My Top 5 Tips For New Parents


Sabrina’s Honest Lifestyle Post
 

My Top 5 Tips for New Parents

There is always a vast array of advice that is hurled around when you’re pregnant or a new parent. Some of it I found wasn’t all that useful because it was either peoples opinion that was exaggerated or it was biased. Every parent and every baby is different, but I hope that you can appreciate my life honest post which is more about practical tips, rather than scare stories. I would never dream of telling someone how to parent, my tips are just my honest advice for what has so far worked for us. I hope that you enjoy my post.


Food and Drink 

You’re going to want to stock up on food and drink and snacks. Leaving the house is going to take a lot more effort from now on so take my advice, do a bulk shop to fill your cupboards, do some bulk cooking of basics for your freezer and make sure you’ve got a variety of snacks in too. You will find those early morning feeds a shock the first few days and tasty sugary things will be your new best friend. I recommend Mini Cakes or Dried Fruit, definitely sugar! Caffeinated drinks will also help, but be careful about your in take if you’re breast feeding.

My Top Tip – We keep a mini cool bag in our bedroom filled with snacks and bottles of water for those late nights and early mornings. It saves you from going downstairs when half asleep!

Muslin Cloths

I had a grand total of 4 Muslin cloths the week that my son was born. By the time he was a month old we had fifteen cloths! And some weeks it’s still not enough (with some being dirty or in the washing machine for example). My main tip is to always keep several at arms length. Then keep one at either of your bedsides, more than one in the area that you all lounge together, one where you change your little one and at least one in their changing bag too! There still won’t be one when you suddenly need it, unless you place a longer one over your shoulder while you’re at home. But on a serious note, these cloths are a godsend, especially when baby is having a sickly day, or is dribbling due to teething. The best ones that we found for absorbency were from Mothercare, the softest were from Tesco.

My Top Tip – Keep track of how many you’ve got so you don’t end up with them all in the wash and also purchase similar colours so they’re easier to wash in bulk!

Teach Your Hands Now!

So you’re Right handed, well you may want to try using your Left more. You will find that once baby comes along you will only have one hand free and sometimes not even very often! So train your hands now before your baby arrives. Make sure you can blow your nose, make a drink and eat – all with the hand you wouldn’t usually use! That will set you up if you can master at least something. After eight weeks I can prepare and eat things, plus fill the washing machine and start that off all one handed.

Support One Another

Before you have children you don’t realise what an overwhelming responsibility it is for most of the time. I kept hoping I would have the time to do things that I wanted, read a book, learn a new game, write a blog post… but the reality is nothing like that. Even if are lucky enough to have a baby who actually sleeps between feeds, there will always be clothes to wash, housework chores to do and getting yourself organised too! (Drink / Hot Meal / Shower and a Change of Clothes).

The thing that your partner who works must understand is that just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you get a break. Some days you will eat and even go to the toilet with your child in your arms, because that’s safer than putting them down and them screaming so loud the neighbours 6 doors down hear them!

Compromise is the key. If your partner needs a break to shower or even go for a ten minute walk to get some fresh air, you need to support them. It’s tough being responsible for a tiny human, they rely on us 24/7 and sometimes we all need a few minutes to ourselves, mostly so we feel like us and not just Mum / Dad.
Another way you can support one another is that one feeds the other winds, and keep swapping. Your baby needs to get used to both of you putting him/her to bed so that both of you can be a comfort.

Finally remember that you’re in this together, if you’re tired take it in turns to take a nap. If one of you is feeling overwhelmed then do something nice together as a family and turn it into a positive experience.

My Top Tip – Take things in turns and ask one another every day if the other is doing okay.

Every Baby Is Different So Trust Your Instincts

So I found that within hours of having my son my instincts were kicking in. I knew things that I didn’t before and I had ideas about how to cope that came through the living experiences with my baby.

Trust that you know what your baby needs, and after a few weeks you’ll know what their cries mean anyway.
Don’t be afraid of asking your own parents for their advice, and remember you don’t always have to take it from anyone especially if you disagree.

You will know your baby after only a short time, trust yourselves.

