I love to brag about my gorgeous girl, my life as a teacher and the wonderful things my darling husband does that amuse and amaze me everyday. Please comment if something appeals to you, amuses you or inspires you.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Isabella's Playroom

New house, new playroom!

We recently moved into a new house...long story, for another time.

My daughter Isabella is excited because she now has a bigger playroom with more space for most of her things.

I am trying to unpack and get the house ready for Christmas which is in 4 days. We have family arriving tomorrow and I am totally disorganised.

I am posting some pics below of her new playroom in it's current state. I am hoping after Christmas to add a stage area for her. I am taking some time off work to care for Dan, another long story.

So, below is her playroom, a work in progress.

 The Barbie Corner- Doll House and Kitchen
 Some storage, more to come and new tubs to go in as well as dress up rack and TV unit with couch.
 Homework desk and craft storage shelves and Christmas Tree.
 Lego table and storage tubs underneath
The TV unit will be white soon. :)
Hope you get some ideas or maybe wait til we are complete!
Have a great Christmas!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween- Bozzoli Style

Today we began putting up some decorations for Halloween.

Because Halloween is mostly an American holiday we have never really embraced it here in Australia. But because of the commercialism that has crept into every celebration known to man we have begun to 'do' Halloween as well.
I must admit, our family has really only started to have a fun Halloween since Isabella came along.

Our neighbourhood do celebrate in a relaxed and friendly manner so we are very lucky.
On All Hallows Eve families stroll the neighbourhood in a good natured community spirit, chatting, giggling and sharing the spoils of the trick or treat fun!

It's getting quite warm in Queensland now so we can spend the evening quite pleasantly chatting with our neighbours and friends.

I am including below some of our Halloween costumes from the past and some of our decorating in preparation for this year's fun.


Halloween costume 2011. She was a sweet little witch!
2012 - Our house decorations were very minimal!
A not so sweet Pirate!!

Friends joined us for Trick or Treat!
Now 2013!
I sourced lanterns in orange black and white from local discount stores.
The front door hanger was only $2.99

 The black bats I made myself.
The paper pumpkin is an older deco from previous years.
These little pumpkin carriers were $2 for 4 from local discount store. I just attached to spider line. 
I bought 3 witches hats to hang in our entry way inside as well.
I am happy with these simple but friendly and effective decorations for this year. The whole lot cost about $25 and took about 30 mins to hang.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dan Update

Moving Forward

We have some big news awaiting us this week.

But first, an update from where we last left off as we were having a break on the Gold Coast post Auto Stem Cell Transplant.

Long story short, Dan didn't go into remission! Bugger! Plus when the doc gave us the news he was particularly blunt about our options at that point. We left feeling that we were coming to a very scary point in our journey. Dan was told that he would be undergoing 4 weeks of radiation to active nodes in his chest and neck. If that didn't work we were without options. WHAT!!

We were shattered, scared, frightened, angry...I could go on but you get the picture.

We went home and Dan began putting 'things' in order. You also know what that means.

Life from day to day for the next few weeks was particular terrifying. We were facing our worst fears. I hated him being out of my sight, I kept touching him and holding him. I was scared.

After 4 weeks of radiation we had to wait 8 weeks for results as radiation continues to work! Went back to see doc and our usual doc was gone! A new guy, now head of Lymphoma Clinic, Dr Gill was in charge and what a different story he painted for us.

Whilst we were waiting for results from new staging PET scan Dr Gill asked if Dan would consider an Allogenic Stem Cell Transplant (what was a bone marrow transplant in old terms)?
Hell yes!! We are always open to options, we were not prepared to give up yet!!

So, Dan's sister was tested but didn't match so they began the search in all transplant registers. None that matched in Australia but 10 possibles in Germany!

Meanwhile we find out that whilst the radiation worked on the spots they were zapping other tumours popped up...in lung, liver. Yep, shattered again but not completely unexpected as Dan's symptoms, (coughing, night sweats etc. ) had returned. Crap on a cracker!

6 weeks ago Dan and I were told that he would begin a new chemo regime GDP, to try to halt the progress of the cancer and even reduce it before the transplant process began.

Dan has now completed 2 full cycles of that chemo with 2 stay overs in Ward 2E due to infection and then last week with massive fatigue, light headedness and ringing in the ears. All from the drug, Cysplatin. We now know Dan has permanent hearing loss due to the chemo but the other symptoms have dissipated.

Dan can not have Cysplatin again.

So, that kind of brings us up to date.

