Monday, 31 August 2015

August Favourites 2015


Saying goodbye to August always gets me a little bit sad, just because it's my birthday month (yes, I know I'm not 10 anymore) and it pretty much signals the end of Summer (even though I actually like Autumn, theres just no pleasing some people). There's a few stand out products I've been reaching for this month, so I thought I'd pop them into a post to show you. 

The first is a product that I feel I can never be without in my stash; Batiste Dry Shampoo. Having fine hair, it really is a god send. It means I can train my hair to go longer between washes instead of having to wash it every other day. I've tried most of them and I recently picked up the Ella Henderson edition and have been loving it's sweet, fresh scent. A must-have! Next up is a brush I wasn't overly impressed with at first; The Real Techniques Cheek Brush (from the Nic's Picks Collection). Obviously, designed to be used for blusher, I didn't really think much of it as I found it a bit too dense for powder blush, however, recently I've been using it to apply foundation and it works like a dream. Being slightly fluffier than the Buffing Brush, it gives a lighter finish and I've really been loving it. The only thing I've been reaching for on my cheeks this month is the Makeup Revolution All About Cream Blush Palette (review here). With 8 beautifully buttery shades in a mix of pinks, reds, and corals, there's one for everyone & at £6 it won't break the bank. On the lashes, it has had to be the SEVENTEEN Falsifeye HD Mascara*. Fastly becoming my Holy Grail, this mascara is simply amazing at lengthening and separating the lashes to give that fluttery look. For £6.99 I think this'll be a forever repurchase. (FYI, Seventeen products are currently on 2 for £8 in Boots). Last but certainly not least is one of the newest lipsticks in my collection. If Summer was a lipstick, it would be MAC's Costa Chic. Being a frost formula I was afraid it would look a bit #90sglitterball, but it really doesn't. The subtle shimmer just adds to this beautiful coral pink. It stands out so much, especially when a bit tanned. My favourite Summer time lipstick for sure, I'll be sad to put it away during Autumn/Winter.

What have you been reaching for most this month?

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Sunday, 30 August 2015

SEVENTEEN




SEVENTEEN is a brand that have really upped their game recently, especially since their major rebranding. They're always at the forefront of every new trend and their products are such great quality and super affordable. I recently received an amazing surprise parcel from the lovely people behind the brand, containing some of their best selling products. To say I was shocked is an understatement - such a lovely surprise! I just wanted to give you a little run down of the products I received, and also give a quick mention about their new Bloggers Network. This week, SEVENTEEN are launching a network for bloggers, which allows us to upload blog posts in order to gain a wider audience, view their noticeboard, gain access to exclusive new content and be the first to see new releases. I've already signed up and it looks like it's gonna be a great community. You can take a look here
Anyway, onto the goodies...

I actually wrote a rave review on this product on the blog back in May (here) and it has become an absolute staple in my makeup bag ever since. It's such an amazing product that I don't think gets half as much credit as it should. I reviewed the fair kit, so I'm excited to try the Medium one when I'm fake tanned a bit. The formula of this is so creamy and pigmented that it blends with ease without looking orange or dirty. With it's sleek, black packaging and generously sized mirror, it's the perfect handbag accompaniment. 

Perfect for summer, this shimmer brick gives a lovely bronzed glow to the cheeks. It's really pigmented, so a little goes a long way with this. I've also heard it can be used as a pretty decent eyeshadow palette, so I'll be looking forward to giving that a go.

Skin Wow Primer*. £5.99
Another product that I've had in my stash in the past and really loved. It makes a lovely base under makeup (or mixed in with foundation) to give an overall glow, aswell as dabbing on the cheekbones as a subtle highlight. A great product to have in my makeup bag, especially as the whole 'strobing' trend is hot at the minute.

I have sooooo many brow kits just like this one in my collection, and I have to say this is definitely one of the better ones I've tried. It contains a wax, a powder and a highlight shade, aswell as a pencil (added bonus). It's a pretty universal medium brown, which suits my brows nicely as it doesn't run too warm like a lot of these brow kits tend to.

