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. 🙂 xx

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

Tripping Through Treacle

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

Dizzy’s first holiday!

Last week me and Dizzy went to the New Forest! This was Dizzy’s first holiday away! I must admit at first I did feel like I couldn’t really be bothered to go. With my anxiety levels still pretty high and the MS  deciding to be super grumpy a lot of the time, at the moment I didn’t feel like doing much more than hiding in bed over the half term holiday.

I’m really glad I did go though! I lived in the New Forest for over five years so it kind of feels like a home from home, which at the moment made it feel much more manageable.

So the first couple of days we went off looking for donkeys (ok, we did this every day but didn’t see any!) and ponies.

Then we spent the day by the sea feeding the ducks, swans and seagulls! As my legs were feeling pretty wobbly that day Dizzy thought sailing might be a better idea…

Then we saw Shetland ponies! I got abit worried that this one was going to try and eat Dizzy! … but he just wanted to say hello! 🙂

Dizzy then made friends with this little Shetland who very kindly give him a pony ride.

Last day was spent by the sea! (I told Dizzy they have a donkey sanctuary on the Isle of Wight so we might visit there next time 🙂 )

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It was a really lovely week away and it’s definitely helped me a bit with my stress levels. After having 8 weeks of hardly any sleep, I actually had three normal nights sleep while away which was pretty amazing! Also has helped me to get walking a bit more too. Slowly, but getting there! 🙂

Think for the next one we’re off to Scotland! What’s everyone else got planned for their next holidays? xx

 

Lessons with MS: Telling people

Me and Dizzy have been thinking about people recently. In particular, the dilemma of whether to tell people, or not to tell people when you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition.

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I kept my MS a secret from most people until very recently. I think the main reasons for me was the worry of being judged. Of people seeing me differently, not as capable, able or reliable anymore. There was also the dealing with people’s reactions. I still don’t understand why people feel the need to always go ‘I knew someone with MS…’ and then either ‘they’re in a wheelchair’ or even better, ‘they’re dead now’. That’s always just great to hear… It’s also easier not to say anything and just to carry on as though everything’s normal. Because it’s not just the worrying about how people will react it’s the also telling part. When is a good time to come out with this sort of thing? Team meetings, over lunch? ‘Yes my week has been quite eventful actually, been diagnosed with MS’. I’m just not sure.

Thinking about it recently though has made me realise a large part of it comes down to trust. Trusting people not to see you differently or change their opinion of you. I had to tell most people about my MS before Christmas due to a relapse and it’s actually turned out to be a really positive aspect that’s come out of it.

These are the amazing things I have learnt from being more open with people:

  1. More support. If people don’t know, they can’t help or support you and I’ve found out most people are more than happy too. Just having someone there to listen or offer to help with some of your work can make all the difference.

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2. Can be yourself and not hide how you feel.  I didn’t realise till I told people, especially at work, how exhausting it is lying and pretending you’re always feeling fine. In my mind I was always hoping I was looking like this from the outside:

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When sometimes, really I would be feeling like this:

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Now people know it’s so much easier to just be able to say that my MS is playing up and if I look half dead at my desk they understand.

3. People are more accepting and open with you. If you’re honest with people about what’s going on they are generally more honest with you. I’ve found out so much more about people I know since telling them about my MS.

4. Being more accepting of yourself. Being honest with people has made me more accepting of me! I’ve realised hiding my MS from people was also helping me hide it from myself, which wasn’t very healthy. It’s really helped me mentally have a shift towards coming to terms with it.

5. Knowing who your friends are. Because if they’ll stick by you being ill most of the time, they’ll stick by you through most things. 🙂

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So this is one of my big and positive lessons with MS! I know not everyone receives positive reactions from people but I just wanted to share how it can be a really positive decision. It’s important to remember not to assume how people will react and that most people will be pretty amazing about it. 🙂 xx

 

Also published on ‘The Mighty’ at : https://themighty.com/2017/02/why-to-tell-people-about-multiple-sclerosis/ 🙂

The Valiant Blogger Award

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Liz of Daily Warriors created this amazing award and the wonderful Elizabeth at The Comfortable Coop has nominated me for it! I’ve never seen myself as valiant but I’m really happy to have been nominated. 🙂

Also have a look at the Hall of Valor to see who else has been nominated and find links to their amazing and inspirational blogs. 🙂 xxx

 

RULES:
1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Provide a link to the Hall of Valor .
3. In 200 words or less, share about the greatest challenge in your life and HOW you got through it.
4. Give one piece of advice to people who are struggling with something in their life.
5. Thank the person who nominated you, and nominate a new blogger for the award.

