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 ✩

How I Am Beating My Morning Sickness, Pregnancy Health and My Top Tips


Welcome to Today’s Post – How I Am Beating My Morning Sickness

So first of all it should never have been called “Morning Sickness” and that goes for double for me. I feel worse in the middle of the day and right up until bed time. When it’s bad some days it even wakes me up in the night, although the increase in bodily fluids such as mucus really hasn’t helped! They don’t tell you any of this though.

I know that some people have morning sickness so badly that they get dehydrated and end up in hospital. Luckily for me I haven’t been that bad, but it’s taken it’s toll either way, I have never felt so exhausted and unwell. So I wanted to write this post and put out some ideas and tips on how I’m currently beating my awful sickly feelings.

The first few weeks were definitely the hardest. I couldn’t go anywhere outside of my house without a cold bottle of water, a packet of Sugar Free Polo Mints and a box of salted biscuits in my handbag. I have to say though, the sickness was worse for me the more hungry I got, so I tried to not get hungry by snacking little and regularly. Grapes were a great idea, seedless and cold right out of the fridge, followed by Salted Biscuits or Crackers.

My Top Tip is Water! Water always helps if you sip it slowly and especially if it’s cool, the mints and peppermint flavour in general can also help with the feeling of being nauseous, and the salted biscuits were what I snacked on between meals. I found that if I got even remotely hungry I would feel terribly sickened. So by not letting myself get very hungry, and eating smaller meals more often plus the snacks I slowly began to beat the sickness. The trick is to breathe and tell yourself you aren’t going to be ill, take a sip of water and eat something like a mouse, nibble and take your time.

After week eight I even purchased some “Sea Bands”, they are sickness bands that work by using the pressure points on your wrists. I know that they don’t work for everyone, but when my sickness was so bad that I couldn’t even lie down flat to sleep, I found that they did help me. I had the feelings by this point in pregnancy but wasn’t actually sick. I would press on the pressure point while sipping cold water and breathing slowly but deeply. Like I say it works for me, and even when I am having the odd sickly day now, I wear the bands. I also wear them in the car because I find motion has often contributed to the feelings more so than before I was pregnant.

At week twelve of my pregnancy I had good days and bad days, and it would often depend on what I came into contact with. Some strong aftershaves or perfumes knocked me sick, as did any kind of raw meat smell, dog poop on the pavement or a smelly public toilet were my worst. The best advice I have at this stage of pregnancy is to breathe through your mouth and make sure that you have plenty of water around you and to hand. If you’ve gone off some foods or are avoiding spicy foods due to risk of indigestion continue to do so while you feel this stage of nausea. I had to live off basic meals that were not spicy or rich, like tomato pasta and plain vegetables, stir fry vegetables and noodles, plain cooked rice with minced pork or chicken breast…

Don’t forget that if you’re struggling to eat a lot now in these first few weeks, that you can make up for it when you’re feeling a lot better. You will need to take a supplement that your midwife should recommend you anyway. But after you begin to feel more like eating you should establish a healthy routine of snacks, such as fruit and vegetables to make up for any unhealthy snacks you eat when feeling bad. Trust me when I say that some days all I want and do eat is a bag of crisps or a bar of chocolate, but I also eat grapes and other easy to eat fruits that can be carried with me or taken to work in portions. Reach for the good stuff if you can, and don’t forget that a glass of juice or smoothie will count as one of your five a day too, and that is easy!


I’m now approaching the half way point in my pregnancy, and I cannot believe how quickly it’s going. I still have days that I’m feeling rather unwell, and usually it’s to do with my food choices. You soon learn what works for your tummy and avoid the things that upset you. My
top tip is to keep a food diary from early on, or if you keep a daily diary anyway then make a note of what you’ve eaten. Then if you’re not well you can put it down to that and avoid that for a week or two and then try it again.

I have been eating a lot of dairy because of how important Calcium in take is, but some days my stomach doesn’t like how much I’m giving it. Carbohydrates are also important but in moderation along with vegetables. Drink as much water as you’re able to, I also have a glass of fruit juice a day, and sometimes add squash or flat lemonade into my daily drinks when I feel fed up of water. You will find out quite quickly that fizzy drinks are not practical in pregnancy and just exasperate certain things that are happening inside you… Do you think it’s rather windy today?

Just because you have limitations on what you can eat and drink, it doesn’t mean you can’t have treats in moderation, and it also doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your food. Once your morning sickness is getting better you may find your appetite returns and for me, it even got better! I have had to stop myself reaching for more foods some days. Another Top Tip of mine is to use an app for your phone, I use my FitBit App because you can add into it your Drink and Food daily. It will calculate a rough estimate on how many calories you’re in-taking with your food. I find it very very useful for keeping track of everything!

I bought my Sea Bands from Amazon, but you can buy them at your larger local Supermarket Pharmacy Counters too. They come in a few sizes and colours which is nice and you can even put them in the washing machine – very handy if you end up wearing them frequently.

I hope that you’ve either learnt something today or just enjoyed reading about the ups and downs of the start of my pregnancy. If you have any questions I’m happy to try and answer them, if you do then please leave me a comment. And remember that the UK NHS website has loads of advice for expectant parents, and your midwife or GP are the best people to talk to if you have any pregnancy related questions, problems or illnesses.If you would like to read more about my pregnancy journey, including recipes and reviews on maternity wear, then you can read the whole category by clicking here for my Pregnancy only category.

Thanks for reading today’s post, have a lovely day.

✩ Sabrina ✩

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My Top Tips for Travel, My Travel Bucket List and Where I Have Already Been

╰☆╮ Travel ╰☆╮

Travelling can be daunting for many of us, you could be worried about a ton of things. But there are some aspects of it that you can deal with at home before you go, and ensure you are at ease and organised about these parts of your travel.

I have been lucky enough to visit more than fourteen different countries and/or islands in my (just shy of) 30 years on Earth. However there are still places I wish to go to and hopefully one day I can tick them off my list. I even bought myself one of those very awesome “Scratch Maps” off the internet two years ago, so that I can document my travels and it acts as a reminder of past holidays.

One tip that I have always sworn by is to do your research before you go. Once you’ve decided where you are going, or if it’s a family trip and your parents have booked it, it won’t matter if you look up the area that your hotel is situated in and see what is around. Sometimes you can find hidden gems and learn about local sight seeing trips before you turn up. A knowledge of the local area is also very useful. As are phrases in the local language such as, “How much is this?”, “Where are the Toilets?” or “Which Way To…?”…

The internet is such a marvelous tool, but don’t be afraid to print a few things out, to fold up and take with you in case you need anything and don’t have any WiFi connection or signal on your phone. Language phrases, Embassy locations and key addresses such as your hotel or the airport are definitely high up on my list, depending of course on where you’re going.