Fastly becoming my holy grail mascara. This is such an amazing mascara which is up there with the likes of Benefit's Roller Lash. It lengthens and volumises and just gives the lashes that wow factor. My Mam also has this mascara and I noticed a huge difference in her lashes. Two very happy ladies here!

I haven't actually tried these nail polishes yet, but the shade Irish Coffee is definitely gonna be next to grace my nails!


Seriously, thank you SO much to the lovely people at SEVENTEEN, and if you haven't tried any of their products yet, then I suggest you tottle off down to Boots and grab them - especially the mascara!

Twitter: @SEVENTEEN_UK
Instagram: @SEVENTEEN_UK

#SEVENTEENBloggerNetwork

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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Freddie's 6 Month Update



So it seems the last time I featured my Sons on my blog was back in February when I made Freddie's birth announcment and wrote my labour and delivery story. How awful of me! I hate to sound like such a cliché, but honestly, time has flown ridiculously fast and he's now 6 months old and has changed SO much from that little bundle we brought home in February! I wanted to do a little post just to update you all on his progress and show you all what an adorable little boy he's turning into! #soppypostalert

3 months

Character - Where do I start? Well I'll start by saying what a healthy, happy little baby he is. He's seriously such a joy to have and look after (which is a God send considering I currently also have a potty training George to contend with). He smiles pretty much all the time at anyone who gives him an ounce of attention. He just absolutely loves social interaction and is at his happiest when he's sat in a room full of people with all eyes on him. He loves children the most though; his eyes light up when George goes near him and I can tell all he wants to do is get down and dirty with George and his toys. George being a toddler on a mission doesn't really bother with him, but it's so cute to watch how much Freddie already adores his big brother! I'd say he's been smiling since about 6 weeks and had his first proper giggle (which I missed), at 3.5 months. He's so funny now, he's really found his voice and does this adorable high pitched squeal when we're out in public. Much to the amusement of everyone around.

3 months

Physical - It's safe to say he is dying to get on the move. He can sit unsupported for a minute or so, but if he's supported he'll happily sit and play with whatever he can get his hands on. It's so cute to watch him reach out for his little toys and gum them to within an inch of their lives. He's been rolling over for a couple of months and there's absolutely no stopping him now. He won't lay on his back for more than 10 seconds before he's over onto his front nosing around. He will get sick after a while and gets quite frustrated that he hasn't worked out how to roll back yet. He doesnt get onto all fours in the crawling position yet, but he'll use objects to push/pull himself into the direction he wants to be, so I reckon it won't be long until he figures out how to get on the move.

4 months

Sleeping - I really don't wanna be one of those 'rubbing it in your face' type of Mums who go on about how their baby has slept through the night since birth, but I just wanna be honest with his update. He's always been a good sleeper through the night and probably started sleeping through at about 8 weeks (absolute heaven not having to get up to do night feeds at 3am). He usually sleeps all night from around 7-7.30 but I do have to get up once or twice to him just to put his dummy back in. In terms of naps, he's such a light sleeper so every day is different depending on what we're doing. If we're at home all day, he'll have a morning nap at 10ish for around an hour or so in his cot, and then again at around 2pm for an hour or so. If we're out and about during the day he will only have the odd 10 minute nap, so by teatime he's usually past himself and has a cheeky little nap before his bath which does throw his routine out a bit but hey, if he wants to sleep I'm not gonna stop him! lol

6 months

Eating - So since he was a few days old, he's been bottle fed (on Aptamil) as we had some troubles with breastfeeding and tongue tie etc which I won't go into. He currently has 4 x 8oz bottles a day and now that he's 6 months he's able to eat solid foods. This is probably the biggest step in his development so far. Before he turned 6 months, I'd tried him on some baby rice and porridge etc which he loved, but I really wanted to try baby led weaning this time around. (BLW is when you skip pureed foods and simply give baby whatever you're eating but in finger food form - minus salt and sugar etc). This week I've given him toast, banana, carrots, brocolli and sweet potato - all of which he absolutely loved. I'm a bit of a nervous wreck still though, as I'm so scared he'll choke, but I've got lots of friends who've gone down this weaning route and have reassured me that gagging is all part of the learning process and is completely different to choking. I'm sure I'll relax as time goes on and I'm so excited to start his solid food journey.

