My Crazy Family Story

Sunday 24 November 2019

AD- Party time with Zuru Bunch O Balloons - Review

I don't know about you but children's birthday parties can become stressful organising party bags blowing up ballons not only can it be stressful it can become expensive especially if you overdo it like I have done in recent years with party bags  I have learned that party bags don't have to be stuffed full a toy something to eat and a peace of party cake is quite sufficient enough for any child.

The good news is ZURU have thought of everything you need to make a mums life simple which is music to my ears they have thought about everything from the ballons to the goody bags and even has the main birthday gift covered as we found out recently for Adams 8th birthday.

Balloons Balloons Balloons 

We have always invested in ballons for birthdays/ Birthday parties, Christmas, Easter well most occasions if I'm quite honest, most kids absolutely love Ballons admittedly in recent years I have tried to where possible just buy the one foil Balloon because of im quite aware of the environmental impact of plastic on the planet. This is where Bunch O Balloons is an Amazing idea not only is all the packaging recyclable the Ballons are reusable how good is that? A better idea for the environment and also means you can put them away for the next celebration occasion in the house which means you are also saving yourself money.

In simple terms, these ballons look and feel like normal ballons but they can be used time and time again. How does it work you might ask? you simply attach the Ballons to the pump press the button and you have up to 40 Ballons in 40 seconds once the 40 seconds are up you switch off the pump, the ballons self-seal and you are left with a fabulous bunch of balloons that have taken minimal effort and a minimal amount of time.

Our main focus of these ballons was for Adams birthday however the list that you could use this pump for is endless parties Christmas anniversaries christenings and weddings I also like that the pump comes with different attachment heads meaning you can use it to blow up inflatables as well I cant wait to use it on next years paddling pool no more leg pumping for me I can't tell you how happy that makes me!

Party Bags 

As I have said earlier in the post, party bags don't have to be expensive a toy something to eat and a piece of cake is quite sufficient I had the cake and sweets covered and Zuru has come up with the idea of putting a smasher into the bag for that little bit extra. now it probably comes as no surprise the boys love smashers they like to keep and collect them all they get to smash the egg and reveal the hidden dino inside I love that you can rebuild the eggs and smash them over and over again!

The Main present 

ZURU have really thought of everything to make birthdays as easy as possible for us parents they sent us a ROBO Alive Dino for the main present which was an immediate hit. It walks and roars and a chomps it’s jaws, not to mention to glow in the dark claw marks on its side. A great gift for any dino mad kid and one that is is already well-loved.

Zuru range makes party planning really simple. The self-sealing balloons and pump saving you a lot of time, the smasher's dinosaur eggs are great for party bags you could even use them as a pass the parcel gift that all the friends will love to play with and could collect together. The Robo Alive dinosaur is a fantastic interactive toy that makes a fantastic birthday present. We absolutely love the Zuru and Bunch O Balloons range, they're all fantastic value for money.

All of the Zuru range is available to buy at Smyths nationwide. The great thing about their products is that they’re reusable and recyclable too.

Bunch O Balloons Party Pump including 16 balloons and one inflatable adaptor and fast fill hose retails at just £14.99

Bunch O Balloons Self-Sealing refill pack retails at £9.99

Zuru Robo Alive Dino retails at £12.99

The Smashers dino eggs retail at £3 each.

**We were sent these products for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own 


Wednesday 30 October 2019

AD Thunderbirds are go! Bandai toys Reveiw

A much lighter post from my recent posts that have been on my blog. Its funny isn't it when certain toys take you back to your childhood, I remember my brother being insanely mad about the thunderbirds when we were kids I can remember watching them on the television, I don't mean how you see them today I mean the puppet type ones I remember getting really cross with him for TV hogging and always wanting to watch the show!

Since Liam was little he has really enjoyed watching Thunderbirds and I have enjoyed watching the episodes with him and he loves it just as much as my brother did when he was a child which is great and even better now that thunderbirds have just been relaunched and a new series has started On CITV alongside a new range of toys being launched from Bandai.

We were lucky enough to get to try out some of the new toys they have taken my house by storm Liam who was the only one who currently liked thunderbirds this has started his brothers off wanting to collect the whole range they are interactive and really well-made toys let me tell you what we received.

• Thunderbird 1
• Thunderbird 2 and Virgil Tracy
• Thunderbird 3
• Thunderbird The Mechanic Action Figure
• Thunderbird Virgil Tracy Action Figure

Thunderbird 1

Thunderbird 1 motion tech figure is a classic from the show. Fly the vehicle to hear sounds as it moves. You can rotate the thrusters and release the retractable wings to recreate Thunderbird 1’s launch. This vehicle cam also fit inside the Tracy Island playset. the sound effects are great the boys loved whooshing this up and down its also the perfect size for child's hands to work really easily.

Thunderbird 2 and Virgil Tracy

The Thunderbird 2 and Virgil Tracy figure is one of the boys favourite and mine, to be honest of all the vehicles. It is a great size and I love that you can sit Virgil Tracy in the cockpit ready for action! By pressing the launch button and you can hear the take-off sounds. This toy also has a grappling hook and zip line. Virgil Tracy can actually slide down the zip line for great imaginative play and great for children who like things that wind up and wind down it really gives the toys that something special.

