So many people are looking for healthier choices in the wake of this awful pandemic. The fitter and healthier we are, hopefully the stronger we will all be if and when we need to be. So in this post I will be giving you all some ideas on how to eat a Rainbow worth of healthy foods in a week. I once read a study that said its about variety over quantity, so now I try and mix it up each week.
TOP TIP: An easy way to get veg into children is to add tiny cut up amounts into casseroles or anything which has a sauce or gravy to disguise any strong tastes. I like the bags of tiny frozen veg you can buy, just tip a mugs amount into every meal you make.
TOP TIP: If you are doing any baby led weaning, here are some ways that you can cut up fruit and vegetables to make it easier for children to pick up and eat.
Here are some inspirational colours of Fruit and Vegetables that you could use for your week enjoying an Edible Rainbow of Food.
Strawberries Raspberries Tomatoes Apple Chilli Pepper Cherries Cranberry Grapefruit Pomegranate Red Currants Red Onions Water Melon
Lettuce and Leaves Avocado Spinach Kale Kiwi Apples Lime Leeks Pears Chilli Pepper Cucumber Courgette Spring Onions Honeydew Melon
Blueberries Acai Berries
Blackberries Black Currants Red Cabbage Aubergine Carrot Grapes Plums
I love nothing more than to eat a big bowl of berries with some Vegan yoghurt on top for my pudding.
I started my son on fruit and vegetables when he was really young, a large variety at his weaning stage. Because it’s really important that children eat healthily to get the necessary vitamins and minerals they need for their growth and development. And if you start them young, the more likely it is that they continue to eat that variety as they grow up.
Here are some examples and TOP TIPS that I use to get my toddler to eat his fruit.
Toddler Size! Cut up into ideal sizes and shapes to minimise choking hazards and also to inspire them to pick them up themselves. My son prefers to eat some things independently.
Make It Fun! Whether you sing a song about a Rainbow, or the Birds Eye Vegetables Advert, make food fun! Kids think things are funny and that will bring a positive energy to the scenario. I remember giving my son a piece of Mango for the first time, he must have dropped it about ten times before getting it to his mouth. He thought the slipperiness of it was hilarious! Then realised how great it tasted and there was no stopping him.
My Son has some Fave Fruit Combos!
Bowl of Mixed Berries Mango Chunks and Melon Chunks Apple Slices and Shapes
Some children need encouragement when it comes to eating their fruit and vegetables, check out these awesome phrases in the diagram below to get you started. You should always stick to the facts, fun and inspiring things to tell your children and young adults. Do not use language that will confuse, stick to what actually happens when they eat their greens.
Eating A Rainbow In A Week
Strawberry Yoghurt with Apple Slices Glass of Cranberry Juice Fajitas with Red Pepper Slices and Tomato Salsa Bowl of Strawberries and Raspberries
Peach and Passionfruit Yoghurt with Peach or Orange Slices Glass of Orange Juice Carrot and Coriander Soup Stir Fry with Carrots and a (Orange) Pepper
Chicken Breast with Sweet Potato Mash and Sweetcorn Mango Chunks
Kiwi Fruit cut up into some Plain Yoghurt A Pear and an Apple Salad with tasty leaves, crispy lettuce, spring onion and cucumber slices Beef Stir Fry with Green Pepper, Green Chilli, Leeks and Spinach
Blueberries in Plain or Vanilla Yoghurt
Blackberry Yoghurt with added Blackberries
Mix it up! Choose some of your favourites from the week, try something new, make up your own recipe or go with other colours of food such as Pink, White or Black! Plenty of unusual fruit and veg out there!
Thank you for reading this post today, I hope you have gotten some fun ideas of things to try with your children and your weekly fruit and veg.
I truly believe that conditions like Endometriosis need to talked about, by the people who are living with it every day. Like I am. I was diagnosed eleven years after first getting unexplained symptoms and reoccurring problems. The average time frame for diagnosis is seven years, it is just too long.
Today in this post I am going to be talking about the ways in which I manage my own Endo symptoms and how I help myself be at my most well.
I last had surgery in 2016 including a bowel resection and my organs cut away from extensive Stage 4 Endo, I had an Endometrium mass the size of a tennis ball attached to my bowel, bladder and left ovary, the majority this Endo which was removed by my specialist. I had IVF in 2017 and gave birth to my son, naturally in 2018. Since then I have been Breastfeeding my son which has helped with some of my symptoms. They began returning with pain nine months after I gave birth and have continued to worsen.
Every person with Endometriosis is different and can have different symptoms and varying degrees of problems and pains.
Once I had given birth to my son and found out he had multiple food allergies, I made the decision to cut these items from my diet in order to keep breastfeeding him. This included going completely dairy free, no fresh eggs and no nuts. I was able to have a minimal amount of Soya Milk and Coconut based alternatives.
About nine months after I had given birth my menstrual cycle returned, as did my pains. They got progressively worse as the months went on. Despite breastfeeding still, and I also began noticing other symptoms returning too.
I was bloated such a lot which added to my discomfort, so I made the decision to also cut out white bread and have a 50/50 type instead, to also reduce my general Gluten intake by half, and to eat more high fibre foods. I eat less pasta now and more rice instead. As someone who eats cereal every morning and attempts to get a minimum of five fruit and vegetables a day, I felt I lived a fairly healthy diet and lifestyle.
