Basking In Baylis

Friday, 30 September 2016

Hello everyone! 

It's finally Friday! Now we all know that means it's time for some good pampering. I find the best way to relax in the evening after a long week is to do all my skin care and wash my hair using as many beautiful kinds of lotions and potions as possible :-) 

Recently I have been using this Baylis & Harding mini luxury set. This would make such a perfect little gift for someone. The packaging makes it look quite luxurious and inviting, nothing wrong with a little gold on the packaging! 

The actual products are really nice quality. I love the sweet mandarin and grapefruit scent, it's really refreshing without being too sweet. I've been feeling a bit stuffy this week and this scent is actually helping to clear my head a little. The shower gel is thick and lathers really well, the only thing is that I love it so much it probably won't last very long! 

The body lotion has the same scent and is ideal for putting on after a shower or a bath right before you go to bed. It's super creamy and smooth! However, it doesn't soak in that quickly so I would recommend using it as an evening cream. If you want to use it in the morning, make sure you take the time to let it soak in properly to avoid transfer to your clothes. 

Sorry this post was a little short, but I am off to pamper myself now! Have you tried these? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :-) 


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September Favourites

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Hello everyone!

I feel like this month has gone by in such a blur, I have been extremely busy in all aspects of my life. I hope you guys have been enjoying this month as much as me, it can be one of the most exciting times of the year! What with the returns to school and university and the change in seasons :-) 

This month I have been really loving all things cosy! I'm a big one for putting on a tv show as background noise when I'm tidying, unpacking and doing general house chores. I'm currently watching Vampire Diaries seasons 1 and 5 simultaneously. I've been watching a bit of season 5 to try to catch up and to help me chill out in the evenings. Season 1 is a re-watch as background noise! I love this series so much, it's so corny and un-realistic, but I don't care. I unapologetically love it! :-) 

Two of the key things to a cosy TV evening are candles and chocolate. My number one favourite form of chocolate is the much adored Terry's Chocolate Orange. Some people think these should only be a Christmas food, however, I disagree and eat them all year round! I recently bought this Ghost Stories candle from Old Glow Candles. They do a huge range of bookish and movie themed candles, that are affordable and smell amazing! My housemates personal favourite is Wonderland which is quite a sweet smell, like a cake. Ghost Stories is a bit more fresh, like wood and leaves, so it's definitely getting me in the mood for autumn :-) 

In terms of beauty I have been loving my Benefit Air Patrol eyeshadow primer. I do extremely long days, so it is vital that my makeup stays in place. I go with the logic of "if I look good, then I'll feel better". This primer is perfect for me, it doesn't irritate my eyes the way some others do and my eyeshadow honestly does not fade at all! Even after a 12 hour day!! 

Handling lots of animal patients means that I wash my hands a million times each day, which can be a nightmare for dry skin. My saviour for this is the La Main Verte hand moisturiser from Lush, it is super refreshing and could even be called a little spicy. It's really creamy so I can work it right into my hands and really feel my skin drinking it in. The richness of the rose oil, cocoa butter and almond oil feels like a proper nutrient punch for my hands. 

My final September favourite is a mushy one! Can I put Mr.GingerSnap as a monthly favourite? With going back to university and rotating in the teaching hospital for long, stressful hours I have been needing a lot of TLC! He has had the Starbucks pumpkin spice hot chocolates and cuddles at the ready, such a lifesaver! :-) 

What have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


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My Little Mademoiselle Box

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Hello everyone! 

First up, let me apologise for the appalling quality of the following photos! The light and my camera were not working with me when I took them. *Sigh* What can you do? Since My Little Box first had their U.K. debut two Septembers ago, I have been a very keen subscriber. Essentially it is a Parisian founded monthly subscription box delivering all sorts of beauty, fashion and lifestyle goodies to your door. They theme every box and you don't know what you're getting until it appears! Which if you are a lover of surprises is completely magical :-) They strive to send you all things Parisian, to make you feel a taste of that beautiful city every month! 