 

What is the greatest challenge in your life and HOW you got through it?

My greatest challenge has definitely been dealing with my MS. Both being diagnosed and just living with the everyday challenges that it brings. These are the things I have done and still do to help myself:

  1. Getting help! Finding people I can trust to help build up my own support network. For me this has been friends, family, health specialists and my counsellor.
  2. Talking to people and surrounding myself with people who love me. It’s been so important for me to have people that I can talk too and who won’t see my any differently because of it.
  3. Reading positive stories. Positive stories about, or by people that have gone through the same thing has really helped me. Then just reading any positive stories and looking at cute animal pictures. 🙂
  4. Doing things I love. This is a huge one! I find it really hard not being able to do everything I could but still doing these things, although in a smaller way and finding new passions is vital!

 

Give one piece of advice to people who are struggling with something in their life.

My main advice would just be too keep going! To remember that no week/day/moment is the same so even if you’re having a really bad one it doesn’t mean the next one will be.

It’s also really important to do the things that make you happy in life and find things that make you feel as though you have achieved something. Give your time a purpose even it’s just that you’re going to have a day of looking after yourself. 🙂

Lastly, let people be there for you. It’s too easy to shut yourself away when you’re going through a lot. I use to always think I should struggle through things on my own and not put them onto anyone else. I’ve realised though that just having someone there that knows what you’re going through can make all the difference in the world.

And definite last one! Never give up on your dreams! Whatever the situation you can still get there. Might just end up looking abit different from how you originally saw it! 🙂 xxx

 

My nominations:

Tripping Through Treacle

MSnubutterflies

Both of these blogs are wonderful and definitely worth checking out.

And thank you again Elizabeth. 🙂 xxx

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How to make a vegetable biryani

Today our foody post is on how to make a vegetable biryani! I thought it might be nice to do a main meal post instead of just snacks and this is my favourite dinner at the moment (my plate is always piled high when I have it). Its really yummy and healthy too. 🙂

This ones abit more complicated than my previous foody posts so I am including extra photos of the process! If anything doesn’t make sense though please leave me a message at the bottom and I’ll get Dizzy to explain better. 🙂 xxx

Vegetable Biryani:

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Ingredients:

  1. Rice
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 1 pepper
  4. Green beans
  5. 1 large potato (or baby potatoes)
  6. Avocado oil (or any oil of your choice! I use avocado because of it’s high smoking point)
  7. Lemon
  8. 2 tins of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  9. Spices for the curry base: Cumin seeds, chilly flakes, fennel seeds, turmeric, garam masala, curry powder, curry leaves
  10. Spices to flavour the rice: Cinnamon stick, aniseed stars, cardamom pods, cloves, fennel seeds

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Don’t worry if you don’t have all the spices. Just add what you do have or replace some of them with ones that you already have in your cupboard! 🙂

How to make:

Stage 1: Making the curry base

  1. Chop up the pepper and half the onion and the fry them together
  2. Chop up the potato and steam or boil until soft
  3.  Pour the two tins of chopped tomatoes into a pan and heat
  4. Add the onion, pepper, potato and green beans in with the chopped tomatoes
  5. Next add cumin seeds, chilly flakes, fennel seeds, turmeric, garam masala, curry powder and curry leaves. Stir together until all the ingredients are evenly mixed

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Left the mixing up to Dizzy! 🙂

Stage 2: Caramelising the onion (Optional)

  1. Chop up the remaining half of the onion
  2. Heat oil on a low heat and add the chopped onion. Fry for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they have gone soft and golden brown

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Dizzy in charge of the chopping too. He’s better at it than me!

Stage 3: Rice!

  1. Heat water in a pan until it comes to the boil
  2. Turn heat down so no longer on the boil and add rice, cinnamon stick, aniseed stars, cardamom pods, cloves and fennel seeds
  3. Boil rice until 75% cooked
  4. Drain the rice and pour back into the pan
  5. Add the curry base to the rice and mix thoroughly
  6. Leave to cook until the rice is soft

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Dizzy checking to see that the rice is cooked.

7. When rice is completely cooked it is ready to serve!

8. Add a squeeze of lemon on top and enjoy. 🙂

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Thank you! 6 nominations for blog awards!

Thank you so so much for the nominations for blog awards. Can’t actually believe we’ve received 6 in 10 days! Receiving these have really made me and Dizzy’s week. 🙂

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The 5 nominations are for 4 different awards so I have decided to include them all in one big blog post!

