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

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 

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 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 ✩

 

 

Gift Company Wooden World Map Boxes Set Review – Ideal Gift

Gift Company “World Map Boxes Set of Three” Review – Ideal Gift Item

Once again I am lucky enough to be working with Gift Company this Autumn to bring you a selection of items throughout November and December. All of these items would all make excellent gifts for people this Christmas. Check out my “Gifts” section of my blog for more examples of reviewed products.

Gift Company is a wonderful UK based and family run company that prides itself on providing unique and quality giftwarehomeware and furniture, to the people of the United Kingdom.

They also have a huge range of Christmas related stock and a wide range of items that would make awesome gifts too. Available both in stores and on their website. But that is not all they do, and if you haven’t heard of them before today I think you should check out their information at the end of this review…

Dimensions and Product Information

Item Description: A Set of three World Map Boxes. The lids are decorated with maps of our world, the smaller details include island names, ships and oceans. They make a perfect gift for an avid traveler. Inside each box is a secured and tough black fabric. The boxes are wooden, and painted white except for the map on each lid. The lids maps appear to be printed and stuck down to the wood.

Item Dimensions:
Box 1 (Largest) 23.5cm L x 17cm W x 8.7cm D (5.9cm Inner Depth)
Box 2 (Medium) 20.5cm L x 14.1cm W x 7.5cm D (5cm Inner Depth)
Box 3 (Smallest) 18cm L x 10.5cm W x 6cm D (3.5cm Inner Depth)

Item Details: Ideal items to hold travel cards, tickets, passports old and new, plane tickets, boat tickets, holiday snaps, holiday keepsakes. Possibilities are huge for these boxes. You could keep anything inside it though, not just travel items. Someone could be a fan of the Earth but wants to use it as a jewellery box!

Item Price: £15.00 (RRP £25.00).

Item Delivery: The item was delivered within its own box and carefully wrapped.

Item Link Gift Company Website


What Makes This A Great Gift

✩ An excellent gift set with lots of detail to the pictures on the lids.
It is well made and the wood is painted for a professional finish that is made to look shabby chic and old fashioned.
✩ This set is a great gift because the use of them can be personalised to the recipient.

Things To Be Aware Of 

✩ This set is made of wood & should be kept far away from any flames or heat sources
Keep the wood away from any moisture that could warp the wood over time.

What Could You Use This Gift For? Who Is It Ideal To Give To?

In my opinion a gift set such as this is ideal for anyone who loves travel, geography or history. These boxes are produced to a high standard, and although you could put anything you wanted inside them, a great idea would be to keep any travel tickets or memorable holiday pieces inside. On the website it suggests as a gift “for him” but I strongly disagree, there is nothing significantly masculine about the boxes, therefore any person who shares an interest in the world should love these items.

Having received three boxes in this set, you could choose to keep them together or separate them for different people. If you have a family member who enjoys sightseeing or travel, or someone who loves the geography of the Earth and wants to go around the world one day, these pieces would be perfect for them.


My Review Scores

Appearance of Product 5/5
Design of Product 4/5
Quality of Product 4/5
Value for Money 5/5
Delivery 5/5

Overall Review Scores Elaborated

Overall I am happy with the scores I have given these items. I believe that receiving three boxes for the price is excellent value for your money, and the quality of them has been good throughout.
I only have a very tiny observation, and that is when you buy, if you buy in a store, inspect that all hinges are straight and all corners are aligned. Everything is flush and fits together well and that no corners of the printed pattern are curling up.
They were delivered in their own box and there were sheets of paper in between them to help prevent any damage to the paintwork.

Thank you for reading this product review today, I hope that you have enjoyed reading about these great gifts. You can see more information about Gift Company stores and links to their online pages below. Have a great day!