The packaging is so gorgeous, yet another stunning design by Kanako Kuno, who works with many big brands such as L'Occitane. This month's box was designed with the help of British youtuber and blogger Freddy Cousin-Brown and French designer Claudie Pierlot. They wish to help us all achieve that classic, elegant Parisian nonchalance with a carefully selected box of delights. Starting with the monthly magazine full of interviews, style tips and stunning fashion shoots. I always love devouring this. It's such a cute little magazine, ideal for taking on the train or reading in a lunch break. 

When you delve a little deeper in the box, they call contain a little canvas bag with the beauty goodies. This month it is a ginseng shot masque, a mascara and a perfume. The face masque is from the Korean brand Erborian, now if you are a frequent reader you'll know I hold Korean beauty brands in very high esteem! This masque was wonderfully fresh and my skin felt so rejuvenated. Applying it was quite a laugh, it was so slimy and strange, but I swear it did my skin so much good! It was my first experience of shot masques, and now I'm officially converted. The cute vial of Yves Rocher perfume looks wonderful on my nightstand and is the perfect size to take on weekends away. I love Yves Rocher, they are so typically French, whilst remaining affordable. The So Elixir Bois Sensuel scent is quite musky and grown up, I'd say the tones of iris, vanilla and patchouli are quite sensual actually. Ideal for a woman trying to achieve that seductive Parisienne attitude. 

Every month they put in a product from their own My Little Beauty brand. Over the years these have become some of my favourite products, especially their facial mists and micellar water. This month is their Mademoiselle Volume Impertinent Mascara. The wand is gloriously thick and the mascara itself pigmented an intense black. I love it, it gives me seriously glamorous lashes! I'm thinking of keeping this mascara as an evening one for when I want to channel my elegant French up-bringing :-) 

The final surprise is this super cute Claudie Pierlot purse. It's in her classic, simplistic style of a pretty, deep navy, subtly bordered with red. The signature Claudie bow decorates the front. It's the perfect size for carrying your few essentials and the soft leather is a delight to hold. Be a minimalist like all the best Parisiennes! 

Of all the subscription boxes out there, this is a firm favourite and I honestly can't wait to see what next month's box has in store! Have you tried this subscription box? Let me know what you think in the comments below :-) 


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London Cosmetics Haul

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Hello everyone! 

It feels like forever since I last did a haul post! I think it's because I tend to buy new products in bits and bobs rather than one big splurge. This is in the vague hope that I will feel less guilty for decimating my doesn't work! Anyway I went to London last week with my Mam to keep her company to and from work. While she was working I decided to do a little bit of cheeky shopping! 

My first stop was of course the infamous Lush shop on Oxford Street. It's hard not to pop in when I'm so close! I have been mentally preparing for the dry skin that comes with autumn breezes and damp weather by planning a new and improved skin care routine. To aid this I wanted to try out a few new products in store and decide what suited me. The shop assistant was so helpful and spent at least 30 minutes talking me through products and trying out treatments. 

In the end I mixed it up by getting a facial soap and a steam toner. Yes, that was not a typo, I meant to write a steam toner. For those who, like me last week, don't know what that is, it's a small tablet (similar to a dish washer tablet) which you put in a small amount of water. You then put a towel over your head while it hangs over the bowl of water and you use the steam as a toning treatment. Afterwards you can pour the water into a small bottle and keep it as a normal toner for the next weeknas long as it is refrigerated. I went for Dream Steam, which has the most lovely scent! It smells of rose, lavender and chamomile blue oil, with a slight hint of tea tree oil. Apparently it is really good for dry or sensitive skin as it opens up your pores so the oils can be absorbed properly :-) 

Now for the facial soap! I went for Fresh Farmacy because I loved the scent of elderflower and calamine, it is simply delightful. It makes me think of meadows! The chamomile blue oil and lavender oil make it feel very soothing on the skin. It is super creamy and lathers up beautifully. The different elements provide antiseptic and soothing properties, as well as helping to restore the natural balance of your skin. 

