Six Tips for New Parents – the things that everyone forgets to mention!

These are my Six Tips for New Parents – but they are the things that everyone forgets to mention!

So despite being post birth and genuinely exhausted, most mum’s will admit to that feeling of pride that comes with the arrival of a child. Be it your first or fifth baby, they are all special and all little miracles. Just look what you have achieved!

However there are things people forget to mention to you and I thought I would share some of my tips in this blog post for getting passed these… we will call them the six newborn phases!

When you become a mum you look at your bundle of joy and you feel incredible, that rush of emotions and pride… you just grew and birthed (in whichever way you did) a small human being. Go you! Own it!

But, while trapped in a chair under said small human, (in fear of waking them up if you were to even clear your throat!), you can’t help but wonder why your amazing body didn’t also develop the ability of telekinesis while it was doing this awe shattering feat! How amazing and useful would that be?! So here are my six phases… I guarantee you’ll laugh before the end of this article…

Phase 1. The “I Can’t Put The Baby Down Because We Are Bonding Or Cluster Feeding” Phase.

Always keep the essentials close by, as in within an arms stretch! This goes for the TV remote, your phone, at least one snack, your phone charger or a charging device, iPad or a book, and definitely a glass of water. If you have a little one who won’t sleep very much then life saving materials can be what get you through those afternoons, as you cradle your small bundle who is finally napping but you dare not put them down. Instead you settle in to an afternoon of Netflix binge watching and you have a whole packet of biscuits with your name on.

Personally I had a lunch bag size cool bag next to where I sat with my son. Inside it were snacks, a reusable bottle of water and piece of fruit. I kept a table to one side of me with the remotes and my phone on, and a box of tissues. On the other side within a stretch away was the cool bag, my iPad and a portable USB charger. Life savers for me on several afternoons!

Phase 2. The “Where’s The Flipping Muslin Cloth” Phase.

Buy Extra Cloths! So cloths for a newborn are a given, but have you considered you may need to wipe all sorts of things off your baby and multiple times in one day. I couldn’t believe how many cloths I went through a day at first. The tip for this is to keep a folded clean pile of muslin’s somewhere in every main room of your home. Also buy similar colours of cloth so that you can just throw them all in the wash together. Because Muslin cloths are thin they don’t take a lot to wash and also dry, but you won’t want to wait a few hours when you’re down to your last one and baby is due for a feed…

Phase 3. The “What Time Is It? Oh My Days, I Forgot To Stop For Lunch, Again” Phase.

Nobody tells you how fast the time goes. This isn’t a lie, time actually goes faster and you will forget what time of day it is and then realise you haven’t had a drink for hours! Make sure you always get nourished every time you journey into the kitchen, keep snacks and fruit handy, things you can eat one handed, and keep a reusable water bottle by your favourite seat. Keeping hydrated is most important especially if you’re breastfeeding and recovering from birth too. If baby is having something to drink then you should be too!

Phase 4. The “I’m Too Tired To Cook, Let’s Open Up The Fast Food App” Phase.

Every parent will admit to ordering fast food in those first few weeks with a newborn baby. But if you can organise yourselves in the weeks running up to their arrival, you’ll feel better for it, both stomach and bank balance!

The answer is this, Bulk Cook your favourite Foods! Keep some of those previous takeaway Tupperware tubs, check how many you can stack in a drawer in your freezer. Then bulk cook a few of your favourite dishes using fresh ingredients. Then you can freeze them in tubs and in portions. Throw in Veg too if you like, at least then you’re getting healthy food inside you. Chicken Curry with added Veg or Spaghetti Bolognese made with a few Veg to bulk it out are both easy to reheat.

Phase 5. “I Managed To Put The Baby Down, Shall I Pop On That New Series On Netflix Or Go To Sleep?”

It’s really tough when Social Media blows up with the latest Netflix series, and you’re surviving on maybe 4 hours of sleep and only scrolling on your phone in order to stay awake during the 5am feed… But there will come a day when things get easier, your baby won’t need feeding every two hours forever. And then you’ll sleep a little more… (does 6 hours or less sound good to you?). Plus you’ll get used to the lack of sleep and gradually be able to do more, like managing to watch half an episode of something… once a week… then forget what happened and watch it again… and so it goes on…

Phase 6. “We haven’t had any us time for a long time…”

This phase is a serious one and more to do with you as parents, it’s brand new, it’s exhilarating and exhausting but remember you have become two different people. You are still you, and what time you spend together is still important. You might not get a date night in weeks, if not months after baby is born. But if you have the support of family and you trust them, then there will come a time where you can leave your baby with that person and get back to being you “both” again.
People don’t tell you how hard it is, not being able to go out just the pair of you, you won’t get to watch television or a film without interruption or pausing it every now and then. This is the new normal and it’s okay to find it a difficult transition. Especially if you’re used to going out for a meal once a week or pop off to the cinema at an hours notice…
My tip to get through this phase is this, plan, plan and plan some more. Make timetables and plan ahead with a calendar and try your best to stick to it. Change the usual cinema outings to a Netflix movie and a meal at home, with a big bag of popcorn and sweets from the supermarket as a great and cheaper alternative to the cinema treats…



Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope that I see you here again soon for more parenting posts.

✩ Sabrina ✩

September 2019 Treatbox Reveal

Treatbox Reveal and Review

Hello readers! It’s time for the September 2019 Treatbox Reveal
with me, Sabrina of Severn Wishes Blog.

xoxo Treatbox

Happy Treatbox Day! This is my Reveal and Review of the September Treatbox. It has a gorgeous deep purple tissue paper and the sticker reads “xoxo”. Zoe wrote on our calendar that she wants to challenge us to each have a few hours to ourselves this month to enjoy some of the items inside the box… we will see if that happens for me! Follow my social media for more Treatbox photos and updates!

Here are the contents of the September box, this month there are 5 items, 2 small Prints and of course the Calendar Print.