I have noticed a vast improvement in my symptoms since doing all this, I generally have a lot less abdominal flare ups which are often like IBS symptoms. I tested this theory several times this summer with the reintroduction of both dairy and gluten over a twenty four hour time frame, and I paid for it the day after with both severe pain and other digestive issues. This proved all I needed to know, that I was better off not consuming these items. I find I can have things such as a small amount of dairy, like chocolate chips in a cookie, and this small amount makes very little difference. But if I were to eat a chocolate bar, eat pasta with a cream sauce or a cheese pizza for example, I would be poorly the next day.
I must stress that I do eat lots of fruit and vegetables, I drink at least 2.5 litres of water a day, and I do not drink any coffee, tea or alcohol. I only drink flat fizzy drinks and I consume very little else except for additional water based liquids or occasional fruit juice or smoothies.
Every person is different of course, but you should consider keeping a food diary and perhaps cutting out a few things, one by one over at least seven days to see if you have any improvement. I shall talk more about a diary later on.
Let us now take a look at the Cycle Symptoms of Endometriosis.
Symptoms Associated with Endometriosis.
There are many varied symptoms that Endo sufferers have to deal with (most are listed in the image above). And the pain levels that people can have will vary too. Because we are all different it is impossible to know the severity of ones pain against another. Pain levels should never be compared nor dismissed, and if you have a doctor do this to you and not take you seriously then you should get a different opinion.
I made my own Health Diary Planner where I put in what I have eaten and what symptoms I have, what cycle day I’m on and I can also note my pain levels. It’s important to do all this so that a specialist can look at the correlations between your lifestyle and diet and your symptoms. Check out the diagram above and match any symptoms that you have, check against your cycle day and your diet. Look at what changes you can make easily and see if they help. Something as simple as drinking more water and cutting out some gluten could help with bloating (usually associated with hormone changes) for example. See what you could do to help yourself feel better.
Food Versus Health Diary
A long time ago when I was first diagnosed, my specialist advised that I keep track of my ups and downs. I decided to do this but one better, by learning about my Cycle, my Pains, my Food and my Digestive patterns and also my other Endo symptoms.
Sometimes things can correlate and they become frequent enough for you to begin to understand why they are happening. For example, I get Ovulation Pain, and by keeping track of my cycle on an app, it gives me a rough estimate of when this might happen. I then make sure I have pain killers on hand if it is bad, and I ensure I eat more cleanly and avoid anything that would increase my pain such as consuming too much gluten.
I can advise anyone on an Endometriosis journey to keep track of their body to help them to understand what it is telling them. Please feel free to save my Grid above and use it to track your own symptoms.
Ways I Manage My Pain
Pain is something that I often choose to cope with until it starts to affect my day or affect the way I am caring for my son. Because I am breastfeeding I am limited to the amounts and types of medication that I can currently take. Usually two 500mg Paracetamol plus Caffeine every four hours like clockwork on my bad days. I can take Ibuprofen too, but I find if I have a bad stomach this actually makes me feel more unwell so avoid it at the current time.
So I do rely on a few alternatives too. Hot Water Bottles are favourable especially at night time. I also have elasticated waist pyjamas because any additional pressure on my abdomen makes me feel worse.
The most important thing when in pain is to be comfortable and to keep hydrated. Especially if your pain levels are at their worst during your period. I usually struggle to put on tight clothing during certain times in my cycle and have a lot of items in my wardrobe for practicality.
Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope that you have found my thoughts beneficial and if you have any further questions you can search Endometriosis on my blog, or on a search engine, or just ask me directly, if I can help you then I will certainly try.
I think every parent will agree with me when I say “mess is a fact of having children” but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a tidy home when the children are asleep, or for when relatives come around! And can I just say, Square Furniture really excites me, its versatility knows no bounds!
But first, Tidy Hacks! When my son was only twelve months old I began a routine with him which involved us tidying up once we have finished with certain things. It started with me showing him then handing him the item and encouraging him to copy me. So… Books went back in his Book Tub and toys went back in the Toy Box. He soon realised that it was important to tidy up. My son took to it really well, he even puts balls back in his ball pit now, and has done since he was eighteen months of age. Instilling this notion early enough has paved a way for a toddler who understands how important it is to put something back when you have finished with it. My first TIP is to allocate boxes for different items, such as, the Grey box is for books, the Red box is for Cars, the Blue box is for trains and the Green box is for animals.
There is no right or wrong way to have your home, however one thing is for sure, cleaning it is far easier when everything has its own place. Boxes are filled and put back on to shelves. I love furniture and I love how it brings a room together too. I have a large wooden chest in my lounge along with several small lidded boxes to store my sons toys in. I always like to have that option to tidy things away completely, in case I have family over for example, or I may need the space to do messy play.
In my son’s bedroom I have several pieces of furniture that are square and contain various storage tubs and boxes. They look neat and tidy and are easy enough to maintain. The boxes are made of fabric and are often purchasable in many styles and colours to maintain the theme for your chosen bedroom. Great for anywhere in the house, such as hallway or living room too. Do you have any Square Furniture? I think they’re just great!
I have always been a fan of the clean lines that square furniture gives you. And with so many places now creating the relevant boxes to go into these holes, you have a wide range of choice to make your home how you want it.
Excellent Value for Money Square Storage Boxes
Argos – Great Quality and in a Variety of Colours and Patterns. Boxes are in packs of 4 with 2 Sizes Available. And prices start from £14.00 for 4 boxes. Argos also do lidded Square Storage Cubes in fabric and a leather look, which can double as seating for children in a bedroom too.