✩ Sabrina ✩

 Gift Company approached me again this festive season after we collaborated last year, and I was more than happy to do some more product reviews for them. Every time we work together I am sent these items to review for free, in return for my honest opinions and photography. For this service I do get to keep the products. I personally use and test the items and through my own experience is how I write my review. I do not work for Gift Company, neither do I get paid any commission that is generated from any sales that may occur from my work.

There Are Currently 36 Gift Company Stores Nationwide

Banbury: Banbury Gateway Shopping Park, Oxfordshire, OX16 3AB – 01295 272636
Bideford: Atlantic Village, Bideford, Devon, EX39 3QU – 01237 472446
Birmingham: Resort World, Pendigo Way, Birmingham, B40 1PU – 1217675933
Brighton: Octagon , Marina Square, Brighton, BN2 5UF – 01273 695109
Braintree: Freeport Braintree, Essex, CM77 8YH – 01376 348472
Bridgend: McArthurGlen Outlet Village, CF32 9SU – 0165 6661066
Carlisle: 84 English Street, Carlisle, CA3 8HP – 01228 818488
Castleford: Junction 32 Outlet Village, WF10 4FR – 01977 552 728
Chatham: Unit 9, Dockside Outlet Centre, Kent, ME4 3ED – 01634 892 483
Chester: 
19 Newgate Row, Chester, CH11ER – 01244 343456
Cheshire Colliseum: Coliseum Retail Park, Ellesmere Port, PE12 6EU – 01513554 830
Dalton Park: Dalton Park Shopping Outlet, Seaham, SR7 9HU – 0191 520 9543
Derby: Unit 118, Intu Derby Shopping Centre, Derby DE1 2PQ – 0133 220 8747
Doncaster: Unit 22 Lakeside Village, White Rose Way, DN4 5PJ – 01302 730670
Durham: 24 High Street, Princes Bishops Centre, Durham, DH1 3HJ – 0191 384 7946
Fleetwood: Unit 1, Freeport Village, Fleetwood, Lancashire, FY7 6AE – 01253 779 592
Gloucester: 
Unit 52, Gloucester Quays, Gloucester, GL1 5SH – 01452 524222
Gretna: Unit 16, Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, DG16 5GG – 01461 338772
Hatfield: 26 The Galleria, Hatfield, AL10 OXR – 1707261330
Hornsea: 13 Hornsea Freeport, Rolston Road, Hornsea, HU18 1UT, – 01964 533541
Hull: Princess Quay.
Llandudno: 
10 Victoria Centre, Llandudno, North Wales, LL30 2NG – 01492 873111
Lowry: Salford Quays – 0161 877 7233
Livingston: 
Livingston Designer Outlet, Livingston, EH54 6QX – 01506 462186
Mansfield: Unit 12A East Midlands Designer Outlet, DE55 2JW – 01773 545375
North Wales: North Wales Garden World at Kinmel Bay – 01745 338222
Peak Village:
U11 Peak Village, Chatsworth Road, Rowlsey, DE4 2JE – 01629 735076
Royal Quays: 32 Coble Dean, North Shields, NE29 6DW – 0191 258 2819
Scarborough: Unit 17, Brunswick Shopping Centre, YO11 1UE – 01723 371845
Southport: 193 Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1PF – 01704 884522
Spalding: Unit 13, Springfields Outlet, PE12 6EU – 01775 711 736
Talke: 48 Talke Retail Park, Stoke On Trent, ST7 1XD – 01782 786662
Telford: 53 Southwater, Telford Shopping Centre, Telford, TF3 4DE – 01952 200826
Torquay: 87 Union Street, Torquay, TQ1 3DG – 01803 212129
Trentham: Trentham Estate, Stone Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8AX – 01782642954
Worcester: 22 Chapel Walks, Crowngate Shopping Centre, WR1 3LD – 01905 619882

Gift Company Online
My Other Gift Company Reviews

Five Things I Want To Do Before My Thirtieth Birthday

Five Things I Want To Do BEFORE My Thirtieth Birthday

This week I had a realization that my birthday is only three months away! So I thought I would write a little post about five things that I would like to do before my thirtieth!