Another Top Travel Tip of mine is to Photocopy your Passport page, and leave a print out of it in your inner pocket of your luggage. (The same goes for other members of your family if you’re in a party). It’s a good idea for if your luggage gets lost and also a good idea to prove your identity if your passport were stolen while you are abroad.

╰☆╮Just A Few Places I Have Been To And Some That I Loved╰☆╮

Paris – France

Sabrina at The Louvre Museum. I love Paris, I have been four times in my life and I would go four times over again. Now I have visited in June, August, October and November. I would perhaps like to go in the Spring next time to see it in a different light.

Ontario – Canada

I was only young when I visited Canada and don’t have many photographs, but I can remember the CN Tower in Toronto very clearly, I stood on the Glass Floor looking down over the city and thought it was amazing. Niagara Falls were also totally breathtaking and I want to go back to Canada now that I’m older.

Cyprus

A beautiful island that is steeped in history. I would definitely go back here one day, though when I did go in the summer months it was so so hot!

Malta

I was lucky enough to Swim with Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphins when in Malta. It is a lovely small island with lots to see, not many beaches though if I recall.

Madeira

I visited Madeira on my Honeymoon with my husband. This island has a unique climate and is hugely different from anywhere else that I have been. I would love to go again perhaps for a Wedding Anniversary holiday in a few years time. The gardens and the mountains are my favourite parts of this place.

Rome / Naples / Pompeii – Italy

It is an amazing place the city of Rome, Pompeii was also fascinating. I want to go back there, and I also want to take a Digital Camera this time not film, and then perhaps see more of the country.

Thailand

On my visit to Thailand I went to the main capital Bangkok as well as to a resort on the coast as well. Steeped in Culture with a whole new experience for me both of food and every day life, that was what I found. The sunsets on the beach in the evening were by far my favourite part of my time away. It was also interesting to see some new wildlife including reptiles and birds too, some of which I had only ever seen at a Zoo.


Finland

I went to Finland when I was six years old. It made such as impression on me though that I still recall some of the memories. Such as the rope throwing in the image above, sledging in the snow, walking in deep snow and it being like powder, and drinking hot berry drinks in cups from a stove after going on a reindeer trail, these are among my memories. As well as meeting Santa Claus!

Egypt – North Africa

We did a 24 hour trip over to Egypt on a boat excursion from Cyprus. You had the whole day in Egypt where by you visited Cairo, including the Museum, a Gold Jewellery Factory and The Ancient Pyramids. It was an incredible place to visit, and the Pyramids and Sphinx were so much more amazing in real life. But it was also a frightening place to visit as a teenager. I learned a lot, but the culture overwhelmed me somewhat. I don’t think I would go again in the near future but I may when I’m retired if the country is overall safer to visit.

Morocco – North Africa

I had a similar feel about Morocco as I did in Egypt, it was a country that had lots of unusual aspects and I had a nice camel ride through some countryside. But the culture could be overbearing at times, I was grabbed by a man and pulled into a shop in the market at one point, which was honestly quite frightening. I understand now that I am older that these people only did such things to try and make a sale, to make a living, and that life is ten times harder for them than for most of the western world. However I did not expect such a vast cultural difference. If I had been older I might have researched more about the people before going, as I would do nowadays and as I would tell you all to do. Look up local customs and know what to expect.

Amsterdam City – Netherlands

A college trip saw me visiting Amsterdam, the city itself was great, lots of museums and interesting culture. When I went there people still smoked an awful lot (not to my taste at all) and I did my best to avoid this, by going into many Art Galleries and Museums of various kinds. The Science Museum was particularly good and I loved seeing all of the people riding around on bicycles. It was like nowhere else I had been to in Europe and I liked that.

Catalonia – Spain

Another short trip, this time with my school because I was studying Spanish at the time. In our few days we manage to visit Barcelona and sites along the Costa del Sol. I had a great time practicing my foreign language skills and learning about the culture first hand. Would I go back to Spain? Si! Yes I would do, I would however visit other areas though such as Central and the South, to get a real feel for the country as a whole. But I wouldn’t go at any Festival seasons because it’s so busy, nor would I go during Bull Fighting because I strongly disagree with it.

Rhodes Island – Greece

I went to Rhodes while studying at University (with my then boyfriend but now husband) on a last minute deal to get away at the start of the summer. Our University term had just ended and we had had a tough year and decided to get away. Although we had a good time up until the day before we went home (because we came down with food poisoning) we were mislead by the hotel who told us they were only five minutes from the beach and fifteen minutes from Rhodes centre. This was a blatant lie and after a forty minute taxi journey from the airport we arrived to a rundown (meant to be) three star hotel that sadly had giant electricity pylons situated either side of the complex! We realised their online pictures had been doctored and with the food not up to scratch we ended up spending more money on dining out and going out than spending it relaxing. A lesson learned, that you should always do proper research on the area before clicking that “Buy Now” button, sometimes it’s too good to be true! But the Rhodes central area was cultured and interesting and we did have a semi relaxing time. I wouldn’t go again to Rhodes but I would go to the Greek mainland to see the history.

Tenerife / Gran Canaria / Lanzarote – The Canary Islands

I had been on a Cruise with family, and it stopped at various islands including those mentioned just above.
Tenerife was an interesting one, a very tourist related island with plenty of shops in bustling towns. I especially liked the Aquarium we visited because they had a Dolphin show. Spectacular! I hear that they have since expanded this and now house all sorts of animals, birds and marine life. Tenerife also has the Volcano Mount Teide, which towers above the island, an amazing sight. The place as a whole is very diverse with the resorts on the coast but many towns inland which offer culture, and a National Park for those who love to walk. There is plenty to do here on a short holiday.
Gran Canaria was very similar to Tenerife but with far better beaches. More of an island about food and history with many small villages all with lots to offer, I loved it!
Lanzarote being the most volcanic looking of all of these three saw less beaches and less greenery. However it does have a lot of countryside space for anyone keen on sport such as runners, hikers and cyclists.

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╰☆╮ Sabrina’s Travel Bucket List ╰☆╮

One thing that I have always done is study the world in which we live in and also watch countless documentaries upon it. There are places on my list that have been on there since I was in my early teenage years, I just haven’t had the opportunity (be it due to health or money usually) to go and see them.

It is very important that you don’t lose sight of your dreams and the goals that you may have, but at times you also have to be realistic…

What I planned to do ten years ago when I revised my bucket list was to save up and do each of these places, one of them every few years until I got to fifty years old. I had began my long term relationship which has since turned into my marriage, and we agreed that some of the places on my list we would try and do together, and others I may go alone or with friends.