The Versatile Blogger Award

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Massive thank you to Jen at Tripping Through Treacle for nominating my blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. Jen has an amazing inspirational blog about her life with MS. She also shares very yummy recipes. 🙂

The Rules:-
1. Display Award
2. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you & provide a link to their blog
3. Write 7 things about yourself
4. Nominate Bloggers
7 Things about me:

1. I love dinosaurs

2. I’m an only child

3. I spend half my life imagining I’m in a fantasy land with dragons

4. I’m a quarter Italian and Scottish

5. I was one of the best under 18 chess players in the country

6. My favourite places are the Donkey Sanctuary and my bed

7. I have a bright yellow car called Maisey

 

One Lovely Blog Award

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Thank you so much Tabi at Busy Bee Blog for the nomination for what is my favourite title for a blog award. 🙂 She has the most creative and cutest blog ever! Also a big thank you to Rebecca at A Punk with MS who writes a wonderful blog about her life, MS and a range of other things!

The rules of the award are . . .

  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  • Post about the award
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate at most 15 people
  • Tell your nominees the good news!

7 Facts about Me . . .

  1. I have two cactuses on my desk called Colin Clarence the Cactus II and Bob
  2. I have recently discovered a love of splashing around in water (I can’t swim)
  3. I love reading
  4. My favourite film is Lord of the Rings
  5. My favourite books are the Harry Potter books
  6. I love nut butters!
  7. One of my aims in life is to see the Loch Ness Monster

 

The Blogger Recognition Award

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Double nomination for this one which is so amazing! Thank you to Etain at A Homeschooling Life who writes a lovely blog about her life and Doni W at Doni W Quotes who posts amazing quotes (and I love quotes!).

RULES!

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.

How my blog started:

My blog is still rather new having only started it at the end of last year but it’s something I had been wanting to do for a while! I wanted to blog as a way of connecting with people, an outlet for my thoughts and hopefully to eventually help some people. A recent relapse meant I finally had the time to sit down and puzzle my way through wordpress. 🙂

Two pieces of advice for new bloggers:

  1. To write what matters to you.
  2. To get involved with the blogging community! I didn’t realise when I started blogging how lovely and amazing everyone would be. 🙂

 

The Mystery Blogger Award

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Massive thank you to Saorsa Blogs , who writes a great blog about her adventures and views on life for this nomination.

Rules For The Nominees:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  • Answer five questions from the nominee.
  • Nominate from ten to twenty bloggers.
  • Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post.

About Myself

I’m a 27 year old actor and drama teacher who lives in England. I love animals, eating and sleeping! 🙂

Question Answers

Q1. Which place would you like to visit before you die?

New Zealand so I can see where Lord of the Rings was filmed and the very highlands of Scotland.

Q2. What’s your weirdest dream so far?

I actually can’t remember. I remember times of waking up and thinking ‘that was super strange dream’ and then it’s gone…

Q3. If given a chance then which Disney character would you like to be and why?

Belle. Beauty and the Beast was my favourite film when growing up. Just love the story and I also love books like Belle. 🙂 Otherwise Lilo because Stitch is so cute.

Q4. What’s your current obsession?

Cute animal videos

Q5. If you could be invisible for a whole day then what all would you do??

I’m not actually sure I would like to be invisible for the day. I’ve been pondering this question for a few days and really can’t think of anything I would do!

My Best Blog Post

My most recent one because I got so many lovely comments from people on how to help anxiety. This meant so much to me and the suggestions have really helped: https://dinosaursdonkeysandms.com/2017/01/09/me-and-dizzy-trying-to-combat-anxiety/

Questions for the nominees:

  1. Where is your favourite place?
  2. What’s your dream job?
  3. What is your favourite colour and why?
  4. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
  5. What’s your favourite thing in life?

 

 

Nominees:

I would like to nominate the following blogs for either one or all of the above awards (it’s up to you which one/s and how many you have time for). Please don’t feel you have to take part but it would be great to read your response. 🙂 If you do take part leave a link to your post below so I can find it. 🙂

Jen at Tripping Through Treacle

Sid at Sid’s Paleo Blog

Doni W at Doni W Quotes

Tabi at Busy Bee Blog

Tamara at The Purple Almond

Elizabeth at The Comfortable Coop

Etain at A Homeschooling Life

Steve at Author Steve Boseley

Kamal at Boundless Blessings Blog

Meg at BBH with MS

Nancy at Thriving in Denial

Lisa at But you don’t look sick…

 

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