B & M – Fabric Boxes and Velvet Boxes, Good Quality but Less Choice Available (I only found Bright Pink, Blush Pink, Dark Grey and Silver). The Velvet ones were £7 for a pack of two and are very soft and of good quality. The fabric boxes are not as nice but definitely do the job well enough though and are ideal for toys, they were £5 for a pack of two.
Aldi – Special Buys Baby Event – Stars Boxes – Multiple Colours Available and were £3.99 each box. They were only available for a limited time.
Ikea – Several styles of boxes and tubs available from Ikea and many colours and patterns as well. They range from £3.00 upwards for a single box and the range is called Drona.
The furniture I purchased for my sons room is from Argos. But Ikea do a similar range as well named Kallax. Due to the Pandemic it has been far easier for me to get a delivery or click and collect option from my local Argos stores, mainly because its almost a two hour drive for me to get to an Ikea store, so I would rely on an online order and delivery.
My final TIP for keeping a house tidy is this, get one box out at a time, and teach your child/ren that once they are finished with that box, it gets packed up and placed back on to the unit or into the bedroom it came from. Then they can get another box of toys out to play with. In-still this idea at a young age and they should keep respecting their play space long enough to keep wanting to tidy up after themselves. These types of storage are so easy too, there isn’t anything complicated about it. You just need a system of what goes into what box, but you could always get labels for them too!
Great Value Square Furniture
Argos Home Squares range from £24 to £120. Colours Available are Putty (Light Grey), Oak Effect, Black and White.
Ikea Kallax Square furniture range is from £19 to £129. Colours Available are Black/Brown, White, High-Gloss White, Oak Effect, White Stained Oak Effect and Grey-Wood Effect.
Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope I have given you some inspiration on how to make your own homes more tidy by using square storage to its full potential.
Check out my Instagram for more inspirational images on storage and tidiness.
At the start of Lockdown it dawned on me that I didn’t have any comfortable footwear for walking in, that wasn’t a heavy walking boot or an uncomfortable flat shoe. None of what I had was suitable for the hot weather that was forecast either, so one afternoon while my son took a nap, I scoured the internet looking for something to suit me. I have awkward feet, let’s say that!
Not only were there so many different pumps and trainers out there to choose from, but I also couldn’t afford to spend a lot either. So I looked for a shoe with a gripped base and comfortable inside, ideal enough for my wide foot but a shape that would also grip my tiny ankles (I told you I was awkward!).
Usually I wouldn’t even consider buying shoes online, I would normally wait and do it all in store, so little fits me properly, but it was the end of April and with no sign of the virus easing I decided to take the risk and order online for home delivery.
In the end I chose a Matalan pump, it had Memory Foam inside and a gripped sole on the base. It contours to your feet and allows a good grip too.
Product Name: Black Memory Foam Slip On Pumps Product Price: £12.00 Product Information: Also available in Grey. Sink your feet into maximum comfort with these sumptuously soft slip-ons. Constructed with a plush memory foam insock, which contours to your feet, additional features include a black marl outer, alongside a contrasting white chunky cleated sole for added grip and sturdiness. Product Link:Matalan
As you can see the pumps fitted me well, I chose a Size 4 despite having one foot slightly larger. My reason behind this was because I read the online reviews people had written on the Matalan website, and many people had said these particular style of pumps were a little on the large size and not true to size for some wearers.
So I tried walking in them on warm days, with and without wearing socks. I found that my feet sweated far more in the memory foam without the barrier of a sock between my skin and the memory foam. I decided that after that day I would always wear socks with them, and they were incredibly comfortable.
Easy to walk in and light and gentle on your feet. The shoes themselves are so lightweight it gives you no additional effort to walking.
Over all I am very happy with these pumps, the purchase price was very good for something so versatile and comfortable. It is annoying that my feet sweat so much and that I will have to wear socks with them when out walking for more than a few minutes, however for the price, I don’t mind that and have plenty of trainer socks to pair with them.
Are they as comfortable as they look? Yes! Even more so. The material is super soft, they are lightweight to lift your feet and they are well made and sturdy too. They are well sewn up together, very neatly over all and the soles have got plenty of grip for any outdoor wear. I wore these on grass and pavement and stone paths, and the grip was excellent throughout the various terrain.
I can definitely recommend these pump shoes, I would even be tempted to get another colour in the future when these begin to wear out. They currently do them in Black and Grey. I wonder if Matalan will release any other colours too? Perhaps a question to ask…
My Final Review Scores
Quality of Product 5/5 Product Price 5/5 Design of Product 5/5 Comfort During Use 4/5
I have walked around 5 miles in these pumps now over the last few weeks, and the soles have barely worn, so I hope they last me a long time.
I hope you enjoyed reading this review today, if you have any questions about the product then please leave me a comment below. Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes.
Fun to Make ~ Easter Art and Crafts ~ with Sabrina of Severn Wishes
I have wanted to do this blog post for the last three years, and I have always been too busy to complete it! Mainly because it is a mixture of writing the blog, creating and making the craft items, and then taking the step by step images, processing all of those and then putting the entire lot together in one blog post. It is both time consuming and a lengthy in process too. So what changed this year? Well for one thing, I was more determined to do some more craft this year, but isolation has also made me re-evaluate what’s important, and that is to make happy memories with my son. No matter what is going on outside our home, he doesn’t understand, and it is my job to keep things as normal as possible, so extra fun, extra learning and extra memories are all on the table at the present time. I’m so glad you could join me to hopefully make some memories of your own!
