Friday, July 31, 2015

SPLURGE! on taking time to learn something NEW!

Sometimes there is no better feeling than accomplishing a new task or hobby. That is why for this week's SPLURGE! Friday we would like for you to try something new and teach yourself an unexplored terrain.
Whether that is learning how to cook a new meal or tackle a local bike path, go out on a limb! According to "Learning can improve your cognitive abilities, add a new dimension to your life, and encourage you to look, listen and learn more about the world around you."

As you may already know, chemotherapy can have huge impacts on the everyday workings of your brain, that is why continually seeking out innovative tasks for your brain can be so important.

Here are just a few suggestions for this SPLURGE! Friday....
  1. Learn a new language
  2. Learn to cook a new meal 
  3. Try gardening [such as growing your own produce]
  4. Ride a bike
  5. Pick up a new book
  6. Learn how to play chess
  7. Learn how to knit--which is great for those who have started the process of hair loss!
  8. Take an online course

Thursday, July 30, 2015

#TBT & A Little Christmas in July.....

Today's program resource, we are throwing it back to our 2011 Giving Tree Program to showcase a little holiday spirit in July! This particular year's themes were.......

Hollywood Glamour

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

What is Teen with a Dream's Giving Tree Program?
Every holiday season we conjure up two fun and innovative themes for our two Giving Trees that we put up at Rocky Mountain Children's Hospital. Every trinket that we decide to put up on our tree's are carefully thought through and have every patient that walks through their doors in mind. We ensure to have a wide range of accessories that will be wonderful for all ages.

What is the purpose of our Giving Tree Program
The Giving Tree program assists in accomplishing a core part of our mission to provide aid and comfort in pediatric cancer patient's physical environments by providing engaging, enriching and most importantly fun accents to make going to doctors appointments a little less sterile.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Space Quote

”When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried.”
Alan Shepard talking about his time on the lunar surface during the Apollo 14 mission in February 1971.

Even Nasa Astronauts have to work through emotion just like we do. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Going to the Moon Emotional Journey

Here is a book that continues on with our Space Theme from last week but I think it speaks to children going through cancer because it is a long journey.

And remeber picture books aren't just for little kids, even teens can benefit from reading them!

Link to order:

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tip for telling your doctor how you are feeling.

Any cancer patient can tell you, seeing your doctor everyday or even just 2 days a week makes it seem like you are never apart, which means you may think that they know how you are feeling, however Doctors aren't mind readers so here is a tip to help your medical team out.

Keep notes or a journal at the ready so that if you start feelings badly or differently, you can write it down and then give the journal to the doctor or nurse when you go to the doctor or read it aloud for them to hear.

It can save you a lot of time and also you may catch something that they can help with.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Alien Slime !

We have found an activity that is out of this world and fun for the whole family- alien slime! It is a great and simple craft from Mini Monets and Mommies to accompany you this weekend! 

  • Elmer's Glue
  • Tap Water
  • Liquid Starch
  • Green Food Coloring

  1. Measure out equal parts of water and glue. Mini Monets and Mommies suggest a 1/2 cup each.
  2. Mix water and glue thoroughly.
  3. Add same measurement used for water and glue ingredients and add liquid starch.
  4. Mix and experiment with ingredients until you obtain the slime consistency you prefer.

Check out this craft and more on Mini Monets and Mommies 

SPLURGE! on Astronaut Ice Cream

We have discussed many a times how cold treats are a cancer patients friend during treatment. That is why today, SPLURGE! on a classic treat with a little spin--astronaut ice cream!

So, what is astronaut ice cream? Lets look at this brief overview provided by Astronaut Ice Cream Shop.......

Originally developed for the early Apollo Space missions, food is frozen to -40 degrees and then vacuum dried and placed in a special foil pouch. This is the same ice cream found at science museums for a fraction of the price!
The shelf life is 3 years, so there is no worry about it expiring. These products are manufactured by the same company that supplies freeze-dried foods to NASA for the Space Shuttle missions. Freeze drying removes water from the ice cream by lowering the air pressure to a point where ice shifts from a solid to a gas. The ice cream is placed in a vacuum chamber and frozen until the water crystallizes.
The air pressure is lowered, creating a partial vacuum, forcing air out of the chamber; next heat is applied, vaporizing the ice; finally a freezing coil traps the vaporized water. This process continues for hours, resulting in a freeze-dried ice cream slice. Try our other great flavors of ice cream!

