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 🙂

 

Our tricks to make children feel better when unwell #VicksTricks

This post is an entry for the #vickstricks campaign

The cold and flu season is well and truly on us. It’s that time of year when the snuffles, aches and pains begin to surface. Not that there is any particular time to catch a cold as it seems my children can come down with the symptoms of a cold any time of the year.

Being a family of five, when one comes down with the sniffles, we all do. It can go round the family faster than Usain Bolt running 100ms. Working in a school myself, I can be sneezed in the face up to 10 times in one day. I understand the importance of keeping our immune systems strong in order to fight any nasty germs that may want to enter our bodies. That is why we make sure that we eat our five a day to keep our immune systems healthy and we always drink lots of water. I have to be extra careful not to catch any nasty bugs going around due to the Cancer treatment that I have received. Radiotherapy can damage many of your organs and cause many problems like lowering your immune system. I make sure that we take multivitamins and cook with fresh ingredients, adding in garlic and turmeric which help with fighting bad bacteria

When our children are feeling poorly, as parents we try every trick in the book to keep them entertained and make them feel better, especially when they need to be back in school so that they don’t miss out on too much class work.

Britmums have set a VicksTricks challenge, they want to know what I do to entertain my children when they are ill and make them feel better, as well as wanting to hear what my parents did to soothe me when I was young and not feeling too good.

I was sent a parcel to help me with this challenge. Inside was a story book, a selection of fun finger puppets and a bottle of first defense.

Firstly as a family we try our best to stop a cold from developing. As soon as I hear a sniffle or a sneeze we do the following

  • Drink as much water as possible. Warm water is best and always place a slice of lemon into it to flavour it up but it also helps strengthen the immune system. Keeping yourself hydrated will help the congestion and keep the nasal passageways clear

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  • Take a tsp of warm honey in the morning. This helps with sore throats and reduces the coughing
  • Up the intake of fresh fruit especially apples, bananas and oranges. Did you know that one apple has an antioxidant effect equivalent to 1500mg vitamin C. Bananas are a good food source for fatigue and help keeps our bones strong. A good way of getting all this goodness into the children is by a smoothie. Blend it all up and drink away. I also find that if the child helps make the smoothie they will be more inclined to drink it especially if it’s a funny colour. This helps support the immune system.
  • Mug cakes are ideal to make with the children. We make one made from bananas, peanut butter, cacao and honey. Not only do they taste good but they keep the children entertained without stimulating them too much, the least sugar the better. They are nice and warm and healthy too.

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  • Place some Vicks Vaporub on the underneath of their pillows and rub a little onto their backs. This helps them breathe a little better, which is always worse at night when they become congested up from laying on their backs and helps them drift into a good nights sleep. It has one of those smells that you remember from your child hood and it is a staple product that is always in our bathroom cabinet

Vicks Vaporub Infographic

  • For us adults, at the first sign of a sniffle or sore throat we drink our special home remedy of garlic, ginger, lemon and honey in hot water. Sounds horrible, tastes not as bad as it sounds but works well.

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  • Also plenty of rest helps our bodies fight the infection. We always bring the bedding down to the sofa, turn the tv on and watch a good feel good movie.
  • Lots of love and affection. There is nothing more than a cuddle from your parent when you feel under the weather. Research shows that a kiss and cuddle from a parent can releases oxytocin and endorphins, which are ‘feel good’ neurochemicals. I am 38 yrs old and still to this day yearn for a hug from my Mum, it makes me feel warm and loved.
  • Time together. When snuggled under the blanket, with a hot water bottle and vicks vaporub rubbed onto the back we lay down and read a book. We often fall asleep before we finish it but sleep plays a good part of the healing process. Children do not need anything that will over stimulate them when they are feeling unwell. Company of a loved one is enough. Colouring is always very good too as it relaxes the children and takes their minds off of the sniffles and sneezes

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I remember when I was a child, my Mum used to give us a glass of warm milk before bedtime whilst she read us a story. The one thing i will never forget is the time she spent with my siblings and I when we was ill, she would keep us busy when our strength was back with making crafts or baking cakes.

