Dizzy on a mission for MS Awareness Week

This week is MS awareness week and Dizzy is on a mission to help raise awareness of the condition!

If you would like to know more about what MS is then please visit our previous post on What is MS? 🙂

Dizzy has decided that the best way to spread awareness is to give people little post it notes reminding them off the week (in some cases even when they don’t want them) and then telling them four facts about MS!

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Dizzy MS fact number 1: Early symptoms of MS can often include tingling, numbness, vision problems, weakness and fatigue. A 100 people are diagnosed in the UK every week!

Dizzy came across this little house first this morning. Whoever it belongs to wasn’t in though….

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So Dizzy left them a little note! She was very proud of her work. 🙂

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Dizzy MS fact number 2: Everyones MS is completely different. No two people with MS will have the same experience.

Dizzy then found Duck to give a post it note too and tell him her top facts! …Duck took it all very seriously and promised to tell others.

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Dizzy MS fact number 3: Everyday (minute) is different for people with MS. Someone with MS might be feeling fine one moment and hardly able to walk straight the next.

Dizzy then found another knitted donkey on her travels! She found this very exciting but he didn’t seem so interested…

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Dizzy MS fact number 4: Some symptoms of MS are invisible. They are still debilitating but from the outside that person may look perfectly healthy.

Unfortunately Dizzy got abit carried away and wouldn’t let him escape without more post it notes…

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Overall I think Dizzy has done very well with her raising awareness mission and it’s only the first day! What would you like people to be more aware of when it comes to any condition that you or someone you know has? xxx

 

Dizzy on an Easter adventure

This weekend me and Dizzy have been on two Easter adventures! Yesterday we felt very impressed with ourselves for managing our first bit of acting since the relapse in October. The first original relapse wasn’t able to do any acting for nearly a year so to be able to do a little bit after 6 months feels a big achievement! 🙂

Dizzy also had a little adventure exploring all the spring flowers that have come up in the garden! 🙂 She had a feeling as though she was being watched though…

Dizzy first pottered over to look at the tulips…

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Then she had a little look at some blue flowers that we’re not sure the name of…

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Then she went back to potter past the tulips (these are Dizzy’s favourite in the garden at the moment)…

Dizzy then decided to be very adventurous and climb up a tree to get a closer look at the blossom. I decided that wasn’t for me…

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I was worried Dizzy had got herself stuck but she hadn’t.

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And then when Dizzy started to feel a little tired and decided to have a sit down this happened!

Me and Dizzy hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter weekend! 🙂 Have you got planned or been on any little Easter adventures of your own over the weekend? xxx

10 positives about living with MS

A few weeks ago me and Dizzy did a blog post on 10 things about living with MS for MS awareness month. Living with any chronic illness is ridiculously difficult but I wanted to counter my 10 things about living with MS and think about the positives that come from it. Sometimes you do really have to look for them but they are there!

‘At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.’ – Paulo Coelho

  1. Trying different things. Having MS means I can’t always do the things I use to do but this does mean I’ve had time to discover new things! This has included blogging, photography, volunteering and my splashing around classes.

‘You have no idea what you’re capable of until you try.’ – Unknown

2. Appreciating yourself more and learning to looking after yourself. Having MS has taught me the importance of looking after myself. I have always been very sensible but had never considered what I could be doing to really help my mind and body be as healthy as possible. I now do yoga, meditation, eat super healthily, have relaxation times and exercise.

MS has also made me appreciate me! I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that my own body was attacking itself but then I thought how I had spent a lot of my life having negative thoughts about myself and realised how that was abit ridiculous too!

‘How others see you, is not important…How you see yourself means everything.’ – Unknown

3. Realising you’re stronger than you thought. I always remember seeing people on the telly with progressive chronic illnesses and being so grateful I wasn’t one of them. It was something I thought I would never have the strength to cope with. I’ve now realised there’s no choice but to cope but I’m doing it and I’ll count that as being strong. 🙂

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‘You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have.’ – Bob Marley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Learning more about who you are! I feel I’ve learnt more about myself in the last three years than the whole of my life put together!

