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


Being Heavily Pregnant At A Summer Wedding,

Reviewing My Outfit Choices And How I Coped During The Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

✩ Clothing Reviews ✩


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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How I Coped During The Long Day

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

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

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


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

✩ Sabrina 

 

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


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

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

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

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

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


My finished and customised shelving however, looks like this…


✩ Sabrina’s How To & Top Tips 

My Top Tips for making craft work for you are;

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

✩ Review ✩

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

Quality 5
Designs 5
Value for Money 5✩

 

✩ Review ✩

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

Quality 5
Designs 4
Value for Money 5✩


Over All Opinion

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

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

✩ Sabrina 

My Tattoo Experiences – Hints and Tips and Photographs

Lifestyle Week on Severn Wishes

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My Tattoo Experiences

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

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


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

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What My Tattoos Mean To Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photographs of my Tattoos


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Time Taken Per Tattoo

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

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

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

 

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

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

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Sabrina’s Top Tips and Hints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

✩ Sabrina ✩

 

A Weekend Away Checklist and Packing (Before Baby Arrives)

Lifestyle Week on Severn Wishes


A Weekend Away Checklist and Packing (Before Baby Arrives)

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

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

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

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

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

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


✩ Toiletries ✩

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

✩ Clothing ✩

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

✩ Other Items ✩

Pregnancy Pillow
Slippers with Gripped Soles
Long Warm Cardigan

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

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

✩ Sabrina ✩

Primark Beauty Items – Tried, Tested and Compared

REVIEW WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES

Primark Beauty Items – Tried, Tested and Compared

I’m not usually one for buying cheap products, and especially when it comes to using them on my skin because mine is classed as sensitive. However I have seen so many good reviews about these particular items that I felt the need to give them the benefit of the doubt. So I went out to get some, to test them for myself.

This small Primark Beauty “PS…” haul cost me just £5.50 towards the end of 2017 for these 5 items. One is a Tapered Brush, One is a Brush Cleaner Tool, One is a Facial Cleanse and Massage Brush, and One is a 2 Pack Beauty Blender Sponge Set.

Because I wear makeup so infrequently it has taken me a good while to compare these items to other products that I might use on a regular basis.

Now that I have however I feel that I can rate the items accordingly as I do with all of my reviews, and also offer some brand alternatives that I have and do use, and therefore do a short comparison on a few of them.

✩ The PS… Items ✩

Name: Tapered Powder Brush
Design: Black and Gold
Information: A Tapered Brush Used To Apply Powder To The Face
Price: £1.50
My Rating: 3✩’s

Review: This brush is soft and pretty, it is a nice length to hold but the brush itself doesn’t hold a great deal of powder product. it is definitely not the best brush I have owned, neither is it the worst. I would use it to apply my powder if i didn’t have another brush that was clean for example. I really like the design and the colours, it looks lovely in my brushes pot! Overall I don’t think I would buy it again because I have better brands, I love Spectrum Collections Brushes for their quality. These PS… Brushes are more than good enough for infrequently makeup applications however, or for taking on holiday with you…


Name: Makeup Brush Cleaner Tool
Design:
 Pink
Information: 
A Tool Designed To Aid The Cleaning Of Makeup Brushes
Price: 
£1.50
My Rating: 4✩’s

Review: This item is used as a tool for helping to clean makeup brushes. The ridges are very useful for gently rubbing your brushes up and down over it. When used with a mild soap or even Micellar Water the tool worked well to remove dirt.
I have a Spectrum Collections and a Makeup Revolution London Brush Cleaner Tool, and they all work in a similar manner. Some are just manufactured better, they have better grooves and designs and are made from better quality plastic so they are more hard wearing. But I have to say this PS… cheaper alternative still did a decent job with my brushes.

Name: Facial Cleanse and Massage Brush
Design: 
Pink and Cream
Information: 
A Brush And Tool Designed To Help Cleanse The Skin On The Face
Price: 
£1.00
My Rating: 2.5✩’s

Review: This item is used as a cleanser, however I didn’t notice a huge amount happening to my skin when I used it. The product is okay, the brushes are not as soft as I would normally use for my delicate skin. Therefore I didn’t press too hard when using it. I do prefer to use other forms of skin cleansing such as gentle massage with products on my fingers as opposed to bristles on brushes.

Name: 2 Pack Beauty Blender Sponges
Design: 
Orange and Yellow Shaped Sponges
Information: 
Shaped Sponges Used To Apply Makeup To The Face
Price: 
£1.50
My Rating: 3✩’s

Review: These sponges are designed to apply makeup, however the quality isn’t like that you would expect from a brand such as Real Techniques. The sponges are okay until you have used them and washed them a few times. Then I find that they are losing texture use after use. Sponges aren’t supposed to last forever though, and replacing them regularly is a good thing. I would only ever use them to apply concealer under my eyes for example. And with how infrequently I put on makeup they aren’t a bad buy really. If you can afford a better brand then do, because these PS… sponges won’t last you as long. But they still get the job done!


