Breastfeeding Baby, the Issues, the Infections and the Isolation

In my article “Breastfeeding Baby, the Issues, the Infections and the Isolation” I’m going to be talking about the different issues and infections I have had, in order to raise awareness for other mothers who, like me, may have been unaware of the seriousness of them. And I will also be touching upon the isolation too, it’s such a stupid thing in modern times for it not to be accepted by everyone. At the end of the day breasts are part of a woman’s body in order to nurse children. I will discuss lots of things in these 4000+ words! So grab a cup of tea and a biscuit and brace yourself for honesty and facts…

Breastfeeding is Incredible but it is also Hard Work

Breastfeeding my son has been one of the most rewarding yet hardest things I have ever done in my life. It was a choice I made while I was pregnant and I wanted to persevere and give it my absolute best, with the aim of feeding him for at least six months if it was possible. But then when we hit that milestone and after that other milestones too, I just kept saying “I will now stop when baby no longer wants it”. Now we are at 15 months and still going, yay for us!

Don’t get me wrong, it certainly was not the easy way of feeding my baby and I think that women who do breastfeed give up a lot, and this should definitely be recognised a bit more. Let me start at the beginning and explain how and why I chose to carry on, in the face of pain, problems and less than four hours sleep for many a night. And why I’m still breastfeeding… right now in fact! While I type some of this story!

It had been an uphill battle to establish the breastfeeding and the routines to begin with. We were plagued with problems from the outset but because I was determined I continued on. Our son developed jaundice a day after birth which required a lengthy stay in hospital in an UV incubator and I breastfed or pumped every ninety minutes for the first two weeks of his life. Tough was an understatement, because my milk was still only just coming in when we realised our son had some problems. So I ended up with sore and cracked nipples from the constant feeding one way or another. The lack of sleep and the worry caused me to get rundown too. I remember filling myself with food and drinking litres of water at the beginning, it really did help get me through. And I have to thank the midwife team and breastfeeding coordinators at my local hospital too for their support and kindness.

When we eventually went home, to stay, our son was cluster feeding, we encouraged this to get him to gain some weight. It was incredibly hard, with sleep time being few and sitting down time a plenty, yet I wouldn’t change the bond it allowed for us to grow. So many hours were spent just gazing at one another; sleepy feeding at all hours and burping sessions too! We were doing so well, our little boy was slowly gaining weight and we had turned a corner. Family were also supportive and I carried my pregnancy pillow with me everywhere I went… Then one day as we started to feed I got pains, and these increased over the course of the day, and it turned out to be an infection that I knew nothing about. Let me tell you about Ductal Thrush.

Lots of doctors misdiagnose this ailment as Mastitis when in fact it’s Ductal Thrush. And if you get a misdiagnosis like I did with this, then you can actually make your infection so much worse! Let me explain a bit more about my run-ins with the dreaded Ductal Thrush and then I will show you a list of the symptoms and give you some facts!

Ductal Thrush

My son was only seven weeks old when I got some bizarre pains as he latched on to feed. Previously my breasts had been engorged and that was painful, my nipples had been sore and cracked and they had also been painful, but this was different. It felt as though my son was drawing my milk out through the nipple, and as usual you can feel that gentle pull, except this time it was as though my nipple was being shredded from the inside out by glass shards. Yes… glass shards. It’s the best way I have of describing it, and it’s incredibly painful. At times during my experience with Ductal Thrush I would even say it hurt me more than the contractions of labour.

Now I’m pretty good with pain, I had my son naturally on just a little gas and air, and even my midwife took that off me almost ninety minutes before he was born to get me to focus more… so when I was tearing up and gritting my teeth through baby latching I knew something was not right. My son and I had such a bond already, but he was feeding frequently, usually fourteen to fifteen times in every twenty four hours. The pain of Ductal Thrush lasts for around a minute or two into the feed, and then different pains occur after baby has fed and you have your milk let down. That pain is a dull ache felt right in the depths of the breast tissue, mine was so deep it radiated around my back under my armpit.

I managed to get in at my GP quickly, the next day in fact. But I had hardly any sleep because of the pain during and between feeds that I was exhausted when I got there. The doctor took a look and listened to my symptoms before telling me that it was Mastitis. Having read about this condition and also having been given leaflets on it in hospital because it’s quite common in new breastfeeding mum’s, I just didn’t think he was correct. I went home with a box of antibiotics, and despite my reservations I took them for four days. The GP said that after forty eight hours I should begin to feel better and that the pain would get better. In fact by the fourth day the pain had almost doubled and I was crying my way through every single feeds. I was biting down on one of the baby teething rings we had bought for him just to get through the initial latch, and if he let go and had to start all over again I would literally be sobbing it was terrible.

After this night of debilitating pain I decided to call the breastfeeding coordinator number that I had been given, and they gave me some advice. They also sent a member of the breastfeeding team to my house to check me over when I described what a time I was experiencing. They checked to make sure baby was latching properly, and once I had told them about the pain they instantly knew it was Ductal Thrush and not Mastitis. I remember exactly how the conversation went, and how exhausted I felt. She also looked inside my son’s mouth because you can often see the thrush in baby’s throats and on their tongue. I wasn’t aware of this until I was told, but it’s white and often sticks to babies tongue and gums, and it was evident towards the back of my little ones mouth.

“You need to go back to your GP with this new information, and you need to stop taking those antibiotics because that type is feeding the infection not helping to get rid of if”.

I was devastated, it was now worse because of the misdiagnosis and my son was suffering too, I had to phone the GP up and ask to see them again. When I told him what the breastfeeding team had said he needed to look it up on his computer and find out what he needed to prescribe me instead. Not only did we require tablets but we also needed a nipple cream for me and a gel for my son for his mouth. They weren’t an everyday antibiotic, and my local pharmacy required a minimum of twenty four hours in order to get them in. So I waited, my husband picked up the prescription for me the following afternoon, and it was three days for them to enter my system and begin working.

During all of this time I continued feeding through the excruciating pain, and my poor son kept looking up at me wondering why I was so upset, his mind must have been so confused at the time, since I had always enjoyed our feeds and bonding since getting over the initial first pains and soreness that comes with new mothers feeding. Now he saw it as something that was upsetting me so I tried to not show him how hurt I was feeling and tried to smile down at him for reassurance.

But I was now in pain for minutes at every single feed, and this continued for a further week before it finally began to improve. It was tedious, I had to apply this fungal cream after each feed but remove some of it if it hadn’t been absorbed into the skin when he next wanted to feed. I also had to rub the gel onto his gums after each feed was over. I also had Lanolin for my nipples which were so sore from all the contact. But the antibiotics were finally starting to work, and I had a two week dosage of tablets which I thought was fine. It wasn’t. Due to it being so bad and embedded so far into my breast tissues I had to return to the GP and get a further repeat prescription of it. In total I was medicated for a whole six weeks, and it was a concern with my son being so young and the medication passing on to him.

For me Ductal Thrush at times was more painful than giving birth, and any mother who has had a severe case of it like I did will no doubt back me up. I’m not exaggerating with the pulling your milk through shards of glass description, or the burning sensation that radiates through your entire chest and into your tissue and muscles well into your back. I look back now and it’s a bit of a blur, I wonder how I even got through those weeks, but I did. I remember having to bite down on that teether at our three o’clock feed to stop my crying waking up the neighbours.

The GP even sent me to the hospital during my second dose of antibiotics to have an ultrasound scan on my breast tissues, to make sure nothing else was going on, luckily there was not and I was able to return to feeding my son. Although this was not before I was asked if I wanted to stop feeding him. When the thrush reoccurred without the tablets, well it never really left thinking back on it now, it was just starting to improve when I ran out of medication that first time and therefore it flared up again. But I recall telling every member of the health department that I came across, “No, I have worked too hard to establish feeding I want to continue”. I knew that I could beat this and carry on, not just for my son but for my sake as well.

As a sufferer of Endometriosis, I’m currently at Stage Four, so it was more beneficial to me to continue breastfeeding as long as was possible. When I explained the benefits most people could see why I wanted to maintain the feeds. But it was important to me because of how much I had already been through to even get to this stage of breastfeeding. For those few weeks that were debilitating and exhausting it felt never ending, but then we turned a corner, I woke one morning and the pain was there but bearable. I didn’t see the Ductal Thrush again, and if I never do again it would be all too soon. It affected the supply in my right breast, so much so that the left side became dominant and grew to almost double the size. I live with the constant lopsided reminder of how infection can really change your body. But I am a stronger breastfeeding mother because of what I have been through.

So many mothers are misdiagnosed with Ductal Thrush and it can have implications as well as creating painful feeding. Please speak to your local breastfeeding team if you are at all concerned that your GP might not be fully understanding to your needs. Get them to check inside your baby’s mouth because this is also an indication of where thrush lies. As a mother who has chosen to breastfeed you should be made aware of what Ductal Thrush and Mastitis are, so that you can make an informed decision if you should contract either of them.

