A Short List Of Things I Did In 2017 To Make My 2018 Better

✩ Things That I Did In 2017 To Make My 2018 Better ✩

There were many things during 2017 that I decided to change or make plans ahead of time to make my life easier. This may seem like a lot of effort but really, a lot of it was just common sense. I also saw several programs last year that made me contemplate some of the lifestyle choices I was making.

Here is one example. I would often pop to my local supermarket on the walk home from work in an evening, and although I carried a rucksack I would nearly always buy too many items to fit inside it. So I invested in a reusable bag from the pound shop, and it is consistently folded up now inside my work bag. That way any occasion that arises that I need some extra carrying space I will have it. It saves on both money and on plastic too!

I have also adopted this for my big fortnightly shop, my husband and I only use hemp and cotton recyclable bags now. They are easy to use and easy to stand up in the boot of the car being similar sizes. Invest in one and keep it in your car!

Let me show you roughly how much you would save… If you usually buy five 10p bags every time that you shop, and say that that shop is once a week, that equals 50p a week. So if you use a reusable bag that costs anything from £1.00 to £4.00 (for a decent one) then you could save… a whopping £26.00 a year! Plus these bags that I have, some are three years old now and still going strong.

Another change I have made, which is more of a Lifestyle one, is to stop using any cosmetics products that contain plastic micro beads inside. I watch a lot of documentaries and nature programs, and what I kept seeing was the overwhelming evidence of how plastic is damaging our oceans. I am hugely into nature and support it in any small way that I can, so making this change was not a big deal for me, but will hopefully help the bigger picture globally if more of us make this change too.

Finally I made the decision to continue eating more fruit and vegetables in my diet. As an Endometriosis sufferer I can have really bad skin, and no amount of water helps me with it. But cutting down on saturated fats, greasy foods and things like eating too much chocolate have really helped me. So this year I am making the choice to stick to the dietary decisions I put in place at the end of last year. Don’t get me wrong I still eat whatever I want, that includes a takeaway once a fortnight, chocolate most days, a fry up once in a while, cakes and other things, just all of those in moderation. Smaller amounts and then substituting some of my snacks for more fruit.

Everything in Moderation 😉

I plan to do a post this Spring about some food that I eat and some of my own recipes too. If I can help others to eat more healthily but still enjoy their food then I will definitely try and share my opinions if people think it may be useful!

Thank you for reading this relatively short Lifestyle post today. I hope my words have given you something to think about, some changes are just so easy to make, but they can in turn make a big difference to your life and the lives of others. As well as sometimes the environment and your surrounding area. When we took our recycling in today, our local place had their January statistics up and they managed to recycle a grand total of 78% of what was brought to them, this is what we need to aspire to help.

Have a great week everyone! And if you need any tips on how to recycle more in your home I’m happy to answer any questions!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Clothing That Is Comfortable During Pregnancy, Maternity Wear Reviews and My General Clothing Hacks and Tips

╰☆╮Today It’s Time For A Pregnancy Clothing Post! ╰☆╮

I want to discuss my general clothing hacks I use to make pregnancy in the second trimester more bearable, and I want to talk about the clothing that I am finding most comfortable during these colder months of the year. Finally I will conclude with some Maternity Wear Reviews on items that I have purchased during January and have now thoroughly tested.

So I am now getting to that stage of my pregnancy where I need to consider what I am wearing. My regular jeans no longer do up and I am finding other clothing honestly pretty uncomfortable to wear, especially while seated. There are some things I can still get away with such as my Tunics, Long Jumpers, Jumper Dresses and stretchy Leggings. But there are other things that I have now decided it’s time to invest in, and I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences in case there’s anyone out there who needs some advice as they too get to this stage of their pregnancy journey.

Sabrina’s Top Tips

You might be looking at your wardrobe and thinking, baby is due then, I won’t be fitting into these items this year. Well fear not, because a few weeks ago I was feeling exactly the same. Get an old suitcase or a storage box and place everything that you love but you know you won’t fit into, inside it. You can always come back to them once you’ve lost some of the baby weight. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t look good and be comfortable while doing so. Here are some of my shopping tips.

Always try your usual size in maternity wear before the larger size you think you might be. It may come as a surprise, but especially before getting to the third trimester many of us won’t be putting on all that much weight. Your baby grows steadily so you have plenty of time to make small adjustments to your wardrobe. I have still purchased Size 8 trousers for example, just Maternity ones with the added “Over Bump” material. Plus another tip is to always check the sale rails, at the end of line and end of season sales, you may just pick up some bargains. I managed to do just that and will be reviewing those items below.

One shop that I regularly rely on for Leggings is Primark. And the beauty of the sizes of their brand, it seems to me that you can often fit into more than one size. I am a size 8 usually, but I have just bought some size 10 and size 12 leggings that I find fit comfortably over my growing bump. Let me explain why I have chosen these, not only are they are much cheaper than the Maternity ones available online, but also if you aren’t very tall like me then you can usually buy a regular length or a long length style, and find that they will fit just like high waisted leggings – perfect! And they also wash well too being made of cotton or polyester! Mine only cost £3.50 a pair and I got 4 different colours as well. They are great for layering when heading out and for comfort when staying at home.

New Look

When I first began looking at Maternity wear I had recalled friends telling me they had shopped in New Look. I like the brand and I didn’t want to spend a fortune on these first few items just in case I grew out of them. But the weather is so cold in the UK at the moment I really needed to find a decent pair of Skinny Jeans or Jeggings that I could wear out and about, shopping and such.

After a few moments around my local store I realised there was barely any choices, and a lot of it was available online only now. So I settled for the only pair in the shop that I did like, they were soft to touch and also skinny as I had wanted.

