16 Really Easy Ways To Walk More

✩ Ways to Walk More ✩

Walking is something that I am hugely passionate about, and I’m always encouraging others to walk more. So I thought why not take some of my own skills and ideas and let you all know why I choose to walk so much, and ways that you can too!

I come from a family who loved the outdoors. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, walking, cycling, hiking and horse riding. Following the family dog off down the field for an adventure… We were always outside unless the weather was atrocious!

Even though I walked a lot as a child and grew up in the countryside, I have lived in a city for the past ten years, and it is a world away from my childhood. I wanted to maintain my fitness and my strength in my legs too. So I made the decisions such as walking to work, walking to the groceries shop for midweek essentials, and to still do a walk on a weekend when I had the option to stay at home.

I try to walk in nature on a weekend when I can find the time, do some of my hobbies like my nature photography, and take in the fresh air I miss in the week.

So here is my list of 16 ways that I use to walk more often now I live where I do, and some ways that you can take inspiration from and do the same. You can tailor this list to suit your needs and limitations.

✩ Walk to and or from Work.

✩ Walk to the groceries store and taxi back / or walk back but make sure you only buy what you can comfortably carry back.

✩ Choose a local destination that you’ve not visited before and walk to it – pop some tunes on if it’s a long walk but be safe!

✩ Volunteer at your local park/beach for a litter clean up.

✩ If you already take a bus then why not get off one stop before your usual one and walk that short distance. Over time you can increase it to two or even three stops – weather dependent of course.

✩ Join a local walking or hiking club, or if that’s not your thing then why not try Golf or Photography, there are other great ways to get out doing something you think is fun – make a list of your hobbies and expand walking into them.

✩ To get the kids involved – Eye Spy on a Walk, Orienteering or even a Treasure Hunt?

Do you meet your friends often for a Coffee? If it’s a nice day why not get them as take out and you can go for a walk while you catch up.

✩ If you’re a Home bug – try plugging in your phone in another room, so you have to walk to it check any messages… all those steps count!


Probably an obvious one, but if your commute has any lifts or escalators – some days why not take the stairs!


✩ 
If you already walk a fair bit then why not mix it up a bit by finding alternative routes to work or school. Google Maps is brilliant!


✩ 
Sign up for one of those local 5K or 10K walks – you can even get people to sponsor you for a good cause too.


✩ 
Plan to plant something in the Spring time, perhaps a fruit or a vegetable you all like and if you have kids then get them involved too. Learning and gardening win win!


✩ 
Volunteer to walk a friends dog when they next go away – great exercise and you could make it a fun game by seeing what other dog breeds you see on the way.


Family Fun! Check out google maps for any local places that you and the family could visit like free parks / beaches / gardens… Take a picnic and make a day of it!


And Finally – Go Out As A Family! Cycling! Bowling! Whatever floats your boat!

My Top Tips if you’re also a Competitive Adult.

I have a Fitbit that my husband bought me in 2016, and on the App you can set challenges between you and your friends. They are called things like Weekend Warrior or Daily Showdown, where you’re tasked with beating your Daily Steps Goal (set when you begin with Fitbit) and beating everyone else in the set time (if you can). It makes me walk further, it makes me go around the block again before entering my house – all for those extra few steps! Fitbit is a wonderful way to track your exercise and I love my Fitbit clip.


They soon add up into KM’s and you’ll be surprised. The healthy average is supposed to be 10K steps in 24 hours, so that is your starting point…Gather your friends together and start a walking, cycling, hiking club! You don’t need to be doing it every week, just make time once in a while to group up. Sign up for Charity Walks and Runs, and make your way up to more difficult events.

Other Things To Consider.

Don’t do anything that you’re not comfortable with doing.

Consider your health – Diabetes or Asthma might hold you back so make any relevant changes to ensure you can increase your walking safely.

Never wear headphones so loud that you cannot hear dangers, take care at junctions and ensure you are always aware of your surroundings when listening to things too.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog post, a bit of a lifestyle one tonight, but it’s important that I put my own opinions across sometimes about my own life, and not just write reviews. I am a human being at the end of the day! If you liked this post please leave me a comment and let me know. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

✩ Sabrina ✩

My Trip to Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour, Experience and Review

My Day Trip to Warner Brothers Studios for the Harry Potter Tour at Leavesden Studios, at Watford Near London.

Welcome to my Travel and Lifestyle post outlining my experiences at the Harry Potter Studio Tour, with some of my photography. As well as an insight into my childhood growing up with this amazing literature adventure.

I went with my husband on the August 2017 Bank Holiday Weekend, and I paid £101.85 for the privilege of two “The Complete Adult Tour” Packages including the Paperback Souvenir Guide and Digital Guide to go around the studio with. That includes the £3.95 I paid to have all of my tickets posted to me. I spent £49.80 on souvenirs afterwards, but we will get to those at the end…

My Visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour and My Personal Reasons for Going
It was an experience that I had been waiting for for a considerable time. The chance to go to Leavesden Studios near London, was on my bucket list. And not just for the one reason that’s obvious. Everyone who grew up reading the Potter franchise, either for themselves or with their own children, knows that these books hold a part of your soul that you gave away while becoming completely engrossed in the world of Hogwarts and Harry. J.K Rowling managed to do what very few authors can, and this was to create a world that so many people (both young and old) fell in love with. Although it was a frightening place to reside at times during the books, people longed to go there, and we all had our own visions of what it would be like…

For me though, it’s way more than that. The reason is that I had hoped to one day work at the studio. I remember applying to audition for the original Harry Potter film, but on my returned letter it stated that I was 6 months too old to audition, and that other older roles had already been filled. My dream was shattered. I had applied to audition for any part and was offering to be an extra as well, I was happy to travel as my parents knew how much it meant to me, and had supported me if I was chosen.

Sadly I was never lucky enough to be an extra, though I tried countless times and for the majority of the films whenever they opened up a casting. So I gave up on that dream for a time, and I stuck to my reading and writing with occasional stage work too as a teen. Still, I longed to be a part of that world…

Those days of being on stage are also sadly behind me now because of health reasons. And when I went to University aged 19 I had the choice of going down the drama route or to follow my other creative passion, which is photography. And I chose the latter. I still write though and I hope to one day have something published.