I’m still in denial that I’m turning thirty, I mean that by in my head, I’ve been twenty five for many years now! It’s going to be a bit weird.

When you fill in a survey online and it says, “Please state your age range _____ ” and I’m now going to have to pick the “30-39” or the “25 to 34” category!

I’m going to be contacted for all these proper “adult” things like higher credit cards and loans, as if the world thinks we should all have our act together by the time we reach this milestone! Yeah… Right…

So what are these five things I would definitely like to do before I’m thirty…

1. Try Something New – An Activity or a Hobby… Just Something I’ve Never Done!

2. Eat A Brand New Food – There Isn’t A Lot I Wouldn’t Eat – But I Want To Try Something New! I May Even Cook It Too!
(UPDATED January 23rd – We made our own Ice Cream! And a fairly healthy version, kind of, so yeah I might do a Recipe post sometime in February…)

3. Go Somewhere I’ve Never Been Before – Sounds Simple But It’s Finding The Time!
(UPDATED January 23rd – My husband and I have booked a weekend away in April to a part of the UK I have never visited before, I hope it will be a memorable time for us).

4. Reconnect With An Old Friend – There Are A Few People Who I Love Who I Haven’t Spoken To In A Few Years And I Would Love To Reconnect With Them!
(UPDATED January 17th – I reached out to an old friend to give her some happy news, we are hopefully planning to meet up in the next few months).

5. Finish Writing One Of My Books – I’m A Writer And I Want 2018 To Be The Year I Finally Try And Get Something Published (Fingers Crossed I Can Get One Finished)!

What I’m going to do is update this post with a photograph/s and information as and when I complete any one of these things, and I have just a few weeks to go now before my birthday, fingers crossed I can get all of these done!

Is there anything special or amazing that you did for a big birthday? I would love to know to get some ideas for myself!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

 Sabrina 

My Top Handbag Essentials For Getting Through Autumn/Winter

My Top Handbag Essentials For Getting Through Autumn and Winter.

It’s official, it’s gone really cold here in the United Kingdom. So I thought I would do a short blog post today explaining my handbag essentials.

Most of us carry a larger bag in the Winter because we need more space for the things that we require such as gloves or socks.

Here is my list of Autumn/Winter essentials that I often bring with me, especially if it’s going to be a long day out. You never know when the weather might change so it’s always good to be prepared. Some of these things don’t even weigh much so they aren’t inconvenient.

My Autumn And Winter Handbag Essentials

Gloves
Scarf
Arm Warmers
Comfortable Socks
Tiny Bottled Water
Lip Balm
Hand Cream
Hand Sanitiser
Packet of Tissues
Compact Mirror
Mini Torch
Rolled Up Bag

Let me explain a little bit about why I carry certain items. If you feel the cold like I do, little things like Gloves and Arm Warmers can make a big difference. Say you catch a bus, and it’s late on your route home. If you have these things with you and it suddenly gets colder you are prepared.

The same thing goes for the Water and the Tissues, you just never know when you may need these items so it’s a good idea to carry them all year around not just these colder months. I always carry Hand Cream for my dry skin and the Lip Balm for keeping my lips smooth, I use these more so in the Winter but they live in my bags throughout the year.

The torch is somewhat of a personal choice, it’s difficult to put my key in my front door after dark as you cannot see the keyhole, a mini torch is a great way to stay safe if you’re walking in the Winter evenings as well as useful in circumstances such as the one I mentioned.

I hope that you have enjoyed this little insight into my lifestyle! If you have any questions about where I got any of the items shown please leave me a comment
Have a wonderful day!

 Sabrina 

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I was recently Awarded the Sunshine Blogger Award by a lovely blogger named Ana.