They were called Emilee Under Bump Maternity Jeggings at £19.99. Soft material for both the legs and the bump section was why I purchased this pair. They are great on, and the bump part still has enough room for me to grow a little more into them. I was happy with them and hope once the weather is warmer I won’t need them as much. They washed well though too. The leg part was definitely true to size because I chose my regular UK size 8 and a 30″ leg and they were a perfect fit. Highly recommend them, there is way more choice online and I may invest in a blue pair of Over Bump at some point in time too.

Dorothy Perkins

During the January sales I was looking at certain tops but I didn’t want to invest in too many that branded themselves as just Maternity wear. I bought some Jumper Dresses from Dorothy Perkins that have enough give in the middle for a second trimester baby bump. They are soft and will keep me warm in these colder months. I have no doubt that they will also be perfect next Winter while I’m (hopefully) still loosing the baby weight. I have bought many Tunic style jumpers from DP’s over the past few years and find that the plain ones are great for the home and the bling ones are great for going out. I will review these items below and give any links still available.

BooHoo

I did however purchase a couple of Maternity jumpers from BooHoo in their January sale, these looked like regular tunic jumpers until you looked closer, but they had the slits either side to give room for a bump. I feel like I will be able to grow with these, but I could still wear them after I have had my baby as well. To be honest if I wear them right now they don’t look like they are specifically Maternity wear but I know they will become very useful the larger I grow. I was happy with what I paid and if they continue to wash as well as this first fortnight of having them, I assume they will last me through my pregnancy and beyond. I will review these items below and include photos and links where possible.

George at Asda

My final Maternity Wear order came from George at Asda. I really needed some work wear trousers, because I got to the point where any other sort was digging in to my tummy and making me rather uncomfortable. I work full time and I spend a lot of hours on my feet too, so I required something hard wearing, soft and easy to wear but also the correct material for my job role. Our uniform is specific and I needed to rely on the item to be washed several times and worn a minimum of 5 days a week.

I finally found the best looking, most positively reviewed and the best price online, maternity work trousers on the Asda website. George at Asda do have a fantastic maternity range, but most stores don’t stock the items, they are only available online. I had reservations at first because I always like to touch the material and try the items on, this time I just had to trust in my choices. I also had to pay a delivery charge which I thought was expensive, just for the convenience of receiving my items. A click and collect service available 9 days later would not have been suitable for me, I needed them within a day or two because I found I was growing overnight.

My order arrived by courier and was good in that sense, I was updated by email and by text which was very useful. The items themselves were all sealed individually so I knew that the contents were brand new, and I could tell by unpacking them they hadn’t been handled before. I had to guess what sizes I would need, and luckily everything fitted me and I haven’t needed to return anything. I went for my normal size, a size 8, because reviews on the website said most things fitted true to size. The maternity trousers were the items I was most impressed by. The main reason was because of how soft the material was that went over the bump. It was not only comfortable to wear but it was lightweight too and caused me no issues between sitting and standing.

I also purchased some over the bump leggings in a two pack and a two pack of short sleeved t-shirts for comfort around the house when I get a little bigger. I thought these were okay value for money, the materials used made the items soft and they washed well too.

╰☆╮ Reviews ╰☆╮

New Look

New Look: Maternity Under Bump Jeggings in Black (Emilee on Tag)
Materials: 71% Cotton, 25% Polyester, 4% Elastane. Trim: 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane.
Colours Available:
Black.
Price:
£19.99.
LINK

Very soft material and comfortable to wear, the bump part still gives me room to grow into them. Purchased at 13 weeks pregnant and at 17 weeks they already fit way better and room for bump because they are lightly elasticated. Perfectly the right size for both my buttocks and my leg length, I chose my pre-pregnant trouser size and they are a great all round fit. Ideal for the colder weather days and the black looks great when paired with a bright top.

New Look Overall Scores
Appearance 5/5
Quality 5/5
Value for Money 4/5
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BooHoo

BooHoo: Maternity Mia Side Split Jumper.
Materials: Polyester 95% and Elastane 5%.
Colours Available: Camel, Khaki, Berry, Black or Grey LINK
Price: £15.00

 

Soft to touch with side splits in the fabric to accommodate a growing bump. I’m a UK size 8 and ordered a UK size 10 of each item. They fitted true to size on my shoulders with the arms ending at wrist length. I thought the overall length of the fabric was good, it will allow me to grow into them but is suitable for this stage and in weeks to come. Both items washed easily and were comfortable to wear all day. The material is quite thin but ideal for Winter layering by wearing a long sleeved thin tee beneath the jumper. I purchased these BooHoo jumpers in both black and in khaki green.

Although the jumpers are very nice and are comfortable to wear they are also very plain in appearance. Wearing a long necklace or a scarf to brighten the outfit up is ideal for days out. Where as I have purchased these for both inside and outside my house, wanting myself and bump to be warm and comfy throughout the next couple of months.

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BooHoo: Maternity Sarah Side Split Ribbed Jumper.
Materials: Polyester 95% and Elastane 5%.
Colours Available:
Berry, Black or Blush
Price: £7.00 (On Sale Price Correct As Of 11th February).
LINK

A very nice jumper and overall it is both soft and comfortable to wear. It is more of a Spring colour and length compared to the Tunic style jumpers I purchased (review above) but it is one I could wear around the house now and look forward to wearing in the warmer months to come. I believe there is still plenty of growing room to be had due to the side splits in the fabric, and the length of the arms were perfect for me. I purchased this in a UK size 10.

BooHoo Items Overall Scores
Appearance 4/5
Delivery 5/5
Quality 4/5
Value for Money 4/5 

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Dorothy Perkins

Dorothy Perkins: Zip Hem Knitted Tunic Jumpers.
Materials: Viscose 71% and Nylon 29%.
Colours Available: Burgundy or Black.
Price: £17.00 (Price correct as of February 11th).
Burgundy LINK
Black LINK

 


I have purchased some items from Dorothy Perkins in the January sale which I believe will double up as maternity items. These are all jumpers and in varying lengths. The tunics both have a nice zip detail in the lowest sixth of the material and are fitting on me true to size. I bought size 10’s in order to grow into them slightly but they were already fine around my shoulders. I am lucky enough to fit into the majority of brands clothes UK sizes of 8 and 10.