I think if anyone ever made my books into films I would love to be like Peter Jackson, who appeared in numerous scenes as an extra throughout his time directing The Lord of the Rings franchise. That would be completing two of my dreams in one go, I still live in hope of all of it…

So for the past two years I’ve tried my utmost to get to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, between work commitments and poor health, every time I’ve had to postpone or rearrange… but this August Bank Holiday I was determined to go. I had to book it two months in advance due to the summer holidays but it was something to look forward to.

What made it more real was the tickets arriving in the post, they were unique and creative and I felt like I was holding a part of the experience already. I thought it felt like an age away, but it was soon here and upon us. My husband offering to drive us down so I agreed and became my usual organised freak self, I did my maps and my travel times and planned out our day.

When you pull up to the studio’s you’ll notice that only advanced bookings are allowed and that security check your tickets on arrival. From there you park up in front of what looks like a mixture between an air craft hanger and a business distribution headquarters. The only give away are statues out front and several rather large Harry Potter film related posters…

The whole studio is neatly laid out and the main atrium is large and welcoming. The actors and characters portraits are all looking down on you from the high walls above. The Weasley Car (one of the many used) is suspended in the air above one corner, and you have a feeling of awe before you’ve even gone past the foyer.

I couldn’t help but wonder how people with no knowledge of the books would ever feel at home here. But as I said to my husband, (who has seen the films but read zero words on any of the books pages), to take the studio as it is, for its magnificence and marvel at the creativity, the hard work and the talent that has gone into making every single aspect of it.

Having purchased tickets that included a paperback guide and a digital guide, we decided to headphone it up and get into the queue. We would pick up our book guides at the gift shop at the end of our tour (as suggested by a staff member) so we didn’t have to carry them around.

So as we queued up initially to start the tour I was amazed by just how many people there were. There had to easily be 200 people going in to each tour slot. Plus there were always things to read, see or listen to, even while you waited. Quotes from J.K.Rowling and the famous “Cupboard Under the Stairs” can be admired as you queue for the beginning of you tour.

Once inside the introduction area you are met with many television screens on the walls placed vertically and acting as cinema posters, showcasing the Harry Potter film franchise in every language they were released in. It was fascinating to see how the posters looked, advertising the various movies in their country, some were rather different than ours.
Next our tour guide gave us a brief introduction into the do and don’t of the studio. Of course it contained the usual rules of, “Please don’t pass any barriers” and “Don’t reach over and touch the costumes” things like that. Common sense but essential reminders for those who might get a little carried away with the magic. There was also a no food and drink policy and only one main rule encouraging you to take as many photographs as possible and to share them. No problem for me, I thought, and by the end of my tour I was suitably satisfied with the 1,200 images I had taken.

So the next part I don’t want to spoil for those of you who have yet to visit, all I will tell you is that it begins with a door…

As you enter the start of your Harry Potter studios tour you are welcomed with a familiar sight, and one that I had imagined in my mind since I was eleven years old, when I first read The Philosophers Stone, that room is of course The Great Hall. Obviously missing the incredible magic sky in the ceiling, but this room is so iconic to the movies and an essential part of the Hogwarts Castle. If you think back to how many incredible things happen in this Great Hall, then you will understand why I got goosebumps as I walked through it.

Set around the room are two of the amazing long tables and benches, that had once been filled with the actors as they were being filmed. Now they stand in testament to all those hours of rolling film, still set out as though students would soon be filing in for dinner. Fake flames flicker up the walls from the metal burners along the sides, and the original flagstone floor remains underfoot. Some of the actors costumes are situated further down in the hall, and I was in awe of their details. Even the alter with the Owl that Sir Richard Harris (the original and wonderful Dumbledore) stood at in the first two films, along with his costume, and that of several of the other teachers too, remain in excellent condition for all to see. The details were incredible!

As you finish The Great Hall you notice some doors off to the left, these lead you on to the rest of your tour. I took one last look back at The Great Hall as I went through the doors into the rest of the studio… I hope this image shows you the scale of this incredible room.

I won’t go into every little detail of this next enormous section, but I will however give you a list of some of the rooms and the things you will encounter here.

Hair and Makeup and Especially Wigs
Wands and their Wizards
The Gryffindor Common Room
The Gryffindor Tower and Beds
More Costumes – Mostly Gryffindor and/or Teachers
Dumbledore’s Office
The Pendulum Clock
Potions Class
Paintings and Stairs
The Leaky Cauldron
Hagrid’s Hut
Musical Instruments
Various Significant Furniture
Quidditch Brooms and Trophies
Broomstick Lessons and Photo Experience
The Burrow – Weasley Household
Ministry of Magic Chimneys
Various Props
Cars and Vehicles
Significant Tables and Doors
Statues
Animatronics

Here are a few images but I won’t spoil it all for you…Here I am doing my first Broom Lesson… “UP!”

I remembered these costumes so vividly…

Potions Lesson anyone? I was a huge fan of Alan Rickman, I don’t think anyone could have played Severus Snape as well as he did. I was very sad when he passed away recently, so to be so close to one of the costumes that he actually wore, I felt like he was there in spirit…

Once safely through these wondrous parts which took us over an hour because there is so much to see (and with crowds too), you find yourself at the Ministry of Magic section and the entrance to The Forbidden Forest.

Having deliberately waited for the Forest to be included in the tour I was rather glad I had. I absolutely loved The Prisoner of Azkaban, it is my favourite of the books and although I felt the film missed a few vital back story parts, it was extremely well done by the directors. Buckbeak the Hypogriff was also a vital part of the storylines so to stand so close to his animatronic version was a great experience. I even took a selfie!

The other side of the forest leads us into the territory of rather large spiders including the one and only Aragog and her Spider minions. You can see a Patronus and other forest related things too. After this you will pass through into a break area with a small shop and some toilets…

After the small pit stop area you walk out into the long room and are greeted by the smell of smoke and the bright colours of the Hogwarts Express. The real life and full sized train, it was amazing to see, and all the more amazing to get on it and stand where actors had once stood.