The problem that I had was in my mid twenties my health took a sudden and drastic spiral downwards, and I was left with surgeries and recoveries to deal with. It has meant that all plans since 2013 have been put on hold. Since my diagnosis I haven’t been to anywhere new and abroad, Thailand was my last proper holiday in 2012.

I had to have some treatment and this has made my social life difficult, it has also meant I have needed to be more careful and cautious on where I go. I hope that one day I will be well enough to travel again without any fears.

If you are lucky enough to have good health now then please don’t waste it – I regret not going and doing some of the places on my Bucket List when I was younger. Sadly for me it may be around ten years time from now, before I will get to finally go and see some of them. It is a long time considering I am turning 30 years old in little over a week… but I don’t give up hope…


So where else do I really want to visit on Earth…?

New York City – USA
San Francisco – USA
Yosemite National Park and Grand Canyon – The West Coast of the US
Australia – To Travel Around It
New Zealand – To Travel Around It
Italy (again but other cities)
Canada (again but the other parts)
Switzerland (those mountains!)
Iceland (to do nature photography)
Ireland
Japan

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╰☆╮ Sabrina’s Top Tips ╰☆╮

If you’re considering a break away this year remember my three key things about booking a holiday and making the most of your time at the destination.

1. Research the Area
2. Know Your Limits – Money and Health Wise
3. Live Within Your Means & Save with Vouchers

1. It’s always a good idea to look up the local area, make sure you book a hotel in an area that is both accessible by the transport you need, and is in a tourist area for health and safety reasons.

2. Know the limits of your health, because even I have to remind myself that I cannot do everything that I used to, but that doesn’t stop me having a great time. And you should know the limit of your bank balance too!

3. Finally, always live within your means. You might not be able to do it all and see everything, time and money might be against you. My Tip is to pick your Top 3 and work out the pricing. Always look for vouchers online too – I am definitely one for making the most of a two for the price of one deal!

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Thank you for joining me for this travel inspired blog post today, I hope you liked my photographs of my various destinations because I was stuck between which ones to use. Too many to choose from!

Have a wonderful last few days of February 2018 and thanks for reading!

 Sabrina 

A Short List Of Things I Did In 2017 To Make My 2018 Better

✩ Things That I Did In 2017 To Make My 2018 Better ✩

There were many things during 2017 that I decided to change or make plans ahead of time to make my life easier. This may seem like a lot of effort but really, a lot of it was just common sense. I also saw several programs last year that made me contemplate some of the lifestyle choices I was making.

Here is one example. I would often pop to my local supermarket on the walk home from work in an evening, and although I carried a rucksack I would nearly always buy too many items to fit inside it. So I invested in a reusable bag from the pound shop, and it is consistently folded up now inside my work bag. That way any occasion that arises that I need some extra carrying space I will have it. It saves on both money and on plastic too!

I have also adopted this for my big fortnightly shop, my husband and I only use hemp and cotton recyclable bags now. They are easy to use and easy to stand up in the boot of the car being similar sizes. Invest in one and keep it in your car!

Let me show you roughly how much you would save… If you usually buy five 10p bags every time that you shop, and say that that shop is once a week, that equals 50p a week. So if you use a reusable bag that costs anything from £1.00 to £4.00 (for a decent one) then you could save… a whopping £26.00 a year! Plus these bags that I have, some are three years old now and still going strong.

Another change I have made, which is more of a Lifestyle one, is to stop using any cosmetics products that contain plastic micro beads inside. I watch a lot of documentaries and nature programs, and what I kept seeing was the overwhelming evidence of how plastic is damaging our oceans. I am hugely into nature and support it in any small way that I can, so making this change was not a big deal for me, but will hopefully help the bigger picture globally if more of us make this change too.

Finally I made the decision to continue eating more fruit and vegetables in my diet. As an Endometriosis sufferer I can have really bad skin, and no amount of water helps me with it. But cutting down on saturated fats, greasy foods and things like eating too much chocolate have really helped me. So this year I am making the choice to stick to the dietary decisions I put in place at the end of last year. Don’t get me wrong I still eat whatever I want, that includes a takeaway once a fortnight, chocolate most days, a fry up once in a while, cakes and other things, just all of those in moderation. Smaller amounts and then substituting some of my snacks for more fruit.

Everything in Moderation 😉

I plan to do a post this Spring about some food that I eat and some of my own recipes too. If I can help others to eat more healthily but still enjoy their food then I will definitely try and share my opinions if people think it may be useful!

Thank you for reading this relatively short Lifestyle post today. I hope my words have given you something to think about, some changes are just so easy to make, but they can in turn make a big difference to your life and the lives of others. As well as sometimes the environment and your surrounding area. When we took our recycling in today, our local place had their January statistics up and they managed to recycle a grand total of 78% of what was brought to them, this is what we need to aspire to help.

Have a great week everyone! And if you need any tips on how to recycle more in your home I’m happy to answer any questions!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Clothing That Is Comfortable During Pregnancy, Maternity Wear Reviews and My General Clothing Hacks and Tips

╰☆╮Today It’s Time For A Pregnancy Clothing Post! ╰☆╮

I want to discuss my general clothing hacks I use to make pregnancy in the second trimester more bearable, and I want to talk about the clothing that I am finding most comfortable during these colder months of the year. Finally I will conclude with some Maternity Wear Reviews on items that I have purchased during January and have now thoroughly tested.

So I am now getting to that stage of my pregnancy where I need to consider what I am wearing. My regular jeans no longer do up and I am finding other clothing honestly pretty uncomfortable to wear, especially while seated. There are some things I can still get away with such as my Tunics, Long Jumpers, Jumper Dresses and stretchy Leggings. But there are other things that I have now decided it’s time to invest in, and I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences in case there’s anyone out there who needs some advice as they too get to this stage of their pregnancy journey.

Sabrina’s Top Tips

You might be looking at your wardrobe and thinking, baby is due then, I won’t be fitting into these items this year. Well fear not, because a few weeks ago I was feeling exactly the same. Get an old suitcase or a storage box and place everything that you love but you know you won’t fit into, inside it. You can always come back to them once you’ve lost some of the baby weight. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t look good and be comfortable while doing so. Here are some of my shopping tips.

Always try your usual size in maternity wear before the larger size you think you might be. It may come as a surprise, but especially before getting to the third trimester many of us won’t be putting on all that much weight. Your baby grows steadily so you have plenty of time to make small adjustments to your wardrobe. I have still purchased Size 8 trousers for example, just Maternity ones with the added “Over Bump” material. Plus another tip is to always check the sale rails, at the end of line and end of season sales, you may just pick up some bargains. I managed to do just that and will be reviewing those items below.