So without any further ado, let’s get our crafty fingers at the ready! Depending upon which Crafty Project you wish to undertake you will need a variety of items. My idea is this, pick an item from the four below, and then match the “You Will Need” items with what you already have at home. Providing you have all the necessary bits and bobs then feel free to scroll down to that Project and then get cracking with my Step by Step guides! Happy Crafting!
1. 3D Friendly Ladybird 2. Wiggly Caterpillar 3. 3D Paper Flower (Can be Framed or Made into an Easter Card) 4. Hand Print Easter Bunny Rabbit 5. Other Craft Ideas
1. 3D Friendly Ladybird
You Will Need Pritt Stick or Glue Coloured Paper and / or Card Circular Objects to Draw Around (This will determine the size of your Ladybird) Pencil Scissors Black Pen Googly Eyes (if you have some but not essential)
This is the easiest of my crafts today, and will take around twenty minutes to make. You can make it any size, any colour that you like. Why not make one for each member of the family? I am going to make several of them to put around my son’s bedroom. He loves Gaston from Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, so my son is the inspiration behind this particular craft project.
Step 1. Choose the Size of your Ladybird. Choose your colour. Draw around a Circular object so that you have 4 Circles the same size, and then you will need a smaller circle for the head, judge this depending upon the size of the body. Cut out these 5 circles and then you’re ready to begin.
Step 2. On the small circle draw a line across the centre, you want to colour the half of this circle in with black pen. Don’t forget to draw eyes on it too like mine, if you don’t have any fun stick on eyes to hand! Then pop this face to one side you won’t need it now until Step 6.
Step 3. Take 3 out of the 4 Large Circles and fold them in half across their centre. Gently crease them with your fingers, take a look at my image below to see how they should look.
Step 4. Take the flat circle and cover it lightly in glue or pritt stick, I always prefer a glue stick when messing with card, less mess! Then take two of your folded circles, stick glue on their side that faces flat, place them back to back and glue them down on to the flat circle so that they make a V shape.
Step 5. Take the remaining Circle that is folded in half and cover it in glue before pressing it down into the centre of your Ladybird body, covering the two below neatly. You now have a finished insect body.
Step 6. You can now glue the head on by placing the glue on to the half you didn’t colour in, make sure you line it up with the V of the Ladybird to make it look right. See my image below.
Step 7. Push down all the flat surfaces of the Ladybird and leave for an hour or two for the glue to dry. Then using a Pen or Marker, draw on however many Spots you would like.
Step 8. Repeat steps for making other colours or other sizes if you have Card or Paper left over. If you need a base for your Ladybird to sit on, why not make him a cardboard leaf! (You need leaves for another of my crafts anyway!) 😉
2. Wiggly Caterpillar (munching on a leaf)
You Will Need Pritt Stick and PVA Glue Green Paper or Card (Card is better) A Mixture of Green and Black Pens Poms Poms! All Colours Welcome! Googly Eyes or Stick on Sequins Scissors A Pencil A Piece of Cardboard (Cereal box is good!)
This is a fun craft to do with young children. They can make their Caterpillar whatever colour they want. All you need is some Pom Poms! You can follow my Steps or watch my video below!
Step 1. Draw and Cut Out a Leaf Shape (this is your main leaf) from your Cardboard. Then draw around this cut out piece of cardboard on to your green paper or card and Pritt Stick together.
Step 2. Draw your Leaf design on with Green pens. Set to one side.
Step 3. Decide what Pom Poms you want to use and arrange them!
Step 4. Make some antenna and extra leaves and stick your eyes on to a Pom Pom ready to assemble your bug!
Step 5. Using PVA glue stick your Caterpillar together, don’t forget the extra leaves, arrange however you wish, then leave to dry in a warm flat place.
Step 6. Add any additional things to your bug once it has dried.
3. 3D Paper Flower (Can be Framed or Made into an Easter Card)
You Will Need Pritt Stick or Glue Different Coloured Cards or Papers A Piece of Card for Sticking to Scissors Pencil A Circular Object to Draw Around (it’s diameter will be half the width of the flower so choose wisely)
This idea is simple but looks so pretty when complete. It makes a great card.
Step 1. Take a piece of plain card, this will be your base. Draw a Stem or Cut Green Card or Paper and create one. Make sure you leave plenty of room to stick the flower part. Cut out leaves and small circles of yellow paper to create the centre of the flowers. Be as creative as you like.
Step 2. Making the petals next, you need to cut circles of different colours, you will end up with 8 Petals in total per flower. I did two different sized circles to end up with two sized flowers.
Step 3. Fold all of the petals in half so you end up with 16 halves with flat sides that stick up. This is how the petals will look 3D.
Step 4. Using Pritt Stick, stick the sides of the petals down so that they rotate around the centre of the flowers. You want them all to face the same way when you stick them around the yellow centre.
Step 5. Turn the flowers into a card if you like, or make other smaller flowers too using smaller circles, and make a pretty Easter meadow scene picture. Draw or Stick Easter Eggs and Rabbits and other Easter items along the edge like an Easter scene.
4. Hand Print Easter Bunny Rabbit
You Will Need Paper or Card Pencil Hands!!! Pens for the Details Scissors Paint
Paint works well for this one so you don’t have to colour in, unless you prefer to colour of course. It depends how much you’re painting, if you plan to do my hand prints picture (below) then you could do extra on different paper and make them into cute Rabbits!
Step 1. Draw around your hand and / or children’s hands. Or you can do a Hand Print on to Paper using Paint! MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE OUT THE THUMB! You want the shape to resemble a Rabbit head with two of each fingers being the ears! Keep two fingers together!