September Calendar Print
Print “Dreamer”
Quote
Print “Namastay in Bed”
“Dream Diary” A Blank Book so you can Record your Dreams
Made by Coopers Bath Salts – 100g Eucalyptus Rosemary – Vegan

Letterbox Bakery – Double Chocolate Flapjack
Korean Beauty Mix – 3 Step Mask, Wash and Serum
String LED Mixed Metal Heart 10 Lights – Battery Operated – 1m long

Here are some more images of the contents from this September box…

My Opinion on the September 2019 Box

I really love the heart lights, they are not only beautiful but good quality too. I chose to place mine into a large glass vase, the mixed metals look delightful when they are lit up. It takes 2 AA Batteries, luckily I had some at home already so that I could instantly use them. I will include a photo below.


The other items inside the Treatbox are a bit mixed bunch in my opinion.

Due to being Dairy Free I couldn’t eat the flapjack, so with my mother visiting me I gave it to her to eat. She said this about it. “That is one of the nicest chocolate flapjacks I have ever eaten. I thought it was soft and tasty and I would give it a 5/5 overall”.

The two prints are a little disappointing this month, there is no colour in them and although the Dreamer print is a nice quote it would’ve been nicer on a coloured background I believe.


This month we see yet another Korean Beauty item, it’s a mask set this time. I actually haven’t used the previous one we received yet! Maybe I will find time to try it this month! Keep an eye on my social media...

The Dreamer Diary is a nice addition, it’s something we haven’t had before and it’s a pretty front cover. Sometimes I wake from a dream and would love to write it down, so I’m hoping to use this booklet.

Finally the Made by Coopers Bath Salts look great! Not only are they Organic and Vegan, but made with natural ingredients and is handcrafted. I really look forward to using them.

How I Have Used My Heart Lights From This Box

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

Check out my previous Treatbox unboxing posts in this unique category of mine called ‘Treatbox’ it is specifically for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes Treatbox.

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope you enjoyed the Review of this Treatbox and I hope that I see you here again soon. 

✩ Sabrina ✩

Reviewing the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Silly Sounds Light-up Piano

As part of being an Argos Tester I often get sent items for reviewing purposes. This recent campaign has been surrounding Fisher-Price toys and items relevant to development and learning. It has been a great opportunity for me to introduce my son to various new things and to build that level of curiosity within play time and learning.

An Eye Catching Colourful Design on this Fun Toy

Today I’m bringing a new Argos Tester Review to my blog with the help of another fabulous Fisher-Price toy. This is the Laugh and Learn Silly Sounds Light-up Piano, and it is classed as a teaching toy.

This mini piano is great for any child who has shown an interest in liking music and sounds. It’s especially brilliant because of how easy it is to use, any infant will love to press the buttons and make the sounds and songs appear.

Learning and Fun with the Light-Up Piano

Who doesn’t like a mixture of learning and fun?

The Piano has 4 Settings with fun and learning incorporating sounds and words. Numbers, Colours, Shapes and Sound including songs that encourage children to listen and learn. Each key when pressed will be spoken by the Fisher-Price voice in either the Number, Colour or Shape. For example, “8!” “Teal” & “Diamond!” And it also sounds a little jingle afterwards representing the shape.

The 8 main keys are smooth to the touch and are brightly coloured. Each of them have a colour, a shape and a number. They are the perfect octave! Although I almost wish the black keys were also press-able so it was like a real piano.

There are also 2 fun modes of Duck and Cow which have various sounds from both of the animals which is so funny that even 30 somethings laughed when it was pressed in our house! The novelty aspect of these modes makes it quite unique.

The flashing light on the top part of the toy is a great way to get little ones attention to the beats of the songs and along with the sounds it encourages movement. The light colour also corresponds to whichever key has just been pressed too.
The green handle on the top right of the you piano is excellent for ease of carrying and moving the item around the home.

This Fisher-Price toy is excellent for allowing children to explore all sorts of sounds, while encouraging their learning of shapes and numbers too. As well as recognising a range of colours and animal sounds. The great thing about toys like this is that a child will be counting and not even realise because they’re just playing, but it’s a wonderful way to introduce both musical aspects of playtime and also early academics with each mode available.

Product Information

Ages 6 months to 36 months.
Dimensions 19cm Width 25cm Length 5cm Depth

Retailing for around £20.00 this toy has been made to an excellent standard and comes ready to use. When the batteries do run out all that you’ll require is a small screwdriver and 3 new AA batteries to replace them with.

Argos Website Link

Overall Scores

Manufacturing Quality 5/5
Overall Design 5/5
Toy Features 5/5
Entertainment Value 5/5
Development Value 5/5

Perfect for little fingers…

Argos Tester Review

This toy is excellent for allowing children to explore sounds while encouraging their learning of shapes, colours & numbers too. As well as recognising a range of animal noises. The great thing about this is that a child will be learning & not even realise because they’re just playing with the instrument. It’s a wonderful way to introduce musical aspects to playtime & also incorporate the essential early academics with each of the learning modes available. Just wish the black keys worked too!

“8 keys to count with me” sings the piano…

Thank you for reading this review today, for more of my opinions on some of the latest children’s toys then please click the appropriate categories on my main page.

See you on Severn Wishes again soon I hope!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Sabrina’s Dairy Free Vegetable Nuggets

How To Make Delicious Dairy Free Vegetable Nuggets For All The Family To Enjoy!

Today I will be showing you how to make tasty, nutritious and dairy free vegetable nuggets that contain four different vegetables.
They are great fun for your children to eat as finger food and your older children can dip them in the sauce if they choose.
This recipe is ideal for weaning and beyond.

Veggie Nugget (broken so you can see the soft inside)



Ingredients for Sabrina’s Veggie Nuggets

3 Tablespoons of Tomato Ketchup
1 Tablespoon of Reduced Salt Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Mixed Herbs
1 Large Egg (Beaten)
160 grams of Breadcrumbs (approx) roughly 4 slices of bread – I always use the 2 end bits if I have them!
6 Medium Carrots – Grated and Squeezed
2 Courgettes – Grated and Squeezed
100 grams of Swede Cooked First, then Diced Finely using a Chopper
1 Large White Onion Diced Finely
50 grams of Dairy Free Alternative to Italian Style Hard Cheese
Plain Flour (6 tablespoons approx) spread this onto a small plate ready for rolling…




Method

To make the sauce combine tomato ketchup and soy sauce together. Double the amount if you are preparing these nuggets for people to dip into the sauce straight after cooking them. Use half of the sauce for the vegetables mixture and leave half for the dip.

