My Tattoo Experiences – Hints and Tips and Photographs

Lifestyle Week on Severn Wishes

✩✩✩

My Tattoo Experiences

Tattoos, a lot of us have them, and a lot of us are happy to share our experience about it, be it good or bad. The vast majority of my experiences have been good ones though, and with so many of mine having specific meaning behind them, I wanted to share those with you today.

My first ever tattoo ended up being covered up a few years later, that wasn’t down to the design I chose but down to a bad artist who had convinced me he would do a good job. After he had inked me I realised how uneven it was and vowed that once I found a competent artist I would get it redone. Two years later I got a much better artist to do a cover up of it, keeping the design it just had to be made larger in order to become a cover up. Here is my before and after image below, including the fresh ink and fully healed. This Triquetra has family meaning for me.


This experience didn’t put me off having tattoos, in fact I have ten, and I would have more one day too. Having always been a very creative person and artistic, it was something I wanted to happen from a young age. I waited until I was over eighteen to have my first inking, but after that I had a new tattoo roughly every six months for the next four years.

✩✩✩

What My Tattoos Mean To Me

Now I am going to tell you about a few of my tattoos, and some information about the sorts of things most people would ask. Such as how long it took and whether or not it was painful in that area.

1. Teal Butterflies (2 of them) In Memory of my two Grand Fathers who both adored Nature and Gardening. They are either side of my Lower Back.

2. Pisces Symbol – My Star Sign – One of the Pisces Traits is to be Indecisive and that is most definitely me! This Tattoo is on the outside of my Right Leg.

3. My Number 7 – I got this tiny and minimal tattoo after I had my Triquetra covered up, the artist was kind enough to do it as part of my sitting. Number 7 is my Lucky Number and my Birthday too! Right Wrist Tattoo.

4. Sparrow – Symbolising New Beginnings, A Fresh Start and Freedom. This Tattoo is on the outside of my Left Leg.

5. Cherry Blossom Branch – My favourite Tree and my first ever memory as a child was of the Blossom Tree in our Garden. I have always loved and adored pink blossom. This Tattoo is situated on the inside of my Right Leg.

6. Daisy Flowers – I have always loved nature and nature reminds me of home. I wanted these tiny flowers to remind me of that. The colour has sadly faded a little over time… Situated on my Left Hip.

✩✩✩


Photographs of my Tattoos


✩✩✩

Time Taken Per Tattoo

1. Butterfly 40 minutes (for each butterfly on separate sittings)
2. Pisces 45 minutes
3. Number 7 5 minutes (same day as my cover up was done)
4. Sparrow 30 minutes
5. Blossom Branch 2 Hours
6. Daisies 35 minutes

✩✩✩

Price Per Tattoo (Correct at the Time 5+ years for most)

1. £40 (Each Butterfly Each Sitting)
2. £45 (Pisces)
3. £0 (Done As Part Of My Cover Up Which Cost Approx £60)
4. £130 (Sparrow and Blossom were the Same Sitting)
5. £130 (Blossom and Sparrow were the Same Sitting)
6. £40 (Daisies)

 

✩✩✩

Pain Level Per Tattoo On A Scale Of 1-10 (10 Being Worst)

1. Butterflies – Near Kidneys and it did ache during the outline – 6
2. Pisces – Leg Tattoo – Barely Felt It – 2
3. Number 7 – On My Wrist Near Nerves, Bones and Blood Vessels – 3
4. Sparrow – Leg Tattoo – Barely Felt It – 2
5. Cherry Blossom – Leg Tattoo – Barely Felt It – 2
6. Daisies – Near Hip Bone – Vibration Of Outline Hurt A Little – 5

✩✩✩

Sabrina’s Top Tips and Hints

Here are my top tips and hints for deciding if getting a Tattoo is the right thing for you. I believe you should be asking yourself most (if not all) of my points below. My tip is to write down the pro’s and con’s and make sure you do consider some research too.

Consider Timing, there is no point in getting a foot tattoo in the middle of freezing weather when you would have to cover it and therefore not letting it air and heal. Or getting a Tattoo right before a holiday in the sunshine, this can ruin the tattoo or cause infection to the healing skin.

Start Small with your first Tattoo, committing to a full back piece isn’t usually a good idea if you aren’t certain how you or your skin may react to the procedure, think about if you have sensitive skin or eczema for example (your tattooist will also need to know this and any medication you are on). Of course many people “go big or go home” and decide to do a large tattoo or commit to a sleeve for example. This of course is your choice, and is something that only you can decide upon.

Do you know your Pain Tolerance? This is a good question to ask yourself. Most people don’t realise that getting a tattoo has nothing to do with a phobia of needles or if you may have had many injections in your lifetime, it’s a totally unique experience and should be treated as such.

Choose Wisely both with your Design and Artist. Do your research and look into local artists and further afield, because if you want a good tattoo be prepared to travel for the artist. With regards to your Design, once you’re happy with it stick it in a location where you will see it every single day for a month. If at the end of that month you still love what you’ve chosen, then the odds are that you will still enjoy looking at it when it’s on your skin, in many years to come.

Use either Savlon or Bepanthen for After Care and apply regularly. Make sure that you keep the area clean and dry and air as often as possible to aid the healing process. I always used Savlon on all of mine, they healed beautifully and the colour has also remained in them all.

Visit your chosen Tattoo Artist, book an appointment to talk to them, ask them any Questions you may have before you book an actual inking appointment.

Take a friend or partner with you when you go, you may feel tired or uneasy after the inking is finished. You shouldn’t drive immediately after a tattoo or a piercing, give your body time to adjust to what has happened.

Make sure you’ve drank something and eaten before you get inked, and take water with you to sip, especially if its in a warmer month of the year.

Consider your bathing and sports when the tattoo is in the healing stages – no hot and forceful water can touch it and definitely no swimming because of the chemicals. Consider contact sports, if your tattoo could become easily knocked or bumped or is at risk of getting dirty and then infected.

Be aware that your tattoo placement might cause you some inconvenience, you may need to be shaved (for example on your lower leg even if you’re a man), and you might be swollen for a couple of days afterwards as well. Make sure the tattoo won’t hinder any job role or uniform that you need to wear.

 

✩✩✩

Thanks for reading this lifestyle post, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Why not let me know what you thought by leaving me a comment! I would love to know if you have a tattoo that you love…

✩ Sabrina ✩

 

A Weekend Away Checklist and Packing (Before Baby Arrives)

Lifestyle Week on Severn Wishes


A Weekend Away Checklist and Packing (Before Baby Arrives)

Everyone will say that packing for a short time away is a relatively easy thing to do. However when you’re expecting a baby or you have a medical condition for example, you may need to bring more than most people would. I always think about things I could possibly need and always bring one entire extra outfit too. Bring pregnant you aren’t always comfortable in something you perhaps wore a week ago due to growth.

I thought I would outline in this short post today, exactly what I do take with me currently, and I hope to do a follow up post later this year tailored around what I take with me once baby has arrived! (I have no doubt the list will double in size!)

Here is my Top Packing Tip though… sometimes and especially at different times of the year, you may need things you don’t usually pack, such as Sun Cream! So I always make a list on a notepad or on my phone, so that I don’t forget anything.

My next Tip is to always have a toiletries bag that is packed for going away with spare things inside, just in case you need to go somewhere quickly.

My final Tip is to always check your use by dates on the items that remain in your suitcases and overnight bags and replace them if need be.

So for now, here is generally what I have to pack for a weekend away… this doesn’t include things that might also reside in my handbag such as a small makeup case or things like jewellery that I may bring with me if it’s a special occasion.


