I may have Cancer but I’m still a Mum!

Being diagnosed with cancer was hard to deal with but what made it hard for me was that I still had to be there for my children.

No matter how much pain I was going through

or how tired I got

or how upset I felt

I was still a Mum, a person who my children depended on

I still had to smile every day for the sake of my children, even though all I felt like doing was crying. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. I wanted to get angry but I couldn’t!

I was suffering but not in front of my boys. I cried on the inside. I tried hard to hide my feelings.

I was still the person they came to when they was upset or hurt

I was still the person who had to cook them dinner or read them their bedtime stories

Cancer didn’t take that from me. I was still a Mum

The one thing that went through my head was ‘Who is going to look after my children once I am gone?’ Who is going to wipe their tears from their eyes when they fall over and hurt themselves? Who is going to read to them at night? Who will be there for them when I can’t be?

Cancer treatment took all my energy, it left me tired and laid up in bed for days. There were days where I couldn’t move, days when all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and forget about everything. Pull the covers up over my head and lay there in the darkness of my own thoughts. But as a parent, you know that this is impossible. Children crave attention from their parents, they want to feel needed and loved.

My boys need for their Mum helped me find the fight that I needed to get through the toughest time of my life.

When my spirit was low, listening to my children play together lifted me up

I felt lonely, but I was not alone. I had the support of my family and friends, who constantly reminded me that I was going to fight this disease and come through the other end stronger than I entered it

Cancer has made us a stronger family unit.

I vowed that I would never be a victim but a survivor.

It was hard at first but with the help of my family I held onto my hopes and dreams and gathered the strength from around me to stay positive

I may have been diagnosed with Cancer, but I will not allow it to stop me from being a Mum

 

 

 

 

Carrot Cake Doughnuts – What’s your NumNoms Crazy Creation?

Num Noms are all about crazy food creations, the little cute, scented characters are all about creating your own flavour fusion by mixing a little num with a little nom. It’s a recipe for mischief with so many different combinations.

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We’ve seen the Cronut (donut and croissant combination), a genius idea, which brought together two of our favourite pastry items into one amazing desert. Next it was the turn of green tea cake, for the slightly more health conscious, which saw a refreshing cake born from a popular hot beverage. More recently, Marks and Spencer introduced the Croloaf, a loaf of bread make out of croissants –yum!

But they are old news and now it is time for Num Noms fans to take to the kitchen and create their own Crazy Creations inspired by the different Num Noms themes and flavours.

We was invited along to join the next Num Noms foodie campaign. we were challenged to get creative in the kitchen to combine the wackiest of flavours and make the tastiest of food combination.

First we had a look through the num noms menu for some inspiration

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We picked out the num noms that we wanted to work with and then set to it in the kitchen to create our foodie masterpiece

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We picked out

  • Maple Sugars who is from the doughnut family
  • Bunny carrot who is a veggie
  • Softy Mallow who is a marshmallow
  • Blueberry Stampit

And we came up with a carrot doughnut with a blueberry and marshmallow centre

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 caster sugar
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 milk
  • 1 medium egg
  • oil for frying
  • blueberries
  • mini marshmallows

Method:

  • Combine the dry ingredients together; flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg
  • Add in the oil, milk, carrot and egg and mix well
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Test the oil with a crumb of bread, if it sizzles and turns brown it’s ready.
  • Using a tablespoon, drop the mixture a spoonful at a time into the hot oil. Don’t over fill the spoon as i found that the smaller the better for the doughnut to be cooked all the way through
  • Fry until light brown all the way around the doughnut, about 2 minutes each side.
  • Remove from hot oil and drain on some paper towels
  • Cut a little hole in the bottom of the doughnut and push in a blueberry and marshmallow
  • Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and drizzle with maple syrup

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These doughnuts are super yummy! They are soft and very tasty. Perfect for an afternoon treat or to put into pack lunches.

What better way to get your children into the kitchen then getting them to create a num nom crazy creation.

Why not join in on the num nom fun, simply create a crazy creation using num noms as your inspiration and share on social media using #numnomscrazycreation dont forget to tag @NumNomsUK

 

Num Noms Series 3 Lunch Box Review

Num noms are cute, scented little collectible squishy figures that when mixed together create a flavour fusion. Stack them up to create your very own wacky flavour combination.