Let us now go through the differences between the two of them. Ductal Thrush occurs when an infection grows among the breast tissues and is usually spread and passed from mother to baby and back again. Thrush can be an infection that occurs on several different parts of the body. Evidence of it in the breast can sometimes be seen on and around the nipple, or within baby’s mouth. Baby needs to be treated at the same time as the mother and it usually affects both of the breasts, but usually one side more than the other. Mastitis occurs in the breast when the ducts of tissue become blocked, it is usually associated with engorgement or when your baby is not feeding effectively and draining every part of the breast. Mastitis is accompanied with red, swollen and hot skin, then pain and redness that expands. Both of these conditions are serious, Mastitis more so due to the nature of the infection.

As explained on the NHS website, here are some more facts about Mastitis as a condition.

Mastitis only usually affects one breast and women feel unwell.
Symptoms develop quickly and can include a red, swollen and painful area of the breast.
Usually there is a lump or hard area to the breast tissue that doesn’t go after feeding baby.
There can be burning pains associated with feeding your baby or occurring continuously.
Discharge from the nipple is common including white or blood streaked.
Flu-like symptoms are the normal experience for people with this infection, aches and pains, fatigue, going hot and cold, running a temperature and a having a fever.

Mastitis in breastfeeding women is known as Milk Stasis, it is caused by a build-up of milk that has not been drained properly. This occurs when the baby hasn’t got a good enough latch, there is an abundance of milk and baby isn’t feeding effectively or when the baby is feeding infrequently or misses a feed. It is an infection most common in the first twelve weeks of breastfeeding; however it can occur at any time for breastfeeding mothers who have a change in their usual routine for example. Mastitis occurs when the build-up of breast milk that has become blocked becomes infected with bacteria. If the bacteria are not treated quickly then the milk can turn into pus in the form of a breast abscess which may then need to be surgically drained.

Luckily Mastitis is easily treatable with antibiotics and rest. As with any infection you need to rest and hydrate, as well as eat healthily and take the tablets you are prescribed. Pain medicine such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can be taken on the advice of your Doctor. Avoid tight fitting clothes and no bra if you think you may have Mastitis and while you are recovering. You must continue to breastfeed so as to remove any milk from the breast and avoid any further infections.

Is it important to remember that Mastitis can be a serious infection, and if you believe you may have it you need to see a Doctor as soon as possible. When infections spread it is more difficult to treat them and undiagnosed infections can lead to problems like Abscess’ or even Sepsis (Blood Poisoning). If in doubt see your GP and don’t be embarrassed about seeking help for something like this.


My Experience with Mastitis

I think I was in denial when I had Mastitis. I kept thinking, just one more painful feed and then it will be better, but this went on for weeks until I finally walked a mile and a half to the doctors on a really hot day because I could literally take it no more. I had a sore nipple after my son had accidentally bitten me with a fresh tooth he was cutting, and as he breast fed the sore kept reopening as a wound and became rather painful. This is what I attributed my pains to, and it wasn’t until I woke with an adjacent lump and red patch on my skin that I thought it was something more.

As I sat down to be examined with the doctor a chaperone was there too, and she was watching my son who was getting flustered at the sight of somebody other than him touching my breast, ha! Within seconds of looking at me he concluded it was Mastitis and told me I needed to start antibiotics immediately, I was told off for not coming in sooner. He told me to go to the pharmacy across the road and then go home and rest. He advised me to up my fluid intake, take paracetamol and stay warm. He even told me that if the redness spread any further across my chest to phone 111 and get admitted for IV antibiotics. It was quite scary…

My son was so flustered I had to breastfeed him in the Doctor’s surgery waiting room before I left the premises. That’s one thing people don’t realise about Mastitis, you actually have to keep on feeding despite the pain. Allowing the Breast to become engorged again would be dangerous and could further spread the infection.

So once my son was done I managed to get him back into his pushchair and I did what the Doctor said, I got my tablets, then I grabbed myself some Pepsi Max and Chilled Water from the convenience store next to the pharmacy too, it was so hot that day. Walking home afterwards I was getting more and more exhausted.

Once home I didn’t get the chance to rest, I took my medication then I fed my son both food and my milk. By the time I was sitting down to breastfeed I realised how hungry I was, but upon reading the antibiotic packet I saw it read no food for two hours after a tablet. So I then had to wait even longer to have my lunch.

By the time my husband got home from work in the evening I was sat on the sofa huddled in blankets watching my son play with his toys on his mat. I was so exhausted I just did dinner in the oven that night. One of the symptoms is fatigue because your body is fighting an infection. Another is the flu like symptoms that hit you like a train. For a moment you feel fine and then boom you’ve got shivering shakes and feel really cold. It was 28 degrees Celsius outside and 24 inside my house, yet I was sat with a heavy cardigan on and a blanket wrapped around me. I had these particular symptoms on and off for just over forty eight hours, and they were not pleasant.

I was on my antibiotics course for two weeks, one tablet four times a day. Luckily by the time I came to the end of the course I had noticed an improvement and my pain was now subsiding. I did however still had the open sore on my nipple which took another three weeks to heal completely. My son couldn’t help opening it every time he had an aggressive “I’m really hungry” feed.

The reason I got Mastitis was because I was away from my son for a few hours. Despite expressing some milk while away that day I still ended up engorged and in a lot of pain. Although I had encouraged him to feed more from my breast in the days that followed I could see my raised ducts weren’t going back down. If I ran my finger over my skin while he fed I could feel them, they were like tiny raised finger like shapes. A week or so later the pain and discomfort began getting a lot worse. One side of my breast was bright red and due to my encouraging more feeds to try and empty the breast, it had become sore and my skin was splitting where my nipple met my areolas. I gritted my teeth at the start of every feed.

My son prefers one side to the other… I hear most babies do! I recall the doctor asking me if he fed on the other side and I said he did do, but my right could never keep up with the supply and demand that the Left could. He commented that I was rather lopsided, and I asked him to tell me something I didn’t already know!

So the weeks past and luckily my Mastitis completely rectified itself and I didn’t need any further treatment. I’m one of the lucky ones, and I also have fairly small breasts as far as sizes go! I could imagine that someone with larger breasts where more infection could spread would be having a more difficult time of it! It didn’t reoccur at all although I have been careful not to have a spaced out feed since then, and my son has gone everywhere with me.

It took me a whole month to feel normal again, it was awful feeling so weak for a few days, but then the fatigue took a few days to recover from as well. I was grateful that I knew a bit about Mastitis due to my misdiagnosis when I had Ductal Thrush, so at least I was clued up on what to look out for. But some women are never told about these conditions and I think it’s important that they are discussed and recognised by the wider community.


Isolation

Finally, I want to talk about the Isolation that Breastfeeding brings.

Breast is best, and it sure is! You get to bond with your baby, get extra cuddles and even burn more calories and get your pre-baby body back more quickly! But breastfeeding can also be very isolating especially if you can’t express or find it difficult to get your baby to take milk from a breast and a bottle… this was us. We had always hoped to do combination feeding, but our son didn’t like multiple bottle types. That said, I have never had an issue with feeding him by my breast, wherever I was and whenever he needed me to, I did it. So far that has been sat on the floor in Primark and even whilst walking around Tesco supermarket doing the grocery shopping.

I knew of mother friends who went back to a date night routine when their child was twelve weeks old, they went back to work at nine months, they went on a family holiday around the little ones first birthday. Most of these friends bottle fed their children for whatever reason. But you could end up like me, putting your little ones needs ahead of your own, you could be breastfeeding them for a particular reason. Our main reason is allergies, specifically food ones. It was imperative that I kept feeding him when my son was diagnosed with a potential milk allergy, and now we know it is a serious one I was glad that I stuck with feeding and didn’t put him at risk by trying all sorts of random formula. We are now waiting to see a consultant about his allergies, so for now I am sticking with breastfeeding him and maintaining a free from diet for me. It makes things difficult but I am used to it now, and I know he is safe.

It’s been hard not to be the social butterfly that I once was, but I have enjoyed the time with my son, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Especially the teaching and learning for both of us, the bonding and the love. Teaching him has been an absolute joy so far and I hope that it continues.

Unless other mother friends have breastfed and know what it’s like to have a cluster feeding baby who feeds every two hours and for fourteen or fifteen times a day, then they don’t know what it’s like to painfully turn down social invitations because you’re so exhausted you can just about feed and clothe yourself and the baby. It does get better, and routines are the key. Now I can plan my day so that I can get in a short walk and maybe a grocery shop between breast feeds and even do things around the house without baby getting too grumpy by not being permanently attached to my chest! I know it’s been a good day if I have showered, have done my home chores and gotten a walk in all before four o’clock in the afternoon. At that time every day we cuddle up on the sofa so he can feed, with a packet of free from biscuits for me, and we watch our favourite quiz shows together until it’s time for me to cook dinner. It’s a great life to live, although it can sometimes be a little lonely in terms of adult interaction, though I have to say being at home with my son all day is one of the best decisions I ever made. I know it cannot be like this forever and I will make the most of the time I have with him before things change.

I am a proud mother bear to be still feeding my child now at fifteen months of age. I’m also quite glad looking back, all the hurdles we have beaten and all the issues we have overcome. And yes I have to maintain a dairy free diet for the entire time that I continue breastfeeding, but you know what, it’s what is best for my son, so I will do it.