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‘By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.’ Edwin Elliot

 

 

 

 

 

5. Finding new paths. I’m realising all the paths I’ve had planned out aren’t looking exactly how they use to anymore. It doesn’t mean giving up on any of my dreams but just that I now have the opportunity to explore some new paths too!

‘Alice: What road do I take?

Cheshire cat: Well where are you going?

Alice: I don’t know.’

Cheshire cat: Then it doesn’t matter. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.’

6. Appreciating the small things in life. I’m learning to fully appreciate all the little things in life. I’m realising how happy the simple things can make me. 🙂

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‘Enjoy the little things in life…for one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things.’ – Robert Brault

 

 

 

 

 

7. Learning to say no! I use to get really annoyed with myself for the amount of times I would say yes to people when I really wanted to say no. Since being ill I don’t seem to have this problem as much. 🙂

‘Whatever is good for your soul…Do that.’ – Unknown

8. Seeing life abit differently. As well as learning a lot about myself I have also learnt a huge amount about life. Part of this is realising how a lot of things I use to fuss about just really don’t matter. It’s made me realise what’s really important in life.

‘To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson

9. People! You learn who the people in your life are that really love and care about you! Being on this journey is also always giving me the opportunity to meet new people and that’s pretty amazing too!

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‘Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said ‘I’m here for you’ and proved it.’ – Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

10. Realising it’s ok to not be ok… I always thought it was very important to appear as though everything was wonderful at all times. Not being ok is a part of life though for everyone and opening up about things can help others to do the same. 🙂

‘Don’t hold together what must fall apart. The familiar life crumbles so the new life can begin.’ – Bryant McGill

 

Me and Dizzy hope you’ve liked our post about the positive aspects that have come from our MS.  What positives have you discovered from an illness or any difficult times in your life? We’d love to hear them! 🙂 xxx

‘Stars can’t shine without darkness.’ – Unknown

Also published on ‘The Mighty’ at: https://themighty.com/2017/04/good-things-living-with-multiple-scleroisis/ 🙂

10 uplifting quotes for the not so good days

Today out post is on quotes! It’s completely normal in life to have not so good days whether you have a chronic illness or not. Even Dizzy gets them!

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But we’ve always found quotes to be amazing to help make us feel more hopeful and positive about life! Today me and Dizzy have made this post to share our top ten favourite quotes for these moments.

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  1. Alice: This is impossible. The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is. – Lewis Carroll

2. You’re allowed to scream, you’re allowed yo cry, but do not give up. – Unknown

3. It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop. – Confucius

4. You may not always end up where you thought you were going, but you will always end up where you are meant to be. – Jessica Taylor

5. Be realistic: Plan for a miracle. – Osho

6. These mountains that you are carrying, you were only suppose to climb. – Zajwa Zebian

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7. “Frodo: I can’t do this Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Two Towers”

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8. Keep looking up…That’s the secret of life. – Snoopy

9. ‘Life is a storm my friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout, ‘Do your worst, for I will do mine!” – Alexandre Dumas

10. Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. – C.S. Lewis

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I hope you all like these quotes as much as me and Dizzy do and if you’re having a bad day that they’ve help make it abit brighter. 🙂 Let us know what your favourite quotes are. We’d love to hear them. 🙂 xxx

Dizzy on MS: What is MS?

For the last week of MS awareness month me and Dizzy have decided to make a little post and video about MS. One of the things I find most difficult with MS is trying to explain to people what exactly it is. People mostly think MS=wheelchairs and that’s about it, so we’re going to hopefully try and explain it abit better! 🙂

You can either read through our post (which is hopefully not too wafflely!) and contains more information on points, watch our little video on the basics (at the bottom of the page) or both! 🙂

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So what is MS?

MS is a neurological, autoimmune condition of the central nervous system.

MS is an autoimmune condition because the immune system gets abit confused and no longer recognised part of the central nervous system (CNS), the myelin, as self. Myelin is a substance that protects the nerve fibres so that messages are able to travel from the CNS to other parts of the body, telling them what to do. As the immune system no longer recognises the myelin as self it see’s it as a threat and attacks it. The damage caused by this then affects the messages travelling smoothly to the part of the body they need to get too. This can mean the messages either not getting through as quickly, becoming distorted or not managing to get through at all!