✩ Toiletries ✩

Deodorant
Travel Size Shampoo
Travel Size Micellar Water
Cotton Wool Face Cleansing Pads
Travel Size Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Eyedrops
Lip-salve
Face Cream / Moisturiser
Hand Cream
Mini Perfume
Mini Hair Brush
Compact Mirror
First Aid Items – Plasters etc
Paracetamol and Imodium Tablets
Feminine Hygiene Products
Packet of Tissues
Hand Sanitiser
Small Bottle of Water

✩ Clothing ✩

Underwear – with at least one Extra Spare
Comfortable Socks – in case you need them at night
Nightwear – including a jumper in case it is cold at night
A Complete Outfit For Each Of The Days Away – Tops and Bottoms or Dress etc
Spare Travel Outfit – Comfortable Clothing
Spare Footwear – you never know if you might need them

✩ Other Items ✩

Pregnancy Pillow
Slippers with Gripped Soles
Long Warm Cardigan

✩✩

As a woman you generally find that we come prepared for every eventuality. I am a very organised person who always thinks ahead. I may not use everything inside my toiletries bag on all my visits away from home, but I would much rather have something with me than have the embarrassing scenario of needing to head out and find what I require!

Thank you for reading this post today, is there anything that you always carry with you that I might not have listed? Have a wonderful start to your week, and I hope you like this weeks blog posts genres – Lifestyle!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Windsor Castle Day Trip

REVIEW WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES


A Day Trip to Windsor Castle

During April I was lucky enough to spend a long weekend away with family. We decided that since we were staying close to Windsor Castle we would visit and spend the day there. Having not been to Windsor as an adult I jumped at the chance to experience this amazing place.

We got up early from our stay at the Premier Inn, had a good breakfast and got ready for our day trip. We were a little disappointed by the weather on the day that we went to Windsor, it was very wet with rain showers and fairly cold too. However the Castle was still looking incredible in all it’s splendor.


I took many photograph’s of the outside of the Castle, you are unfortunately not allowed to take images inside the buildings. So I will write reviews of the sections that I visited even if I don’t have an image to show you, and use my photographs that I have gotten to break up my day.

We booked our tickets online so that we could attend the fastest queue to get into the Castle. I can definitely recommend you doing this, it saved us hours of queuing time, although we have to queue for almost an hour. This was due to it being a Bank Holiday weekend and the whole town was busy. You also have to go through a search with yourself and your bag before being allowed into the castle.

There are beautiful stone walls, trees and sections of garden to look upon. As you walk around the Castle you cannot believe the sheer size of the place.

Walking around the Castle grounds you can see St George’s Chapel. It was an incredible place to walk through, steeped in both British and Royal history. The stained glass windows were beautiful, and I couldn’t believe how detailed the chapel was throughout its interior.

Here is a photograph of mine from the outside, due to the rain its Gothic splendor looking even more incredible. And as you can see by the crowds heading inside the weather does not put the tourists off.


My family and I decided we wanted to go inside the Castle, just to witness and experience exactly what it was like. Rooms were filled with all sorts of Paintings and Tapestries as well as Furniture from all centuries. The Castle is so old so you can imagine the pieces you can bestow, such as Clocks, Cabinets and China.

I was very impressed by the rooms, although it was so busy we just had to keep steadily flowing with the traffic of people. We didn’t get to hang around in one particular room, but the things that stick in my mind after my visit were the cabinets filled with incredible China, the restored sections of the Tower that was once destroyed in Fire, and the many pieces of Armor and Weapons that were on the walls.

We were also very lucky to see the changing of the guard when we finished our tour of the Castle interior. These people are very disciplined in their job, it was a fascinating sight to see.


The only disappointing thing for us was the lack of facilities. Being pregnant I expected to see more toilets and also perhaps areas to sit and rest and refresh, to get drinks and snacks. But there was only one small place that we found, that sold souvenirs, water bottles and ice cream. This was a shame and it meant that we left the Castle earlier than we had planned to go and find nourishment after walking around for several hours.

Before we left I managed to have a photograph in front of the Castle Postbox!


Here are some interesting facts that I learnt about Windsor Castle.

1. Windsor Castle is currently home to HM Queen Elizabeth II and her family. Other prior Royals to have resided there include forty others, including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The original monarch to live in the Castle was Henry I, and Henry VIII regularly visited during his lifetime and stayed in the Castle grounds.

2. The windows were all blacked out during World War II, this was partially to protect the Royal Family who still remained inside at night time – although this was not public knowledge at the time of the war – and a lot of the famous china and art work such as the paintings were all moved away to protect them from potential bombings.

3. Back in 1992 there was a fire in one of the towers of Windsor Castle. Over 100 of the rooms were either damaged by the fire itself or by the water used to extinguish it. It cost almost £40 million to restore the Castle to its former glory.

4. Windsor Castle is both the largest and oldest inhabited Castle in the World, and it was originally built around 1000 years ago. St George’s Chapel is located in the Castle walls and was built from the late 15th century to the early 16th. It has a Gothic style and is breathtakingly beautiful with many stained glass windows.


2018 Opening Times

1st November – 28th February – 9.45 until 16.15 (Last Admission 15.00)

1st March – 31st October – 9.30 until 17.15 (Last Admission 16.00)

Ticket Prices

Adult – £21.20
Over 60/Student (Valid ID) – £19.30
Under 17/Disabled – £12.30
Under 5 Free
Family (2 Adults & 3 Children Under 17) £54.70

To Book or check other information you can visit this website.


I realise I am submitting this Review and Travel Post of Windsor Castle on a very special day, the day of The Royal Wedding! It felt appropriate seeing as I was only there recently myself. So to Harry and Meghan – Congratulations! Congrats to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you have ever been to Windsor yourself why not leave me a comment and let me know what you thought!

 Sabrina 

Primark Beauty Items – Tried, Tested and Compared

REVIEW WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES

Primark Beauty Items – Tried, Tested and Compared

I’m not usually one for buying cheap products, and especially when it comes to using them on my skin because mine is classed as sensitive. However I have seen so many good reviews about these particular items that I felt the need to give them the benefit of the doubt. So I went out to get some, to test them for myself.

This small Primark Beauty “PS…” haul cost me just £5.50 towards the end of 2017 for these 5 items. One is a Tapered Brush, One is a Brush Cleaner Tool, One is a Facial Cleanse and Massage Brush, and One is a 2 Pack Beauty Blender Sponge Set.

Because I wear makeup so infrequently it has taken me a good while to compare these items to other products that I might use on a regular basis.

Now that I have however I feel that I can rate the items accordingly as I do with all of my reviews, and also offer some brand alternatives that I have and do use, and therefore do a short comparison on a few of them.

✩ The PS… Items ✩

Name: Tapered Powder Brush
Design: Black and Gold
Information: A Tapered Brush Used To Apply Powder To The Face
Price: £1.50
My Rating: 3✩’s

Review: This brush is soft and pretty, it is a nice length to hold but the brush itself doesn’t hold a great deal of powder product. it is definitely not the best brush I have owned, neither is it the worst. I would use it to apply my powder if i didn’t have another brush that was clean for example. I really like the design and the colours, it looks lovely in my brushes pot! Overall I don’t think I would buy it again because I have better brands, I love Spectrum Collections Brushes for their quality. These PS… Brushes are more than good enough for infrequently makeup applications however, or for taking on holiday with you…


Name: Makeup Brush Cleaner Tool
Design:
 Pink
Information: 
A Tool Designed To Aid The Cleaning Of Makeup Brushes
Price: 
£1.50
My Rating: 4✩’s

Review: This item is used as a tool for helping to clean makeup brushes. The ridges are very useful for gently rubbing your brushes up and down over it. When used with a mild soap or even Micellar Water the tool worked well to remove dirt.
I have a Spectrum Collections and a Makeup Revolution London Brush Cleaner Tool, and they all work in a similar manner. Some are just manufactured better, they have better grooves and designs and are made from better quality plastic so they are more hard wearing. But I have to say this PS… cheaper alternative still did a decent job with my brushes.