Once you have prepared all of the vegetable ingredients as directed above, you will need to ensure the mixture of vegetables isn’t too wet. Take a handful of the grated and chopped veg and place it between a few paper towels, a muslin cloth or a clean tea towel. Squeeze and press it in the cloth to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Do this with all of the grated veg.

Get a large mixing bowl and crack the egg into it. Add the herbs and stir until combined. Next add some of the tomato dip. Next add the squeezed vegetables, then lastly add the hard cheese (or alternative) and the breadcrumbs, stir it all thoroughly. You don’t want lots of the same type of veg in each ball, try and mix it so you get a variant of all the ingredients. (I do my breadcrumbs in a small food mixer).

Place the flour onto a small plate ready to roll your nuggets in.

To make a nugget take a small handful of the combined mixture and roll between your palms. Top Tip! Do this with wet hands so it doesn’t stick to you! Roll them out into oval shapes, and then once happy you can roll each one in flour to coat it.

Have a large frying pan ready on your cooker with some oil getting hot. You should place the nuggets down gently so as not to break them or splash the oil. Fry each one until lightly browned all over. Top Tip! Use a pair of tongs to adjust them while frying to make sure you do all of the sides. Keep topping up the oil after every few nuggets.


Once they are cooked set the nuggets to one side on a piece of kitchen roll so as to drain any excess oil from them and let them cool a little, and then serve them while they’re still warm in a large bowl with the remainder of the tomato dip. They are great for a children’s party or a finger food family night in.

Squeezing the Veg so as to remove as much moisture as possible.
Veggie Nugget Mixture Ready For Mixing and Rolling

Vegetable Nuggets are ideal for children who are weaning at around 10 months and older, when they are learning to hold and bite into foods.
They are great for getting your children to eat vegetables.
The tomato dip provides a fun element for older children.
The leftovers can be frozen, defrost over night and re-fry them to give them a crunchy outside again.

My Recipe made me approximately 24 Nuggets.

Once you have rolled your nuggets between your palms you can get ready to fry them… My Top Tip is to have some done so you can fry one set while you make the next set…

Frying Tips

When frying the Nuggets take care and turn them frequently so that they cook evenly on all sides. You also need to maintain the oil so that they sit in a few millimetres at all times to avoid sticking to the pan.

Finished Veggie Nuggets

These Nuggets are great, and rather tasty too, that is providing you like the Veg I have chosen. You can substitute the Courgette for Mushrooms if you prefer those! And you can also do these without being dairy free by using a regular cheese like Parmesan if you wish.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you have enjoyed reading about this recipe, if you decide to give it a go then please leave me a comment with how it went afterwards… Check out my other recipes on the category list!

✩ Sabrina ✩

August 2019 Treatbox Reveal

Hello readers! It’s time for the August 2019 Treatbox Reveal
with me, Sabrina of Severn Wishes Blog.

Happy Treatbox Day! I am ready to Reveal and Review the August Treatbox. It has a gorgeous Yellow tissue paper and the little sticker reads “When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade”.

When Life Gives You Lemons…

I’m really looking forward to finding out what could be inside this box, the summertime boxes always seem more exciting somehow…

Unboxing…

Here are the contents of the August box, we can see 7 items, an A5 Print and of course the Calendar Print.

August Calendar Print – blue and yellow
A5 Print “The World is your Oyster”
Cotton Bag “Let’s Get Away” in beige and blue

Notepad for “Lists and Things”
Packet of Tissues
Queen Bee Key Ring from Sass & Belle

Anandas Homemade Gourmet Marshmallows – Caramel (V)
2 Hair Bands with Bows – Several Colours Available at Random

The August 2019 Treatbox

Here are some images of the contents of the August box…

My Opinion on the August 2019 Box

What I really liked most about this box were the new items, the hair bands and the Marshmallows. I think we all like to try new things or receive items we have not yet seen before, this made me happy.

The quality of the months items was great, a key ring from Sass & Belle and the bag are great additions, even if they are passed on to others as gifts. Personally I don’t think you can ever have enough notepads or cotton bags! Reuse the bag for whatever you like instead of buying more plastics!


My favourite things in the August box is, well, all of it! There wasn’t an item that I didn’t like, and although the print is a little bit plain this month I’m sure the quote spoke to a lot of you. It’s a bit like, go get um! or, do whatever you like, but saying it in a nicer way of course!

This month there seems to be a theme of getting away for a day, as the bag tells us, and the tissues to go inside it, marshmallows for a tasty treat to share or not, there is a band to put your hair up in the sea breeze and you could even make a list of what to do on your day out! All hypothetical of course! But what I like about Treatbox items, is that there are multiple uses for the contents. It’s totally up to you!

It’s another Vegan treat this month, this makes me very happy!
Bags are so useful and this one is a great size too!

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

Check out my previous Treatbox unboxing posts in this unique category of mine called ‘Treatbox’ it is specifically for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes Treatbox.

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope you enjoyed the Review of this Treatbox and that I see you here again soon. 

✩ Sabrina ✩

Plastic Free July – How I Am Cutting Down On My Plastic Usage And Reducing My Carbon Footprint

I’m writing this blog post to outline what I did for each day of July 2019 for the Plastic Free July Challenge. Globally people have been taking part in the hashtag #PlasticFreeJuly in a bid to reduce the amounts of Plastic being used and then ending up in landfill. Lots of people are being educated about the issues that Plastic causes and how it’s our job as human beings to help save our planet.

I’m going to begin with why you should cut down on both Plastics AND Paper waste in order to help the environment. And then I will be outlining the 31 other things I have done this July, ways that you too can reduce your carbon footprint this year…

I saw this being passed around on various social media, some of these things I already knew about but others I didn’t. I was shocked to learn about Plastics causing Hormone Disruption!

Reducing Your Plastic Usage

Use glass jars and dishes to store leftover food inside, instead of plastic tubs.
Consider purchasing food items that are packaged in recyclable trays.
Choose not to purchase items that come in non-recyclable packaging.