Step 2. Once dry you can cut the Rabbit shape out.
Step 3. Draw on Nose, Mouth and Eyes!
Step 4. Add any extras like whiskers, inner ears and freckles! Cut it out and hang it up or stick to a handmade card if you like.
5. Other Craft Ideas If you want to just Print some Easter Egg patterns and do some Colouring in with younger children then here are a few that I really like that you can save and print 🙂
Alternatively you could do some Painting of Hands and do some Prints!
Thanks so much for joining me for this blog post. I hope that you’ve had fun, maybe even a laugh at my crafty items. If you made something please share it with me on social media, tag me or my page! I would love to see them! What was your favourite? Would you like to see more Art and Craft? Leave me a comment. Have a wonderful fun and safe Easter!
If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll know that food is a huge passion of mine. Coming up with new recipes and experimenting is a hobby of mine. But today, with all this talk about panic buying amidst this deadly virus, I couldn’t help but think, what can I do now to help others…
My epiphany was this! My Ideas On How To Make Your Food Go Further!
There are certain things that most of us keep in our kitchen during week to week shops or our larger monthly stock ups, so I wanted to focus on those to begin with. The issue right now is that due to bulk panic buying some of our staples are very hard to get a hold of. Take a look at the meals below to see if any of them would appeal to you or your family. Then see how you can make them go further with my recipe adjustments.
All of these recipes are my own, so if you wish to recreate one please credit me and notify me on where you have used it, thank you.
Author: Severn Sabrina Prep Time: 45 Minutes Cook Time: 40 Minutes Serves: 4 to 6 people Allergens: Wheat Flour, Barley and Soya in the Gravy Granules
COTTAGE PIE Serves 4 to 6 people (sometimes with leftovers if its children’s portions) Ingredients 1 or 2 Large White Onion – Diced 3 or 4 Large Carrots – Diced 500g Mince Beef – Cooked & put through a processor to make smaller pieces 1kg Potatoes – Cooked and Mashed Gravy Granules – I use the Bisto Onion Gravy Granules Additional foods to add to make it go further… Baked Beans x 1 Tin Mixed Dice Vegetables x 1 Cup ~~~ Most people will have a bag of frozen veg or veg that needs to be used up. Dicing it up small and adding it to your cottage pie gravy is a great way to get extra veg into children as well as help an adult get their 5 or more a day! Same with the tin of beans! Pour off a little sauce if there is lots in the tin, but the tomato sauce actually helps you to get a lovely gravy. The beans bulk out the cottage pie filling while adding your veg in take. You can even add all of this into a large casserole dish, and cook it in the oven for an hour, even the veg if cut small enough will cook in the gravy, locking in all the vitamins…
Author: Severn Sabrina Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cook Time: 30 Minutes Serves: 4 to 6 people Allergens: Dairy will be present in Naan Bread if you choose it as a side
CHICKEN CURRY (You can use one of my Recipes already on my blog for the method) Serves 4 to 6 people (sometimes with leftovers if its children’s portions) Ingredients 2 Large White Onion – Diced and Chopped into two sizes 50g Tomato Puree (this is for your homemade sauce) 2 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes (for your sauce) 500g of Chicken cut into bite size pieces 100g of Yoghurt, I use Dairy Free Coconut Yoghurt Serve with Rice and / or Naan Bread Sauce – I prefer to make my own to my taste but you can use a jar of sauce, but if you do use a jar you only need 1 Tin of the Chopped Tomatoes. You then add curry spices like Cumin, Paprika, Garam Masala and Chilli. As well as Garlic and Coriander usually! (See my Recipes for more on making sauce and a method for the curry too). Additional foods to add to make it go further… New Potatoes x 1 Tin (They’ll cook in the sauce on a low heat for 20 mins) 1 or 2 Peppers Sliced thinly (fry these a little with your onion then add) Cauliflower Diced up x 1 Cup (Chopped small it will cook in the sauce)
Author: Severn Sabrina Prep Time: 25 Minutes Cook Time: 40 Minutes Serves: 4 to 6 people Allergens: Check Jar if you purchase a sauce, otherwise none.
CHILLI CON CARNE Serves 4 to 6 people (sometimes with leftovers if its children’s portions) Ingredients 2 Large White Onion – Diced 4 Large Carrots – Diced 1 Tin of Plum Tomatoes (they are sweeter but you need to chop them) 1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes (you could use 2 of these and no plum if easier) 500g Mince Beef or Pork or both – Cooked & then put through a processor to make the pieces of meat smaller – or use Quorn or Soya Mince 1 Tin of Red Kidney Beans Serve with Rice Sauce – I use a packet or a jar for convenience but you can make a sauce, you have done the basics with the tomatoes already. So add the tomatoes to a bowl, then add Cumin, Garlic and Chilli to your own taste. Additional foods to add to make it go further… Baked Beans x 1 Tin (some people don’t like Red Beans so you could use Baked Beans (Haricot Beans) instead. Peppers – as many or as little as you like, if one needs using up do it! Mixed Dice Vegetables x 1 Cup (You can add other basic veg if you don’t have enough or you want to do a vegetarian style chilli).
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Author: Severn Sabrina Prep Time: 25 Minutes Cook Time: 30 Minutes Serves: 4 to 6 people Allergens: Check the Jar of Sauce if you buy one.
SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN Serves 4 to 6 people Ingredients 500g Chicken Breast (Diced) or a Vegetarian Alternative Tin of Pineapple – Cut into Small Chunks – 1 Ring per person Peppers – 1 Yellow and 1 Red Cut into Small Long Pieces 1 Large Onion – Diced into Small Long Pieces 2 Carrots – I Peel and Slice them with the Peeler into long thin shards! Serve with Rice Sauce – I always buy a cheap jar of sauce, the cheaper the better! Alternatives This dish is so easy to make and these flavours are quite specific, if you aren’t keen on that much pineapple then do one ring total or leave it out but then you should add more of the other ingredients.
Fresh meat, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables are hard to get hold of in my area right now. When I did a home delivery order most of what I asked for was either out of stock or I was given a substituted alternative closest to what I wanted. This was very inconvenient and I have ended up spending 4 hours in total, chopping, peeling and bulk freezing some of the fresh veg before it went bad. I created mixed veg bags including a stir fry mix!
TOP TIP: Only make a freezer portion size for what you or your family members would eat at a meal time! Then there is no waste when you defrost it to use!
You can make 6 portions of Vegetable Stir Fry using the following raw vegetables, washed, chopped and ready to cook or freeze: 3 Coloured Peppers – 1/2 a sliced pepper per portion 1 Broccoli Head – cut into thin stems 1kg Carrots – I use a peeler to slice mine into strips 1 White Onion for every 2 Portions – Diced into small chunks ~ Add any of the following to make it go further and become 8 portions~ Water Chestnuts – I use Tinned x 1 Bamboo Shoots – I use Tinned x 1
Adding Noodles OR Rice on the Day you make the Stir Fry for extra bulking out of your food. Either use 1 Packet of Stir Fry Noodles once your veg is cooked, or a packet of Microwave Noodles or a Microwave Rice (all down to your preference) and one of these makes this meal double in amount.
Using a bought Sauce or Making a Sauce?
Adding a bought sauce to this stir fry is great, but if you’re feeding more than 4 people then 1 jar is only just enough. TOP TIP: Make sure you add 2 cm of warm or hot water to the bottom of the jar, replace the lid and give it a good shake, add this to your stir fry, no sauce left in the jar and wasted!
Don’t be scared of not using all the sauce, you can you half, replace the lid and use the rest within 2 or 3 days usually (always check the label).
Alternatives for Sauce… Make your own! You will need… Garlic fresh or paste, Ginger fresh or paste, Sweet Chilli Sauce or Chilli Sauce (if you like it hot!) Salt, Pepper and Chinese Five Spice! I prefer the pastes as it makes things so easy!
In a small bowl mix up a tablespoon of everything above! Less of the hot chilli though unless you like it spicy! Add more or less and experiment with the taste until it’s to your preference. Add this to your stir fry when you add the noodles. One of each paste does me around 7 or 8 stir fry’s or Chinese orientated meals. Chinese Five Spice goes a long way too!
I really hope I have given you some inspiration on some family favourites and ideas on how you can make them go a lot further during this difficult time. You can of course substitute the meats for vegetarian alternatives or swap out the vegetables you don’t like for others too.
Experiment with what you’ve got to use up and so long as you’re making healthy meals with vegetables in you’re already winning for the day! If you liked any of my meals after making them please leave me a comment, I would love to know how you got on.
Is there anything you would like to cook but need some help with? I’m an experienced cook and perhaps have experience of the dish, please comment and ask me 🙂 I’m happy to help!
Stay In and Stay Safe Friends. I might go do some baking now I’m done with my savoury cooking! If you’re after sweet treats check out those recipes that are on my blog already too!
In coordination with Endometriosis Awareness month this March 2020 I am going to be telling my diagnosis story. I know I have talked about my Endo in many of my posts, but this is the real true and honest story of mine. I will also be sharing statistics, symptoms and other information, as well as giving links to the websites you might find useful to find more out about Endometriosis if you wish to.
Not only is this going to be emotional post, it is raw, and it could also be disturbing for others. I am choosing to share some pictures post surgery too. I will therefore by putting a Trigger Warning on this post, because I am showing pictures but also talking about things that may upset others.
Please don’t let this put you off reading it, I think people need to see what effect this horrible condition can have upon the body. The female body already endures so much, so to have to deal with this condition too, it is exhausting. I should know.
There was light at the end of the tunnel for me, so this post does end on a positive, but I do believe more people need to realise the repercussions of having this debilitating and incurable condition.
Please continue reading now as I tell my story of pain, loss and eventual diagnosis.
Endo and Me
I have a love hate relationship with my body. Sometimes I love that I have a fast metabolism, it keeps me slim and I’m generally quite fit and strong despite my thin frame and small bones… however the Endo side of me causes unimaginable pain at times. It’s a chronic and incurable illness that doesn’t just affect your period like so many ignorant and uneducated people might believe. It is so much more than that because a number of things that happen to you can have a real negative affect on your life as well as your body. Let’s start at the beginning for me. I first had issues with my body when I was around fifteen years of age. I began getting unusual pain that I had to take medication for. All you could get at that age was paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets which were 200mg a piece and trust me; they barely touched the sides of my pain. As I got older I began having more symptoms, I didn’t know back then they were to do with Endometriosis. Except that whenever I sat in front of a doctor they tried to tell me it was anything and everything but that, it was never even mentioned. When I was seventeen I lost weight suddenly and quickly, I was tested for Thyroid issues and even Cancer! All tests came back negative and I tried to just deal with my awful periods and pains. Doctors were reluctant to explore further, so I let it go. At 19 I was fed up with the ridiculously heavy flow I had every month and the fact that I had no regular cycle, it was so exhausting and an anxious time. So after some persuasion on my part, I went on to a contraceptive pill. Regulating my cycle was a bonus of the tablets, and for the first time in my life I could be social with confidence. By knowing when things would be occurring allowed me to be at home with my hot water bottle and tablets when I needed to be.
