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 

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 

Types of Baby Kicks, Learning About Your Baby and Things to do in the Third Trimester


Types of Baby Kicks, Learning About Your Baby (Facts) and Things You Should Do In The Third Trimester

I have been writing this blog post for some time now, I keep adding to it whenever I come across a great fact! Hopefully you will find this post interesting ans also beneficial if you or someone you know is pregnant. Feel free to send them to link to my website!


✩ 12 Different Types of Baby Kicks ✩

By the time you reach the middle of trimester two your baby should be making a routine for itself. This is important to take note of because these movements should remain similar right up until the day you give birth.
The Kicks Count Charity is really useful for anyone who wants to know more about how their baby should be moving during their pregnancy.
Remember that taking a five minute time out every couple of hours to sit or lie down and just focus on feeling your baby is a good idea.
Doctors recommend that healthy movements are around 10 an hour for a baby between trimester two and birth. This varies with all mothers and babies and some move more at different times of the day. But monitoring what is normal for you and your baby is extremely important. If you don’t feel any movements for a few hours contact your midwife – don’t leave it until the next day!

Here are some cool facts about the different kinds of baby kicks you should feel.

✩ Flutters – The First Feelings – Similar to Trapped Gas

✩ Tapping or Butterfly Wings – It feels very light but if you focus you can feel it

✩ Kicks – You know when you’ve been kicked & the force only gets stronger


✩ Punches – Punches feel different to Kicks – you will learn the difference trust me


✩ Rolling – Looks like a Ripple across your skin – usually caused by Babies Bum during a turn


✩ Squirming – Baby is running out of Room and Wriggles a lot instead of Kicks


✩ Bubbles – this tickling feeling and popping can be Baby blowing Bubbles of Amniotic Fluid – cheeky!

✩ Hiccups – A rhythmic tapping or popping that goes on for a minute or so…

✩ Spasm like Feelings – Baby makes a Rapid Movement and you will know about it from the force!


✩ Nudges – Usually in Third Trimester – You’re getting Elbowed! Not much room to kick out!

✩ Pressure – The final new feeling will be the pressure of babies head as they descend down ready for birth…


✩ Third Trimester Feelings ✩

So as the due date for our baby is fast approaching I thought I would share some knowledge with you all that I came across this past month or so, and I found these facts really interesting and wanted to pass them on.
I have been relatively well in my second trimester, and really enjoyed being pregnant at this stage but it’s gone by all too fast. Now that I am well into the third however I am feeling a lot more tired, lack of sleep has a lot to do with that because I’m suffering with my hips (SPD) and it can be very painful at times. Always aim to lay on your left side!
My advice to any of you at this stage is to keep active. I have only finished work (full time on my feet) as of three weeks from my due date week but I have had a lot to do at home. Do a bit and Rest a bit, is my new motto!
Here are some great facts!

✩ Interesting Third Trimester Facts ✩

✩ Doctors class 28 weeks gestation and onwards as the third trimester. At this stage your baby will be as big as a Canteloupe Melon and weigh around 2 pounds!

✩ Make sure (if you don’t already do so) that you always sleep on your left hand side of your body from now, it’s so important for your blood flow and reducing the risks to the baby!

✩ Your partner might be able to hear the babies heartbeat from now on, in a quiet space get them to gently press an ear to your bump (where you think babies body is) and listen closely…

✩ At around 28/29 weeks gestation your baby will be able to smell the same things that you smell!

✩ During this stage of Pregnancy your baby will receive all the essential nutrients that it needs from the food you have eaten, it gets this first at your Digestion, and you just end up with the leftovers baby doesn’t require. Therefore it’s always important to make sure you’re getting the right minerals and vitamins from your food and (if you need it) a Pregnancy supplement.

✩ Some women suffer with Constipation at this point of Pregnancy. Eat High Fibre Cereals as well as wholegrain or wholewheat products. Broccoli and Cauliflower are also very good for you too!

✩ Don’t forget to drink plenty of Water! Pregnant women should aim for between 2 and 3 litres a day, closer to 3 if they can on warmer days.

✩ Did you know that what you eat now can determine what baby may eat at the stage of weaning? By consuming a varied diet which includes a variety of spices, herbs and strong tastes, this can help your baby when they begin eating solid foods later in their life. Baby should recognise Garlic for example, if you ate a lot of it while you were pregnant. Fascinating stuff!

✩ You are now using an extra 900-1000 kilo-joules of energy each and every day just to fuel that baby growing you’re doing! That is why women in the third trimester need around 250 extra calories a day added to their diet. I recommend full fat yoghurt as a snack with some fruit, and an extra bowl of cereal for how I get mine most days.

✩ Did you know that during the third trimester you should be able to feel when your baby has the hiccups? It will feel like a rhythmic tapping or popping feeling and often lasts a couple of minutes at a time.

✩ After around week 34 of pregnancy your baby can put on around half a pound of weight per week.

✩ At around week 35 your “Nesting” instincts might kick in. (For me it was even earlier!) So don’t worry if you feel the need to clean and tidy up a lot!

✩ Only 5% of Babies are born on their actual due date! Bare this in mind when booking time off work!

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✩ Things To Do In The Third Trimester ✩


✩ Make Some Time For Yourself and Partner

✩ Do Something You Won’t Be Able To Do When Baby Arrives – Like Watch That Movie

✩ Read To Your Baby (See my other Pregnancy blog posts about this)

✩ In the final weeks of pregnancy you might want to consider some batch or bulk cooking, or at least filling up your cupboards.