Reducing Your Paper Usage

Consider using Old Tea Towels to clean with instead of Paper Towels.
Buy A Set of Handkerchiefs to use at home instead of disposable Tissues.

Other Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Walk More and Use Your Car Less
Walk More Instead Of Using The Bus
Grow Your Own Fruit And/Or Vegetables
Choose Packaging Free Fruit And Veg At The Supermarket
Recycle As Much As You Can And Do It Properly E.g Wash It Out
Reuse Your Tupperware, Glass Jars, Plastic, Cotton and Hemp Bags

I’m making some positive changes for #PlasticFreeJuly

But I, like so many other people, cannot afford to make tons of expensive changes. I certainly don’t have the money to make any investments in Solar Power Panels, buy an Electric Car or buy Organic Plastic Free Produce at a Farm in the middle of nowhere…

… But What I Can Do, Is Do Things Like What Is On My List Below…

Here is one example… we all need to use something in our kitchen bins, we have a counter top bin and nothing more because we recycle as much as we can. Usually 85% of our rubbish goes into recycling. For the things that are currently not recyclable I use bags in the bin that are made from already recycled materials.

Choosing to buy something made out of 100% recycled paper and plastic when necessary is just one of the ways I’m reducing my carbon footprint.

I have even considered using items to make things and reuse them and re-purpose them for something new. I saw this photo ages ago on a parenting website, where a Dad had collected the family’s toilet rolls and created this awesome car garage for his son. It is made out of an old crate and toilet rolls with some glue and paint, genius!

Plastic Free JulyHow I Reduced My Plastics This Month

1 Reusing A Specific Tupperware As A Lunchbox – No More Plastic Sandwich Bags. Did you know most sandwich bags and freezer bags cannot yet be recycled? If they can then they need to be clean with no food bits, that’s really hard to do if they’ve been screwed up in a lunch bag after use.

2 Using Cotton and/or Hemp Bags for going Shopping. Retail or Food Shopping I don’t purchase Plastic Bags and always bring my own. I have done this for several years now, and always have two bags folded up inside the main bag I take with me everywhere, so even if I forget my main bags I always have one or more available.

3 Reusing one specific Tupperware for Red Leftovers like Baked Beans or Pasta Sauce so as not to stain and ruin many different tubs. It’s really annoying when food stains something like plastic. If you don’t want to ruin lots of plastic tubs, when you buy a set, allocate ones for specific reasons.

4 Going through all the Plastic in the Kitchen Cupboard, Cleaning and then Recycling everything with the Recyclable Logo that I no longer need or use. Keep what you do use but only if its clean, has a lid and has a purpose, otherwise recycle it.

I do a lot of bulk cooking, but it’s useful every couple of months to go through all your plastic Tupperware and get rid of ones that smell odd, have any damage or wear to them, no longer have a lid or are no longer required.

5 Make Your Own Lunches and Picnics, buy less prepackaged foods, if they are in material that can be recycled then no problem, but if it’s single use plastic then don’t support this type of food packaging. This month I have tried to make choices that include packaging that I can recycle.

6 Decline Plastic Straws when out for a drink, only accept paper ones that can be recycled after use, or use metal ones that you can buy and carry with you.

7 Re-purposing Glass Jars and use them instead of plastic around the home in order to store food and / or items inside.

Lately I have been reusing Glass Jars and Bottles around the home. Here are just some uses, Cosmetics, Pen Pot, Kitchen Drawer Randoms!

8 Don’t replenish your Cling Film when it Runs Out – Change to Foil or reuse Tupperware boxes instead.

9 Reusing Tupperware for Bulk Freezing when bulk cooking, I do a lot of bulk cooking and I reuse old takeaway tubs when I freeze food. They are create for portion control and also for stacking up in the freezer.

10 Up-Cycle something in your home that you’ve not used for a year, gift it to a friend or start using it again at home.

11 Buy something from an Ethical Business or something that is Ethically Sourced and then let people know about it so they can do the same.

12 Choose to have a Takeaway that the containers can be recycled from like Pizza Boxes or Plastic Tubs.

13 Buy / Order / Use A Reusable Water Bottle Today. You can get them at most retailers these days, large Supermarkets or Amazon.

Tesco are selling some very pretty and affordable Insulated Reusable Bottles. They keep Cold drink cold for 24 hours and Hot drinks hot for up to 10 hours!

14 Today I Chose Unwrapped Fruit and Vegetables at the Supermarket to reduce my Plastics for the Day.

15 Go Paperless for your Bank Statements and Bills to save on both paper and plastics, you should be able to do this on your banking app or in branch.

16 Decline bottled water when out for a meal and ask for a glass jug of cold tap water with glasses for the table to share instead. No straws remember!

17 Buying Necessary Home Essentials that are made from 100% Recycled Materials such as bin liners or tissues…

These Bin Liners are made from 100% Recycled Plastic – Go Tesco!

18 Use old tea towels and micro fibre cloths you have at home to do some cleaning and home chores instead of using paper towels, then wash them on a eco washing cycle ready for next time.

19 Reuse any Newspaper or Tissue Paper to Wrap Presents for peoples birthdays. If it’s a large gift then once it’s been unwrapped cut off the best parts and re-use them again in the future.

20 When you go out for a drink choose a glass bottle or a glass, a can or a drafted liquid, rather than something provided in Plastic bottles.

21 Buy something that you need this month from a Second Hand Shop rather than buying it brand new and take a bag from home in order to carry it back in.

22 Bring your own container to a Fish & Chip* Shop & ask for them to serve your food into that to save using their packaging. * Some places won’t allow this due to health and safety, but it doesn’t mean you can’t ask.

23 Buy Less Disposable Tissues and Use A Handkerchief instead.

24 Use a Reusable Water Bottle All Day – Aim for 2 Litres (it should be with you by now if you ordered one online).

25 Buy and Use a Reusable Hot Drinks Cup – If you like hot drinks and don’t already have your own cup then invest in one. With the Cup Tax coming into force across stores it’s going to save you money in the long run too.