✩ In Conclusion ✩

Would I buy these items again? Probably not, they are definitely affordable and good value, but they aren’t for me as an every day staple. I would however consider this range if I didn’t want to take my best items with me on holiday for example. These cheaper alternatives that still work and are designed well, they are ideal for this sort of thing, long weekends away or holidays abroad…

I have to say the brush cleaner was a good tool, overall I would say this was my favourite item out of everything I purchased, and I would consider getting another if I ever needed to replace the ones I have. It’s handy for a quick clean or to throw in my travel bag for a weekend when I haven’t had the time to clean my travel brush set!

You can find the PS… Beauty brand at your local larger Primark stores and the range is always changing too, so be on the look out!

✩ TOP TIP ✩
Need something cheap but cheerful for your handbag or holiday that you could still rely on? Check out the latest PS… items in a store near you. For the prices I think the quality is better than you might think…

Until next times review, that’s it everyone, thanks for reading!

 Sabrina 

3 Delicious Recipes Suitable for Pregnant Women including Homemade Egg Free Ice Cream.

FOOD WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES


Sabrina’s Delicious Recipes for Pregnant Women and their Families.

I have always been a cook, and from a young age too. But what I didn’t bargain for was all the things I couldn’t eat or had to alter or avoid during pregnancy. These included runny eggs, smoked meats and processed foods. I decided almost a year before I had gotten pregnant that I would make some changes to my diet. Less processed foods, less chocolate and snacks, more fruit and vegetables and definitely more healthy recipes. I swapped my bacon twice a week for just on a Saturday morning, cut down red meat to one night a week and ate more lean white meat instead.

Trying to do this for just one person is difficult, and it took a number of weeks to convince my husband to swap with me to certain items. I told him we could have everything in moderation. You could still eat a bag of crisps at lunchtime, you could still have a pudding after your evening meal, and we still had a takeaway delivered every fortnight on a Friday. But in between we would snack on healthier choices, eat more vegetables with our evening meal and cut down on the amount of processed meats we were eating.

It took about a month, but I began to feel better for the choices that I had made. And once we were in fact expecting, I looked through the internet and my cookbooks to find recipes that I could adapt to our new regime. This included changing minced beef for lean pork mince which is a healthier alternative, removing meat altogether from a recipe in some cases and putting in two vegetables instead, and even making my own cakes and ice creams that didn’t contain any eggs.

Depending upon whether or not you’ve been unwell during the first trimester of your pregnancy or not, can determine what and how much you’ve been eating. I certainly made up for missed nutrients in my second trimester and it’s also when you should have more energy and appetite so you will enjoy it more. However come the third trimester there isn’t a great deal of room for you to indulge, so smaller portions, little and often became my way to go.

The remainder of this blog post will outline three of my favourite recipes that I have made during this pregnancy. It includes a starter, a main course and a dessert and if I know any nutritional information I will include them. And I will also include how long the prep and cooking took me so you know the details of each recipe and the rough amount the quantities of it will make too.

STARTER

✩ Chicken and Bacon Salad with Egg ✩

It may be light but it is very flavoursome, the salad portion is one of your five a day, and you can choose to add a dressing or sauce of your choice as well. You should be able to multitask through the prep so long as you keep an eye on the things you are cooking while chopping the salad for example.

Serves 4
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

You Will Need;

✩ A Grill Frying Pan with a little oil
✩ A nice deep bowl per person for serving
✩ Colander for Washing the Salad
✩ A Sharp Knife for preparing the salad
✩ A pair of Kitchen Scissors for cutting the chicken and the bacon
✩ A deep saucepan filled with water for boiling the eggs

✩ Ingredients ✩

✩ Mixed Salad Leaves – your preference – 50 grams per person
✩ Chicken Breasts – 1 small breast per person – cut into shreds
✩ Streaky Bacon – 2 Rashers per person – cut into shreds
✩ Eggs – to Hard Boil – 1 egg per person
✩ Cherry or Plum Tomatoes – your preference – washed and halved – several per person
✩ Cucumber – Washed and Sliced into Chunks – 3cm of Cucumber per person
✩ Croutons – You can use shop bought ones if you want to save time
✩ Grated Parmesan or Grated Cheddar Cheese – your preference

✩ Method ✩

1. Boil the Water for the Eggs and Hard Boil
2. Grill the Chicken and Bacon together until cooked
3. Wash the salad and chop accordingly
4. Arrange the salad at the bottom of the bowls
5. Arrange the other ingredients on top of the leaves making sure the chicken is last
6. Grate some cheese over the top and finish with any dressing you may want
7. Serve immediately

TOP TIP – In order for a Salad to be classed as one of your five a day you need to eat 80 grams or more of it. By combining the grams of the salad leaves with the cucumber and tomato you should achieve the correct amount for it to count!