 They also have other choice beyond ice cream such as fruit snacks! Get yours today from Astronaut Ice Cream's website or check out your local grocery stores to see if they sell astronaut ice cream as well!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Reach for the Stars

Halfway through the week and we could all use a good dose of inspiration, and there is no better place to start looking then yourself. Being cancer patients and going through the monumental task of going through treatment and dealing with the side effect means you've achived something in life that is incredible. Here at Teen with a Dream we do research all year round to find things to post, but also to know other nonprofits that help children with cancer this being Space week I thought that the Connecticut Childrens Medical Center STARS Survivorship Clinic fits in perfectly.  

This is there matto Reach for the Stars and there may not be a better saying that fits what childhood cancer survivors can do! You can do anything you set your mind to, and it may be hard but know that there is help all you have to do is ask. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The concept of space

Space isn’t just a place where stars and planets are it is also something that a child needs to deal with their diagnosis and even after their treatment. Here is some advise for parents or for kids to have their parents read hopefully it will help with finding your space

Maureen Healy, MA, is a fromer art therapist and has this to say about giving kids space:

"Give them Space: Your son or daughter may or may not want to “talk about it” due to their personality, temperament and situation. As a highly effective parent, you need to give your child the space to process his or her emotions by themselves. Every child is learning what emotions are (identification), what to do with them (regulation) and how to do it (approach) so during this process of feeling deep emotions – many boys and girls need to sit with an emotion like sadness, and then with your assistance (when they are ready) learn to let it go (talk about it). But giving a child the space and allowing them the time they need to feel strong enough or comfortable enough to talk about it is very respectful.” 

it is important they have their own space to deal with their feelings and come to terms with everything that is going on, however here is a good way both parent and child can come to together and possible share some feelings, Be Creative Together, do one of our Splurge Crafts together or make a piece of art you can bring to your hospital room to brighten it up, and try talking some during it and see what happens, it may be the perfect thing to allow you to communicate and still have space. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Message from our founder....

Coming up on the 46th Anniversary of the Moon Landing I can’t help but think of some parallel between the Apollo Program and being a cancer patient. So for todays tip we ask you to look to the stars and think about this… 

The Apollo Program took more then 400,000 people to achieve its goal, every little detail to make someone live in a unlivable situation had to be thought of and made. Just like cancer thinking about how many people and man hours went into coming up with chemotherapy drugs, researching different types of cancer, and how many people trained your doctors and nurses to achieve the impossible. It is mind blowing to truly think about the amount of people that have come to together to move mountains and make you well again. 

So to celebrate Space week, look up at the moon or the stars, and then close your eyes and think, so many people are looking after me, all will be well. I have hope and faith. 


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

We are switching it up today and sharing a classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe so you are ready to celebrate National Ice Cream Appreciation Day tomorrow!

  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • egg yolk 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste


  1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
  1. Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla bean paste. Cool 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  1. Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture, and chill 8 to 24 hours.
  1. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and time may vary.)
  1. *Vanilla extract may be substituted.
Check out this recipe and more at

Friday, July 17, 2015

Puffy Ice Cream Cone Craft: SPLURGE! friday

Happy SPLURGE! Friday! In honor of Ice Cream Appreciation Month today's craft is the perfect way to spend your SPLURGE friday! Check out this awesome craft by Crafty Morning

Materials Needed:

  • Green, Red & Brown Paint [or substitute the green for a color of your choice!]
  • Elmer's Glue
  • Barbasol Shaving Cream
  • White card stock Paper
  • Cardboard
  •  Markers
  • Scissors
  • Paint Brushes

Once you have your materials ready to go, begin by....
  1. Start by mixing the elmer’s glue with the shaving cream until you get “stiff peaks” in the mixture.
  2. Add some green paint or food coloring to the puffy paint. Cut out a triangle cone with cardboard and draw lines with a marker. (I used an Amazon delivery box I had laying around)
  3. Using a paintbrush, paint an ice cream cone shape on top of the cone. Take a tiny paintbrush/brown paint and add little chocolate chips!
  4. Add some red cherries at the top if you want! Let it dry overnight and it’ll be puffy to touch!

