Cauliflower Garlic Bread

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If you like garlic bread but don't want to use lots of syns/calories then cauliflower garlic bread is worth a try. It isn't really quite the same but we quite like it and it might be something you do too so worth a try!

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Beef or Quorn in Black Bean Sauce

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This is not quite syn free on Slimming World but much lower syn and lower calorie than ordering a take away and we enjoy it just as much!

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Crispy Kale

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This has been said to taste a little like Crispy Seaweed and is just a nice little addition to a Chinese Fakeaway!

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Vegetable Spring Rolls

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These have to be one of my favourites for a takeaway Chinese so I was determined to make a healthier version! Here is what I came up with!

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Egg Wraps

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If you don't want to waste syns on pancakes or maybe you are gluten free or just fancy a change, these egg wraps are really easy to make and lovely with shredded chicken etc or chilli. They are not as firm as a wheat type wrap though so fillings need to be quite firm or they easily go soggy!

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Sticky Mushrooms

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A great side dish for a Chinese feast these sticky mushrooms are really easy to make and taste absolutely delicious!

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Rattan Direct Conservatory Furniture 5 Drawer Abaca Storage Rack Review

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When I was asked to review some conservatory furniture my first thought was that I couldn't do it as I don't have a conservatory however on looking at the items I realised many of them would go well in various areas of the house not just a conservatory so I chose to review the 5 Drawer Abaca Rattan Storage Rack.

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Chicken/Quorn and Mushroom Curry

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A favourite at the Chinese, this recipe is also rather tasty and a great way of having your favourite Chinese at home with less syns or calories! Easy to make and well worth giving a go!

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Sweet and Sour Vegetables

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I love sweet and sour, but all the packets or jars are high in calories so I checked out a few simple Slimming World Friendly recipes and this was my favourite and very easy!

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Chow Mein Style Noodles

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I love a Chinese and especially noodles when they have a good flavour rather than just boiled plain noodles so I decided to find a way of making Chow Mein style noodles and this is what I came up with!

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My Birthday Meal and Night Out

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Last week was my birthday, 21 and a little bit of interest, ok a lot of interest! Ok so I was 37, I feel old on one hand and young on the other, is it really over 20 years since I left school? It isn't often that I do anything much for my birthday and the last two years I have actually been on holiday on my birthday so this year was very different. Two nights out in a row, but very different nights out to celebrate getting older! So what did I do....
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Heartier Meats Review and Discount Code

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We were lucky enough to be asked by Heartier to review some of their meats and recently received a box of foods to try out. Obviously as you know I am a vegetarian so my opinions are on the cooking and costs of the meats but I rely on Stuart and Ben for their verdict on taste! Heartier pride themselves in having a few local producers and butchers who send out their quality meat perfectly packaged. So we put Heartier to the test, are they as good quality as they say? Is it really like farm shop food delivered to your door?

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Just Average Jen is 2 Years Old Birthday Giveaway!

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Wow my blog is two years old already so I thought I would do you guys a little giveaway from me along with sharing my feelings about the last two years of blogging and a little thanks to you all!
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7 Must have apps for weight loss and healthy eating

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With most people having a smartphone nowadays I thought I would do a little roundup of some apps that can help with your weight loss journey and healthy eating regime. Here are my favourites, all available on Android, what are yours?

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How Active are our Children?

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As you will have seen in previous posts of mine about my son Ben and children in general, their diet and exercise is very important to me. Previous posts I have written around the subject can be found on 70 Ways to keep the kids moving and here about Ben's Healthy Eating Journey. I just wanted to share with you some research I have come across which may interest you.

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Our Holiday in the Sun

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If you follow me on social media you are likely to have spotted that we have just been on holiday to Majorca for just over a week and had an amazing time. I thought I would share with you some of the highlights of our holiday.

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Olive Oil Buyers Guide

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Whilst we usually use a low calorie spray oil there are some meals where only olive oil will do! We have just come back from a holiday in Mallorca so being in the Mediterranean many foods are made or prepared using olive oil and I discovered I quite liked some of the things they made. Whilst I still follow Slimming World I know if I want things like this I can syn them but if I am going to do that I want to use the right olive oil for the job!

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Guest Post - 5 Top Tips for Saving Money This Winter

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I am all for saving money so when Sarah, a fellow blogger suggested writing a post for me and my readers about saving money this winter I thought it would be a great idea as I know you readers love to save money too! Sarah writes a blog called Life in a Breakdown which is a lifestyle blog which covers a huge mixture of topics from beauty and money saving to mental health and travel! Sarah has been blogging since 2010 so she really does know what she is writing and is a hugely popular blogger so well worth a look. So, over to Sarah to give you some tips!

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9 Ways to make Vegetables Fun and Tastier!

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So many people who follow healthy eating plans such as Slimming World struggle to get their whole family eating the same meals as them because members of the family, particularly young children, do not like many vegetables. Adults can also get bored of the same vegetables and lose interest easily so I thought I would share some hints and tips of how to make your vegetables more interesting.

