5 Things You Should Be Shopping For Right Now


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 Fall tends to be everyone’s favorite season. We can’t help it; the falling leaves, the crisper temperature, being able to wrap ourselves in soft woollen hats and scarves — the entire season is evocative and outright cosy. As a result, it’s easy to fall into a lull of activity when everything about fall encourages you to curl up and just enjoy it.

In reality, if your finances are in good order, then fall should be a time of shopping. No, it’s not a recognizably “autumnal” activity — but it’s one that you won’t regret. Fall is a season of transition, so getting ahead of the curve will benefit you through the rest of the year. So if you can persuade yourself away from those delicious hot chocolates and nights spent wrapped up under a throw, what should you be shopping for?

  1. Summer Clothes

It might sound odd to be buying summer clothes in September, but this is the time of year to take advantage of store sales. As stores clear their stock to make room for fall/winter collections, you have the opportunity to stock your wardrobe for next summer. There’s plenty of bargains to be had, from McElhinneys online sale through to unworn clothes being advertised on eBay — so stock up for next year while the prices are low. Look for key basics that aren’t going to go out of fashion and you won’t go far wrong.

  1. Christmas Gifts (Sorry)

We know, who wants to buy Christmas gifts in September? 

Here’s the answer: someone who doesn’t want to find themselves rushing around for gifts in mid-December, panic-buying anything they can see, and making do with gifts that aren’t suitable. Buy early to avoid the last-minute stress on yourself.

  1. Thanksgiving Food

Whether you’re going to try and make your own pumpkin pie this year or are content to buy one from a store, getting a head start on your preparations is essential. Thanksgiving food can be expensive, especially if you’re hosting guests, so buying one item per week (provided it’ll keep, obviously) is a good way to spread the cost. 

  1. A Great Party Outfit

There’s always a lot of fun parties to be had in the last three months of the year, from Halloween through to the annual Christmas party. Get a great outfit bought now before the prices go through the roof in anticipation of party season; your purse will thank you for it.

  1. A Beauty Advent Calendar

There’s no doubt that previous offerings from beauty advent calendars have been incredible. If you want to snap one up for this year, then you’re going to need to buy now. Don’t wait until mid-November, because the vast majority will be sold out by that point, and you’ll be left with a standard chocolate advent calendar instead of one full of beauty and makeup treats.

By spending a little of fall shopping, you can be prepared for the season — and in some respects, the entire year! — ahead. Happy shopping!

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Creating The Perfect Space To Practice Your Craft

Do you consider yourself a crafty person? A bit of an artist? Then you need somewhere to practice your craft. There’s no two ways about it! Having a dedicated space to practice your craft helps to get you into the ‘zone’ when creating. If you’re surrounded by distracting things or sat in an uninspiring room, your craft may suffer.

Fear not! The tips here will help you to create the perfect space to practice your craft, so you can stay focused and enjoy it a whole lot more. Read on to find out more!

Choose A Quiet Space

The first thing you need to do is choose a quiet space. The good news? You don’t need a dedicated room. That’s an option, but not necessary. Don’t make excuses! You could set it in the corner using a corner desk if you have to. Then you’ll have your very own ‘craft corner’. You may not be able to completely block out distractions, but you can wear earphones.

You could even turn a large cupboard into your craft space. The space doesn’t have to be big at all. If you do have a dedicated room, you can afford to have lots of fun and get really creative!

Make Sure It Shows Off Your Personality

Now, when decorating your room you need to make sure you show off your personality. Rooms like this will actually make you feel like getting creative. Make sure you use colors and patterns that you love, and include art, inspiring quotes, images, and plants too. All of these things will create an amazing room you feel great creating in.

 

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Have Appropriate And Comfortable Furniture

You are going to need some appropriate and comfortable furniture in your craft space. You need to think about the crafts you do and the furniture that’s suitable. For instance, solid wood sewing cabinets handcrafted by Amish craftsmen can make the perfect addition for a multitude of crafts.