Virgil Tracy

The Thunderbirds Rescue ready Virgil Tracy figure is 30cm tall (RRP £19.99). He comes with detachable rescue claw to help with demolition, heavy lifting and clearing debris. Virgil Tracy also has a search and rescue light to help see into any dark spaces and he can also send out coded signals. Press the button and you will hear Virgil’s voice as he talks with international rescue on his missions I personally love the size of this figure it means you can't lose him and he is always there on standby this has gone to bed with Jack every night since we received him he loves him who doesn't love a hero!

Thunderbird 3

Thunderbird 3 is also a motion tech vehicle, again you can fly the vehicle to hear the sounds as it moves. You can also rotate the central shaft for more sounds. This vehicle has an extending grasping arm and also fits inside the Tracy Island playset. The extra arms that pop up make it a really interesting toy for children and the fact that it is interactive its really well made and it has been bashed about and flown around the kitchen and is still living to tell the tale it's really well made.

The Mechanic

The Mechanic my personal favourite (RRP £19.99) is by far a very cool figure! My son loves him, he always goes for the baddies! The mechanic is a villain not to be messed with! His technical skills allow him to cause chaos, even when he is nowhere to be seen. He comes with a neuron driver and ion hammer as well as a moving blaster. Press his buttons and he will also talk.

The figures are all made to a high standard and the detail is fantastic. These 30cm character figures come with articulated joints, lights, five phrases, plus fully working rescue claw for Virgil and we especially love the firing weapon attached to the Mechanic it makes it seem all that more exciting for the kids.

The Bandai Thunderbirds are go range is suitable for ages 4+ and are available nationwide and online and would make great gifts for kids for birthdays Christmas and treats. 

*We were sent the Thunderbirds are go toys for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own. 


Friday 11 October 2019

My Breast Cancer journey - The Results are in!

On Monday the 7th of October, I was called in to meet with my oncologist for the very first time, during my journey I have only had to meet with my breast consultant who is lovely I had been quite apprehensive about meeting him not just because he is a new consultant to me, but because it was in oncology - a place where I started my journey in the NHS I was a health care assistant there for five years before I went to do my nursing training I learnt so much there, I gained a lot of friends some of whom I am still friends with now, it taught me a lot about life and also a lot about cancer which I am not sure is such a good thing now I am a cancer patient myself sometimes knowledge is not a good thing.

I met with my consultant he was friendly and really nice enough I felt at ease, I sat myself down in the chair and I could see my results on the computer screen my OncotypeDX score was high which means my reoccurrence score is high, in a nutshell, I have got to have chemotherapy.

I have been really well since my mastectomy surgery and in actual fact the last few weeks I have felt a bit of a fraud having time off work, I have felt really positive and motivated somehow in my little brain I thought my journey was going to be over I had envisaged my score to be low,. I thought the oncologist would give me hormone treatment in the way of tablets for the next ten years and that would be that I would be skipping back to work before Christmas.

It wasn't meant to be I am now facing at least another four months off work, I have eight sessions of chemotherapy ahead of me I will have one session then a three-week break then another session then a three-week break and so on until I get to number eight. I know the chemotherapy Journey is going to be a long and gruelling one and honestly this week I have been in shock, I try to pretend its fine I will get through it and I will, I have to, but inside I just feel so sad and scared, I'm not scared for me I'm scared for the kids in the last ten years I have had four c-sections a hysteroscopy and a mastectomy and nothing has bought me to my knees I am so frightened that this is going to make me ill enough so I cant look after the kids.

The Consultant went on to explain some of the most common side effects, Nausea, vomiting diarrhoea, constipation a sore mouth and throat, taste changes, bruising or bleeding, tiredness and feeling weak, anaemia, numbness or tingling of the hands and feet, fluid retention, watery eyes, I will lose my hair within the first three weeks and I could lose my nails - I need to stay away from people with infections as my immunity will be low (easier said than done when you have five children that are walking bugs!) I also had to sign a disclaimer that says in rare cases chemotherapy can cause death - Its not surprising that I left the appointment and sobbed and sobbed I have just been so positive and felt so well - I just kept thinking Why does it have to be me? What have I done wrong? needless to say, I haven't really felt great this week smiling on the outside but on the inside, I'm cracking. Next week is a new week though next week I am going to find my motivation again, next week I am going to try not to overthink, I'm going to try to enjoy the half term with the kids I know I will get through this for myself and my family

I won't ever give up.


Tuesday 24 September 2019

Oncotype DX Breast recurrence score

Its been a while since I blogged anything about my breast cancer journey you might ask why? it seems, in the beginning, everything was one appointment after the next for my MRI scan multiple biopsies then, following on from all of that prodding and poking my surgery for my mastectomy and now nothing well thats what it feels like to me anyway.