MAIN

✩ Sabrina’s Mild Spicy Meatballs in Tomato and Pepper Sauce with White Rice ✩

My family friendly Meatball Recipe is mildly spicy and tasty, it also contains two of your five a day with all the vegetables contained in the sauce… You can choose to remove or up the amount of spice dependent on your own tastes.

Serves 4
Prep 1 hour
Cook 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours

You Will Need;

✩ A Large Saucepan with a Lid to cook the main sauce
✩ A Wooden Spoon
✩ Rice Cooker OR Large Saucepan with a Lid to cook the rice
✩ A Small Frying Pan
✩ Small Bowl
✩ Bowls to Serve the Meal in

 

✩ Ingredients ✩

For Meatballs

✩ Lean Mince Beef (10% Fat or less – 500 grams)
✩ Salt and Pepper To Taste
✩ 1 Egg
✩ Italian Mixed Herbs (1 Tablespoon)
✩ Onion Powder (1 Teaspoon)
✩ Garlic Powder / Dried (1 Teaspoon)

For Sauce

✩ Chopped Tomatoes (1 Tin – 400 grams)
✩ Large White Onion (2 Onions – Finely Chopped)
✩ Carrots (2 Carrots – 200 grams approx)
✩ Plum Tomatoes (1 Tin Chopped – 400 grams)
✩ Red Pepper (1 Pepper Sliced and Diced)
✩ Beef Stock Cube/Stock Pot – (Pots Do Melt Quicker)
✩ Mild Chilli Powder – 2 Tablespoons
✩ Oregano Herbs – 2 Tablespoons
✩ Basil Herbs – 1 Tablespoon
✩ Tomato Puree (50 grams)
✩ Garlic Powder / Dried / Fresh (1 Tablespoon)

✩ Method ✩

1. To make the Meatballs add the binding ingredients to a small bowl and mix. Using clean and dry hands roll small amounts of Mince Beef together into meatball sized shapes and put them through the mixture to coat.
2. Fry off the Meatballs in a pan with a little oil, sealing the flavour in. Then add them to the saucepan ready for cooking within the sauce.
3. Fry the Onion and Peppers together once all the meatballs are done.
4. Once cooked through add the onion and peppers to the saucepan, then add the other vegetables ingredients including the tomatoes and carrots.
5. Stir these thoroughly and then add one beef stock cube/pot.
6. Add all of the Herbs and Spices listed next, stir through until dissolved.
7. Simmer on a low heat stirring occasionally for up to an hour, until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked all the way through.
8. Serve on a bed of Rice and if you want to, a sprinkle of cheese on the top! Yum!

TOP TIP – Always add the spices last before starting the simmering, they will dissolve into the liquid and really marinate over the hour as the liquid is absorbed. This also gives the meatballs time to cook through too and absorb those delicious flavours!


DESSERT

✩ Egg Free Vanilla Soft Scoop Ice Cream 

A delicious homemade ice cream, the vanilla stands out just enough and because it’s soft scoop it’s easy to eat and can be paired with so many things. Alternatively just eat it on it’s own…

Serves – 12 people
Prep – 5 minutes
Cook – 5 minutes
Chill Time – 3 hours
Total Time – 3 hours and 10 minutes
Nutrition – Egg Free, Vegetarian and Gluten Free.

You Will Need;
✩ An Ice Cream Churner Whose Inner Pot Has Been Frozen Prior To Use (Overnight)
✩ A Large Shallow Saucepan
✩ A Wooden Spoon
✩ A Tub For Freezing The Ice Cream In Afterwards

✩ Ingredients ✩
✩ Double/Heavy Cream – 2 Cups
✩ Milk – 3/4 Cup
✩ Salt – 1/8 Teaspoon
✩ Sugar (White) – 3/4 Cup
✩ Vanilla Essence – 2 Teaspoons

✩ Method ✩

1. Add all of the ingredients to a large shallow saucepan.
2. Heat them on a Medium Heat until it begins to Bubble.
3. When Bubbling starts Turn Off the Heat and Mix until all the Sugar is Dissolved.
4. Allow the Mixture to Cool down to Room Temperature.
5. Pour the Mixture into a previously chilled Ice Cream Churner according to fill level and follow the manufacturers directions for quantity and times.
6. Once Churned properly carefully Spoon the Mixture into a Tub and Freeze for 3 hours before Serving. This is a Soft Scoop Ice Cream and is easy to remove.

TOP TIP – It’s a good idea to serve some fruit with this kind of ice cream, it always turns out so soft and delicious it’s nice to give some texture to it.

I hope that you will enjoy my recipes from this blog post, or that it has perhaps inspired you with some healthy eating options to try! You can enjoy this food whether you’re pregnant or not and I hope you’ll consider trying this delicious food!