One shop that I regularly rely on for Leggings is Primark. And the beauty of the sizes of their brand, it seems to me that you can often fit into more than one size. I am a size 8 usually, but I have just bought some size 10 and size 12 leggings that I find fit comfortably over my growing bump. Let me explain why I have chosen these, not only are they are much cheaper than the Maternity ones available online, but also if you aren’t very tall like me then you can usually buy a regular length or a long length style, and find that they will fit just like high waisted leggings – perfect! And they also wash well too being made of cotton or polyester! Mine only cost £3.50 a pair and I got 4 different colours as well. They are great for layering when heading out and for comfort when staying at home.

New Look

When I first began looking at Maternity wear I had recalled friends telling me they had shopped in New Look. I like the brand and I didn’t want to spend a fortune on these first few items just in case I grew out of them. But the weather is so cold in the UK at the moment I really needed to find a decent pair of Skinny Jeans or Jeggings that I could wear out and about, shopping and such.

After a few moments around my local store I realised there was barely any choices, and a lot of it was available online only now. So I settled for the only pair in the shop that I did like, they were soft to touch and also skinny as I had wanted.

They were called Emilee Under Bump Maternity Jeggings at £19.99. Soft material for both the legs and the bump section was why I purchased this pair. They are great on, and the bump part still has enough room for me to grow a little more into them. I was happy with them and hope once the weather is warmer I won’t need them as much. They washed well though too. The leg part was definitely true to size because I chose my regular UK size 8 and a 30″ leg and they were a perfect fit. Highly recommend them, there is way more choice online and I may invest in a blue pair of Over Bump at some point in time too.

Dorothy Perkins

During the January sales I was looking at certain tops but I didn’t want to invest in too many that branded themselves as just Maternity wear. I bought some Jumper Dresses from Dorothy Perkins that have enough give in the middle for a second trimester baby bump. They are soft and will keep me warm in these colder months. I have no doubt that they will also be perfect next Winter while I’m (hopefully) still loosing the baby weight. I have bought many Tunic style jumpers from DP’s over the past few years and find that the plain ones are great for the home and the bling ones are great for going out. I will review these items below and give any links still available.

BooHoo

I did however purchase a couple of Maternity jumpers from BooHoo in their January sale, these looked like regular tunic jumpers until you looked closer, but they had the slits either side to give room for a bump. I feel like I will be able to grow with these, but I could still wear them after I have had my baby as well. To be honest if I wear them right now they don’t look like they are specifically Maternity wear but I know they will become very useful the larger I grow. I was happy with what I paid and if they continue to wash as well as this first fortnight of having them, I assume they will last me through my pregnancy and beyond. I will review these items below and include photos and links where possible.

George at Asda

My final Maternity Wear order came from George at Asda. I really needed some work wear trousers, because I got to the point where any other sort was digging in to my tummy and making me rather uncomfortable. I work full time and I spend a lot of hours on my feet too, so I required something hard wearing, soft and easy to wear but also the correct material for my job role. Our uniform is specific and I needed to rely on the item to be washed several times and worn a minimum of 5 days a week.

I finally found the best looking, most positively reviewed and the best price online, maternity work trousers on the Asda website. George at Asda do have a fantastic maternity range, but most stores don’t stock the items, they are only available online. I had reservations at first because I always like to touch the material and try the items on, this time I just had to trust in my choices. I also had to pay a delivery charge which I thought was expensive, just for the convenience of receiving my items. A click and collect service available 9 days later would not have been suitable for me, I needed them within a day or two because I found I was growing overnight.

My order arrived by courier and was good in that sense, I was updated by email and by text which was very useful. The items themselves were all sealed individually so I knew that the contents were brand new, and I could tell by unpacking them they hadn’t been handled before. I had to guess what sizes I would need, and luckily everything fitted me and I haven’t needed to return anything. I went for my normal size, a size 8, because reviews on the website said most things fitted true to size. The maternity trousers were the items I was most impressed by. The main reason was because of how soft the material was that went over the bump. It was not only comfortable to wear but it was lightweight too and caused me no issues between sitting and standing.

I also purchased some over the bump leggings in a two pack and a two pack of short sleeved t-shirts for comfort around the house when I get a little bigger. I thought these were okay value for money, the materials used made the items soft and they washed well too.

╰☆╮ Reviews ╰☆╮

New Look

New Look: Maternity Under Bump Jeggings in Black (Emilee on Tag)
Materials: 71% Cotton, 25% Polyester, 4% Elastane. Trim: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane.
Colours Available:
Black.
Price:
£19.99.
LINK

Very soft material and comfortable to wear, the bump part still gives me room to grow into them. Purchased at 13 weeks pregnant and at 17 weeks they already fit way better and room for bump because they are lightly elasticated. Perfectly the right size for both my buttocks and my leg length, I chose my pre-pregnant trouser size and they are a great all round fit. Ideal for the colder weather days and the black looks great when paired with a bright top.

New Look Overall Scores
Appearance 5/5
Quality 5/5
Value for Money 4/5


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BooHoo

BooHoo: Maternity Mia Side Split Jumper.
Materials: Polyester 95% and Elastane 5%.
Colours Available: Camel, Khaki, Berry, Black or Grey LINK
Price: £15.00

 

Soft to touch with side splits in the fabric to accommodate a growing bump. I’m a UK size 8 and ordered a UK size 10 of each item. They fitted true to size on my shoulders with the arms ending at wrist length. I thought the overall length of the fabric was good, it will allow me to grow into them but is suitable for this stage and in weeks to come. Both items washed easily and were comfortable to wear all day. The material is quite thin but ideal for Winter layering by wearing a long sleeved thin tee beneath the jumper. I purchased these BooHoo jumpers in both black and in khaki green.

Although the jumpers are very nice and are comfortable to wear they are also very plain in appearance. Wearing a long necklace or a scarf to brighten the outfit up is ideal for days out. Where as I have purchased these for both inside and outside my house, wanting myself and bump to be warm and comfy throughout the next couple of months.

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BooHoo: Maternity Sarah Side Split Ribbed Jumper.
Materials: Polyester 95% and Elastane 5%.
Colours Available:
Berry, Black or Blush
Price: £7.00 (On Sale Price Correct As Of 11th February).
LINK

A very nice jumper and overall it is both soft and comfortable to wear. It is more of a Spring colour and length compared to the Tunic style jumpers I purchased (review above) but it is one I could wear around the house now and look forward to wearing in the warmer months to come. I believe there is still plenty of growing room to be had due to the side splits in the fabric, and the length of the arms were perfect for me. I purchased this in a UK size 10.