I have never come across such a toy that smells so divine, they make me hungry just looking at them let alone the delicious aroma that comes from the cute little characters.

As soon as you open up the packaging the first thing that gets you is the smell, oh my they smell delicious. It’s like walking into a sweet shop or ice cream parlour, they smell so sweet and yummy.

We was sent a Series 3 Lunchbox to review

20170509_165959There are 85+ Num Noms to collect in series 3. The Nums are cute little squishy characters and the Noms are either scented stamps or eraser. Stack the Nums on top of the Noms and create over 1500 sweet combinations.

What’s in the box?

  • 9 scented nums: 3 Donuts, 3 Candy, 3 Fruit & veggies
  • 1 mystery Num
  • 2 Scented eraser and stamp
  • Collectors menu
  • The box can be reused as a storage case

Watch our unboxing video to see what treats we got in our lunch box

apologies for the last bit of the filming the camera gave up on me

My boy can play for ages with these Num Noms, he especially likes to stack them up really high until they fall down.20170509_205451

He also likes the thrill of opening them up and seeing what he has got to tick them off on the collectors menu

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Everything about this toy is really cute, even the handle on the lunch box is quirky in the shape of a spoon

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There are two different style lunch boxes to collect one has the donuts Nums in and the other has marshmallows. The box is priced at £16.99 in Smyths Toy store

Keep an eye out for our next post on Num Noms foodie crazy creation. What will we be cooking up in the kitchen using NumNoms as an inspiration.

We was supplied with a Num Noms lunchbox for the purpose of this review

 

A Guide for planning your Disneyland Paris trip

Disneyland Paris is a magical place and with the right type of planning your trip to the theme park could be an even more enjoyable one. Planning is the key to make the trip run smoothly.

Disneyland Paris is an amazing place, not as big as WaltDisney World but a much more . affordable and easily accessible park to visit. With the journey time from London St Pancras being just under a few hours (quicker if using a direct train) it just makes it even more of spot to place onto your bucket list of places to visit. Disneyland Paris consists of two parks, many themed hotels and the Disney Village where there are many places to dine and enjoy yourself.

We have just arrived back from a 5 day trip to DLP, where we stayed at NewportBay Club Hotel and managed to have a day trip into Paris too. I didn’t do too much planning before going with the children and there are plenty of things that I have learned since coming back from our little break and would like to share with you all. I definitely know for next time where to head to at what time, the best places to stand during the illuminations and parade and where to eat.

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1 Take along some Mickey or Minnie ears with you, these are the headbands that have the mouse ears attached to them. I checked on ebay and you can buy them for a fraction of the cost they are selling at Disneyland.

2 Ponchos come in handy for when the weather takes a little wet turn. They are light to carry and fold away when not in use. They are especially ideal for Autumn, Spring time when you don’t want to be carry around your coat

3 If you are staying in one of the many Disney Hotels then make the most of the parks magic hours, where you can enter the park before it opens. That’s 2 whole hours prior to everyone else. Not all ares are open early but you can do the meet and greets with the characters and rides in Fantasyland and Discoveryland are open.

4. Avoid the Disney parks about midday as this is the busiest time. We took this time to go back to the hotel for a swim in the pool, take a rest in the hotel room or just walk about the Disney village and have lunch

5. Download the EuroDisneyLand App prior to going. This app will tell you where to eat, how long the queues for the attractions are and what is closed. It’s a handy little map too. I found that my 4G wasn’t particularly great in some areas, so I used the app as a map to help guide us around the parks.

6. Take comfy shoes to wear. DLP is not about fashion. Your feet will ache from all of the walking around and waiting in queues.

7. Use your fastpass as soon as you can as the time slots soon fill up pretty quickly on busy days. We used ours for the most popular rides, like Hollywood Terror Towers, Ratatouille, Buzz light year and Thunder Mountain. When you use your fastpass for a ride check the bottom of the ticket as it will give you a time when you can use it again

8. Head on over to the studios and take a seat at one of the many shows to watch. The Moteurs show is one not to be missed. A spectacular action stunt show set amongst a full scale mediterranean village. Watch the hero red car speed away from the bad guys using some nail biting stunts, there is even a fiery finale

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9. Be prepared to queue for up to an hour on most rides. We saw queues with a waiting time of up to 130 minutes.

