How to make Birthday Bags on a Budget

How to make Birthday Bags on a Budget – it can be done!

My son recently had his birthday and a part of me was disheartened by the fact that I couldn’t afford to throw him a birthday party, one where his friends could come. We had family things going on all week but nothing with his school friends.

After talking to him about it one afternoon a week before his birthday, I asked him if he would like to do anything for his birthday on the day besides attend school, He said that he would like to share his favourite things with his school friends. I thought it was a lovely idea so we chatted about what sort of items he would include. After a lengthy conversation I decided we could do some birthday bags, and I hunted around for the best bargains. I was on a strict budget to I checked where things were on offer and started making a list.

So how do you make up a birthday bag?

You need either a birthday bag or a party bag, there are many varieties available online. You can get them usually with a handle so they are perfect for little hands to hold.
I also chose to buy the plastic cones because I didn’t want Oreos to break up and/or go stale in the bags. This worked perfectly to break things up into sections, the Edibles and the Toys.

How do you stick to your Budget and get the best value?

✩ Sabrina’s Top Tips ✩

There are several ways to stick to budget and also find the best deals, here are my tips.
1. Decide your budget and make a list of what you need to buy.
2. How many are you buying for? Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy 50 bags than 20, bare this in mind.
3. Watch out for “lowest price in 30 days” and other useful slogans on offers.
4. Compare supermarkets online before you go out to do the shopping.
5. Use supermarket offers if you have a discount card with them.
6. Visit budget stores and compare the items you have seen online.
7. Always read the online reviews and filter by most recent as well.
8. Bulk Buy – Depending on whether you can reuse an item in the future for something else or even sell the remainder of the items on, bulk buying can be beneficial. (For us the Oreo’s were cheaper to bulk buy and so were the party bags). My son will happily eat any leftover biscuits let me tell you.
9. Work out the maximum you would like to spend, divide that by how many you are buying for, let’s say it’s 20 children. So divide your budget by 20, and you will understand how much it will cost to do a bag per child. Once you’ve made some essential purchases work out what is remaining of your budget and only spend what you have left. It might be that you have to buy a massive bag of sweets and divide them by hand into little sweet bags like I did with the Oreo biscuits.

Think smarter with your money and not buying things simply for convenience.

Why did we choose the items?

Picking for a mixture of genders is always tricky, but I don’t know a child who doesn’t love stickers and sweets / chocolate biscuits. Oreo is the choice because my son has food allergies but luckily he can eat original Oreo. The cars were because they were pull-back and super cool but also a car is gender neutral in my eyes, same goes for the bouncy balls. I asked all the parents (or my son told me) what peoples favourite colours were, and then labelled the bags and added the toys in accordingly. If I had someone who loved Red they got a red tie on their biscuit cone and they got a red car and a red ball. I would’ve loved to have included bubbles too but they would have sent me over budget. You could swap the bouncy balls for bubbles if your child would prefer those.

What did we include in the final bags?

20 Pull Back Cars cost £7
35 Bouncy Balls cost £7
Stickers cost £2.00 (50 sheets)
Oreo Biscuits cost £4
22 Haribo Sweets (Individual Packets) cost £3
100 Sweet Plastic Cones cost £3
40 Happy Birthday Bags cost £4

I divided the stickers between the children’s bags and kept the rest for my own reward charts at home, meaning each sheet only cost me 4 pence. Bargain!

Total Spent: £30.00
Total of Children: 16
Cost per Child: £1.79

I don’t think this was too bad, 16 happy children for less than £30 (as we had leftovers) and it was much cheaper than throwing a birthday party. My son got to share his favourite items with his friends too!

We have also got left over bouncy balls, birthday bags, cone bags, 6 sweet bags and 4 cars. The leftover pieces we can use whenever we like or give away at other occasions.

At the end of the day you can’t put a price on a child’s happiness and my son was over the moon to help me give out these little bags of joy to all of his friends at school, so that they could all celebrate his happy birthday together.

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope you have found it interesting and perhaps got a few useful tips in case you ever decide to do bags for your child’s birthday or a birthday party.

I hope I see you here again soon!


Galen Leather, a Unique Collaboration with a One of a Kind Company

I’ve been so lucky this month to be approached by Galen Leather to do a product review for them. I was excited to receive my new journal cover and notebook, and they even added in a few treats as well. Customer service is very important in any situation where an order is being placed online, however the presentation of items also needs to be taken into account. When products are being posted from another country they need to be packaged in a way that minimises damage and ensures that the items arrive in tip top condition. These needs were definitely met with my order, and I was astounded by the level of detail and the lengths to which Galen Leather made my order personal and gracious.