Obviously so much of the inside of it is partitioned off so as to preserve the original carriage seating and other features, but they allow you to walk on and look inside the various sections. Most are still laid out with luggage and examples off the confectionery trolley such as the illusive chocolate frogs.

There are a few photographic opportunities here as well as a small shop too. And for those who have never visited King’s Cross Station in Central London, the chance to be one of those lucky wizards pushing their trolley through the wall at 9 & 3/4s…

Once you’re through and finished with the Hogwarts Express the Cafe Area awaits. Butterbeer and food can be found here, along with a vast seating area for you to rest before the next part of the tour.

Into the Backlot now and you will see some rather familiar sites! The Hogwarts Bridge, famous in the film The Prisoner of Azkaban, where Remus Lupin and Harry share a beautiful moment as he reflects on the past… This is one of my favourite parts of the films and the books, and I loved walking along here…

 The Knight Bus! And the houses… 4 Privet Drive and The Potter’s Cottage at Godric’s Hollow are all here in this outside space… To walk and to stand where these incredibly talented people had stood, was inspiring. Here are some of my images…

The attention to detail in every area of the tour is astounding.


The Chess Pieces from the Chamber of Secrets lead you inside and on to the next parts of the tour…

Following on from this you go into the Creature Effects Department. This was an area that fascinated me, not just because of the animatronics and the puppets, but the almost life sized body doubles of some of the cast who perish at times in the movies. Here is a fun fact, they were designed this way so that when actor Robbie Coltrane was carrying them, they looked the correct size.

Fawkes the Phoenix was my favourite in this section, as well as a Hedwig model Owl and a few other pieces like another Buckbeak and a Dragon head.

As you walk through you notice all the small things that would have taken days for someone to painstakingly create. Three dimensional models, a hundred or more hats, wands and costume pieces.


One of the final parts of the tour is the one and only Diagon Alley. And although I was excited to see this part, I somehow expected it to be larger! I’m not sure why! I will include a photograph of me with my husband below, see what you think, did you expect the area with the shop fronts to be bigger? I know I did!

One of the most incredible rooms on the tour is the final one… The Model Room! I was in awe of the details of the castle as we walked in. The lighting is quite dim however so it was difficult to get a good photograph, I hope you can see the details.

This was an amazing way to end the tour, and I could have spent hours looking at all the tiny details of this model. But I also wanted to get myself into the gift shop!

Finally you enter the gift shop at the end of your tour. It was packed with all sorts of Harry Potter wonders! Clothing, Books, Keyrings and Cuddly Toys! But I must say, the majority of the prices are very steep. It’s disheartening when you pay so much for the tour itself, to find a mere key ring is £7! I will outline the items I bought and the prices that I paid for them. There were many items I would have liked to buy but I couldn’t justify the amount they were asking for them.

Hogwarts Crest Keyring £6.95
Hogwarts Crest Pin £6.95
Time Turner Keyring £8.95
Buckbeak Keyring £4.95
Hedwig Pin £6.00
5 Pins Set £9.95

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour, and I can understand now what all the hype was about. Being there, where actors that I am greatly fond of, have worked for many years, is such an experience. There was only one part of the tour that I was expecting to see and did not… The Sorting Hat? I had wondered if I had missed it but then I was sure I didn’t. So if there isn’t one, perhaps it could be suspended in glass and you stand beneath it, it could sort you into a house… just an idea for the future WB!

Now for some questions that I have been asked and my honest answers to them.

Would I go again?
Probably not this year, or next year, but if there was something newly added or they extended it and included things in an easier to see way (I thought some parts were over filled and cramped). I’m sure they have plenty of things they could build or rebuild or dig out of storage to make the place larger.

What was my favourite part/s?
I loved seeing the train, the animatronics (Buckbeak) and the costumes. But my favourite part was walking along the bridge from the third film. The details in so many aspects of the tour were amazing.

Was it good value for money?
When you consider how many people worked on the film, and I’m talking artists, sculptors, carpenters and the like. Those are the people the tour celebrates, and I think that is so important, as these professions don’t always get the credit that is deserved. Overall I think you pay your money to see all the amazing things that made the franchise of films what they were, and without all of these elements it would not have been such a success. For this, I don’t mind paying what I have paid. Though I wouldn’t go again in a hurry.

Have I ever done a Harry Potter Sorting Hat Quiz?
Yes I have done, one as a teenager and two as an adult. Each time I have been either a full Gryffindor or part Gryffindor and part Hufflepuff.

What souvenir did I buy for myself at the WB HP Tour?
I purchased three things for myself, one was a pin, and the other two were key rings. I bought a few little bits for my family members. See the images below for a more detailed look at them.

How cute is the tiny Hedwig Pin?! 😀

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my Harry Potter lifestyle, my experience on the tour and looking at my photographs too.
If you have any questions and you think I can answer them please leave me them in the comments section below.
I will include a link to the website below too, for anyone who wants to look at maybe booking a tour slot, they have unique visits this time of year too.
Until next time Wizards and Muggles, I’m Sabrina, and you’ve been reading this on Severn Wishes Blog.


✩ Sabrina ✩

Harry Potter Studio Tour Website

October 2017 Jewellery Box UK Purchases and Review

Jewellery Box UK – My October Purchases

I love to buy jewellery for friends and family as gifts, there is something about finding the exact thing that you know they would like. When you order it and it arrives all boxed up and beautiful… This blog post is about an order for myself, but I am not ruling out a Christmas Gifts based order before the year is out. Jewellery Box UK have an excellent range and their website is easy to navigate and search.

Upon previous orders from this company I have been impressed with the quality and the choice. So when I wanted some new “every day” earrings (as I like to call them) I knew which website to search.

This time my order arrived inside the Jewellery Box UK personalised envelopes. A professional way to keep the stock separate in transit and you know that all the products are brand new and sealed within their plastic.

Another feature that wasn’t apparent last time I ordered was the addition of the Jewellery Box packaging, bits of cardboard attached to the items.