Thank you for your on-going support for me and my blog, please leave me a comment if you enjoyed this article. And don’t forget to follow me on Social Media to see what I’m up to on a more daily basis!

✩ Sabrina 

Reviewing Baby Items – Bean Bag Planet

Reviewing Baby Items – Bean Bag Planet

I first saw the Baby Bean Bag on Facebook several years ago. After years of following their page and reading customer reviews, when I got towards the end of my pregnancy I decided to order a Bean Bag for us and our new little one.

What appealed to me the most was that the Bean Bag can be used afterwards for Toddler and Child as our child grows up. It will eventually be a part of their bedroom as somewhere comfortable to sit and read.

There were many designs to choose from including unisex ones. You receive the Bean Bag with the Harness Cover and a Spare Non Harness Cover too in the same colour. Despite this I decided to order an extra harness one so that if our one ended up in the washing machine we would still be able to place baby on the bag safely.

You do have to pay an additional £3.99 for the Bean Bag Filling, but they guarantee that it is Fire Safe Polystyrene balls that they use.

I featured these bean bags on my “Baby Wish List Post” and we had one given to us as a joint gift for our son from friends who read my blog. This excellent coincidence meant that we received two bags the week before our son came into the world. And it’s been very handy to have one on both floors of our house.

I purchased the Cars version of the bean bag in Grey, where as our friends got us the Safari one in Yellow.

Here are some close ups I have taken of the very cool designs situated on either of the bean bag planet bags we have.


The bright colours are inviting, and there is also a bear that you can find playing peek-a-boo on all of the designs I have seen. This is a cute addition so when children are older they can search for this little bear on the sides of their seat.

So I wanted to include what my husband thought in this review too, I will firstly outline what I think and then dictate his thoughts.


My Opinion

A very handy product to have in more than one room of the home, it is convenient to place baby into safely while you need your hands free. An ideal size and height too because you don’t have to bend too low to place baby into it. This item has become one that we use daily in our home to accommodate our needs between feeds and changes of our newborn baby. We cannot wait for him to grow with the bean Bag too and it will be used in his bedroom one day.

I found the ease of ordering on the website a good experience, and there were a ton of great designs for us to choose from. As for delivery the bean bag comes wrapped and then boxed but is flat. You place the bean bags inner bag inside when it arrives.

The quality of the fabric, bean bag base and the unique design of it, is what had me intrigued enough to buy. I have not been disappointed in the item. I did think they were quite expensive for what they are, but when you use the product as much as we do, its convenience outweighs how much I ended up paying.

After using the product now for several weeks I have to say the easiest thing about them is the use, just place your child in the centre and strap them in using the harness. I am happy that I made this product purchase for our son. Here is a photograph of our son at a week old, enjoying a nap in his Safari bean bag.

Quality of Product 5/5
Value for Money 4/5
Delivery of Product 4/5

Overall Experience 5/5

 

My Husbands Opinion

A versatile and good quality material that is soft for baby to lay on. Our newborn is always comfortable when lay on it. I like that our baby has a good view when laying on the Bean Bag too. It’s a useful item that can be easily moved around the home into any room or living space. We think they are that good a product that we now have 2 of them (thanks to a gift)! We use 1 for upstairs and 1 for downstairs!

The bean bag itself is good value for money however be aware of the additional charges to fill the bean bag with the polystyrene balls, and there are quite high delivery costs as well.

I would recommend this product and it’s a good idea for first time parents. It’s also useful for parents with pets because it allows baby to be quite a lot higher than the floor and therefore easier to keep an eye on unlike the mats that require babies to be lay on to a flat surface on the floor. Here is another image of our son, as you can see he is happy and content on the bean bag, awake on this image as opposed to asleep on the previous one.

Quality of Product 5/5
Value for Money 4/5
Delivery of Product 4/5
Overall Experience 4/5

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Here are some Bean Bag Planet designs.

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Links

Bean Bag Planet Website
Bean Bag Planet Facebook

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Thank you for supporting Severn Wishes blog today, don’t forget there are plenty more reviews to read across the website, just click one of the categories that interest you on the main page. I hope that you have enjoyed this review and I wish you a wonderful rest of your day.

