Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"You're Beautiful": A Video That is Sure to Make You Smile

Today is the last day of Childhood Cancer Awareness month--and we are excited to end this important month with an inspiring video that was created and released by Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology.

Watch this truly wonderful video that will lift your spirits this Wednesday!

"You're Beautiful"


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Taking a Look into Seasonal Affective Disorder


Do you ever feel as though current weather conditions can affect your mood? Well this seemingly causal occurrence is an actual occurrence. This change in mood is called Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD]. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder is defined by the Mayo Clinic as: 

"Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.
Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy and medications.
Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues" or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year."
Seasonal Affective Disorder is considered a "sub-type" of major depression--but there are differences between the two. Lets take a look and compare the symptoms between these.
According to the Mayo Clinic the following can be symptoms of SAD versus major depression:

Fall and winter SAD

Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:
  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

Spring and summer SAD

Symptoms specific to summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, sometimes called summer depression, may include:
  • Depression
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Agitation or anxiety
VERSUS

Major depression

Seasonal affective disorder is a subtype of major depression that comes and goes based on seasons. So symptoms of major depression may be part of SAD, such as:
  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Having low energy
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Continue reading up on Seasonal Affective Disorder below on the following topics:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tips & Tricks: Creating your Digital Medical Record Library


We are constantly surrounded by a digital world, technology is an essential aspect of our daily lives. You may have noticed a huge shift in medical records going digital at your doctors office--today we are going to share how YOU can keep your personal medical records in a digital format at home.


Why would creating a digitalized copy of my medical record be helpful?

  • This record is always available when you need it--it may come in handy when you least expect it
  • This record could help you keep track of everything in an organized manner and will assist in managing insurance claims, financials and other important information that external institutions may need
  • This record is for you--write it out how you and your family would understand it
What information should I include in my record?

If you participated in our Summer Research Project you may already have the following information that would be needed in your digital record
  • Diagnosis date
  • Your specific cancer information including type and stage
  • Copies of diagnostic test results
  • Copies of blood counts or other treatment test results [organize by date]
  • Complete treatment information 
  • Full overview of medications and possible side effects
  • Thorough analysis of side effects experienced [include causes if known other wise, keep a record of possible factors]
Additional Information that should be in your digital record
  • Complete Doctor contact and treatment center information
  • A big picture schedule, such as milestones you have discussed with the doctor. If you would like to take this a step further keep an updated digital schedule of appointments 
  • Family health history 
  • Emergency Contacts
Now that I have created my Digital Medical Record Library what should I do next?
  • Make sure to save your record in multiple places such as transferring it to your mobile or tablet device for easy and portable access 
  • Also make sure to save this record on a USB/Flash Drive 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Recipe to help improve your mood.

I learned to cook when I was going through treatment for my own cancer, my mother taught me everything that she knows and it was a great escape to learn something that brings joy and light to everyone. So it is no surprise that I became addicted to cooking shows as well, The Chew on ABC was not around when I was going through my treatment however I've been a fan for all 4 years it has been on. This recipe is from The Chew I encourage you to try watching cooking shows to help pass the time during your treatment, but also learn to cook, it is empowering and uplifting plus food truly brings people together.

Earlier this week we spoke on foods that can improve your mood, here is a recipe using leafy greens that will be delicious!

Spicy Southern Greens and Beans with Corn Beard by Carla Hall

http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/spicy-southern-greens-and-beans-with-cornbread-carla-hall