I guess what you can say here is that breastfeeding is only isolating if you let it become such. During those first few months everyone is learning and discovering and it’s both wonderful and scary and also amazing. This little life looks to you for everything and that is a massive deal, but you also cannot lose sight of who you were before you were mother of the baby. I think for a few months that was what happened to me. I stopped being Sabrina and started being mum, mum for every occasion. When in reality what was really happening was that I was isolating myself even more. I got out of that rut by joining a baby class and having an afternoon out with other parents and their children every week. The isolation started to become less and less and I soon felt more like myself again.

Recently my son has been teething, in fact for the last month he has cut tooth after tooth and is ahead of the game in terms of a teething diagram! This is a good thing in some ways, but it has also meant that he has fed more. Partly out of comfort and partly out of the fact he is having an overall growth spurt. I am back to having between four and six hours sleep in every twenty four hours, I am up at least twice a night and it is quite exhausting some days. But the feelings I have when I am the one who can soothe his pain and calm him down, is very reassuring to me, that bond is irreplaceable. So for now I make do with the lack of sleep, because of all the positives our continued feeding provides us.

So, if you’re breastfeeding and feel a little bit alone here is my advice. Join a club or a group, get out for some fresh air, invite family or friends around and do something together even if it’s free! Just remember that you’re not just a boob on legs, although some days you think that that is all your little one sees! You are a person, a parent and a mother who is doing this amazing thing for their child, but you need to look after yourself too, body and soul.

Don’t let breastfeeding close you off, allow it to open doors to so much more, more friends and more life experiences.

Thanks for reading this lengthy article, if you got to the end in one sitting then I give you a pat on the back. I will be talking about more aspects of parenting very soon. until then, see you later.

Sabrina

Argos Tester Review of the Corsair HS35 Multi-Platform Headset

Being an Argos Tester I often get sent items for reviewing purposes. This recent campaign has been about Gaming Accessories, predominantly headsets.

I chose the Corsair Headset, it is Green and Black and is compatible with multiple gaming platforms such as PC, PlayStation and Xbox.

What I like the most about this piece of equipment is how comfortable it was to wear, this is thanks to the brand choosing to use memory foam for the padding on the headband and also in the ear cups.

Another aspect that is both useful and an excellent idea are the buttons situated on the left ear cup. On the Left side where the Mic is attachable you also have the adjustable Volume and a button for Mute. The ability to choose whether or not to have the Microphone there is a fantastic idea. Sometimes you might want to immerse yourself in a game with the sound effects and music coming through your ears, but you might not wish to have the ability to speak to other gamers.

The final feature I want to talk about is the sound, it has excellent clarity and the quality of both listening and speaking through the microphone were excellent. As a keen gamer I have had, tried and tested several brands of headset over the last few years. This Corsair has so far outdone all the rest in relation to comfort and quality of experience
.

Product Information
Product Name: Corsair HS35 Headset (Multi-Platform Compatible with Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC Headset).
Colours Available: Green & Black, Red & Black, Blue & Black, All Black.
Price: RRP £39.99

Features
Detachable Microphone – Left Side Ear Cup
On Ear Mute Button – Left Ear Cup
On Ear Adjustable Volume – Left Ear Cup
Comfortable Padded Ear Cups with Memory Foam
Adjustable Padded Head Band with Memory Foam
Good Length of Cable from the Headset to the Controller
Custom Tuned 50mm Audio Drivers
An Overall Lightweight Constructio
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Personally I think this headset is excellent value for money and I would definitely consider this brand in the future. The memory foam is a great asset for both comfort and allowing the headset to be lightweight. The simple but genius design for the volume and mute buttons to be on the ear cup, as well as the detachable mic, has won me over for a full score in aspect to its features.

  

✩ Argos Website Links ✩

Green and Black https://www.argos.co.uk/product/1950568
Red and Black https://www.argos.co.uk/product/1950575
Blue and Black https://www.argos.co.uk/product/1950544
All Black https://www.argos.co.uk/product/1409954

✩ My Argos Tester Review✩

This Corsair headset has some unique design features such as a detachable microphone & memory foam ear cups. It is comfortable to wear & has the added use of a volume control & a mute button situated on the left ear cup. This is very convenient as a gamer. Another useful feature is the long cord length. It is by far the best headset that I have tried & tested. What has impressed me the most has been the clarity of the sound, both through listening with the ear cups & speaking using the mic.

Overall Scores

Manufacturing Quality 5/5
Overall Design 5/5
Unique Features 5/5
Compatibility 5/5
Comfort 5/5
Sound Quality 5/5
Connectivity 5/5

  

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope you have enjoyed this review. If you have any other questions about the product then please leave me a comment or click on the links above.

✩ Sabrina ✩

Sabrina’s Special Free From Curry

Sabrina’s Special Free From Curry

What makes my recipe different to others? My “Special” Curry is Free From for my family! The great thing about my recipe is that you can put any meat with it or even vegan alternatives such as Quorn with it. Whatever protein you fancy really! Even fish if you’re that way inclined! The combined flavours work well with everything, but I prefer Chicken and… Potato! Yes… you’ll see!

I use my nifty little food processor (Russel Hobbs Mini Chopper) to save chopping time but if you don’t have a processor then just chop the vegetables as small as possible with a knife and watch those fingers!

The Free From Bit! This curry recipe is DF, NF and GF and it serves 4-6 people. So many curries in the supermarkets contain dairy and nuts. Even local take away restaurants cannot guarantee things being free from certain ingredients. Our family has a wide range of allergies so I’ve learnt to cook my recipes alternatively and figure out what works without it including an allergen. This has been my best recipe to date! You can follow this and it be great for you and your family as well! Plus it’s 3 of your 5 a day!

What can you serve with it? You can serve this curry with a nice Rice, Basmati is a good choice or Pilau, and you can easily get GF rice these days, I recommend Tilda or Tesco’s own brand rice for their flavour! Naan Bread is delicious but obviously it’s not DF or GF so do be careful there! Poppadoms and Chutneys are a great accompaniment but again some of these will not be GF and some even contain Nuts!
If you don’t have any allergies then you can have any of these (or all of them) with the curry! If you choose all of the above you will serve at least 6 people…

Sabrina’s Special Free From Curry
Prep Time: Up To 60 Minutes
Cooking Time: 90 Minutes
Serves: 6 People (8 if you include side dishes)

Ingredients

500g – 600g of your chosen Protein into bite size pieces for frying

400g Tomatoes – use a tin of Plum Tomatoes for the Sauce, pop them into a food processor until smooth and a sauce like consistency, use plum will taste sweeter

1 Large Onion Diced Finely for the Sauce, you can pop this in the food processor before you prepare the tomatoes until shredded very fine

1 Large Onion Chop into bite size pieces ready for frying

2 Peppers – Chopped into short slices (Red or Yellow) ready for frying

4 Tablespoons of Tomato Puree for the Sauce

The Sauce needs to be made of the following spices and seasonings;
4 Tablespoons of Garam Masala
1 Tablespoon of Cumin
3 Tablespoons of Coriander Leaf
1 Tablespoon of Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Paprika
2 Tablespoons of Chilli Powder (Mild) (Use Hot if you can handle it)
30ml of warm water
Salt and Pepper to your taste.

Oil for Frying

400g – 500g Potatoes – Cut into bite size chunks and washed

Method

  1. Prepare all of the ingredients as stated above, diced and chopped.
  2. You need to have a large saucepan and a frying pan warming with a little oil in each. First begin by adding the chopped onion and peppers to the frying pan. Add the tiny diced onion and some garlic to the large saucepan.
  3. Fry off all the ingredients, once the saucepan with the diced onion is nicely caramelised, you can add the sauce ingredients from the list above and mix well. Leave the Onion and Peppers inside the Frying Pan to caramelise and then add the chicken.
  4. Put your plum tomatoes in a food processor and then once blended add them to your saucepan. Next you’ll need to continue frying off the protein and vegetables in the frying pan until thoroughly cooked.
  5. Add anything additional you require for the sauce, that includes the tomato puree and seasonings. Taste it before you add your meat and vegetables so you can tell if it needs more chilli or more salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer your sauce on a low heat, adding the contents of the frying pan which should now be nicely cooked and combined in flavour. You need to continue to simmer this for at least an hour for the flavours to coat everything and for the sauce to thicken up.
  7. Now is the perfect time to add the Potatoes! They will cook inside the sauce and do not need boiling before hand. Use fresh or tinned whatever you have at hand. Leave it to simmer for a while…
  8. Taste test at one hour to ensure the potato are cooked and the chicken is tender, stir occasionally during this hour of cooking time to ensure it’s not getting stuck to the bottom or sides. It should gradually thicken. If you don’t think there is enough sauce when you add all the contents and mix it then add 10ml of water at a time and mix in until the sauce covers everything.
  9. Serve immediately with Rice and any of the other sides I suggested.
Here is my curry when I served it with Pilau Rice and No Potato in this one either… you don’t have to add them it’s optional.

Thank you reading this post today, I really hope you like the look of my recipe, if you give it a go yourself then please tag me on social media to let me know and show me the end result too!

Sabrina

Six Tips for New Parents – the things that everyone forgets to mention!

These are my Six Tips for New Parents – but they are the things that everyone forgets to mention!

So despite being post birth and genuinely exhausted, most mum’s will admit to that feeling of pride that comes with the arrival of a child. Be it your first or fifth baby, they are all special and all little miracles. Just look what you have achieved!