Having graduated lobe piercings on both of my ears I often purchase earrings that go together, in order for them to look symmetrical. I particularly like sterling silver jewellery and usually choose this metal for my sensitive skin too.

Upon browsing for my usual 2mm, 3mm and 4mm silver ball studs though, I noticed they were now selling a sterling silver and rose gold plated ball stud at a 3mm size. Intrigued, and because I had a discount code, I added them to my basket.

And as you will notice on the image above there is one other earring set, I chose some very tiny arrow earrings. For a very personal reason to me, mainly to cut a long story short, the arrow represents moving forward, and I am currently going through a difficult time in my life, one that requires courage and by wearing my earrings they remind me of how strong I can be if I only believe in myself.

Final Review of Each Item and Links

I only have one small criticism about the order. I don’t like to keep my earrings, after use but between wears inside any plastic, once worn they need to breathe. There wasn’t an option to perhaps purchase a small earrings box to place them in, or add one for free to an order over a certain amount. The order does come in those amazing envelopes and that’s wonderful to send out and also to gift to people, but when it comes to storage, I am now running low on things to put my many earring styles in to. You wouldn’t want to bend any of them.

Also, an option to purchase a small silver cleaning cloth with a large order, for a small discount might be a good idea too? I like to clean my silver jewellery every couple of months with a professional silver cleaning cloth, it helps to maintain them and also keeps them looking shiny. Just a few thoughts for you Jewellery Box, I hope you don’t mind my honesty. The products you sell are amazing quality and I love the amount of choice, but the products need caring for once you’re home using them…

I will now outline each item, the price advertised on the website (correct on the date I published this post) and also give a link to that specific item. As well as my final review scores I will be writing out some relevant information about each item that I know some of you would be wondering about.

Sterling Silver Ball Stud Earrings Set – 2mm, 3mm and 4mm.

Appearance 5/5 (Shiny and Look Great Set Together)
Quality 5/5 (925 Stamps Ensures Metal Quality)
Pin Length 10mm
Backs – Butterfly
Weights 0.42 Gram (2mm) 0.46 Gram (3mm) 0.56 Gram (4mm)
Price £5.95
NB. You can also purchase these sizes individually and in varying metals.
Link


Small Sterling Silver Arrow Stud Earrings

Appearance 5/5 (Beautifully detailed for such small earrings).
Quality 5/5 (Straight and Well Made, Proportional and Straight with 925 stamp).
Shape – Arrow – 9mm by 3mm by 2mm
Length 11mm (Front to Back)
Backs – Butterfly
Weight 0.6 Gram
Price £3.55
NB. The earring pin attaches at the arrow point end of the earring.
Link


Rose Gold Plated Sterling Silver 3mm Ball Stud Earrings

 Appearance 5/5 (Shiny and A Good Size for most lobe piercings)
Quality 5/5 (Straight and Well Presented with the 925 Stamp Clearly Visible)
Length 14mm (Front to Back)
Backs – Butterfly
Weight 0.5 Gram
Price £3.95
Link

Thank you very much for reading this review post today. If you enjoyed this then please leave me a comment letting me know, I would really appreciate the feedback. Jewellery Box UK is an excellent online shop to find gifts, they also do regular discounts and a 10% off your first order when you sign up to their newsletter.

I hope you will find something nice for you or a loved one if you take a look. Remember this is not my first review from this great company, click Jewellery Box on my main page categories to see more.

✩ Sabrina ✩

 

How To Make Your Own Autumnal Looking Bracelet

✩✩✩ Welcome to Sabrina’s How To Make! ✩✩✩

Today The Post Is “How To Make Your Own Autumnal Looking Bracelet”.

✩ Before We Begin… What You Will Need;

Elastic + Scissors to Cut
Seed Beads in Red/Orange/Yellow/Brown/Green
Leaf Shaped Beads – Any Colour That Matches The Seed Ones
Other Autumn Coloured Beads In Various Sizes – You Need A Few Large Ones
Crimp Beads – Large Enough To Thread (3mm approx)
Creative Inspiration from Nature or the Internet or Me!
Bead Board – Not Essential – A Pot or Bowl so Beads don’t roll away though…

✩ Time Frame 

A bracelet like this would usually take me around 2 hours to make from start to finish. That includes doing a basic design for it and placing the beads on to my board for a general idea of what the finished piece may look like.

✩ Video ✩

If you would prefer to watch my video first and come back to this blog post later on then by all means do. It might be easier to see how I make mine before you attempt your own, if you’re a first time maker.
The link to my channel is here.

How To Make Your Own Triple Thread Autumnal Bracelet

✩ Step 1. ✩

Once you have designed your bracelet, be it in your head, on a bead board or on paper, assemble the components you will need in order to make it. Gather them all together in one place and make sure it’s well lit and a flat surface.

✩ Step 2. ✩

Begin by cutting your elastic to size. You will need three identical lengths if you wish to do a triple thread. If this is your first time beading then I would recommend you either try a single thread or a double if you’re feeling creative and adventurous. To start measure around your wrist, then leave at least an inch or 4cm of elastic over, in order to manipulate the beads and tie at the end.

If you’re not confident with using the elastic to pull on and off you can buy a bracelet clasp and attach that on to either end, it’s very simple and if anyone needs help leave me a comment.

Once you have the one, two or three pieces of elastic, you then need a 1mm/2mm/3mm crimp bead to hold them in place. Let’s say you’re doing a triple, you need to thread all three pieces of elastic into the crimp bead, make sure they are level and leave a 1cm over hang (at least), then using flat edged pliers, squash the crimp bead flat into place.

You’re now ready to start your bead design.

✩ Step 3. ✩

There is NO Wrong way to have designed it, it’s your bracelet!!! Go for it! Start by using a small bead, remember that symmetry often looks good at times but you can literally do whatever you want!

TIP: Remember if you’re doing a triple thread to work out matching lengths between the sections. If you want one that looks like mine then figure out what beads go together, larger and smaller, before you thread them. That way you can make the bracelet look more 3D and it will stand out as the sections don’t lie flat against the skin.