So that's it. I'd love to hear your baby stories, especially if you also went down the BLW route and have any helpful advice or tips. 

Here's to the next 6 months...

George Aged 2 years 8 months
Freddie aged 3 months
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Monday, 24 August 2015

Benefit Stay Don't Stray Stay Put Primer






When it comes to applying makeup, I'd say eyeshadow is probably what I'm worst at. I never seem to get a smokey eye perfect, and it always seems to crease on me. I've learnt recently that an eyeshadow primer is an absolute must-have if you want your eyeshadow to stay in place and not crease. 

My brother bought me the Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer as a gift last Christmas (without any prompting from me might I add), and since then I've realised I just can't apply eyeshadow without it.  Benefit's Stay Don't Stray is different to other primers I've tried, as it can actually be used to prime underneath the eyes for concealer as well as on the eye lids. As with all Benefit products, it has quirky marketing which I love. It is so-named because it aims to make eyeshadow 'stay put' and keep concealer from 'straying'. The primer comes in 2 shades; Light/Medium and Medium/Deep. I got the shade Light/Medium, which goes well with my skintone. I love how this looks on my eyelids as it's got that hint of coverage in the shade that helps to even out the skin tone and gets rid of any veins or redness. It's really creamy, which means it blends in with ease and doesn't cake or crumble. 

In terms of staying power, I can honestly say for a fact that this makes my eyeshadow last DOUBLE the length of time than it would without it. It also makes whatever eyeshadow I'm wearing look all the more vibrant and pigmented, and who doesn't want that? I haven't really been using it for under eyes, as I don't think I really need it under there, but I'd imagine it would work great for those who suffer with under-eye circles as it will help even out the skintone before you even apply the concealer.

Stay Don't Stray retails at £20.50, but is currently on QVC for £17 and you get a free mini Porefessional Primer, too. Bonus!


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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

MAC Girl About Town Lipstick




Yep, another MAC Lippie. This time, in the form of the brightest lipstick in my entire collection. MAC's Girl About Town is a lipstick I've heard so much about, so when I seen it at the CCO York for £10, I grabbed it without even really looking at it. 

Girl About Town is a deep, fuchsia pink and is an Amplified Creme Formula, which means it's super pigmented and opaque in just one swipe. This is an absolutely beautiful lipstick with a gorgeous, creamy formula, and have seen it look amazing on so many people, but as I very rarely wear lipsticks this bright, I'm finding it really hard to get used to. I've worn it twice so far (both evenings), and got a shock every time I looked in the mirror. I know it sounds daft, but I'm the same with bright reds. I think I can cope with a bright red/pink if they're really sheer, but because this is so amplified it's just scary. I always feel like I don't suit them, so I shy away and go for more subtle pinks/corals. Saying that, give me a bright orange and I'm all over it. Strange. I'm not gonna give up on it though, as I think I need to conquer my fears! Both times I've used this, I've noticed that the lasting power is fantastic, it only really fades when eating/drinking and even then it does so evenly and leaves a nice stain behind.

What do you think of Girl About Town?

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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

No7 Early Defence Day Cream | #SlowMoYourSkin


No7 recently launched a new line of skincare called Early Defence, targeted at younger skin types (20-30s), in an attempt to slow down the signs of ageing or as they put it 'slow mo your skin'. I was recently very kindly gifted their Early Defence Day Cream* from my local Boots (Middlesbrough), to see what I thought about the new range. The range consists of a Day Cream (£19.50), a Night Cream (£19.50) and an Eye Cream (£13.50). 