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Dorothy Perkins: Yellow Striped Frill Sleeve Jumper.
Materials: 100% Polyamide.
Colours Available: Yellow with Black Stripes.
Price: £7.00 (On Sale – Price Correct As Of 11th February).
LINK

The yellow and black striped jumper was an impulse buy, I liked the pattern as well as the ruffled sleeves. It’s style reminded me of Peplum and it was a good quality material too. I thought I could wear it for the first few months of my second trimester, before my bump gets too big. It’s a stylish looking item that I would happily wear out with a pair of my maternity trousers. It was in the sale so there are limited sizes left, but it’s comfortable to wear and I would recommend it, the sleeves are a bit different and a nice change and addition to my wardrobe for Spring.

Dorothy Perkins Items Overall Scores
Appearance 5/5
Delivery 5/5
Quality 5/5
Value for Money 4/5

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George at Asda

Asda: Work Wear Maternity Trousers – Over Bump Tapered Trousers
Materials: Body 100% Polyester and Trim 95% Viscose with 5% Elastane
Colours Available: Black
Price: £8.00
LINK
I looked into a variety of trousers that I could wear to my day job, but the place that I kept coming back to was George at Asda. Online they have a range of Maternity clothing at quite affordable prices too. I was drawn in by the price and the good reviews beneath the item. I wanted a pair of trousers that would be comfortable to wear at work all day, that would wash and wear well, and an item that would grow with me in the coming weeks. I decided it was best that I order two sizes, one my current size 8 and the other a size 10 that I could grow into if need be. Better to have both than to order a second delivery so soon.

I was impressed with the quality for the price, and they might be of thin material but they certainly are comfortable to wear, and it means that they dry quickly after washing too.

George at Asda Items Overall Scores
Appearance 4/5
Delivery 4/5
Quality 4/5
Value for Money 5/5


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Thank you for reading this review post today, I hope you have liked it or found it useful. Feel free to pass the link on to any friends who you feel may benefit from my reviews or tips. Have a lovely day!

 Sabrina 

February 2018 Treatbox Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the February 2018 Treatbox Reveal with Sabrina of Severn Wishes.

Happy Treatbox Day!

I find lilac coloured tissue paper inside the February box and the usual Calendar Print stares up at me with a beautiful floral print. As well as this there is another Print that reads “Think Happy”.

The sticker holding the box together this month reads “You’re Doing Great”…

With this box I really like how the A5 Print and the Calendar Print have the same vibrant Floral Design. They are nicely symmetrical so as to go together for the month.

Here is my list of all the items available in the February Treatbox! Remember there will be slight variations in the types and the colours, this is so every box is not the same…

✩ There are only 6 items in this Treatbox plus one A5 Print and the Calendar Print, that is 8 things in total. As usual there are several variations for some of the products which gives you a greater chance of having a mixture of items. 

Calendar Print for February 2018 – Floral Design – “Smile”
A5 Print – “Think Happy” with Floral Design
A5 Lined Notebook – “Shine Bright” 2 Variations

Dove Intensive Hand Treatment Cream – 75ml
Polka Dot Golden Ribbon Garland – 3 yards
Constellations Star Struck “Sparkle & Shine” Ring Trinket Dish

Candy Kittens – Sour Watermelon Sweets – Gluten Free – 52g
Star Design Lovely Lanyard with Clip End

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

✩ My Favourites ✩

My favourite items from this month’s box were the Hand Cream, The Prints, and the Ring Dish.

The hand cream is lovely for this time of year and rather useful for those of us who have dry skin. Dove is also a very good brand and it smelt nice, I have yet to use it but have previously tried Dove creams and products and liked them a lot, I hope this is the same.

I loved that there were two matching types of Prints for the February box. Although I would have liked to see the Floral A5 Print to be in A4 size to match previous nice prints that we have received. The design is intricate and bright and a nice font was used too.

The Ring Dish runs on a Constellation theme that we have seen previously in another box, but it was nice to see the theme return, and with the Notebook as well. It was nice that these items were thought about, the theme joins everything together in a nice way. The quality of the items was good and although it is another dish to add to my collection, I have preferred the design of this one to some of the others.

(Jewellery shown was my own and not included, simply used as a prop to show the products purpose).

✩ My Overall Opinion ✩

Treatbox always has an interesting theme and this month is no exception. I was happy to see some of the items to be new in type such as the Lanyard, although we got yet another Ring Dish! Really? We do not need anymore of these things! And I think if I were to get just one more in the near future it would make me consider my subscription. I must have had 6 or more now (In almost 2 years of worth of boxes though).

With this box I was also disappointed to see so few items inside. There were only 6 main items along with the A5 Print and the Calendar Print. As with the most recent boxes we have received either 7 or 8 items plus the Calendar and sometimes the Print is A4 too. I’m not sure why this box has less inside it, I know it could be down to individual item cost, but looking at two of the items in detail I wasn’t so sure that would be the case. I feel after having so many boxes you expect a standard to be maintained and that doesn’t just include the quality it also includes the amount of things that you receive.

To conclude on this month’s Treatbox, I would say it was a good box with a good theme. Half of the items have decent or even very good quality, and despite the repetition of yet another Trinket Dish the quality and design of this item is very good. However I cannot ignore the fact that we have duplicate things once again. Another notebook, another dish and another stringed decoration. I certainly don’t use a notebook in just a month, and we received some in the January box.