✩ Step 4. ✩

Keep working your bracelet until you are 100% happy with it. Remember by doing a crimp at one end nothing will fall off while you’re working (providing you’re the one holding the other end!!!). And that way if you don’t like a section you can just slide them all off and start again.

TIP: Once you’ve finished your bracelet pop it down and look at it carefully. Make sure there are no sharp beads that may hurt you when you wear it. Also make sure that you have enough room to tie at the end but it also will fit comfortably over your wrist.

✩ Step 5. 

Once you’re finished with the design, happy with it, and you know that you have plenty of room to finish the bracelet, then you need to choose a large bead in order to cover up the ends. I ended up having to change my plans during the end of my video, I had a large red and black bead picked out, but it wouldn’t fit. I ended up having to use a dark green, which was fine, it still fitted in with my Autumn theme.

Push the large bead on to the end of the bracelet that you just completed, and ensure it’s large enough to contain all the threads. (If you’re not sure see my video or one of the photographs).

To complete your bracelet you will need a large crimp bead, and some pliers and a steady pair of hands. What you need to do is gently remove the first original crimp bead from the end that we began with using the pliers, you should now have two sets of loose ends, each have between one and three elastic strands.

You need to thread all (up to six) pieces through the new crimp bead. Once through you clamp it down hard using the pliers, and then you pass the ends through that large final bead you placed on. The ends should fit through the larger bead so they cannot be seen now. You’re finished!

✩ If you don’t know much about beads…

There will be some of you out there reading this and thinking, what are all these?! Well here is a little guide from me about the basic types of beads and then I will do a list of my top places to get beads from too!

✩ Types of Bead ✩

Seed Beads
Small beads in every colour you can possibly imagine! Also known as just “Round Beads” they can be very tiny or they can be up to 3 or 4mm wide. I used a variety of colours and sizes in my bracelet, take a look at the images. Nowadays you can get a range of Seed Beads, some in Triangular Shapes and even Square! These are hard to find but so fun! Usually made from glass that is heated and cut and molded until it is smooth.

Glass Beads
Completely made from Glass they are often more expensive and quite heavy compared to plastic. They can often be incredible colours and patterns though, depending on what you’re making worth the price for a couple. Usually quite large in size and oval or round is easy to find.

Bugle Beads
Small but long cut beads, Bugle beads are found in many colours and lengths. Usually round ended tubular shapes, they can be as small as a couple of millimeters (0.5) but also very long up to 2cm.

Crimp Beads
Usually only a couple of millimeters in diameter, they are used to hold jewellery sections in place. They are used by being squashed using pliers. Delicate and often in silver colour, they range in sizes and are usually sold as a small packet.

Gem Stone Beads
Gem Stone Beads are just that, made from actual rock, stone or precious gems. Usually more expensive than your standard plastic ones but you cannot believe the quality and the beauty of some available.

Faceted Beads
Beads that are cut so they that have many sides to them. They are often shiny because of their multiple faces and are usually made from fire polished glass.

Delica Beads
Delica is the modern term for a Japanese bead that is perfectly cylindrical and often small in size. They are thinly produced so they have large holes through them.

Rondelles Beads
Very compressed originally round beads, often have many sides and make great finishing beads. Also ideal as spacers, thin ones can often be made of wood or glass.

Shaped Beads
Such as Flowers and Leaves. Usually made from Plastic or Glass in varying sizes and colours. Pick them up at good bead shops or online.

✩ Other Cool Beads To Look Out For ✩

Pearl Beads
Crystal Beads
Drop Beads
Wooden Beads

✩ Where I Get My Stock From ✩

Amazon Sellers
Bead Shops
Hobby Craft
The Works
Dunelm

After Something Specific? Search Online.

I’m happy to answer any questions about how I do things or if you get stuck pop and message me on social media, I would be happy to give you advice.

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope you have all enjoyed an insight into my lifestyle as a hobby jewellery maker! I love making things and experimenting, why not give it a try if you have the time 🙂 If you enjoyed this a lot and would like to see more posts like this then please leave me a comment letting me know, I would really appreciate the feedback.

✩ Sabrina ✩

Snacks That I Am Loving Right Now

Snacks That I Am Loving Right Now

So I am a huge snack lover! I might not look it as I’m naturally slim, but I love my chocolate, crisps, yogurts and fruity snacks! Among other things! I do eat a banana and a bowl of strawberries or raspberries most days, but what else do I snack on. Well today I am telling you honestly, that for the past several months, these are the products that I have been buying and munching on…

On the blog today I wanted to share with you all some of my favourite latest buys and eats! Some of which I have been eating a lot of to maintain my current weight due to health reasons. For someone like myself getting the necessary five fruit and veg a day plus ensuring my calories, just isn’t enough. So I also choose healthy snacks such as these as my in between treats.

I just wanted to state that I am by no means encouraging people to eat poorly, because we all need to eat healthily, but you can make room in your lifestyle for tasty treats and indulgent items such as the products I’m going to be talking about today. Everything in moderation alongside a diet rich in vitamins and drinking plenty of water. Light exercise if you cannot get to a facility to do so. And remember, we are all built differently, so don’t compare yourself.

Now, where were we? Ah yes, my current favourite snacks!

1. Nomadic Oat and Yogurt Pots – These Cereal and Yogurt Pots are Divine!

Tasty, Great Textures and Great as a Snack or for Breakfast! You can get them in Tesco! There are currently 4 varieties, Chocolate, Strawberry and Blackcurrant and Blueberry. They are all delicious, I have tried them all. Not only are they convenient for a quick breakfast but they are also a wonderful snack between meals. They contain bio-live Irish Yogurt and come in several flavours.

I prefer the chocolate one out of them all, but really enjoy the strawberry too. I tend to mix the two pots together and then throw some sliced banana on top or some raspberries. Both work extremely well with both flavours.

They even come with a folded spoon inside for those of us who have to eat on the go!

If you want to know more about Nomadic and their other great products check out their website here.