10. Although DLP does not allow picnics to be had inside the parks you can take in snacks. They come in handy when waiting in the long queues especially with the little ones

11. Book your meals before you arrive as the restaurants quickly become full especially Chez Remy, which is situated in The Studios. You can book over the phone up to a month before your trip starts or book with the concierge in your hotel on the day of your arrival

We ate in Agrabah, Cafe Mickey, Sequoia Lodge, Cape Cod and Earl of Sandwich

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Buffet breakfast at Newport Bay Club
Buffet breakfast at Newport Bay Club

 

12. Meet and Greets are available in the mornings from 8am in the Disney Hotel foyers

13. Pushchairs are available to hire out in the parks

14. If your child is not tall enough for a ride but you want to give it a go the most rides do a Rider switch where you all queue up at the same time and take it in turns to ride the attraction without queueing again. Just tell the member of staff when you begin to queue that is what you want to do.

15. Certain attractions offer a Single Rider option where you can join a special queue if you don’t mind filling up a spare space on the attraction and not ride along with friends or family. This queue is normally not as busy as the main queue

16. Turn up for the parade and illuminations about half hour before they begin. You will find that most people begin to find a spot about an hour before. We watched the parade at the bottom of the main street. I would advice to look out for where the sun is especially if you want to take some snaps as you dont’ want the sunshine to ruin your photos in the back drop. The illuminations start when the park closes, everyone tries to get just in front of the castle but we found that we had a great view from the entrance to fantasyland

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17. Take along a spare charge lead and a portable charger. If you are only using your phone as a camera then the battery will quickly go and you dont want to miss out on any photo opportunity

18. For quieter rides head on over to the back of Fantasyland where you will find Les Pays des Contes De Fees a gentle boat ride amongst Disney Storybook land and Casey Jr – Le Petit Train Du Cirque, a train ride above miniature land. We only queued for about 10 minutes for these rides.

19. For the magic to really come alive you must visit the dragon that lives in the caves under the castle

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Explore the many winding caves and see the waterfall or walk over the rickety walk way in Adventure isle in Frontier Land. From the eerie gloom of Skull Rock to the stunning landscape of Spyglass Hill, there are secrets and stories to uncover at every turn. At Adventure Isle keep a watchful eye on what’s ahead as danger lurks beneath crisscrossing suspension bridges, beside narrow pathways and within spooky caves.

20. If you’re arriving at the le marnee de valley train station there will be shuttle busses taking you to your hotel just outside of the station. each stop is sign posted with the hotel that the shuttle stops at and they run about every 20 minutes

21. Don’t miss out on the many photo opportunities you get not only with the meet and greets but also with the many statues that are around both parks. Playland in The Studios is a fabulous place for the young ones

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My boys also enjoyed attempting to pull the sword from the stone, it obviously was never going to budge as they are not King Arthur

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22. Disneyland doesn’t have to be all princess and Mickey mouse. My boys particularly enjoyed spending time in the Studio Park as they got to meet Storm troopers as they paraded around the park looking for any rebels to pick out from the crowds. At certain times of the day you get to watch the First Order March and the A Galaxy Far, Far Away show

23. Take along some fancy dress for your children to wear whilst they explore the parks, you never know you just might be picked out from the queue and taken to the front on a ride

24. There are many water fountains around the park so take along a water bottle for you to fill up. Drinks can be very expensive, about £3.50 per drink and £2.80 for a coffee.

25. The quieter times to attend the attraction and rides are between 8-10 in the morning, while the parade is on and after 7 at night. The park closes at 10 just as the fireworks and illuminations start.

26. And last of all relax and enjoy the experience. Enjoy your evenings in one of the many restaurants in Disney Village or have a drink and watch the buffallo Bill show.

My youngest is about 107cm tall and he managed to go on most of the rides apart from a few, unlike a few of the theme parks that we have visited in England where he got very frustrated and upset as he wasn’t tall enough to go on them. This just made our family experience a while lot better as we all went on the rides together. It was just India Jones, Rc Racer and Rock n Roller coaster. Space mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean wasn’t open.

Rides I would reccomend are: Crush Coaster, ratatouille, Buzz light year, Autopia, Star tours, Thunder mountain, Terror towers and Rock n Roller coaster

Thank you for reading, I hope this post has been helpful

 

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