✩ Sabrina 

 

 

Reviewing Baby Items – Poddle Pod

Reviewing Baby Items – Poddle Pod

My husband and I purchased a Poddle Pod at the Manchester Event City Baby and Toddler Show in March. It cost £34.99 (special price for the event) and we chose the Nelly Parade cover. We were impressed with the demonstration of the product, and I had also followed the company for some time on Facebook. I was adamant that I wanted one of these for when our baby came along.

Poddle Pod have many designs, some are unisex and others are more suited to a gender of baby. But not only do these make great items for parents to buy, but they also make a great gift to expecting parents, that is my honest opinion because it has become extremely handy to us.

Most newborn babies love to be held in someones arms, cuddled and cradled. However this isn’t a practical part of every day life for many of us. Poddle Pod has been designed to give parents a few hands free minutes while ensuring baby is comfortable and safe inside the inner shape of the Pod. It has a very clever design which is weight activated, this allows the baby to supported and makes them think they are being held.

It’s heavier than you would think to pick up, and has a soft fleece side and a patterned cotton side to the machine washable cover. The Poddle Pod is made from high quality fabrics and the filling of the pillow is both anti fungal and hypoallergenic. The best part for me is that it’s also made here in the United Kingdom, and you all know how I love to support businesses in out country above all others.

Poddle Pod is currently available in two sizes, which are 0-6 months and  6-36 months of age. I would certainly consider ordering a larger Pod when our son grows out of this current one.

I wanted to include my husbands thought in this review, so here are what both us think of our Poddle Pod purchase.

Quality of Product 5✩
Value for Money 5✩
Use and Purpose 5✩


My Opinion

I like the convenience of the Poddle Pod, it is easy to move around the home or to take with us to visit family. It’s unique internal shape is a comfort to our baby and we often find that placing him inside it to chill out during a cry is really handy. Not only does baby like resting but also sleeping inside the Poddle Pod. I have often placed baby inside the Pod after a feed and a winding, so that I can keep an eye on him as he dozes before placing him into his basket.

The shape and size of the Poddle Pod is ideal to lay on several surfaces including the bed and the sofa. Many a time have I been running errands in a room and placed my sleepy baby inside the Poddle Pod knowing he will be comfortable. I was very happy with the overall quality of the product and the material is excellent, easily washable and to get on and off the item using the zip.

This is a rather useful item that I am very happy that we purchased. So far it has been durable and has held it’s shape during the first eight weeks of its use.
I would certainly recommend this product to first time parents who may need somewhere safe to lay their baby down at times. Especially if they are feeling overwhelmed with the need for baby being held, this allows a few moments of respite for them while they do daily things. Even having a warm cup of tea or a hot meal can make all the difference in those first few weeks of being a new parent. The Poddle Pod can aid people in achieving this with its clever design.


 

Quality of Product 5✩
Value for Money 4✩
Use and Purpose 4✩

 

My Husbands Opinion

I liked that the Poddle Pod fitted comfortably inside our travel crib for comfort while sleeping away from home. We like the overall design and the shape commits to holding our baby safely. The cover is convenient to remove when requiring a clean and we purchased an additional cover so that if one is in the wash we can still use the Pod.
We chose the Elephant design due to the nature of our nursery theme and are happy with the quality of it. Although there were many great designs to choose from, and we would consider other ones when we get the larger Pod in the future.


Discount

If you would like to receive 10% off your purchase of Poddle Pod then follow them on Facebook (link below) and use the code FB10 on their website.

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Important Information About The Poddle Pod

✩ Great for Supervised Naps
✩ Perfect for Photography
✩ Excellent for Support and Comfort
✩ Ideal for Tummy Time
✩ Easily Portable
✩ Machine Washable Cover
✩ Weight Activated

 

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Links

Poddle Pod Website
Poddle Pod Facebook Page


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Thank you for supporting Severn Wishes blog, I hope you have enjoyed this review and I wish you a wonderful day.

✩ Sabrina 

What I Put Into My Hospital Bag for Labour, My Experience with Tips and Tips From Friends


What I Put In My Hospital Bag, My Experience In Hospital and Tips from Me and from Friends

As the due date of my little one was fast approaching I had begun to compile my items for my hospital bag. I had done a lot of research because I didn’t want to be bringing anything unnecessary, and I also didn’t want to forget something either that I could have otherwise over looked being a first time mum.

