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


✩ 
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.

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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