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So Ladies? What's with the Smear Fear?

Yes, ladies. Like it or not, cervical screenings are something that we have to endure in our lifetime. It goes without saying, we all know the importance of regular screenings and the devastating impact cervical cancer can have. However, latest statistics show that attendance of cervical screenings in England are the lowest they have been for two decades, falling to 72%. Many of us know the importance of these tests, yet it something we are not doing. So what's with the smear fear?

Now, don't get me wrong I was like so many of you reading this post and feared the smear. It's not the most comfortable. I had my first smear a few months after I had my daughter, my health visitor mentioned booking one for me at my daughter's six week check and she booked me in for the following week. I was apprehensive, because I didn't know what to expect. But in all honesty it wasn't as bad as I thought. It was a little uncomfortable, but painless and took less than five minutes. I know they are not nice, but it's something that could potentially save your life. I saw an article that has inspired me to want to write this post. In the article, there is a consistent theme throughout, the Jade Goody Effect is over with cervical screening appointment being made at an all time low. For those that don't know, Jade Goody was a reality television personality who hit the spotlight through Big Brother UK and was pretty much in the spot light from there on. At the age of 26, she was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer and passed away a few months later. Being in the public eye, Jade used her diagnosis to try and raise awareness for cervical cancer screenings for younger women, and her sharing her story saw an increase in the rate of women attending appointments for their smears. It is vital that women attend their smear tests, and are educated on the importance of regular smear tests. If you are over 25 and have not had a smear test in the past three years, get in contact with your GP to book a simple, painless, quick procedure which could save your life. I have my appointment today....So go and book your smear, spread the word in aid of cervical cancer prevention week 22-28 January 2018.

However  if you're feeling fearful about having your first smear or don't want to return to have another, I have a few suggestions to help you feel more at ease.

W h a t   t o   w e a r ?

In all honesty it really doesn't matter what you wear on the day, as you'll be behind a curtain. But dress in comfy clothing so you can get undressed quickly, ensuring you're in and out of your appointment in no time. You will then be asked to strip from the waist down and get onto the bed. You are given a sheet so you can cover your lower half and then you will let the doctor or nurse know that you are ready. My nurse was so friendly and knew that it was my first time so she chatted to me about my daughter, which made me feel at ease. 

B o o k i n g   t h e   a p p o i n t m e n t .

Call your doctor surgery and organise a time that's convenient for you. At the moment there seems to be a two week wait, however when I booked mine I was offered appointments at other surgeries so keep this in mind when booking yours. Most tests will be performed by a female nurse or doctor, but always check and ask for a female if you'd prefer. Something else to consider when booking the appointment is your menstrual cycle. It's not always so easy to predict your period, but try and book the appointment before or after your period. 

B e f o r e   t h e   t e s t .

A few days before your test avoid having sex for 48 hours, or have anything inside you including any vaginal medications, moisturisers, creams or lubricants. As these can affect the result, meaning that you may have to book another test. It may sound obvious but if your bikini line is tidy, you will most likely to feel more relaxed. But in all honesty if you don't the nurse or doctor will not be in the bothered when doing the procedure, it's something that they have to do on a daily basis. 

O n   t h e   d a y .

You may feel nervous, but there is nothing to feel nervous about. It's a little comfortable, but completely bearable. The cervical screening test usually takes around 5 minutes to carry out. The doctor or nurse will gently put an instrument called a speculum into your vagina. This holds the walls of the vagina open so the cervix can be seen. A small soft brush will be used to gently collect some cells from the surface of your cervix. I'm not entirely sure how to describe the procedure, it's an odd sensation and something I have never felt before, but it's painless. So make sure you try to relax as much as possible as being tense makes the test more difficult to carry out. The cell sample is then sent off to a laboratory for analysis and you should receive the result within 2 weeks.

So, ladies? Get your lipsticks ready and join in the #SmearForSmear campaign to raise awareness for cervical cancer prevention week 22-28 January 2018. I would love to give a special thank you to all the beautiful ladies who got out their lipsticks and joined in with the campaign #SmearForSmear and agreed to be a feature in this post. So please go and give these amazing ladies some love.