One thing I knew that I wanted was a nice blanket to wrap our baby in. My husband and I wanted to personally choose a nice outfit to bring baby home in too. And other than the usual necessities of a hospital stay, I was clueless as to what other items I may need for baby.

When you sign up to various baby things you will undoubtedly get a list or two about what you do and don’t need for hospital. Of course every couple is different and you also have to consider the time of year too. The best ones we found were the Bounty one and also one that we had at a Mothercare baby event.

I also talked to friends who had had babies recently to get their take on what they used the most and what they may have wished that they had had with them. Here is what a few of them told me…

Pip Said; “My son was born with lots of hair and I didn’t consider I would need a baby brush or comb! I sent my partner out to buy one so that we could comb all the baby gunk out of his hair!”

Louise Said; “We used two separate bags for convenience. Consider that you might be in labour or in hospital for a while, so headphones, a book or magazine might be a good idea. Don’t forget to have a car seat ready for when you go home as the hospital need to see you with it when you leave with your baby”.

The image above shows all of the items that I got inside the bag that I ordered from “Goodies 4 Mummies Pre Packed Maternity Hospital Bags”. I wanted a new bag specifically for going into hospital, but one large enough to put everything inside. I did not want to carrying multiple things because they wouldn’t fit. I contacted this page via their Facebook messenger section and discussed what I needed. In the end I chose this gorgeous bird design bag. The contents you see were all included, and most of it is excellent quality. You can choose whether you need a specific gender of items or neutral. We already knew we were having a little boy so I chose the blue. This included a Muslin Cloth and a Hat that were blue in colour.

I would rate the bag and the contents a 5/5 for range and quality.
I would rate the service of this business a 5/5 as well, fast delivery too!

The one thing I had read online that my mind hadn’t even considered was a pair of disposable slippers for the ward and (because I was having a summer baby) a portable fan. The slippers were luckily included in the Maternity Bag that I had ordered.

Our son decided to make an entrance into the world on one of the warmest days of the summer so far. It was 30 degrees Celsius in the delivery suite room. It was at that moment I was so happy that I had purchased a portable fan!

This fan was only £11 on Amazon at the time I ordered it. The device can be charged up via a USB cable and then runs on a full charge for approximately 10 hours. With 3 speed settings as well it was rather handy. The fan has a fold-able handle that is situated at the back when not in use. Ideal size for holding and for transporting, and in my opinion not that heavy either. I would review this item as a 5/5 considering the price and convenience of it, it was used throughout my labour during the day and night, my lovely mum was in charge of holding it over me, and a great job she did too. Here is the link below if anyone is interested in purchasing one.

EasyAcc Handheld Electric Fans Mini Portable Outdoor Fan with Rechargeable 2600 mAh Battery Foldable Handle Desktop for Home and Travel – Black

Knowing that we also got an opportunity to have a photograph taken of our baby by the hospital Bounty Photographer, meant that I wanted it to be memorable. They suggest a tiny soft toy, blanket or comforter to be in this photo. My husband and I have decided a comforter with a soft toy attached, and a spare blanket are the right things to take with us. Although you can bring almost anything you can think of.

Here is a final list of exactly what I have put into my hospital bags. I eventually did one for our baby and one for me. Just so that it was easier to find items for either person on the day or days that followed in hospital. It turned out to be a very good idea too!

Here is the final list of exactly what I have put into the bag for our newborn baby.

2 Packets of Baby Wipes – newborn and sensitive skin friendly
Cotton Wool Balls
Nappies – Newborn and Smaller Baby
Baby Grow and Sleepsuits for while in Hospital – Mixed Sizes
Outfit for Coming Home In
Small Cuddly Toy / Comfort Blanket
Baby Blanket
1 Set of Hat / Mittens / Booties / Socks
Baby Changing Mat
Barrier Ointment and Nappy Rash Cream
Baby Hair Brush and Comb
Muslin Cloth
1 Bib

We ended up being in hospital for 4 days first of all after my sons birth. I was very lucky that my husband was able to go home and collect items for me including spare muslin cloths, spare outfits for baby and he also had to go out and buy some tiny baby clothes too after our little one lost some weight.