Name: Facial Cleanse and Massage Brush
Design: 
Pink and Cream
Information: 
A Brush And Tool Designed To Help Cleanse The Skin On The Face
Price: 
£1.00
My Rating: 2.5✩’s

Review: This item is used as a cleanser, however I didn’t notice a huge amount happening to my skin when I used it. The product is okay, the brushes are not as soft as I would normally use for my delicate skin. Therefore I didn’t press too hard when using it. I do prefer to use other forms of skin cleansing such as gentle massage with products on my fingers as opposed to bristles on brushes.

Name: 2 Pack Beauty Blender Sponges
Design: 
Orange and Yellow Shaped Sponges
Information: 
Shaped Sponges Used To Apply Makeup To The Face
Price: 
£1.50
My Rating: 3✩’s

Review: These sponges are designed to apply makeup, however the quality isn’t like that you would expect from a brand such as Real Techniques. The sponges are okay until you have used them and washed them a few times. Then I find that they are losing texture use after use. Sponges aren’t supposed to last forever though, and replacing them regularly is a good thing. I would only ever use them to apply concealer under my eyes for example. And with how infrequently I put on makeup they aren’t a bad buy really. If you can afford a better brand then do, because these PS… sponges won’t last you as long. But they still get the job done!


✩ In Conclusion ✩

Would I buy these items again? Probably not, they are definitely affordable and good value, but they aren’t for me as an every day staple. I would however consider this range if I didn’t want to take my best items with me on holiday for example. These cheaper alternatives that still work and are designed well, they are ideal for this sort of thing, long weekends away or holidays abroad…

I have to say the brush cleaner was a good tool, overall I would say this was my favourite item out of everything I purchased, and I would consider getting another if I ever needed to replace the ones I have. It’s handy for a quick clean or to throw in my travel bag for a weekend when I haven’t had the time to clean my travel brush set!

You can find the PS… Beauty brand at your local larger Primark stores and the range is always changing too, so be on the look out!

✩ TOP TIP ✩
Need something cheap but cheerful for your handbag or holiday that you could still rely on? Check out the latest PS… items in a store near you. For the prices I think the quality is better than you might think…

Until next times review, that’s it everyone, thanks for reading!

 Sabrina 

Winter to Spring Wardrobe Transitions and Dorothy Perkins Maternity Top Reviews

REVIEW WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES

Winter to Spring and Spring to Summer Wardrobe Transitions
and
Dorothy Perkins Maternity Top Reviews

It’s that time of the year when we should be saying goodbye to the cold and damp weather of Winter, and are looking forward to the warm and the dry of Spring into Summer. In this post today I am talking about making those Winter to Spring fashion transitions for 2018. What I am wearing and some latest purchases too.

So what can we expect for the transition this year. There are many things that are still in this season, one of which is Lace, another Embroidery and the other one is Stripes. Nautical and Striped themed clothing is well and truly in still this year, with several brands mixing the stripes with a variety of other fashion trends such as Bardot and Cold Shoulder. I have noticed a great deal of striped trousers, both work wear and casual that look very sophisticated and can be paired with shirts, blouses or a nice top. It’s good to mix your trends, but shapes are often hard to match, a plain bright top can really work with some striped trousers and high heels.

Another style making a comeback is Polka Dots! These spots can range in the tiny to the huge with lots of companies choosing to put them on everything from tops to dresses and I have even seen trousers!

Something else I have seen these past few weeks was Bold Colours. Bold Reds and Blues seem to be all over the markets and the LBD (Little Black Dress) seems to have been reinvented by some, making it more of a statement piece that is no longer just a black dress anymore. It often now has lace, embroidery, varying hem lengths or even unusual material combinations!

Saying all that though Pastels are also in for Summer, so be prepared to see a lot of Pink, Yellow and Turquoise shades in the high street.

Finally, and a style that I love all year around is Floral! Floral’s are still in, and contrary to what most people think they are not just for Spring and Summer! I have seen work wear, dresses and tops in the “new in” sections on various websites. There are so many trends that have major floral inspirations for 2018.

╰☆╮╰☆╮╰☆╮

My Latest Dorothy Perkins Spring Purchases

Maternity T-Shirts and Tops

I wanted some new maternity tops for the Spring to Summer transition of my pregnancy. It’s always nice to have a couple of things that are new, but I also wanted items that I could still wear after my baby is born as well.

Because I am due in July I will still have many weeks of the Summer left to hopefully enjoy my new purchases.

╰☆╮╰☆╮╰☆╮

 


Appearance 5/5
Quality 3/5
Value for Money 3/5


Review
I really love the look of this top but after two wears and washes the material began to bobble and look quite old. It is a real shame because it fits my bump perfectly. I just wear it around the home now and not out as I had originally done so.


Style:
Maternity T-Shirt
Trend: Floral
Name: Maternity Navy Floral Ruched Side T-Shirt
Materials: Polyester 95% and Elastane 5%
Colours: Navy Blue and Pink Floral Details
Price: £12.80
Link: Here

╰☆╮╰☆╮╰☆╮


Appearance 5/5

Quality 4/5
Value for Money 4/5

 

Review
I really like the colours of this top, it was flattering for my shape including my shoulders and my bump because of the curved neckline. It washed well and I feel I will get a lot of use out of it. It’s easy to pair with both my maternity leggings or maternity jeans.

Style: Maternity T-Shirt
Trend: Striped
Name: Maternity Multicoloured Striped Curve Hem T-Shirt
Materials: Viscose 71%, Polyester 26% and Elastane 3%
Colours: Khaki Green, Pink, Grey and White
Price: £10.00
Link: Here


╰☆╮╰☆╮╰☆╮


Appearance 5/5
Quality 5/5
Value for Money 4/5


Review

I really like this top, it was flattering for my bump and it looked nicer than just another striped tee because of the pretty floral details on the sleeves. So far it has washed and worn well but it’s only been worn twice.

Style: Maternity T-Shirt
Trends: Floral, Lace, Striped and Embroidered
Name: Maternity Grey Striped Lace Insert T-Shirt
Materials: Polyester 66% and Viscose 34%
Colours: White and Grey Striped
Price: £12.80
Link: Here


╰☆╮╰☆╮╰☆╮


Appearance 4/5
Quality 4/5
Value for Money 3/5


Review
This top was a little bigger than the others I had chosen, it was therefore less flattering, but on a warm day I would feel more comfortable wearing this one rather than a fully fitted tee. The bows are a nice addition to the back of the top.

Style: Maternity T-Shirt
Trends: Nautical Stripes and Bows
Name: Maternity Blue Striped Bow Back Top
Materials: Polyester 96% and Elastane 4%
Colours: Blue and White Striped
Current Price: £16.00
Link: Here 

╰☆╮╰☆╮╰☆╮ 

To visit the Dorothy Perkins website to see all of the current Maternity Tops available please click this link here

Thank you for reading this fashion and maternity related post today.

✩ Sabrina ✩

3 Delicious Recipes Suitable for Pregnant Women including Homemade Egg Free Ice Cream.

FOOD WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES


Sabrina’s Delicious Recipes for Pregnant Women and their Families.

I have always been a cook, and from a young age too. But what I didn’t bargain for was all the things I couldn’t eat or had to alter or avoid during pregnancy. These included runny eggs, smoked meats and processed foods. I decided almost a year before I had gotten pregnant that I would make some changes to my diet. Less processed foods, less chocolate and snacks, more fruit and vegetables and definitely more healthy recipes. I swapped my bacon twice a week for just on a Saturday morning, cut down red meat to one night a week and ate more lean white meat instead.

Trying to do this for just one person is difficult, and it took a number of weeks to convince my husband to swap with me to certain items. I told him we could have everything in moderation. You could still eat a bag of crisps at lunchtime, you could still have a pudding after your evening meal, and we still had a takeaway delivered every fortnight on a Friday. But in between we would snack on healthier choices, eat more vegetables with our evening meal and cut down on the amount of processed meats we were eating.