26 Refuse Plastic Cutlery if you’re eating out & carry your own set of metal ones when out for the day.

27 Buy Supermarket Own Products that come in Cardboard so you know that it’s easily Recyclable.

28 Choose Food Snacks in the Supermarket that aren’t contained in Single Use Plastic. Don’t purchase anything that comes in single use plastic, choose a different item this time around. Compare what is available to you.

29 Consider Purchasing Refill Packages for things such as Coffee In A Bag That Refills your original Jar…

Refill packets now come for a variety of products, one that we use regularly is this Kenco Coffee one.

30 Start Composting Your Food Waste – this is one I plan to do in the future once we have finished doing our garden, it’s a work in progress right now!

31 Invest in Beeswax Wraps for Food. If you cannot get some then only use Foil to wrap food or place it inside something made of glass.

✩✩✩

Sabrina’s Easy Tips For Recycling

There are some basic things that everyone can do when it comes to recycling, and there should be no excuses nowadays to do just a little bit. Most councils supply the bins, all you need to do is fill them up!

1 Have a designated bin or basket inside the home so that everyone can place recycling inside it. Toilet Rolls are one of the easiest things to recycle yet so many people put them in bathroom bins!

2 Teach young children the importance and ease of recycling now so that they consciously do it as an adult. Recycling doesn’t always mean it goes in a bin it can be used to make craft items for example for school projects.

3 Remember to remove some recyclable materials from one another before using them, such as peel off the label on a tin before you cut it open. That way the paper and the tin can be recycled separately once they’re collected from you.

Items that are easy to recycle Glass, Foil, Paper and Cardboard.



Thank you so much for reading this relatively long post today. I hope I have given you some ideas on recycling that you can put into practice in your own lives.

Even if you do one thing off this list it is helping the environment and your carbon footprint, let’s make the Earth safer and cleaner and better for our children’s children. After all it’s the only planet we have.

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes.

Sabrina

Summer Outfit Shopping Challenge 2019

Can I buy a Summer outfit for £20 or less including footwear and an accessory?

I set myself a blogging challenge for the start of this summer, get an outfit or a few for a set price, including footwear and an accessory too! What I mean is buying items that can be paired in different ways to create multiple outfits. This post will explain what I bought and why, and I will also review score the items individually as well.

Primark Dolly Shoes

Why I Set Myself A Shopping Challenge

So I had my first ever trip to the Horse Racing for a Hen Weekend in June… I had a great time! I came home with £47 profit and I decided to treat myself with it. As a mum I don’t get to go out much and I certainly don’t spend very much on myself anymore. Until I went on this shopping trip that I’m about to describe to you it had been almost two years since I had been shopping for clothes that weren’t for a special occasion, or Maternity clothes or Breastfeeding Essentials. It was time to browse and get something that I liked or loved and to try something and not feel guilty about it.
Everyone needs a treat once in a while don’t they?!

So I was talking to my best friend about setting myself a challenge that I could explain here on the blog. I concluded that if I popped another £3 on to my winnings I then had £50 to spend. With her opinions on items I picked out I decided to do this challenge, I allocated the money to my two favourite high street stores. I gave £20 for Dorothy Perkins and £30 for Primark.

My Challenge… Could I get an outfit for £20? Yes I could! In fact I got the equivalent of 3 outfits from Primark & 1 from DP! All for £50! Here is how!
By mixing and matching the various items that I bought I was able to make several outfits from them.

While shopping in Primark what I found was a mixture of full price (FP) items and sale items (S). My Dorothy Perkins outfit was complied of all sale items and then I would simply include jeans that I already owned from DP to finish the look, I did not include these in the final price because I already had them.

Primark Yellow Accessories

1. The Summer Shirt Outfit – A Garden BBQ or Day at the Beach – Primark – Worth £20 Total

Wear this shirt with either leggings on a cool day or a pair of shorts. Leave it untucked and long in length or tucked in for two entirely different looks. Pair with Dolly Shoes, Flip Flops or even Boots. You can wear something beneath the shirt if you want to, like this vest.

Blue Striped Summer Shirt £10.00 FP
Black Leggings £4.50 FP
Dolly Shoes in Yellow £3.50 FP
Hair Scunchie Tie £2.00 FP

2. The Practical Outfit – Day Out With Family – Dorothy Perkins – Worth £20 Total

Pair this gorgeous Rust coloured duo with black jeans or black jeggings and some dark accessories for a great transition to Autumn look. If you want to wear this shirt in summer it works great in an evening with jeans and heels too. The pretty buttons and pocket details really make the shirt stand out.

Rust Coloured Shirt S £12.00
Rust Ankle Boots S £8.00

Rust Coloured Duo of Shirt and Boots from DP

3. Every Day Summer Outfit For Home Or Casual Outings – Primark – Worth £21 Total

Who doesn’t love a practical pair of shorts that go well with almost everything? Well this dark green pair look great with a vest, t-shirt or even a short shirt. Pair with various shoes depending on the weather and also where you plan on going to.

Cargo Shorts £12.00 FP
T-Shirt or Vest £3.00 FP
Dolly Shoes £3.50 FP
Hair Scrunchie Tie £2.50 FP

Cargo Shorts with Vest with Yellow Accessories for a Hot Summer Day

4. Hot Weather Day Out or At Home Having Fun In The Garden – Primark – Worth £21.50 Total

Using the shorts once again for this combination but based more casually, dolly shoes for walking about and a vest with a shirt for casual but comfortable wearing.

Cargo Shorts £12.00 FP
Vest £3.00 FP
White Shirt £3.00 S
Dolly Shoes £3.50 FP

Cargo Shorts, White Arrow Shirt with Blue Dolly Shoes

Final Primark Purchases, Prices & Scores – Total Spend of £44.00

Striped Blue Shirt £10.00 –  –  – Score 4/5
Green Cargo Shorts £12.00 –  –  – Score 4/5
Green Vest £3.00 –  –  – Score 4/5
Blue Dolly Shoes £3.50 –  –  – Score 5/5
White Arrows Shirt £3.00 –  –  – Score 3/5
Blue Striped Vest £3.50 –  –  – Score 5/5
Yellow Dolly Shoes £3.50 –  –  – Score 5/5
Hair Band and Scrunchie £2.50 –  –  – Score 5/5
T-Shirt £3.00 –  –  – Score 4/5

Final Dorothy Perkins Purchases, Prices & Scores – Total Spend £20.00

Rust Shirt with Linen £12.00 –  –  – Score 5/5 LINK
Rust Wide Fit ‘Mayfair’ Ankle Boots £8.00 –  –  – Score 5/5 LINK

So I went over my budget very slightly, however the combinations that I have achieved with the clothing and accessories that I bought make it justifiable. Overall the items that I decided to purchase have had added uses because they were either useful, like the shirts I use for breastfeeding during the warmer months, or that the pieces were investments for the next few years (hopefully!) such as all of the shoes.