You are always better to have more than you need than not enough. I would say it’s a good idea to bring several outfits with you because you don’t actually know the size of your baby until they arrive. And the majority of babies lose weight in the first couple of days as well. Be prepared!

Here is the final list of everything that went into my Hospital Bag. This key will identify to you whether or not I used the item or I didn’t.
★ Used
✩ Didn’t Use / Need
After this list I will be briefly outlining what my most used items were and what I definitely couldn’t have been without.

Hospital Notes and Birth Plan ★
Maternity Pads ★
Breast Pads ★
Old Pants/Underwear (Several) ★
A Top To Wear In Labour or just Afterwards ★
Old Vests / T-Shirts ★
Nursing Top / Nursing Bra ★
Nightie (Staying Overnight in Hospital) ★
Hair Bands and Hair Brush ★
Deodorant ★
Toothbrush and Toothpaste ★
Toiletries – Face Cream / Shampoo / Eyedrops etc ★
Lip Balm ★
Glasses Case and Cleaning Cloth ✩
Towel (Old One) ✩
Face Cloth ★
Cloth for Other Areas ★
Bag for Dirty Cloths to go into ★
Money – Spare Change for Drinks / Snacks ★
Mobile Phone Charger ★
Disposable Slippers ★
Hand Sanitiser ★
Spray Bottle for Water ✩
Face Wipes ✩
My Expert Midwife – Spritz for Bits and Nipple Balm ★
Handheld Fan ★
Bottle of Water and Bottle of Isotonic Drink ★
High Energy Snacks ★

Overall there was very little that I didn’t use out of my bag. And what I didn’t was usually down to the hospital providing the items for me, such as towels for showering etc. Sometimes you would of course prefer to use your own which is understandable. Some things such as the Spray Bottle for Water I was recommended by so many lists to take with me, to spray water on to my body while hot in labour, and to spray on sensitive and swollen areas after to cool myself down. However it was forgotten all about during my labour which progressed quite quickly.

There were a few items I couldn’t have done without. The disposable slippers for one, a godsend on a busy ward recovering from birth. Another thing was the lip balm, you won’t believe how dry your lips get in that environment. And also the isotonic drinks I had brought with me were an excellent choice, and I have my midwife to thank for their recommendation.

I will be reviewing the My Expert Midwife items in a separate blog post.

Thank you very much for reading this blog post today. I hope you have found it interesting and I have to say I cannot believe I’ve brought this post to you after baby is born. He was definitely in a hurry to meet everyone. However it’s exciting! Thanks to my friends who contributed their ideas to this post and thanks to everyone for their patience while I adjusted to life as a new mum!

Come back soon to Severn Wishes for Reviews and Lifestyle!

✩ Sabrina 

Heavily Pregnant At A Summer Wedding, Reviewing My Outfit Choices And How I Coped


Being Heavily Pregnant At A Summer Wedding,

Reviewing My Outfit Choices And How I Coped During The Day

I very recently attended a family wedding, which was really lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the evening. However being heavily pregnant there were some precautions that I needed to take for my safety, and also some decisions I had to make that some people might not have considered for themselves.

I wanted to write this blog post for two reasons, one is to review the items that I bought for my outfit and why I chose them. And reason two is because I hadn’t thought about some things until I was being a sensible adult and realised that quite a lot could be over looked. So I am sharing my experiences with you all today in this honest post.

Firstly I want to talk about my outfit. I’ve been quite lucky in regards my pregnancy, I haven’t put on a great deal of weight and I am mostly bump! However this proved tricky for me when I was shopping for maternity wear dresses…

Most places have taken into consideration people who may have gained weight all over, especially on certain areas like the bottom and boobs! However this isn’t me, and I tried on several beautiful items that sadly just made me feel like a sack of spuds! They gave me no shape or were too baggy in most areas…

So… then I decided to do a BooHoo order of two of their Maternity dresses, and there was one dress that fitted me well and I finally got some of my confidence back. Any pregnant woman will tell you, your confidence goes down after the second trimester, because everything makes you feel like your bump is massive (even if it isn’t) and I just wanted to flaunt my great figure and my bump too! But I just had to find something that made me feel like that.