I’m beginning to think you could have one out of every three boxes and not miss out on a great deal. In light of the past six months of box contents, I am going to consider the next box or two very carefully and then make a decision about the future that I have in reviewing the Treatbox on a monthly basis. There is only so many of the same thing you can have before the items get monotonous.

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

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

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

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

If you enjoyed this post then why not check out my Reveal Video that I always record when opening the Treatbox every single month that I get one, click the link to see this latest one on my channel here.

Thank you for joining me for this reveal today, and I hope you have appreciated my honest opinions on the February box. Have a great February!

 Sabrina 

My Personal Experience with Smear Tests #SmearForSmear and Living With Endometriosis The Facts

My Personal Experiences with having Smear Tests, in support of the #SmearForSmear Campaign.
And Living with Endometriosis, my Diagnosis and Treatment with Facts.

As a woman, I feel very strongly about the facts that have come to light in the UK news recently, and that is only 3 in 4 women of Smear Testing age are attending their tests! If you are in that percentage who have been putting it off, for whatever reason it might be, I need you to consider what I’m going to talk about today.

I am here to give you my opinions and to talk about a member of my family who is currently and bravely fighting Cervical Cancer after a diagnosis from a routine smear. Not only is she an inspiration to us as friends and family but she is raising awareness and keeping a diary of her treatment between receiving her chemotherapy sessions.

In this blog post I will be talking about my smear test experiences, and later on my diagnosis of Endometriosis and what it is like to live with. How this disease has some similar symptoms to Cervical Cancer and how having my routine smear helped me realise I needed to get more help with my issues when my tests came back normal.

I will be including some Smear and Cervical Cancer statistics throughout my post. But first I encourage you all to read my two accounts, and to consider booking or attending that test. Because do you know what? It might just save your life.

My First Smear Test

When I had my first smear test aged 25 I remember feeling rather anxious. The main reason for this anxiety was due to what pain it might cause me. I had always suffered with painful periods and other nasty issues, and I was undergoing a series of tests at the time of this first smear. My doctor was trying to determine why I was having so much pain in my abdomen. Despite this pain it was so important that I had this first routine smear to rule out anything like cervical or ovarian cancer. There are several conditions in women that share symptoms, and it is imperative that Doctors find out the root cause and distinguish what the problem might be.

The smear test itself was simple, after removing your clothes from the waist down you lay on the bed, place your feet flat together and bend your knees off to the sides. You place a sheet over your modesty and you await the nurse. My nurse was lovely and put me at ease. She was aware of my anxiety because I made it clear when I walked in – honesty is the best policy with nurses!

I first asked her to talk me through what she was doing so I could prepare myself. Trying to relax and not tense is the most difficult part. A speculum needs to be inserted into the vagina and then a light is shone on you so the nurse can see enough to take the sample. However I became rather tense and found the speculum made me very uncomfortable. The nurse could see I was distressed and she changed the size and tried again, this one was better but still hurt me.

The sample taking itself is like a quick scratch, and the nurse will let you know when they are about to do it. The cells are gathered on the implement and placed into a tube for testing. The speculum is then slowly removed and you are left alone for a moment to get dressed.

After the smear some people have 24 to 48 hours where they feel a little sore, and I did spot a little blood afterwards but nothing that a basic panty liner wouldn’t catch. Overall I was glad that I had gotten the experience over with. And less than two weeks later I received a letter in the post that told me my cells had come back as normal and I would be scheduled another routine smear in approximately three years time.

After seven trips in and out of hospital and several failed doctor tests, I found out almost two years after this smear that the reason the insertion of a speculum hurt me so much (and the reason for my other symptoms too) was because I was suffering with stage 3 Endometriosis. I was only 27. This had spread throughout my pelvis including on to my bladder and bowel and compromising my left ovary, it had grown to Stage 4 before I had surgery to remove it in 2016.

Endometriosis is an incurable condition where the cells and tissue that normally covers and grows inside the uterus grows outside of it. This often happens on the Ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, and other surrounding tissues. This can include the bowel, the bladder and other organs found inside the female pelvis. In much rarer cases it may also occur in other parts of the body such as the lungs and the brain. Once removed Endometriosis gradually grows back when hormones are present in the woman’s system, sometimes effecting the same areas as it had done before.

Endometriosis is not detectable on a Smear or a Scan, and is only diagnosed by exploratory Laparoscopy surgery. Endometriosis shares lots of Symptoms with other abdomen related problems, including some cancers. So having a routine smear test can tell you if you have any abnormal cells that need to be looked at in more detail. I cannot stress how important this test is, and if you are worried there is something wrong you must go to your doctor. I will include some more facts later in the post.

My Second Smear Test

My second smear was taken only eight weeks after I had had my Endometriosis surgery. The experience was much better the second time around, and I was less anxious of course because I knew what was going to happen. However I was still apprehensive that I would encounter the same pain as the first time. Although having the speculum inserted was still an uncomfortable process for me, the nurse managed to perform the test as quickly as possible, now knowing about my condition.

Once again the test results came in two weeks and I was very relieved to have a negative result and all my cells were fine. After having surgery only a few weeks prior to this smear, the result was something that I was a little more concerned about this time around. Lucky for me it was clear of anything sinister, and I knew I would just have the Endo to deal with. I was still coming to terms with my recent surgery, however I still kept my appointment for my smear because of how important it is.

After all that I went through, I know that I am truly one of the lucky ones, and for something that makes you uncomfortable for just a minute, it is more than worth it to perhaps save your life. One of the reasons I personally found the smear uncomfortable was purely down to having Endometriosis, and I will talk more about that in a moment.