No7 Say:
No7 Early Defence Skincare with unique Double Defence technology and superlight formulations is specially designed to keep young skin looking younger for longer. Every day your skin is exposed to environmental stresses like UV rays and pollution which can put a lot of pressure on your skin. Double Defence technology (patent pending) is a powerful blend of antioxidants which help protect your skin from environmental stresses. It also includes ingredients that help boost your skin's natural defences.
The Early Defence Day Cream also has 5* UV Protection plus SPF 15, which is an added bonus. Firstly, the packaging is so sleek and expensive looking, with it's glass outer shell and shiny black lid. #sassy. The formula of this day cream is feather-light, which, usually I shy away from as my dry skin needs something a bit richer, but this is different. It gives my skin all the hydration it needs, whilst absorbing quickly, leaving a great base for makeup. Obviously, in terms of keeping my skin looking younger, I can't really comment on that yet, but I do think my skin feels plumper and I love being safe in the knowledge that my skin is being protected when I'm out and about. 

You can watch the #SlowMoYourSkin video here, and read more about the benefits of No7's new range. And if you're ever in or around Middlesbrough, make sure you pop into Boots, as the girls on the No7 counter are amazing and so helpful.

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Makeup Revolution All About Cream Blush Palette | Review & Swatches



Makeup Revolution are absolutely everywhere at the minute. They're an amazing brand that are always one step ahead when it comes to the latest makeup trends, and best of all, they're so purse friendly. The quality of their products never fails to disappoint, so I knew I wouldn't be let down when I recently picked up their All About Cream Blush Palette. Cream blushers are my favourite kind of blush, and what's better than 1 new one? A whole palette of course! 

Firstly, true to form, the packaging is sturdy and sleek with it's shiny black exterior, and inside there's of course a mahoosive mirror the size of the entire lid. And they say size doesn't matter! Let's be honest, there's always brownie points for the size of the mirror in a palette. There's 8 shades in total, ranging from deep, pinky-reds, to subtle corals to a couple of barbie pinks. I absolutely love the shade range and think if I could just use these 8 shades forever I'd be quite happy with that. The formula of these blushes is literally like butter. When you swatch with your finger they actually feel so creamy they're almost oily, but  don't be put off. When applied to the skin they turn into what can only be described as buttercream and blend to a velvety-soft finish. The pigmentation is excellent, too, meaning less is definitely more here. I'd say they last about 3-4 hours on my skin, but I imagine if I set them with a powder blush over the top I'd probably get a lot longer out of them.  

For £6, this is an absolute bargain as you're paying 75p per blush! Talk about VFM!

I think my favourites so far have been the 3rd and 4th from the left on the top row! I think I'll keep the deeper shades on the left for when the colder weather comes in!

Makeup Rev, you've done it again!
*currently trying to fight the urge to abuse the 3 for 2 they currently have on their website here*


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Sunday, 16 August 2015

Current Body Care Favourites


The one and only thing that annoys me about Summer is that you've got to take extra care of the body! Ha, how lazy and disgusting does that sound? But I just mean you've gotta shave more often and plan your outfits about how spiky your legs are. Highly annoying if I'm honest. Therefore, I've recently got a few products on the go in my little body care routine that I thought I'd share. Firstly when I'm gonna shave I like to make sure I've fully exfoliated, as exfoliating helps to bring any ingrown hairs back to the surface and also gets rid of any dead skin cells ready for shaving. For this I've been loving the Scrub of Your Life from Soap & Glory. It's more like a body polish than a harsh scrub, which is why I like it before shaving. It's gentle and it really leaves my skin ultra shiny and smooth. Now usually I would use shower gel or Dove soap to shave with, but I was recently sent the SASS Intimate Soothe & Smooth Shave Gel* and now I can't imagine using anything else. I can't believe the difference it makes to my skin. I mean, I've used shave gels before (you know the ones that turn into foam) but this is different. It's a clear gel that feels thick, luxurious and a pleasure to shave with. It's so gentle and soothing, that at £10 I think it's completely worth it. To shave with, I absolutely always use Venus from Gilette, dunno why, I just always have done. I recently picked up the new Venus Snap Razor, which is a travel version that uses the same cartridges as the full size version. It comes in a cute little plastic case which is really handy for travel. Once I'm shaved and out of the shower, obviously I like to moisturise, which I'll be honest I don't always do, but I try and make sure I do when I've shaved. Recently I've been absolutely loving The Body Shop's Virgin Mojito Body Butter*. Now we all know how popular their body butters are, and this one smells exactly like Twister Lollies. What's not to love? Last but certainly not least is deodorant. I've been using the Sure Women Maximum Protection Cream Deodorants since last summer and I haven't looked back. Hands down the BEST deodorant I've ever tried. They're the kind of deodorant that you keep getting whiffs of throughout the day and keep you bone dry even after the most active of days. On the odd time I'd ran out and had to use a run of the mill spray deodorant, I certainly noticed a difference and swiftly ran to Boots to purchase another. They do a few different scents in the range and I've tried them all and they're all fab. I can't really believe I'm raving about a deodorant on my blog, but it deserves it, truly it does.