Thank you for reading, this has been Food Week on Severn Wishes Blog!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Delicious Recipes That I Love To Cook – Time Saving Ideas For Healthy Eating And Tasty Eating

FOOD WEEK ON SEVERN WISHES


Delicious Recipes That I Love To Cook – Time Saving Ideas For Healthy Eating And Tasty Eating

My Culinary Background

If there is one thing I love, it’s eating food and cooking food. I was first taught how to cook by my grandparents, I was very young at the time, and it began with simple things like Omelette and decorating your own homemade Pizza dough. Then we moved on to more complex things like Lasange and Pies. But as I got older I carried on with my interest in cooking, I started to experiment with flavours, and I also liked various parts of my heritage to come through in the meals that I cooked.

When I went off to University my Nan had written out some of her basic recipes in a little book for me – just in case I forgot anything. It is kept safely away now in case I ever need it, but most of it is now cooked through memory. I am forever grateful for her teachings, and she still tells me about new things now and again more than twenty three years since we began cooking together.

I met my husband at University, and at the time he couldn’t believe how much I ate! I was this tiny petite women and everyone in my family used to say I had a hollow leg! I won’t ever forget when I first cooked for him, I introduced him to a whole new world of flavours when we first met. There were foods he had never tried before, and there were things we also tried together too. And since then I have branched out into cooking even further, into both his background and his culture, and even into some more diverse parts of the world after going travelling with him. We both love to try something new!

My husband does suffer with an array of allergies, the majority of which are food related. This was problematic when we went travelling. Since we began living together (almost ten years ago now!) I evolved my ways of cooking to exclude the things he couldn’t have and simply substitute them for something else.

One thing I do like to do is eat healthily but by making sure its tasty and enjoyable. I often pass my recipes on to family and friends, but I wanted to share some of my favourites on my blog too. Because they can be adapted for whether or not you eat certain meats, or are vegetarian, the possibilities are endless, if only you know what goes together. And that comes with years of experience in the kitchen.

What I wanted to achieve by writing and sharing this blog post was to help you cook, give you new and easy to follow recipes and if you love what I’m putting out you can tell me and then I can write more posts like this one!

So for now… Let’s talk Time Saving in the Kitchen!

Time Saving in my eyes is this, you don’t have to cook everything from scratch every night of the week. It means you either have leftovers in the fridge or a batch of something in the freezer that can either be cooked in the oven straight from or defrosted during the day and then heated on the hob later…

All you need to ensure is that all the ingredients you choose to cook with haven’t already been pre-frozen. So don’t defrost raw meat, cook it in this recipe and then freeze it again. Use fresh foods and then have some bags or tubs at the ready to freeze your leftovers if that’s what you plan to do. If storing in a fridge Glass is best, the amazing Glass Pyrex range of sized dishes with lids are an excellent investment to make. I have the set that can go straight from cold to hot such as fridge to oven.

Let’s Make Some Tasty Food!

Today I am going to share three of my favourite time saving recipes with you. This will either do you 8 portions to eat, refrigerate or freeze. It’s up to you!

Sabrina’s Tasty Italian Ragu

My Meaty and Tomato Ragu can be used for any of the following meals; Spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagne, Chilli Con Carne, OR simply Ragu Sauce to eat with Rice, Pasta or Potatoes.

All you would need to do is add additional herbs and spices to the Recipe below in order to make one of the meals above. Or leave the sauce as it is, and you can serve it with a wide variety of side dishes. If you aren’t sure how to turn this Ragu into one of the above meals leave me a comment and I’m happy to respond with that you’ll need.

✩ Ingredients 

Mince Beef – 400-600 grams (10-20% Fat is best)
Pork Mince 250-500 grams (Low Fat is best)
Lean Bacon or Lardons 250 grams – Diced (not Smoked for Children)

Tomato Puree – 100 grams
Chopped Plum Tomatoes – 3 Tins (400 grams each)
Carrots – 4 Large – Diced Fine
Large White Onion – 2 Sliced or Diced Fine
(Optional) Celery Sticks – 4 Diced Fine

Fill the 3 Empty Plum Tomato Tins with Boiling Water, then add these contents to a jug (careful the tins will go hot!) and add a Beef stock cube/pot to this and then stir through.

Vegetable Oil – 1 Tablespoon
Pepper – To Your Taste
Salt – To Your Taste

Oregano – 3 Tablespoons
Basil – 1 Tablespoon
Rosemary – 1 Teaspoon

✩ TOP TIPS 

You are aiming for around 1kg of Meat in this Ragu and it will then Serve Approx 10-12 Portions of Food.

If you have a Food Processor Use It! Blitz the Onions and Carrots together on Dice for a quicker start to your Ragu. Add your Optional Extra’s after this stage too so everything is the same size!

 

✩ Recipe ✩

1. In a large saucepan brown the meats together. You need very little oil due to the fat and then drain half of the fat off after around fifteen minutes.