It took about a month, but I began to feel better for the choices that I had made. And once we were in fact expecting, I looked through the internet and my cookbooks to find recipes that I could adapt to our new regime. This included changing minced beef for lean pork mince which is a healthier alternative, removing meat altogether from a recipe in some cases and putting in two vegetables instead, and even making my own cakes and ice creams that didn’t contain any eggs.

Depending upon whether or not you’ve been unwell during the first trimester of your pregnancy or not, can determine what and how much you’ve been eating. I certainly made up for missed nutrients in my second trimester and it’s also when you should have more energy and appetite so you will enjoy it more. However come the third trimester there isn’t a great deal of room for you to indulge, so smaller portions, little and often became my way to go.

The remainder of this blog post will outline three of my favourite recipes that I have made during this pregnancy. It includes a starter, a main course and a dessert and if I know any nutritional information I will include them. And I will also include how long the prep and cooking took me so you know the details of each recipe and the rough amount the quantities of it will make too.

STARTER

✩ Chicken and Bacon Salad with Egg ✩

It may be light but it is very flavoursome, the salad portion is one of your five a day, and you can choose to add a dressing or sauce of your choice as well. You should be able to multitask through the prep so long as you keep an eye on the things you are cooking while chopping the salad for example.

Serves 4
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

You Will Need;

✩ A Grill Frying Pan with a little oil
✩ A nice deep bowl per person for serving
✩ Colander for Washing the Salad
✩ A Sharp Knife for preparing the salad
✩ A pair of Kitchen Scissors for cutting the chicken and the bacon
✩ A deep saucepan filled with water for boiling the eggs

✩ Ingredients ✩

✩ Mixed Salad Leaves – your preference – 50 grams per person
✩ Chicken Breasts – 1 small breast per person – cut into shreds
✩ Streaky Bacon – 2 Rashers per person – cut into shreds
✩ Eggs – to Hard Boil – 1 egg per person
✩ Cherry or Plum Tomatoes – your preference – washed and halved – several per person
✩ Cucumber – Washed and Sliced into Chunks – 3cm of Cucumber per person
✩ Croutons – You can use shop bought ones if you want to save time
✩ Grated Parmesan or Grated Cheddar Cheese – your preference

✩ Method ✩

1. Boil the Water for the Eggs and Hard Boil
2. Grill the Chicken and Bacon together until cooked
3. Wash the salad and chop accordingly
4. Arrange the salad at the bottom of the bowls
5. Arrange the other ingredients on top of the leaves making sure the chicken is last
6. Grate some cheese over the top and finish with any dressing you may want
7. Serve immediately

TOP TIP – In order for a Salad to be classed as one of your five a day you need to eat 80 grams or more of it. By combining the grams of the salad leaves with the cucumber and tomato you should achieve the correct amount for it to count!

MAIN

✩ Sabrina’s Mild Spicy Meatballs in Tomato and Pepper Sauce with White Rice ✩

My family friendly Meatball Recipe is mildly spicy and tasty, it also contains two of your five a day with all the vegetables contained in the sauce… You can choose to remove or up the amount of spice dependent on your own tastes.

Serves 4
Prep 1 hour
Cook 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

You Will Need;

✩ A Large Saucepan with a Lid to cook the main sauce
✩ A Wooden Spoon
✩ Rice Cooker OR Large Saucepan with a Lid to cook the rice
✩ A Small Frying Pan
✩ Small Bowl
✩ Bowls to Serve the Meal in

 

✩ Ingredients ✩

For Meatballs

✩ Lean Mince Beef (10% Fat or less – 500 grams)
✩ Salt and Pepper To Taste
✩ 1 Egg
✩ Italian Mixed Herbs (1 Tablespoon)
✩ Onion Powder (1 Teaspoon)
✩ Garlic Powder / Dried (1 Teaspoon)

For Sauce

✩ Chopped Tomatoes (1 Tin – 400 grams)
✩ Large White Onion (2 Onions – Finely Chopped)
✩ Carrots (2 Carrots – 200 grams approx)
✩ Plum Tomatoes (1 Tin Chopped – 400 grams)
✩ Red Pepper (1 Pepper Sliced and Diced)
✩ Beef Stock Cube/Stock Pot – (Pots Do Melt Quicker)
✩ Mild Chilli Powder – 2 Tablespoons
✩ Oregano Herbs – 2 Tablespoons
✩ Basil Herbs – 1 Tablespoon
✩ Tomato Puree (50 grams)
✩ Garlic Powder / Dried / Fresh (1 Tablespoon)

✩ Method ✩

1. To make the Meatballs add the binding ingredients to a small bowl and mix. Using clean and dry hands roll small amounts of Mince Beef together into meatball sized shapes and put them through the mixture to coat.
2. Fry off the Meatballs in a pan with a little oil, sealing the flavour in. Then add them to the saucepan ready for cooking within the sauce.
3. Fry the Onion and Peppers together once all the meatballs are done.
4. Once cooked through add the onion and peppers to the saucepan, then add the other vegetables ingredients including the tomatoes and carrots.
5. Stir these thoroughly and then add one beef stock cube/pot.
6. Add all of the Herbs and Spices listed next, stir through until dissolved.
7. Simmer on a low heat stirring occasionally for up to an hour, until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked all the way through.
8. Serve on a bed of Rice and if you want to, a sprinkle of cheese on the top! Yum!

TOP TIP – Always add the spices last before starting the simmering, they will dissolve into the liquid and really marinate over the hour as the liquid is absorbed. This also gives the meatballs time to cook through too and absorb those delicious flavours!


DESSERT

✩ Egg Free Vanilla Soft Scoop Ice Cream 

A delicious homemade ice cream, the vanilla stands out just enough and because it’s soft scoop it’s easy to eat and can be paired with so many things. Alternatively just eat it on it’s own…

Serves – 12 people
Prep – 5 minutes
Cook – 5 minutes
Chill Time – 3 hours
Total Time – 3 hours and 10 minutes
Nutrition – Egg Free, Vegetarian and Gluten Free.

You Will Need;
✩ An Ice Cream Churner Whose Inner Pot Has Been Frozen Prior To Use (Overnight)
✩ A Large Shallow Saucepan
✩ A Wooden Spoon
✩ A Tub For Freezing The Ice Cream In Afterwards

✩ Ingredients ✩
✩ Double/Heavy Cream – 2 Cups
✩ Milk – 3/4 Cup
✩ Salt – 1/8 Teaspoon
✩ Sugar (White) – 3/4 Cup
✩ Vanilla Essence – 2 Teaspoons

✩ Method ✩

1. Add all of the ingredients to a large shallow saucepan.
2. Heat them on a Medium Heat until it begins to Bubble.
3. When Bubbling starts Turn Off the Heat and Mix until all the Sugar is Dissolved.
4. Allow the Mixture to Cool down to Room Temperature.
5. Pour the Mixture into a previously chilled Ice Cream Churner according to fill level and follow the manufacturers directions for quantity and times.
6. Once Churned properly carefully Spoon the Mixture into a Tub and Freeze for 3 hours before Serving. This is a Soft Scoop Ice Cream and is easy to remove.

TOP TIP – It’s a good idea to serve some fruit with this kind of ice cream, it always turns out so soft and delicious it’s nice to give some texture to it.

I hope that you will enjoy my recipes from this blog post, or that it has perhaps inspired you with some healthy eating options to try! You can enjoy this food whether you’re pregnant or not and I hope you’ll consider trying this delicious food!

Thank you for reading, this has been Food Week on Severn Wishes Blog!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Healthy and Nutritious Snacks for Pregnant Women

FOOD WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES


Healthy and Nutritious Snacks for Pregnant Women

If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt so far during my pregnancy it’s this, you cannot always know what you’re going to want to eat! Snacking is fine providing you have a healthy and balanced diet with enough of the Vitamins and Protein that you and your baby need.

I’m now into my third trimester and I’m supposed to be consuming the extra 200 calories a day. However some days I find this quite difficult. Guidelines suggest that these calories are made up from low-fat dairy products, nuts and seeds, extra portions of fruit and vegetables, lean meats and wholegrain.

