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!

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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.

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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!

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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 

The Baby and Toddler Show at Event City in Manchester – Our Experience and Our Purchases

The Baby and Toddler Show at Event City in Manchester – Our Experience and Our Purchases

When my husband suggested we visited a baby show in order to get some ideas on baby purchases, I jumped at the chance to try some products out and begin to look at what we wanted to get for our baby. The closest two for us were Manchester and Birmingham, however I felt the one at Birmingham Event was too close to our due date.

The Baby and Toddler Event is sponsored by Emma’s Diary, and you receive a free pack from them for attending the event. We booked tickets online, it was cheaper to do that and by doing so we also got a discount. Check out the link at the end of my blog for more information on the tickets and next show available. Until then…

Here is a look at the show and a map of the general layout at Event City.

What I Thought Of The Venue

Event City is easy to get to from the Trafford Centre, if you use the main directions on a sat nav you cannot miss the Event City signs. Event City is just off from one of the main roundabouts at the Trafford Centre ring road.

It was a clean area and the arena was big enough for the stalls without you feeling like you were sardines at all times. Not only was there enough room but the stalls had adequate room for their samples and stock to be displayed.

The parking was ample at Event City but we were on the overflow car park because the tarmac part was full even an hour after the show opening.

There were some companies doing product demonstrations which were particularly useful to us. It was also good to see so many passionate people who were selling their products and who had a good knowledge base. In my opinion these stalls were the best, directly explaining how their products work.

Several talks from experts also went on during the show and times were available in the brochure.

There was a brochure and a board which had the map layout for the floor which was handy too. Because there were a good number of stalls, some for baby related items and some for toddler, we tended to stick to those that would be relevant for us.

Facilities for Pregnant Women

There were toilets by the entrance and a fairly large dining area situated in the centre of the arena with plenty of tables and chairs for people to sit.

Freebies from the Show

Emma’s Diary Bump to Baby Pack 2
Aqua Wipes pack of 12 baby wipes
AproDerm Barrier Cream 30g

Emma’s Diary Pack Bump To Baby

Included the following items;

Pack for £5: Made for Mums

Included in this pack that you order for £5 when you order tickets;

Items That We Purchased

While going around the show we witnessed several excellent demonstrations such as Snugglebundl and Poddle Pod. Although having followed both of these brands on Facebook for some time, I wanted to see the items for myself before making any purchases. My husband and I were most impressed by these two brands and bought both products. I do plan to review both of these items once our baby has arrived. So watch out for those reviews later in the summer.

Here are some images and information on all the products that we came home with.

Snugglebundl Blanket in Grey with white Stars £32.99

Poddle Pod and Elephant Cover £34.99

The Sleepybobo – Gerry the Giraffe – 2 items – £19.00

Bibs at Funky Giraffe – 6 Bibs for £10

Bibs at Zippy Bibs – 2 for £5

Our Event City Baby Show Haul!

Overall I was happy that we went to the show, and very happy to have purchased the above items. Not only did we get some cool freebies but we have also made a start on the items for our baby, and that was our main goal. We managed to enjoy some of the facilities at the Trafford Centre afterwards with it being next door, and really made a day of it.

The next one is being held at Birmingham NEC from the 18th to the 20th of May 2018, if you’re considering going or to book tickets, or just to see more information about the event click the link below.

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope that you have enjoyed looking at our purchases and reading about our experience at the show. If you have any questions feel free to comment, I will answer them if I can, if not check out the link below.

 Sabrina 

Emma’s Diary Baby Show Page

Pregnancy Items – What I Have Purchased And What I Would Recommend

Pregnancy Items – What I Have Purchased And What I Would Recommend

Being well over half way into my pregnancy now, I have began to purchase some items. So I thought I should start to give my opinions on a few of them, and whether or not I recommend them. I shall score review the best ones!

Here is what bump and I currently look like, it’s going so quickly!


Pregnancy Pillow

The one item that I knew that I wanted to buy from the beginning was a pregnancy pillow. I have heard friends say they’re great and others say they couldn’t get on with them. But being small and already suffering with back and hip aches, I wanted some support at night. I actually bought this at around twelve weeks gone, and I began using it at around sixteen weeks.