However there are things people forget to mention to you and I thought I would share some of my tips in this blog post for getting passed these… we will call them the six newborn phases!

When you become a mum you look at your bundle of joy and you feel incredible, that rush of emotions and pride… you just grew and birthed (in whichever way you did) a small human being. Go you! Own it!

But, while trapped in a chair under said small human, (in fear of waking them up if you were to even clear your throat!), you can’t help but wonder why your amazing body didn’t also develop the ability of telekinesis while it was doing this awe shattering feat! How amazing and useful would that be?! So here are my six phases… I guarantee you’ll laugh before the end of this article…

Phase 1. The “I Can’t Put The Baby Down Because We Are Bonding Or Cluster Feeding” Phase.

Always keep the essentials close by, as in within an arms stretch! This goes for the TV remote, your phone, at least one snack, your phone charger or a charging device, iPad or a book, and definitely a glass of water. If you have a little one who won’t sleep very much then life saving materials can be what get you through those afternoons, as you cradle your small bundle who is finally napping but you dare not put them down. Instead you settle in to an afternoon of Netflix binge watching and you have a whole packet of biscuits with your name on.

Personally I had a lunch bag size cool bag next to where I sat with my son. Inside it were snacks, a reusable bottle of water and piece of fruit. I kept a table to one side of me with the remotes and my phone on, and a box of tissues. On the other side within a stretch away was the cool bag, my iPad and a portable USB charger. Life savers for me on several afternoons!

Phase 2. The “Where’s The Flipping Muslin Cloth” Phase.

Buy Extra Cloths! So cloths for a newborn are a given, but have you considered you may need to wipe all sorts of things off your baby and multiple times in one day. I couldn’t believe how many cloths I went through a day at first. The tip for this is to keep a folded clean pile of muslin’s somewhere in every main room of your home. Also buy similar colours of cloth so that you can just throw them all in the wash together. Because Muslin cloths are thin they don’t take a lot to wash and also dry, but you won’t want to wait a few hours when you’re down to your last one and baby is due for a feed…

Phase 3. The “What Time Is It? Oh My Days, I Forgot To Stop For Lunch, Again” Phase.

Nobody tells you how fast the time goes. This isn’t a lie, time actually goes faster and you will forget what time of day it is and then realise you haven’t had a drink for hours! Make sure you always get nourished every time you journey into the kitchen, keep snacks and fruit handy, things you can eat one handed, and keep a reusable water bottle by your favourite seat. Keeping hydrated is most important especially if you’re breastfeeding and recovering from birth too. If baby is having something to drink then you should be too!

Phase 4. The “I’m Too Tired To Cook, Let’s Open Up The Fast Food App” Phase.

Every parent will admit to ordering fast food in those first few weeks with a newborn baby. But if you can organise yourselves in the weeks running up to their arrival, you’ll feel better for it, both stomach and bank balance!

The answer is this, Bulk Cook your favourite Foods! Keep some of those previous takeaway Tupperware tubs, check how many you can stack in a drawer in your freezer. Then bulk cook a few of your favourite dishes using fresh ingredients. Then you can freeze them in tubs and in portions. Throw in Veg too if you like, at least then you’re getting healthy food inside you. Chicken Curry with added Veg or Spaghetti Bolognese made with a few Veg to bulk it out are both easy to reheat.

Phase 5. “I Managed To Put The Baby Down, Shall I Pop On That New Series On Netflix Or Go To Sleep?”

It’s really tough when Social Media blows up with the latest Netflix series, and you’re surviving on maybe 4 hours of sleep and only scrolling on your phone in order to stay awake during the 5am feed… But there will come a day when things get easier, your baby won’t need feeding every two hours forever. And then you’ll sleep a little more… (does 6 hours or less sound good to you?). Plus you’ll get used to the lack of sleep and gradually be able to do more, like managing to watch half an episode of something… once a week… then forget what happened and watch it again… and so it goes on…

Phase 6. “We haven’t had any us time for a long time…”

This phase is a serious one and more to do with you as parents, it’s brand new, it’s exhilarating and exhausting but remember you have become two different people. You are still you, and what time you spend together is still important. You might not get a date night in weeks, if not months after baby is born. But if you have the support of family and you trust them, then there will come a time where you can leave your baby with that person and get back to being you “both” again.
People don’t tell you how hard it is, not being able to go out just the pair of you, you won’t get to watch television or a film without interruption or pausing it every now and then. This is the new normal and it’s okay to find it a difficult transition. Especially if you’re used to going out for a meal once a week or pop off to the cinema at an hours notice…
My tip to get through this phase is this, plan, plan and plan some more. Make timetables and plan ahead with a calendar and try your best to stick to it. Change the usual cinema outings to a Netflix movie and a meal at home, with a big bag of popcorn and sweets from the supermarket as a great and cheaper alternative to the cinema treats…



Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope that I see you here again soon for more parenting posts.

✩ Sabrina ✩

Sabrina’s Dairy Free Vegetable Nuggets

How To Make Delicious Dairy Free Vegetable Nuggets For All The Family To Enjoy!

Today I will be showing you how to make tasty, nutritious and dairy free vegetable nuggets that contain four different vegetables.
They are great fun for your children to eat as finger food and your older children can dip them in the sauce if they choose.
This recipe is ideal for weaning and beyond.

Veggie Nugget (broken so you can see the soft inside)



Ingredients for Sabrina’s Veggie Nuggets

3 Tablespoons of Tomato Ketchup
1 Tablespoon of Reduced Salt Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Mixed Herbs
1 Large Egg (Beaten)
160 grams of Breadcrumbs (approx) roughly 4 slices of bread – I always use the 2 end bits if I have them!
6 Medium Carrots – Grated and Squeezed
2 Courgettes – Grated and Squeezed
100 grams of Swede Cooked First, then Diced Finely using a Chopper
1 Large White Onion Diced Finely
50 grams of Dairy Free Alternative to Italian Style Hard Cheese
Plain Flour (6 tablespoons approx) spread this onto a small plate ready for rolling…




Method

To make the sauce combine tomato ketchup and soy sauce together. Double the amount if you are preparing these nuggets for people to dip into the sauce straight after cooking them. Use half of the sauce for the vegetables mixture and leave half for the dip.

Once you have prepared all of the vegetable ingredients as directed above, you will need to ensure the mixture of vegetables isn’t too wet. Take a handful of the grated and chopped veg and place it between a few paper towels, a muslin cloth or a clean tea towel. Squeeze and press it in the cloth to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Do this with all of the grated veg.

Get a large mixing bowl and crack the egg into it. Add the herbs and stir until combined. Next add some of the tomato dip. Next add the squeezed vegetables, then lastly add the hard cheese (or alternative) and the breadcrumbs, stir it all thoroughly. You don’t want lots of the same type of veg in each ball, try and mix it so you get a variant of all the ingredients. (I do my breadcrumbs in a small food mixer).

Place the flour onto a small plate ready to roll your nuggets in.

To make a nugget take a small handful of the combined mixture and roll between your palms. Top Tip! Do this with wet hands so it doesn’t stick to you! Roll them out into oval shapes, and then once happy you can roll each one in flour to coat it.

Have a large frying pan ready on your cooker with some oil getting hot. You should place the nuggets down gently so as not to break them or splash the oil. Fry each one until lightly browned all over. Top Tip! Use a pair of tongs to adjust them while frying to make sure you do all of the sides. Keep topping up the oil after every few nuggets.


Once they are cooked set the nuggets to one side on a piece of kitchen roll so as to drain any excess oil from them and let them cool a little, and then serve them while they’re still warm in a large bowl with the remainder of the tomato dip. They are great for a children’s party or a finger food family night in.

Squeezing the Veg so as to remove as much moisture as possible.
Veggie Nugget Mixture Ready For Mixing and Rolling

Vegetable Nuggets are ideal for children who are weaning at around 10 months and older, when they are learning to hold and bite into foods.
They are great for getting your children to eat vegetables.
The tomato dip provides a fun element for older children.
The leftovers can be frozen, defrost over night and re-fry them to give them a crunchy outside again.

My Recipe made me approximately 24 Nuggets.

Once you have rolled your nuggets between your palms you can get ready to fry them… My Top Tip is to have some done so you can fry one set while you make the next set…

Frying Tips

When frying the Nuggets take care and turn them frequently so that they cook evenly on all sides. You also need to maintain the oil so that they sit in a few millimetres at all times to avoid sticking to the pan.

Finished Veggie Nuggets

These Nuggets are great, and rather tasty too, that is providing you like the Veg I have chosen. You can substitute the Courgette for Mushrooms if you prefer those! And you can also do these without being dairy free by using a regular cheese like Parmesan if you wish.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have enjoyed reading about this recipe, if you decide to give it a go then please leave me a comment with how it went afterwards… Check out my other recipes on the category list!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Plastic Free July – How I Am Cutting Down On My Plastic Usage And Reducing My Carbon Footprint

I’m writing this blog post to outline what I did for each day of July 2019 for the Plastic Free July Challenge. Globally people have been taking part in the hashtag #PlasticFreeJuly in a bid to reduce the amounts of Plastic being used and then ending up in landfill. Lots of people are being educated about the issues that Plastic causes and how it’s our job as human beings to help save our planet.