I couldn't go to London without nipping into Abercrombie and Fitch to pick up a new bottle of Fierce. I love this scent to pieces, even though it is a men's cologne I think it can smell quite feminine on the right person. Over the years it has become my signature scent. The sandalwood fragrance makes me feel so refreshed and ready to take on the day! 

Another sign that summer is almost over is my fading tan. Not that I had much of a tan anyway, let's face it, as a red-head I am rather porcelain skinned. However, I do still need different shades from summer to winter. Sadly my current foundation is getting a tad too dark for me now, so I went in search of a new one. The Nars Sheer Glow foundations have been raved about on the blogosphere for years and it was about time I tried one! In case you are wondering my shade is Light 4 Deauville. I loved how well it worked with my skin, the coverage is medium, but buildable without feeling heavy on my skin. I felt like my skin did glow and was still well moisturised by the end of the day. Another aspect I liked was the buying the pump separately part. It means I can recycle it for future products and help the environment in some small way :-) 

I did a tad of clothes shopping when I was there so if you would like to see those pieces then let me know in the comments below! Please do tell me what you think of these products if you've tried them :-) 


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Sample Sunday - Lush

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Hello everyone! 

It's Sunday again so it's time to look at some samples! Lush is such a well loved shop throughout the entire world and the vast majority of beauty bloggers have written about them at some point. However, they are constantly updating their products to keep it fresh so it's worth popping in every now and again to check for new things :-) 

Having sensitive skin means that I like to try things out first as a sample before I buy them. The shop assistants are more than happy to provide samples where possible, especially for skin care. With the onset of winter I want to up my skin care game and really go all out for moisture. To achieve this I have turned to Lush, trying out two products this time. 

The first is the much acclaimed Dream Cream body lotion. This product is aimed at dryer skin or people suffering from mild eczema. I get a bit of hay fever related dry skin on the backs of my arms and I want to get rid of it and feel confident getting my arms out while I still can! The Dream Cream actually feels like cool silk when I rub it in, soaking in almost immediately and leaving my skin feeling soft and calmed for hours. It smells subtle and like most normal body lotions, being primarily made up of cocoa butter. It also has hints of rose oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil and oat milk to help your skin feel soothed, yet invigorated. Since using this my skin has calmed down a lot and I am definitely planning on buying a full size tub. This is a real winner for me! 

The second sample is the Aqua Marina fresh cleanser. This cleanser is not a makeup remover, it's aimed at people cleansing in the morning, after a makeup free day or for when you do a double cleanse after taking off your makeup. This product feels quite luxurious and I am very much enjoying trying it out. I was slightly concerned that the seaweed would feel rough on my sensitive skin, but it is actually quite soothing. It smells a little odd, but it isn't unpleasant. I think it smells quite beach-like with the Irish moss seaweed, aloe vera and calamine powder. I could imagine Ariel and her mermaid sisters using this! It's soft on the skin and very rich, so I think I would make this an occasional product rather than an everyday cleanser. Maybe for every 2-3 day use for a deeper cleanse. 

Have you tried these products? Let me know what you think in the comments below :-) 


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Getting Dressed Up Playlist **

Friday, 16 September 2016

Hello everyone! 

Tonight is Friday night and I know that for many of you that means a party or going out with friends. It usually does for me too, but I am driving back up to university tomorrow morning so I can't afford the tiredness *sigh*. However, I am still in the party spirit so I thought I would share with you my go to playlist for getting ready!

I'm fairly old school with my taste in music, I like country and classic rock mostly with the odd pop song thrown in the midst! What I like the most about parties isn't actually the party itself, I find it much more fun getting ready with all my girlfriends. The gossiping, outfit swapping, makeup and anticipation of the fun is often better than the event itself. Although much as I love getting ready at university, I do miss my best friend, which I'm sure is something a lot of people struggle with! Airtime is the perfect app for that, you can video chat with a couple of people at once and share your songs with them so you end up listening to the same thing. Long distance getting ready together!! 