If you’re a writer, you may only need a small surface to practice your craft. If you make things like pottery and jewelry from scratch, you’ll need a slightly bigger item of furniture.

Keep Everything You Need Close By

Having everything you need close by is important. What you do will depend on whether this is a little or a lot. Having great storage options can help here. If you’re short on space, make sure you choose a desk with plenty of drawers. You can also use vertical storage options to make the most of your floor space.

Get Organized

Organization is the key to a great craft room. Using chalkboards and paint you can make your craft room look quirky while keeping everything in order. Plain old labels work too, of course. Label all of your boxes to minimize the time you have to rummage!

Natural & Task Lighting

The lighting in your craft room is very important. Natural light is best for day time, as it’ll help you to feel energized and awake. Task lighting for when it’s dark outside is also important. You don’t want to strain your eyes trying to put your piece together.

What will you use your craft room to create?

Sculpting Your Strength

Running, aerobics, and team sports are all great for building up your fitness level and helping you to lose some weight, but there is a missing ingredient if you’re hoping to build your dream body; weight training. Underneath the layers of fat in your body, is a lot of muscle just waiting to be sculpted. Most women leave out strength training because they don’t want to look like body-builders, but this isn’t as likely to happen as it is with men. According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, high levels of estrogen make it very difficult for women to become overly muscular. All that awaits you at the end of the strength building tunnel is a lean, strong, and well-toned body. Here are a few exercises to help you achieve this goal.

Yoga


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When you first sign up for a yoga class, you might be expecting a lot of sitting, emphasis on breathing, and working to improve your mental health. However, any seasoned yogis will know that yoga can be a really intensive exercise. When your posture is correct, and you engage all the correct muscles, even the most basic poses can leave you feeling breathless and weak after 30 minutes. But each time you hold a pose for a few more breaths, you can feel yourself getting stronger. After a few months of yoga, you find it easier to support your body in Downward Facing Dog, or stay upright when doing Eagle pose. Every plank lasts a little longer, and sooner or later you will see that your biceps and abdominal muscles are a little bit more defined in your body. The best part about yoga is that you don’t have to do it for an hour each evening. Just 10 or 20 minutes will provide an effect strength training workout.

Weights


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A more obvious way to incorporate weight training into your workout is to actually use weights. One piece of equipment growing in popularity are rep fitness kettlebells, because they can also improve motion and stamina, and they have a better grip for beginners. However, if you want to gradually increase your weight training, adjustable dumbbells give you a lot of different weight selections for less money than a bunch of individual weights, and they take up a lot less space than a full set. If you can’t afford dumbbells yet, a resistance band will provide the same effect in a full-body workout.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)


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Even with your added weight training, you should make sure you don’t neglect your cardio. An excellent way to combine the two is through HIIT classes, which combines 30 seconds of weights and 30 seconds of cardio in three minute increments for a 30 minute workout. It’s intense, but it can fit into even the busiest schedules, targets all your muscles, and has been shown to zap more belly fat than steady-paced moderate workouts. HIIT also helps to boost your metabolism, so you keep burning fat even after your workout is complete.

 

Essential Care For Elderly Relatives


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Eventually, we all grow old. And even if you may not be at that stage of your life yet, you will have relatives who are either elderly right now or will be in the near future. It is always important to prepare for the future, whether it be life insurance, funeral plans or your retirement. However, there are also things to consider when your parents grow old and need care. Your parents spent a huge chunk of their lives looking after you, bringing you up well, feeding you and consoling you when you cried. It’s time to pay them back. There are plenty of different things you need to plan and decide on when you begin to care for your elderly parents or relatives.

Home or Away?

The first big decision is whether your parent will stay in their own home, come to live with you or go into assisted living. This depends on their personality and health condition. Often more severe cases will be better off in a care home for 24-hour support. However, if the situation isn’t as serious, you will be able to make accommodations at your own home.