2. Make sure your meats are cooked through and then add your tomato ingredients and then the jug of stock.

3. Simmer for twenty minutes with the lid on the saucepan.

4. Add all of your herbs and the diced vegetables, and mix well.

5. Simmer the saucepan now with a lid on top for around 1 hour. The liquid should reduce down and the sauce begin to thicken.

6. You know when your Ragu is ready because it will taste “together” with all the flavours having marinated as one and it will have thickened up nicely.

7. You can serve this with a range of side dishes, or freeze it all!

✩ Storage ✩

You can store this meal in freezer bags or in tubs, it will keep for a month! Remember to defrost a portion before you reheat it, and then you can also add other spices into it once it is chilled too!

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Sabrina’s Tasty Chicken Curry

My Curry is a mixture between a Chicken Tikka and a Chicken Bhuna. It isn’t spicy but it isn’t mild either, and it has a few vegetables in it as well. You can choose to leave these whole for adults or dice them finely for children who might be a little picky…

It’s also nice to consider adding other things to curry to bulk it out, peppers and onions work best but so do a variety of other vegetables. You can also bulk it out with additional tomatoes that aren’t just made for the sauce but left as chunks.

If you don’t want to use Chicken you could use a vegetable such as Cauliflower. Or Pork Belly is a nice meat for Curry, but it would need to be left in to Simmer for longer to make it tender.

If I am eating a portion of my curry alone I cheat by using one of those microwave Pilau Rice to go with it! They are Super Tasty and convenient! If you’re doing Rice for a few people though and on a regular basis then I highly recommend you invest in buying a Rice Cooker. They save you loads of time and you don’t have to stand their making sure your rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Ours is from a simple one from Argos!

✩ Ingredients 

Chicken – Diced 400-600 grams (Portions 4-6)
Tomato Puree – 100 grams
Chopped Plum Tomatoes – 1 Tin (400 grams)
Plain Yoghurt – 100 grams
Large White Onion – 1 Sliced or Diced
(Optional) Yellow Pepper 1 Sliced into Chunks
(Optional) Red Pepper 1 Sliced into Chunks

Vegetable Oil – 1 Tablespoon
Salt – Pinch
Pepper – To Your Taste
Sugar – Pinch
Paprika – 1 Teaspoon
Garam Masala – 2 Tablespoons
Cumin – 1 Teaspoon (Mild) / 1 Tablespoon (Medium)
Chilli Powder – 1 Teaspoon (Mild for Children) / 1 Tablespoon (Medium)
Lemon Juice – 1 Tablespoon
Garlic – To Your Taste
Coriander Leaf – 2 Tablespoons
Curry Powder – 1 Tablespoon
(Optional) Ginger – 1 Teaspoon Sliced Thinly and Diced
(Optional) Coconut – Dried or Raw or Shredded – 1 Tablespoon

50ml of Warm Previously Boiled Water

✩ Recipe 

1. Fry the Onion and Chicken in a Pan until Browned in a little oil. Add the Chunks of Pepper and Fry until Softened.

2. Start Making Your Sauce In Another Larger Saucepan that has a lid, by combining the tinned and packet items first such as the Tomato ingredients and yoghurt.

3. Then add the spices and herbs in to the saucepan one at a time, stir the pot thoroughly after each one.

4. Once all ingredients are combined add the browned chicken and onions to the mixture and stir through until all the pieces are coated.

5. Finally add the Water and Simmer the Pan for up to 1 hour. Stir every few minutes to avoid sticking and stirring through the flavours.

6. The Curry is Ready when the Sauce has Reduced down and Thickened, and the Chicken is left tender and moist and cooked through.

7. Serve with Rice and perhaps a Naan Bread which is also delicious to mop up any sauce!

✩ Storage 

This meal can be cooled and stored in the fridge for two days or it can be frozen in portions once it is cooled and can be used within one month. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge over night before reheating.

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Sabrina’s Tasty Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta Bake

One dish that I love to make that also contributes to two of your five fruit and vegetables a day is my tasty Mediterranean Veg Pasta Dish!

What you will need for this tasty dish is a selection of your favourite vegetables that pair well with a tomato based sauce. I will firstly explain my main ingredients for this dish and then outline the other things you can choose to put in if you want… This also includes a choice of Topping as well!

✩ Ingredients 

Pasta 80 grams per person – the Shape is your decision

Tomato Puree – 50 grams (100 grams if you like a rich sauce)
Chopped Plum Tomatoes – 1 Tin (400 grams)

Large White Onion – 1 Diced
Green Pepper – 1 Sliced and Diced into Chunks
Yellow Pepper 1 Sliced and Diced into Chunks
Red Pepper 1 Sliced and Diced into Chunks
(Optional) Courgette – 1 Sliced
(Optional) Cherry Tomatoes – 3 or 4 per person
(Optional) Small Red Onion – 1 Diced

Oregano – 1 Tablespoon
Basil – 1 Tablespoon for Sauce 1 Tablespoon for Top
Garlic – As Fresh or Granules or Salt or Diced – 1 Tablespoon
Black Pepper – To Your Taste
Salt – To Your Taste

✩ TOP TIPS ✩

Use a Glass Tray for Pasta Bake, it makes it so easy to transfer from appliances!