When I opened up the package I did not just find the journal cover beautifully boxed and bound, but I had the notebook which was sealed and brand new. As well as a fabric pencil case filled with postcards, journal stickers, a tea bag and a refreshing lemon towel, and finally a stunning leather pen holder too. I was not expecting these little extras and the gesture of that is huge. Attention to detail is important but going the extra mile, knowing your customer would be using this notebook as a journal and taking the time to choose out and send her some stickers, is high up on my appreciation scale. I would give 5 for the delivery, customer service and the packaging.

Opening the items up properly for the first time and inspecting them thoroughly, I found their uniqueness and quality was excellent. I would go so far as to say it’s some of the best leather goods I have ever had the pleasure of owning. You can tell they are handmade and homemade, but the intricacy of the stitching and the beauty of the craftsmanship are wonderful. I was astounded by the quality of the packaging as well, due to the presentation of the box with its ink stamped exterior and every item being leather stamped as well. I would give 5 for the presentation and the quality of everything I received.

When I am reviewing a product I always take several days to use the item, to test it out, to photograph it and use it as I would do if I had purchased it for myself. I was lucky that Galen Leather asked me what sort of a product I wanted to test, and I told them I would love a journal cover.

Journaling has been a creative outlet that I have only dabbled in for the last few years, but I find I am calmer in my mind when expressing myself in an artistic way, I much prefer to use words and stickers rather than painting or drawing. I use my journal for positive thoughts, memories of good things that happen, and expressing my love and joy for things and people around me. When using the Galen Leather cover and journal notebook I found the items were helping to enhance my joy. I would give the quality and the functionality of the pieces from Galen Leather 5✩. I also think it’s nice to be able to personalise your piece with ease, I have used clips and a paper flower on mine.

Finally I would like to mention the choice and the design features. There was an immense amount of choice online, and I would urge anyone who is looking to start a journaling journey to look into the Galen Leather product range. Some items are of a natural leather look and others are dyed using natural materials to give them a different colour. Either way whatever you’re looking for they have something for everyone, notebook covers, journal covers, pen holders, pencil cases, tablet holders, bags, planner covers, pouches and even phone cases. Personalisation with stamped leather attachments and even brass ones can further increase the uniqueness of your chosen piece. Handmade with care by a family run business who strive for sending out quality leather goods across the world. I would give their choices and design features 5✩.

For the purpose of this product review I was gifted the Everyday Blank A5 Notebook with Tomoe River paper, it has 400 pages. And the Leather Slim A5 Notebook/Planner Cover – Crazy Horse Ochre Honey.

Did you know that Galen Leather uses traditional leather techniques and hand stitching on their items, as well as vegetable tanning to alter the colour of the leather? Fascinating!

The Galen Leather Co Story

Galen Leather Company was established in 2012, it is a family run business, based in Istanbul in Turkey. Founded by Fikret Zeynep and named after her favourite precious stone. Their motto reads “Established to supply all nations”.

Galen Leather was established after Zeynep was diagnosed with a rare form of neck and head cancer which meant she couldn’t speak for a year following her treatment. Unable to do her previous line of work she needed something she could do at home where the correspondence would all be done via email and the internet. This is when she began looking at local sources for leather items. As a small business on the rise she soon realised the demand for such unique handmade products and wondered about making them all with her own two hands to create a unique brand.

When her brother Yusuf graduated he decided to come along on the business venture and after several months business was flourishing for the two of them. During 2013 they both learnt how to do different kinds of leather crafting and have handmade all of their goods ever since. The company has been shipping out globally since 2015 and providing high quality leather and wooden products to customers all over the world.

Sadly Zeynep passed away in July 2019, leaving the business and the legacy of Galen Leather behind for her brother Yusuf, husband Yunus and son Cagan to keep running. The family have continued in her absence and the business has grown from strength to strength in recent years.

With thousands of followers across social media and their handmade products selling out very quickly, Galen Leather is a family business who should be very pleased with the beautiful products they create for people across all nations of Earth. They are a family devoted to one another and the memory of Zeynep who I’m sure would be proud of everything they have achieved since her passing. When a business is founded on love it shows, and Galen Leather put their heart and soul into every single item that they craft and sell. Their passion for wood, stationery and leather goods has created a thriving business which is run on their love for their craft. The team have joy in what they do and I think that’s obvious when looking at the beautiful craftsmanship of each piece.