2. Pop Chips! Wow have you tried these?

Delicious, Light and Melt on the Tongue with Amazing Flavour! I have found them in most large supermarkets and they come in a few flavours now too, but the sour cream and onion is my fave. They are Gluten Free and contain nothing artificial whatsoever! With only 95 calories a bag you can afford to be naughty with these.


3. Perkier Bars
! Tasty and Gluten Free as well as a variety of other cool and healthy things!

Not only do these taste great and there are many varieties, but they are Gluten Free, Dairy Free and don’t have any artificial colours or preservatives in either. I got a sample to try through work, but you can purchase these delicious bars in health food shops and big supermarkets stock them in the ‘Free From Ingredients’ isles. The one I had was this (see images below) a Quinoa Bar with Goji and Cranberry. It was naturally sweetened by adding pineapple juice and contains a natural source of vitamins and antioxidants.

4. Pringles – New Sweet Chilli Flavour

I adore the majority of Pringles flavours, but this new one is absolutely delicious! With a great flavour and crunch and then the aftertaste of chilli, phew! So Yummy! You will have to of course try for yourself and make up your own mind, but if you like tasty with a kick, these are for you!


5. Cadbury Chocolate Yoghurt Pots – Various Side Treats

Have you tried one of these yet? Most supermarkets sell at least one variety. There’s Buttons, Flake, Chunks, at certain times of the year they do special pots like Oreo, Mini Eggs or Freddo Faces! (There have been others too!) A delicious treat for any time of the day, and nice if you want to increase your calcium intake but don’t want to eat anymore chocolate. A tasty Dessert with extra Cadbury pieces on the side!

And that concludes my current snacks!

Thank you for reading this short blog post today, I hope you have all enjoyed an insight into my current snacking habits. Do let me know on social media or via a comment if you decide to try any of these items after reading my review. Thanks! And remember folks, everything in moderation with your fruit and veg to be munched on as well!

 Sabrina 

October 2017 Treatbox Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the October Treatbox Reveal with Sabrina of Severn Wishes.

Happy Treat Box Day Everyone, Today is the First of October, Autumn is Here! Let us begin with the Reveal…

This month the tissue paper is a lovely burgundy red colour, definitely one shade that you see on some types of trees as this time of year unfolds…

The little sticker holding it all inside this month reads “Bear Hug”.

As I open the October Calendar print and read about the contents of this box I am noticing a strong fruity smell emanating from underneath the tissue paper. It is a much heavier box than the last couple that were delivered too. Without saying too much we have a Home product, something we can use, something we can eat, something we could send or keep and something to look at and enjoy…

So without further ado here is my photo reveal of all of the items contained in this month’s Treatbox. Happy Autumn!

The full list of items available this month is;

Calendar Print for October
Copper Wire Fairy Lights (3m and 30 lights)
Two Greeting Cards with Autumn Feels “Hello You” and “Sending Lots of Hedge-Hugs”
Tea Light Candles Set – 3 Hour Burn Time – 15 Pack – Mine were “Wild Berries”
Milk Chocolate Caramel Crunch from Butlers “Purveyors of Happiness” a milk chocolate bar with caramel and crunchy hazelnut pieces
Sticker Sheet – 20 Autumn Animal Drawing Stickers
Home Item is a Grey Hoop it reads “You Are Loved”
Print for October Reads “Pumpkin Spice Everything Nice that’s what Autumn is made of”


Here is a selection of my photographs of this month’s box, I hope you enjoy seeing the items up close and if you have any questions leave me a comment 😉

My Favourites

My favourite items from this month’s box are definitely the Greeting Cards and the Stickers. Both are unique and unusual items that I will enjoy using and sending. I plan to eat the chocolate bar within the next few days and when I do I will pop my thoughts about it on one of my social media probably on Instagram. The print is extra special this month because it’s been designed with more colour and is very relate-able to the chosen theme.

My Overall Opinion

The October box contains several well-made and thoughtfully considered products for the Autumnal theme. I liked that so many of the items were Treatbox originals too! When you get things delivered that you cannot get anywhere else it’s excellent! There are some things you could gift if you didn’t like them. I honestly don’t mind that we have received another set of fairy lights. I use them in every room of my house in jars and vases and also for my blogging. It’s also been nice to try a new company product, the Butlers chocolate, I am looking forward to it 😉

Are you thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or for a gift for someone?
Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and build your own box at their website https://treatboxuk.com/

If you aren’t sure on whether to try a TreatBox for yourself or not I would say order a one off box, and then if you’re happy with it you can always subscribe afterwards. Check out my previous posts on the Treat Boxes I have received so far, in this unique category of my website called ‘Treatbox’ especially for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes – TREATBOX

Thanks for reading this months box reveal today, if you have any of your own thoughts you would like to share with me or if you have purchased a box after reading one of my reviews then I would love to hear your from you, so why not leave me a comment below.

Also if you have any questions about any of the items contained in this month’s Treatbox then please get in touch I am more than happy to answer them for you, if I can.

If you enjoy the Reveal Video that I record of this Treatbox every month then please click the link to see this latest one here.

Until the next time Severn Wishes followers, thank you for joining me for this reveal today, and I hope you have all enjoyed it.

 Sabrina 

Little Books of Calm Colouring Reviews

Today I am reviewing the “Calm Colouring” Books series created by David Sinden and Victoria Kay. Calm Colouring is an activity that I partake in regularly, it really helps me to relax. And when the images are as beautiful and as intricate as they are in these books, you’ll see why in a moment.

So why do I use them? As some of you regular blog readers will know, I have suffered with some anxiety the past few years that stems from my surgery and other health issues. I deal with it in several ways, but on days when I just need to lose myself in something, I found that adult colouring books really have helped.

My family bought me the first book, “The Little Book of more Calm Colouring” and I loved it so much that I ordered the first one of the series off Amazon which is called, “The Little Book of Calm Colouring”.

Inside are pages of hand illustrated designs where each one has an inspirational quote on the left and a picture to colour on the right. For example here is one quote from Leonardo Da Vinci, “To enjoy – to love a thing for its own sake and for no other reason”. As seen in my image below.