Under The Spotlight: Soap and Glory Spa of Wonder

If you're anything like me, you'll love this time of year. After the rush of excitement that comes with Christmas and New Year, it feels good to be able to catch a breath and relax, a little. As we say hello to the new year, I have done the whole cliche of making some resolutions and one I intend on sticking to is making more time for myself. As a parent it can be so hard. I know that my three year old daughter keeps me on my toes most of the time and by the time she goes to bed I am too tired to want to have me time, but even so, I need to make time to rest and recuperate. The perfect resolution seeing as I received lots of indulgent treats for Christmas. As always, Soap & Glory never fail to disappoint and I can't wait to show this jam packed box of treats. 

The Soap & Glory Spa of Wonder contains lots of indulgent treats that are perfect for a pamper evening with bath, body, skincare products and even make up. This jam-packed collection features some of Soap & Glory’s most popular products in a sturdy container, that can be used again. There are an amazing variety of products to suit everyone. This beauty box is similar to last years one, including my favourite facial wash and a new one, a radiance boosting mask perfect for an indulgent treat. 

W H A T ' S   I N    T H E   B O X  ?

As you can see, all the beautiful products come in this gorgeous box which you can use for storage or something. Last year, Soap & Glory used a metal suitcase for their big box of beauty buys. I had a clear out of products just before Christmas, and got rid of the storage tin so this will be the perfect substitute. So what's included in the box? First up we have the CLEAN ON ME™ Shower Gel. This body wash is fantastic, it's my absolute fav. The pump makes it easy and mess free to dispense. The shower gel itself is a beautiful consistency, it feels thick and luxurious. I use it with a exfoliating gloves and find that 1-2 pumps is is plenty for the whole body and face as it foams up so well. I absolutely love the scent of all Soap and Glory products, it's not overpowering. My skin feels really clean, fresh and soft afterwards. 

RIGHTEOUS BUTTER™ 3-in-1 Body Wash. This product is amazing. It lathers really well in the shower with a shower puff, smells divine and gives you a really smooth, close shave to whatever bits need doing - in super quick time. SCRUB OF YOUR LIFE™ Body Buffer. I love body scrubs and this one has a scent that combines fresh bergamot and mandarin, rose, jasmine, peach, strawberry, oak moss, amber and woody notes. I am a massive fan of this gorgeous scrub. Best scrub ever leaves skin so refreshed after each use and you only need a small amount and has a lovely smell.

RIGHTEOUS BUTTER™. If you get the chance to try the body butter, try it. It’s AMAZING!! The name itself describes how it is, it really is like butter. The smell of this cream is absolutely amazing. It will leave your skin feels smoother, softer and fresher. I normally use it after I have a shower so it absorbs better but anytime should be fine. Unlike other moisturisers out there this one is not heavy at all and is really light and delicate on skin. SMOOTHIE STAR™ Body Milk, this is a very lovely moisturizing milk with a smell of freshly baked cookies when you applied it. 

FACE SOAP & CLARITY™ Facial Wash. I have dry, sensitive skin so I'm normally cautious with face products but this product says it's suitable for all skin types. I have to say for me, it's pretty good and doesn't irritate my skins whatsoever. My skin feel cleaner, smoother and super fresh. This is one facial wash that I will always have in the bathroom. One new addition to the Soap & Glory big box is this BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL™ Radiance-Boosting Mask, but I have yet to use it. I am a little dubious about face masks because the last time I used one I had an allergic reaction to some of the ingredients. So I am hoping my skin will love this mask. 

THICK & FAST™ HD MASCARA in Black, I have to say this is not my favourite of the whole set. Only because I prefer a certain mascara wand and this doesn't give me the coverage that I normally like. You have to put layers and layers of mascara to get a day lash. I will keep with it, but I do prefer my L'Oreal and Benefit ones. Now the SUPERCAT™ Liquid Eyeliner in Black is a different story. It's the best liquid liner I have ever used, it lasts ages.. It's super pigmented, doesn't smudge and is really easy to use. And finally we come to the last product in the beauty box the SEXY MOTHER PUCKER™ Lip Gloss in Plums Up it's a very neutral pale shade. The plumping/tingling sensation is quite strong, does it plump my lips? I can't tell, in all honesty. I really like the consistency of the gloss and stays on the lip for ages and smells amazing. In a nutshell, this is a great buy for any Soap & Glory fan, as it's full of lots of indulgent treats that will sure to suit everyone. 