De-Seed your Peppers before dicing them to ensure no seeds in your meal.


✩ 
Recipe 

1. While you boil a pan three quarters full for your Pasta to become cooked in, preheat an oven to 180’c (160’c Fan).

2. Place your chopped and diced vegetables into a tray, coat with a little oil and oven bake for 25 minutes. (This includes the peppers and onions and any of your optional extras etc). Stir after this time and put on for a further 15 minutes.

3. To make your sauce combine in a jug the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and herbs and spices. Stir thoroughly. Season it to taste and place to one side.

4. Cook your pasta on a hob while your vegetables soften for their final minutes in the oven.

5. Once cooked strain your pasta. You then want to add it to the Roasting Vegetables in the tray. In order to do this remove the tray from the oven, place on a heat protective surface and stir the contents of it together.

6. Then quickly add your sauce from the jug and stir, followed by the pasta and stir. Your sauce should coat all of your ingredients, if it doesn’t seem like enough fill halfway up the now empty tomatoes tin with partly cooled boiled water. Add in 1/4 of the amount in the tin at a time, stirring constantly until all of in the tray is coated in sauce. You don’t want your pasta swimming!

7. Shake the tray from side to side gently allowing the contents to settle flat. At this stage you can add some cherry tomatoes on to the top and a sprinkle more of some basil if you like basil. These tomatoes will bake on the top nice and soft.

8. Put the Pasta Bake into the oven at the same temperature as earlier (160’c) and leave it for around 15 to 20 minutes. If at this stage you want to add some grated cheese on top, carefully remove the tray, wobble it and stir at the edges to make sure it isn’t sticking. If it is sticking then stir it all thoroughly before sprinkling on your cheese.

9. Bake for more 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browning. Serve in bowls with Garlic Bread on the side! Yum!

✩ Storage ✩

This pasta will keep overnight in the fridge for leftovers the next day. Ensure it is heated through thoroughly in smaller bowls when you come to finish it off.

✩ Additional Tips 

You can choose to add meat to the Vegetarian Pasta Bake if you wish, just remove one of the vegetables from the “you choose” part and keep the same amount of grams. For example, 100g of Chicken Breast Chopped OR 100g of Bacon Lardons (Avoid Smoked and Limit Portion for Children Due To Salt Content).

If you don’t like one of my ingredients remove it and substitute it for something else. It could be a herb or a spice or a vegetable. It will of course alter the taste slightly, but we’re all different at the end of the day.

Adding a little Grated Cheese on top of your food is definitely allowed in my house!

Don’t be afraid of just putting your favourite vegetable next to the meal on the plate, you don’t have to put it inside a meal if you don’t want to. Do that fresh every time you cook and that will count towards your five a day too.

Delicious!

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Thank you very much for reading this post, I hope you have enjoyed it. If you cook any of my recipes please leave me a comment and let me know how you get on! And if you want to republish any of my recipes then please credit me as the original recipe creator! Thank you!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Pregnancy Items – What I Have Purchased And What I Would Recommend

Pregnancy Items – What I Have Purchased And What I Would Recommend

Being well over half way into my pregnancy now, I have began to purchase some items. So I thought I should start to give my opinions on a few of them, and whether or not I recommend them. I shall score review the best ones!

Here is what bump and I currently look like, it’s going so quickly!


Pregnancy Pillow

The one item that I knew that I wanted to buy from the beginning was a pregnancy pillow. I have heard friends say they’re great and others say they couldn’t get on with them. But being small and already suffering with back and hip aches, I wanted some support at night. I actually bought this at around twelve weeks gone, and I began using it at around sixteen weeks.

I have not only found it supportive but it’s also helping me to get a better nights sleep in general. I have always suffered with a lot of mucus, especially when I lie down flat and during the Spring months of the year when I get hay fever. But since becoming pregnant it is three times worse, and you literally cannot do anything about it. So I use my three regular pillows to lay the pregnancy pillow against, and at night I lean on the pillow, one arm over the top and one underneath. The rest of the pillow bends around above my head and extends down my back. It isn’t easy to roll over at this stage of pregnancy anyway, but it’s the stage where I need to be lay on my left as long as possible, the pillow definitely helps me to do this.

I managed to get my pillow on a deal through the Bounty App on my mobile phone. Pregnant women can make the most of a range of discounts that regularly come around through the app and through emails. The company is called Online 4 Baby and they do a range of great pregnancy and nursing items.

This pillow can be used during pregnancy and for nursing too. It can easily be shaped to fit behind a person sitting or lying down.

Here is a photo of one of my cats leaning on the pillow when I wasn’t using it. Cheeky! But it really is comfortable.