For my size and current weight I was advised at the start of my pregnancy to aim for between 2000 and 2250 calories every day. That can now be increased to between 2250 and 2500 calories but maintaining my healthy choices.

I have been monitoring my daily intakes using my Fitbit app on my iPhone. This allows me to see several things including the amount of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats I’ve consumed for that day. It’s a good way to keep track and is fairly accurate.

As my next image will demonstrate, most days begin in the same way, usually I eat cereal with milk so that I maintain a good fibre and calcium intake first thing. But then it really depends on what I feel like as to how much I eat at lunchtime. Sometimes it’s bread related, sometimes a whole hot meal, but other times it’s a mixed salad with added proteins… what I’m getting at is every day is varied. It also depends on how busy I am and if I’m working or at home. As you will see from these statistics from the first few days of May, my calories had an average of 2,400.

One thing I do maintain is eating between 3 and 6 fruit and vegetable portions in every 24 hours. Some days that is easy and others not so much. Although one trick is to drink a glass of orange juice or smoothie, this counts as 1 of your 5 a day and also contributes to your liquids intake which should be between 2 and 3 litres.

I’m going to be doing a blog post on some of my favourite healthy recipes that may help you if you struggle to get your recommended daily amounts. Lots of these are meals that I have eaten while being pregnant too.

One thing I’ve been pretty reliant upon is healthy snacks. I’ve eaten a lot more yoghurt and a lot more fruit related portions since my pregnancy began. For a time I went off sugary snacks which in a way was great, as I was only eating naturally occurring sugars and not processed ones. Though occasionally now I find myself reaching for a snack sized chocolate bar, but that’s still okay! Due to all the other more healthy snacks I’ve been consuming.

Here is one idea, why not keep a food diary if you don’t have an app so that you can keep track.

Here is a list of the things that I’ve been eating regularly and also a couple of other ones that pregnancy books and apps have recommended! I have included a few images of some of my foods too!

Low Fat Yoghurt with Fruit / Seeds

Scrambled Egg on Wholegrain Toast

Plain Porridge with Fruit

Smoothies – Banana and Raspberry is tasty and so is Strawberry and Mango!

Popcorn – Not the sugary sort but plain

Low Fat Yoghurt and Granola / Oat Cereal

 Crackers with Cheese and Grapes

Bread Sticks and Cheese

Grapes and Apple Slices (80-90 grams is 1 of your 5 a day)

Banana Bread / Banana Cake / Banana and Dark Chocolate Chip Cake


Baked Beans on Toast

Fruit – I love Berries like Raspberries in a bowl with two pieces/squares of shaved dark chocolate grated on top (only the good stuff!)

Mixed Salad Leaves and a Tablespoon of Grated Cheddar Cheese

 

You’ll notice that many of these snacks could be considered breakfast related, and they are all pretty simple and quick to prepare as well.

I will admit I do enjoy cereal and yoghurt related snacks the most. But I have also enjoyed discovering new things these past few months too.


I hope that this blog post has inspired you with some healthy eating snacks whether you’re pregnant or not!

Thank you for reading!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Delicious Recipes That I Love To Cook – Time Saving Ideas For Healthy Eating And Tasty Eating

FOOD WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES


Delicious Recipes That I Love To Cook – Time Saving Ideas For Healthy Eating And Tasty Eating

My Culinary Background

If there is one thing I love, it’s eating food and cooking food. I was first taught how to cook by my grandparents, I was very young at the time, and it began with simple things like Omelette and decorating your own homemade Pizza dough. Then we moved on to more complex things like Lasange and Pies. But as I got older I carried on with my interest in cooking, I started to experiment with flavours, and I also liked various parts of my heritage to come through in the meals that I cooked.

When I went off to University my Nan had written out some of her basic recipes in a little book for me – just in case I forgot anything. It is kept safely away now in case I ever need it, but most of it is now cooked through memory. I am forever grateful for her teachings, and she still tells me about new things now and again more than twenty three years since we began cooking together.

I met my husband at University, and at the time he couldn’t believe how much I ate! I was this tiny petite women and everyone in my family used to say I had a hollow leg! I won’t ever forget when I first cooked for him, I introduced him to a whole new world of flavours when we first met. There were foods he had never tried before, and there were things we also tried together too. And since then I have branched out into cooking even further, into both his background and his culture, and even into some more diverse parts of the world after going travelling with him. We both love to try something new!

My husband does suffer with an array of allergies, the majority of which are food related. This was problematic when we went travelling. Since we began living together (almost ten years ago now!) I evolved my ways of cooking to exclude the things he couldn’t have and simply substitute them for something else.

One thing I do like to do is eat healthily but by making sure its tasty and enjoyable. I often pass my recipes on to family and friends, but I wanted to share some of my favourites on my blog too. Because they can be adapted for whether or not you eat certain meats, or are vegetarian, the possibilities are endless, if only you know what goes together. And that comes with years of experience in the kitchen.

What I wanted to achieve by writing and sharing this blog post was to help you cook, give you new and easy to follow recipes and if you love what I’m putting out you can tell me and then I can write more posts like this one!

So for now… Let’s talk Time Saving in the Kitchen!

Time Saving in my eyes is this, you don’t have to cook everything from scratch every night of the week. It means you either have leftovers in the fridge or a batch of something in the freezer that can either be cooked in the oven straight from or defrosted during the day and then heated on the hob later…

All you need to ensure is that all the ingredients you choose to cook with haven’t already been pre-frozen. So don’t defrost raw meat, cook it in this recipe and then freeze it again. Use fresh foods and then have some bags or tubs at the ready to freeze your leftovers if that’s what you plan to do. If storing in a fridge Glass is best, the amazing Glass Pyrex range of sized dishes with lids are an excellent investment to make. I have the set that can go straight from cold to hot such as fridge to oven.

Let’s Make Some Tasty Food!

Today I am going to share three of my favourite time saving recipes with you. This will either do you 8 portions to eat, refrigerate or freeze. It’s up to you!

Sabrina’s Tasty Italian Ragu

My Meaty and Tomato Ragu can be used for any of the following meals; Spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagne, Chilli Con Carne, OR simply Ragu Sauce to eat with Rice, Pasta or Potatoes.

All you would need to do is add additional herbs and spices to the Recipe below in order to make one of the meals above. Or leave the sauce as it is, and you can serve it with a wide variety of side dishes. If you aren’t sure how to turn this Ragu into one of the above meals leave me a comment and I’m happy to respond with that you’ll need.

✩ Ingredients 

Mince Beef – 400-600 grams (10-20% Fat is best)
Pork Mince 250-500 grams (Low Fat is best)
Lean Bacon or Lardons 250 grams – Diced (not Smoked for Children)

Tomato Puree – 100 grams
Chopped Plum Tomatoes – 3 Tins (400 grams each)
Carrots – 4 Large – Diced Fine
Large White Onion – 2 Sliced or Diced Fine
(Optional) Celery Sticks – 4 Diced Fine

Fill the 3 Empty Plum Tomato Tins with Boiling Water, then add these contents to a jug (careful the tins will go hot!) and add a Beef stock cube/pot to this and then stir through.

Vegetable Oil – 1 Tablespoon
Pepper – To Your Taste
Salt – To Your Taste

Oregano – 3 Tablespoons
Basil – 1 Tablespoon
Rosemary – 1 Teaspoon

✩ TOP TIPS 

You are aiming for around 1kg of Meat in this Ragu and it will then Serve Approx 10-12 Portions of Food.

If you have a Food Processor Use It! Blitz the Onions and Carrots together on Dice for a quicker start to your Ragu. Add your Optional Extra’s after this stage too so everything is the same size!

 

✩ Recipe ✩

1. In a large saucepan brown the meats together. You need very little oil due to the fat and then drain half of the fat off after around fifteen minutes.