The Chew Recipes Spicy Southern Greens & Beans with Cornbread
ingredients
SPICY SOUTHERN GREENS & BEANS WITH CORNBREAD
GREENS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion (diced)
2 pounds collard greens (washed and drained)
2 pounds kale (washed and drained)
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup Tangy Chow Chow Pickles
1 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
CORNBREAD
2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup creamed corn
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
PINTO BEANS
1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken stock
step-by-step directions
For the Greens: in a large sauté pan with high sides, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the greens by removing the stem, rolling into a cigar shape and cutting lengthwise into 1/4-inch pieces.
To the large pot add the red pepper flakes, garlic, vinegar and sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the greens and 1/4 cup of water. Cook until wilted and tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the Chow Chow relish and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Carla's Cornbread and Pinto Beans.
For the Cornbread: preheat oven to 425ºF. Heat a 9-inch cast iron skillet in the oven until very hot.
In a medium bowl, add the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, add the eggs, sour cream, creamed corn and 1/2 cup oil and whisk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth
Add 2 tablespoons oil to the hot skillet, then add the batter.
Bake until golden, about 18-20 minutes or when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
For the Pinto Beans: in a large bowl, add beans and cover with 2-inches of water. Cover bowl and allow to soak overnight. Drain and rinse beans.
In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the pinto beans, chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer stirring occasionally. Cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour (add more chicken stock if necessary).
Helpful tip: Use canned pinto beans instead of dried beans to decrease cooking time.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Splurge! to help you during treatment days.

Friday has come and here is our easy Splurge tip for the day. This could not be more easy and it is worth a try to see if you can help yourself during your treatment.

It seems that Chemotherapy will take up your whole day, when I had went through it I got up at 5am to start chemotherapy at 7am and then ended at 5:30pm. So if you think of it in terms of adults it is a full time job to save your life. So just like full time job holders we can also use a some time during the day just for ourselves.

Here is the easiest splurge ever, get up earlier in the day, I know it sounds crazy, but it is proven that if you have more time to do things before your scheduled to be somewhere you are more relaxed. You can go a step further and even do things during that time to make you happy, watch happy videos, meditation, or read a book you love. Just take some time during your day before you have to go and do something awful like chemo and then take a nap during treatment or after.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

You are the inspiration for yourself, Help yourself during a bad day tips

It is childhood cancer month and I think its time to look at yourself as the inspiration. You are an inspiration, look at what cancer patients have to live through. It is simply amazing.

Because this month we are focusing on how inspirational we can be for ourselves here is some strategies for dealing with a bad day so you can get back to seeing how amazing you are.

Strategies for dealing with a bad day.

Strategy 1: Food and Water-trying drinking more and eating more if your in a bad mood you could be dehydrated and in need of more energy i.e food.

Strategy 2: Need a nap? Sleeping is key, it is how our mind resets and our bodies heal, you need a lot of sleep during chemotherapy and after it too, so if your having a bad day try a nap.

Strategy 3: Take a short walk, get the blood flowing a bit, some fresh air and out of your normal environment. Just be careful not to overdo yourself.

Strategy 4: Music, Jam out to your favorite songs and let that help you out of a bad day.

Of course if you are having a very bad day because of pain, and/or feeling very depressed be sure to contact your Doctor and get it checked out, it may not be just normal treatment side effects and your medical team is their to help.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Foods that help lift your mood

Food is what fuels us, so what we eat can deeply impact how we feel, and/or help how we feel about things.

Cancer and cancer treatment is a rough road period, it can make you very emotional for many many months during treatment and even after. So here is a quick list of food to look at that is shown to help lift your mood. Be sure to check back on Sunday for some recipes that use mood lifting foods! Also if the support team, the parents, siblings, and friends are feeling down try eating from the list and maybe it will help lift you as well.


1. Leafy Greens
2. Fish
3. Mussels
4. Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts
5. Blue Berries and other berries
6. Lentils, chickpeas, beans
7. Dark Chocolate, raw cacao powder or nibs
8. Pumpkin seeds
9. Foods with Probiotics.
10. Turmeric (a spice that is amazing and easy to add to dishes)



Monday, September 21, 2015

DIY Sour Candy Spray.

One of our favorite tips at Teen with a Dream is to use Sour Candy to help with the test that chemotherapy leaves and also other medication you may be on during your treatment.

Here is a DIY video about how to make a sour candy spray,  it is bit easier on the mouth as no chewing is involved if you have some muscle pains.

Be sure to get your parents help and permission before you start this tip!


Changes in Hearing: Tips + Tricks to Chemo


One side effect from chemotherapy that you may not have heard about, is changes in hearing. Certain types of chemotherapy treatments can cause hearing loss. We have found an astounding overview of this side effect from Chemocare.