These portable relaxation books are so wonderful, and because they are only 11.5cm by 14cm they can be carried with you should the occasion arise. You can use pencils, pens, literally anything you like to colour in the designs. Something non saturate-able would be best though. The pages aren’t really thin but if you press too hard then strong pen colour will stain through.

The quotes contain many famous sayings and inspirational words from some of the worlds most incredible people. William Shakespeare, Confucius, Aristotle, William Blake, Emily Dickinson and Oscar Wilde to name only a few.

The act as reminders that sometimes patience and calm can be all that we need in order to mentally work through a situation. This book combines the beauty of adding colour to drawings that are sometimes both symmetrical and complicated, but also creating that depth of thought processes so that we may be lost in ourselves for a moment.

My Review Scores

Content 5/5
Appearance 5/5
Usability 5/5
Value for Money 5/5
Quality 5/5
Accurate 5/5

Not only is the content excellent, the quality is also great. They are both portable and easy to use. The books do exactly what they are intended for, and I think at less than £5 for one of these books they are good value for money. All you need to buy are the colouring implements.

Thank you for reading this review today, I really hope you have enjoyed it, and feel free to search for these books online if you’re considering buying one for yourself or for a friend. I know mine are useful and inspiring, exactly what you need to alleviate stress after a long day or to distract at an anxious time. I bought one of my books off Amazon so I know you can still get them on there.

 Sabrina ✩

NYX Slide On, Glide On, Stay On, Eye Liners Review Part 2

NYX Slide On Eye Liners, Part 2! Because “Oh Yes!” I Bought More!!!

I loved my first three eyeliners so much that I decided to get some more colours. I also wanted to experiment with photographing them as well as making up a variety of eye looks too.

I now own seven shades of the NYX Slide On and Glide On Eyeliner. These range from a basic brown and gold shade, right through to the vibrant blue and green.

Here are the numbers and the names of the seven eyeliners I have bought.

SL6 Esmerelda
SL10 Purple Blaze
SL12 Azure
SL13 Jewel
SL14 Sunrise Blue
SL15 Brown Perfection
SL16 Golden Bronze

The new colours are perfect for creating looks that stand out, especially with the blue shades.

I decided to get mine from a local Boots Store, I love saving up my points from them you see!

Playing around with some of the colours… I drew a heart on my arm, can I get an aw?

You can tell on my fairly pale skin just how much these colours stand out, and they compliment one another well too.

The reason I decided to draw the heart on my arm is to show how vibrant the shades are next to one another. The liners have colours that vary so that you’re not getting some similar ones when you purchase them you get a specific shade, for example the two shades of blue are entirely different, as you can see in my photograph.

Here are some of my different looks that I have created recently with these liners. I have uploaded others to my Instagram from time to time as well.

Above; Subtle Natural Makeup Look; while using SL15 and SL16.

Above; My take on a Mermaid Look while using SL10, SL12 and SL14.

Two separate occasions using the darker shades to create these looks.
Top one is mainly SL15.
Lower one is mainly SL16.

Now I’m going to show you some more photographs of the liners themselves, they look great in their vibrant and accurately coloured casings!

These are now my “go-to” eye liners and I haven’t used any other brand since getting them. If you see me with my makeup done online, look for the tags to see if I used the NYX ones!

These eyeliners are so easy to apply, I absolutely adore using them. I sometimes blend them on my eye lids using my Spectrum Brushes too…

During my last review I scored these Eyeliners a massive 5/5! Here are my scores below for this review, now that I have had time to test them more thoroughly and while using more shades.

Quality of Items 5/5
Effectiveness 5/5
Appearance 5/5
Value for Money 4/5

The only point that these liners loose out on this time, is a Value one. Because when I went back to buy more the prices had all gone up, by quite a lot actually. So I was gutted but I still ended up purchasing them, that is dedication, and it is all because of the NYX Quality!

Thank you for reading this review today, I really hope you have enjoyed it.

 Sabrina ✩

NYX at Boots Website

September 2017 Treatbox Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the September 2017 Treatbox Reveal with me,
Sabrina of Severn Wishes.

Happy Treat Box Day Everyone!

It’s that time again, a new month already, where are these weeks going? I think I say this every time, but August has gone particularly fast for me compared to the other months so far. Before we know it, it will be a certain time of year beginning with ‘C’!

It’s September 2nd today as I am photographing this wonderful Treatbox for you all to see, and I hope to upload this post on the 3rd…

This month the box theme is… Unicorns!!!

The tissue paper is a gorgeous shade of light blue. And the smell! Oh the whole box smells divine! A mix of sweet fruit and coconut I think…

“You’re Pretty Magical” the little Unicorn says…

As I open up the calendar print on top and begin to read about the contents of this box I realise there are several of the items that I will enjoy photographing and also enjoy using! Though not a crazy unicorn fan I do like them, I loved riding horses as a child. Does anyone remember the film “The Last Unicorn?” it was a great movie but also incredibly sad!

So without further ado! Here is my photo Reveal of the contents of the September 2017 Treatbox.

Here is the full list of items available for this month. Remember there are sometimes variations in colours and quotes usually! This month we have received 8 things but some of them we have more than one. So we really have around 12 items.

Calendar Print for September
White Chocolate Disks x 4 or 5
Blank Blue Notebooks with Unicorns and Dreams and Wishes x 2
Unicorn Horn Large Print
“Do What You Love Every Day” Plaque
Hand Made in Bali Dream Catcher
Unicorn Pin
Bath Bomb


Here is a selection of my photographs of this month’s box, I hope you enjoy seeing the items up close and if you have any questions about anything please leave me a comment.

My Favourites

My favourite items from this month’s box are the pin, because it is of great quality. I also love the Dream Catcher, it is so well made. The notebooks are lovely and unique looking, useful as usual too, thanks to Zoe!

I like that I have gotten the “Do What You Love Every Day” Plaque, because a few treat boxes ago I received the Coaster version of this quote! Check out this photo below showing both the old and new items together. Isn’t that cool?!

My Overall Opinion

There are some really nice items in this box including ones that are homemade and or unique. I like that we are supporting an ethically sourced item this month and supporting a community in Bali who make them. The sales of Treatbox go to helping make sure these people earn money for their work as we know the products are handmade but source and sold ethically.