BooHoo Items Overall Scores
Appearance 4/5
Delivery 5/5
Quality 4/5
Value for Money 4/5

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Dorothy Perkins

Dorothy Perkins: Zip Hem Knitted Tunic Jumpers.
Materials: Viscose 71% and Nylon 29%.
Colours Available: Burgundy or Black.
Price: £17.00 (Price correct as of February 11th).
Burgundy LINK
Black LINK

 


I have purchased some items from Dorothy Perkins in the January sale which I believe will double up as maternity items. These are all jumpers and in varying lengths. The tunics both have a nice zip detail in the lowest sixth of the material and are fitting on me true to size. I bought size 10’s in order to grow into them slightly but they were already fine around my shoulders. I am lucky enough to fit into the majority of brands clothes UK sizes of 8 and 10.

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Dorothy Perkins: Yellow Striped Frill Sleeve Jumper.
Materials: 100% Polyamide.
Colours Available: Yellow with Black Stripes.
Price: £7.00 (On Sale – Price Correct As Of 11th February).
LINK

The yellow and black striped jumper was an impulse buy, I liked the pattern as well as the ruffled sleeves. It’s style reminded me of Peplum and it was a good quality material too. I thought I could wear it for the first few months of my second trimester, before my bump gets too big. It’s a stylish looking item that I would happily wear out with a pair of my maternity trousers. It was in the sale so there are limited sizes left, but it’s comfortable to wear and I would recommend it, the sleeves are a bit different and a nice change and addition to my wardrobe for Spring.

Dorothy Perkins Items Overall Scores
Appearance 5/5
Delivery 5/5
Quality 5/5
Value for Money 4/5

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George at Asda

Asda: Work Wear Maternity Trousers – Over Bump Tapered Trousers
Materials: Body 100% Polyester and Trim 95% Viscose with 5% Elastane
Colours Available: Black
Price: £8.00
LINK


I looked into a variety of trousers that I could wear to my day job, but the place that I kept coming back to was George at Asda. Online they have a range of Maternity clothing at quite affordable prices too. I was drawn in by the price and the good reviews beneath the item. I wanted a pair of trousers that would be comfortable to wear at work all day, that would wash and wear well, and an item that would grow with me in the coming weeks. I decided it was best that I order two sizes, one my current size 8 and the other a size 10 that I could grow into if need be. Better to have both than to order a second delivery so soon.

I was impressed with the quality for the price, and they might be of thin material but they certainly are comfortable to wear, and it means that they dry quickly after washing too.

George at Asda Items Overall Scores
Appearance 4/5
Delivery 4/5
Quality 4/5
Value for Money 5/5

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Thank you for reading this review post today, I hope you have liked it or found it useful. Feel free to pass the link on to any friends who you feel may benefit from my reviews or tips. Have a lovely day!

 Sabrina 

Things In Your Home You Should Probably Change More Often Than You Do!

Welcome to a Lifestyle Post on Severn Wishes.

When we think about our homes we often don’t consider the things that we use every day as not being there. And due to the frequency of which we use said items, it is important to always consider the conditions that we use them. More often than not weeks or months go by sometimes, and in our busy schedules we cannot recall the last time we washed that item, or changed that product.

In this post today I am going to be writing about a huge number of things that are found and used within your home and lifestyle, that you should probably be changing more often than you do. My research has been lengthy and is backed up by some scientific research and also some common sense… Whenever I saw an article I thought, “Oh that’s interesting I didn’t know that!” and therefore I wanted to write a post that could perhaps inform others of these items.

Let us take a toothbrush for one example. We should all use one, at least twice a day, and did you know that there are more bacteria in your mouth than on a toilet seat! Which is why dental hygiene specialists recommend that you change your toothbrush every three months, or after a bout of illness such as a bad cold or the flu. By doing this you are being hygienic and decreasing your chance of spreading germs back to yourself. It will also decrease your chances of sore throats and mouth ulcers when your mouth is cleaner. I can personally recommend the brand Oral B for their toothbrushes, I love Sensodyne Toothpaste and I also use Listerine Mouthwash.

So thinking more about this, there are many other items within your home that you should either sterilize, change or throw out after a certain length of time. I will go into more detail for some of them, but here is a short list of the ones that I do adhere to, and ones that I was completely baffled by and have now taken note of.
You might not know of some!

Toothbrush                           Change Every 3 Months Or After An Illness 
Mascara
                                Should be Changed for a New Unit every 3-6 Months
Slippers                                You Should Have New Slippers Every 6 Months
Hair Brushes                        Clean Regularly But Change Your Main Brush Every Year
Pillows                                  Change Your Bed Pillows Every 6 Months to 1 Year
Duvets                                   Change Your Main Duvet Once A Year
Cushions                              Wash Your Cushion Covers Once A Month
Towels                                   Change Your Towels At Least Once A Week
Pet Beds and Bedding         Wash Every 3 Months – More If Used Every Day
Washing Machines               Disinfect with Liquid Once Every Month
Mattress                                Change Every 7-10 years – Some Brands 15 years
Wooden Spoons                   Change Your Broken Or Split Wooden Spoons Regularly
Bed Sheets                            Aim to Wash your Bed Sheets every Fortnight
Kitchen Sink Sponge            Throw Out & Replace your Kitchen Sponge Each Week
Lipstick / Lipgloss                Throw These Out After A Maximum of 2 years
Makeup Brushes                   When Used Daily (Wash Daily) Replace Every 5 years

The three items I was most unaware about while writing this piece at the end of 2017, were the Hair Brush, Lipstick and Kitchen Sponge time frames. It seems so obvious for some of them, it’s common sense with things like your toothbrush, but other things aren’t always clear. I learnt a lot while doing this Lifestyle Post, and I will be definitely be taking some of these things into consideration in the future in my own home!

Now that I’ve completed this blog post, I would love to hear from you, if you were not aware of any of the above things! I am certainly planning to clear out some of my old makeup and other items after researching this kind of stuff! Sometimes the days get away from us, and I have one top tip for you all.

Sabrina’s Top Tip
Use your mobile phone or calendar or diary to mark down when you need to do certain things at home, even set an alarm to go off with it if you’re worried about forgetting. Life often gets so busy and we don’t always remember to change our bed sheets or wash the dog bed! But it may help all of us to lead a healthier and more hygienic lifestyle.

Thanks for reading and visiting Severn Wishes today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!

 Sabrina 

Excellent Places To Order From In The Run Up To Christmas

Excellent Places To Order From In The Run Up To Christmas

With a busy schedule that is “LIFE” a lot of us turn to ordering items online for our loved ones. And so many things these days are safe bets, what you see is what you’ll get. But what about ordering things when you’re not sure of the site, this is where people’s online reviews come in extremely handy. Reading reviews on items, products and companies can really help someone to decide if the order is right for them. I always try and make time to review the things that I buy if the website or the brand has this service available.