What are your current body care faves? Are you in love with a deodorant as much as I am?
  
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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

'Me Time'


Being a Mother of two young children (an almost 3 year old and a 5 month old), 'me time' is pretty hard to come by. I usually only get proper time to myself at night time when the babies are in bed, and even then I have a husband to entertain, lol. When I do get some time to myself, there's a few things I enjoy doing to relax and de-stress (after blogging of course), so I thought I'd share them.

Lighting some candles - Nothing more relaxing than having a nice smelling house. I love a good Yankee Candle, and have one burning most nights (it's also my Martin's pleasure, think he loves a candle more than I do). We've used plenty of the jars and have a couple going at the minute, but our faves are the wax tarts as it's a great way of trying lots of different scents.

Reading a book - Gotta be honest, this is one I need to try and do more often, as I do find it so relaxing and I've been loving Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes so I really wanna get stuck into it.

Doing a puzzle - Yes, I know it sounds really geeky but I recently discovered this Logic Problems magazine and I absolutely cannot get enough of the puzzles. It takes my mind off all other stresses in my life and it's great brain training too!

Adult Colouring - This is also a recent discovery. I'd seen this cropping up all over instagram and read it was great for stress relieving so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm still on the first page but when I get time I love getting stuck in and seeing what I come up with. It's so therapeutic.

What do you do to de-stress and relax?

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Saturday, 8 August 2015

Cute New Bits From Home Bargains






H O M E  B A R G A I N S - I love youuu! Seriously though, can't beat a good bargain shop, and Home Bargains is certainly my favourite out of the MANY we have in Middlesbrough. I actually have Sophie from avenue de sophie to thank for this little haul (credit where credit is due), as it's this post that made me want to run and see what cute bits I could find in my local HB. Thanks Sophie!

The first things I picked up were these Vintage Eerin Mason Jars - one with a traditional gold lid and one with a green polka dot lid and matching straw. I thought the traditional one would work well as a vase for some nice small flowers, whilst the other one would look great with a smoothie or milkshake inside. (Yes, I'm mainly thinking about pretty Instragrammable pictures with everything I bought here, I won't lie). I think these were about 59p each, absolutely bargainous. The next thing I picked up was this adorable Tea Mug. Again, think this just looks fab and can be used as either a drinking mug or a lovely little window ledge decoration. They also had other designs including coffee ones, but obviously as a tea lover I had to go for tea. This was £1.50. I know!

Lastly, for £1.59, I got this 4 pack of Glass Milk Bottles with coloured straws. How adorable? I've been after something like this for ages and think this will be a great addition to my kitchen. Can't wait to drink a little milkshake from these! 

Have you found any home bargains lately?

