Being an Argos Tester I often get sent items for the purpose of a review. In December I was offered an item under the category of Entertainment. This post is of a product I have been supplied in order to review and test it. During the latest Entertainment campaign I was offered an electronic keyboard.I jumped at the chance to review and test something musical because it’s been years since I have had the opportunity to play anything such as this.
Product Name: Casio CT-S100AD Keyboard, Stand & Headphones Bundle Product Information: A Keyboard Ideal For Beginners. New Slim Line Full Size 61 Key Keyboard. Integrated Carrying Handle & compatible Stand & Headphones set. This keyboard can connect to computers via a USB port. There are 122 sounds, 61 rhythms & 60 songs already saved. It has a Built-In Metronome. 2 Speakers with Clear Sound. 255 Level Tempo Control. Grand Piano feature which has 32 note polyphony. Chorus and Sound Effects kits included. Speaker & Headphone Jack for additional sound or for quiet learning. When Batteries are used it has 16 hours of use, it requires 6 AA Batteries (not included). Mains AC Adapter is included for use on mains electricity. Keyboard Weight 3.3 kg. The stand is easily erected with the use of an Allan key which is supplied.
Overall this Keyboard has great features, the keys are soft and easy to press, the addition of the stand and headphones mean that you can learn quietly in your own time and without disturbing others. I really liked how the keyboard has so many features like the added songs, sounds, instrument themes and various rhythms. This type of instrument is fun for people of all ages to have a go, and for those who wish to learn it allows you to start at the beginning and work your way up. The Mains adapter and the keyboards lightweight design is also great. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn or wants to mess around and create some fun music of their own. My young son was rather intrigued when sounds came out while he was pressing the keys, I’m sure he will take more interest in it as he grows up.
This Casio keyboard is filled with great features like being slim line & has its own carry handle. It has soft gentle keys that are easy to use and ideal for beginners. A great bundle that includes the stand & headphones so you can learn without disturbing anyone. I really liked the feel of the keys & how easy the controls were to navigate. There are great features like built in songs & rhythms too. Being able to connect to a PC is a fab feature & its stand & headphones make the package complete.
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 to visit the Argos website.
Being an Argos Tester I often get sent items for the purpose of a review. This recent Autumn campaign has been about Gaming Accessories, predominantly headsets. On this occasion I chose the PDP Gaming LVL50 Wired Stereo Gaming Headset which is an Official Licensed Product for PS4.
PDP Gaming or Performance Designed Products Ltd have designed an official licensed headset for PlayStation, specifically the PS4. This compatibility is designed to enhance the gaming experience by giving the best possible quality of sound.
This headset type can also be bought to be compatible with Xbox or PC but you need to choose the correct one from their stock available. See the Argos website for more details or pop in store and take a look.Search for “LVL50 Official Licensed Headset” to see all of the available products.
Product Information: Gaming Headset LVL50 Official Licensed PlayStation Product that works with controllers that have a 3.5mm headset jack. Product Name: PDPGaming Headset LVL50 Licensed Product for PS4 Colours Available: Black/Grey with Blue Price: RRP £39.99
Headset Main Features: Compatible with PlayStation 4 Dualshock 4 wireless controller. Lightweight with padding along the head bar and ear cushions. Cushion is made of soft, breathable and durable material. This headset has high definition 50mm drivers. There is a microphone attached to the left ear cup. The microphone has a flip up mute capability. There is an adjustable volume dial on the right ear cup. All features are adjustable without needing to remove the headset.
I rate this headset 5 stars. My reasons are due to it’s features that rival some of the other types of headset on the market. Some other headsets also have microphones and mute capabilities, but the design on the wired LVL50 is both simple and effective. There is no need to remove it from your head in order to find the button because there isn’t one, you just push the mic up into an upright position to activate the flip-up mute. This bi-directional design is both effective and quick to administer while gaming. Another great feature is the volume which is on the opposite side to the mic and features a turn able volume dial for Min to Max sound. The sound itself is incredibly clear through the ear cushions that feature nylon mesh fabric that is both soft and breathable. The clarity of both talking, music and sound effects through the headset is excellent. The entire headset is comfortable to wear because it is so lightweight and even the headband has a cushion for comfort. The attached 3.5mm headset jack with cord is long enough to reach the controller and give enough slack for even those gamers who might have a lot of movements to make during their intense gaming sessions.