Now For Some Facts

Cervical Cancer

• Cervical Cancer is the most common type of Cancer in Women under 35.
• 1 in 4 women do not attend their routine Smear Test.
• 75% of Cervical Cancers can be prevented through regular screening tests.
• Symptoms of Cervical Cancer Include; Pain During Sex, Lower Back Pain and Irregular Bleeding (During or After Sex and In between Periods). However sometimes there are no symptoms and some people are symptom less when they get diagnosed.
• 9 out of 10 People who have a Smear, have Normal Test Results back.
• A Smear Test takes minutes to complete, and early diagnosis of Abnormal Cells could Save Your Life.
• The UK age for Smear Tests is currently 25, but if you are worried about any symptoms you may be having then please talk to your Doctor.


Endometriosis

• There is currently no cure for Endometriosis.
• Symptoms of Endo include; Pain during Sex, Pain with the Bowel and Bladder, Bleeding between Periods, Constant Fatigue, Unexplained bouts of Extreme Pain, Unexplained Infertility, Painful and Heavy Periods and Lower Back Pain.
• 1 in 10 Women in the United Kingdom have Endometriosis.
• Infertility is a main concern for the women who have it.
• 80% of Endo sufferers frequently miss work due to the pain and other symptoms.
• It takes on Average 7.5 years to get a Diagnosis in the UK.
• 43% of women were wrongly told that the symptoms would go if they got Pregnant.
• Only 20% of the general public have heard about Endometriosis and most are women.
• Many young women are told they simply have a low pain threshold and that some symptoms are made worse by their own minds. 33% were told it was all in their head and just a case of “Bad Periods”.
• Endo is the 2nd most COMMON Gynecological Condition in the UK.
• The only Official Diagnosis is Laparoscopy and the only Treatment is Surgery.

Living with Endo

I heard a saying once that really stuck with me, it was this. “Pain is Inevitable but Suffering is Optional”. This really hit home for me, after I had struggled for almost fifteen years being told by doctor after doctor that I just had painful periods and a low pain threshold. It wasn’t until my husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for a considerable time that my GP began to run more tests. It still took two years for me to be believed by someone, and that was actually a cancer doctor at my local hospital. He listened to me and my list of symptoms, and said he would take me in for an exploratory laparoscopy before passing me on to the relevant department. It turned out that I was right all along, it was Endometriosis. The one reason I had concluded this was the fertility issues I had been having, the fact that other tests such as my smears had come back normal, and the other reason was because Endo already ran in my family.

I wouldn’t wish the Endo pain on my worst enemy. It is exhausting for day to day activities and causing fatigue, but on your period it’s 10 times worse. I have had to stay at home for days, vomiting because of severe pain and shaking from the shock it puts my body through. There have been times where I have been doubled over screaming, times where I have crawled to my bathroom, and times where I couldn’t even comprehend the pain that was happening. It has also caused me fertility issues and I have had to have surgery and treatment to get back to a normal daily life.
I cannot thank my specialist and surgeon enough for giving me my life back, they even managed to save my left ovary so that I could have fertility treatment. And although every day is hard, I am better knowing how to monitor my condition. There is no cure, and only surgery can remove it, so you have to learn what works for you. Hot Water Bottles and Strong Pain Killers have become staples in my house to get me through the rough days.

Having Endometriosis has meant I have cancelled social plans knowing my cycle would clash with it, I rearranged important events and even changed plans with very short notice to people. After a few times it became difficult for some people to understand, that you are not being awkward but you cannot be in a social environment when you are so ill. Endo has also caused me to suffer with anxiety. It all made me realise who true friends were and I am grateful to all of those who have stood by me through some rather difficult years.

Remember Endometriosis affects people in different ways, like any medical problem your body size and severity of the condition plays a part. I was actually told I must have a high pain threshold for withstanding what had been occurring inside my body, though at the times it was bad I thought I was the weakest person. Sometimes you have to believe in yourself and that the bad times will eventually pass. Thankfully for me I got help and it has gotten better.

Luckily I am now doing much better, but with an overall prognosis and time frame given to me by my specialist. I try and live every week to the fullest, although that is hard to do some weeks. But I have to say there is now light at the end of my tunnel and I am a stronger woman for the journey that I have had to overcome.

Endometriosis Awareness Month is March.

Thank you

Thanks for reading this blog post today, I know that it is a lot more open and honest than some of my previous ones, but I think that it’s so important that people support one another. I wanted to be honest about what I have gone through so it may help someone else.
I may do a more in depth Endometriosis post in the future if people would find my experiences useful. If you would like to read more about this and my ways of coping, please leave me a comment.
As women we need to support each other through the things that we go through. Talk to your best friend, your mum or a female nurse if you need some further advice on Smear Tests, but please, don’t put off having your Smear.
And when you think there is something not quite right, listen to your body and go to see your Doctor about it.

Thank you for reading Severn Wishes today,

 Sabrina 

x This post was written for Hayley, and everyone currently fighting Cervical Cancer x

Toni & Guy Salon Professional Glamour Jumbo Curling Tong Review

Toni & Guy Salon Professional Glamour Jumbo Curling Tong Review

Today as part of my most recent Argos Testers review piece I am reviewing the Jumbo Curling Tong from Toni & Guy.

This Jumbo Curling Tong is certainly ideal to curl long hair. The barrel is considerably larger than most curlers on the market at 38mm. It is best used to create large loose curls on longer hair lengths. The barrel is made of Tourmaline which ensures you achieve a smooth and shiny finish to your hair style.

Another great feature is the 3m salon length cord which is rather useful if you don’t have many plugs in a room. With a 210’c variable heat and several settings for different types of hair such as fine or thick, it’s got a range to suit all hair. You would need to test the product out to see what setting curls your hair best. Because of these settings this tong is ideal for both fine and thick hair.