If you're not following me on Instagram, I'd love you to have a peek here


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Friday, 7 August 2015

Recent Haul - Primark & Superdrug




Along with my recent MAC Lipstick Haul, I also picked up a few other bits from Primark & Superdrug that I thought I'd pop into a post. Last week I went to the Primark in Newcastle which is sooo much bigger than my local Middlesbrough store. Saying that, I think I did quite well as I only picked up a few bits. The first thing I picked up was this gorgeous Monochrome Gingham Scarf (£5). I know it's only August and I felt strange buying a scarf in the Summer but I couldn't resist and to be fair I've probably needed it a few days already! Bloody British Summer!! I grabbed these Hogwarts Knee High Socks just because I love anything Harry Potter related and I do love a good pair of knee highs to chill out in at night. I also picked up some hair clips as now I have a bob I can no longer put my hair up into a messy bun so I need some smaller clips to pin it back out of my face when I'm in one of those moods.  I love the little floral designs on these and for the price I don't care if they break within a week. I was looking all over for the Primark Beauty Blender Sponge but I couldn't see any, but I did find this Foundation Blending Sponge which is a smaller version with a brush handle so I thought I'd give it a go as it looks a good size for concealer. For £1.50 its certainly worth a dabble.

Onto Superdrug, I was just having a little browse as you do, and I noticed their Vitamin E Skincare range was on buy one get one half price. I needed a new exfoliator anyway, so I thought I'd give the Gentle Oatmeal Exfoliator a try, along with the Facial Oil, as I do love a good oil on the owld mush! I then popped over to Barry M as I'd been wanting to try their new Speedy Quick Dry Nail Polishes. They were on 2 for £7 so as it would have been rude to only choose one, I went for the shades Get Set Go - a vibrant, deep pink and Pit Stop - a pastel lilac/grey . Looking forward to giving them a go.

What have you picked up recently?

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Triple Cleanse


Oh makeup, how I love you, but why are you such a biatch to remove? Seriously though, cleansing is the most important part of any skincare routine, and I've heard a lot of people talking about double cleansing (cleansing twice), but heyyyyy trust me, sometimes a double isn't enough. I go for the triple cleanse to really make sure I've removed not only all traces of makeup, but also all traces of any cleansing residue left behind.

Step 1 - Oil
I like to start by applying a cleansing oil to dry skin to break down my makeup quickly and gently. I've been using the Superfacialist by Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Brighten Skin Renew Cleansing Oil (#whatamouthful) and it works really well. I like it because it's gentle enough to remove eye makeup and it even removes waterproof mascara. Once I've massaged this into the skin I then add water and it emulsifies and turns into a cleansing milk, which feels really moisturising. I then rinse with warm water.

Step 2 - Foam / Deep Cleanse
Because step 1 involves an oil, I absolutely have to go in with another cleanser to make sure that's removed. For step 2 I like to use a cleanser that's gonna deep clean but also brighten my skin so I like to opt for one that includes glycolic acid. I've recently started using the Nip + Fab Glycolic Cleansing Fix and it makes my skin feel so squeaky clean and works really well at removing any traces of the oil, as well as giving my skin a deep clean and gentle exfoliation.

Step 3 - Micellar Water
I know a lot of people use a Micellar Water as their first step to remove makeup, but I've found this is perfect as a step 3 to make sure it removes all traces of makeup, cleansing oil and any other residue ready for hydration. I've just started using the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, and I really love how gentle and soothing it is on my skin. I'll be honest though, I've used a few different Micellar Waters in the past and haven't really noticed much difference, so I think any brand would probably do the same job.

How do you cleanse?

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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Nudist





Lip crayons are everywhere recently, with every brand from Clinique to Collection offering their own  range of shades and formulas. I'm a massive fan of the Revlon and Bourjois offerings, and the newest one to my collection is the Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Nudist from Soap & Glory. I'd heard about this shade in particular from a few Bloggers and Youtubers, so when Boots had a 3 for 2 I obviously had to get my hands on it. 

This is literally my lip colour but better. It matches absolutely perfectly, and the formula feels so moisturising and creamy on the lips. It's a sheer formula and leaves a gorgeous sheen like a gloss (but without the stickiness). Because it's my lip colour, it doesn't really do that much to my overall makeup look, which I actually love as it's great for every day or for when I fancy that 'no makeup' look.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks retail at £8 and there's currently only 5 shades in the range. 
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