The previous Dolly Shoes that I bought in Primark were from 2016 and 2017 and they are only just beginning to wear out. I hope these new ones last me just as long! It’s also nice to grab the colours in season when you see them available. A few years ago I had metallic colours from Primark and I never saw them again! I still have a Rose Gold pair I keep for special occasions.

The Boots I got from Dorothy Perkins were an investment for many Autumnal days to come, because at £8 in the sale you cannot beat that kind of a bargain! Especially ones that fit well and are comfortable.

Primark vests are items I wear every single day as a breastfeeding mama bear. So grabbing a couple of these was essential to my shopping trip. (Now that we are currently having a heatwave in the UK I’m even more grateful to have gotten them!).

Primark Items:

Quality of Fabrics 4/5 – The fabric quality was mixed, the vests in Primark are always good, the shorts were thick and strong. The shirts were relatively thin and creased easily. The Shirt is 86% Cotton and 14% Linen.

Designs 4/5 – I thought the items that I chose all had design merits. The shirts were nicely designed with their patterns. The shoes were simply designed by great colours for Summer. I loved the shorts with multiple pockets and the scrunchie hair tie was such a pretty mix of both pattern and colours.

Cost Price 4/5 – Overall I felt most items were affordable for their price and function, the shorts were great quality for their price and the dolly shoes I find are always good quality but very affordable.

Value for Money – 4/5 – I think that Primark items are usually good value for money, some more than others but generally you get what you pay for. I have washed and worn the vests multiple times and they still look good.

Dorothy Perkins Items:

Quality of Items – 5/5 – I was very impressed with the quality of the shirt and the boot that I have purchased. The shirt isn’t thin and is well made, and the shoes look well stitched and are well presented with no marks.

Designs – 5/5 – I love the Rust shade that DP has chosen for some items this Season. Additionally the shirt has a lovely shape to it and is rather flattering when worn. The Boots are comfortable and were available in Wide Fit which is a design bonus. The heels aren’t too high and are wedged to allow comfortable wearing.

Cost Price – 5/5 – I wouldn’t have considered purchasing either of these items unless they had been in the sale already. Their original prices were Boots £35.00 and the Shirt £22. I am very lucky to have gotten them so cheap with a saving of £37.00!

Value for Money – 5/5 – For the amount of money that I have paid for these things I am more than happy to give the value for money spent a 5/5.

Overall I’m very happy with my shopping purchases. It’s also been a couple of weeks now and I have worn the shirts several times, I’ve also worn the vests multiple times and they have been washed and worn repeatedly in this lovely warm weather. I haven’t needed to wear the Dolly Shoes yet but they are an investment for when my current two pairs give up the ghost so to speak! I’m still happy with every piece that I bought, I guess you could say it’s been money well spent! I look forward to wearing the rest of the items over the warm summer weeks…

Here are a couple of images of me wearing some of the new items…

Rust Shirt (Left) & White Arrows Shirt (Right)
Blue Striped Shirt and Yellow Scrunchie Hair Tie

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Have you gotten any retail bargains lately? Have a great time if you’re off out for some retail therapy!

Sabrina

Our Weaning Journey

Our Weaning journey began delicately due to our son having suspected allergies. He is exclusively breastfed and he cluster fed for the first 5 months of his life. He was born slightly premature at 37 + 5 and after having bad jaundice at birth, it took him many weeks to recover. We spent so much time in hospital at the start that our first month with him went by in a blur. Problems with allergies began at around 12 weeks, so it was a steep learning curve in the next 10 to 12 weeks that followed.

Then, when it came to Baby A reaching the 6 month milestone he was still in size 3-6 month clothing and breast feeding up to 14 times in 24 hours. We hoped that Weaning would satisfy him more so and because we could introduce cooled boiled water with his meals, it would take a bit of pressure off me. This did work, but he had such an appetite that he continued regular breastfeeding including a minimum of two feeds a night, plus day times and extra weaning snacks. We had ourselves one hungry baby!

I recall the health visitor questioning how much I was feeding him at our 6 month visit… she couldn’t believe how much I was saying he ate, I’m almost sure she thought I was lying. I had read in a parenting book that you cannot over feed a baby, because they will simply refuse to eat it. Our son wanted more and more food as the days went by, so I used motherly instincts and I watched my baby for cues. So I continued on with my busy breastfeeding schedule plus I began our weaning journey in a rather swift fashion.

We Tried A Range Of 4 Month Plus Puree, These Are A Few Of Them Little One Loved.

Baby A enjoyed many things that we tried first off, including individual vegetables such as Carrot, Potato, Parsnip, Sweet Potato, Apple and Strawberry. There were only 2 things he spat out which were Prune and Peas. And I don’t blame him for either! Ha!

After doing some reading and noticing how keen Baby A was with eating and being fed, we decided to do 6 weeks of Purées to start with. We maintained that he was to ingest nothing dairy of course, I checked packaging meticulously or I made my own. This worked well, starting with a few mouthfuls twice a day for the first week, followed by doubling the amount in subsequent weeks. By the time we got to week 6 Baby A was eating 70g of fruit purée for breakfast and 70g of vegetable purée in the early evening. He also tried Melty Puffs around this time too.

Prices of Purée vary, but they usually cost anything from 40p all the way up to £1.50. They also range in size so look out for that. We made the most of any offers that were on in supermarkets and also used any store credit points and vouchers we had picked up to get our initial 6 week stash of purée.
Boots vouchers can go a long way if you sign up to the Clubcard and baby club before hand. Keep a look out on social media for offers too.