Vicks believes that traditional love, fun and laughter are the key to comfort your children when they aren’t feeling themselves. That’s why Vicks have developed a series of sharable #VicksTricks magic videos that are simple, easy and great fun to replicate at home! Laughter is good for the soul, just as Katherine Mills explains in this magic video. watch what she does with a banana

Vicks consumer research looks at the most common home remedies with British parents. Here are the findings:

• Over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better
• This was followed by ‘medicine’, which 40% of parents rely on
• More than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC
And when it comes to keeping children entertained:
• Three out of four (75%) British parents put on the TV or a DVD
• Over a quarter (27%) read to their children
• 1 in 10 parents get really creative; either telling jokes (8%) or even do magic tricks (2%)
Family Psychologist Corinne Sweet highlights that “one of the most powerful antidotes to sickness developing further, is parental care and concern.”
Corinne advises that “listening to a story or watching a film is a good idea, as it is soothing and promotes laughter (an immune booster). But don’t let them play video games, watch scary films or spend hours on screens. This will keep their minds over-stimulated, when their immune systems need gentler stimulation and rest.”
Laughter and Love is the best medicine needed to gain strength to fight bad bacteria oh with a little help from Vicks Vaporub too 😉
This post is the entry for the #vickstricks campaign. Photos and words are my own. 

 

 

Homemade No Churn Coconut Ice Cream

Love ice cream but you have no ice cream maker to make some in! No worries. Ice cream can be made without the use of a machine, just with a little patience

Homemade ice cream couldn’t be easier. I have always been a little worried that It wouldn’t turn out as nice as a churned ice cream but I was proved wrong last week when the eldest and I made up a batch for the first time of Coconut ice cream. It was simple to make and tasted incredibly delicious.

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Once you master the basics of making ice cream you can then go on to invent your own flavours, becoming more adventurous with the flavour and texture. I have previously tried making ice cream from bananas, which tasted lovely but i wanted to try it another way.

This recipe is so creamy and smooth. You will be making up batches every day.

You will need:

  • A tub to store your ice cream in
  • Hand held electric mixer
  • Tin of condensed milk
  • Carton of double cream
  • Tin of coconut milk
  • 1tsp Vanilla essence

Method:

  • In a bowl pour in the double cream. Using a mixer or by hand whip the double cream until it begins to thicken
  • Add in the condensed milk and whip again
  • Fold in the coconut milk
  • Add in any flavouring or colouring
  • pour into you tupperware tub and place in the freezer

The ice cream will set around the edge first so take it out after an hour and stir to combine it all. Repeat an hour later.

Leave to set over night.

You are now ready to serve up your treat

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We added banana slices into our ice cream. For my next batch I am going to try ginger and cinnamon.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Dear Cancer I’m not ready to Die

I hate writing this. But this is how I am feeling at the moment.

With tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart.

I think about who I would leave behind

I dread the thought of being told that I am going to die.

I have always feared death. Always cried about dying. Having children made it all become a little bit more real.

Having Cancer has made it all the more real for me. It has made me think more and more of death.

Right or wrong. Positive or not. You can not allow your brain to not think of it.

I have three beautiful children who I adore so much. I have so much to give them. So many more memories. So many more cuddles and kisses.

I want to be able to see them grow into handsome young men.

I want to see them graduate from University

I want to hold their hands through the good and the bad.

I want to watch them fall in love and enjoy life

I want to watch them walk down the aisle and I want to hold my grandchild in my arms

I am not ready to die.

I am not ready to leave my family behind to cope with me not being around.

I have so many more bumps and bruises to kiss better

So many more bedtime stories to read.

So many more experiences to enjoy with my boys

Death is a horrible thing and I know we all will die eventually. This has always scared me. I’ve always been upset about leaving my children, young or old, behind.

Coping with having Cancer has made it all real.

I am not ready for my body to give up. I am not ready to leave my boys without a Mummy.

Why am I writing this? I don’t know. Its how I am feeling. It’s what I am thinking.

It’s in my thoughts all the time. I don’t want it to be there. I want to enjoy the time I have with my family.

So many people tell me to enjoy my life, but It’s so hard. Cancer takes over.

I want to take control of my thoughts and body. I do not want it to win.

Am I feeling down? Am I depressed? YES

I want to be healthy and I want to live a long and good life

I want my children to enjoy growing up with their Mum around to guide them and teach them right from wrong. What Mum wouldn’t?

They need a strong Mum and a happy one.

I will carry on fighting with every inch of my body for the sake of my boys. I will try to keep strong and not allow them to see the weak me, the depressed me, the unhappy me. I will not let this defeat me without giving everything I have.