Or as Dizzy explains with her metaphor for how MS works: She is trying to visit her donkey friends but having to go through a little tunnel to get to them. Now this tunnel isn’t the sturdiest and when it’s abit stormy some of it falls off! This makes it more difficult for Dizzy to get through. It can take her longer and by the time she’s navigated her way through she has sometimes forgotten part of what she is going to say to her donkey friends.  In the mean time parts of the tunnel get repaired but it still has cracks left from the previous windy patches. Overtime the tunnel gets less stable and more cracks appear, eventually meaning parts of the tunnel can collapse and Dizzy is unable to get through at all and just has to either find another way round or potter back home.

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What are the symptoms of MS?

The symptoms can affect nearly every part of the body as the CNS is involved in most things that our bodies do. Everyone experiences MS differently but most common symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of co-ordination and balance
  • Walking difficulties
  • Numbness and tingling (bit like feeling of pins and needles)
  • Brain fog
  • Spasms and stiffness

Are there different types of MS?

Yes! There are four different types of MS:

Relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) : This is the type I have and the one that most people (85%) will be initially diagnosed with. It means you have attacks of new symptoms or worsening of symptoms for longer than 24 hours. These are known as relapses. You then experience periods of remission where the symptoms can level out, improve or even disappear all together! Every relapse is different and no one can predict what symptoms you will have or how much recovery will take place afterwards.

Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) : Most people with RRMS will go on to develop this form of MS. Instead of clear periods of relapse and remission, there is a steady progression and build up of disability. Some people will still experience relapses.

Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) : This type of MS is similar to SPMS but is the type people have from the beginning of the condition. Primary symptoms are progressive instead of relapsing and remitting. About 10%-15% of people will be initially diagnosed with this type.

Benign MS : There are very little symptoms and with little or no disability at all over long periods of time.

These are the four categories of MS. It’s important to remember though that everyone is different! Whichever type you have doesn’t indicate how the condition will develop or how quickly. This is one of the most scary things about MS because it is so unpredictable, but at the same time one of the most hopeful. It means just because you have MS doesn’t automatically mean you will end up severely disabled or that it will have a big impact on your life.

What causes MS?

No one knows exactly what causes MS. They believe it is a number of factors that can contribute to people developing the condition.

Who gets MS?

Anyone can get MS but most people are diagnosed between 20 and 40. It also affects more woman than men.

Is there a cure for MS?

Not yet. There are many disease modifying drugs for relapsing remitting MS available to help reduce the rate of relapses. It also looks like one for PPMS might be available in the near future. Constant research is always being carried out.

I hope you found this information helpful and enjoyed our little video! 🙂 xxx

If you would like some more information we recommend visiting:

MS Society

MS Trust

Dizzy would also like to say Thank You to Sid for his help with our little video. 🙂

How to make Dizzy’s favourite sweet potato chips

A short foody post from me and Dizzy today, on how to make sweet potato chips! We love these as either a light lunch on their own or as part of a main meal. They are really yummy and some weeks we will have them nearly everyday….

Sweet potato chips:

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Ingredients:

  1. Sweet potatoes
  2. Extra virgin olive oil
  3. Cumin seeds
  4. Salt and pepper
  5. Any other seasoning you would like to add. Chilli and garlic flakes work very well 🙂

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C
  2. Chop up the sweet potatoes into whatever chip shapes you would like
  3. Place the chips on a baking tray
  4. Drizzle olive oil generously over the chips
  5. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, cumin seeds and other seasoning over the chips (this can be as generous as you like! 🙂 )
  6. Pop the chips in the oven and leave for 50 minutes
  7. Then it’s time to enjoy your chips! 🙂 You can also add a little vinegar to them

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I hope you find these as yummy as me and Dizzy do! Let us know what your favourite seasoning to add to them is. 🙂

Also Happy International Day of Happiness and World Frog Day! 🙂 xxx

10 things about living with MS

As it’s MS awareness month me and Dizzy thought we would do a little post on 10 things about our MS. MS is completely different for everyone and no two people will experience it in the same way but here are 10 of the ways in which it effects us.