Out of the two dresses I had from BooHoo the first fitted perfectly when I had my shoulders back and I stood tall, it was however a little low cut with a v-neck style. I knew how I wanted to fix this and decided to take myself off to New Look.

New Look always have what I want, I very rarely go into the store and come out empty handed. What I wanted to buy was either a crop top, vest or cami top that was pretty and high neck, and something that suited the dress too! My plan was to wear the top underneath and it look like it was just part of the dress. I wasn’t disappointed when I found the perfect top, and not only was it a great price, but I also got into my pre-pregnancy size because (as I mentioned) I haven’t put much weight on on my chest at all…

Finally I needed a pair of shoes to go with the dress and a cardigan if it were to be a cooler day. It was a good job that I bought a nice cardigan in the end because it turned out to be a rather windy day! And as for the shoes… well I got these gorgeous pregnancy friendly flat ballet shoes half price! What a successful shopping trip.

My ensemble of these items ended up looking like this… and I was very happy and comfortable (which was my main aim!) with what I chose. This is the practice dress up, I had leggings on in this image but swapped for tights on the actual wedding day. I also decided to add a white rose accessory clip in order to hold the dress snugly to the top underneath it.

✩ Clothing Reviews ✩


Name: White Maternity Polka Dot Wrap Smock Dress
Details: Available in White, Black or Terracotta. This dress sports half sleeves and an all over Polka Dot style. Total length is 92cm (36.5″). Available in Sizes 8 to 16.
Materials: 95% Viscose and 5% Elastane.
Purchased: Online at BooHoo
Price: £15.00
Link BooHoo Website

Material Quality 5✩
Overall Design 5✩
Overall Fit 4✩
Value for Money 5✩

I really liked the overall style of this dress and I would most definitely wear it again. The material might be a little thin but it’s just what you need for summer. It’s soft and comfortable to wear and the skirt section flows just enough to make you feel feminine – even with a baby bump!

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Name: Pink Sheer Lace Bow Ballet Pumps
Details: These type of shoes are available in many Colours and Styles but the Pink has Low Stock online – check your local stores. Available in Sizes 3 to 8. Sheer Design with Bow on the front. Black still available online.
Purchased: In Store at New Look
Price: £5.00 – £8.00
Link New Look Website

Material Quality 5✩
Overall Design 5✩
Overall Fit 5✩
Value for Money 5✩

I really like the pretty lace on these shoes, they aren’t just attractive though they are so comfortable to wear too. The price was excellent and I would happily wear them throughout the summer with any outfit they would go with. I already own many different colours and styles of this exact fitting shoe, I always go back to New Look when I need new versions, usually this is to match one to an outfit that I don’t already have a pair for.

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Name: Pink Jersey Longline Cardigan
Details: Available in many Colours and Styles (online currently in Pink or Pale Blue). Available in store in Sizes 6 to 18. These cardigans are soft and have two nice large pockets one on either side. They are long sleeved and lightweight, ideal for Summer.
Materials: 96% Viscose and 4% Elastane.
Purchased: In Store at New Look
Price: £12.99
Link New Look Website

Material Quality 5✩
Overall Design 5✩
Overall Fit 5✩
Value for Money 5✩

These cardigans from New Look wash and wear really well. Would you believe me if I said I owned fourteen of these now? I have collected this style for over the past ten years, and whenever New Look release a new colour I usually buy it! I wanted this lovely light pink to go with my outfit and I am always pleased with this type of cardigan.

 

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Name:
 Black Crochet Neck Ribbed Cami Top
Details: Available in the Colours or Black, White, Olive and Pink. Available in Sizes 8 to 18. A pretty top that is ideal for Summer, Crochet is in this year. Wear alone on a hot day or pair with other clothing to add a textured touch (like I did with my dress).
Materials: 95% Cotton and 5% Elastane.
Purchased: In Store at New Look
Price: £8.99
Link New Look Website

Material Quality 5✩
Overall Design 5✩
Overall Fit 5✩
Value for Money 5✩

I was impressed with this cami top. Due to my baby bump I wouldn’t be able to wear it on it’s own this summer. However underneath other clothing to fill in gaps like I have done with my dress for this particular outfit, it works perfectly. It fitted really well and was comfortable too. Being mostly cotton I expected it to be of a good quality and it certainly was, it washed well too.