Finally I will end by saying that overall this headset is excellent for anyone who enjoys their PlayStation products and I would encourage them to purchase a licensed product such as this one, which is designed to coincide with their console and provide the best possible addition to their gaming experience. The quality of the sound is clear and precise, it’s one of the best headsets that I have had the pleasure of testing, I would highly recommend this headset to all who use PlayStation 4 products.
This headset has some great features like the mute capability with a flip up microphone, and the adjustable volume dial on the opposite ear cup. Talk about comfortable, this headset has cushions on the ears and the headband for hours of gaming comfort. I was very impressed with the clarity of the sound, the music, sound effects and talking through the headset and mic is clear and precise. It is one of the best quality headsets I have had the pleasure of using. I would recommend it for all PlayStation users.
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’s Honest Posts: 7 Ways That You Can Really Help a Pregnant Friend
We all get to that age where we all know of someone who is pregnant. Sometimes several friends will be pregnant together and lean on one another for support. If you’ve been there or been through pregnancy and birth it’s very easy to put our opinions across, and they won’t always be welcome. So try to avoid offending and start by helping with these 7 tips of mine, how you can be a better friend and really help that pregnant pal!
1. Be honest about the birth and what she can expect about the feelings of the experience, it can be overwhelming but positively tell her about the first time you held baby. Certainly don’t rub it in if you had an easy time in labour, just include the facts. Remind your friend about the miracle of life and encourage her to be positive and listen to the health professionals when the time comes.
2. Don’t be honest about everything, steer clear of horror stories so as not to frighten or make her anxious. Don’t go into a negative story either, if you had a traumatic time you can be honest about what went wrong, but perhaps outline to her the reasons why it happened. You could be completely different people, as in medically, plus every baby, mother and birth is different.
3. Give her a maternity bag list to help, there is nothing worse than when baby brain kicks in and you forget something vitally important on the run up to the big event! So help a pregnant friend out by giving her a list of what you took, and even add on anything that you wished you had had when it was you! All hospitals vary so tell her to find out what her local one allows.
4. Tell her to go somewhere or treat herself to something before her baby comes, it may be to have a haircut or to get her nails done. Go together if you can! Or throw her a baby shower or a Mummy-Moon (a day out for just mums-to-be!). Something to distress and give her a day out of her house because soon she’ll be in there a lot.
5. Give her a list of the baby essentials that you found most useful… this is tricky and depends on the person, but I know I was grateful for friends input on what they bought and used versus never needed. For example we bought a baby bath and our son loved it. Other parents don’t bother with them. Each to their own but it’s good to hear people’s opinions.
6. Be a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to all her concerns, you don’t always need to have an opinion, she may just want to vent, so don’t make it about you and yours, listen and respond only if she asks you. Hormones can spin your head around sometimes.
7. Don’t be condescending about this new chapter of her life. It’s a hard transition even for the best prepared of people. For example, avoid saying clichés like “Oh you think you’re tired now wait until…” and instead give her positives about those first few (albeit) difficult weeks! You can start with the sweet and funny things like “Think of all those cuddles” and “Is it wind or their first smile?” things like that.
Thank you for reading this post today, I hope I have given you some food for thought and you may consider helping one of your pregnant friends out.
In my article I’m going to be talking about the different issues and infections I have had during my current journey, 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. It is however the most rewarding thing that I have ever chosen to do. 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! The bond we have is amazing.
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!
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
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
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
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”
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.
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.
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 Construction
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.
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.
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)
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
Prepare all of the ingredients as stated above, diced and chopped.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Serve immediately with Rice and any of the other sides I suggested.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
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 July – How 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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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!).
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…
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 ✩
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.