Minced Beef and Onions with Mashed Potato (7M)

He was enjoying the food we were giving him and he was obviously hungry. We were approaching his 8 month mark when we began moving to thicker purées and food with more textures. I was bulk cooking mashed vegetables at this point and freezing them in small pots (roughly 80g each). Some combinations included Potato and Carrot, Carrot and Swede, Carrot and Parsnip and Parsnip and Sweet Potato.

At 8 months Baby A was eating between 70g and 100g for breakfast, between 100g and 130g for his lunch and between 130g and 150g of food in the evening. This was on top of 12 breast feeds still most days, and we had began to try him on some more snacks. The melty puff kind that melted on his tongue were a real hit! Luckily they came in many flavours.

We also gave him fruit such as Raspberries, Strawberries and Melon as an evening pudding if he was feeling particularly hungry.

Minced Pork and Onions with Carrot and Potato Mash (8M)

Baby A ate most things from Day Dot but turned his nose up at the taste of Cucumber and also highly disliked the taste of Peppers. Some foods took a couple of times before he decided that he liked them, usually very strong tasting food groups. He was unsure about things like Tomato, Scrambled Eggs and Pasta, but we persevered and he eats them now. The trick is to leave a food for 2-3 weeks then try it with them again.

One thing I loved about Weaning was the way he learned and every day you saw him remember. Within two weeks he understood that cutlery went into his mouth, he began to chew even when food was super soft, and he was also cutting several teeth while we were trying most new foods. He did so well with all these milestone changes and I’m very proud of him.

Mashed Carrot and Swede with a Small Chicken Steak and some Rice (9M)

One thing I would recommend to mum’s who want to cook healthy meals for their little ones is to invest in a good strong vegetable mash utensil and a mini food processor. Mine is called the Russel Hobbs Mini Food Processor 22220 Mini Chopper and I cannot rate it high enough! It was used every day for 3 months and I still use it to dice up chewy meat because it saves me so much time. I still use it for my now one year old boy.

Russel Hobbs Mini Chopper In Use

At nine months Baby A began eating some more of the food I prepared for us adults. This includes the meat and sauce of bolognese but we gave him mashed vegetables and not much pasta. He ate my cottage pie (all of it), we had chicken steaks that I had diced in a blender with soft vegetables and rice, sausages were diced and served with mash and veg, and he even ate flaky white fish with rice and veg too!

I also used a weaning book that my mother had bought for me that had some great ideas inside for weaning recipes and snacks. I altered most of them to suit the various allergies in my family of course. Homemade Veggie Nuggets were by far my favourite thing to make, I bulked cooked them which was time consuming but then they’re frozen for convenience.

Minced Beef and Onions, Carrot and Swede Mashed with a Homemade Veggie Nugget

By the time he reached 10 months of age Baby A had 8 teeth and was eating 80% of what we were. He still loves his baby related snacks too! These include Vegetable Puffs, Rice Cakes and Flavoured Shaped Corn Snacks. A lot of these are Organic too.

Some Of The Baby And Toddler Snacks We Buy Regularly.
A Few Of The Pouches We Tried And Tested From 7 Months Plus

These snacks are very affordable from places like Aldi who have their Mamia range. If you sign up to Ella’s Kitchen on their website they will send you a pack and a voucher to try bits from their range which are purchasable at most large supermarkets and Boots stores.

Our little one loves to feed himself firm snacks but has been more than happy for us to feed him things that require a spoon such as fruit purée, cottage pie, mashed vegetables and the like. It’s so important to get your little one to eat their fruit and veg, and it doesn’t matter if you have to create a mashed version in order for them to eat it. Try different combinations and see what your baby likes. Keep a food diary to keep track!

Some of the 7 month snacks are little one loves.

Sabrina’s Weaning Tips For Parents

My top 4 tips for any parents about to wean a baby would be these…

1. Take it slowly and calmly. Your Baby will be intrigued but it can also be a stressful experience for all of you. All healthy Baby’s generally have a good gag reflex and don’t confuse this for choking, stay calm if they cough or spit things out and take all foods – even the purées – at a slow pace!

2. Start with Veg! You don’t want your little one to have too many sweet flavours in those first weeks, this is because when it comes to the savory kind they are less likely to want it. Start with Veg Purée or Mash and go from there…

3. If you plan on doing Baby Lead Weaning, then you must let your little one use their hands. Be prepared for mess! Get a good highchair, get a mat for the floor and keep plenty of baby wipes at hand too!

4. Keep a Food Diary! This is a useful tip for all new parents. It’s a great way to keep track of what baby has eaten, if your little one was to have a rash or reaction to anything they had eaten you can go back and check the diary before trying the substance again. Those first couple of months are critical in preparing baby for stronger tastes and good food habits, so start them early on the main products that your household enjoys together and move forward from there.



All Parents Should Definitely Sign Up To…

1. Ella’s Kitchen via the Website
You get a free pack in the post with tips, a board with stickers, ideas for foods and even some vouchers for baby snacks.

2. Boots Parenting Club
Using your Boots Advantage Card on the Boots App or Website you can add the addition of the Parenting Club which gives you bonus deals, free products and vouchers every month. For example we got a free bottle, a free weaning book and some promotions on nappies and baby food. Check the app each month for new promotions and deals. You also get extra points on your card when purchasing certain products in store and online too.

Ella’s Kitchen Have A Great Website and Their Melty Puffs Are A Real Hit!

✩ Russel Hobbs Mini Chopper Review ✩

I would highly recommend this chopper to any parents who want to make a lot of their own food for their baby. Not only is it simple to use, easy to clean and maintain, but it allows you to make just enough food for a large portion that can be good for a day, or if you’re bulk cooking into baby sized pots it made 6 pots of food no problem. The best thing about this mini processor is it’s size, it takes up very little room in my cupboard and is portable enough to take away for a weekend to a relatives house without being a burden.