Lets take a brief look at Chemocare's Hearing Loss Summary...

What is hearing loss, and what is the relationship of hearing loss to chemotherapy?
  • Hearing loss occurs as a result of many different things. Hearing loss may be associated with age, or as a result of certain chemotherapy treatments or medications. By the age of 75, many have some sort of hearing loss. 
  • Many diseases can cause hearing loss. This includes Meniere's disease, an inner ear disease. 
  • There are many different types of hearing loss. They may include: 
    • Presbycusis - This is a word that means "hearing loss." This is the normal loss of hearing and sound detection that comes with age. If you have presbycusis, it becomes harder to hear people if there is background noise. High-pitched sounds also become "muffled."  
    • Sensory hearing loss - occurs when there is a more central problem. Certain diseases, infections, or damage to the cells that help you to hear sounds may cause this.  
    • Conduction hearing loss - occurs as a result of a blockage in your ear. This may be from earwax, infection, a foreign body, or tumor. This can be resolved by treating the cause of the hearing loss.
Some common medications that cause hearing loss may include:
  • Cisplatin chemotherapy 
  • Diuretics or "water pills" such as furosemide (Lasix®), in high doses. 
  • Antibiotics, such as gentamycin, tobramycin or streptomycin.  
  • Ototoxicity is something that occurs after you have received medications that have caused you to lose your hearing, or feel dizzy.  Ototoxicity following the use of certain medications may be due to a long-term exposure to these drugs. Your risk for developing ototoxicity increases as the drug accumulates in your body.  
  • Ototoxicity may also come from receiving high doses of an ototoxic drug at one time, which may damage certain cells in your inner ear. The hearing loss you experience as a result of medications may be irreversible.
  • Things you can do to minimize hearing loss due to chemotherapy:
    • It is important to notify your healthcare provider if you notice any change in the hearing loss you are experiencing.  Also, notify your healthcare provider if you have any loss of vision, dizziness, or if your symptoms become more severe, and do not improve.   
    • If your hearing loss is caused by a build-up of wax, there are many over the counter eardrops available for you to use. Discuss this with your healthcare provider. 
    • Tell people that you have trouble hearing sounds. Discuss ways for them to speak, so you can hear them more clearly. Some suggestions include: 
      • Tell them to speak slowly, and clearly, and not to shout. Shouting creates high-pitched sounds that could make it harder for you to hear what they are saying. 
      • Encourage the use of gestures, if you find it helpful.  
      • Many people have trouble hearing consonants. Tell them to enunciate, or pronounce their words more slowly and clearly.  
      • With severe hearing loss, lip reading and sign language may be helpful.
    • Depending on the cause of your hearing loss, hearing aids may be useful to better your hearing. Hearing aids use an amplifier to pick up sound, and help to make sounds clearer. There are many forms of hearing aids available today. Seek assistance from a hearing aid specialist, who will help you to select the best kind of hearing aid, to suit your needs. 
    • Even with hearing aids, it may still be difficult for you to understand what people are saying to you. If you do not understand someone who is speaking to you, ask him or her to clarify what is being said. Tell them what parts of the sentence you were able to understand.  
    • If you have Meneire's disease, your doctor or healthcare provider may tell you to limit the amount of salt you eat in a day, and prescribe anti-nausea or anti-vertigo medications, along with a medication to help your body rid itself of salt and fluids. The goal is to decrease the pressure of your inner ear, and to control the dizziness you may be experiencing, in addition to the hearing loss    
    • It is important to follow all the instructions your healthcare provides. 
    • Make sure to keep all appointments.  
    • Do not share your medications with anyone.
Check out the full article HERE

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pumpkin Waffles & Apple Cider Syrup


Yesterday we discuss four ways to make a change to be happier through refreshing your morning routine. Well, add in this delicious recipe for Pumpkin Waffles and Apple Cider Syrup by Cooking Classy and you are sure to have the perfect morning!