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How I Coped During The Long Day

My main tips for coping during long days out are to carry a water bottle with you. In the summer it’s even more important to stay hydrated. Make sure that you take regular seated breaks to avoid any unnecessary swelling of your feet and ankles, especially if it’s a warm day. Make sure those who are attending with you know how to help you if you need it.

It’s a good idea to bring your hospital bag and notes with you in your vehicle if you’re going to be a long way from home for more than a few hours. At my stage of pregnancy I could easily have gone into labour, better to be prepared. Also look up your nearest hospital or maternity unit just in case!

I made sure that my outfit was lightweight overall and that I was comfortable from my head to my toes. Nothing was too restricting or tight. Another top tip of mine is make sure you do a test run of the outfit before the day, that way you can see if there are any issues with it that you may want to fix.


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I hope you have enjoyed reading this post today. Have a great day!

✩ Sabrina 

 

Argos Home House Shelf Review and How I Am Customising It For My Own Needs


Recently while browsing on the Argos App during a clearance sale I came across a set of shelves that I absolutely fell in love with. The triple wooden shelves were shaped like houses and hollow inside, sporting a backboard and sturdy sides. The colours weren’t to my taste but upon looking up the materials of the product I was satisfied that I could modify them to my tastes.

Reduced to clear from £44.99 to just £17.99 I got an absolute bargain! The shelves are triple white houses that you screw together to form a solid block. What I wanted to use them for was our baby nursery. The theme we had chosen was yellow and grey, gender neutral and colours that could be easily adapted over time. One of the back boards of this shelving set was grey with white stars, which was perfect! But I needed to customise the other two. Luckily as well the grey stars was the largest one, so all I needed was to alter the smaller two, and this is how I did it.

On Amazon a while ago I was searching for good quality crafting card and paper. I came across a brand called Dovecraft, and purchased several packets from them in various colours and sizes. I was lucky enough to get some beautiful Yellow and Grey ones, which were reasonably priced at the time too. I began to figure out how I was going to fix and cut these pieces to fit the triangle back boards of the shelving. Eventually I completed my designs and began working on it.

Here are some images of me working on the pieces. As you can see I used very strong double sided tape, cutting the card before hand for size. Then I made sure it was fully stuck down once I was finished by leaving the wood panel underneath some heavy books for forty eight hours before screwing to the shelf.

The finished shelving with the Argos design would usually look like this…


My finished and customised shelving however, looks like this…


✩ Sabrina’s How To & Top Tips 

My Top Tips for making craft work for you are;

✩ Be clear on your design so you know what the end result should look like.
✩ Research what you will need to get the job done including things like time frame.
✩ Shop around to get the best deals on materials and products.
Take your time and do it right first time.

✩ Review ✩

Name: DoveCraft Collections Designer Paper Pack
Details: Yellow and Grey “Baby Steps”
12″ x 12″ (30.5cm x 30.5cm)
36 Sheets – 3 Sheets of 12 Different Designs on 150gsm Card
Acid and Lignin Free
Purchased: On Amazon
RRP Price: £6.99
Link to Dovecraft on Amazon HERE

Quality 5
Designs 5
Value for Money 5✩

 

✩ Review ✩

Name: Argos Home House Shelf
Details: White Wooden House Shaped Shelving Unit with Back Boards
Purchased: Argos (In April 2018)
RRP Price: £44.99 (I Paid £17.99)
Unavailable Now (This Was A Clearance Item)

Quality 5
Designs 4
Value for Money 5✩


Over All Opinion

I have loved how my shelf has turned out, I’m very happy with it and how I made it unique to our home. I would recommend items from Argos and always read the reviews on the website. The paper from DoveCraft is excellent too, and if you’re a keen craft person then I would highly recommend their products. They do a huge range of colours and also sizes of Paper and Card, so it’s definitely worth a look if you have been inspired by what I have done.
I plan to use the remainder of the card pieces as backgrounds for photo frames and for a scrapbook that I am making for our baby’s first year.