When I was 25 I came off all medication in the hope of starting a family. Little did I know that all the pill had done for years was masking other symptoms of my Endo. When I had been off it for just six months I had such pain that it began affecting my everyday life. I cancelled social time with friends and family, I ended up avoiding things that I usually enjoyed because I was worried about being unwell in front of people. This caused me to suffer with anxiety, and that never went away, it just got worse as years went by… and so did my pain.
When I failed to conceive for years I went to my doctor and had various tests, blood tests for Thyroid, Hormones and Vitamin Deficiency amongst them. Then when everything came back with no issues and my pains were so bad that they affected me daily, I began seeking more answers. Endometriosis or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome was just two conditions that female members of my blood line suffer with. I must have told this to over a dozen doctors over the years. There are correlations between female genes that are often ignored. It wasn’t until I finally conceived after three years of trying, and then I tragically miscarried, that I ended up in Accident and Emergency every four weeks when I got my period, and I began getting sussed on this…
When I lost my baby I blamed myself and it made me depressed. I was so unwell physically I just didn’t know to what extent just yet.
So to help my state of mind I kept a diary, what I ate, what I did daily, what my pains were and where, I kept track of my cycle down to the hour and tried to make sense of it all. I looked for answers online and anything that told me what it could possibly be. Going in and out of hospital with no answers was exhausting, and it was wasting so much time too.
One afternoon I had written out all of my symptoms and matched them to the condition Endometriosis. All I wanted was someone to take me seriously and try and attempt to diagnose me. Instead I was in hospital nine times over the course of eighteen months. I had one MRI, seven ultrasounds, I went on a drip three times due to dehydration, I was given antibiotics twice, I had examinations with five internal swabs checking for infections… Nothing came back with anything concrete. On an ultrasound they told me that I had had a cyst that had burst. That time I ended up almost passing out in the bathroom at home from the pains, I was vomiting and couldn’t keep anything down. A&E was the only option when I had so much blood loss and was so sick from pain that I became dehydrated and needed a drip.
When I was admitted during the period that came after I lost my first child it was clear that I was incredibly ill and needed help. I had doctors who wanted to take me to surgery to check my appendix and my bowel, but I kept telling them it was Gynaecological. After I had a complete meltdown and shouting because I was kept nil by mouth for three whole days while two doctors argued over what to do with me, a lovely doctor who was a cancer specialist offered to do a basic laparoscopy on me that evening, to simply look inside me and take some pictures, so I could be passed on to whichever department I needed to be. This was the turning point for me; it was the start of my actual diagnosis. Over thirteen years since my first unexplained pains had begun…
It was severe. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis, with a mass the size of a Tennis Ball attaching my Left Ovary, Bladder, Bowel and Womb to each other. My organs were all pulled off to the left side of my body, which was contributing to other symptoms that I was having, including bloating, bowel pain and problems, pain when I had a full bladder and pain during intercourse. The pictures that were taken inside my body showed extensive Endometriosis, like a mesh of tissue, thick cobwebs and various sized pockets of blood. At this time I had been ill for a long time, and I had lost weight, I was a size 6 and I didn’t feel like me anymore. The pain was all I knew some days. Having a diagnosis was like a light bulb had been turned on in my darkened room…
I was lucky because there was an Endo Gynaecologist Specialist at my local hospital. After speaking with him he agreed to operate, to try and save my left ovary. I wanted to be a mother so badly and he understood this. We also agreed to check for reasons why I couldn’t carry a baby thus far, four years of trying and a miscarriage was an indication things weren’t right. And he wanted to find out if it was all down to this Endo and the position of my organs. He would also do the dye test on my Fallopian tubes while I was under to see if they were clear of Endo too.
So I was popped onto his waiting list for surgery twelve weeks later. Every day was hard during that time, it was a blur of medication and hot water bottles and I had to give up work and go off sick after trying and failing to do my shifts and ending up just collapsing. After dealing with the chronic pains during that time, having hardly any sleep because I couldn’t get comfortable and my constant anxiety and nausea… I finally went in for my surgery…
The day afterwards I felt like a new woman, this man and his team had literally given me my life back. It was bad, but they had fixed me for now… I had had the Endo mass and tissue removed, then my organs gently coaxed back into place, my tubes flushed, my bowel that was damaged had a resection, and my left ovary was carefully saved. I could feel that constant pressure was gone; there was no more dull pain in that area. In fact recovering from the surgical incisions wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the pain I had lived with every day for years. I stopped taking pain medications three days after I got home from my surgery, because I felt like I could deal with the pains I was getting, which were less than ten per cent than what I was used to. How mad is that?
The worst thing about the surgery for me was the gas, it fills every part of your body as it absorbs and fills the spaces between your organs, it can be very painful until it’s gone. I had to drink so much peppermint tea to help with the bloating! Below is my abdomen after surgery, you can see I’m swollen and bruised and you can see the three incision sites.
