White Leather Jacket Review from Durango Leather

I was sent this leather jacket to review, but have been waiting for the appropriate weather to give it a good test run!

The jacket is from Durango Leather, and costs £250 (plus taxes at customs if you are Uk based like me), and I've never owned leather worth that much before. I was intrigued to get the box open and see what difference it made. Blimey it's so soft, and I loved the finishing touches (interior pocket, printed lining etc). I loved it instantly, despite still being a little unsure about it being white. 

I'd been hesitant about a white leather jacket at first, but something about it just made me want to try it out! After a quick Pinterest search, I'd been reassured that it could look cool and I awaited my delivery (from The States).

I wasn't sure about what size to order, as my boobs are generally mismatched with my waist (I never know what size to get to fit my boobs in without swapping me). The jacket came in S/M/L, and I plumped for medium, worried about small not fitting my chest. It is, rather predictably, a little large on my waist, but at least it fits well on the shoulders and chest. It's not winter yet, so I can be confident that a big wooly jumper will fit under it too!

Out of the first 3 people I showed the jacket to, the first two exclaimed, "It's not very you!", while my boyfriend said "Hot." Which side of the fence do you sit? White leather jacket for the win, or not very me?

GynaeHealth - Wave goodbye to smear tests? (Review of home testing)

smear test at home use

I've had quite a history with smear tests and cervical health. I had quite a few abnormal results, which eventually led to having treatment while under general anaesthetic. After treatment I went back to hospital checks every 6 months, which were dropped down to every year, and finally I was placed back onto the usual 3 yearly reviews. All of this means I've had more doctors prodding, looking and taking samples from my fan-noo-noo that most people!

I've previously written my top tips for a happy smear test, as I'm a big advocate for women taking advantage of amazing medical screening when it's offered. However,  I was recently contacted by GynaeHealth, to take part in this sponsored review of their new 3-second cervival cancer screen you can do at home. I was intrigued, and as someone who knows far more about her own cervix than most, keen to learn more.

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease (although can be transmitted via skin-to-skin contact only) which four out of five people will be exposed to at some point. For most people get it, their own body clears it up without symptom. It is not a virus you will necessarily carry for life. The important fact is that over 99% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV. This doesn't mean if you have HPV you'll get cancer. Just that if you do, it was more than likely caused by that virus. Isn't science amazing that we now understand that a virus can cause cancers (which allows us to develop vaccines)? Amazing. Apparently the vaccine given to younger women will prevent 70% of cervical cancers.

So, what's this about a home test instead of a cervical smear? This is not me advocating skipping smears, I think they're a brilliant and free service. However, I know many women skip their appointments, or put them off. This home-test tests for HPV, and if you're testing negatively for the virus, you're cervix is a pretty happy bunny. Remember over 99% of cervical cancers are caused by the virus, so if you're currently virus free, your chances of developing cervical cancer are almost zero.

The test itself comes in the post, and is pretty similar to inserting a tampon. There's no pain, as it doesn't need to go as high as a traditional smear test. You take the sample and pop it back in the post.

This isn't for everyone, it's a private medical service, but for the 1 million women who skip their smear test, perhaps its a very smart plan B. The test costs £129.

I'm currently awaiting my results, which I'm hoping just provides me with some peace of mind now that I'm back to 3 year checks with my doctor. As someone who had CIN3 abnomalities at one stage, I also tested positive for HPV at one stage. The virus causes over 99% of these abnomalities remember? The last time I was tested for HPV I was negative, which means my body had cleared it on its own, so hopefully my happy and healthy cervix is still cheering down there. Watch this space ;-)

<This is a sponsored post, but all views are my own, and the topic is well worth the promotion. Keep a check of your cervix ladies>

Rockalily Style - A night dancing in Shoreditch

cargo shoreditch.jpg

I wanted to dance. Dancing can be such pure fun, where you let your hair down, lose your inhibitions and just live in each song as it hits the dance floor. The night didn't go quite as I planned, although there was a little bit of dancing, the mood of the crowd was an odd one.

The club was oddly quiet (perhaps due to the bank holiday, or the fact it is Notting Hill Carnival weekend) and the people who were there were particularly off-their-faces, which is never an environment I relax easily in. 

So I didn't stay out as late as I'd anticipated, but the hidden silver lining was that the lack of hangover made breakfast in bed very pleasant.

George the Dog (and John Dolan) - Shoreditch Art

A rather recognisable face if you're in Shoreditch regularly, George the dog sits with his owner John Dolan while John draws and paints. You can read John's full story in his book, or over on The Guardian.

The quick summary is that John used to be homeless and addicted to heroin. He ended up being given George the dog, and having the responsibility for someone other than himself steered him away from crime (He'd had 300 convictions, and been to prison 30 times). He started begging instead (who would look after George if he ended up in jail again?). Begging was embarrassing, so he'd place the cup in front of George and draw and paint so as not to have to look at people passing by.  He got spotted by a local art gallery, and the rest wrote itself.

George and John still spend a lot of time painting and drawing in Shoreditch, and since moving in, I've wanted to buy myself a painting to hang at home. I had lots of kisses and hugs from George, and a lot of chat from John. He told me he now proudly paid rent and his TV license.

I'm very happy with my new painting, and who knows, maybe I'll get a little collection going!


Rockalily Style - The tights are back

This was the first time I've worn black opaque tights for a very long time! Its a sign that we're heading into September! I also realised all of my tights from last year have holes in, so I had to bin them all and go shopping! I'm now ready, with a drawer full of black tights ready for autumn. I tend to wear shorter skirts in winter too, so my wardrobe changes a bit too. 

My off-shoulder top is from Primark, but I chopped the sleeves off. The nautical belt is vintage, and the necklace is from Next.

Blogstock 2015 - It's nearly time!

blogstock 2015 lineup

It's nearly Blogstock time! This is the 2nd ever year of the festival, and I was lucky enough to be invited to speak last year, and asked to return to speak again this year. Eeek!

Blogstock has a festival atmosphere, and is largely focused on the Saturday - a full day of sessions, workshops, and seminars about blogging. It offers something to the hobby blogger as well as the bloggers wanting to use their blogs professionally. 

If you're not able to go this year, you may want to keep an eye out online for the hashtags - I'm presuming #blogstock and #blogstock2015 would be a good start!

I love public speaking, but of course I get super nervous, as I imagine anyone would! I used to be a primary teacher, and it taps into the old teacher in my soul I think! I also enjoy the challenge of it; it's rewarding to do something that is a little bit scary!