The Magic Of A Moment

It is amazing what memories and moments photographs can capture. You look back on a photo and remember all those good times, all those experiences. The magic of a moment is something unforgettable but sometimes we take ages to get the perfect photo because of lighting issues.

My mum recently found some photos from when I was younger and one in particular caught my eye. I don’t own many pictures of myself from when I was younger and definitely not many of my family and I – we just didn’t seem to take them in recent years. Back when I was little though, the camera always seemed to be out and ever since my Dad passed away, those photos mean so much more.

Whilst my Dad isn’t in the below picture, it means so much to me for various reasons. It seems like an ‘of the moment’ snapshot where the light just happened to be right and I just happened to be doing something. Of course, this was 25+ years ago so it is never going to be as amazing as those taken today but why is this picture so special to me?

For me, this photo means so much to me as it really captures a moment for me. We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful village and have some lovely family friendly pubs with amazing pub gardens. When I was little, we used to go down to one of the local pubs every Sunday afternoon and meet my uncles, aunties, cousins and other family. I have a big family so it was always lots of fun and no one week was the same. I used to look forward to Sundays just so we could go down, see family and I could stuff my face with cheese and onion crisps. Even if my mum decided not to come down and visited her side of the family instead, I’d still go down there with my dad, having a daddy daughter day. This is why it means so much, it showcases time spent with my Dad that I, of course, can’t get back and will no longer have but which I look upon fondly.

Panasonic have recently unveiled their brand new camera which is an exciting high performance low light camera. You can see more about it here:

This definitely seems like a great camera for all situations – I love that it can be used in low light too. It will really help you to capture your own magic moments.

What magic moments do you have captured on camera?


How Successful Is Online Dating?

Online dating is big business nowadays but just how successful is it? We’ve all heard the horror stories but how many of us have actually heard the success stories? How many of us have actually been that success story? We know it happens but just like everything else in life, people tend (and prefer) to focus on the negatives.

There is a dating site for everyone and everything nowadays. Looking for some casual fun but not a relationship – adult dating may be the one for you. Are you a single girl in Northern Ireland? Then seek out those single men in Belfast. Are you from Kent and looking for mature men and women – there’s a site for Kent singles out there!

No matter what location you are, there’s a site out there for you – Cheshire dating sites, Sheffield dating sites, even dating Nottinghamshire. So how successful can online dating be for you, looking for someone local to you who shares your interests?

If you search the internet or read the real life weekly magazines, you’ll find the disaster stories but if you look hard enough, you will find the success stories too. Stories of people meeting their high school sweetheart once again, stories of people who decided to give online dating one last shot and finally meeting the man or woman of their dreams.

There’s a story out there of two people who fell in love through online dating despite speaking two entirely separate languages and only knowing a few words of each others language. If these people can make online dating work for them, then surely you can!

Be inspired by these success stories – because they could be you! Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself that opportunity to potentially meet the one?  There are people out there who only signed up to support their friends in their online dating journey and who have ended up finding the man or woman of their dreams. It is crazy that so many different things can occur from online dating but just like every avenue in life, you can meet the one anywhere, at any time, doing anything.

There’s been articles about how online love is the most likely form of love to last – is that any wonder when the majority of people find their partners online in this day and age? There are so many good stories of how people met online and how they ‘clicked’ – all great stories to tell the grandkids, right?

So how successful is online dating? Pretty successful I would say – you have the potential to meet old flames, meet new flames, find someone you click with instantly, someone who’s a slow burner. There is so much potential out there so why not get yourself out there and have some fun getting to know some like minded individuals? You won’t regret it!


Putting My Best Boot Forward

I recently saw Kate talking about Best Boot Forward and just knew I had to be involved. A linky and group created by Kate and Chloe, their message really resonated with me and I knew I wanted to get involved.

Last week they asked if any of these questions resonated with those reading.

Have you got lost as the individual you are somewhere in the mix of juggling responsibilities? YES.

Do you feel there must be a little more in life for you? YES

Have you given up on your dreams? A LITTLE

Do you crave just a little time for yourself or perhaps you are the opposite and would like to make new friends? YES

Do you look in the mirror and an inner voice starts criticising how you look? YES

Would you just like a little support as you take on new things? YES

It is like they were speaking just to me. BFF is designed as a support network and I can’t wait to get properly involved.

This week, Chloe asked some questions. They were:

What has your first step been and how did you find making it? Mine has been getting back on track with healthy eating, arranging a girls night in with my friend (no kids) and arranging a time and a running buddy to go running with in the evenings whilst Steve looks after the kids.

When can you make time to take another step forward and what will this be? I’m making time this week to arrange a date night for me and Steve – we don’t get enough time together.

Where is your favourite place to spend time outdoors? My local common – it is absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to get back to running around it again

I’m determined to be more positive in 2018 and I’m hoping I can push forward with those also putting their Best Boot Forward. Won’t you join me?