Anyway, I can hear you all shouting "Please just give us the playlist!" so without further ado here it is: 

  • Supermassive black hole - Muse 
  • All Summer Long - Kid Rock 
  • Welcome to the Jungle - Guns'n'Roses 
  • Perfect - One Direction
  • Dear Maria - All Time Low 
  • Gun Powder and Lead - Miranda Lambert 
  • We Weren't Born to Follow - Bon Jovi 
  • You Give Love A Bad Name - Bon Jovi 
  • Mississippi Flood - Hayden Panettiere 
  • Why - Avril Lavigne 
  • Levitate- Hollywood Undead 
  • Le Deux -  Hollywood Undead 
  • 22 - Taylor Swift 
  • I See Fire - Ed Sheeran 
  • TNT - ACDC 
  • Bat Country - Avenge Sevenfold 
Yeah I know this is a weird playlist, but I just put on some of my favourite tunes :-) This isn't a definite list and can vary quite a lot between types of nights. If it's a big party I quite like to throw in some Glee covers, or for a ball I like Disney songs! Occasionally I'll do classical music too, it really is quite eclectic! 

What do you like to listen to before going out? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


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The Sky Is Everywhere - Review

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Hello everyone!

As you may already know I love to read anything I can get my hands on, but recently I have been reading a string of heavy books. Now I like a challenge, but there is nothing like a hard to get into book to plunge you deep into a reading slump. In an effort to re-ingite my passion for reading, I picked up The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson as a cover buy. Little did I know it's not an easy read, however, this did not stop me tearing through it. 

The cover of this book drew me in, how could it not? It's stunning! I was expecting a fluffy YA (young adult) book to plough through quickly. Actually, this story is very deep and was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. The story follows Lennie as she comes to grips with the sudden loss of her older sister Bailey. We watch her struggle against tidal waves of grief, bringing out a new self destructive streak. Slowly she begins to look up, seeing the world around her afresh and what she sees is Joe Fontaine. As Lennie learns to live with a broken heart and how falling in love can be so healing, she also learns to look around her and see that others are grieving too, that they need her help and support. 

This book was hard to read because of how realistically it deals with loss. I wish I had read this book a long time ago, I wish it had been around long before it was written. When I was 16, I lost my grandmother and it left me devastated. Like Lennie, I was a total mess. If I had been able to read this book then it would have helped me understand my inner turmoil, control the emotions raging through me. More importantly, it would have taught me to be less selfish. I think this book would have helped me a lot and I hope it helps others now. I would recommend this to any young person dealing with loss or anybody close to them looking for understanding. A definite 4.5 stars for this one.

Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought in the comments below :-) 


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Sample Sunday - Scents

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Hello everyone! 

Now I don't know about you, but I love samples! They are such a great way to try out a product to decide whether you like it or not. I have been squirrelling away samples for months now in order to create a mini-series in which I trial them for you :-)

To kick things off let's talk about scents. I seem to get given the same scents all the time, which is great if I like them, but not so great if I want to try loads to review! The two that I have been given many of are Miu Miu and Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle. 

The Miu Miu scent is very fresh and woody, it's almost a unisex scent really. It has notes of akigalawood to give it the freshness, with the more subtle lily of the valley to give a light, floral tone. The fragrance is actually Miu Miu's first foray into the perfume world and I think it is a fantastic first. It makes me quite excited to see what the brand will bring out next. This scent is quite grown-up and would suit any woman of any age. It could be an everyday scent, but could also easily be used as a more elegant evening scent. It really is quite versatile! 

Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle is hardly a new scent, but is very much loved all over the world. A few years ago it was my signature scent, so I am very fond of it. It's a much younger scent than the traditional No. 5. To give it that more youthful feel quite a few floral notes have been added. The more powerful tones to avail the senses are jasmine and rose, with a kick of orange. The after tones of patchouli and vetiver are more subtle, but play a big part in reigning back the scent to keep it delicate and feminine. Although it is distinctly floral, it still manages to keep a freshness which is essential for its youthful vibe. This scent was inspired by Gabrielle Chanel and although aimed at a younger market, I feel it could be worn by anyone! 