  1. I really don’t know half the time if it’s brain fog or I’m just the worst person ever with names…

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2. As soon as I wake up I feel like I need to go back to bed again.

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I won’t even have made it out of bed before I’ve come to this conclusion.

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3. Supermarkets are a place of doom. Or anywhere that has artificial lighting, is too hot, too cold, too busy, too crowded or has anything moving at a moderate to low speed or above.

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4. My body hates everything. Being in bed seems to be acceptable but anything else makes my body grumpy. I always knew I was fussy but this is taking it abit far.

5. A late night is not being in bed by 10.

6. Walking anywhere is a major accomplishment! Especially if it’s outside, my head and legs can’t agree on what’s going on when being outside is involved.

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7. People that tell me they’ll be a cure soon drive me nutty. I’ve had so many people tell me there’s a cure just round the corner. I appreciate the positivity but it’s nearly 3 years later, I’ve been round the corner and it’s not been there yet!

8. Dizziness is now the norm.

9. An exciting adventure out is going to physio. This is currently our big adventure out each week, even though I do really enjoy splashing around! Dizzy doesn’t come in the pool as her coat is not water proof.

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10. I know I don’t look sick…

Feel the list could go on and on but we have stopped ourselves at 10! 🙂 What would be your top 1, 3, 5 or even 10 things about living with a chronic illness? Me and Dizzy would love to hear what would be on your list. 🙂 xxx

Also published on ‘The Mighty’ at: https://themighty.com/2017/03/how-multiple-sclerosis-symptoms-affect-me/ 🙂

 

Dizzy’s top 5 relaxation techniques

Me and Dizzy have been trying out different relaxation techniques recently to try and help manage our anxiety. I did a post in January on Me and Dizzy attempting to combat anxiety on general ideas to help manage anxiety. For this one we’ve been thinking about using specific exercises and techniques! 🙂 It’s taken us a while to find ones that really work for us but we find these ones super effective. I hope they are also of some help to you too. 🙂

  1. Rubbing circles on the palm of your hands. I love this one because you can do it anywhere. For me it helps me keep my anxiety under control when I can feel it escalating quickly, especially when I’m out and about! Some people find pressing this point helps better but I personally don’t get such a comfy feeling from doing that.

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For Dizzy it’s rubbing circles on her little paws. 🙂

2. Tensing and relaxing muscles. Someone taught me how to do this last week and I’ve now started doing it before I go to bed and when I first get up. It’s taken me a couple of tries to get into it but I’m really noticing a difference now! This one works by isolating muscle groups, tensing each one for the count of 3 and then releasing.

Start by sitting quietly and just feeling the support of whatever you are sitting on. Then work your way through these muscle groups:

  • Forehead and top of head – Still find this one tricky but its the muscle that runs from your forehead, over the top of your head and round the back
  • Face – either scrunch up your face or create a massive smile! 🙂
  • Tongue – drop your tongue to the base of your mouth
  • Neck – sticking your tongue out helps to feel where these muscles are
  • Shoulders – lift your shoulders up towards your ears
  • Arms -image you’re trying to lift something really heavy
  • Wrists – lift your hands up and lean them backwards towards your arms
  • Hands – clench your fists
  • Tummy –  tighten your tummy muscles
  • Bottom – when you clench these muscles you should feel your body lift slightly
  • Pelvic floor – image you really need to pee
  • Legs – image you’re about to stand up
  • Ankles – lift your feet so your toes are reaching towards the sky
  • Feet – scrunch your toes up

After you’ve worked your way through all the muscle groups just takes a few moments to notice how your body feels.

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This one was not for Dizzy. She thought it sounded a bit more complicated so pottered off to look at the flowers instead. I really like this one though!