My Top Tips are to buy a pillow that will fit around your height, I am classed as the high end of Petite, so a 6ft Pillow was more than adequate for me. Because they do a range of sizes you should consider which would be better for you.


This is a close up of the fabric I chose, and the pillow shape without a cover on below.

Colour: Grey with White Stars (other colours available such as grey or cream.
Price: £14.45 (RRP £59.95)
Dimensions: 6 ft (also available in 9ft and 12ft)
Cover Quality: Very Good Cover that is both Removable and Machine Washable.
Pillow Quality: The Pillow itself after several nights needed to be plumped up reshaped.
Overall Rating: 4/5 ‘s

Pillows at Online 4 Baby

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How Many Weeks – Frame

I purchased this gorgeous frame so that my husband and I could count down the weeks until we meet our little miracle. And funnily when I was searching online, those were almost the exact words etched into the wood of this particular frame. I bought this one from Amazon from a Seller called Hello Baby who sell the Bambino products, it currently costs £7.49 (As of the date of this post).

What I like most is the ratio between the frame aspects, the space for the photograph is 4×3″ and then it has both beautiful words and a chalkboard heart for you to write the numbers inside. The quote reads “_ weeks until we meet our little miracle”. The frame itself is cream and free standing, with grey details of stars and the writing.

I purchased this one because of the smaller dimensions, I had a specific shelf I wanted it to fit upon. There are many choices for Sonogram Photo Frames on the internet, though I liked this one the most. My Top Tip when buying a frame online is to look at dimensions and whether or not you want a wall mounted one or a free standing one. There are even some that say “Grandparent” or other quotes on them, making them more personal.


Colours: Cream and Grey
Dimensions: H:15 W:15 D:2 cm
Details: Free Standing
Quality: Very Good, Well Made and Presented
Rating: 4/5 ‘s

If you want to purchase this or take a closer look at the link to it here it is under its title;

Bambino little miracle’ Scan Sonogram Countdown Photo Frame ‘… weeks until we meet”


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Maternity Leggings

Something that I couldn’t live without now that I have them, are Maternity Leggings. They are not only versatile but super comfortable. You can choose to dress them up or dress them down too. My favourites are from George at Asda (I reviewed them already just search for Maternity in my categories), and they wash and wear well. I have several colours now after ordering twice, and I would buy more in a heartbeat if I begin to wear these ones out. So far so good though after a dozen or so washes already!


Thank you for reading this blog post today, I do hope that you have enjoyed it and perhaps you’ve gotten some ideas for purchases for any loved ones or yourself who may be expecting this year. The frames can make great gifts!

When I purchase more items and find they are good quality I will review them. And I have gotten some items for help when our baby arrives, I hope to review these too when I have the time. Look out for these pregnancy related posts as the summer weeks go by.

 Sabrina 

How I Live An Organised Lifestyle And How You Can Too!


How I Live An Organised Lifestyle And How You Can Too!

So being organised has always come naturally to me. It became more apparent as I got older, and through high school especially I was the one with folders and tabs and lists… I have been to university and I have had working jobs since I was fourteen years old. So I have learnt how to be organised with both my time management and my money. When you have needed to be organised for work, I find that it rubs off on to the rest of your daily life.

If you are someone who struggles with being organised in some or all aspects of your lifestyle, then take a look at the rest of this blog post for some ideas. These are just a few of the ways that I stay on track of all things Sabrina!

Wall Calendars and Phone Calendars

One of the ways that I stay on track is to manage my calendar. I vary rarely forget a birthday or an appointment, and now with my iPhone and the cloud, it is even easier to synchronise everything together and be organised daily. I also synchronise it with my husband as well.

Not only do I use a calendar on my phone, but I use a wall calendar too. Every year I make a custom one on an online site, with my own photographs, and I adjust the days each month for special dates. These customise calendars are becoming both affordable and popular, and I have created one for three years running now. You can purchase an array of sizes to fit your wall space, and the sections you can alter for your own reasons are becoming more detailed every year I make them.

Some outline birthdays and anniversaries, but you can now add more detailed things to them as well such as events.

My Top Tip for Calendars are to sync your digital devices with family members so everyone is on the same page. And for written ones keep one close at hand that you pass every day, bedside table or kitchen wall work best for me.


Always Arrange Easy To Keep Appointments

We all know how busy family life can be, so why try and stick to appointments that become increasingly difficult. Don’t give yourself just twenty minutes to get to the Dentist after work, rearrange your schedules and make appointments (or change them) to suit your week. I nearly always try and arrange certain things for days off, depending upon the time frame of the appointment.

Many places let you book appointments online now too, so if you cannot get through at rush hour on the telephone why not try that! Don’t be afraid to cancel appointments and reschedule them to suit your needs.

Consider Reducing Your Paper Footprint

A lot of us receive post that often gets stuck in a drawer until we have time to look at it. Why not look into being digital for some of your current paper trails? Most banks are giving people the option to go Paperless and I have to say that for me it was a great thing to do. Less papers to store in the home and emails that can instead be stored in the digital cloud space.