I’m going to begin with why you should cut down on both Plastics AND Paper waste in order to help the environment. And then I will be outlining the 31 other things I have done this July, ways that you too can reduce your carbon footprint this year…

I saw this being passed around on various social media, some of these things I already knew about but others I didn’t. I was shocked to learn about Plastics causing Hormone Disruption!

Reducing Your Plastic Usage

Use glass jars and dishes to store leftover food inside, instead of plastic tubs.
Consider purchasing food items that are packaged in recyclable trays.
Choose not to purchase items that come in non-recyclable packaging.

Reducing Your Paper Usage

Consider using Old Tea Towels to clean with instead of Paper Towels.
Buy A Set of Handkerchiefs to use at home instead of disposable Tissues.

Other Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Walk More and Use Your Car Less
Walk More Instead Of Using The Bus
Grow Your Own Fruit And/Or Vegetables
Choose Packaging Free Fruit And Veg At The Supermarket
Recycle As Much As You Can And Do It Properly E.g Wash It Out
Reuse Your Tupperware, Glass Jars, Plastic, Cotton and Hemp Bags

I’m making some positive changes for #PlasticFreeJuly

But I, like so many other people, cannot afford to make tons of expensive changes. I certainly don’t have the money to make any investments in Solar Power Panels, buy an Electric Car or buy Organic Plastic Free Produce at a Farm in the middle of nowhere…

… But What I Can Do, Is Do Things Like What Is On My List Below…

Here is one example… we all need to use something in our kitchen bins, we have a counter top bin and nothing more because we recycle as much as we can. Usually 85% of our rubbish goes into recycling. For the things that are currently not recyclable I use bags in the bin that are made from already recycled materials.

Choosing to buy something made out of 100% recycled paper and plastic when necessary is just one of the ways I’m reducing my carbon footprint.

I have even considered using items to make things and reuse them and re-purpose them for something new. I saw this photo ages ago on a parenting website, where a Dad had collected the family’s toilet rolls and created this awesome car garage for his son. It is made out of an old crate and toilet rolls with some glue and paint, genius!

Plastic Free JulyHow I Reduced My Plastics This Month

1 Reusing A Specific Tupperware As A Lunchbox – No More Plastic Sandwich Bags. Did you know most sandwich bags and freezer bags cannot yet be recycled? If they can then they need to be clean with no food bits, that’s really hard to do if they’ve been screwed up in a lunch bag after use.

2 Using Cotton and/or Hemp Bags for going Shopping. Retail or Food Shopping I don’t purchase Plastic Bags and always bring my own. I have done this for several years now, and always have two bags folded up inside the main bag I take with me everywhere, so even if I forget my main bags I always have one or more available.

3 Reusing one specific Tupperware for Red Leftovers like Baked Beans or Pasta Sauce so as not to stain and ruin many different tubs. It’s really annoying when food stains something like plastic. If you don’t want to ruin lots of plastic tubs, when you buy a set, allocate ones for specific reasons.

4 Going through all the Plastic in the Kitchen Cupboard, Cleaning and then Recycling everything with the Recyclable Logo that I no longer need or use. Keep what you do use but only if its clean, has a lid and has a purpose, otherwise recycle it.

I do a lot of bulk cooking, but it’s useful every couple of months to go through all your plastic Tupperware and get rid of ones that smell odd, have any damage or wear to them, no longer have a lid or are no longer required.

5 Make Your Own Lunches and Picnics, buy less prepackaged foods, if they are in material that can be recycled then no problem, but if it’s single use plastic then don’t support this type of food packaging. This month I have tried to make choices that include packaging that I can recycle.

6 Decline Plastic Straws when out for a drink, only accept paper ones that can be recycled after use, or use metal ones that you can buy and carry with you.

7 Re-purposing Glass Jars and use them instead of plastic around the home in order to store food and / or items inside.

Lately I have been reusing Glass Jars and Bottles around the home. Here are just some uses, Cosmetics, Pen Pot, Kitchen Drawer Randoms!

8 Don’t replenish your Cling Film when it Runs Out – Change to Foil or reuse Tupperware boxes instead.

9 Reusing Tupperware for Bulk Freezing when bulk cooking, I do a lot of bulk cooking and I reuse old takeaway tubs when I freeze food. They are create for portion control and also for stacking up in the freezer.

10 Up-Cycle something in your home that you’ve not used for a year, gift it to a friend or start using it again at home.

11 Buy something from an Ethical Business or something that is Ethically Sourced and then let people know about it so they can do the same.

12 Choose to have a Takeaway that the containers can be recycled from like Pizza Boxes or Plastic Tubs.

13 Buy / Order / Use A Reusable Water Bottle Today. You can get them at most retailers these days, large Supermarkets or Amazon.

Tesco are selling some very pretty and affordable Insulated Reusable Bottles. They keep Cold drink cold for 24 hours and Hot drinks hot for up to 10 hours!

14 Today I Chose Unwrapped Fruit and Vegetables at the Supermarket to reduce my Plastics for the Day.

15 Go Paperless for your Bank Statements and Bills to save on both paper and plastics, you should be able to do this on your banking app or in branch.

16 Decline bottled water when out for a meal and ask for a glass jug of cold tap water with glasses for the table to share instead. No straws remember!

17 Buying Necessary Home Essentials that are made from 100% Recycled Materials such as bin liners or tissues…

These Bin Liners are made from 100% Recycled Plastic – Go Tesco!

18 Use old tea towels and micro fibre cloths you have at home to do some cleaning and home chores instead of using paper towels, then wash them on a eco washing cycle ready for next time.

19 Reuse any Newspaper or Tissue Paper to Wrap Presents for peoples birthdays. If it’s a large gift then once it’s been unwrapped cut off the best parts and re-use them again in the future.

20 When you go out for a drink choose a glass bottle or a glass, a can or a drafted liquid, rather than something provided in Plastic bottles.

21 Buy something that you need this month from a Second Hand Shop rather than buying it brand new and take a bag from home in order to carry it back in.

22 Bring your own container to a Fish & Chip* Shop & ask for them to serve your food into that to save using their packaging. * Some places won’t allow this due to health and safety, but it doesn’t mean you can’t ask.

23 Buy Less Disposable Tissues and Use A Handkerchief instead.

24 Use a Reusable Water Bottle All Day – Aim for 2 Litres (it should be with you by now if you ordered one online).

25 Buy and Use a Reusable Hot Drinks Cup – If you like hot drinks and don’t already have your own cup then invest in one. With the Cup Tax coming into force across stores it’s going to save you money in the long run too.

26 Refuse Plastic Cutlery if you’re eating out & carry your own set of metal ones when out for the day.

27 Buy Supermarket Own Products that come in Cardboard so you know that it’s easily Recyclable.

28 Choose Food Snacks in the Supermarket that aren’t contained in Single Use Plastic. Don’t purchase anything that comes in single use plastic, choose a different item this time around. Compare what is available to you.

29 Consider Purchasing Refill Packages for things such as Coffee In A Bag That Refills your original Jar…

Refill packets now come for a variety of products, one that we use regularly is this Kenco Coffee one.

30 Start Composting Your Food Waste – this is one I plan to do in the future once we have finished doing our garden, it’s a work in progress right now!

31 Invest in Beeswax Wraps for Food. If you cannot get some then only use Foil to wrap food or place it inside something made of glass.

✩✩✩

Sabrina’s Easy Tips For Recycling

There are some basic things that everyone can do when it comes to recycling, and there should be no excuses nowadays to do just a little bit. Most councils supply the bins, all you need to do is fill them up!

1 Have a designated bin or basket inside the home so that everyone can place recycling inside it. Toilet Rolls are one of the easiest things to recycle yet so many people put them in bathroom bins!

2 Teach young children the importance and ease of recycling now so that they consciously do it as an adult. Recycling doesn’t always mean it goes in a bin it can be used to make craft items for example for school projects.

3 Remember to remove some recyclable materials from one another before using them, such as peel off the label on a tin before you cut it open. That way the paper and the tin can be recycled separately once they’re collected from you.

Items that are easy to recycle Glass, Foil, Paper and Cardboard.



Thank you so much for reading this relatively long post today. I hope I have given you some ideas on recycling that you can put into practice in your own lives.

Even if you do one thing off this list it is helping the environment and your carbon footprint, let’s make the Earth safer and cleaner and better for our children’s children. After all it’s the only planet we have.

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes.

Sabrina

Summer Outfit Shopping Challenge 2019

Can I buy a Summer outfit for £20 or less including footwear and an accessory?

I set myself a blogging challenge for the start of this summer, get an outfit or a few for a set price, including footwear and an accessory too! What I mean is buying items that can be paired in different ways to create multiple outfits. This post will explain what I bought and why, and I will also review score the items individually as well.

Primark Dolly Shoes

Why I Set Myself A Shopping Challenge

So I had my first ever trip to the Horse Racing for a Hen Weekend in June… I had a great time! I came home with £47 profit and I decided to treat myself with it. As a mum I don’t get to go out much and I certainly don’t spend very much on myself anymore. Until I went on this shopping trip that I’m about to describe to you it had been almost two years since I had been shopping for clothes that weren’t for a special occasion, or Maternity clothes or Breastfeeding Essentials. It was time to browse and get something that I liked or loved and to try something and not feel guilty about it.
Everyone needs a treat once in a while don’t they?!