I like that it is an unusually filled box this month, with loads of people being into the fantasy trend and unicorns seem very in at the moment too. I’m not unicorn crazy but I’m also not against it, so it’s nice to receive items that I will use without being embarrassed by them being too childish for example.

Are you thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or for a gift for someone?
Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and build your own box at their website https://treatboxuk.com/

If you aren’t sure on whether to try a TreatBox for yourself or not I would say order a one off box, and then if you’re happy with it you can always subscribe afterwards. Check out my previous posts on the Treat Boxes I have received so far, in this unique category of my website called ‘Treatbox’ especially for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes – TREATBOX

Thanks for reading this months box reveal today, if you have any of your own thoughts you would like to share with me or if you have purchased a box after reading one of my reviews then I would love to hear your from you, so why not leave me a comment below.

Also if you have any questions about any of the items contained in this month’s Treatbox then please get in touch I am more than happy to answer them for you, if I can.

If you want to watch my video reveal you can check it out on my channel here.

Until next time then Severn Wishes followers, I thank you for joining me for this reveal today, and I hope you have all enjoyed it.

 Sabrina 

Birchbox August Box Reveal and Review

Having taken note of several Birchbox reviews and recent boxes I have been waiting for the right time to sign up and I chose this month for two reasons. The first is because they had a fabulous deal on with free gifts, and the box also contains a Spectrum Brush that is only usually available inside the set of its colour…

So I have had delivered a one off Birchbox to Reveal its contents and Review honestly for you all this week. This unboxing is the contents of the August Box, which has a theme of Mermaids. The box itself is beautiful, a detailed scales design of Blues, Greens and Purples, with a golden trim.

I will tell you honestly why I wanted this box, and it’s more for the Spectrum Brush than any of the other items. Though I was pleasantly surprised by the actual box design quality and the other contents, and I will of course try any product once, and plan to do so with what Birchbox have chosen to send me.

The Birchbox measures 18.2cm in Length, by 12cm Wide and 5cm Deep. The design really stands out against my white backdrop as I begin to photograph the unopened contents.

Now it’s time for the Reveal! Let’s open my Mermaid themed box!

The free gift that I managed to get with my order was a fabulous summery and rather stripey makeup bag, and a Nails Inc Nail Polish. The bag is lilac and yellow and measures 22cm by 16cm. It is adorned with a yellow rope and pink trim that includes zip and the word Birchbox in a clear plastic. The Nails Inc Nail Kale Polish is in the colour of Regal Close and is a nude shade.

Nails Inc is a good brand that I have tried and tested before. I was happy that I was receiving something that was well known. The makeup bag reminds me of Summer with the shades of its stripes. They are two free gifts that I will certainly enjoy.

Here is the full list of the items that I received in my Birchbox. I will be looking at them individually, and photographically, in just a moment.

Spectrum Clam Brush A05

Seba Med Clear Face Mattifying Cream

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray

LOC Eye Shadow Stick

Merci Handy New Wave Love & Hand Gel


Spectrum Clam Brush A05

The A05 Brush by Spectrum Collections is designed for applying blusher or bronzer with precision. It is a beautiful brush that is part of the Spectrum Atlantis Collection, usually only supplied inside the Glam Clam. A turquoise handle and a brush end with bristles of lilac and pink, this makeup brush is finished with a rose gold ferrule.


Seba Med Clear Face Mattifying Cream

This Seba Med Clear Face Cream is designed to be free from oils, it is the ideal PH for the skin at 5.5. A non-greasy and shine-reducing cream, this is meant to be moisturising for oily skin. Containing Aloe Vera and Hyaluronic Acid to keep your skin hydrated and smooth, without clogging pores. This travel size at 10ml is great for a handbag or for travelling.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray

The Oribe Spray can add texture and shine by adding a tousled waves to the hair. It has added proteins and vitamins to give the hair a boost, and can be applied to wet or dry locks. It contains ingredients that have a natural dose of UV protection and natural oils like sunflower and others such as marigolds and amber, to ensure the hair gets nourished. This can is a 37ml size, ideal for going away but be aware this might not be allowed in aeroplane luggage due to being an aerosol.

LOC Eye Shadow Stick

A Birchbox Exclusive, the LOC stick is a precise eye liner shadow pencil which claims to have 11 hours of crease free staying power. It is a compact size but I think from the swatch that I did it will go a long way. In my opinion it is an ideal base for other eye shadow colours to be built up on. Mine was named “Out of your Shell”. The One and Done Eye Shadow Stick is supposed to be easy to apply and comes in a travel size at 1.35g.


Merci Handy New Wave Love & Hand Cleansing Gel

A handy sized sanitiser which is great for handbags or travelling. A simple item but a rather useful one. I received this blue one, called New Wave. I like that it smells nice, it even has glitter inside it for a touch of glam, and it is also supposed to nourish your skin while killing bacteria because it contains Vitamin E and emollient beads. It smells like fruity and clean all at the same time, and is a ‘handy’ 30ml size.

My favourite items from the box are the LOC Eye Shadow Stick and the Spectrum Collections Glam Clam A05 Brush.

My reasons are because I will definitely use these pieces. I wanted the brush so badly to use in blogging and in my makeup. The other items I will all use and/or test, so I just see them as a bonus. I quietly hope that I can use them all despite my sensitive skin.

Here is another image of my items that were inside my August Birchbox.

And below is another shot of the free nail polish and the makeup bag.


Overall I am pleased that I did this Reveal, If I am very happy with any of the individual products then you will no doubt see individual reviews of the items.

Thank you very much for reading this blog post today, I really hope you’ve enjoyed this reveal and of course all of my detailed photography.

If you’re interested in some Birchbox products then please check out their website, they have a shop and you can subscribe to the boxes if you wish to.

Birchbox

If you liked this but want to ‘See’ more then check out my unboxing video, reveal and honest review of the box over on my YouTube Channel.

Thanks Severn Wishes followers, until next time!

✩ Sabrina ✩