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated 
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar
  • 5 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Apple cider syrup, maple syrup or butter pecan syrup, for serving

Directions
  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees and preheat a belgian waffle iron (non belgian should work fine too) to medium heat. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg for 20 seconds. Create a well in center of mixture then set aside.
  • To a separate medium mixing bowl add egg whites and cream of tartar, then using an electric hand mixer set on high speed, whip until soft peaks form, then add 2 Tbsp of the granulated sugar and whip until medium-stiff peaks form.
  • In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together milk, buttermilk, canola oil, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, egg yolks and remaining 3 Tbsp granulated sugar. While whisking, slowly pour milk mixture into flour mixture and mix just until combined (batter will be slightly lumpy), then fold egg whites into batter. Spray waffle iron lighlty and evenly with cooking spray then pour necessary amount (whatever fills your waffle iron, mine was a scant cup) into waffle iron and cook according to manufactures directions. Keep warm in preheated oven and repeat process with remaining batter. Serve warm with syrup of choice.

Check out this recipe in full and more recipe here

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Be Happier: 4 Ways to Refresh your Morning Routine


This month we are all about embracing any change that may come your way--but lets discuss ways that YOU can make changes to encourage happiness within your life. Take control and create some happiness in your world with the little things!

Getting a postive start to the day will help you accomplish this!

4 Ways to Refresh your Morning Routines

1. Preparation: Sleep on your right side 

Although this may sound strange, Turkish researchers found that those who sleep on their right side has a positive impact on their dreams and tend to have more calming dreams. Additionally, they reported feeling more rested through out the day. 

Sleeping exclusively on your left side can put pressure on your organs such as the stomach and the spleen. 

2. Wake up 10 minutes earlier.

Giving yourself a little extra time in the morning will eliminate any unnecessary stress of being late. You will be able to take your time and enjoy the morning rather than rushing out the door. Use this time to take the dog on a little longer walk before you have to leave--great for the both of you! Or use this time to....

3. Stretch, breathe and warm up for the day.

Take five to ten minutes of your morning to stretch your body, try various breathing techniques and even do a few jumping jacks or your choice of warm up in order to kick start your day. In order to keep your mind happy you must treat your body well. Check out our various posts on stretches and breathing techniques under the tag "happy routines"

4. Indulge yourself with positive thoughts + environments.

We have been told since we were kids that "you just have to believe and you will". This same philosophy applies to your mindset. In order to begin the change to a happier mindset you have to allow yourself to make this change. Additionally, surrounding yourself with positive content, whether it is music [check out our collection of happy songs here], photos or settings, make sure you are engaging in content that initiates happiness....check out or Serene Surroundings Photo Gallery and our Happiness Photo Gallery 

Friday, September 18, 2015

SPLURGE! D.I.Y. Fall Leaf Sun Catchers

Happy Friday Dream Team! Today for our SPLURGE! friday we would like to share this fabulous fall inspired craft that is great for kids of all ages. Also these sun catchers would be the perfect addition to bring the warm fall feeling to your hospital room or cancer center! Check out this awesome craft by The Ramblings of a Crazy Woman and more!


Lets take a look at the basics....

Materials

  • Wax Paper
  • Leaves
  • Grater
  • Crayon 
  • Hole Punch
  • String
Directions
  1. Gather Leaves from around the yard-wherever
  2. Grate the Crayons of your choice--try all fall colors
  3. Lay out wax paper and arrange your leaves and Crayon shavings into your desired pattern/layot
  4. Top off with another piece of wax paper on top of your leaves and Crayons
  5. Iron on a LOW setting
  6. Let cool
  7. Punch hole through sun catcher and tie string through to allow hanging capability

Look at the full craft HERE

Thursday, September 17, 2015

#TBT: Seeking Out the Silver Linings in Chemo



For our Throwback Thursday Post, we wanted to share with you one of our past posts that is similar to the topics we are discussing this month.

Yesterday we discussed 6 Steps You Can Take to Give Your Emotional Health a Makeover which will ultimately help you embrace changes around you and cope with them effectively.

One of the first steps we shared was to:
  1. Look at situations from multiple perspectives--seek out perspectives you may not typically consider.
One major change that you will undergo when being diagnosed with cancer is the seemingly endless doctor appointments and treatment days. 