So I was talking to my best friend about setting myself a challenge that I could explain here on the blog. I concluded that if I popped another £3 on to my winnings I then had £50 to spend. With her opinions on items I picked out I decided to do this challenge, I allocated the money to my two favourite high street stores. I gave £20 for Dorothy Perkins and £30 for Primark.

My Challenge… Could I get an outfit for £20? Yes I could! In fact I got the equivalent of 3 outfits from Primark & 1 from DP! All for £50! Here is how!
By mixing and matching the various items that I bought I was able to make several outfits from them.

While shopping in Primark what I found was a mixture of full price (FP) items and sale items (S). My Dorothy Perkins outfit was complied of all sale items and then I would simply include jeans that I already owned from DP to finish the look, I did not include these in the final price because I already had them.

Primark Yellow Accessories

1. The Summer Shirt Outfit – A Garden BBQ or Day at the Beach – Primark – Worth £20 Total

Wear this shirt with either leggings on a cool day or a pair of shorts. Leave it untucked and long in length or tucked in for two entirely different looks. Pair with Dolly Shoes, Flip Flops or even Boots. You can wear something beneath the shirt if you want to, like this vest.

Blue Striped Summer Shirt £10.00 FP
Black Leggings £4.50 FP
Dolly Shoes in Yellow £3.50 FP
Hair Scunchie Tie £2.00 FP

2. The Practical Outfit – Day Out With Family – Dorothy Perkins – Worth £20 Total

Pair this gorgeous Rust coloured duo with black jeans or black jeggings and some dark accessories for a great transition to Autumn look. If you want to wear this shirt in summer it works great in an evening with jeans and heels too. The pretty buttons and pocket details really make the shirt stand out.

Rust Coloured Shirt S £12.00
Rust Ankle Boots S £8.00

Rust Coloured Duo of Shirt and Boots from DP

3. Every Day Summer Outfit For Home Or Casual Outings – Primark – Worth £21 Total

Who doesn’t love a practical pair of shorts that go well with almost everything? Well this dark green pair look great with a vest, t-shirt or even a short shirt. Pair with various shoes depending on the weather and also where you plan on going to.

Cargo Shorts £12.00 FP
T-Shirt or Vest £3.00 FP
Dolly Shoes £3.50 FP
Hair Scrunchie Tie £2.50 FP

Cargo Shorts with Vest with Yellow Accessories for a Hot Summer Day

4. Hot Weather Day Out or At Home Having Fun In The Garden – Primark – Worth £21.50 Total

Using the shorts once again for this combination but based more casually, dolly shoes for walking about and a vest with a shirt for casual but comfortable wearing.

Cargo Shorts £12.00 FP
Vest £3.00 FP
White Shirt £3.00 S
Dolly Shoes £3.50 FP

Cargo Shorts, White Arrow Shirt with Blue Dolly Shoes

Final Primark Purchases, Prices & Scores – Total Spend of £44.00

Striped Blue Shirt £10.00 –  –  – Score 4/5
Green Cargo Shorts £12.00 –  –  – Score 4/5
Green Vest £3.00 –  –  – Score 4/5
Blue Dolly Shoes £3.50 –  –  – Score 5/5
White Arrows Shirt £3.00 –  –  – Score 3/5
Blue Striped Vest £3.50 –  –  – Score 5/5
Yellow Dolly Shoes £3.50 –  –  – Score 5/5
Hair Band and Scrunchie £2.50 –  –  – Score 5/5
T-Shirt £3.00 –  –  – Score 4/5

Final Dorothy Perkins Purchases, Prices & Scores – Total Spend £20.00

Rust Shirt with Linen £12.00 –  –  – Score 5/5 LINK
Rust Wide Fit ‘Mayfair’ Ankle Boots £8.00 –  –  – Score 5/5 LINK

So I went over my budget very slightly, however the combinations that I have achieved with the clothing and accessories that I bought make it justifiable. Overall the items that I decided to purchase have had added uses because they were either useful, like the shirts I use for breastfeeding during the warmer months, or that the pieces were investments for the next few years (hopefully!) such as all of the shoes.

The previous Dolly Shoes that I bought in Primark were from 2016 and 2017 and they are only just beginning to wear out. I hope these new ones last me just as long! It’s also nice to grab the colours in season when you see them available. A few years ago I had metallic colours from Primark and I never saw them again! I still have a Rose Gold pair I keep for special occasions.

The Boots I got from Dorothy Perkins were an investment for many Autumnal days to come, because at £8 in the sale you cannot beat that kind of a bargain! Especially ones that fit well and are comfortable.

Primark vests are items I wear every single day as a breastfeeding mama bear. So grabbing a couple of these was essential to my shopping trip. (Now that we are currently having a heatwave in the UK I’m even more grateful to have gotten them!).

Primark Items:

Quality of Fabrics 4/5 – The fabric quality was mixed, the vests in Primark are always good, the shorts were thick and strong. The shirts were relatively thin and creased easily. The Shirt is 86% Cotton and 14% Linen.

Designs 4/5 – I thought the items that I chose all had design merits. The shirts were nicely designed with their patterns. The shoes were simply designed by great colours for Summer. I loved the shorts with multiple pockets and the scrunchie hair tie was such a pretty mix of both pattern and colours.

Cost Price 4/5 – Overall I felt most items were affordable for their price and function, the shorts were great quality for their price and the dolly shoes I find are always good quality but very affordable.

Value for Money – 4/5 – I think that Primark items are usually good value for money, some more than others but generally you get what you pay for. I have washed and worn the vests multiple times and they still look good.

Dorothy Perkins Items:

Quality of Items – 5/5 – I was very impressed with the quality of the shirt and the boot that I have purchased. The shirt isn’t thin and is well made, and the shoes look well stitched and are well presented with no marks.

Designs – 5/5 – I love the Rust shade that DP has chosen for some items this Season. Additionally the shirt has a lovely shape to it and is rather flattering when worn. The Boots are comfortable and were available in Wide Fit which is a design bonus. The heels aren’t too high and are wedged to allow comfortable wearing.

Cost Price – 5/5 – I wouldn’t have considered purchasing either of these items unless they had been in the sale already. Their original prices were Boots £35.00 and the Shirt £22. I am very lucky to have gotten them so cheap with a saving of £37.00!

Value for Money – 5/5 – For the amount of money that I have paid for these things I am more than happy to give the value for money spent a 5/5.

Overall I’m very happy with my shopping purchases. It’s also been a couple of weeks now and I have worn the shirts several times, I’ve also worn the vests multiple times and they have been washed and worn repeatedly in this lovely warm weather. I haven’t needed to wear the Dolly Shoes yet but they are an investment for when my current two pairs give up the ghost so to speak! I’m still happy with every piece that I bought, I guess you could say it’s been money well spent! I look forward to wearing the rest of the items over the warm summer weeks…

Here are a couple of images of me wearing some of the new items…

Rust Shirt (Left) & White Arrows Shirt (Right)
Blue Striped Shirt and Yellow Scrunchie Hair Tie

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Have you gotten any retail bargains lately? Have a great time if you’re off out for some retail therapy!

Sabrina

Our Weaning Journey

Our Weaning journey began delicately due to our son having suspected allergies. He is exclusively breastfed and he cluster fed for the first 5 months of his life. He was born slightly premature at 37 + 5 and after having bad jaundice at birth, it took him many weeks to recover. We spent so much time in hospital at the start that our first month with him went by in a blur. Problems with allergies began at around 12 weeks, so it was a steep learning curve in the next 10 to 12 weeks that followed.

Then, when it came to Baby A reaching the 6 month milestone he was still in size 3-6 month clothing and breast feeding up to 14 times in 24 hours. We hoped that Weaning would satisfy him more so and because we could introduce cooled boiled water with his meals, it would take a bit of pressure off me. This did work, but he had such an appetite that he continued regular breastfeeding including a minimum of two feeds a night, plus day times and extra weaning snacks. We had ourselves one hungry baby!

I recall the health visitor questioning how much I was feeding him at our 6 month visit… she couldn’t believe how much I was saying he ate, I’m almost sure she thought I was lying. I had read in a parenting book that you cannot over feed a baby, because they will simply refuse to eat it. Our son wanted more and more food as the days went by, so I used motherly instincts and I watched my baby for cues. So I continued on with my busy breastfeeding schedule plus I began our weaning journey in a rather swift fashion.

We Tried A Range Of 4 Month Plus Puree, These Are A Few Of Them Little One Loved.

Baby A enjoyed many things that we tried first off, including individual vegetables such as Carrot, Potato, Parsnip, Sweet Potato, Apple and Strawberry. There were only 2 things he spat out which were Prune and Peas. And I don’t blame him for either! Ha!

After doing some reading and noticing how keen Baby A was with eating and being fed, we decided to do 6 weeks of Purées to start with. We maintained that he was to ingest nothing dairy of course, I checked packaging meticulously or I made my own. This worked well, starting with a few mouthfuls twice a day for the first week, followed by doubling the amount in subsequent weeks. By the time we got to week 6 Baby A was eating 70g of fruit purée for breakfast and 70g of vegetable purée in the early evening. He also tried Melty Puffs around this time too.