Fragrance is something that I get quite excited about and I can't wait for Chanel's latest fragrance to appear on shelves. They have launched a new edition of Chanel No.5 in the form of Chanel No.5 L'eau! This is aimed to be a younger version of the signature Chanel perfume to make it more accessible to a younger market, almost a little sister scent for the original fragrance. 

What is your favourite fragrance? Let me know in the comments below :-) 


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Liquid Lipstick Loving

Friday, 9 September 2016

Hello everyone! 

It's been a little while since I did a beauty product review and there is a very simple explanation. In the summer I don't wear a lot of makeup, I prefer that more natural glowing look given by the sun itself. However, now that autumn is rapidly approaching expect beauty reviews, looks and how to's galore :-) 

I am always super picky when it comes to my lipsticks, so I have been waiting to find a really good high street liquid lipstick before I try it and then inevitably splurge on a high end product! Maybelline have very recently released a set of 6-8 (depending on which country you are in) matte liquid lipsticks. These are the Vivid Matte Liquids by ColorSensational, the official lipsticks of New York Fashion Week! 

Left to right: 45 Possessed Plum and 05 Nude Flush

I decided to go for two autumnal colours from the range, as I'm not quite feeling the bold red lips yet and the muted nudes are definitely more of a summer thing for me. I chose 45 Possessed Plum and 05 Nude Flush (yeah, I know I said I didn't want a nude, but this one is more pink). I actually found them very different, so I'm going to write about them individually. 

Nude Flush is actually not a true nude, it is very definitely a pink. I love the duskiness of this shade, given to it by the matte finish. It makes me think of late bloom roses. The texture is very creamy, and almost feels like a satin on the lips. It feels quite cooling as it dries, which sounds weird, but is actually quite nice! I found that Nude Flush took quite a while to dry onto the lips and doesn't have the best staying power. However, the lovely colour and the fabulous matte finish more than make up for it. 

Possessed Plum is just as creamy as Nude Flush, but dries in half the time. I'm not sure if that's the same for all the products, or if I have one weird one? The finish is lovely, not as dark as in the bottle, but it is quite buildable. You can apply it lightly for a light plum tone or build the colour for a deep berry look. I really love the matte finish, matte berry tones are so on trend for this autumn and I have been wearing this most days since I bought it. The colour fades slowly over a couple of hours if you are eating and drinking, but it does fade evenly so you can avoid that dreaded line around your lips you sometimes get with other lip products! 

Concerning the other colours, there is a range from a vivid orange, red, berries and different nudes and browns. They are all lovely colours and there really is something for everyone. If you want to try out the liquid lipstick formula without breaking the bank, check these out :-) They are £6.99 each! 

Have you tried these? Let me know your favourite liquid lipstick in the comments below! Also please show me some love, this is my 100th post and I can't quite believe it has got this far! Thank you for your continued support and kind comments :-)


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Blogger Recognition Award

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful sunny Wednesday, I certainly am. I'm sat in the sun as I write this, happily grinning away to myself at how lucky I am to be nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by the lovely Izzy K. Thank you :-) 
The Blogger Recognition Award is a lovely way of showing support to other bloggers and sending out some smiles into the community. I'm so happy to have been nominated and am really enjoying writing this post, as the nomination does come with a couple of rules: 
  • Write a post about your award 
  • Show some love to the blogger who nominated you 
  • Tell you readers a little bit about why you first decided to blog 
  • Share your top two tips with new bloggers 
  • Nominated 15 other blogs or bloggers for the award 
It took me a long time to pluck up the courage to join the blogging community, I was a regular reader of many other beauty, cooking, lifestyle and literature blogs. I thought to myself "hey, I could really enjoy doing that". Then one otherwise uninteresting day I took the plunge and started this page. I have always loved to write and thought it would be a lovely hobby, as well as a great way to start conversations about things that I love. Since then, my blog has grown and I have continued to enjoy interacting with other bloggers and readers. I am full of excitement about what the future could hold for my little corner of the internet :-) 

So you want to start blogging or are very new to the blogosphere... My top advice would be to write about your passions. If you aren't interested in a topic it will show in the posts, people want to read about you getting excited and enjoying life! If you write posts like that people will find your content engaging and interesting. My second piece of advice is to not be afraid! Don't worry about how people will react to your post, or if you may get nasty comments. You can block negative people! Write from the heart and people will be lovely to you. I have to say that my experience so far has been continuously positive! 