What a gorgeous beauty box full of indulgent treats! What's your favourite? 

Goals, Hopes and Dreams for 2018

Hello and Happy New Year. 

Well what a year 2017 has been for our perfect family trio. It's been full of adventures and we have created some of the most amazing memories. There's been nothing but laughs, smiles and giggles. We've had birthdays, anniversaries, and even two new additions have slotted nicely into our ever growing list of nieces and nephews. We celebrated our fourth anniversary, we had holidays, celebrated our daughters third birthday and we went away on one of the most amazing weekends to say goodbye to my 20s. Despite all the great memories to look back on there are a few that we wish to forget, but we couldn't have got through those tough times without our family and friends by our side. Now onto some new adventures as the perfect little trio. Our fifth wedding anniversary, birthdays, holidays, and our little lady will start school. It's an exciting year ahead and we cannot wait to wait for a fresh start full of new adventures. 2018 we are ready for you!

T H E  B L O G

1. Grow my social media following. I believe in setting myself reasonable followers goals and I don't want my goals way above what I'll reach so I have set a goal for all my social media platforms to 8,000. So make sure you're following me? The main platform for focus for this year is Instagram, it's a touch cookie to crack but I will try and become more focused. 

2. Get more involved with my blog series #MotherhoodMondays & The Baby Feeding Series. If you're interested please leave me a lovely comment with your email and I'll get in touch. 

3. Try and go self-hosted. Something that I have yet to do, but this year I am going to try and focus on making the blog into a brand and so going self hosted is essential. 

4. Collaborate with some more fantastic bloggers and exciting brands. Last year was such a great year for me brand wise, and I am hoping to work with many more fabulous brands. 

5. Continue to work to increase my current DA. 

B E I N G  A  P A R E N T

1. Prepare my little lady for school. 

2. Sign my daughter up for some ballet dance classes.

3. Teach my daughter to ride her bike. 

4. Do more arts and crafts with her. 

5. Start thinking about baby number 2.


1. Start a health kick, ditch pasta and the bread. 

2. Organised a weekend away for our fifth anniversary without the little lady.

3. Drive more, something that I rarely do, due to being a lazy sod. I'm sure my husband enjoys being a chauffeur though. 

4. Exercise for weight loss and do Pilates help with stress.

5. Assign one day a week to shut off all electronics and get outside for some family time. Once a month organise a special day out to explore the adventure. 

I really do hope that I can achieve all my goals for 2018 or at least most of them. Please keep your fingers crossed guys and wish me luck. What are your goals, hopes and dreams for 2018?

Little Lady's Christmas Eve Basket

December has well and truly been a whirlwind, with Christmas literally around the corner. One minute it was time to get excited with opening the first advent calendar door, making Christmas crafts and now, it's only a few days away. By now, most people have finished work and are getting into the festive spirit, or making last minute dashes for presents. It's Christmas Eve and we have finished all those errands, the gift drops and all wrapping. Hooray. Nothing like last year where we had about 100 gifts to wrap and a wooden kitchen to put together, which took us forever. So for the first time we have no errands, no drops off and certainly no wrapping. With that we can finally crack open a bottle of bucks fizz and enjoy all the celebrations and one tradition that we are keen on doing every year is a Christmas Eve Basket. Now that our daughter is beginning to understand all the excitement that comes with Christmas, it seems so special and after the year our little family has had. I can't think of anything better than spending time with my two favourites, getting excited, drinking our way through lots of hot chocolate and watching lots of Christmas film. The Little Lady's Christmas basket is full of lots of Christmas treats, goodies, dvds and books, we have really going to town on this basket. So let's find out what we put into her Christmas Eve Basket. 

Every Christmas Eve Baskets should definitely include a new DVD, Christmas themed of course. Last year, our choice was ELF. This year, we decided to go for Olaf's Frozen Adventure. It is the first Christmas season since the gates reopened and Anna and Elsa host a celebration for all of Arendelle. When the townspeople unexpectedly leave early to enjoy their individual holiday customs, the sisters realize they have no family traditions of their own. Elsa laments the fact that because she had isolated herself most of her life, she and Anna were unable to spend time with each other. Olaf decides to look for traditions with Sven's help. With some special hot chocolate and some sweet treats this adventure will go down nicely. 