Prices of Purée vary, but they usually cost anything from 40p all the way up to £1.50. They also range in size so look out for that. We made the most of any offers that were on in supermarkets and also used any store credit points and vouchers we had picked up to get our initial 6 week stash of purée.
Boots vouchers can go a long way if you sign up to the Clubcard and baby club before hand. Keep a look out on social media for offers too.

Minced Beef and Onions with Mashed Potato (7M)

He was enjoying the food we were giving him and he was obviously hungry. We were approaching his 8 month mark when we began moving to thicker purées and food with more textures. I was bulk cooking mashed vegetables at this point and freezing them in small pots (roughly 80g each). Some combinations included Potato and Carrot, Carrot and Swede, Carrot and Parsnip and Parsnip and Sweet Potato.

At 8 months Baby A was eating between 70g and 100g for breakfast, between 100g and 130g for his lunch and between 130g and 150g of food in the evening. This was on top of 12 breast feeds still most days, and we had began to try him on some more snacks. The melty puff kind that melted on his tongue were a real hit! Luckily they came in many flavours.

We also gave him fruit such as Raspberries, Strawberries and Melon as an evening pudding if he was feeling particularly hungry.

Minced Pork and Onions with Carrot and Potato Mash (8M)

Baby A ate most things from Day Dot but turned his nose up at the taste of Cucumber and also highly disliked the taste of Peppers. Some foods took a couple of times before he decided that he liked them, usually very strong tasting food groups. He was unsure about things like Tomato, Scrambled Eggs and Pasta, but we persevered and he eats them now. The trick is to leave a food for 2-3 weeks then try it with them again.

One thing I loved about Weaning was the way he learned and every day you saw him remember. Within two weeks he understood that cutlery went into his mouth, he began to chew even when food was super soft, and he was also cutting several teeth while we were trying most new foods. He did so well with all these milestone changes and I’m very proud of him.

Mashed Carrot and Swede with a Small Chicken Steak and some Rice (9M)

One thing I would recommend to mum’s who want to cook healthy meals for their little ones is to invest in a good strong vegetable mash utensil and a mini food processor. Mine is called the Russel Hobbs Mini Food Processor 22220 Mini Chopper and I cannot rate it high enough! It was used every day for 3 months and I still use it to dice up chewy meat because it saves me so much time. I still use it for my now one year old boy.

Russel Hobbs Mini Chopper In Use

At nine months Baby A began eating some more of the food I prepared for us adults. This includes the meat and sauce of bolognese but we gave him mashed vegetables and not much pasta. He ate my cottage pie (all of it), we had chicken steaks that I had diced in a blender with soft vegetables and rice, sausages were diced and served with mash and veg, and he even ate flaky white fish with rice and veg too!

I also used a weaning book that my mother had bought for me that had some great ideas inside for weaning recipes and snacks. I altered most of them to suit the various allergies in my family of course. Homemade Veggie Nuggets were by far my favourite thing to make, I bulked cooked them which was time consuming but then they’re frozen for convenience.

Minced Beef and Onions, Carrot and Swede Mashed with a Homemade Veggie Nugget

By the time he reached 10 months of age Baby A had 8 teeth and was eating 80% of what we were. He still loves his baby related snacks too! These include Vegetable Puffs, Rice Cakes and Flavoured Shaped Corn Snacks. A lot of these are Organic too.

Some Of The Baby And Toddler Snacks We Buy Regularly.
A Few Of The Pouches We Tried And Tested From 7 Months Plus

These snacks are very affordable from places like Aldi who have their Mamia range. If you sign up to Ella’s Kitchen on their website they will send you a pack and a voucher to try bits from their range which are purchasable at most large supermarkets and Boots stores.

Our little one loves to feed himself firm snacks but has been more than happy for us to feed him things that require a spoon such as fruit purée, cottage pie, mashed vegetables and the like. It’s so important to get your little one to eat their fruit and veg, and it doesn’t matter if you have to create a mashed version in order for them to eat it. Try different combinations and see what your baby likes. Keep a food diary to keep track!

Some of the 7 month snacks are little one loves.

Sabrina’s Weaning Tips For Parents

My top 4 tips for any parents about to wean a baby would be these…

1. Take it slowly and calmly. Your Baby will be intrigued but it can also be a stressful experience for all of you. All healthy Baby’s generally have a good gag reflex and don’t confuse this for choking, stay calm if they cough or spit things out and take all foods – even the purées – at a slow pace!

2. Start with Veg! You don’t want your little one to have too many sweet flavours in those first weeks, this is because when it comes to the savory kind they are less likely to want it. Start with Veg Purée or Mash and go from there…

3. If you plan on doing Baby Lead Weaning, then you must let your little one use their hands. Be prepared for mess! Get a good highchair, get a mat for the floor and keep plenty of baby wipes at hand too!

4. Keep a Food Diary! This is a useful tip for all new parents. It’s a great way to keep track of what baby has eaten, if your little one was to have a rash or reaction to anything they had eaten you can go back and check the diary before trying the substance again. Those first couple of months are critical in preparing baby for stronger tastes and good food habits, so start them early on the main products that your household enjoys together and move forward from there.



All Parents Should Definitely Sign Up To…

1. Ella’s Kitchen via the Website
You get a free pack in the post with tips, a board with stickers, ideas for foods and even some vouchers for baby snacks.

2. Boots Parenting Club
Using your Boots Advantage Card on the Boots App or Website you can add the addition of the Parenting Club which gives you bonus deals, free products and vouchers every month. For example we got a free bottle, a free weaning book and some promotions on nappies and baby food. Check the app each month for new promotions and deals. You also get extra points on your card when purchasing certain products in store and online too.

Ella’s Kitchen Have A Great Website and Their Melty Puffs Are A Real Hit!

✩ Russel Hobbs Mini Chopper Review ✩

I would highly recommend this chopper to any parents who want to make a lot of their own food for their baby. Not only is it simple to use, easy to clean and maintain, but it allows you to make just enough food for a large portion that can be good for a day, or if you’re bulk cooking into baby sized pots it made 6 pots of food no problem. The best thing about this mini processor is it’s size, it takes up very little room in my cupboard and is portable enough to take away for a weekend to a relatives house without being a burden.

Design 5/5
Features 5/5
Value for Money 5/5

RRP £16.00

Joie High Chair Review

We highly recommend the Joie High Chair because it is affordable and also has some great features. These include the large sturdy tray, the beautiful animal design on the seat itself and the large fabric basket underneath which is great for storing extra bits and pieces close by for when you need them, such as bibs, wipes and toys.
We only have one suggestion, that the straps could either be entirely removable for cleaning purposes or that they be a different colour than white, because they really show up every bit of food dirt.

Design 5/5
Features 4/5
Value for Money 5/5

RRP £55.00

Munchkin Products Review

We have been really impressed by the Munchkin Apple Bowls and Plates, as well as their range of Spoons too.
We picked most of them up at various baby events in Supermarkets and on Amazon UK. They are affordable and well made.
They are designed for different stages of Weaning and further interactions with food, ranging from 4 months right up until Toddler ages.
Our son found the spoons easy to eat off and the divider apple plates are a great idea when trying different foods at meal times. Or for separating the meal and the dessert when you get to that stage.

Designs 5/5
Features 5/5
Value for Money 5/5

Thank you for reading this post today, I hope you have found it interesting. If you try any of the products that I have recommended then please let me know in the comments below if your little one liked it.

If you have any questions about any of the products I have mentioned then feel free to also comment and ask me anything, I will do my best to answer you honestly.

Sabrina

Reviewing the Fisher-Price Soothe & Glow Seahorse

I have been testing some Fisher-Price toys for Argos Testers. This one is called the Soothe and Glow Seahorse, and is available in Light Blue or Pink. It is suitable from Birth and it is designed to develop Sensory awareness. Baby will work out that pressing or hugging the hard tummy button of the toy will provide the interactive stimulation.

Our son was instantly attracted to the glow & sounds of the Seahorse. He enjoyed giving it a hug to activate it. We tried it several times in the early hours after baby woke due to sleep regression & teething. Within a few minutes the soothing sounds sent baby back to sleep. I believe the toy has great potential to become more effective as baby will learn to recognise it as a soother & used at a time for going back to sleep. We liked the two sound levels, ocean sounds & how soft the toy was too.

We have now been using Mr Seahorse (as we call him) for 3 weeks at night and in the early hours of the morning. I would say it soothes more so than sends baby physically off to sleep. However if our son is already very tired it definitely helps. It’s the combination of the sea and water sounds along with soft lullaby that seems to work. I often stroke his chest or head in rhythm with the toy and this has a positive effect.

Product Information

Soothe and Glow Seahorse has Two Sound Level Settings.
It is a Soft Plush that’s wipe clean only.
It has a Lovely Gentle Face for baby to look at with Large Eyes.
The Seahorse has Sensory Fins that are in a different texture.
The toy has a Tummy that is hard to press and glows orange.
The Sounds that feature are 8 Lullaby’s and Ocean Noises​.
The Toy is interactive for approximately 5 minutes when pressed.
The Seahorse is Suitable from Birth.
Batteries Required are 2 x AA (included).
Size H 28cm, W 13cm & D 12cm.