Wowee this part was hard! There are so many truly inspiring bloggers out there, it was hard to choose, but because I had to... here they are: 
Please head on over and check out their wonderful blogs! Let me know in the comments below if there is any content you are dying to see on the blog :-) 


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Superfoods and Skin Care **

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Hello everyone! 

When I was in my teens I was extremely lucky to have clear skin, which was great for my confidence and everything, but meant that I was a bit blasé about skin care. I tended to just eat whatever I wanted and didn't think about hydration or superfoods at all! Since adulthood and reading all about people's skin care routines I have had a complete change of heart. Skin care is so important, but more important is healthy eating and staying hydrated, it helps you obtain clear and glowing skin. After speaking with, a highly reputable online health food store, I was inspired to take part in a discussion of how healthy eating can improve your skin. Naturally, I was super keen to get involved with all beauty related discussions :-) 

Today I want to talk a bit about the benefits of Goji Berries, Cacao Nibs, Herbal Teas and Chia Seeds. I will also be including a couple of tips on how I like to incorporate these into healthy snacks. Eating healthily is something that I rely on for energy during tricky times like exam revision and stressful work periods. A delicious, yet healthy snack can instantly boost your mood, giving you essential nutrients and making you feel virtuous for actually eating something good for you instead of snacking on chocolate. So delicious and tempting, but so regrettable afterwards! 

Goji berries are packed full of Vitamins A, B2 and C, as well as Zinc. Their antioxidant properties are believed to boost your immune system, helping to clear and improve your skin. You can eat these raw, dried or incorporate them in baking recipes. I like to add them to salads with walnuts, rocket, grapes, red pepper and chia seeds. I quite like their sweet flavouring when raw and will quite happily eat them on their own. 

Cacao nibs are one of the purer forms of chocolate, they are raw, crushed and dehydrated cocoa beans without the additional milk and sugar used to transform them into chocolate as we know and love it. Cacao nibs are full of antioxidants and the lack of sugar makes them a much more skin friendly snack. They are also found to be really effective at combatting PMS, so ladies when the monthly demon rears its head you should consider these as a little snack! Cacao nibs can be a little bitter if you are used to milk chocolate and I will admit I don't enjoy eating them on their own, although they do have quite a good minty tang! I prefer to add them to a cake or brownie mix. My favourite way to eat them is adding them to greek yoghurt with honey and dried goji berries. This makes a delicious and nutritious snack, with the honey adding that bit of sweetness. I also like to bake sugar free brownies using cinnamon, dark chocolate, cacao nibs and goji berries. These make quite a good revision snack as you can make them into quite small chunks, ideal for nibbling at my desk! 

Chia seeds are super versatile, they can be added to both sweet and savoury recipes. I enjoy adding these to rocket, red lettuce and tomato salads. However, my favourite way to eat them is to sprinkle them on top avocado and poached egg on toast. They are so easy to just chuck into a recipe, and they taste really rich and nutty. Please do bear in mind that it isn't recommended to have more than 15g per day, moderation is key! Chia seeds are great for clear skin, they are rich in antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, fibre and a whole bunch of vitamins! 

Everybody is all about the matcha green tea at the moment, unfortunately I am not a caffeine drinker! However, its skin benefits are indisputable. Matcha tea is an ancient Chinese recipe, the antioxidants coupled with the purity of the tea and hot water is great for opening up your pores and clearing your skin. My non-caffeine alternatives are herbal tea, especially ginger and lemon, they make my skin feel invigorated and fresh. Both varieties of tea help keep you hydrated, which is essential in achieving that gorgeous glowing skin :-) 

How do you like to enjoy healthy snacks? If you have any recipe tips please let me know in the comments below :-)


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