The kind Ana over at Ana’s Lil Blog has nominated me and my blog back in August for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am honoured to receive this award and will happily share some bloggers below once I have answered the questions set to me from Ana.

I am so excited to share this post with you all, it’s a great way for people to get to know the person behind the blog, with us answering these questions set by other bloggers. It’s taken a while for me to finish this post because I’ve been so busy with collaborations.

This is who else Ana nominated on her post, check it out over at Ana’s Lil Blog – Sunshine Blogger Award Post HERE

The Questions That Ana Gave Me Were These…

Why did you make your blog?
When I had to have some serious surgery I had to give up work for a time, my best friend and husband encouraged me to start my blog because they knew i loved to write, and i was already a photography graduate.

What makes you smile the most everyday?
The silly things that my cats get up to! They can be so funny and crazy. It doesn’t matter what kind of day you’ve had they never fail to cheer you up!

Favourite blog post you’ve read?
I once read a post, no idea what blog it was now as it was a few years ago and before I began blogging. But it was so inspiring, it was about learning to love yourself…

Favourite blog post you’ve written?
My favourite post to this day is probably the Treatbox monthly boxes that I review, exciting and fun to photograph!

Something that has made you into a stronger person?
Experiencing pain and loss, living with chronic pain, overcoming it and becoming stronger from it.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new blogger what would it be?
Be yourself. Don’t copy others but take inspiration from them. Always write about what you’re passionate about and it will come across in your work. And don’t be afraid of asking bloggers for advice on social media, most will take the time to reply if you’re being genuine.

Who is your celebrity crush?
Orlando Bloom, he has been for years and years since I was a teenager… I used to love Paul Walker too god rest his beautiful soul x

Tea, coffee or hot chocolate?
Now I’m a weirdo, as I’m British, but I don’t really like Tea all that much, I tend to drink it when I feel unwell. Hot Chocolate is nice but I’m very picky about it. And Coffee… I make a good Coffee but I don’t drink it unless it’s a McDonald’s Iced Frappe Mocha… yeah told you I am weird!

Night owl or early bird?
Ooo now see when it comes to writing I am definitely a Night Owl but I can only really do my photography during the day… sometimes I get up early and I don’t have an issue with getting up.

Favourite quote or motto?
My favourite inspirational quote is “When it Rains look for Rainbows, when it’s Dark look for Stars”.

Goals for the upcoming months and ultimate goals in life?
My Life Goals are to one day have my own house and raise my family in it, and I would love to be my own boss one day too.

Now For The Rules For The Bloggers I Am Nominating Below…

Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions that they’ve given you.

3. Nominate 11 people (preferably people who don’t have the award already).

4. Give your own 11 questions for those people you have nominated to answer.

My Questions for the 11 Nominees.

1. What made you start blogging?
2. Do you have any pets?
3. What is your current Favourite Television Show?
4. Do you live by any amazing places?
5. If you could visit any era for a day in a time machine, what era and why?
6. What is your Favourite Colour?
7. Do you like dessert – if yes what is your favourite?
8. Have you seen a film that has changed your life – what and why?
9. If you could have an hour long conversation with anyone living or dead who would it be and why?
10. Is there a Song that has ever been your anthem?
11. What piece of advice would you give to your younger self if you could?

My 11 Nominees Are; Fern Roberts, Anna Nguyen, Mocha Girl Beauty, Madison Taylor, Rachy Reviews, Emily of Living Beautiful, Aoife Caitriona, Beauty with Zainy, Kate Selina of Femenish, Phoebe Tea, Anita Grivoka of Anita’s Diaries.

Thank you so much for reading this post today, I am hoping that you found some lovely bloggers to follow or support and I wish you all a very nice day.

 Sabrina 

Gift Company Cat Lover Cushion Review – Ideal Gift

Gift Company “Cat Lover Cushion” Review – An Ideal Gift

Once again I am lucky enough to be working with Gift Company this Autumn to bring you a selection of items throughout November. All of these items would all make excellent gifts for people this Christmas. Check out my “Gifts” section of my blog for more examples of reviewed products.