I have not only found it supportive but it’s also helping me to get a better nights sleep in general. I have always suffered with a lot of mucus, especially when I lie down flat and during the Spring months of the year when I get hay fever. But since becoming pregnant it is three times worse, and you literally cannot do anything about it. So I use my three regular pillows to lay the pregnancy pillow against, and at night I lean on the pillow, one arm over the top and one underneath. The rest of the pillow bends around above my head and extends down my back. It isn’t easy to roll over at this stage of pregnancy anyway, but it’s the stage where I need to be lay on my left as long as possible, the pillow definitely helps me to do this.

I managed to get my pillow on a deal through the Bounty App on my mobile phone. Pregnant women can make the most of a range of discounts that regularly come around through the app and through emails. The company is called Online 4 Baby and they do a range of great pregnancy and nursing items.

This pillow can be used during pregnancy and for nursing too. It can easily be shaped to fit behind a person sitting or lying down.

Here is a photo of one of my cats leaning on the pillow when I wasn’t using it. Cheeky! But it really is comfortable.

My Top Tips are to buy a pillow that will fit around your height, I am classed as the high end of Petite, so a 6ft Pillow was more than adequate for me. Because they do a range of sizes you should consider which would be better for you.


This is a close up of the fabric I chose, and the pillow shape without a cover on below.

Colour: Grey with White Stars (other colours available such as grey or cream.
Price: £14.45 (RRP £59.95)
Dimensions: 6 ft (also available in 9ft and 12ft)
Cover Quality: Very Good Cover that is both Removable and Machine Washable.
Pillow Quality: The Pillow itself after several nights needed to be plumped up reshaped.
Overall Rating: 4/5 ‘s

Pillows at Online 4 Baby

✩✩✩

How Many Weeks – Frame

I purchased this gorgeous frame so that my husband and I could count down the weeks until we meet our little miracle. And funnily when I was searching online, those were almost the exact words etched into the wood of this particular frame. I bought this one from Amazon from a Seller called Hello Baby who sell the Bambino products, it currently costs £7.49 (As of the date of this post).

What I like most is the ratio between the frame aspects, the space for the photograph is 4×3″ and then it has both beautiful words and a chalkboard heart for you to write the numbers inside. The quote reads “_ weeks until we meet our little miracle”. The frame itself is cream and free standing, with grey details of stars and the writing.

I purchased this one because of the smaller dimensions, I had a specific shelf I wanted it to fit upon. There are many choices for Sonogram Photo Frames on the internet, though I liked this one the most. My Top Tip when buying a frame online is to look at dimensions and whether or not you want a wall mounted one or a free standing one. There are even some that say “Grandparent” or other quotes on them, making them more personal.


Colours: Cream and Grey
Dimensions: H:15 W:15 D:2 cm
Details: Free Standing
Quality: Very Good, Well Made and Presented
Rating: 4/5 ‘s

If you want to purchase this or take a closer look at the link to it here it is under its title;

Bambino little miracle’ Scan Sonogram Countdown Photo Frame ‘… weeks until we meet”


✩✩✩

Maternity Leggings

Something that I couldn’t live without now that I have them, are Maternity Leggings. They are not only versatile but super comfortable. You can choose to dress them up or dress them down too. My favourites are from George at Asda (I reviewed them already just search for Maternity in my categories), and they wash and wear well. I have several colours now after ordering twice, and I would buy more in a heartbeat if I begin to wear these ones out. So far so good though after a dozen or so washes already!


Thank you for reading this blog post today, I do hope that you have enjoyed it and perhaps you’ve gotten some ideas for purchases for any loved ones or yourself who may be expecting this year. The frames can make great gifts!

When I purchase more items and find they are good quality I will review them. And I have gotten some items for help when our baby arrives, I hope to review these too when I have the time. Look out for these pregnancy related posts as the summer weeks go by.

 Sabrina 

How I Live An Organised Lifestyle And How You Can Too!


How I Live An Organised Lifestyle And How You Can Too!

So being organised has always come naturally to me. It became more apparent as I got older, and through high school especially I was the one with folders and tabs and lists… I have been to university and I have had working jobs since I was fourteen years old. So I have learnt how to be organised with both my time management and my money. When you have needed to be organised for work, I find that it rubs off on to the rest of your daily life.

If you are someone who struggles with being organised in some or all aspects of your lifestyle, then take a look at the rest of this blog post for some ideas. These are just a few of the ways that I stay on track of all things Sabrina!

Wall Calendars and Phone Calendars

One of the ways that I stay on track is to manage my calendar. I vary rarely forget a birthday or an appointment, and now with my iPhone and the cloud, it is even easier to synchronise everything together and be organised daily. I also synchronise it with my husband as well.

