The 2 words that make every woman squirm; ‘smear test’.
Growing up, I dreaded the day I hit 25 because I knew it would mean having a cervical cancer screening or a smear test. You hear so much negativity about how it’s painful or uncomfortable and the amount of woman getting them is at an all time low and to be honest I can’t blame them. The thought of laying on a bed, naked from the waist down having a stranger investigate you is a daunting experience and one that I wanted to put off forever.
In the Uk, you receive a letter inviting you for a screening and once you have had it done, you don’t have to re-do it for another 3 years. I received my letters; yes I had received 2 before I did it; last summer and immediately folded them back up and hid them. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. Fast forward to last Monday and I was on the phone to my GP’s booking an appointment. I don’t know what came over me but I finally plucked up the courage to have it done in the week and I wanted to share my experience because I genuinely do believe there needs to be a bigger conversation about it because they can literally save lives and really aren’t as bad as everyone thinks.
So flashback to Wednesday, I arrived at the doctors and followed the nurse down the corridor into the room. There it all was; the form of questions, the bed, the curtain and the swab. Trust me, if I could have left at that moment I would have. The nurse was so lovely, she sat me down and went through a few questions about my last period and when I received my letter etc. She then explained what was going to happen and took me through the curtain so I could get unchanged and in place.
Sitting with your ankles together and your knees apart is never a good look for anyone but believe me when I say nurses do this every day and they genuinely don’t care what it looks like, they are just there to do their job. I’ll be honest, I am the biggest wuss and have no pain tolerance at all so I was expecting the worst. I’d be lying if I said you couldn’t feel anything but it was about a 1.5/10 and it was more discomfort than pain as you could feel the bristles of the swab but that was it. I couldn’t believe how quickly it was over.
The results usually get sent to your home about 2 weeks later. It’s really that easy. I think I was in the room for about 5/10 minutes and most of that time was spent not being prodded; so please, if you haven’t and are of the right age go and get your smear test done. I felt so proud after and it is there to potentially save your life and stop anything cell changes becoming too nasty.
If I can do it, then you definitely can.
– Hannah X
Ah, I can’t believe this is the last Blogmas post of 2018; its been hard keeping up with sharing my posts and promoting them but I have loved every single minute of it and want to say a massive thank you if you have read any of my posts.
Growing up, I have always dressed up for Christmas; I’m not really sure why but I love it. Usually I like to go out and get a whole new outfit (how extra) but this year I have chosen to wear the dress I wore to my sisters graduation which I absolutely love!
Do you dress up or keep it casual for Christmas?
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and festive period and all the love for 2019
– Hannah X
Ah, tomorrow is Christmas Eve, I can’t believe it! Working in retail for 6 years meant that I often missed out on Christmas Eve because I would always be working, helping to set up for the Boxing Day sales. Last year was my first Boxing Day off in a long time and I took full advantage of it and pretty much did nothing but eat left over food and binge watch as many Christmas films as possible and I have a feeling that tomorrow will be no different.
During the day I plan on staying inside in my comfy clothes wrapping my last few presents and catching up on any films I haven’t watched yet; is it bad I haven’t watched the Grinch this year. Then after having dinner, I always like to change me bed sheets, have a bubble bath and get into some PJs. Every year, as a tradition, my mum will buy some new Pyjamas for us as this year is no exception.
Once I am all cosy, I usually get into bed and start to unwind, after all, you have to be asleep early to you don’t see Santa. My parent stay us to watch midnight mass and then by the time that’s over, we are al ticked up lady for the big day.
What are you Christmas Eve plans?
– Hannah X
We all know how much I love Lush, and Christmas, so put those 2 things together and we have the perfect combination. There are so many pretty Lush items this season so here are some of my favourites.
Magic Wand – this is probably my favourite, I mean look at it; it’s so pretty!
Snow Fairy – Hands dow the best smell in the world – now in bath bomb form
Princess Bomb – How adorable
Candy Cane – Definitely my favourite ‘new’ product
What are your favourite festive goodies from Lush?
– Hannah X
I am very lucky to live in the capital city but I’ll be honest, I often take it for granted because it’s always there and I only go to specific places as and when I need too. That being said, I love London and even more so when it’s the build up to Christmas. It’s so special and pretty. Me and Mum went into the city to explore the sights and I wanted to share a the special spots that I love the most.
My mum used to work near Fortnum and Mason’s, the department store off of Regent’s street and she has always taken us in there so she’s passed her love for it onto me. I love strolling around there anyway but there is something extra special about it at Christmas.