Would I recommend this product?

Yes I would. I give it 5 ‘s

Manufacturing Quality 5/5
Overall Design 5/5
Toy Features 5/5
Entertainment Value 5/5
Development Value 5/5

Overall the Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse is an excellent quality product that definitely helps with getting baby to sleep.

This is a good price currently at £11.99 at Argos.

If anyone would like the direct link to the item here it is LINK

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes, I hope to enjoyed this Review and that I see you here again very soon. 

✩ Sabrina ✩

Free From Easter Eggs Taste Testing and Comparing

Welcome to today’s post as I discuss Free From Easter Eggs with a Taste Testing and Ingredients Comparison.

This Easter time I might be on a Dairy Free diet, but that hasn’t stopped me hunting for treats! I wanted to share my findings with you all, my opinion, product information, photo’s and all! Here is my Review of several Free From Chocolate Easter Eggs.

So I’m trying a few chocolate eggs that are known as free from, I require dairy free but a lot of these eggs come as free from several allergens. Wheat or Gluten or Dairy, most of these go together. I will be outlining Allergens and Ingredients with each egg below.

Number 1. The first egg I have is an Asda Free From Easter Egg with Chocolate Orange Flavour Disks.
The pack is available for £4.00 for it’s 200g.
LINK

This Egg is Vegan, Gluten Free, Wheat Free and Dairy Free. The Asda Chocolate also has No Artificial Flavours, Colours or Hydrogenated Fats.

Ingredients and Allergens
Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Rice Syrup, Inulin, Coconut Oil, Rice Flour, Flavourings, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithins).
Soya is the only allergen present. This Egg should be suitable for those who have Nut allergies because Nuts are not part of the ingredients.
The Pack provides 6 servings. 1/6 of the pack (1 serving)
Energy kJ 778,
Energy kcal 186,
Fat 12g,
Of Which Saturates 7.1g,
Carbohydrate 19g,
of Which Sugars 12g
Fibre 0.9g
Protein 0.8g
Salt 0.02g.

Egg Design – The Egg design has lines similar to tree bark or waves. It’s an appealing looking Egg and smells strongly of cocoa. It’s presented inside a piece of plastic (which says is recyclable on the packaging) with disks in a plastic bag at the base. The Egg size and pattern is view able through the mostly clear plastic which is good, you can see what you’re getting. You receive 6 Chocolate Orange disks in orange foil, this is one disk for every serving. The disks are round with lined tops. The foil from the disks is recyclable but the plastic bag they come in is not.

Egg Taste – The Egg tastes very nice, it is quite a strong cocoa taste but leaves a nice aftertaste of sweet chocolate. The sugar content is very high though, and after a couple of bites I had had enough. The Chocolate Orange disks are very tasty, they have a strong natural orange taste to them.

Egg Quality – The Easter Egg itself measures 3mm in thickness at the smallest sections and 6mm at the thickest sections. The chocolate orange disks are 5mm deep and taste great, a nice addition to this Easter Egg treat.

Egg Value – A very tasty Egg and a nice treat for anyone requiring a Free From Easter treat. I would say you get a lot for your money with this considering you get the Egg itself plus the Chocolate Orange disks. Because it’s so sweet you wouldn’t usually eat all of this Egg in one sitting, meaning it will last you longer too.Most of the packaging is recyclable except for the film and carton the egg comes inside.

Asda Free From Chocolate Egg

Number 2. The second egg I have is a Moo Free Easter Egg which cost me £3.00. This pack is only 110g. You can find these Eggs at most stores, I have seen them in Aldi, Asda and Tesco.

Organic Cheeky Orange Egg that is Dairy, Gluten and Soya Free. This pack contains a Chocolate Egg that is a Milk Chocolate alternative made from a combination of Cocoa, Sugar, Rice and Orange Oil. Moo Free are an ethical and family owned manufacturer based in Devon in the UK. They use high quality ingredients that have a single origin, including organic cocoa mass from plantations in the Dominican Republic.

Ingredients
Organic Cocoa (44%),
Organic Raw Cane Sugar (34%),
Organic Rice Powder (20%),
Organic Orange Oil (2%),
Organic Sunflower Lecithin,
Natural Flavouring.

Despite no allergens being present in the ingredients the packaging makes the customer aware that the product is Dairy, Gluten and Soya Free. It doesn’t mention Wheat, and it also states that is is made in a factory that handles Hazelnuts.
This pack contains 2 servings it states, 1/2 of an egg is classed as a serving.
The values per serving are as follows;
Energy 1334 kJ
Fat, Total 21.2g
Of which Saturates 12.5g
Carbohydrate 29.9g
Of which Sugars 20.8g
Protein 1.8g
Salt 0.17g

Egg Design – The design of this Egg is nice, hexagonal shapes are all over the surface of the oval shape and all link together.Taste – The Orange taste of this Egg is very prominent and along with the sugar content makes it rather sweet, almost sickly. I couldn’t manage half of my half (serving) and stopped at a quarter. It’s meant to be a milk chocolate alternative however it’s quite a plain and strong chocolate flavour.

Egg Quality – The Moo Free Egg is only 3mm thick all the way around the oval. It has been the thinnest of all the eggs I have tried, and is also the most rich. The taste is nice but very strong in comparison to others. Moo do several eggs but I chose to try this Orange one, so perhaps the other flavours are not to overpowering.

Egg Value – This Egg is small and you don’t get much chocolate for the amount of money that you pay. Considering most other Dairy Free items are made with Soya products though, this item gives those who suffer with a Soya allergy a way of eating chocolate this Easter. I’m very happy to see a notice on the Moo Free box which says the plastic that their egg comes inside was made with recycled plastic, and could we please recycle it again. The box is also recyclable, so of course I will do that Moo Free Company! I’d be happy to because I’m big on recycling and it makes me happy to!

Moo Free Egg

Number 3. The third egg I have is a Trio of Flavoured Chocolate Eggs. This one is a little more indulgent, I had it from Asda in their extra special range, it cost £4.50 for its tiny amount of chocolate at just 150g.
LINK

There are three eggs inside this Easter Egg Selection, the first is a Chocolate Egg with Raspberry Pieces. This one tastes delicious, there are sweet and tangy raspberry pieces in every bite. The second egg is a White Chocolate Egg with vanilla, and you can see the flecks of vanilla all inside the white chocolate. The taste is surprisingly similar to white chocolate and has lots of vanilla flavouring too. Finally the third of the set is a Dark Chocolate Egg with cocoa nibs inside. This one tastes delicious because of the dark, rich chocolate flavour combined with the cocoa nibs which give boosts of taste, it’s rich and indulgent but also has a really nice after taste.

Ingredients and Allergens
Dark Chocolate (32%), Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Inulin, Maltodextrin, Maize Flour, Coconut Oil, Rice Syrup, Rice Flour, Flavourings, Cocoa Nibs, Freeze Dried Raspberry Pieces, Vanilla Powder, Coconut Oil, Emulsifier (Soya Lecithins).

Soya is the only allergen present. This Egg should be suitable for those who have Nut allergies because Nuts are not part of the ingredients. It also states that there are No Artificial Colours, Flavours or Hydrogenated Fat.

The Pack provides 6 servings, half of each egg which would be about right considering the different tastes.
1/6 of the pack contains (1 serving)
Energy kJ 583
Energy kcal 140
Fat 8.9g
Of Which Saturates 5.5g
Carbohydrate 14g
of Which Sugars 9.9g
Fibre 1.0g
Protein 0.7g
Salt 0.01g

Easter Egg Selection Trio

Trio Eggs Design – Each of these Egg tastes great, I would say that the Raspberry combination is my favourite, closely followed by the Dark Coca Nibs. The White is some of the nicest Free From White Chocolate that I have tried however, which gives this Egg a bonus point in taste design. The Vanilla definitely makes a big difference. Over all the set is nicely balanced in flavours, you have the fruit combo which is both Sweet and Tangy, you have the Classic flavours of the Vanilla and then you have the Rich and Indulgent Dark.

Trio Eggs Quality – The Easter Eggs were not hugely thick, however they were consistent at around 4mm. The Cocoa Mass was pretty high within this chocolate, dark chocolate has 58%.

Trio Eggs Value – Although they are the more expensive per 100g these eggs also have the better quality. Over all I would go for the taste and these have that in abundance. You don’t feel like you’re eating something that has been designed to not have Allergens in it, but instead you are enjoying a delicious chocolate treat of high quality cocoa and its adjacent flavourings to match.
I have to ask myself, would I buy these again because of the taste and quality? Yes in fact I would do. Only as a treat, and Easter is that sort of one of time where I would allow it. I only wish the eggs were a bit larger, I would pay another £1 for larger ones of this quality and deliciousness!

Easter Egg Selection Trio

Of course there are plenty of other Free From Eggs out there, however I needed to avoid any that definitely contained Nuts due to my husbands allergies. And there were others that I didn’t think I would enjoy due to their flavour combinations…

I loved the flavour of the Orange Disks from Egg Number 1, and I loved Eggs Raspberry and Dark from Number 3 the Trio.

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope you have enjoyed this Review and that you all have a great Easter Bank Holiday!

✩ Sabrina ✩

HAPPY EASTER!!!