Overall I would give the products I have received and the service 5.

Customer Service 5
Delivery 5
Packaging 5
Presentation 5
Functionality 5
Design 5
Quality 5
Choice 5

If you would like to visit the Galen Leather website I will leave the links below. Please note that stock is always being replenished and items have a turn around time of 1-2 weeks due to them being made by hand. The quality and uniqueness is worth the wait I promise you. Get inspired below.

Slim Notebook Leather Cover in Ochre Honey LINK
All Galen Leather Slim Covers LINK
Galen Leather Website Main Page LINK
Galen Leather Notebooks LINK

Thank you for reading this product review today, hopefully you’ve enjoyed hearing about these wonderful products. Don’t forget to check out the Galen Leather website now that you’ve finished reading.

I would like to thank Galen Leather once again for choosing me to collaborate with. I have loved every minute using and testing the products. They will be used for the foreseeable future too, so watch out for them on my social media pages as I share some journal entries.

You can follow me on Social Media by searching for #SevernWishesBlog or #SevernSabrina
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Wishing you a day filled with positivity and joy, I hope I see you again soon!


July 2023 Treatbox UK Reveal and Review

July has come around with its sunshine and floral blooms, the days are longer and warmer and everything seems brighter. I had eagerly waited for my delivery of a fabulous Treatbox filled with Beach themed goodies so I guessed from the Treatbox socials! As I open the box and remove the calendar print it tells me it’s time to relax with coastal bliss and carefree beach vibes. A mixture of treats and beach day items are inside including some Treatbox originals and items we have never seen before in the monthly boxes.

Thank you for joining me for this unboxing review today. If you would prefer to watch my unboxing video or would like to see it after this article then please head to any of my social media (links at the end).

What is inside the box for July 2023

July Calendar Print with a Shells Design
Treatbox Originals Packing List Card
Treatbox Originals Notepad Shell Design
Cotton Mini Bag “She Sells Sea Shells By The Sea Shore”
Gold Plated Starfish and Shell Anklet
White Leather-Look Sunglasses Case
Shell A6 Card / Print “Shell We Dance”
Shell A6 Postcard Print “Soul Full of Sunshine”
Shells on Cord Anklet / Bracelet
Craftmix Passionfruit Paloma Cocktail Mix 7g

My Opinion on this Box

What a beautiful box this month, the overall theme has been well executed throughout and every product is to a high standard, be it branded or a Treatbox original. There are also several items not yet seen before in the monthly Treatbox and this got me all excited, especially to receive items I had not yet reviewed.

My favourite items are definitely the Treatbox Original Shell design items such as the Notepad, A6 Cards and the Packing List. The shells are beautiful and really stand out across the range. Continuing on with the beach theme are the items associated with such, the anklets are both stunning in entirely different ways, a delicate gold plated chain with a starfish versus the natural shells on a cord. Very pretty and unusual too, ideal to wear during these summer months, and both to different tastes.

A glasses case is always useful to have, whether you plan to use it for regular glasses or sunglasses. Ideal for keeping in a day out bag for the summer or in your hand bag for general use.

There isn’t an item I don’t like, and I feel like we definitely got value for money in this July box. Hopefully the majority of people would have been excited by this months items like I was. With new products and a great theme it made for a well rounded box with positive beach vibes.

I look forward to making up my cocktail one evening so you’ll have to watch on my social media for that. Also keep your eyes peeled for social media updates featuring all the products from this July box.

I am now going to show you some more of my product photography that I did of each item.

Thank you for joining me for this unboxing and review today!
And don’t forget to follow me across my social media for more updates on the products as I use them.

Search #SevernWishesBlog on Google or #SevernSabrina on Instagram,
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If you’re thinking of subscribing to Treatbox or just to see what boxes the team have been creating lately then click the link I’ve attached here for their website TreatboxUK

Have a great July and I hope that I see you here again soon! Best wishes!

✩ Sabrina ✩

#SevernWishesBlog #TreatboxUK #ProductPhotographer #ProductReviewer
#TreatboxOriginals #Shells #SelfCare #BeachTheme #Beach #Unboxing #TreatboxPics