Gift Company is a wonderful UK based and family run company that prides itself on providing unique and quality giftwarehomeware and furniture, to the people of the United Kingdom.

They also have a huge range of Christmas related stock in right now, both in stores and on their website. But that is not all they do, and if you haven’t heard of them before today I think you should check out their information at the end of this review…

Now on to the product itself, the Cat Lovers Cushion. (See image below).

Dimensions and Product Information

Item Description: A Cream Cushion with Red and Black Writing and a Black Cat.

Item Dimensions: Length 34cm, Width 21cm, Depth 7cm.

Item Details: This small yet sweet cushion is an ideal gift for anyone who loves Cats. It has some nice features including an accurately proportioned cat which is sitting on the right hand side of the cushion grooming itself. The embroidered writing consists of the phrase “A CAT LOVER sits here with their purrfect match”. The cushion is an overall cream colour so ideal for any room, with an additional trim to it which is red with white polka dots. It also boasts a sweet heart above the cat, made from the same polka dot material and featuring a red heart button in the centre.

Item Price: £7.50 (RRP £15.00).

Item Delivery: The item was delivered sealed in cellophane so you were certain it was brand new.

Item Link Gift Company Website


What Makes This A Great Gift

✩ An attractive clever design which is ideal for anyone who likes cats or has a cat/s.
It is a versatile base colour so great to fit in with the decor in most rooms.
Well made and well designed to incorporate humor in the wording.
✩ It is soft and nice to lean on or to cuddle up to and relax.
✩ This cushion would make an ideal gift for a cat lover.

Some Things To Be Aware Of 

✩ This cushion states on the tags that the inner filling is tested and meets the 1988 safety regulations to be match and cigarette resistant, however the outer cover is not. This item could perhaps cause a fire hazard to a smoking household and I would therefore advise against its purchase if the people were regular smokers in their homes.

No where on either of the labels does it say that the cushion can be washed, I am presuming then that it cannot be put in the washing machine or hand washed and is a sponge clean only item. I would advise not giving this item to a small child due to the button that could be pulled off.

My Review Scores

Appearance of Product 5/5
Design of Product 4/5
Quality of Product 3/5
Value for Money 4/5
Delivery 5/5

Overall Review Scores Elaborated

I was very excited about receiving a cat related item from Gift Company, and the appearance was one that I was most happy with. It wasn’t until I was meticulously detailing the cushion that I noticed it had no instructions label and I found the warning one about its cover. It’s a shame that this cushion wasn’t made more carefully to ensure a better quality of fabric used. The fabric itself is soft to touch and is by no means cheap, I thought it was lovely. I believe that if you were a careful household that kept the cushion away from naked flames I’m sure that the item would be thoroughly enjoyed by all cat lovers in the home. The embroidered details are lovely and it’s an ideal gift for anyone that enjoys the company of cats and the humor they bring to life.

Of course if you are nearby to a Gift Company store you could go in and inspect the actual item for yourself and then decide if it’s right for you or the recipient. Please don’t be put off a great gift by the need to take care around it, or by my honesty.

Gift Company also do a range of other Cushions such as ones for Dog Lovers, Golfers, you name it, so why not check the whole range out online (link at the end of the post).

Thank you for reading this product review today, I hope that you have enjoyed reading about this great gift. You can see more information about the Gift Company stores and there are links to the online pages below.

✩ Sabrina ✩

 Gift Company approached me again this festive season after we collaborated last year, and I was more than happy to do some more product reviews for them. Every time we work together I am sent these items to review for free, in return for my honest opinions and photography. For this service I do get to keep the products. I personally use and test the items and through my own experience is how I write my review. I do not work for Gift Company, neither do I get paid any commission that is generated from any sales that may occur from my work.