Special Facilities

If you decide on keeping your elderly relative in your home or their own, you will need to set up some unique features to make living easier. Adding certain things to your home will allow them independence which is not only good for their physical health but their mental health too. First of all, you will need to install an alert system in case of an emergency. You can purchase them from companies such as medicalert.systems and they consist of a cord or button which when activated will contact the emergency services. It is a way to give you peace of mind that if they have a nasty fall, medical help will be able to find them.

Another thing to think about is assistance for sitting down and standing up. As we grow old, our back loses its strength, and it can be difficult to bend down very far. Investing in a rising recliner will allow your elderly relative to sit down comfortably and offer them help standing up afterward. Similarly, you can purchase a bath lift, which lowers them down and then lifts them back out after bathing.

If your elderly relative has stairs in their home, you will need to have a stair lift installed. This will allow fully independent travel around the home without damaging their back and risking a serious fall.

 You can find a list of things to install here: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/how-to-adapt-your-home-when-parent-moves-in-123288.htm

 Professional Help

If you and your family work long hours, or even just work full-time, you may not have the hours to commit to full care. This is where it could be a good idea to hire a professional care assistant to help your elderly relatives and offer care when you cannot. They will be able to help with a range of tasks such as shopping, feeding, and bathing, and will be able to facilitate with medicine too.

 

There’s a Life after Illness

It may be redundant to state that there is a life after serious illness. It may sound silly to say that those who survive an illness are allowed to carry on living. But just because those that survive serious illness are afforded the chance to continue living, it does not mean that they necessarily take it. It does not mean that they embrace the second chance they’ve been handed. It does not mean that they ever get over the scars, either physical or emotional, left behind after their illness.

These are the common plights faced by those that survive serious illness and live to see another stage of their life. But it doesn’t have to be this way; read on to see how.


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Dealing with the scars 

Serious illnesses are always going to leave behind scars, it’s inevitable. But, whether these scars can be seen on the body, or just felt by the patient emotionally, is completely dependant on the type of illness that they suffered and what had to be done to cure them. Some patients may experience one, some may experience the other, and some may experience both. All instances of illness are different, and therefore bring about different results.

To deal with physical scars, try applying products that contain onion extract or quercetin, or light moisturising serum and lotions that are full of antioxidants, to the scar in question. To deal with the much tougher scar that is the emotional one, try facing your problem head on. Try doing everything you possibly can that the voice in the back of your head telling you not to do. This could mean buying yourself mastectomy swimwear, taking yourself on holiday and flaunting your post-surgery body, even though the voice in your head is screaming at you telling you not to. It could mean involving yourself with a group or hospice that is involved with the illness that you beat, even though the voice in your head is telling you to stay as far away from it as can be. Or it could mean moving away and starting a fresh, even though the voice in your head is telling you to remain where you are. To deal with scars, you have to face them head on.

Dealing with Post Illness Stress Syndrome 

PIS Syndrome is something that those who have faced a serious illness and beaten it are likely to experience at some point in their post-illness life. It is the vivid reminding of the illness to the patient and the pain it brought them. And this vivid reminding can be triggered by a number of things. It can be brought about by the fear of the illness resurfacing or even seeing a new symptom appear within them. It can simply be brought about by a smell or sight that the patient associates with the illness. It can be brought about by the patient seeing a loved one suffer with either the same illness, or a different one of the same seriousness. And it can be brought about by the anniversary of the diagnosis.

Whatever the reason for the triggering of PIS, just know that it is real. It is just as real as its cousin, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and it is just as real as any other disorder. So, admit that it is real, if you ever find yourself suffering with it — only once you do that will you be able to really begin combatting it. And as you begin to combat it, ensure to seek as much help as possible. This could come professional health providers, a charity or even an illness hospice. 

Life, for a serious illness survivor, can be tough despite how fortunate they are to be alive. If you are ever in such a situation, just remember that a positive mindset is the number one tool at your disposal. When used correctly, it can be life changing.