Christmas Pajamas. Yes, everyone should have some special Christmas Pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve. I remember doing this every year since I could remember. So, a tradition we want to keep on with our daughter. We got a cute little reindeer onesie in a sale for £6, and she looks so adorable. We also got her a set of cute jingle antlers and a headband with a Christmas hat. 

One of the most magical parts of Christmas has to be the stories and even more so when they take on a Christmas theme. A magical Christmas story, The Girl Who Saved Christmas is one of our favourites. What would happen if one year all the children found themselves on the naughty list? We also got her the classic 'The Night Before Christmas' as I have a feeling our little lady will be too excited to settle down easily on Christmas Eve. To keep her occupied during the day we have decided to pop some Christmas activity packs, colouring pencils and of course sticker books. 

Not forgetting to add in Santa's Christmas Plate and a special key so he will be able to let himself in and out. Some carrots and reindeer food for Ruldolph and the rest of the reindeer. With that, I shall wish you all a very Happy Christmas.  

The Christmas Tag

Happy Christmas Eve Eve Everyone...I can't believe it's less than two days before Christmas and I am so excited. Are you prepared? For once, in forever, we are all done. No last minute dashes for more wine, no more gift drops and certainly no more wrapping. Just adding some treats into the Christmas Eve Basket, and that's it. So in the name of all the festive fun, today I thought that I get involved with the Christmas Tag, the very lovely Vicky from The Growing Mum had tagged me, so let's go!

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

As a child my favourite was “A Muppets Christmas Carol” it was the movie that would get my sister and I in the festive spirit. As an adult, I still love this film however “The Holiday” is a firm favourite too.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Yes. A few years ago, now I’m talking maybe 10. I would love to have a white Christmas for my daughter to see.

Where do you usually spend your holiday?

I usually spend it with family. Since moving into our own home our Christmas Day normally kicks off at soon as the lady wakes, we open presents and have our Christmas lunch. Then get dressed and then visit my husband's mum and then spend the afternoon and evening with my parents. It’s full on but we wouldn’t want it any other way.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Without a doubt, Wham, Last Christmas. This year my daughter has really got into singing and she’s really into Christmas music and loves Mariah Carey’s All I want For Christmas. A new fave.

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

No presents at all. Though my little lady normally gets a Christmas Eve Basket that’s full of treats, books, cups, and a mini selection box that’s wrapped up. If that counts!

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. Not forgetting Rudolph. Woo.

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

I’m looking forward to the festive fun that my family will enjoy with our Christmas Eve Basket. The most obvious one that we did this year was take the little lady to visit Santa and it was the best experience, nothing beats her smile.

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Fake. My mum use to get real ones and I would remember the pins getting everywhere and my mum would be finding them for months on end. So we prefer a good ole fake tree.

What is your favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?

Lebkuchen, oooh and chocolate coins.

What is the best present you have ever received?

A few years back, my husband gave me a gorgeous bracelet, but I had no clue. Both families had already opened gifts, I had eaten my body weight in turkey and then he surprised me.

Where is your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

New York. I don’t know what it is about New York, but it’s a place that I have always wanted to visit during Christmas. If that’s not possible spend in a cute little cottage, just like “The Holiday”.

Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

I’m like a machine. It has to be perfect. I never get my husband to wrap others, because he’s only good at boxes. He obviously wraps mine but that’s it!

Most memorable Christmas memory?

There are just so many. I would have to say any Christmas that my brother, sister and I would spend with our grandparents. We would move into their home for 1 week, baring in mind we only lived two doors away. We would always have the best Christmas.

What made you realise the truth about Santa?

One Christmas Eve I was so excited but couldn’t sleep, and tried to sneak downstairs and was completely devastated when I saw my parents wrapping gifts for the stockings! I had to keep the magic alive for my sister though, but that only lasted a year.

What makes the holidays special for you?

They are special because we get to spend so much time with family and friends over a couple of days. It’s the best feeling. We are always so busy but it’s worthwhile!

H A P P Y   C H R I S T M A S ! ! !

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