✩✩

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Have a great day and thank you for visiting Severn Wishes Blog today!

✩ Sabrina 

Baby Books and Why Reading To Baby While They Are Still In The Womb Is So Important

Baby Books We Have Purchased and Why Reading To Baby While They Are Still In The Womb Is So Important

 

A lot of parents “to be” will speak and even sing to their babies while they are still confined to the mothers womb. This isn’t an uncommon practice, but what is becoming more and more popular is to read aloud to them. From around 24 weeks your baby will be able to hear your voice and start to distinguish it from others. If you regularly talk to your baby they may even move in response to your voice pattern. Being repetitive with your words each day can help with this too. Books that have a rhythm to them are supposed to be the most effective, and you can also introduce multiple languages in a basic form if you feel brave enough.

A baby can develop cognitive responses to what happens while they are inside the womb. For example if the mother relaxes to the same piece of music regularly, the baby is often soothed by the same thing when they hear it outside of the womb. This is because they recognise how their mother felt at that time. By taking the time to use speech and music in the run up to our children being born, we could be aiding them with learning. Scientists believe that talking to a baby in the womb and interacting with both feelings and sound, could be beneficial. It is also a great bonding exercise for the parents.

Scientists believe that babies not only become used to the regular voices, sounds and music that they hear, such as Mom and Dad, but they may also begin to pick up words and tones that are used often as well. Other things they can pick up on as they grow are whether or not they are getting repetitive environments. Some move around when they hear and feel the rumble of a car engine for example. Or if someone turns on a loud noise like a hoover or a coffee grinder in close proximity to bump, they can squirm like they want to move away from the loud noise. It is all a learning process.

When I first read about this on the Bounty Pregnancy App I found it all fascinating. I immediately went online to see if I could get any of the baby books that I remember being read to me in my younger years. If any of them were still available now I wanted to read them to my child. Luckily about one third of my chosen few were still in print, and so I set about ordering some. My plan is to read to my baby as a method of soothing them once they are born, and after reading this study I thought why not begin while baby is still inside me.

I ordered the following items from The Works, because they have some great deals on books, especially children’s ones. I managed to get 10 books for £10 on a weekend deal. Some were usually more than £3.00 each so it was a bargain! And they were delivered quickly which was a bonus.

I will put the website link at the end of my blog post for those of you who want to take a look at the current range.


Some of the books from my childhood in the 1980’s were favorable for me getting for my child. A lot of them taught about morals and about family, and making learning and understanding fun! I have also invested in newer titles that have been a hit with many of my friends who are already parents, such as “Mog the Cat” and books about Animals. We are big on both nature and Cats in my house, so anything along these lines would go down well. I think it’s really important that children learn about Animals and how to treat them right, in my opinion the younger that they recognise them the better.

A few of the titles that I have bought so far for our baby are these;

Mog and Bunny
Say Goodnight to the Sleepy Animals
Say Hello to the Animals
Say Hello to the Jungle Animals
Little Bear Won’t Sleep
The Large Family – Five Minutes Peace
The Large Family – All In One Piece
Counting 123
Five Little Dinosaurs

For both storyline and art work I would highly rate “Mog and Bunny”, the range of “Goodnight and Hello to the Animals” Books and also one of my childhood favourites “Five Minutes Peace”. I do plan on getting more books once we have exhausted this pile and are in need of something new to stimulate both our brains and baby too! I believe in reading, turning pages and showing pictures to children. I won’t be one of these tablet only mothers put it that way! Books all the way!

So as my due date gets ever closer, I am talking to baby more and more. I am also encouraging my husband to read to baby as a way of them bonding. Hopefully our baby will know both of our voices when we meet, and this will allow us all to be more calm. I also look forward to reading to our baby and watching their reactions…

Do you enjoy reading books? Is there a title that you read or have read to your children that you can recommend? If so, please leave me a comment.

Don’t forget you can follow me on social media for more baby and bump updates! Such as Fashion choices and days out!

Have a great day and thank you for visiting Severn Wishes Blog!

✩ Sabrina 

The Works Website HERE

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 ✩

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