Design 5/5
Features 5/5
Value for Money 5/5

RRP £16.00

Joie High Chair Review

We highly recommend the Joie High Chair because it is affordable and also has some great features. These include the large sturdy tray, the beautiful animal design on the seat itself and the large fabric basket underneath which is great for storing extra bits and pieces close by for when you need them, such as bibs, wipes and toys.
We only have one suggestion, that the straps could either be entirely removable for cleaning purposes or that they be a different colour than white, because they really show up every bit of food dirt.

Design 5/5
Features 4/5
Value for Money 5/5

RRP £55.00

Munchkin Products Review

We have been really impressed by the Munchkin Apple Bowls and Plates, as well as their range of Spoons too.
We picked most of them up at various baby events in Supermarkets and on Amazon UK. They are affordable and well made.
They are designed for different stages of Weaning and further interactions with food, ranging from 4 months right up until Toddler ages.
Our son found the spoons easy to eat off and the divider apple plates are a great idea when trying different foods at meal times. Or for separating the meal and the dessert when you get to that stage.

Designs 5/5
Features 5/5
Value for Money 5/5

Thank you for reading this post today, I hope you have found it interesting. If you try any of the products that I have recommended then please let me know in the comments below if your little one liked it.

If you have any questions about any of the products I have mentioned then feel free to also comment and ask me anything, I will do my best to answer you honestly.

Sabrina

July 2019 Treatbox Reveal

Hello readers! It’s time for the July 2019 Treatbox Reveal
with me, Sabrina of Severn Wishes Blog.

Happy Treat Box Day! It’s July! It’s a little late this Reveal I will admit, but I have had some family commitments that have had to come before my blogging

In short… My Father got married and my little boy turned one! It’s been a busy start to July but a good one.

But now I am ready to Reveal and Review the July Treatbox. It has lilac tissue paper and the little sticker reads “With Love”.

Here are the contents, July sees 5 items, an A5 Print and of course the Calendar Print.

July Calendar Print …you got this…
A5 Quoted Print
“Don’t Let Your Ice Cream Melt Whilst You’re Counting Someone Else’s Sprinkles”
Compact Mirror light blue with ice cream and stars design
Small Bag ideal for Make Up “be YOU tiful”
pastel colours – ice cream design
Push Pins
16 Coloured Pins
Tea Pop Gourmet Tea Wild Berry Punch
The Happy News Newspaper by Emily Coxhead June Edition

Compact Mirror
Small Bag
Gourmet Tea & Push Pins
The Happy Newspaper

What Are My Honest Thoughts On The July Box?

Overall I had mixed feelings about this box, so I will start with the negatives so that I can end on a more positive note.

So… Another Compact Mirror, don’t get me wrong it’s a lovely item, and it will make a lovely gift for a friend. However in my time of buying and revealing Treatbox I have now received a total of four mirrors. I still have them all! I have to say the quality of it is good, so I don’t mind about that, however it would be so nice to receive one box of items that are entirely new, something never before seen in a Treatbox.

So what else, there is the Happy News Newspaper, which is a great idea. Although I haven’t had chance to read much of that as yet. I like the idea of all positive news especially in a day and age where there is so much sadness, negativity and bloodshed. It’s nice to hear of good things happening, no matter how small they are.

The tea seems lovely, I’ve not drank it as yet, but a nice edition being 100% natural and because of the unusual flavour as well…

The best items by far for quality are the bag and the push pins. The bag has multiple uses, but again we have received a good number of small bags during the last couple of years. It is always useful to have one around if you need to store small items such as makeup or stationery for example. What I do really like is the design of the bag, it reminds me of an ice cream with its pastel colours and sprinkles! The push pins are great but only if you have a board that you can use them in! Ha! I currently don’t 🙁

Finally I would like to end on a positive and say that Zoe has once again done well on a theme, I guess this one is pastels and positivity? Don’t compare yourself to others and take a time out for yourself. I definitely need to try and do that more, I mean, look at how late this Review is getting on my website! And I haven’t even had time to read the Newspaper included in this box! Yet!

Do you get Treatbox? I would love to know how long you have been subscribed for? Do you feel the same way as me? Would you like to see something included in a box? Please leave me a comment.

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

Check out my previous posts in this unique category of my website called ‘Treatbox’ especially for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes Treatbox.

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes, I hope you enjoyed the Review of this Treatbox and that I see you here again very soon. 

✩ Sabrina ✩

Review of the Harmony Ball Necklace by Le Petit Bola

Le Petit Bola is a company based in France who create beautiful Harmony Jewellery for Pregnant women. Here is a quote from them…

“Originally from Indonesia the concept of a Harmony Necklace is known about worldwide. It is a pregnancy jewel that is a long necklace made of chain, string or fabric. There is a pendant situated at the end usually in the shape of a ball, often made of silver. This necklace is worn by expecting mothers on their belly, at the closest point to baby. Inside the ball of the necklace is another smaller ball which makes a light and sweet sound when the ball is moved”.

Post from France…
My Winning Necklace and the Lovely Post I received…

I won a competition and I’m so happy with my prize. The harmony ball necklace is not only beautiful aesthetically but the idea of its balance between mother and baby is also a lovely one. With fast delivery and friendly staff I’m very happy with my experience. There are so many choices on the website that I was spoilt in my decision on which one I wanted. This is the perfect gift for an expecting mother that can then be a lovely reminder of that time she carried her baby.

In the end I chose the Amethyst Necklace because this precious stone is linked to my own birthday. My necklace arrived in gorgeous packaging, a heart envelope and then a card that translates from the French “Je À’ttends mon bébé” to the English of “I’m waiting for my baby”.
There were nutty fudge treats and the Harmony Necklace even has it’s own fabric bag. As well as pretty confetti thrown in too!

Here is more information about Le Petit Bola.

Based in the South of France this little studio creates harmony necklaces for pregnant women. The necklace creates a bond between mother and child by playing music from inside the ball itself. The idea is that baby hears it from inside the womb because the necklace is long and situated on the mothers bump. The unique bond between a mother and her baby is so precious.

My Harmony Necklace

Thank you for reading this review today, you can find out more by visiting Le Petit Bola on their website or on Social Media pages.

✩ Sabrina ✩

Links

Le Petit Bola Website
Le Petit Bola
Facebook
Le Petit Bola
Instagram