Not only do I use a calendar on my phone, but I use a wall calendar too. Every year I make a custom one on an online site, with my own photographs, and I adjust the days each month for special dates. These customise calendars are becoming both affordable and popular, and I have created one for three years running now. You can purchase an array of sizes to fit your wall space, and the sections you can alter for your own reasons are becoming more detailed every year I make them.

Some outline birthdays and anniversaries, but you can now add more detailed things to them as well such as events.

My Top Tip for Calendars are to sync your digital devices with family members so everyone is on the same page. And for written ones keep one close at hand that you pass every day, bedside table or kitchen wall work best for me.


Always Arrange Easy To Keep Appointments

We all know how busy family life can be, so why try and stick to appointments that become increasingly difficult. Don’t give yourself just twenty minutes to get to the Dentist after work, rearrange your schedules and make appointments (or change them) to suit your week. I nearly always try and arrange certain things for days off, depending upon the time frame of the appointment.

Many places let you book appointments online now too, so if you cannot get through at rush hour on the telephone why not try that! Don’t be afraid to cancel appointments and reschedule them to suit your needs.

Consider Reducing Your Paper Footprint

A lot of us receive post that often gets stuck in a drawer until we have time to look at it. Why not look into being digital for some of your current paper trails? Most banks are giving people the option to go Paperless and I have to say that for me it was a great thing to do. Less papers to store in the home and emails that can instead be stored in the digital cloud space.

And cutting down of less trees of course! Win! Win!

Use Planners or Boards to Keep Track of your Week

We often waste a lot, I’m not talking time here – though social media has a lot to answer for! No, what I mean is waste of food, wasting energy by not turning things off around the home. All of these examples are habits that are so easy to change and get into a good habit of changing. I have taught my family members to recycle more, to turn off plugs when they are no longer being used, and to be more organised with food.

I have a blackboard in the kitchen now, where I write up each weekend what the meals will be for the rest of the week. Everyone knows where they are and what we are having, and food is wasted less because sell by dates do not go by. It does take a bit of organising, but the family all know what is happening and we can also plan ahead a few days so that things can be altered if needs be.

If anyone in the family has a particularly difficulty schedule, be it with shift work or with medications for example, then a planner might be a good item to invest in. You can buy weekly ones that have days of the week with various sections upon them. These are very useful for multiple things that might occur on a specific day or time.

My final Top Tip for being organised is to make time once a week for creating either a To-Do List or Weekly Schedule. Don’t try and remember everything all in your head, we all lead busy lives and even the best of us with good memories are bound to forget things once in a while! Trust me, make those lists, notes and schedules work for you!

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I do hope that you have enjoyed it and can take some inspiration from my tips.

 Sabrina 

SS18 Trends and How I Wear Them


SS18 Trends and How I Wear Them

I have been reading up on the recent Fashion Weeks and I can safely say there are some trends that have been used the past few years that are coming around once again. This is great if you purchased things of this type last year!

Some of them never get old, you always see Florals, and usually see some Lace in the summer. But a couple of summers ago everywhere you looked were Stripes and Nautical themes, well guess what they are returning – and I’m so glad!

Here is a dress that I bought last year from Dorothy Perkins, now that Stripes are back in I feel great wearing something that is on trend. Plus I could still fit my bump into it too – huge bonus! I paired the dress with flats and a long necklace. A nice plain jacket won’t distract from the stripes theme.

Florals seem to be huge again this year, and not just small amounts on other sorts of designs, they dominate some pieces completely. I have seen dresses and tops that are covered in floral patterns, you cannot go wrong with flowers in my opinion.

Here I am last week in a Maternity Top from Dorothy Perkins. This pretty navy tee has pink floral details and is very flattering for me with bump. I paired it with my maternity leggings from George at Asda and a Pink Boyfriend Cardigan from New Look to help bring out the colours in the flowers.

There are Spots and Polka Dots in a variety of trends this SS18 as well, and the dots all seem to vary in size. I have already picked up two items that I will wear later in my pregnancy with a theme similar to polka dots, one is dots and the other looks as such until you get closer and realise they are tiny hearts – so cute!

Checks were also back in, especially over at London Fashion Week, as were Wide Leg Trousers, Pastel Shades and Ruffles and Frills seem to be making a come back too. If you’re lucky enough to be going on holiday this summer you’ll see lots of swimwear with pastel colours and ruffles I have no doubt!