This is a huge adjustment and that is why we would like to give you a few different perspectives on this change in our #TBT post about Seeking out the Silver Linings in Chemo 

Here is a quick look at just one of our Silver Lining Examples:
  • Seek out friendships on treatment days. By having someone to confide in or even just have around on treatment days, provides you something to look forward to.  
    • The Silver Lining: Prepare yourself on treatment days as going to “hang out” or see your friends at the center.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

6 Steps to Take for an Emotional Health Makeover


We were so excited to share yesterday's quote with you that we mixed up our post theme days-oops! Today we will focus on emotional support during the process of change and embracing this change. Below you will find a few ways to give yourself an emotional health makeover. 

Emotions will clearly run high when dealing with pediatric cancer, whether you are the parent, sibling or even the patient themselves- it is important to take time to focus on keeping a healthy state of mind  as much as possible. 

Emotional Support: A Healthy State of Mind

  1. Look at situations from multiple perspectives--seek out perspectives you may not typically consider.
  2. Believe in yourself. Sometimes we are our worst critics. Make sure to recognize your abilities, talents and strengths and embrace these
  3. Utilize Affirmations. These are positive statements that encourage your ability to make changes, or cope with changes that are happening around you. Example: "Everyday is a new one and I will take each day on--using my strengths to make it a good day"
  4. Embrace "Personal Power". Read further on the concept of personal power here and check out their exercises to accomplish it.
  5. Begin to make choices that will ultimately generate happiness and consideration in some way-even the most little ways. 
  6. Baby Steps. It is unrealistic to think you will be able to wake up tomorrow morning and have a fresh perspective and outlook when it comes to change. Make a goal to accomplish one thing a day that ultimately will help you embrace change.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Embracing the Change: Inspirational Quote

We have found the perfect quote for this month's blog theme about embracing change...enjoy


Monday, September 14, 2015

Tips + Trick to Chemo: Stregthen Your Nails


Chemotherapy has a multitude of potential side effects, one of which can be brittle nails. This can cause sensitivity or even pain. In order to cope with this change in physical health we would like to share a few tips with you--of course make sure to consult with your doctors to ensure which route is the best for you and your treatment plan.

Tips + Tricks to Naturally Stronger Nails

Vitamins to Stregthen Nails
  • Biotin

Vitamins that can be directly applied to nails
  • Coconut Oil 
  • Argan Oil
  • Vitamin E Oil
Foods that will help Strengthen Nails
  • Gelatin
  • Fruit & Veggies
  • Meat 
  • Beans 
Miscellaneous Tips
  • Make sure that you are moisturizing your hands and nails on a regular basis in order to keep moisture in.
  • Avoid taking long and hot showers or baths, as this will dry out skin and nails 
  • Avoid bitting your nails at all cost
  • Stay away from frequent polish changes due to the high levels of chemicals within nail polish and remover

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Game Day Recipe: Stuffed Pizza Rolls

In celebration of the first Sunday of the official NFL season, here is a great recipe to quickly whip up for your game day parties! Also this recipe is perfect for the kids.

Pizza dough stuffed with your favorite ingredients and dipped in marinara sauce.

INGREDIENTS

(13.5) package of Pillsbury™ classic refrigerated pizza crust
1/2 
teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/2 
teaspoon garlic powder
tablespoon butter, melted
tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
12 
ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded or diced (diced is less messy)
ounces sliced pepperoni, coarsely chopped
pizza sauce for dipping
toppings (optional) additional pizza of your choice

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly spray a baking dish or large pie plate.
  • Unroll pizza onto a lightly floured surface and press into a 12 x 8 rectangle. Cut rectangle into 24 squares. Place pepperoni and cheese (or desired toppings) into the center of each square. Gather the sides of each square up and pinch closed to create a ball. Place each ball seam side down in the baking dish.
  • In a small ramekin stir melted butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings together. Brush tops of rolls with melted butter mixture using a pastry brush. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over rolls.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.
  • Serve with warm pizza sauce for dipping.
Check out more recipes at Tablespoon

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Embrace Change Yoga Routines

As fall is almost among us and the season is changing, we want to shift our blog's focus to embracing change and taking control during this change. Today, we would like to share this wonderful resource provided by Yoga Life Spark that showcases four techniques yoga routines that will kick start your journey of embracing change.