And cutting down of less trees of course! Win! Win!

Use Planners or Boards to Keep Track of your Week

We often waste a lot, I’m not talking time here – though social media has a lot to answer for! No, what I mean is waste of food, wasting energy by not turning things off around the home. All of these examples are habits that are so easy to change and get into a good habit of changing. I have taught my family members to recycle more, to turn off plugs when they are no longer being used, and to be more organised with food.

I have a blackboard in the kitchen now, where I write up each weekend what the meals will be for the rest of the week. Everyone knows where they are and what we are having, and food is wasted less because sell by dates do not go by. It does take a bit of organising, but the family all know what is happening and we can also plan ahead a few days so that things can be altered if needs be.

If anyone in the family has a particularly difficulty schedule, be it with shift work or with medications for example, then a planner might be a good item to invest in. You can buy weekly ones that have days of the week with various sections upon them. These are very useful for multiple things that might occur on a specific day or time.

My final Top Tip for being organised is to make time once a week for creating either a To-Do List or Weekly Schedule. Don’t try and remember everything all in your head, we all lead busy lives and even the best of us with good memories are bound to forget things once in a while! Trust me, make those lists, notes and schedules work for you!

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I do hope that you have enjoyed it and can take some inspiration from my tips.

 Sabrina 

Tips for Life After University


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Tips For Life After University 

So it may have been a few years since I finished from University, but I look back now and wished there were more articles I could have read, that may have helped me with the transitions that were about to take place in my life.

Lots of people choose to move back home after University ends and either save up some money, go off travelling for a year or eventually they agree to move out and get a job. However I didn’t do any of that and had no eagerness to do so. My outlook on my life had altered a lot in three years and it had all gone by so quickly too!

I met my (then) boyfriend while I was at University and then he became my fiance while I was in my final year of studying. When we got engaged in our final few months of University I sat down with my parents and told them I wouldn’t be coming back home when my studying ended. I think they expected it having seen how we were together, but what I didn’t know was how difficult it would be to get a stable job after I graduated.

Neither of my parents had been to University and I was their eldest child, there were few people I could turn to for advice. And my other half graduated the same time as I did, although he had been private renting for a while with his job, and had more of an outlook on what he wanted out of the next year or so before we got married, but I was clueless a part from “I need a job to earn money”.

I was extremely lucky to have my partner at the time, he supported me through some hard months of insecurity. It took many weeks after graduating for me to find work that I was satisfied with, and although it was the recession at the time and work was scarce, I still lived in a city and didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it was. I applied for several jobs a week, took to the local town centre and handed out CV’s… but nine times out of ten I was told I was over qualified and they wouldn’t give someone like me an interview, in the fear it was just a stop gap before I found something better. Which was sort of the truth, but knowing I was getting married I just needed money behind me, I didn’t mind what sort of job I did then, degree related or not, it was what I required to get by at that time.

You may be more lucky than me, and get a job in your chosen career almost as soon as you complete your degree. However if you don’t find that to be the case, then you can make life a little easier by taking steps to help yourself with finance and support.

(Sabrina on her Graduation Day).

✩ My Advice 

So the rest of this post is almost like a note to myself, if in hindsight I could have given myself advice for the eight or more years ago that it has been! If I could tell Sabrina of eight years ago anything, it would be these things… And you can now take my tips and see if they help you in your own situations, if they do then great!

✩ Have a clear out before you move out of your University hall room / shared house.

I cannot stress how much crap you’ll accumulate in your time at University. Things that you probably did need for three years but now more than likely won’t use (unless you go straight into a degree related career). So make sure you find time to clear things out before you pack up to move out or move back home. During nights out I recall getting a variety of fancy dress items and so much else, you won’t really need these things, and you should be ruthless (not like I was at first) and get rid. The same goes for clothes that you’ve worn the three years, and may make you look like a “student”. Remember if you’re going off into the world to be an adult worker you will need to look the part too.

✩ Open a savings account as soon as you can in your final year, and move money in to it every month, but do not take anything out of it. This is your account for emergencies, rent, food or travel money for interviews etc.

There will be no excuses to your parents or partner for not being organised enough to get a train ticket for that interview you’ve managed to get. By putting a little aside you’ll be able to keep your independence and pay your way for a bit after Uni finishes. Of course you’ll need to find a job if an opportunity doesn’t come up from your degree itself, but everything you can do to plan ahead will help.

✩ Keep the contact details for current or past employers, and your University Tutor for upcoming references when it comes to job applications.

The more people you have giving you glowing references the better, but it also needs to be quality and not quantity. Most employers look for three references, but if you have only studied and not worked during your final year then a tutors opinion can go a long way.

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Hopefully you have enjoyed reading this post, and that my tips may help someone out this summer with their own transition.

If I can answer any questions about my experiences then please send me a comment.

✩ Sabrina ✩