Hello from freezing France

February 9th, 2012

I took the children to school this morning and it was -14c,  when we moved here I thought it was going to be warmer, how wrong was I. It is freezing in the winter here as we are so far from the coast.

We have just been in england for 5 days, supposed to be 3 but freezing weather led to a cancelled then delayed flight, we got back to a house that was literally freezing, frozen sinks, frozen pipes, frozen cloths in the sink and ice on the inside of the windows that are not double glazed. The children ate their dinner wrapped in blankets while I tried to warm up the house, so much for leaving the heating on low - it did not work!

So freezing weather is my excuse for the new website not going live, it will happen soon, when my youngest daughter is back at school, which will hopefully be very very soon. As I now have one little daughter in total remission from her cancer and nearly off all her medication, so she will start school in 2 weeks, after 1 year at home or in the hospital, I am very excited for her and for me, as I can’t wait to have my life back again, selfish I know, but all mothers will surely understand the need to have some time alone.

New website coming early next year

September 28th, 2011

I have just started the long process of changing my website, all background work being done at the moment. I have decided to add a personalisation system to the website. I want clients to be able to see their cards before they buy, the problem is I spend so much time making sure every photo looks right in the card, resizing photos, lightening them, removing red eyes etc and I also ensure that all the wording is spaced correctly and looks great on the card,so how do I do this and still show people a preview of the card they want to buy.

My main aim with cococards is to offer a highly personalised service but I still need to be one of the best websites in my area with the most up to date software - its a tricky one. Any comments welcome.

Why I have be so quiet on my blog

July 24th, 2011

I was not sure whether to post this or not, but things are now hopefully looking up. My youngest girl was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in March, we are still not safe yet as she is only 8 days post bone marrow transplant, but she has battled courageously for 4 months now, she has been an absolute darling, strong, happy and an inspiration to all.

CocoCards has helped me through it all, something to do on the very long days in the hospital, sometimes when clients have phoned me I am sure they have wondered what on earth was going on, infusions beeping in the background, my little girl shouting I need a peepee now.

Your child being ill is one of the worst things that can ever happen to you, but luckily it is very rare. We have so many people looking out for us and praying for us and am sure Jemima will be home with us in 2 months and raring to go. She has a huge list of what she wants to do, from eating a sandwich (all her food is sterilised in the bubble she lives in at the moment and nothing fresh is allowed), having a vanilla and chocolate icecream with smarties on the top to seeing father christmas in lapland, and the most important of all having a sleepover at grandmas house and eating all her cereals in the morning.

My daughter inspires me every day to be strong and positive and I love her deeply.

The most beautiful bedtime game

July 23rd, 2011

I was looking for a small game for my daughter the other day and came across this, it is a French make but they do sell their toys in the UK as well.

It is called Bisous Dodo, French for bedtime kisses, you have to find the pillow, blanket and sheet to put your little friend to bed, but in the mean time you collect cards for eskimo kisses, kisses on the tummy, songs etc and at the end of the game, your child gets all the kisses, songs etc that they have collected, it is so gorgeous and my daughter just loves it.


Beautiful photos of my cards by Camille Wesser

February 7th, 2011

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How we wrap our cards so beautifully

November 30th, 2010

There is a lady called Jean who lives in Macclesfield and picks up all the cards from the printers, checks them, then packs the cards with a lot of love. I want her to wrap my christmas presents!!

Neurofibromatosis

November 19th, 2010

What a mouthful, I had never heard this word until 18 months ago, but now it is part of my life 24 hours a day.

I have never spoken about my daughters genetic disorder in my blog, but I just feel the time is right to do so, to maybe help others in the same situation, it is always good to hear about someone who is going through the same experience as you.

Well where do I start.

Never in a million years did I think there was anything wrong with my daughter, she was a terrible sleeper, incredibly clingy and adorable. Then one day I just asked a friend of mine who is a doctor to look at my daughters birth marks, as my other 2 had molluscum and she was just checking on that. Ahhh she says these are cafe au laits, what a lovely name for a birth mark, what she didn’t tell me, probably a bit afraid of doing so. Is if you google cafe au laits you world falls apart. I still remember that evening looking at the computer screen in floods of tears, saying no this just cant be right.

More than 5 cafe au laits is a pretty definite sign that your child has neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder, which unfortunately when googled brings up very scary images. So there I was devastated, but then I decided this can not be the case, so booked to see my GP deciding she just cant have NF. When they brought in a support worker into the consultation room I realised that she most probably did have it.

The next few hours were pretty damn awful, I will never forget how I felt and a horrible horrible (in nice words) man made things much worse. Picture this, a mum with 1 year old and 3 year old in floods of tears is approached by an old man who attacks her for getting her kids out of the wrong side of the car on a dead end street and calls me an irresponsible bad mother, I laughed about it afterwards, but he did get a huge mouthful from me at the time.

Anyway living with NF, she has had fantastic care. She is looked after by the geneticist at Manchester Children’s Hospital who is incredibly knowledgeable on the subject of NF, a consultant paediatrician and the eye hospital. If anyone wants any info on these people just contact me.

But living with NF can be scary, we are going to Manchester next week to visit the eye hospital for her regular check to see if she does not have any tumours behind her eyes, I am sure she won’t, but it is still upsetting and she hates going, she can remember last time with all the tests. You always wonder if she is reaching her development targets as 60% of kids with NF have learning difficulties, but so far so good.

I think the scariest thing about NF is you will never know how bad it is going to be or how good, but my hubbie’s attitude and mine, is if everyone had more than the most minor symptoms of NF everyone would have heard about it. We will ensure that she has the confidence and self esteem to deal with any of the symptoms she might get in later years. She will know she is beautiful even with the birth marks and fibromas, as beauty is from within and she is one beautiful little girl and we love her with all our hearts.

xxx

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas

September 30th, 2010

I am in the process of designing some really lovely new cards for Christmas and all of my cards can be changed to suit each family’s or business’s needs. I have even had some christmas cards enquiries already.

So who has organised where they are going to be over xmas, I have and it is only September!!! It is always so hard deciding where and whose family to be with. Luckily I have very understanding parents, so we are having christmas in France with my hubby’s second family for xmas. It is going to be my first French Christmas with 13 sitting down for dinner so far.

Dragonflies

September 18th, 2010

I just love these dragonflies Allie Pottinger drew for CocoCards, I would love to put together a whole stationery range - what do you think?

New beginnings

September 11th, 2010

I am hoping to revamp my website over the next few months, a friend is coming over to stay next weekend who is a computer whizz kid, I have so many new ideas, and I have enlisted the help of Camille Wesser to photograph my cards she is an excellent photographer. www.camillewesser.co.uk.

Allie Pottinger is drawing some christmassy things as we speak and has just painted some dragonflies, so new cards coming very soon