1. Gain Perspective – you can literally get upside down to change your view, or simply imagine your life through someone else’s eyes. Often times when we do this, we truly begin to see how great our lives are and perhaps where we would like to change – a new hobby, a dream business, or even taking more vacations.


2. Shake up (or Start) your Workout Routine – Do you always pound the pavement? Are you a slave to your spin class? While consistent workouts are great, your body also begins to ‘get used to’ your workout much quicker than you might think (try 6-7 days!). Add in some yoga (free e-book here to help you get started) or try your hand at karate. Adding in just one day of cross-training to your workout routine will rev up your metabolism and get your body guessing. Plus it’s fun!

3. Spice up your Palate – Tired of the same thing for lunch and dinner? Sick of salads? Expand your horizons and try a new recipe. Or even better try a recipe that incorporates a new food you haven’t yet tried. I plan to make this yummy looking soup very soon!


4. Set a Mantra – Before you get out of bed, simply state (out loud or to yourself), “I will embrace change today.” Keep your mantra top of mind throughout the day by maybe even jotting it down in your planner or sending yourself an email. See how many ways you can change your normal routine just for the day – try a new route to work, dine at a different lunch spot, or wear clothes outside of your typical style. Even these small little changes will awaken your brain and get your creative juices flowing by stepping outside your normal routine.

Check out Yoga Life Spark's full article and other wonderful reads here!


Friday, September 11, 2015

#NeverForget


Today we are remembering those who were lost on September 11th, 2001- 14 years later, the events of that day seem as if they were yesterday. We have found a heart-warming story that USA Today Surfaced that we would like to share with you. 

Meet Bretagne, the last known rescue dog from 9/11 and see how she spent her birthday...


Read Bretagne's Story HERE

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Local Student's Message about Compassion


Happy Thursday Dreamers! As this month marks a year from our blog's launch we hope to share with you some of our favorite posts through out the year. Additionally, September is a very special month to us as it is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

We would like to it back to a Dream Team Feature that we shared with you almost a year ago today of local student, Morgan. Morgan was apart of the very first Compassion Project that ever took place and created a Compassion Bag that had a combination of store bought items as well as items that she crafted up herself, really bringing her bag to the next level.

Morgan has rallied students together over the past two years to support Teen with a Dream and joining the fight against pediatric cancer. It was Morgan who presented the idea of hosting a school wide Compassion Project to her school's student council and successfully got the idea voted in. This school wide event took place only a few months ago and was a raving success!

Read Morgan's Message in her Dream Team Feature HERE


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Look to yourself, Document your journey

Inspiration can be hard to come by when you are going through treatment and even after treatment. This is a program we love doing at Teen with a Dream and and thanks to the magic of technoledgy everyone can do it now, make a video diary, weather its every day or just once a week record your journey. Get done, how you are feeling, how you look, important events or activities you did, things that make you upset, or things that make you happy during your time. Then you can look back at it from time to time and see what an inspiration you are! Look at what you have gone through, and you are doing it! It is a hard thing to know unless you can actually see yourself and what you have been through.

If your not into the video diary thing, do a photo diary and/or just a diary/joural.

For those of you who have apple products there is an app you can load called MVD that makes it easy to make a video one.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-video-diary-8.0-your-multi/id488615645?mt=8

and what better month to start then Childhood Cancer Month.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Not walking alone...

It is important to take time this month to realize we do not walk alone. Being a childhood cancer patient is hard work, and it can feel like we walk alone. Once you start treatment because it is only you getting treatment, only you are feeling the side effects psychically, and to top it all off you are isolated from your peers and friends much of the time. This all adds up feeling very lonley.