Personally I would only recommend this tong for people with long hair, because those with shorter length hair may struggle with the barrel width. I usually prefer more spiral curls than loose, but this product would certainly be ideal for a more casual wave look. I found it quite difficult to manipulate my hair to curl an entire length and did some in two parts. The tong has a lift-able section which holds the hair in place but I never managed to get all of my hair strands to stay inside. I think it was partially because my hair was soft but also due to the smoothness of the barrel.

The photograph below shows my natural hair on the left, washed and dried but not brushed, VS the left hand side which was washed and dried, then brushed and curled using the Toni & Guy Jumbo Tong. As you can see it gives a lovely shiny finish and the curls are loose.

Overall Review Scores

Ease of Use 3/5
Quality of End Result 4/5
Overall Appearance of End Result 3/5

Final Score 3.5/5

I own several curlers and have to say the types I rate the best are the ones that are called “Wands” that are slimmer than barrel ones, but not as thin as the “Chopstick” curlers. These Wand types can be used to do spiral or corkscrew curls. The chopstick ones tend to reveal tighter and more defined curls that will give more volume.

If you need any more advice on curling please leave me a comment, I’m always happy to give my opinion. I do have naturally curly hair, but it doesn’t always have a “good day” and that’s why I have a few curlers of my own. If you want to read anymore about my other hair products click the category on the list on my homepage.

Thanks for visiting Severn Wishes today! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this review and hair related product post!

 Sabrina 

Things In Your Home You Should Probably Change More Often Than You Do!

Welcome to a Lifestyle Post on Severn Wishes.

When we think about our homes we often don’t consider the things that we use every day as not being there. And due to the frequency of which we use said items, it is important to always consider the conditions that we use them. More often than not weeks or months go by sometimes, and in our busy schedules we cannot recall the last time we washed that item, or changed that product.

In this post today I am going to be writing about a huge number of things that are found and used within your home and lifestyle, that you should probably be changing more often than you do. My research has been lengthy and is backed up by some scientific research and also some common sense… Whenever I saw an article I thought, “Oh that’s interesting I didn’t know that!” and therefore I wanted to write a post that could perhaps inform others of these items.

Let us take a toothbrush for one example. We should all use one, at least twice a day, and did you know that there are more bacteria in your mouth than on a toilet seat! Which is why dental hygiene specialists recommend that you change your toothbrush every three months, or after a bout of illness such as a bad cold or the flu. By doing this you are being hygienic and decreasing your chance of spreading germs back to yourself. It will also decrease your chances of sore throats and mouth ulcers when your mouth is cleaner. I can personally recommend the brand Oral B for their toothbrushes, I love Sensodyne Toothpaste and I also use Listerine Mouthwash.

So thinking more about this, there are many other items within your home that you should either sterilize, change or throw out after a certain length of time. I will go into more detail for some of them, but here is a short list of the ones that I do adhere to, and ones that I was completely baffled by and have now taken note of.
You might not know of some!

Toothbrush                           Change Every 3 Months Or After An Illness 
Mascara
                                Should be Changed for a New Unit every 3-6 Months
Slippers                                You Should Have New Slippers Every 6 Months
Hair Brushes                        Clean Regularly But Change Your Main Brush Every Year
Pillows                                  Change Your Bed Pillows Every 6 Months to 1 Year
Duvets                                   Change Your Main Duvet Once A Year
Cushions                              Wash Your Cushion Covers Once A Month
Towels                                   Change Your Towels At Least Once A Week
Pet Beds and Bedding         Wash Every 3 Months – More If Used Every Day
Washing Machines               Disinfect with Liquid Once Every Month
Mattress                                Change Every 7-10 years – Some Brands 15 years
Wooden Spoons                   Change Your Broken Or Split Wooden Spoons Regularly
Bed Sheets                            Aim to Wash your Bed Sheets every Fortnight
Kitchen Sink Sponge            Throw Out & Replace your Kitchen Sponge Each Week
Lipstick / Lipgloss                Throw These Out After A Maximum of 2 years
Makeup Brushes                   When Used Daily (Wash Daily) Replace Every 5 years

The three items I was most unaware about while writing this piece at the end of 2017, were the Hair Brush, Lipstick and Kitchen Sponge time frames. It seems so obvious for some of them, it’s common sense with things like your toothbrush, but other things aren’t always clear. I learnt a lot while doing this Lifestyle Post, and I will be definitely be taking some of these things into consideration in the future in my own home!

Now that I’ve completed this blog post, I would love to hear from you, if you were not aware of any of the above things! I am certainly planning to clear out some of my old makeup and other items after researching this kind of stuff! Sometimes the days get away from us, and I have one top tip for you all.

Sabrina’s Top Tip
Use your mobile phone or calendar or diary to mark down when you need to do certain things at home, even set an alarm to go off with it if you’re worried about forgetting. Life often gets so busy and we don’t always remember to change our bed sheets or wash the dog bed! But it may help all of us to lead a healthier and more hygienic lifestyle.

Thanks for reading and visiting Severn Wishes today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!

 Sabrina 

BooHoo Jessica Flat Over The Knee Boot Review

BooHoo “Jessica” Flat Over The Knee Boot Review

Today I am reviewing some lovely boots that I got in the January Sale over at BooHoo.com. I was lucky enough to buy on a day they gave 20% off, so it made these usually £35.00 boots just £28.00.

For the material and good quality of it at first inspection, I was satisfied with the price that I paid. I usually go for a low heel or generally flat boots, I always prefer to walk than take a bus for example, and I just can’t do that in Boots that have 4″ heels! Ha! Ha!

I was a little disappointed there was very little grip on the base of the shoes, you would assume a Winter boot would have something to allow you to be more stable on your feet. That said I have bought these boots to wear indoors, shopping and meeting friends etc. I don’t plan to walk any long distances outside in them.

Those of you who know me and know how I blog, know that I don’t just wear something for an hour and then review it. I like to test the products fully and give my honest opinions. I would usually wear and wash with all new clothing I test, where as with shoes I like to wear them for a good distance, check the wear and tear of the sole both inside and out.