The worse thing about having Endo is that it has stolen friendships away from me, and it put strains on other relationships too. People don’t understand how you can look so “well” on the outside but feel incredibly ill on the inside. Pain is something your body gets used to but it is the fatigue that most people struggle to deal with. Sometimes I would visit family and I would be talking one minute and falling asleep the next. Even after my surgery, although I didn’t have the same pain levels as before, I was still keeping up with the feelings of being tired, and my periods were exactly the same.
Did you know that Endometriosis also causes a whole range of other issues? I had over half of these when I eventually got diagnosed. Most women get told they have painful periods and IBS. Most of us only have these things because we have Endo. Here is a great diagram that was shared on the social media Endo pages earlier this month outlining most of what women like me have to deal with, sometimes these are daily symptoms, some are infrequent but they still occur, often brought on by hormone changes and cycles.
Endo Warrior is a term I use often to describe myself, because some days it feels like a battle just to get through the day. I am extremely lucky because I got the time to recover from my surgery, both body and soul searching too. Then when I was ready I had to do IVF in order to have my son. He is my entire world and I would be lost without him. I look back at all that I’ve been through and I am proud that I never gave up, despite everything.
If you want something in life and you have to work harder to get it then it makes it all the more worthwhile. I overcame a needle phobia and dealt with my Endo pain during my IVF treatment. But I would do all of it again if I had to. Being a mother is one of the most incredible and rewarding things I have ever done.
I realise some women have too bad a diagnosis and never get the chance to be mothers because of this condition, and that makes me sad. I class myself as one of the lucky ones.
To anyone out there who is suffering, make your voice heard. I once said to a friend that “Living a life in pain is like letting pain decide your life for you” and I got to a point where I just couldn’t live like that anymore. If your pain is ruling your life, then perhaps it is time to do something about it. Find a Doctor willing to listen and willing to take you seriously. Keep a diary, show that to a specialist if you’re lucky enough to get referred quickly.
Endometriosis has cost me so much in my life already, and because there is no cure I deal with those uncertainties for my future every single day. I still class myself as one of the lucky ones, I still have all my organs at the moment, and I was able to carry and have my son. I love being a mum. I try not to let my pain get in the way of that. As my son gets older I will be able to explain why mummy cannot bend and play today, and I will come up with other things for us to do together on those, my bad days. But I know it won’t stop me from being the mother he deserves. Of that I will make sure.
Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today. If you would like to leave a comment please do so, I hope that my words help even just one person to stand up for themselves, to explain to a doctor that you want answers, that you deserve to live a life without pain.Stay strong.
Being an Argos Tester I often get sent items for the purpose of a review. This month I was offered an item under the category of Personal Care ~ Hair Products. This post has been written about a product that I have been supplied in order to review it and test it.
I chose to review the BaByliss 2993KSU Keratin Shine Volume Hot Air Styler. This amazing Dryer Styler has two heat settings and a cool setting, as well as being made from Keratin infused ceramic. It’s lightweight and easy to use. The BaByliss 2993KSU has two sized thermal brushes, one 50mm and one 38mm. They have also included a styling nozzle and the cord is a handy 2m in length.
This styler is designed to dry your hair while creating volume and a smooth finish. I have fine long hair so I wasn’t sure how well this was going to work for me. It dried my hair in a matter of seconds even on the lowest heat setting. Using the different sized roller attachments you can create different levels of volume. I needed to use products to stop my hair from going frizzy, because of how fast it did dry.
This device can only be used on damp hair and not wet hair, due to it being electric of course. Always use a heat defense spray on your hair as well before using dryers. Overall I found this device is a good time saver, it did make my hair straighter and smoother, and I used products before and after using it to tame any frizzy sections. I’m not sure how much volume it would create on fine hair, people with thicker hair types might find that aspect more beneficial. It did put a kink to the ends of my hair. I have used it several times but I also want to experiment more with it over time and see if I can work out how to create more volume.
I enjoyed testing this product and always wanted to test something like this which combined a styler with a way to dry your hair. I found that all I needed was some products to tame the frizzy flyway’s from my fine hair. I would use this product if I needed a smooth style after washing my hair, for both quickness and convenience, I feel like I would use this over a dryer and separate straightener.
Product Name: BaByliss 2993KSU Keratin Shine Volume Hot Air Styler Product Information: 1000W Power Two Heat Settings and A Cool Setting Two Buttons for Easy Interchangeable Attachments Keratin Infused Ceramic Finish Frizz Controlling Ionic System – Smooths Hair and Enhances Shine Lightweight and Easy to Use Interchangeable Attachments for Drying, Shaping and Adding Volume. Two sizes of Thermal Brushes 50mm and 38mm. Styling nozzle Swivel Cord is a handy 2 metres
Argos Website – Click here for the link to the product on sale at Argos.
Manufacturing Quality 5/5 Overall Design 4/5 Unique Features 5/5 Performance of Product 4/5 Ease of Use 5/5
As you can see in my image above I chose to style one side of my hair in order to show the products potential. It did give me some volume towards the roots and curled at the ends of my hair, however I find that because my hair is thin it becomes frizzy the more I use it. It also dried so fast even on the lowest setting, it took three brushes and was dry. If I needed to dry and style quickly I would use this device. Otherwise I would usually let my hair dry naturally, like the left side of my image, it is naturally curly.
✩ My Argos Tester Review ✩
My favourite feature of the BaByliss Keratin Shine are the styling heads, they brushed through my hair gently and smoothed it out in seconds. Although I have fine hair and knew it wouldn’t take a lot to dry, I was impressed with how soft my hair became. I wasn’t able to get a great deal of volume from using it but I think that’s down to my hair type.
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. 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 ✩
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