Why You Should Go And Get Your Smear Test

why you should go and get your smear test

Full disclosure – I’ve always been okay after a smear test. I have had two so far in my life and my results have come back normal. Other people I know haven’t been so lucky and have had abnormal results – read a blog post from Jess on her cervical screening experience here. Smear tests are something I believe every woman should get as soon as she is able to. In fact, I think they should be available from when women turn 18 rather than the age of 25 but that’s a whole other story.

I was shocked and appalled at the recent news story that smear tests are at a 20 year low – they are saying that the Jade Goody effect has now long gone. I’m sure we all remember Jade’s battle and the influx of people having smear tests afterwards to hopefully avoid the same fate. Why are we getting complacent again? Do we need someone suffering in the public eye in order to scare us into going? Why aren’t we taking steps to look after our health?

I have friends older than me that still haven’t even been for their first ever smear test. They’ve had babies and are at an age where they could be susceptible to cervical cancer yet won’t go because they are scared. I was scared the first time – I’d heard horror stories from people saying that it hurt but others said it was a minor scratch and that was it. I was nervous, I was scared but there was no chance that I wasn’t going to go for my smear test – a few moments of pain rather than suffering from cancer – I know what I would prefer. I have seen first hand what cancer can do to a person – I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It’s not painful to have a smear test – but even if it was, surely a few moments of pain is much more preferable to constant suffering?

why you should go and get your smear test

Even if you get abnormal results, this doesn’t mean you have cancer or will get cancer. Your smear test can detect abnormal cervical cells which can develop into cancer – but aren’t yet. Catching them early through a cervical screening will thus of course reduce your risk of cancer developing. A cervical screening isn’t a test for cancer, it is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix. Most women’s test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test shows some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix.

Most of these changes won’t lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own but in some cases these cells need to be removed so they can’t become cancerous. There are around 3000 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed each year in the UK.

The whole experience is over in a matter of mere minutes – I would actually say the part that is the most worrying is the time period whilst you are waiting for your results to come back. I recently had my smear test and because of Christmas, my results were delayed getting to me in the post – sometimes that can really get your mind whirring.

My results finally arrived last week letting me know the cells in my sample looked normal and my risk of cervical cancer is very low at this time. It also let me know roughly when I should expect my next screening to be. They also stipulated that if you have certain symptoms in the three years between screenings that you should speak to a GP as soon as possible to rule out anything untoward.

So why should you go and get your smear test?

It could save your life

Finding out about those abnormal cells and getting them removed if required is much better than not knowing about them and having them develop into something worse.

It can give you peace of mind

It is very likely that your results will come back normal. Surely a few minutes of being uncomfortable with your legs akimbo is worth it to know where you stand when it comes to your cervical health.

It may encourage someone else to do the same

I get it – the prospect can seem terrifying, especially when it is your first ever screening. But it isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be – the worst part is having to get everything down there out in front of the nurse more than anything! Whilst I still haven’t persuaded certain friends to go and have their screenings, me going for mine has reminded others to book theirs in which is great.

They really aren’t as bad as some people make out

As with all things, some people will have genuinely bad experiences but we all also know people who over dramatise absolutely everything. Some people will make a smear test sound absolutely torturous when it is anything but. If anything, it is a small scratch to your cervix and feeling a little bit uncomfortable for a minute or two. THAT’S IT. Nothing more, nothing less – and really nothing to be worried about.

I’ve just recently had mine but will be ready to book mine in again in 2020 when my next one is due. Have you ever had a cervical screening/smear test? Are you as shocked at the figures as I am?

Find Love Or Fun In 2018

Have you enjoyed being single in 2017 but you are now looking to find love or some fun in 2018? Have you ever considered online dating? There’s nothing wrong with being single at all but if you are looking for love this year, give online dating a try.

There are plenty of local dating sites out there – if you’re a more mature Cornish women, why not head to your local Cornwall dating site and give dating Cornwall a try? There’s Suffolk dating sites if you’re local to that area and looking for single men or single women in Sussex. If you aren’t actually looking for love but something casual this year, you could even try No Strings Dating! There is something out there of everyone! You could even meet Guernsey singles.

I am lucky enough to have been in a relationship for quite some time and I think I would find the dating field a minefield so I am glad that online dating exists and that there are dating sites for local areas so you can easily find people that share your interests in your areas. Back when I was single, there was only a few dating sites around and they were all nationwide – you struggled to find people in your area, let alone people that shared your interests. Internet dating has come so far over the years, it is quite incredible.

Looking for love could not be easier, looking for casual dating could not be any easier either. There are so many ways to meet new people nowadays that you really cannot go wrong – you are bound to meet someone looking for the same things.

There are articles out there, saying who you should date in 2018 according to your zodiac sign. There are articles saying what you should do to attract a man or woman. Are you going to listen to them or create your own destiny? You control your profile, what is said on it, who you speak to – you don’t need to speak to anyone you don’t want to unlike someone approaching you in a bar who you really aren’t interested in. If you are looking to find long term love this year, create your own destiny – set yourself up on an online dating site, big yourself up and watch the messages from similar minded local individuals roll in.

You certainly won’t regret it. Who knows, you may even find the One – wouldn’t that be great?