I will now outline some details about the Boots themselves, before giving more information on the scores I have given them and why.

Product: BooHoo “Jessica” Over The Knee Boot
Colour: Black
Heel: 2cm / 1.5″

Height: 63cm / 24″
Materials: Synthetic – Feels like Suede
Price: £35.00
Sizes Available: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8

Link: BooHoo Website

✩✩✩

Overall Thoughts, Scores and Outfit Ideas

My first thoughts when I put the Boots on were how comfortable they were. The soft suede like material on the outside is replicated on the inside with another smooth material which feels like a polyester or similar, that allows them to glide on and off your legs with ease, but they also didn’t fall down while walking which is another bonus.

You can wear these boots with a versatile array of wardrobe favourites. Skinny Jeans, Skirts, Short Dresses and even Leggings and a Tunic would work well too. Because the style is Black they go with a majority of Fashion. I love to wear long boots and long tops, dress this style up with a scarf and some jewellery on your arms. You can even dress them up for a night out by wearing a sparkly top, dress or jumper.

Appearance 5/5
A nicely patterned, sown together pieces that have various panels of the fabric that can be seen. I also love how the fabric is cut at the top of the boots, there is a length shorter that sits along the back of your knee, it means the boot is comfortable whether you’re sitting or standing. The shapes of the sown parts are flattering to the leg too. When I first got them out the box and photographed them they almost seem ruched because of where they had been folded, but the creases soon fell out while I wore them.

Delivery 5/5
I had them delivered next day and it was less than twenty four hours, I am nearly always impressed with the BooHoo delivery service. These boots were delivered in their own box and also each boot was inside a slip. Suede boots should be stored in thin cotton bags or a similar material so the fabric is able to breathe. Then stored somewhere at room temperature and no where near damp. The box however is very handy for things like Summer Shoes that can be stored away for the next couple of months now.

General Wear 5/5
I’m impressed with how the Boots felt when walking, they were rather comfortable. This is down to soft material through the entire boot and I only wore one pair of socks with these boots, and found that they fitted my feet true to size. The sole of the boot is designed with a smooth curve at the front which didn’t squash my toes. The cut design at the top of the boot allows them to be well fitting when sitting or standing.

Quality 4/5
The overall quality of the Boots I have scored at a 4. When I choose new shoes or boots I’m looking for several things to tick in my boxes. These boots get points for the feel when wearing, the softness of material used, the unusual stitched pattern and they also fit true to size.
However it did loose an overall one point for quality. The point loss comes from the lack of grips on what is meant to be a Winter Boot, I wouldn’t feel safe wearing these on an icy morning to work.

Value for Money 4/5
I purchased these Boots for £35.00 (discounted to £28.00 on an offer) and believe they are good value for money, if only they had a better sole attached then it would be a full house. I am hoping the Quality and Value will remain for the time that I continue to wear them, I know that only time will tell.

Pro: Soft Material and ideal for keeping warm in Winter due to their long length up to the knee. Comfortable to wear due to the soft material inside and outside of the boots.

Con: You need to spray them before wearing them outdoors and don’t ever wear them outside in very wet weather. Most shoe shops sell the water and suede protecting spray for a few pounds. Another con is the lack of grips on the sole of the shoes.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this review and you have enjoyed reading about these particular style of Boots. If you aren’t sure about this style here are a few other £35.00 Black Boots that BooHoo currently have in stock. Just click the link on this image to go over to their Boot section of their website. They do Calf High Boots if the Knee High aren’t your thing!

Thanks for reading! See you next review!

 Sabrina 

January 2018 Treatbox Reveal

Hello and Welcome to the first Treatbox of 2018!
Here is my Reveal of the January 2018 Treatbox.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Upon opening this first box of the new year I find baby pink coloured tissue paper. Inside the usual Calendar Print stares up at me, along with the list of contents we will find variations of inside.

The sticker holding the items together reads “You’re A Whole Lot Of Lovely”…

As I open up the calendar print I see several useful items and am intrigued by the rest.

Here is my list of all the items available in the January Treatbox! Remember there will be slight variations in the types and the colours, this is so every box is not the same…

✩ There are 8 items in this Treatbox plus the Calendar Print. There are several variations for many of the products for January which gives you a greater chance of having a mixture of pieces. 

Calendar Print for January 2018 – Happy New Year
Page A Day 2018 Diary – 3 Variations

Drawstring Wash Bag or Shoe Bag – 2 Variations
A4 Print – “This Year 2018” – Resolutions Sheet
Mini Print – “You Got This!”

Keyring “KEYS” Pastel Shades – 4 Variations
Ballpoint Pen – Blue Ink – 4 Variations
Sticky Notes Memo Booklet – 2 Variations
Stickers – Round with Golden Heart Glitter Details – 1 Pack (4 Sheets)

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


✩ My Favourites ✩

My favourite items from this month’s box were the Page A Day Diary, the New Year’s Resolutions Sheet, the Stickers and the Memo Notes.

All of these items are useful for the year ahead, they can be used for multiple things both at home and in the workplace (if they suit your needs there too). And I just love to be organised, these items will definitely help me to do that.

I loved that there were so many variations this month in content, it’s nice to read the booklet and guess what could have been chosen for you inside… although I was a tiny bit gutted that I didn’t get the Cherry Blossom Memo Book because I just adore them so much! But never mind though, as they will all be used up at some point in 2018 I have absolutely no doubt!

✩ My Overall Opinion ✩

Treatbox has a way of making you use the items that are sent to you, which is good otherwise it would be a waste of money. Sometimes I have felt obligated to use a few of the items and other times I love them, they can often be unique and rather useful.

With this box in particular you could guess what some of the items would be before it arrived. This would be due to the time of year and the fact that I already received a Treatbox last January for good inspiration.