2. Make sure your meats are cooked through and then add your tomato ingredients and then the jug of stock.

3. Simmer for twenty minutes with the lid on the saucepan.

4. Add all of your herbs and the diced vegetables, and mix well.

5. Simmer the saucepan now with a lid on top for around 1 hour. The liquid should reduce down and the sauce begin to thicken.

6. You know when your Ragu is ready because it will taste “together” with all the flavours having marinated as one and it will have thickened up nicely.

7. You can serve this with a range of side dishes, or freeze it all!

✩ Storage ✩

You can store this meal in freezer bags or in tubs, it will keep for a month! Remember to defrost a portion before you reheat it, and then you can also add other spices into it once it is chilled too!

✩✩✩✩✩✩✩

Sabrina’s Tasty Chicken Curry

My Curry is a mixture between a Chicken Tikka and a Chicken Bhuna. It isn’t spicy but it isn’t mild either, and it has a few vegetables in it as well. You can choose to leave these whole for adults or dice them finely for children who might be a little picky…

It’s also nice to consider adding other things to curry to bulk it out, peppers and onions work best but so do a variety of other vegetables. You can also bulk it out with additional tomatoes that aren’t just made for the sauce but left as chunks.

If you don’t want to use Chicken you could use a vegetable such as Cauliflower. Or Pork Belly is a nice meat for Curry, but it would need to be left in to Simmer for longer to make it tender.

If I am eating a portion of my curry alone I cheat by using one of those microwave Pilau Rice to go with it! They are Super Tasty and convenient! If you’re doing Rice for a few people though and on a regular basis then I highly recommend you invest in buying a Rice Cooker. They save you loads of time and you don’t have to stand their making sure your rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Ours is from a simple one from Argos!

✩ Ingredients 

Chicken – Diced 400-600 grams (Portions 4-6)
Tomato Puree – 100 grams
Chopped Plum Tomatoes – 1 Tin (400 grams)
Plain Yoghurt – 100 grams
Large White Onion – 1 Sliced or Diced
(Optional) Yellow Pepper 1 Sliced into Chunks
(Optional) Red Pepper 1 Sliced into Chunks

Vegetable Oil – 1 Tablespoon
Salt – Pinch
Pepper – To Your Taste
Sugar – Pinch
Paprika – 1 Teaspoon
Garam Masala – 2 Tablespoons
Cumin – 1 Teaspoon (Mild) / 1 Tablespoon (Medium)
Chilli Powder – 1 Teaspoon (Mild for Children) / 1 Tablespoon (Medium)
Lemon Juice – 1 Tablespoon
Garlic – To Your Taste
Coriander Leaf – 2 Tablespoons
Curry Powder – 1 Tablespoon
(Optional) Ginger – 1 Teaspoon Sliced Thinly and Diced
(Optional) Coconut – Dried or Raw or Shredded – 1 Tablespoon

50ml of Warm Previously Boiled Water

✩ Recipe 

1. Fry the Onion and Chicken in a Pan until Browned in a little oil. Add the Chunks of Pepper and Fry until Softened.

2. Start Making Your Sauce In Another Larger Saucepan that has a lid, by combining the tinned and packet items first such as the Tomato ingredients and yoghurt.

3. Then add the spices and herbs in to the saucepan one at a time, stir the pot thoroughly after each one.

4. Once all ingredients are combined add the browned chicken and onions to the mixture and stir through until all the pieces are coated.

5. Finally add the Water and Simmer the Pan for up to 1 hour. Stir every few minutes to avoid sticking and stirring through the flavours.

6. The Curry is Ready when the Sauce has Reduced down and Thickened, and the Chicken is left tender and moist and cooked through.

7. Serve with Rice and perhaps a Naan Bread which is also delicious to mop up any sauce!

✩ Storage 

This meal can be cooled and stored in the fridge for two days or it can be frozen in portions once it is cooled and can be used within one month. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge over night before reheating.

✩✩✩✩✩✩✩

Sabrina’s Tasty Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta Bake

One dish that I love to make that also contributes to two of your five fruit and vegetables a day is my tasty Mediterranean Veg Pasta Dish!

What you will need for this tasty dish is a selection of your favourite vegetables that pair well with a tomato based sauce. I will firstly explain my main ingredients for this dish and then outline the other things you can choose to put in if you want… This also includes a choice of Topping as well!

✩ Ingredients 

Pasta 80 grams per person – the Shape is your decision

Tomato Puree – 50 grams (100 grams if you like a rich sauce)
Chopped Plum Tomatoes – 1 Tin (400 grams)

Large White Onion – 1 Diced
Green Pepper – 1 Sliced and Diced into Chunks
Yellow Pepper 1 Sliced and Diced into Chunks
Red Pepper 1 Sliced and Diced into Chunks
(Optional) Courgette – 1 Sliced
(Optional) Cherry Tomatoes – 3 or 4 per person
(Optional) Small Red Onion – 1 Diced

Oregano – 1 Tablespoon
Basil – 1 Tablespoon for Sauce 1 Tablespoon for Top
Garlic – As Fresh or Granules or Salt or Diced – 1 Tablespoon
Black Pepper – To Your Taste
Salt – To Your Taste

✩ TOP TIPS ✩

Use a Glass Tray for Pasta Bake, it makes it so easy to transfer from appliances!

De-Seed your Peppers before dicing them to ensure no seeds in your meal.


✩ 
Recipe 

1. While you boil a pan three quarters full for your Pasta to become cooked in, preheat an oven to 180’c (160’c Fan).

2. Place your chopped and diced vegetables into a tray, coat with a little oil and oven bake for 25 minutes. (This includes the peppers and onions and any of your optional extras etc). Stir after this time and put on for a further 15 minutes.

3. To make your sauce combine in a jug the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and herbs and spices. Stir thoroughly. Season it to taste and place to one side.

4. Cook your pasta on a hob while your vegetables soften for their final minutes in the oven.

5. Once cooked strain your pasta. You then want to add it to the Roasting Vegetables in the tray. In order to do this remove the tray from the oven, place on a heat protective surface and stir the contents of it together.

6. Then quickly add your sauce from the jug and stir, followed by the pasta and stir. Your sauce should coat all of your ingredients, if it doesn’t seem like enough fill halfway up the now empty tomatoes tin with partly cooled boiled water. Add in 1/4 of the amount in the tin at a time, stirring constantly until all of in the tray is coated in sauce. You don’t want your pasta swimming!

7. Shake the tray from side to side gently allowing the contents to settle flat. At this stage you can add some cherry tomatoes on to the top and a sprinkle more of some basil if you like basil. These tomatoes will bake on the top nice and soft.

8. Put the Pasta Bake into the oven at the same temperature as earlier (160’c) and leave it for around 15 to 20 minutes. If at this stage you want to add some grated cheese on top, carefully remove the tray, wobble it and stir at the edges to make sure it isn’t sticking. If it is sticking then stir it all thoroughly before sprinkling on your cheese.

9. Bake for more 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browning. Serve in bowls with Garlic Bread on the side! Yum!

✩ Storage ✩

This pasta will keep overnight in the fridge for leftovers the next day. Ensure it is heated through thoroughly in smaller bowls when you come to finish it off.

✩ Additional Tips 

You can choose to add meat to the Vegetarian Pasta Bake if you wish, just remove one of the vegetables from the “you choose” part and keep the same amount of grams. For example, 100g of Chicken Breast Chopped OR 100g of Bacon Lardons (Avoid Smoked and Limit Portion for Children Due To Salt Content).

If you don’t like one of my ingredients remove it and substitute it for something else. It could be a herb or a spice or a vegetable. It will of course alter the taste slightly, but we’re all different at the end of the day.

Adding a little Grated Cheese on top of your food is definitely allowed in my house!

Don’t be afraid of just putting your favourite vegetable next to the meal on the plate, you don’t have to put it inside a meal if you don’t want to. Do that fresh every time you cook and that will count towards your five a day too.