 

The 3 Essentials That Your Skin Needs Every Day

Everyone is different. Our skin looks and feels different, and it will change many times during our lives. No two people have the same skin, but everybody needs the same 3 essentials to ensure their skin is healthy. Skin is made up of millions of cells designed to move, stretch, and protect our bodies. Protect your skin layers with these 3 essentials that your skin needs every day:

Moisture

Moisture comes from the inside as well as the outside. If you are dehydrated, you might notice your skin seems lackluster and unwilling to stretch as much as it should. Drinking water can help. But sometimes you need to enhance that water with salts or electrolytes to ensure your body can be fully hydrated quickly. A squeeze of lemon or lime can change the PH balance too.

 

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There are dozens of moisturizers on the shelves in stores. It’s hard to know which is best. If you’re a little overwhelmed by the amount of choice out there, read up on the best brands available. You’ll find the reviews at https://moisturizers.com/all-moisturizer-reviews/ to see if one of these is right for you. Always pick one that is designed for your skin type and your age group. Skin needs different things at different times. 

Circulation

As skin is alive, it needs a healthy blood supply! Blood carries nutrients and oxygen to every cell in your body. It is responsible for much of the color in your skin too. Your blood vessels will also carry away all the waste from each cell. This can include toxins and broken down cells. If your circulation is poor, then your skin may look unhealthy.

 

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Boost your circulation with a facial scrub or exfoliation. Get the heart pumping fresh, oxygenated blood by exercising daily. This will help remove the puffiness of fluid retention from your skin too. Best of all, you’ll get that healthy glow we all strive for!

Cleansing

It is important to thoroughly cleanse the skin daily. This removes all the environmental dirt that builds up. It also removes all the makeup we apply so that pores don’t become clogged. Clogged pores lead to boils, blemishes, and spots. A good cleansing routine opens the pores first. This allows all the dirt to escape. You might use a steam or even a micellar water to achieve this.

 

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Now wipe the dirt away, lifting the grime from deep inside. Soap and water are usually OK elsewhere on the body, but the face is more delicate. Use a dedicated cleanser, and face pads to wipe the delicate skin surface. Finally, it’s time to refine and close the pores again. A splash of cold water might do the job, but usually a gentle toner is best. Alcohol can work here, but it is likely to be far too harsh.

Taking care of your skin is a big part of your morning and evening routines. It’s important to ensure you offer your face and body the 3 essentials it needs for beautifully healthy skin. How do you take care of yours?

 

3 DIY Hacks All Women Should Learn


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As James Brown once sang, this is a man’s world. Though we’re inching our way to gender equality, we’re still in the midst of an unsettling gender pay gap and women everywhere are subject to a gamut of gender stereotypes. When it comes to DIY many women are a little skittish, which is a shame since women (especially Mums) often find themselves confronted with quotidian household disasters every bit as much as their male counterparts. Some women may make a bee-line to the phone to call Dad, little realising that the task at hand requires nothing more than a dab of elbow grease and  a little knowhow.

While there are undoubtedly some jobs left to the professionals (electrical problems in particular should be left to the likes of MMK electricians) most DIY hacks are far easier than a lot of women realise. So when faced with these 3 common household scenarios, there’s no reason not to grab your tool belt and proudly subvert some gender stereotypes. 

Sealing windows

Did you ever walk past your all-singing-all-dancing double glazed windows ands feel a draft? That’s because the silicone based sealant around them can perish over time, leaking heat out of the home despite the energy efficiency of the glass. Thankfully, repairing these is fairly easy and you can achieve a really professional finish that looks neat and keeps heat inside where it belongs. Here’s how you do it:

  • Scrape off the existing silicone with a stiff scraper.
  • Use a solvent and some kitchen roll to remove any remaining traces.
  • Line the window’s circumference with masking tape leaving a gap of around 5mm to ensure a nice neat line.
  • Using a mastic gun, seal around the window’s edge, smoothing the silicone down with a wet finger.

This works just as well for baths and sinks where the sealant can get discoloured and yucky over time. Just be sure to fill the bath while resealing.