Septmber is Childhood Cancer Month, it is important to take some time out and realize we do not walk this path alone, not only can you look to the room next to yours to find someone going through the same thing, but I think to think about it like this. I think about how many hours and man power it took to make the drugs/medicine they are pumping into my body to cure me, I think about how how many people and hours it took for my nurses to become the amazing nurses they were, and I think about the thousands of hours my Doctor spent to learn the knowledge to cure me. If all this wasn't enough after my 6 months of cancer treatment I realized, it may be hard for your friends to be there for you because of germs and so on, but if you need them, and you let them, they will also help you.

Emotional Support is one of the most important needs a child will ever have during their treatment and beyond, in some cases you need extra help, however if you can, look around you to see what is there already, it can help too.

Spencer Harrison

Founder, Teen with a Dream


Monday, September 7, 2015

Tip of the Day for Childhood Cancer Month.

This is a helpful tip for anyone, but particularly with children on treatment, it is an all natural way of helping heal and soothe your irritated skin. The secret is Chamomile! Place a Chamomile tea bag in hot water for one to two minutes and then place the bag in a bowel so that you can place it in the fridge. Apply the bag to skin that is red or irritated.

Chamomile actually has anti-inflammatory properties that helps skin to heal, a much needed tip for anyone going through cancer treatment.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Your Entire Labor Day Feast Recipes Here

Labor Day is almost upon us! That is why for this week's Nutrition and Recipe blog session we are sharing a completed Labor Day Menu Recipe that will provide you with new and fun recipes to try for your feast tomorrow!

Watermelon Stars [Appetizer]

Get the recipe HERE

Easy Pineapple Chicken Kabobs [Main Course]

Get the recipe HERE

Herb Potato Salad [Side Dish]


Get the recipe HERE

American Flag Cheesecake Bars [Dessert]

Get the recipe HERE

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Reflection on Labor Day


The weekend has officially begun and provides us one additional day to spend time with those we love. Now, this day is far more about an extra day off from work or school-so what is Labor Day really all about?

The United States Department of Labor summarizes it's significance as such..

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.


We found that key characteristics within this summary to be extremely applicable to living with cancer. These terms are:
  1. Strength
  2. Prosperity 
  3. Well-Being
These traits are profoundly important to maintain when coping with cancer treatment. By remembering to pause, take a deep breath and start refreshed [much like our workforce on Labor Day] will assist in the prosperity and well-being of your inner health. 

This Labor Day take a mental break and relax from cancer. We know this can be a difficult task in the mist of such a chaotic time--but we hope you are able to treat yourself or your child to a simple activity that will make them smile!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Classic Joke Friday



Why was the sheep itchy?
It has fleece!

#Classic Joke Friday

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month


September is officially Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! 

This month provides a wonderful opportunity to come together and join forces in the fight against pediatric cancer until there is a cure!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Happy One Year Anniversary to our Real Life Resource Blog!


We cannot thank everyone for their support over the last year! Our journey through this blog has been a truly exciting one! With thousands of viewers across the world- we would like you all to know how special you are to us and how grateful we are to continually be reminded of profound support!



Compassion Bags at LDS Parker South Stake Activity Day

Last Saturday we were lucky enough to spend the morning with over fifty young girls at LDS Parker South Stake Activity Day. This Compassion Project was filled with excitement, laughter and even a gourmet waffle bar!

This particular activity day was centered around the concept of "service" and "doing good for others". Through out the morning girls drew pictures of their experience "serving others" or times they lent a helping hand on the paper covered tables.

After we introduced the foundation and the logistics of the project the girls then each took turns building a Compassion Bag. As always, it is an incredible experience watching young citizens getting so excited to lend a helping hand to complete strangers.

We cannot thank these compassionate and endearing girls enough for the 70+ Compassion Bags that they compiled for Teen with a Dream!

Read Below for a little more information about Compassion Bags and then check out our photo gallery from last Saturday!


  1. These bags are given to patients to help pass the time during long treatment hours.
  2. They are typically filled with a variety of items that help the patient work both sides of their brain.
  3. By teaming up with your family to show compassion to a stranger, brings you and your community closer.
  4. Your bag will make the patient feel special, and thought about.
  5. It is important to recognize other people’s life paths.
  6. By doing a selfless act, will make you feel good-it creates happiness in the world.