There Are Currently 36 Gift Company Stores Nationwide

Banbury: Banbury Gateway Shopping Park, Oxfordshire, OX16 3AB – 01295 272636
Bideford: Atlantic Village, Bideford, Devon, EX39 3QU – 01237 472446
Birmingham: Resort World, Pendigo Way, Birmingham, B40 1PU – 1217675933
Brighton: Octagon , Marina Square, Brighton, BN2 5UF – 01273 695109
Braintree: Freeport Braintree, Essex, CM77 8YH – 01376 348472
Bridgend: McArthurGlen Outlet Village, CF32 9SU – 0165 6661066
Carlisle: 84 English Street, Carlisle, CA3 8HP – 01228 818488
Castleford: Junction 32 Outlet Village, WF10 4FR – 01977 552 728
Chatham: Unit 9, Dockside Outlet Centre, Kent, ME4 3ED – 01634 892 483
Chester: 
19 Newgate Row, Chester, CH11ER – 01244 343456
Cheshire Colliseum: Coliseum Retail Park,Ellesmere Port, PE12 6EU – 01513554830
Dalton Park: Dalton Park Shopping Outlet, Seaham, SR7 9HU – 0191 520 9543
Derby: Unit 118, Intu Derby Shopping Centre, Derby DE1 2PQ – 0133 220 8747
Doncaster: Unit 22 Lakeside Village, White Rose Way, DN4 5PJ – 01302 730670
Durham: 24 High Street, Princes Bishops Centre, Durham, DH1 3HJ – 0191 384 7946
Fleetwood: Unit 1, Freeport Village, Fleetwood, Lancashire, FY7 6AE – 01253 779 592
Gloucester: 
Unit 52, Gloucester Quays, Gloucester, GL1 5SH – 01452 524222
Gretna: Unit 16, Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, DG16 5GG – 01461 338772
Hatfield: 26 The Galleria, Hatfield, AL10 OXR – 1707261330
Hornsea: 13 Hornsea Freeport, Rolston Road, Hornsea, HU18 1UT, – 01964 533541
Hull: Princess Quay.
Llandudno: 
10 Victoria Centre, Llandudno, North Wales, LL30 2NG – 01492 873111
Lowry: Salford Quays – 0161 877 7233
Livingston: 
Livingston Designer Outlet, Livingston, EH54 6QX – 01506 462186
Mansfield: Unit 12A East Midlands Designer Outlet, DE55 2JW – 01773 545375
North Wales: North Wales Garden World at Kinmel Bay – 01745 338222
Peak Village:
U11 Peak Village, Chatsworth Road, Rowlsey, DE4 2JE – 01629 735076
Royal Quays: 32 Coble Dean, North Shields, NE29 6DW – 0191 258 2819
Scarborough: Unit 17, Brunswick Shopping Centre, YO11 1UE – 01723 371845
Southport: 193 Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1PF – 01704 884522
Spalding: Unit 13, Springfields Outlet, PE12 6EU – 01775 711 736
Talke: 48 Talke Retail Park, Stoke On Trent, ST7 1XD – 01782 786662
Telford: 53 Southwater, Telford Shopping Centre, Telford, TF3 4DE – 01952 200826
Torquay: 87 Union Street, Torquay, TQ1 3DG – 01803 212129
Trentham: Trentham Estate, Stone Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8AX – 01782642954
Worcester: 22 Chapel Walks, Crowngate Shopping Centre, WR1 3LD – 01905 619882


Gift Company Website Home Page

Gift Company Cushions Range

My Other Gift Company Reviews

The Rose Gold Trends That Everyone Can Wear and My Jewellery Wishlist

Rose Gold Jewellery Trends That Everyone Can Wear

Everyone knows that Rose Gold is on trend again this AW17 season. In this short blog post today I’m going to be telling you about two ways that you can wear this gorgeous shade of metal.