Changing a door handle 

Changing a door handle is easier than you’d think. The hardest part is removing the old one. This is best from inside the room with the door closed. Locate and remove the two screws (usually one on either side of the handle). If you can’t see them they may be hidden by the handle plate. If this is the case, pry the plate off with a flat-bladed screwdriver. Once you’ve removed the screws with a long Phillips head screwdriver, it should be easy to remove the handle, open the door and pull the handle out from the other side.

 

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Fixing a leaky tap

The constant drip-drip-drip of a leaky tap can be distracting and irritating. Many people (men and women) get skittish around plumbing and suffer in silence not wishing to exacerbate the problem with their meddling. Still, while there are some plumbing repairs that you should never attempt fixing a leaky tap is fairly straightforward. The most common cause of a leaky tap is a worn or damaged washer. Simply turn off the water supply, plug the sink or bath and switch the tap to the ‘on’ position. To remove the tap’s ‘headgear’, undo the headgear nut with a spanner and prise it off. Then simply prise off the washer with a screwdriver and replace it with a fresh one. Ta-da! Your tap will now flow freely and the annoying leak is now just a memory.

Easier than you thought, right? With a few simple and inexpensive tools and a little knowhow, mastering DIY is one big step toward gender equality.

 

Reinventing You: Turning Back Time With Your Look

We can’t reverse time and completely change the decisions that we’ve started to regret when it comes to our style and beauty habits. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t start fresh. We’re going to look at ways to at least create the illusion of turning back the clock. After all, sometimes a woman finds that a style just doesn’t work for her anymore and doesn’t reflect the real her. If you’re that woman, here are a few steps worth considering.

 

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Start rejuvenating

You might not be able to turn back the time to undo all the choices you’ve made, but you might have more chance of winding back the clock as far as your skin and hair is concerned. Beyond a great skincare routine, getting more active and maintaining a healthy diet has been proven to reintroduce a lot of the vibrant youthfulness you might think might be gone for good. There are even cryotherapy treatments that can help tighten your skin, giving you a much more youthful look without the scary invasiveness of surgery.

Permanent isn’t always permanent

There are some things that we might think are more permanent, but truly you might have more sway over them than you think. For instance, pregnancy stretch marks might never truly disappear, but peptide full skin screams and green tea are both proven to help them heal. Laser tattoo removal is becoming more affordable for those of us with some regretful artistic choices made by our younger selves. Caring for the skin after the removal and a little patience is necessary, but it’s no longer impossible to be fully rid of a tattoo.

Say goodbye to old friends

It’s time to undergo a full wardrobe audit. That might be hard for some of us to hear who have been holding on to old favorites, even if we haven’t used them for years. But it’s time to really look at what you wear, and what you don’t. It’s not enough to take out pieces that you spot that no longer work. Empty out the whole closet and go through every single pile, clearly separating the yes pile that you still wear often and the no pile that you’ve been constantly trying to find excuses for but just can’t.

Find your muse

Of course, where you demolish, you have to rebuild once more. Where do you find your inspiration? Celebrity fashion and finding your kindred spirit in that world can be a great help. But Pinterest is a great tool for finding that style of your own, too. Spend a few weeks (or even months) collating different images of things you’ve loved from all across the web. When in doubt, work with what you’ve got. Dress to suit your skin tone, your eyes, and your hair.

Whether it’s letting go of some painful memories or begrudgingly pushing aside past choices to explore other options, creating a new you is always a great chance to discover what really works for you. It’s worth giving it a try at least once.

 

Helping Hands And Healing Hearts: Supporting Your Partner Through A Health Problem

There is nothing more important in this world than your health, and when we have a partner who is undergoing treatment for a major health problem or disease, it can be devastating in many ways for you, as well as them. It can be difficult when your partner has been diagnosed with a health condition that is serious, or potentially life-threatening, as you may not feel that anything you do or say is the right thing. So what is it that we can do, as partners, to make sure that they have the support they need, but also so that we can bear the brunt too?