My favourite spot to go to is Covent Garden, purely for the massive Christmas tree that they have in the middle. It’s so pretty as it sit on the cobbles. While we were there, we also popped into the new Tiffany and Co store which was decorated with the most beautiful decorations that were all in the classic Tiffany blue colour.
Where’s your favourite place to visit in London at Christmas time?
– Hannah X
I love baking, even if I’m not as good as I think I am; and what better than Christmas baking. I popped into Sainsbury’s and picked up a shortbread reindeer kit and channelled my inner Mary Berry and thought who better to share it with than you.
The kit itself is great as it comes with the mix, the icing, the cookie cutter and some jellybeans for decoration and all you need to add is butter. I started by mixing the butter and mixture together with my hands to create the dough, arguably one of the best things about baking is getting nice and messy.
After the dough was the right consistency, I sprinkled some flour on the counter and used the cookie cutter to create the cutest little reindeers. The smell as they were baking in the over was amazing, it made the whole house smell so Christmassy and cosy.
I couldn’t wait for the biscuits to cool down so I could decorate them. The kit came with black icing for the eyes, mouths and nose and a little tube of white for the antlers. Now, I am not the most delicate when it comes to decoration but I think they turned out okay. As far as taste goes, I can’t comment because I actually don’t like shortbread but my mum and dad said they enjoyed them so I’m taking that as a good sign.
– Hannah X
Sticking to the winter care, I have also been trying to give my hair some TLC. I used to have really short hair and after finally realising the error of my ways, have been trying to grow it.
I have, after years of trying, gotten my hair to a length that I am happy with but with that growth comes a lot of damaged, dead hair. I always saw hair as this thing that you can do anything too because ‘it’ll grow back’ but I have become so protective of mine that I think I average on about 1 cut a year (I know that’s awful and if you keep trimming it, it will grow quicker). I have no real sense of rationality so think that one little trim will take my hair back to it’s shortest.
I love a hair mask and while in Paris, I stopped off at Sephora and picked up one of their overnight ones. I am obsessed with their face masks so was so excited to give this a go.
I went for the coconut one and it comes with the mask and a cap to keep everything in place while you sleep. Although, I had heard good things, I didn’t really know what to expect but when I washed it off the next morning I was very pleasant surprised with how soft and healthy my hair felt.
I will definitely be stocking up on these the next time I get to a Sephora.
Have you ever tried Sephora’s hair masks?
– Hannah X
I love a Christmas jumper and am genuinely gutted that you can only really wear them for a limited time. I also have been in the market for a new one so I have picked a few of my favourite ones.
1. Pale Grey Christmas Pudding Slogan Jumper – New Look
2. Christmas Jacquard Pug Jumper – Boohoo
3. ‘Sleigh my name’ embellished sweatshirt – River Island
4. Grey super soft embellished jumper – Wallis
Have you embraced a Christmas jumper yet this year?
– Hannah X
My parents, boyfriend and friends have all been asking me what I want for Christmas but there really isn’t anything I want. I know people hate to hear that answer, but there is honestly nothing that I need. I did have a little think about some things I would quite like.
Big Dial Bracelet Silver Watch – Olivia Burton
Mini Heart Tag Earrings – Tiffany and Co
Doug the Pug Calendar – The Calendar Club
What are you asking for this year?
– Hannah X
I’ve written a post like this before, but I am always updating my skincare routine so here’s an updated version.
I have quite dry skin and during the winter months, I really have to focus on keeping it hydrated. There is nothing worse than patchy makeup that has stuck itself to the dry patches, am I right?! Now, I have loved so many moisturisers over the years but haven’t really found one that I have stuck too religiously. My most recent skincare purchases are from the Vitamin E collection from Superdrug.
Vitamin E is great for the skin because it is full of anti ageing properties and antioxidants that help battles redness so it’s perfect as I am now at the ripe age of 25 when your skin stops producing collagen and anti ageing products become your best friend.
I have been using the ‘Intense Moisture Cream’ and ‘Nourishing Night Cream’ for only a few weeks now but I am already noticing some small changes. My skin stays hydrated throughout the day which means my makeup also stays fresher looking and it also doesn’t look so dull and lifeless. It is still a bit early to tell exactly how much my skin has changed but I am loving the products so far and maybe theses are finally the skincare products I buy religiously.
How do you keep your skin hydrated in the winter months?