Having ordered 75% of this years presents online, I’m now going to outline where I have purchased things from and rate them on the usual aspects too. I hope that if you’re still in need of some gifts you will consider these places to order from.

Amazon
A Massive Range Of Items Of All Sorts, Just Search On The Website…
Item/s I Bought: Books and Technology.
Was The Item As Described: Yes Exactly As Described.
Value for Money: Excellent Value for Money when Shopping Around and Comparing.
Delivery: Despite Choosing Free Delivery (Up To 7 days) It Arrived In 4 Days – Great.

BooHoo
Women’s Clothing and Shoes and Accessories Online.
Item I Bought: Pair of Boots.
Was The Item As Described: As Shown, Fitted True To Size and Nice Details.
Value for Money: Great Value for Money, I had a 20% off voucher that day too.
Delivery: Excellent Delivery Time but I paid £3.99 for the Delivery.

Jewellery Box UK
Massive Range Of Beautiful and Unique Jewellery Online.
Item/s I Bought: Sterling Silver Necklace and Necklace Chain.
Was The Item As Described: Yes Very Accurate Description and Photo on the Site.
Value for Money: Excellent Quality and Value for Money. I had a 20% voucher too.
Delivery: Delivery is Advertised as 1st Class Next Day for orders over £10 (Mine was 3 days late but I think it was due to bad weather as it stated it was dispatched).

Snapfish / Bonusprint
Photo Gifts including Calendars, Prints and Photo Books.
Item/s I Bought: Prints / Photo Book / Calendar.
Was The Item/s As Described: Yes And You Can Personalize Many Items Too
Value For Money: Excellent Value – Look Out For Website and Email Deals.
Delivery: Standard Delivery 3-5 Working Days or 5-7 Days – Both Were Good.

The Perfume Shop
Perfume and Fragrance Shop Online.
Item/s I Bought: Perfume and A Free Gift.
Was The Item As Described: Yes As Described, Excellent Gift too.
Value for Money: Great Value as it included a free gift too.
Delivery: Excellent Free Delivery, Arrived In 3 days when they stated 5 days.

Topman
Men’s Clothing and Shoes and Accessories Online.
Item/s I Bought: Various Clothing Items.
Was The Item As Described: Yes, As Pictured On The Website.
Value for Money: There was a discount of 20% off available that day and the clothing is of excellent quality too.
Delivery: Excellent Delivery Time and Free Standard Delivery with what I spent.

Sabrina’s Top Tips For Christmas Ordering

TIP 1. If There Are Reviews On An Item You’re Browsing Then Read Them.
TIP 2. Shop Around On Different Websites For Similar Items And Compare.
TIP 3. Sign Up For Email Newsletters, They Often Send Vouchers Or Codes.
TIP 4. Consider The Website Parameters For Free Delivery And Attempt To Reach It.
TIP 5. Always Make Sure You Are Buying On An Authentic Website (Padlock In Search Bar).

Have You Seen My Post About How To Make Your Own Christmas Boxes?
Check It Out Here

Thank you for reading this post today, I hope that you have enjoyed reading about these great companies and websites. It is almost Christmas time! If you’re still doing some shopping I hope my reviews have helped! Have a great day!

✩ Sabrina ✩

My Top Handbag Essentials For Getting Through Autumn/Winter

My Top Handbag Essentials For Getting Through Autumn and Winter.

It’s official, it’s gone really cold here in the United Kingdom. So I thought I would do a short blog post today explaining my handbag essentials.

Most of us carry a larger bag in the Winter because we need more space for the things that we require such as gloves or socks.

Here is my list of Autumn/Winter essentials that I often bring with me, especially if it’s going to be a long day out. You never know when the weather might change so it’s always good to be prepared. Some of these things don’t even weigh much so they aren’t inconvenient.

My Autumn And Winter Handbag Essentials

Gloves
Scarf
Arm Warmers
Comfortable Socks
Tiny Bottled Water
Lip Balm
Hand Cream
Hand Sanitiser
Packet of Tissues
Compact Mirror
Mini Torch
Rolled Up Bag

Let me explain a little bit about why I carry certain items. If you feel the cold like I do, little things like Gloves and Arm Warmers can make a big difference. Say you catch a bus, and it’s late on your route home. If you have these things with you and it suddenly gets colder you are prepared.

The same thing goes for the Water and the Tissues, you just never know when you may need these items so it’s a good idea to carry them all year around not just these colder months. I always carry Hand Cream for my dry skin and the Lip Balm for keeping my lips smooth, I use these more so in the Winter but they live in my bags throughout the year.

The torch is somewhat of a personal choice, it’s difficult to put my key in my front door after dark as you cannot see the keyhole, a mini torch is a great way to stay safe if you’re walking in the Winter evenings as well as useful in circumstances such as the one I mentioned.

I hope that you have enjoyed this little insight into my lifestyle! If you have any questions about where I got any of the items shown please leave me a comment
Have a wonderful day!

 Sabrina 

Ideal Christmas Gifts On A Budget

Christmas Gifts On A Budget

Have you been stumped by what to get a friend or loved one this Christmas?
Have you shopped around – like, really shopped around and are still stuck?
Have you ever considered making something unique?
Ever thought of a Subscription Gift?

If the answer to any of those is yes, then please keep on reading because I might just have some Christmas tricks and tips for you! And hopefully a huge array of ideas too!

What To Get For Those Who Are A Little Picky

Subscription Boxes are a great way to give a gift that keeps on giving, and for anything between £12 and £30 you can subscribe a loved one to something amazing. Some companies that I have tried also offer up deals where you to pay for three months upfront for example, and it gets delivered to the recipients home. There are also brands that do one off Christmas Boxes too, pay for a one off box and that also gets delivered through the door.

Try and think about what someone loves, and then go from there…

Here are some places that I have tried personally, and if you want to read any of my reviews on any of these then just look for the categories off my main page. There are loads more out there too, just google subscription boxes for more ideas if none of these take your fancy.

Not all of the companies below are Subscription Boxes, but some of them provide presents within presents and gift boxed items as part of their service. This saves you time this Christmas too!

Artemis and Xena – for those who enjoy meditation, positivity and relaxing boxes.
Birchbox – for makeup and cosmetics lovers!
Cherry Diva – for Jewellery lovers they have something for everyone’s tastes.
JewelCandle – Any Candle and Jewellery Lovers in the family?
Jewellery Box UK – A company who have amazing jewellery choices and great gifts.
Secret Scent Box – for people who love to try new fragrances.
Treatbox – literally a box of treats that you can either subscribe to or you can make your own unique box!