Delicious!

✩✩✩✩✩✩✩

Thank you very much for reading this post, I hope you have enjoyed it. If you cook any of my recipes please leave me a comment and let me know how you get on! And if you want to republish any of my recipes then please credit me as the original recipe creator! Thank you!

✩ Sabrina ✩

May 2018 Treatbox Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the May 2018 Treatbox Reveal
with Sabrina of Severn Wishes.

Happy Treat Box Day Everyone!

I’m so glad to be bringing you this box actually on May 1st!

So I open the box to find bright yellow paper, this is such a happy colour anyway and reminds me of sunshine!

In this month’s Treatbox we see a theme of Personal Happiness. This theme is enhanced by a Checklist Print which has been arranged to incorporate the items we have received inside the Treatbox. Clever! I like new ideas!

What you won’t see this month is the usual Calendar Print… that is because Zoe has reinvented it for the May box! Instead we are greeted with a Smoothie Recipe on the back of the description of what is inside the box. As I read what is to be discovered I realise that the print has been altered for this month, we have the

Here is my list of all the items in the May 2018 Treatbox.

As always there are some slight variations in the types and in the colours, usually people get a slightly different combination inside their box.

Inside the May month’s box there are 7 flat items plus 6 physical items. You’ll understand when you see my list and reveal photograph.

Calendar Checklist Print for May 2018
Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Recipe
Anatomicals – Strawberry and Yarrow Face Mask – 15ml
Card “A Little Something To Brighten Your Day”
The Little Coffee Bag Co. Bag of Blend 1 and Bag of Blend 2
Gnaw – Strawberry and Vanilla White Chocolate Bar – 50g
Tote Bag “Out With The Old Bag”
Daily Concepts Exfoliating Body Scrubber – Mild
Affirmation Inspirational Quote Cards – 4 of them – Calm / Smile / Breathe / Believe


Here is a selection of my photographs showing the items from this month’s box, I hope you enjoy seeing the items up close and if you have any questions then please leave me a comment at the end of the post.

Calendar Checklist Print for May 2018

A great idea for this month’s box, tick list and ways to make your day positive.

Strawberries and Cream Smoothie Recipe

I will have to adjust this smoothie recipe so that it doesn’t include any nuts, but happy to try it then! I love smoothies in the summer months especially if it’s hot!


Gnaw – Strawberry and Vanilla White Chocolate Bar – 50g

I am very much looking forward to trying this chocolate. it’s made in the UK as well which is great! A decent serving of 50g I may have to eat it in two parts!

Anatomicals – Strawberry and Yarrow Face Mask – 15ml

This face mask looks like it will not only smell good but do my skin some good too. Once I have used it I will update this section.


Daily Concepts Exfoliating Body Scrubber – Mild

I don’t use an exfoliator very often but with summer coming up I may try it out.

Card “A Little Something To Brighten Your Day”

A lovely little card which can be sent to someone to, well, brighten up their day!

You could create something lovely inside this card because it is left blank for us to do so.

The Little Coffee Bag Co. Bag of Blend 1 and Bag of Blend 2

Once my husband has tried this coffee I will update this sentence.

Tote Bag “Out With The Old Bag”

This tote bag feels like it’s good quality material and is quite a substantial size which is great too. I believe it to be a cotton blend which means you should be able to machine wash it on a gentle and low temperature setting if it were to get dirty.

Affirmation Inspirational Quote Cards – 4 of them – Calm / Smile / Breathe / Believe

These little cards are fabulous for my blogging, for flat lay images and for affirming moments during a hectic day. I love how colourful they are as well, they really brighten up whatever you’re looking at with them on.

My Favourites

My favourite pieces from this box are the Inspirational Affirmation Quote Cards, the Face Mask, Calendar Checklist and the Chocolate Bar.

I love that they are mainly UK companies, I also love the quality of the majority of the ingredients in this box. I will be reviewing some of the items and those opinions will be added underneath the images of the products as and when I try them.

This Treatbox is a bit different this time but I have really liked it! I look forward to progressing though the checklist and I will no doubt share my thoughts on my social media as the month goes on.

My Overall Opinion

I really liked the theme for this month and that the whole box was just a little bit different. It’s always nice to have something new, the face mask and the chocolate are products made in the UK as well. And if you didn’t know by now, I am hugely supportive of local and United Kingdom based businesses.

Something else I liked was the way the theme was used throughout with the use of the new calendar idea. It gives you an excuse to use the print and the products from the box too! It gave you some good ideas for other days of the week as well, and you could always mix it up a bit and do several on one day if you wanted to!

There is only one thing that I’m going to have a tiny moan about, it’s just my personal opinion so you can take it or leave it. In my time being subscribed to Treatbox we have received several bags, I don’t mind too much that we have another one, as it is of good quality and will be used. However all I will say is I just hope it will be a good many more months before we see another…

Finally, it is a shame that once again a couple of this month’s products are nut containing or may contain nuts, it means that in our house these items have to be avoided and are always gifted to family or friends due to our severe allergies. I know that that isn’t the fault of Treatbox, but I almost wish that when you subscribed, you had some personal preferences added to your personal information. This would mean you would get a slightly varied product but one you could actually eat or use… It’s just something that Treatbox could consider branching out for in the future maybe…

At the end of the day I cannot be the only subscriber who has allergies and I would love to get your opinion if you read this and you have some too. It’s not like I have a choice in the matter and I’m not being deliberately awkward, in my house nut containing products are never purchased for either oral consumption or for use on the skin for example. We all have to be very careful and we often have lifestyle changes that others may not consider…

So the Decaffeinated Coffee Sachet will be passed on to someone who can thankfully enjoy it. It looks like (from Zoe’s description page) that the Caffeinated Coffee Sachet just contains Arabica Coffee Beans and should be fine for my husband to drink. When he has tried it I will update the review part of this blog post with his opinion. I must say i am disappointed there was no information supplied on the coffee sachets, if Zoe had not written the blurb in the description we never would have known and this could have caused a reaction. Everything should come with ingredients on them in my honest opinions.

UPDATE
Zoe has since contacted the manufacturer of the Coffee Sachets (Little Coffee Co.) and they say that there are no nuts used in their coffee, however the flavouring is that of Walnut for the Decaf blend we received. Anything of a nutty flavour can trigger anaphylaxis in those with severe allergies so even though the coffee claims to have no actual physical traces of nuts, the flavour can still be enough to make my husband unwell.

Are you thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or for a gift for someone?
Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and build your own box at their website https://treatboxuk.com/

If you aren’t sure on whether to try a TreatBox for yourself or not I would say order a one off box, and then if you’re happy with it you can always subscribe afterwards. Check out my previous posts on the Treat Boxes I have received so far, in this unique category of my website called ‘Treatbox’ especially for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes – TREATBOX

Thanks for reading this months box reveal today, if you have any thoughts you would like to share or if you have purchased a box after reading one of my reviews then I would love to hear your from you, why not leave me a little comment in the section below.

Also if you have any questions about any of the items from this month’s Treatbox then please get in touch I am more than happy to answer them if I can.

If you enjoyed this post then why not check out my Reveal Video that I always record when opening the Treatbox every single month that I get one, click the link to see this latest one on my channel Here


Thank you for joining me for this reveal and unboxing today, and I hope that you enjoy the video if you choose to watch it!

Have a great month of May everyone!

 Sabrina 

Great Cat Toys and Furniture For Indoor Cats

Great Cat Toys and Furniture for Indoor Cats

We have always had rescue cats in my family and they are part of the family! We have had three in total during the past ten years. Sadly one of them passed away two years ago due to a heart condition, he is sorely missed, and he loved to play with everything. We called him our “Dog-Cat” because he used to play fetch with some of his toys! I am glad that I took so many photo’s of him, inside boxes, in cat beds, on top of units… he had such a wonderful life with us, and for that we are so grateful…

Since we lost our boy his sister got quite lonely, and eight months after he passed away we got the opportunity to adopt a stray kitten who was in need of a home.