Another trend I have seen is Embroidery, this was huge last summer, appearing on jeans, shirts and even boot! It looks like it’s back again with even more intricate designs in some high street chains. I bought T-shirts and Jumpers with various Embroidery styles. And I also created my own shorts with patches on!

I’m glad I invested in a couple of items last year, though I’m not sure how much longer they will still fit me. I will be searching for bargain buys in Maternity sections over the internet in the coming weeks. I will review those items in a separate post though so that this one isn’t too long.

Thank you for joining me for this fashion blog post today. If you’ve come across any awesome bargains let me know in the comments.

 Sabrina 

How Blogging And Gaming Help With My Anxiety


How Blogging And Gaming Help With My Anxiety

I’ve been living with anxiety for a number of years now, and there are some things that really help me. Of course breathing slowly and staying calm, focusing on one thing and allowing the moment to pass is the best way. But when I’m struggling there are a few other things that really help me.

Today I will be writing a short blog post outlining what those things are, you never know, they might help someone else get through a hard time too.

Games

Be it Games on my PlayStation or Games on my iPhone, I enjoy playing them and they often help me in times of crisis. Such as when I am feeling overwhelmed, I open apps like Candy Crush for example, and play for a minute or two. It allows my mind to focus on something other than the anxiety that is sending it haywire.

It’s by no means easy, and I have to accompany what I’m doing with slowly breathing deeply and usually drinking cool water as well. I carry water with me everywhere that I go, because I never know when anxiety may strike.

By playing games my mind is occupied on something else, even if it’s just for a moment or two. I also have days where I want to play on my PlayStation and I don’t want to socialise with anyone, those are what I call the bad days. I am glad that I have the option to do this, and games allow me to take out any frustrations I am having with life on virtual reality. When I am focused on a storyline or a scenario I forget what is troubling me for a few moments.

Of course I enjoy gaming generally, and I played a lot before I suffered anxiety. Some days I play a game regardless of how I may be feeling. I may just feel the need to lose myself for a few hours, but either way, it helps me.

Blogging

When I find myself at a loose end I often blog, I have so many ideas floating around in my head that I make notes all the while, on paper and on my phone. Then when my anxiety is bad I try and focus my attention on one idea, and make some headway in the writing part of it. When I am writing I find that everything else in my head dissipates for a few moments because I concentrate so much on what I want to say and about getting it right.

I started blogging as a way to help myself when I was stuck at home recovering from life changing surgery. I needed something to keep my mind active, because I couldn’t leave the house for a time. And my anxiety had already been bad for some time before I needed the surgery, so it was a way of me coping with the long days in the same four walls. It allowed me to write about positive aspects of my life as well, and review things that made me happy. This in turn improved my mood and made my days seem more productive. I had began my blog and website just for me, but when people began to subscribe and tell me they were looking forward to reading my posts, it gave me more confidence in what I was sharing with the world.

Two Years On

So this is where I am up to today, as of February it’s been two years since I started Severn Wishes. Two years on since my surgery too, and I feel I am beginning to take back control of my life. Of course my family and friends have supported me, and this has been paramount in my recovery, but I have also been able to help myself, through doing what I love, and creating the time to do something positive and productive.

I wouldn’t say it’s been an easy road, in fact some days have been very hard. I’m lucky that I have these avenues that are able to help with my current state.

I also have cats, and they are therapeutic for me at the best of times, they really help me to be calm at times. Pets can mean so much more to us and my fur babies certainly are family to us.

Thank you and Advice

This post is a thank you to all of you who support me and my blog and my social media too. You are helping a woman become stronger day by day… you are helping me to feel like me again… slowly but surely…

And I have just one piece of advice. I see anxiety as this, there is no such thing as a good or bad day anymore because I live with these feelings every day. So what I do is remain positive and take something good from each day, focusing on a positive is always the start of remembering the great things in your life. Be grateful no matter how small it is, you’ll soon realise that anxiety won’t win, and that deep down you’re still you, and you do matter.

Be brave and find ways that help you, I did, and slowly but surely I’m beating my anxious feelings. It’s not good every day, and some days I really struggle, but for every one like that I do have, I strive to have less of them. It also helps that I have some understanding family and a few close friends around me, they support me through the bad days. And when I’m alone I use my methods above to bring me back to a calm state.

Thank you for joining me for this honest post today. I hope that if any of you are going through a difficult time then you can find an outlet that helps you, just like I have.

 Sabrina