueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves by a new generation of blazing racers, he needs to get back in the game, and FAST! Can #95 prove that he isn’t out of the game yet? The next Piston Cup will test the heart of a champion on racing’s biggest stage!’

With seven Piston Cups wins under his belt and an undying passion for motor sport, can Mcqueen ride carry on riding high with the new generation of blazing racers?

There are many new characters in this new book, including Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez.

I have been trying to encourage my youngest away from books that have more picture than text and this book certainly meets that criteria. Apart from the 8 page full colour insert there are no more illustrations throughout the book. This means that he can concentrate on the story without being distracted by the pictures. Although the illustrations that are in the book are very colourful and good, which does help with the imagination.

20170705_195512

He is really enjoying reading the book and it is keeping him engaged.

20170705_195412

The book is ideal for young readers who are developing their reading skills.

These Cars 3 products have helped the children carry on with their newfound love of Disney. We are carrying on the magic at home.

We was sent these products for the purpose of this review