 

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Listen To Each Other

Even if you don’t know what to say, you can still keep them safe in the knowledge that you are willing to support them through thick and thin. Remember it’s not even about what to say a lot of the time, listening is just as important. And you don’t even have to have a conversation, you could just spend time together relaxing, and this could be just as good for you both because it’s doing the things that you normally do. Just because your partner is going through a lot of changes doesn’t mean you have to completely alter your lives.

Get The Relevant Information

If your partner is going through a disease like prostate cancer, which is, of course, only something men can suffer from, it can benefit you to get as much information as possible about the disease. Not only does it keep you in the loop, but also it gives you a much better idea of the journey, in an emotional sense as well as to get an idea of the treatments, your partner will be going through. During treatments or medical appointments, it may be beneficial for you both to come up with a list of questions, so you are both up to speed with the whole process. And if your partner were going here for treatment, where a treatment for prostate cancer goes beyond the typical procedures, it would be in both your best interests to get as much information about the operation as possible. We can feel that when we are going to the doctors for a consultation or a treatment that we are taking up their time. This shouldn’t be the attitude to take, so make sure you get as much information as you can, after all, it is your life! 

Accept Help

It can be very frustrating for you, especially if the doctor has prescribed a lot of changes to your partner’s diet and lifestyle, and you may feel that you are nagging to an extent. So if people are offering help in some way or another, however little, take it. If it’s something as simple as sending you both a care package of food or a sympathetic ear, it’s important for you to make the most of this. You need support as well as your partner, and it can be difficult for you to want to say this to your partner as they’re going through the problem, but if you can find time to yourself to get away now and again, it will help to reinvigorate you.

You can feel that you are giving a lot with a little return when looking after a partner going through something like this, but with well-rounded knowledge as well as access to the best moral support, you can care for your partner, and yourself, sufficiently.

 

The Health Exams Every Woman Should Have


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As a woman, it’s fair to say that we have our fair share of health concerns. Breast cancer, difficult pregnancies, postpartum depression – there are some of the issues many of us will either struggle with or worry about struggling with in our lifetimes, and with these issues come mammograms, pap smears, blood tests and a whole host of other health exams that are pretty much unavoidable, well they are if you want to live as long and healthy a life as you possibly can.

 I know health exams can be inconvenient, embarrassing and even unpleasant at times, but there are certain health exams that every woman should have if she wants to stay on top of her health. Here are some of them:

Pap Smears

Pap smears and pelvic exams are probably the most dreaded of all health exams, for women anyway, but they are also one of the most important. Every woman over the age of 21, or who is sexually active, whichever is first, should have a pap smear at least once every couple of years to check for abnormal cells, which could later lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is a big killer because it is not one of the easiest cancers to recognize, so it really is of the utmost importance that you schedule those pap smears like clockwork; you owe it to yourself and your family to do so.

Mammograms

Again, mammograms aren’t exactly something us women look forward to, but they are pretty necessary. If you can, you should ideally start scheduling breast exams from the time you turn 20, returning every three years. Once you hit 40, you’ll want to start attending screening yearly because you’re more likely to get breast cancer once you reach that milestone.

Eye Exams


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 Everyone, male and female should be having regular eye exams, even if they don’t feel like they have a problem with their eyes. This is important not only because our eye health and sight generally degrades as we age, but also because optometrists can spot the early warning signs    of a whole host of diseases. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure – they can spot it all. Try to schedule an eye exam at least once every couple of years if you can.

Bone Density Screening

 This is one for older ladies. Once you hit 65 or thereabouts, you should start scheduling bone density screening appointments annually because you are much more likely to develop osteoporosis as you age, and if you can catch the early warning signs, you can take measures to strengthen your bones and stave off the illness.

Blood Pressure Testing 

For some reason, high blood pressure seems to be viewed as a male thing by many people, but women are just as at risk of developing high blood pressure, especially if they’re overweight or have a poor diet, which is why getting screened every two years is the smart thing to do. Combine this with a blood glucose test that checks for diabetes, and it’ll be even better for your health!

Making the time to get examined is what any smart, health-conscious woman would do, so don’t worry about feeling embarrassed or taking time off from work, make the appointments and look after your health!