Artemis and Xena (above) are offering a special box this Christmas, it’s a 12 days advent box for £19.99. The 12 items wrapped individually in Christmas wrapping paper numbered 1 -12  These items will vary per box so that no individual will receive the exact same items making this a unique gift.

Some things you could find include: Makeup, Stationary, Skincare, Cards, Creative Activities, Nail Varnish, Organisers, Keyrings, Soap, Bath bombs, Notebooks, Planners, Postcards, Sticky Notes, Masks, Body lotion, Lipstick, Glitter, Eyeshadow, Perfume, Hair care, Temporary Tattoos, Stickers, Organic products, Local products, Nail art, bags, purses and more!

They are also offering a special Mystery Box in December. On their website it says this… “Find 5 random items in your box. Each box will be unique so you won’t receive the same box as anyone else! There are NO spoilers so it’s perfect if you love surprises!” Because these are one-off boxes there is no subscription and they make great gifts.

Mystery Box Link Available In December

Birchbox

Birchbox is usually a monthly Subscription service for makeup, cosmetics and beauty lovers. They offer some boxes for December and arriving for Christmas so it might be worth a look if you are gifting to someone who loves this stuff!

Here is their page for anyone wanting to know more about Gifting a Box for Christmas.

Birchbox Gifting Boxes

JewelCandle is a company who specialise in jewellery hidden inside candles.

You can find out all about these gifts within gifts over on their website. They have a range of flavours of Candle and also a range of jewellery types that goes in them.

JewelCandle Website

Secret Scent Box is a company based in the UK which allows the subscriber to discover new designer fragrances each month. Every box you subscribe to you will get 3 designer perfumes or colognes delivered through your letterbox from just £13! If you know someone that adores smelling good then perhaps this is a great Christmas idea for them…

Secret Scent Box Website

Treatbox – Christmas Box or Subscriptions

I am currently subscribed to Treatbox and receive a box each month through my door. They are always themed and can be literally anything! Homeware, Beauty, Edible Treats, Creative Items, Wearable Items and so much more.

In the Treatbox shop the owner also creates special boxes and one off boxes, as well as build your own too! This is worth a look at the website if you think you could be in the mood for choosing items for your loved ones to open up in a box.

Treatbox Main
Treatbox Specials
Treatbox Build Your Own

So You Have Started Christmas Shopping, But Have You Shopped Around?

So most people tend to go to the same old places year after year for their presents, they don’t try anything new. I know people who have never done a search on Amazon, or gone to their local town and searched for independent stores.
Have you ever tried looking for self employed people on Facebook as well?
I have bought things from British businesses for many years now, it’s a good deed and keeps money within our economy. You’re also helping a small business keep going and there are so many talented folk out there doing all sorts of things.

Here are some Facebook businesses that I have ordered from either this year or the past two years while I have been blogging. I recommend the service from each of them. But you’ve got to be quick, a lot close their order books at the start of December.

The Laser Boutique – Wooden Toys and Gifts – Personalised
The Crafty Giraffe – Personalised Engraved Gifts
Awesome Wooden Gifts – Now has her main page over on Etsy so check it out if you want gifts about Mushrooms, Unicorns and Magic…

Don’t be afraid to search for what you want using google and/or Facebook there are so many talented people out there. Check out some of my reviews on my categories too!

Have You Considered Making Someone A Unique Gift?

Sometimes the best thing to do, when you cannot find what you’re looking for, is to make it. You need to decide your budget and then figure out what you will spend on each item.

I once designed photo frames for friends, these days you can buy frames for as little as £1 and then all you need is some paint and added details like sequins or stickers.

I have a How To Make section on the blog too go check it out after this post!

Here are a few ideas on simple things that you could make for a friend or family member this year.  Check out the posts under my “Christmas” category as well for more Christmas gift ideas too! And check out my “Sabrina’s How To Make” category too!

Bracelets or Necklaces
Photo Frame Designs
Trinket Boxes
Memory Boxes
Candle Pots
Makeup Pots

If you have any questions about how you would make something then please get in touch. If you cannot find it already on my blog I will be making lots of gift related posts that will go up in the coming weeks, watch out for those “How To Make” pages!

Hopefully you’ve gotten some great ideas from this post, if not though don’t despair, there will be loads more of my Christmas Gift posts coming up throughout November.

 Sabrina 

Sabrina’s How To Make Your Own Christmas Boxes

✩ Welcome to Sabrina’s How To Make Your Very Own Christmas Boxes ✩​ 

I know that so many of you will be thinking, but why don’t I just buy a Christmas box? Well if you don’t have much time then of course by all means do just that. But let me first explain to you why I think you should give this little craft project a chance.

Having browsed the internet for other kinds of Christmas Boxes I was astounded to find that they can range between £5.99 to £15.00 for just an empty one! And if you wanted gifts inside it too? Well you’re looking at around £25.00 and upwards for boxes with items already packed.

It sounds like a lot to me and honestly it is, when you add in a delivery charge too. I think that companies like these are great if you don’t have any time or creativity, and the money to spend, but this craft project is so easy to do, why not try and make just the one box with me?

I will now tell you how much it has cost me to make one of my basic boxes… So nothing inside it, just the box all done up pretty and ready to be used…

Each Box has Cost me Around £1.50 to make! Yes just £1.50!

Here is how I worked it out… I bought a roll of 12 metre Christmas wrapping paper from Primark for 90p, the boxes themselves were free because I picked them up from my place of work and supermarkets, and the only other things that you’ll need you probably have in your house already, but in case not here is the list…

You Will Need✩ A Ruler ✩ A Pencil or Pen ✩ Sellotape ✩ Stickers 

You get the idea. You will also need some bits to decorate after and (if you’re gifting this box) a Christmas Tag. These are the things that make up the rest of those £1.50 worth of spent pennies! I have now made 6 boxes for my family, using half of two rolls of paper, one roll of sellotape and 6 gift tags… So you get how cheap it is right? Now you need time!

Is this an easy craft project? Yes it is, providing you have around an hour to two hours spare and all of the items mentioned. Children would need adult help and supervision with the cutting but they could do the sticking into place with some guidance. It’s more fun for them to decorate their boxes, add in some paper to the mix and they could do festive drawings that you could then cut out and stick on top of the box even!

What tips can I give? Take your time, cut correctly and carefully with the scissors. Remember you can do any sized box, so it could be really large to house a massive present, or you could make a jewellery box size one instead of using a gift bag. Write down a list of what you would use the boxes for and also what sizes you may need. Gather everything you will require to do this before you start, and make sure it’s somewhere flat surfaced and comfortable – we don’t want any bad backs!