It is always handy to have a good Diary around the house or in your bag or desk. So many of us have moved on to using our electronic devices however, and some people won’t use a pen and paper. I am one of those people who still enjoys writing letters and notes, and I often find a therapeutic aspect to writing things down. My memory is not what it used to be, so having a very good Diary around will be very useful to me.

As most of my followers know, I am hugely into Art, Craft and Scrap-booking. Things like Stickers and Memo Notes are very useful to me, though I would hope not to receive anymore of these type of items in the boxes in the near future. We need time to use up the items we are receiving and I hope that every box this year will have more variety from some of the items duplicated within 2017.

Finally I speak about the items that I was happy to have gotten but not exactly wowed by. A nice pen yes, granted it glides well when being used, but it’s just a pen. And the Key Ring with “Keys” is not something I would have bought myself if it had been a separate entity in a shop for example. The Drawstring bag is not something we have seen before, though we have seen many many cotton bags, so it’s not that different. My husband has said he will use it for gym shoes so I am happy that it will get some use.

To conclude on this month’s Treatbox, I would say it was a good box, on the whole the items are both useful and of decent quality. I have just one observation, and that is the quality of the diary. At first it seemed excellent, the pages are thick and its well bound, but having used it now for only a couple of times, the elastic attachment is already threading away and will soon break off. This is a huge disappointment and if it needs to be held together to remain flat I will soon need to resort in using an old hair band or something of the like to secure the diary.

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

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

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

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

If you enjoyed this post then why not check out my Reveal Video that I always record when opening the Treatbox every single month that I get one, click the link to see this latest one on my channel here.

Thank you for joining me for this reveal today, and I hope you have all enjoyed it. I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year!

 Sabrina 

 

 

The Crafty Giraffe Christmas Tree Decorations Review

Just before Christmas I saw a post from a page that I follow on Facebook, they were advertising their Wooden Christmas Tree Decorations. These wooden shapes were based on your pets, and could be personalised with the pets name if you so wished.

I decided to purchase some Cat Decorations for myself and my family as gifts for Christmas 2017. Every year I buy one new decoration for our Christmas Tree. Having not done so yet, I thought these well made and personal gifts would be puurrrrfect! (I couldn’t resist please forgive me!).

Here’s the Crafty Giraffe advert that I saw that attracted me to buying these decorations.

I was very happy with the delivery time considering it was November when I ordered. And I purchased one Gift Box with them, to keep mine inside until the next Christmas too. The professionalism of The Crafty Giraffe was excellent, and I was also impressed with the quality of the wood used and the finish with the name engraving.

Here is a close up image of what I purchased. You can see the nice details on the eyes and the little scarf too.

Their page can be found here The Crafty Giraffe – Personalised Engraved Gifts, if you wanted to take a look to see if you like anything. They of course don’t just do Christmas Gifts, but engraved gifts of all kinds. Go and check them out, you won’t be disappointed!

My Overall Review Scores.

Appearance 5/5
Quality 5/5
Value for Money 5/5

Thank you very much for reading this review today, I realise I’m talking about Christmas Decorations and it’s now of course over with for another 11 months! But do remember this company specialise in so many different types of gifts, it is worth checking them out. Or bear them in mind for the Autumn if you want Decorations like these later this year for your own tree. They did a variety of dog breeds as well as cats too.

Have a wonderful first week of January, and Happy New Year!

✩ Sabrina ✩

The Best Parts Of My 2017 Sending Happy New Year Wishes With Resolutions and Goals

The Final Moments Of 2017…

I’m amazed where the year has gone, the past few weeks have flown particularly fast. I’ve decided to share my best bits of the year tonight as I await the clock to strike twelve here in the United Kingdom. So sit back and read this short post, see if you agree with any of these…

My Favourite Films of 2017
Logan
The Fate of the Furious (Fast 8)
Pirates of the Caribbean – Salazar’s Revenge / Dead Men Tell No Tales

I don’t get to go to the Cinema very often, so I’m aware that there are many wonderful films that I will have missed out on during 2017, but these films were excellent, I loved them. I’m a huge fan of action, sci-fi and fantasy movies. I hope to catch some that I have missed in the new year.

My Favourite Television Programs of 2017
Stranger Things Season 2
Designated Survivor
Pretty Little Liars
Shooter
Star Trek – Discovery
Riverdale
You, Me, Her
NCIS
The 100
Bones

As many other people we have Netflix in my house. There have been some standout shows this year, some of them have come to an end, while others have just begun. The list above are all of the television shows I have enjoyed the most over the course of this year. Some are on general television, but with that comes the waiting of them sometimes being aired in the US first, the UK has to be patient.

My Favourite Games of 2017
Horizon Zero Dawn
Assassins Creed Origins
Destiny 2
Harry Potter (Remastered) Years 1-7

I’m a huge fan of games and I currently play mainly on PlayStation 4. These games are the ones that have wowed me this year, ones I have played many hours in and thoroughly enjoyed completing. With new expansions to some of them they are ongoing so I will continue to game into the start of 2018.

New Years Resolutions

Continue with my healthy eating – 6 days a week!
Reach out to old friends and try to meet up with more people this year.
Get away somewhere nice with my husband.

2018 Goals for the Blog

✩ To succeed in more followers and to continue with the collaborations that have been great during 2017. I hope to branch into new parts of blogging as well.

2018 Goals for Life

✩ To finish one of my books, I have so many pieces that are on going, so I really want this to be the year that I send one to a publisher, with the hope of being a published author by 2019.

Thank you for reading this blog post, I would like to wish you a wonderful start to 2018!
Thank you for all the comments, favourites, shares and support for my blog. Have a Happy New Year! Thanks for supporting Severn Wishes!

✩ Sabrina ✩