Tomorrow we head off to the Royal Brisbane Hospital to see the transplant team there to further discuss the Transplant process etc. We know that they will be using a recently off trial drug called Brentuximab (Adcetris), http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/treatment/cancer-drugs/brentuximab/brentuximab.
Dan will have 4 cycles of this drug over 10 weeks prior to the conditioning chemo and then the transplant itself. But that's about all we know at this stage. They have all the drugs ready to go, we just need a donor to be matched as best as possible.

Wednesday, Dan has another PET scan to see if this recent GDP has done it's work on the Lymphoma and then we get those results Thursday. This is vital in moving forward with the transplant. If Dan hasn't responded to the GDP, I'm not sure how confident they will be about going forward.

So, a pretty full on week for our family.

Next week we hope to be heading up to the Sunshine Coast for 2 nights due to the kindness and generosity of the Warwick Foundation, http://thewarwickfoundation.org.au/. Many thanks to Emma for helping organise this time for our family. Dan has found the Facebook page very helpful in support, and just chatting to other young people who are going through the day to day challenges of living with this disease.

I truly hope that when I next update this blog that I will have some positive news about the transplant. We both feel confident that the recent chemo has done some good, despite the hearing loss and other side effects. We have to remain positive, we have so much to look forward to.

When we began this journey with Hodgkin's Lymphoma we were so confident that Dan could knock this on the head with the first line of treatment even though he was stage 3B aggressive. We now know that everyone's journey is VERY different. It's bloody hard! Some days are darker than others and as you continue to fight, you become a bit, well, FLAT, is how I can best describe it. I have seen my husband transform from a quiet, tough guy to an emotionally reconciled man. I am so proud of him and all that he shares with me and others on this journey.

At the beginning we all thought we were tough enough to do it on our own. HUH! That didn't last long. You soon realise that there are some amazingly, wonderful, beautiful people in this world who are there, sometimes even those you don't even know! People who have reached out to us and touched our lives in so may ways, through sharing their stories, asking for or giving advice, and those who have helped with a shoulder to lean or cry. Those who have provided a meal to us without us asking. Those who have given kindly in the way of gift cards, yard work or caring for Isabella in the many times Dan and I needed to be at hospital.

There is no way we could ever repay these kindnesses, but we wish we could reach out and hold each and every one of these people. They will be forever in our hearts.

Dan, Isabella and I remain strong. We can conquer this together!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Isabella's Hello Kitty 7th Birthday Party

Party Day

As you know this year has had it's ups and downs and many challenges with Dan's health.

We decided that Isabella would have a big party this year as we scaled things back last year.

Preparations went ahead for her 7th birthday. It was a huge task considering I work full time and Dan has just begun radiation treatment this past week and it is already affecting his energy levels and other side effects.
Regardless, I was determined to try to make it all go as close to plan as possible.

I am always a little disappointed that I cannot do all that I hope for and that all details are not exactly as I would like. I also realise I am only 1 mummy and not Superwoman. I can live with it...I'm getting better at that as the years pass.

I realised that the kids are happy if they see pretty decorations, have some yummy food and get to laugh, scream, run and get spoilt as much as possible in 3 hours. That I can do! :)

I was so pleased that Isabella was surrounded with her friends, family and her beautiful teacher also came along which all the girls were super excited about!! Thanks Jules! xxx

This year I decided to have a photographer to capture the fun. Linda Davies is just starting out with her business and I know her well from when I taught her beautiful girl a few years back. Linda did a wonderful job, she captured the mood of the party and especially my cheeky monkey, Isabella. Thank You Linda!

So, sit back and enjoy the festivities.

Once again, I am happy to answer any questions about anything to do with the party. So feel free to ask away.



The PARTY Invitation
Marshmallow Pops
Sweet Chocolate Treats
Party Favour Bags
The girls loved pouring their own drinks, the drink bottles and the old fashioned straws from Paper Eskimo.
Hanging Decorations

Outside Party and Craft Table
Inside Food Table
 Isabella and her Daddy.

Mummy and Isabella before the fun begins.

Glass Milk Bottles Purchased at Earthborn

Pass the Parcel

Pin the Bow on Hello Kitty

Party All Done!


The theme- Hello Kitty

Where- at home

Guests- 6 giggling girls and the birthday girl.

Decorations- prepared by Mummy- purchased from many variety stores as well as
The Lantern Shop
Large Hello Kitty Air Walker foil balloon- Balloons by the Bay

Guest Favours- Hello Kitty pen and note pad sets and craft items- purchased at variety store

Headband Favours- Handmade by a dear friend- Thank You Jennifer Bruce. xxx
Food- Prepared by Mummy

Cake- Bought at Woolworth's

Photographer- Linda Davies

Entertainment- Hello Kitty Jumping Castle from Jolly Jumps