We know we are incredibly lucky with our cats, not just that they are affectionate to us, but also because they get on really well together considering they aren’t related.

Here are all three of our fur babies. Our angel in the stars ✩♡✩ on the left, his sister is in the middle, and she turned 8 this week! And finally our youngest is on the right, she will be 2 this June!

They may not be sisters by blood, but they are sisters by love for sure 

I’m writing this blog post to show people how happy my indoor cats are, providing they have the necessary toys, water and food, and of course their own space, there is nothing wrong with keeping your cats indoors.

Furniture was hugely important when we made the decision to keep our original two as indoor cats. There were several reasons, one was due to living metres away from a main road, another was due to neighbours keeping dogs in their back gardens, and finally because of our boys health problems. We purchased three main pieces, one was from Argos and two were from Pets at Home.

When choosing cat furniture and scratching posts always introduce them together, and encourage the cats to use them. If you make it fun as kittens they are more likely to continue with it on to adulthood. Choose items that won’t become a nuisance in your rooms and that blend in with the shapes you already have. There are some awesome trees out now, that are even designed to fit into corners of the room. You can pay around £100 for these sorts, but if you maintain them with regular trimming and hoovering they should last several years.

We had a cream cat stand from Argos back in 2010 when we first got our kittens from the rescue cattery. It was around £30 at the time, and it lasted us for the next seven years! Here is a shot of our original two rescue cats when they were tiny kittens using the stand all those years ago! It gave them so many hours of fun and also was somewhere soft to sleep until they got bigger.


We replaced it in 2017 with the new version, one in grey, an almost identical shape, they just changed the colour and made the base piece more sturdy. Perfect! The colour goes well in most rooms and it stands at 85cm tall. The material is soft fleece and easy to hoover with our pet attachment. It has scratch posts attached and a hiding hole for cats to go into, however we use that to store all their toys when not in use – super handy either way!

Available At: Argos
Design: Grey and Cream – Soft Grey Fleece with Scratching Post Parts
Information: Self Assembly Required
Dimensions: H85cm x W50cm x D42cm
Price: £35.00
My Rating: 5✩’s 

Here is our youngest, she loves to sit up as high as possible and watch what everyone is doing. As you can see, she is a fully grown adult cat and still fits nicely across the top of this particular cat stand. We use the section inside the drum to store some toys.

Our other main cat unit is this one, it is brown and cream and has a lovely large section for the cats to lay across. It’s situated upstairs so it gets the light in the afternoons.

Available At: Pets At Home
Name: Pets at Home Tudor Tunnel and Scratch Cat Post
Design: Brown and Cream – Soft Fleece with Scratching Posts and Tunnel
Information: Self Assembly Required
Dimensions: 44cm x 40cm x 34cm
Price: £37.00
My Rating: 5✩’s 

As our youngest demonstrates there is more than enough room for an adult cat.

Cat beds have been one of those items that are used periodically in our house. If it’s during the cooler months of the year you will often find the cats curled up inside the pyramid bed or on a cushion bed near a radiator. But in the summer these don’t get much use. I often decide to wash them in the summer, dry them outside and then set them to one side, this totally refreshes them ready for the autumn.

I would recommend getting the ones with removable covers or cushions that can go in the washing machine, Argos, Pets at Home and various large independent Pet Stores should do ones of this kind. They range from £12 to £40 depending upon size and quality of material, but we have never paid more than £20-£25 for one of ours, and most of them are several years old now, still going strong.

Available At: Pets At Home
Name: Paw Fleece Igloo Cat Bed
Design: Black Fleece Material with Cat Paws Print
Information: Machine Washable
Dimensions: 35cm x 35cm x 38cm
Price: £12.00
My Rating: 5✩’s 

Here is our eldest in her Igloo Pyramid Bed, they changed the design recently to incorporate the paw prints on the outside as well as the inside. Ours is all black but otherwise identical to the one I have mentioned above. Bought from Pets at Home back in 2010 however! We bought the matching round donut bed at the same time too!

Available At: Pets At Home
Name: Paw Fleece Cat Donut Bed
Design: Black Fleece Material with Cat Paws Print
Information: Machine Washable
Dimensions: 46cm x 46cm x 10cm
Price: £9.00
My Rating: 5✩’s 

The girls are ready to play!

As for cat toys ours do like a real mixture and it can depend what mood they are in as well. They adore Ping Pong balls, Rattling Mice and the range from Kong which contain catnip. I bought coloured Ping Pong balls from Amazon and white ones from the local Pound Shop – these get an awful lot of use in our house and they often go missing for days and then turn up (usually under a unit or chair), so it’s good to get a few in!

You could also consider making your own toys such as Pom Poms! But you need to supervise play with these items for sure as cats usually pull them a part!

Resting after some pom pom play time!

Other toys like Mice we have bought from Pet Stores such as Pets at Home. Here are a few items that are still available to buy out of what we have recently gotten for our cats.

Some of our toys are looking old but they are well loved and well used.

Available At: Amazon by Pet Love
Name: Pet Love Playtime Ping Pong Balls for Cats
Design: Coloured Ping Pong Balls
Information: Wipe Clean Coloured Air Filled Plastic Balls
Dimensions: 4cm x 4cm x 4cm
Price: £3.49
My Rating: 5✩’s 

Amazon Cat Toys Choice and Quality Available 4✩’s

Available At: Pets At Home
Name: Catnip Might Mouse by Petstages
Design: Bright Green Mouse with 100% Premium Catnip inside
Information: A crunchy sounding Mouse that offers hours of fun (Pets should be supervised when using this type of toy)
Dimensions: 15cm x 4.5cm x 5.7cm
Price: £4.50
My Rating: 5✩’s 

Pets At Home Toys In General Choice and Quality 4✩’s

Available At: Pet Shops / Pets at Home / Amazon / Garden Centres
Name: Catit Senses Play Circuit
Design: A Plastic Circuit That Fits Together In An Array Of Shapes
Information: Contains A Ball That Goes Inside The Plastic Track, Ideal For Increasing Motor Skills In Kittens And Keeping Indoor Cats Senses Active. Multiple Layout Choices
Dimensions: 24cm x 24cm x 8cm (Approximately and Range of Sizes)
Price: £7.49 – £20.00 (Range of Sizes and Colours Available)
My Rating: Catit Senses Circuits 4✩’s

 

Here are our two on Christmas morning playing with their new layout (green), this was the second Catit Senses Track we had gotten them. The image above shows their first one, a blue one we left in a circle. They love it!

Something else that may encourage your cat to scratch “it” rather than your furniture is a Kong Kickaroo! These can be bought from Vets that stock them such as Vets 4 Pets or from some larger Pets at Home stores. Made in the USA they come in several sizes for both kittens and cats. They are like giant sausages that contain catnip, they have a pattern of fleece and are finished with a soft feather-like end. Ours take a real hammering of back feet and claws on a daily basis, and the cats have yet to ruin one! We have three of them and they are dotted around the house so the cats get the most out of them. It’s pretty hilarious sometimes when they “have a go at one”! Each cat was bought one after their first ever annual injections and the tradition just stuck!

These Kickaroo Toys are awesome! Good quality material, even though they are well used in our house our cats have yet to rip one open!

He loved to hug it, attack it, sleep on it and carry it around… 

My Rating: Kong Kickaroo 5✩’s

✩♡✩

When we move house I would like to purchase a large cat tree from a company whose page I found on Facebook. They are UK based and do them in a range of colours and sizes to suit all homes. I want my cats to have somewhere high up to escape to, once my baby begins moving around independently too. The page is called Cat Tree UK and I like the look of their items and prices, though I will continue to read reviews in the mean time.

✩♡✩

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope that you have enjoyed looking at my life with my cats and seeing them having fun with an array of awesome items! Any questions about products just send me a comment, I’m happy to answer any that I can!

 Sabrina