Check out the full article HERE and check out all of Crafty Mornings posts!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ice Cream Sandwich Company Giving Back

Today we would like to feature a wonderful ice cream company that has been a Dream Team Member for many years! Not only do they create astounding [and delicious] products but they also joined the fight against pediatric cancer…until there is a cure! 

Check out our friends at Nye's Cream Sandwiches, here is their story……

Once upon a time
Ice cream sandwiches were the furthest thing from my mind when I met Christian just before my senior year of high school in Pensacola, Florida. But even then I enjoyed a good meal, and quickly discovered that Christian has a talent for all things culinary. Sharpening his skills at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Christian graduated in 1996 and moved to Austin, Texas, where I was finishing up law school. There he began building his resume: working in upscale restaurants, as the executive chef of a large catering company, and later as a private chef. Like many young couples, we spent the early years of marriage joining the rat race in search of….what? I could never quite figure out what was at the top of that ladder.

Change of focus
In 2002, our work-obsessed lives hit a wall when our oldest son was born. I soon realized that my heart would not allow me to return to the office. Thankfully, I worked with a group of attorneys who supported my decision to work from home (or, quite often, my favorite coffee shop). A year or so later, we said goodbye to Austin and moved our little family to Wilmington, North Carolina—a quaint coastal town offering a slower pace and a 15-minute drive to the beach. Nine months later, our youngest son made his appearance. While I continued to work from home, Christian was still logging long hours as the executive chef of a hotel on the beach and later at a country club. After years of Christian missing family dinners, T-ball games and school programs, it became painfully obvious that things had to change. But how?

Just another sandwich?
Opening a restaurant was a life-long ambition for Christian, and suddenly the timing seemed right. We were determined to make this a family affair, and found what seemed like the perfect spot for our neighborhood cafĂ©. Nearly an acre of land with established gardens would allow the boys to run and (even better) learn to grow something! Determined to turn this fantasy into a reality, I set to work on a business plan and Christian began dreaming up the menu. Sure enough, a handmade ice cream sandwich found its way onto the dessert menu. While we both felt this was a great addition to the menu, we never really imagined the possibilities until….

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Emotional Support: A Good Read

Curious George: Goes to the Ice Cream Shop

Today’s emotional support stems from a classical novel character, the one and only Curious George! This book is the perfect addition to Ice Cream Week AND is also the perfect distraction for those yucky chemo days. 

Here is a brief synopsis of this classic read:

There are so many colorful, delicious flavors of ice cream in Mr. Herb's store. Which should George try? Why not a scoop of everything? It doesn't take long for a mischievous monkey to make a mountain of a mess, but Curious George manages to turn chaos into triumph as only he can.

Order your copy HERE!

Check out these great printable coloring pages of George's Ice Cream Adventure

Monday, July 13, 2015

Staying Cool & Ice Cream Week

In honor of National Ice Cream Month & National Ice Cream Day this Sunday, we are excited to announce all blog posts are catered to this classic tasty treat!

It is no secret that cancer, moreover, chemotherapy can cause you to overheat or crave cold treats. In fact we have discussed this topic in past blog posts!

Today we would like share with you simple ways to keep cool during the hot summer and beyond....
  1. Wear loose-fitting clothing, preferably of a light color.
  2. Cotton clothing will keep you cooler than many synthetics.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with water and keep it in the refrigerator for a quick refreshing spray to your face after being outdoors.
  4. Fans can help circulate air and make you feel cooler even in an air-conditioned house.
  5. Try storing lotions or cosmetic toners in the refrigerator to use on hot, overtired feet.
  6. Freeze plastic water bottles in the fridge these can be used as cooling pas OR can be filled half-3/4 full to cool down drinking water. wearing a cap or hat, remove it and pour a bit of ice cold water into the hat, then quickly invert it and place on your head.
  7. Instead of hot foods, try lighter summer fare including frequent small meals or snacks containing cold fruit or low fat dairy products. As an added benefit, you won't have to cook next to a hot stove.