Last week I got my results from my mastectomy, some good news some not so good news, let me tell you the good news first I have no lymph node spread which is great, hopefully that means that the breast cancer won't randomly turn up in some other part of my body in years to come, the consultants can never say never but I am staying positive. The consultant thinks that she has managed to get rid of all of the breast cancer, the margins the consultant says are clear so technically I should be cancer-free which I'm really happy about. Now the not so good news the monster that was taking over my breast was four cms instead of three cms which was the size the MRI scan gave, I was actually quite surprised by this as I thought that MRI scans were as accurate as accurate could be, there were also smaller satellite masses one was half a cm the other was one cm in the words of the consultant it was a very busy breast.

I thought at this appointment I would have a treatment plan at least so I know what's happening next but the next bit was hard to swallow they are sending my breast tissue to California seems hardly fair that a part of me is visiting the states without me! Its going to the states because its one of the only places in the world that will look at all the cancer cells and they will then give me an accurate number of my reoccurrence, meaning how likely it is that the breast cancer will return then based on this the consultant will make a decision on my next stage of treatment.

OncotypeDX testing what is it? 

All breast cancers are different and some carry hormone receptors some don't my breast cancer was HER2 negative and Oestrogen positive stage 2

To be considered for OncotypeDX testing you have to fall into a specific category:

  • Are newly diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer. 
  • Have cancer cells that are ER+ (Oestrogen positive)
  • Have cancer cells that are HER2 negative.
  • Are either lymph node-negative or have up to three lymph nodes that are positive.   

As you can see I fall completely into the specific guidelines for the testing the test takes around two weeks to complete and The Oncotype DX test is a molecular diagnostic test that analyses the individual biology of a breast cancer tumour by examining the activity of 21 genes in the tumour tissue. At the end you get given a score between one and one hundred the lower the score the less the need for chemotherapy and the less likely my breast cancer is going to reoccur, the higher the score the consultant may recommend chemotherapy alongside hormone therapy and it will tell me that there is a high chance the breast cancer will come back. however it's not inclusive the consultant will discuss this with me at my appointment and it will be a mutual decision between us as to what is the right thing for myself once the results are in.

Scores made simple: 

  • Women with a score of 0 to 25 who are over the age of 50 won’t get any benefit from having chemotherapy in addition to hormone therapy.
  • Women who have a score of 26 or above and are over the age of 50 are likely to benefit from having chemotherapy in addition to hormone therapy.
  • Women with a score of 0 to 15 who are aged 50 or under won’t get any benefit from having chemotherapy in addition to hormone therapy.
  • Women who have a score of 16 or above and are aged 50 or under, your specialist will discuss your test result with you to help decide if you’re likely to benefit from chemotherapy.

That is the simplest way to explain the test and how it works for me now it's a waiting game to find out what the future of treatment holds for me I am still eagerly awaiting my appointment from the oncologist and then there is the breast reconstruction to consider, but to be honest until all the treatment side of things is out of the way its not even within my thoughts its not priority. Cancer isn't something that you seem to be able to think about long term well I don't find it easy to think to the future you just have to take each day and appointment as it comes and for me the worst part is waiting but I can't change what the future holds I believe its already written. 


Thursday 29 August 2019

Back to school bags with Maqio Toys - Review

As we all know that time is here kids across the country are getting ready to go back to school some schools across the midlands have already gone back with the rest going back next week.

Whether it is nursery school or primary school the kids are going to there is one thing they are all going to need, school bags although most kids love a good bag even if it isn't for the school being a last-minute Lil this was one thing I hadn't actually sorted out yet so when Maqio toys asked if we would like to review some bags for them, of course, we were going to jump at the chance.

If like me you have a lot of children, your way behind on getting the school uniform sorted and you don't want to spend a lot Maqio toys have a 40% off sale on their backpacks and there not just the boring plain coloured bags either they're branded character ones that kids absolutely love.

Adam has chosen a Lego bag because like all the boys in the house they're Lego obsessed and the twins choose a shimmer and shine bag which they also love.

Quality wise I can honestly say they are great, the twins overfilled their bags with dolls and toys as soon as they got them they have been bashed about as young children do and they haven't bent or marked as the front are a hard plastic so I would think hard-wearing  and long-lasting the girls absolutely loved the sparkly glitter on the front of them.

Adam has tested his backpack out with his pack lunch in the back of it, it is the perfect size for him he is absolutely chuffed to bits he gets to wear his favourite character to school every day, I like that it has a pocket on the side for a drinks cup and it also has reflective stripes on the sides which is peace of mind for his safety as the darker nights are drawing in.

Adam and the girls are over the moon with there bags and are already showing them off to there friends and family.

If you haven't heard of Maqio toys before its definitely worth a hop over to there site not only are they offering a 40% off sale on their bags, they have also got a massive up to 80% off sale on other items. I have Adams birthday around the corner so this massive discount if definitely going to come in handy and then there is, dare I say it Christmas knocking on the door Maquio toys is definitely a great place to start getting stocked up.

*we were sent these backpacks for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own thanks maqio toys!

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