✩ Stay Active! Short steady walks or Swims are really beneficial.

✩ Drink more Water! And eat more Vegetables!

✩ Consider looking into your Birth Plan, Pain Relief Options, Nursery Ideas and Baby Names! (if you haven’t already!)

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I hope you have enjoyed reading this lifestyle and pregnancy post today. There will be many more coming up and different ones once my baby arrives too! Thanks for reading Severn Wishes 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

Our Baby Items Wish List and Changes We Are Making At Home

Baby Items Wish List and Changes We Are Making At Home

When you get to the shopping stage of having a baby it can be quite overwhelming. I have read so many reviews I am not sure what to go for in some aspects. However there are some items that I most definitely want to buy, products that I feel will help my husband and I overall when our baby does arrive.

This blog post is quite a short one, I’m outlining a few things that are still on our wish list to buy and why we would like to get them…

Wish List for our Baby

Considering I’m such an organised person there are still a few things that we don’t have for baby as yet. The reason being is that we were researching and comparing brands in some product cases, and some things we just couldn’t make up our mind on.

You often get told to buy things that are actually quite unnecessary, however there are also things that both fellow parents and bloggers have recommended to me. I’ve then done my own research and also attended demonstrations at baby shows in order to help make my decisions.

My plan is to review each of the main items that we do purchase, I can only do that once baby is here though and we are actually using them. So today, I want to outline my current wish list and the items I’ve considered getting. Some things that we have in fact bought, will be reviewed in time.

In the next few paragraphs I’m going to be explaining why I want these particular products for baby and the reasons that others have given me for buying the item which has sparked my interest in the first place.

Belo Teething Mitt £12.99

Website Here

I have been introduced to Belo Teething Mitts recently via Facebook when a friend shared their recent competition. I liked the style of them, although they aren’t as popular as some brands they seemed quite affordable and peoples reviews reflected a good quality.

Once baby is born I would consider ordering a pair of these mittens especially if our baby begins to chew their hand or digits for example.

These Belo Mittens are available for babies aged 3-12 months. They are BPA Free and Safety Tested, they can also be washed in the washing machine.

Here is an image of their mittens, they are only available in blue or pink at the moment.


Bean Bag Planet £39.99

Website Here

One thing I have been looking at for months has been the baby bean bags available on the market. My husband and I bought a Poddle Pod already from a baby show. But I like the look of the bean bag because baby will grow with it.

Here are the main reasons why I would love to buy our baby one of these. The product has two covers, one for newborns with a harness and the other one is suitable from toddler to ten years old. The bean bag base is waterproof and wipe clean. Not only is the inner product fire retardant but the bean bag also features a removable and adjustable filling.

Here are some photographic examples of the sorts of styles that Bean Bag Planet currently do. It also costs an additional £3.99 to have the bean bag filled.

 

 

Gummee Glove Teething Mitten £10.99

Website Here

Another Mitten that I have seen and like the look of is the Gummee Glove. This baby mitten has teething sections attached and they make several sizes for different babies stages. I would love to invest in the first one which is for 3-6 months, and if baby gets on with it I can get the next size up.

The reason I like the look of this teething mitten is because they are made with 100% cotton. It is BPA, Latex and Phthalate Free, Safety Tested and Machine Washable. Gummee Glove currently comes in three colours, Yellow, Turquoise or Pink.
Here are some images of the Gloves currently available and I have included a link to the website too for anyone who wants to see it.

 


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Changes We Are Making at Home in Preparation For Baby

 

It’s taken a while but we’ve finally began to order things for our baby. We’ve decided to make some changes at home, getting rid of things to make room for new items such as furniture. We have removed a wardrobe so that we can have a baby changing table with storage shelving that will be ideal for us to store nappies and things in.

Something else that we have done is rearranged our bedroom so that when baby is here the Moses basket won’t be against any external walls. It’s important to read up about the safety aspects of your home, and make sure you have taken any precautions or rearranged furniture so the room is well ventilated for example.

Other preparations that we still have to make are more tidying and putting away of items that may create allergen risks. It also means I will have less to do when baby is here, such as making hoovering easier and dusting time less – neither of which are bad things!

We hope that in these final few weeks we will still have the time to complete the rooms exactly how we want them, before baby makes its appearance. I will be reviewing items we have been particularly impressed with individually on the blog, as and when I have time to. So stay tuned to Severn Wishes in the coming months if you’re interested in any of that!

Thanks for reading everyone! Do you own any of these products? Please let me know what they’re like in the comments section if you do!

✩ Sabrina 

My Tattoo Experiences – Hints and Tips and Photographs

Lifestyle Week on Severn Wishes

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My Tattoo Experiences

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

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


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

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What My Tattoos Mean To Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photographs of my Tattoos


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Time Taken Per Tattoo

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

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

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

 

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

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

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Sabrina’s Top Tips and Hints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

✩ Sabrina ✩

 

A Weekend Away Checklist and Packing (Before Baby Arrives)

Lifestyle Week on Severn Wishes


A Weekend Away Checklist and Packing (Before Baby Arrives)

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

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

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

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

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

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


✩ Toiletries ✩

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

✩ Clothing ✩

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

✩ Other Items ✩

Pregnancy Pillow
Slippers with Gripped Soles
Long Warm Cardigan

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

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

✩ Sabrina ✩

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 ✩