You have the freedom to choose your jewellery and wear it whichever way you want to, so that you can have your own fashion. I cannot stand it when brands tell people “you must wear it like this to be on trend”, well no you don’t, style your own fashion people, wear things just how you want to… take inspiration of course, but do as you like and what suits you. I know I do!

Now Rose Gold is available in so many statement pieces this year, so it’s always good to invest in something well made. That is if you can afford it and if you like this colour of metal of course.

There is one particular Trend that I love because of its endless versatility, and that is the “Mixed Metals Jewellery Trend“. The other one is what I would call the “Delicate’s Jewellery Trend” which surrounds one individual type of jewellery and keeps that as the focus point.

The “Delicate’s Jewellery Trend” simply means you focus on one part of your body to wear the jewellery. So if you’ve got a big chunky knit on this winter nobody is going to see your neck or your wrists, so you cover your hands with pretty Rose Gold rings and jewels. If you’re wearing a long sleeve dress for example you would focus on statement earrings to catch peoples eye. By choosing one part of your body it’s all about complimenting the outfit that you’re wearing and showing off your best bits.

The Mixed Metals Trend is pretty simple, you take two or more metals and mix them on a part of your body. The easiest way to achieve this look would be rings on your fingers. You could wear Yellow Gold, Sterling Silver, Rose Gold, Platinum, anything! So long as you mix them between the hands.

Another cool way to use this trend would be earrings, especially if you have a graduated lobe like I do. Using different coloured studs to create this look.

(Here are my own studs, they are from Jewellery Box UK).

I actually saw the character of “Betty” played by the beautiful actress Lili Reinhart, wearing this trend on one of the new episodes of Riverdale. Keep a look out if you watch it, she wore two silver studs and one gold in either ear and it looks amazing! (As is the show by the way if you have Netflix check out Season 1).

Another way to wear the Mixed Metals would be several metal bracelets, these would be harder to match up though so they look like they go together.

The final way you could wear this trend is with necklaces. My TOP TIP would be to wear necklaces of varied lengths, that way the whole of your neckline is covered and peoples eyes are drawn all the way around and down. Try mixing the metals from light to dark or dark to light…

My Jewellery Wishlist

Now it’s time for me to share my wishlist, just a couple of items that I have loved the look of while browsing the web and through emails that I have gotten. A lady has got to have a wishlist hasn’t she 😉

✩ Cherry Diva ✩

These two rings have really caught my eye from the company Cherry Diva. You can see reviews of other Cherry Diva items that I have bought by clicking the category on my front page. Check these items out further by clicking my links.

Opal Tides Ring

Opal Wishbone Ring

Rose Gold Princess Heart Ring

✩ Jewellery Box UK ✩

The following items are from Jewellery Box UK, while browsing on a recent order I saw all of these beautiful things and hoped one day they might be additions in my collection. I don’t have very much Rose Gold. Check out my Reviews on my main page by clicking the Jewellery category. Click the pictures to go to the Jewellery Box UK site.

9CT ROSE GOLD WISHBONE & ETERNITY CZ SPARKLE STACKING RINGS SET

9CT ROSE GOLD HONEYCOMB STUD EARRINGS

9CT ROSE GOLD WINTER SNOWFLAKE NECKLACE ON CHAIN 16 – 20 INCHES

9CT ROSE GOLD FLAT TRIANGLE STUD EARRINGS

9CT ROSE GOLD BAR STUD EARRINGS

✩ Pandora ✩

It is probably a little sad, but I don’t own anything from Pandora. I do get their newsletter and follow on social media though, and I saw these advertised and thought they were so stunning. You’ve got to dream haven’t you! Click the images of them to go to the website.

Rose Gold Droplets Ring
Rose Gold Puzzle Heart Ring
So there we have it everyone, my current Rose Gold Jewellery wishlist, you never know I might be able to treat myself in the new year!

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and perhaps got some gift inspiration for someone too!

 Sabrina