Here is a photograph of some of my finished boxes, you could make one even better using your imagination.

I think the best thing for you all to do is watch my video first, and then come back to the blog to go through the step by step. It’s easier than you think, plus then you can have the time to gather what you need (if anything) and work along with the post.

✩✩✩ SABRINA’S HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS BOXES VIDEO ✩✩✩

✩ STEP BY STEP MAKING YOUR BOX GUIDE ✩

Step 1. Lay out your paper on a flat surface white side up, using a piece of scrap paper and a pen, take the box measurements.

Step 2. With a Ruler and Pencil mark down on the paper (with the white side up) what pieces you need to cut. (If you have a no hinge box you could draw around its lid and base and then just measure the sides).

Step 3. Carefully cut out all the paper parts and label the white side in pencil which part will stick to which part of the box.

Step 4. Begin to stick your pieces in place, remember the parts that need some over hang are the parts you stick on first (sides and top in my video).

Step 5. Once you have all the paper pieces in place, trimmed any over hanging parts and neatly taped it all on the box, you will be ready to decorate.

Step 6. Decorate depending on the theme you have chosen for your box.

Step 7. Fill your box accordingly… Enjoy!

✩✩✩

✩✩✩ HOW TO MAKE PAPER SNOWFLAKE DECORATIONS ✩✩✩

The most popular snowflakes are the six sided ones, follow this guide to make them, but remember that there are many folds, so don’t make your starting square too small or you’ll struggle to cut any pieces out of it…

Here is one of my designs (below) and it was fairly easy to make… this image on the shows you what the design would be (on the left) when you have cut the paper but not yet opened it and then (on the right) the finished paper snowflake…

I would love to see what you come up with, tag me on social media if you decide to make any snowflakes after seeing mine…

✩ WHAT CAN I USE MY BOX FOR NOW THAT I HAVE MADE IT? ✩

Why Make Them? 1. As An Alternative to a Stocking on Christmas Day
Why Make Them? 2. Use A Box Instead of a Gift Bag for Gifts
Why Make Them? 3. To Store All This Years Cards and Tags Inside
Why Make Them? 4. Use As A Christmas Eve Box For The Family

Christmas Boxes for Christmas Day – Sabrina’s Ideas

While making these boxes I had an idea, a great one if there are arguments between siblings on Christmas morning… I thought about putting all the families names in the box, the youngest of age picks out first and whoever gets their name pulled out gets the first present. Mum or Dad would have to count the gifts though and obviously write out the names corresponding to those gifts, but that way there would be no arguing. You could design the box as if it came from Santa, saying there will be no arguments and my magic box will decide who gets the next gift… It may have a treat inside too at the end of it… Think of it as a Pass the Parcel idea but with names relating to presents…

What to put Inside your Christmas Day Boxes

Mixed Festive Treats and Snacks
Game/s to play in a Group/s – Mini Jenga is great! Dominoes or Card Games!
Christmas Baked Goods from Christmas Eve if you made some!
A Festive Film to Watch together
Festive Coloured Paper so you can all make some Snowflakes
A Present or All Presents – Depending upon Size

If You Would Prefer To Make A Christmas Eve Box… designed for Families, Here are some of my ideas for putting inside yours…
A Christmas Book to read together – I loved the Snowman growing up!
A Christmas Cuddly Toy for each Child
Some Christmas Festive Snacks or Baked Items (1 per person)
A Game to play together – Junior Scrabble but you can only use Christmas words!
Christmas Cookie Cutters – if you’re bakers why not make something for Santa today
A Festive Film to watch before bed – there are so many now!
A New Decoration for each Family Member to put on this years Tree…
Food for Santa and his Reindeer – the kids can set it up on a plate before they go to bed

Pen and Paper – Get everyone to write down a wish for next year, roll it up and leave it for Santa to take with him…

Dependent on their age “A Project” – Writing A Wish / Thanking Santa for Something…

Here is one of my finished boxes… You can make the box any size you like! Perhaps you want one to hold a small present, perhaps to put some jewellery inside? You can use these boxes in so many ways, and you can make them whatever sizes you choose or need for your Christmas.

Remember you can decorate the top of it depending on what you decide to do with it. You can cut out letters or numbers that might be relating to your family, for example “Smith Family Christmas Eve Box” or “Christmas Memories for 2017″…

I know I keep explaining it but the possibilities are endless and I would personally have a little think as a family and jot some ideas down. It would make a lovely project to complete once school has finished too!

Christmas Boxes for Children instead of a Stocking – End of the Bed or By their Bedroom Door

If you have young children you might encourage them to stay in their bedroom on Christmas morning until a designated time. The best idea I had was inspired by something my mum did one year. That was to put our stocking in our room and tell us that we could have what was inside it, but we were not to go downstairs until a specific time on the clock. This keeps the child occupied for a while and allows the parents to get a well deserve lie in… hopefully! Here are my “Stocking Box” ideas…

An Edible Treat
A Short Game to Play
Christmas Drawing or Craft – Print off a Christmas Image and give them colours
A Recipe to Bake with Family Or Something You Can Use To Decorate from C-Eve
A Small Toy – Parents Choice
A Pack of Cards or a New Game – Teach Each Other Something New
One Small Present to Open in Bed
Instructions for the Day – Go Downstairs at a Certain Time…
A Fun Riddle or Quiz they have to get correct…

Here is one set of my Christmas Eve Box ideas, a pack of playing cards that have animals on them to teach your children while you play. Junior Scrabble is another great game for children! You could play but they are only allowed to put down Christmas related words! Cadbury Festive Friends are tasty chocolate biscuits shaped for the festive season that children can share. And the adults have to have something… Lindor Chocolates perhaps?! Festive Pens for some colouring thrown in there too… The box possibilities are as much as you can imagine!

Some Little Extra Traditions That Are Fun

Ideas to make your children believe what happened the evening before…

Use flour or fake snow on the kitchen floor to make Reindeer and Santa footprints like they came in at the back door OR if you actually have a chimney then do it there, and don’t forget to take bites out of all the food before the kids see it! They will be amazed!

What Is Still To Come On Severn Wishes…

I have a ton more blog posts to bring you this month, many are Christmas related, Gift related or Craft Related! I hope that you’ll come back to Severn Wishes soon for the next latest installments.

If you enjoyed anything in particular on this post and plan to use any of my ideas practically this Christmas then leave me a comment with what you loved, it would make my day if I helped you out.

I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this special blog post today, and perhaps I’ve given you some inspiration for making something too! Please let me know in the comments either on here or on my channel if you do decide to make a Christmas box. You can tag me in images on social media too I would love to see them! Happy Crafting!

 Sabrina