3. Stretching! and balance. Stretching always seems to make me feel happier and freer. Balancing seems to have an amazing calming effect. 🙂 My three favourite stretches/balancing poses are:

  • Twists – Just twist! 🙂 I enjoy doing this in bed by lying on my back, lifting my knees to my chest and then moving them over to one side. You can then reach the opposite arm out and turn your head to look at your hand. I also enjoy just standing up and swinging my arms around my body. I remember doing it as a child and it’s still really fun! 🙂

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Dizzy did her twisting by the flowers. 🙂 I think she’s actually thinking about munching on the flowers…

  • Reaching for the sky stretch – just stretch on your tip toes and try and reach your finger tips right up to the sky! I love doing this one in the morning.
  • Tree pose. Balance on one leg, lightly resting the other foot on your calf/knee/thigh. You can then have your hands wherever is best for you. I usually have mine in a prayer position but you could also try reaching for the sky. Or if your balance is having a wobbly day (which mine often is!), you can lightly hold onto the wall or a chair. Make sure you keep your gaze on a fixed point to help. 🙂

Dizzy decided she wanted to do the tree pose in a tree (which I would definitely not recommend!). She then sat down and balanced on three legs. I told her I thought that was cheating…

4. Breathing. Just taking notice of your breathing can help. I find laying one hand on my tummy and one on my chest and noticing how these rise and fall when I breathe in and out really helps me feel calmer. Breathing to the count of 3 or 5 can also be very relaxing.

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Dizzy was taking this one very seriously.

5. Imagination. Especially if it’s a not so good day and any sort of exercise is asking a bit much. Just getting lost in an imagery land helps me take my mind of my own anxiety and feel more relaxed. For me this is imagining myself off in a land of magic and dragons but it’s wherever you feel happy. 🙂 Dizzy loves apples, so for her it’s imagining eating lots of apples! Or those brownies of course… 🙂

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These are our favourite ones we’ve found so far! If you decide to give any a go please only do ones that feel right for you and your body.

What’s everyone else’s favourite relaxation techniques? Me and Dizzy are always on the look out for new ones to try. 🙂 xxx

Also published on ‘The Mighty’ at: https://themighty.com/2017/03/my-top-5-relaxation-techniques-to-help-cope-with-the-anxiety-of-ms/ 🙂

March: MS Awareness Month

Me and Dizzy didn’t even know there was an MS awareness month! This is a great post by Jen that easily sums up key things about MS to help people understand a bit more about the condition. xxx

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March heralds MS Awareness month.  But what does this actually mean?  In my life, I’ve found that most people are ‘aware’ of MS; they have a 2nd cousin twice removed who has it, or, as my husband used to think, ‘it is something that affects your mobility… so you end up in a wheelchair’.  Heck, used to associate MS with wheelchairs… I remember being at Primary School, meeting a man using a wheelchair.  He had MS.

But if I was going to raise awareness of MS, there are a few simple things I would like to make other people, those who have no personal knowledge and experience of MS, to be aware of:

Aware…. that MS is a ‘snowflake’ disease.  We are all the same (have the same disease, Multiple Sclerosis), but we are all different.  We may not all have the same symptoms and, if we…

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How to make Dizzy approved brownies

This weekend me and Dizzy have been making brownies! I love these as they are healthy (also dairy, gluten and refined sugar free!) and taste just like normal brownies. Dizzy seemed to love them too. 🙂 None left for me by the time she’d finished with them.

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Chocolate brownies:

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Ingredients:

  1. 4 eggs (you can just use 1 yolk for this recipe)
  2. 1 tablespoons of coconut flour
  3. 100g ground almonds
  4. 2 heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder
  5. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  6. Few drops of vanilla essence
  7. 2 tablespoons of honey
  8. 50g of dark chocolate

You can also add any extra that you think you might like in your brownies. Nut butter can be really yummy as well as chopped nuts. 🙂

How to make:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees
  2. Put all ingredients apart from the chocolate into a blender and blend until the mixture is of a smooth consistency
  3. Pour the mixture into a baking tray
  4. Chop up the chocolate squares into little pieces and add to the mixture. Stir these in until they are evenly spread out
  5. Put baking tray into the over and bake for 30 minutes. (Check on the mixture regularly to make sure it doesn’t start to burn)
  6. Then tuck into your brownies! 🙂

 

This was Dizzy’s first little video. We will be making more in the future too so Dizzy now has her own youtube channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChMl8V5X_mjN-ekR5mAcTpw     🙂 xxx