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Guest Post - The Miracle Morning

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I would love to wake up and start the day feeling really positive and full of energy wouldn't you? Apparently some people actually do achieve this....yes I know strange isn't it! I was chatting to another blogger Charlie about this recently and she told me all about "The Miracle Morning" and how this could really change my life. I was intrigued and when she started explaining I thought this would make a perfect guest post so all my readers could hear about it too. So here we are over to the lovely Charlie to tell you all about this philosophy and how it has worked for her.
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Guest Post - Moroccan Meatballs

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A blogger friend of mine Kerry from Blissful Domestication always makes some tasty looking food so when she offered to share a recipe with you guys I knew instantly that I just had to share it! Kerry does not follow Slimming World herself so I have added in the current syn values however please remember it is your responsibility to check if you follow any healthy eating plan!

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7 Ways that meal planning can change your life

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Sometimes when someone suggests meal planning it is the last thing that you actually want to do, but actually it is a really good idea and in my opinion can really change your life! If you don't believe me then read on and see if you agree then, or maybe you subconsciously meal plan but just don't write it down? After reading this I am sure you will reconsider and write up a meal plan for next week!
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Heartier Meats Unboxing and initial thoughts

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I have recently been sent a box of meat from the lovely guys at Heartier to review. The review with lots of photos will be posted in around a week or so however in the meantime as a little introduction to what they do here is my unboxing video and first thoughts.

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How to get a Stylish kitchen on a budget

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The kitchen is one of the best rooms to spend time in as a family. Whether it’s cooking a delicious roast, catching up at the end of a busy day or helping the kids with their homework, it’s certainly a room where we spend a lot of time. For that reason, you want it to look great. However, a stylish kitchen can come at a cost, and you can end up paying it off for years to come. What if I told you that there was a way to get the stylish kitchen of your dreams, without spending a fortune?

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Gingersnap Emoji Light box Review and Giveaway

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I love light boxes, they are so simple yet so useful but yet I have never bought one! When Gingersnap asked me to review their Emoji Light box I knew it would be a hit at home as Ben is almost 12 and like most children his age he loves Emojis! Not only can I share with you what I thought to this light box but you have the chance to win one too!

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Pork and Herb Melt in the Middle Burgers

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We had some pork mince that was 5% or less fat so I decided to experiment with some burgers for Ben and they went really well and work out as low syn or syn free on Slimming World (depending if you use your healthy extra a choice) so I thought I would share the recipe!

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Cauliflower Pilau Rice

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We love curries and love our Pilau rice so I thought what better a way to fill our plate with vegetables than to make a cauliflower Pilau rice that is full of flavour but also full of vegetables! It is so easy so I thought why not share the recipe for others to enjoy it too!

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Onion Gravy

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Gravy is such a staple on a roast dinner isn't it but it can also be quite high in syns or calories so I set about making one I would enjoy that would not only be syn free but also packed full of vegetables too. It isn't quite like a shop bought one but I love it and so do Stuart and Ben so I thought I should share the recipe!

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I Have Depression but it's OK - Ditch the Stigma!

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I have talked about my depression previously with you but I feel it is a good time to chat about it a bit more and with a bit of a different take on it as such. So many people have depression whether that be post natal depression, clinical depression or any other named type of depression. They are all the same though aren't they really, depression is depression but it doesn't have to have a stigma and we don't have to see it as a bad thing.

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Mixed Vegetable Biryani

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One of my favourite Indian foods has to be biryani, I love this recipe as it is super simple and makes a rather tasty biryani! Once you have tried it once you can easily swap ingredients around to make different biryani dishes too!

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Make My Blinds - Review

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I was recently approached by Make My Blinds to review some of their made to measure blinds and it couldn't have come at a better time. A few weeks previously we had broken the kitchen blind (being a little heavy handed with it!) and had been putting off replacing it while we looked around at different options. We also fancied one for the bathroom to match the colours we have in there.

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The Snowman Tour - A Perfect Pre-Christmas Family Show

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We have been lucky enough to have been given some tickets to see the magical Snowman Christmas show in early December. I am not ashamed to say that I am so excited! The Snowman just has to be my favourite ever Christmas film and the idea of seeing this show with a live orchestra just sounds amazing! Do you watch it as a family at Christmas? Maybe this would be a perfect family show in the lead up to Christmas?

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My Top 10 Sweet Tooth Buys

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I really do have a sweet tooth and would choose sweet over savoury every time I think, cake biscuits, chocolate, ice-cream I am really not fussy! I do however like my sweet fixes to be low in calories or low syn if you follow Slimming World like me. I thought I would share some of my favourites with you to hopefully give you some ideas of things you may not have tried yet! Just don't all rush out to buy them at once or there wont be any left for me!

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prAna Fall Collection Review and Discount Code

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The lovely people at prAna have sent me some clothes again to share with you guys. This time the clothes were from their lovely Fall '17 Collection. The clothes from prAna are all made with outdoor activity, and yoga in mind whilst still maintaining their passion for keeping clothes all made from hemp and where all products used are traceable and ensuring fair trade.

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Sweet Potato Cakes

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Despite the name unfortunately these are not cake! However they are very tasty and more like a hash brown in texture, spicy but not too spicy, unless like me you put too much chilli in by mistake, and great as a snack or with a huge variety of meals!

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Personalised Map Gifts - A Review

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When I was approached by the lovely Steph from Juniper Daze to review an item from her Etsy shop I must admit I was excited because I love a personalised gift! There is always something nice about having a little something in your house that is entirely made for you isn't there.

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Xupo - A Review and Giveaway

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**Contains Affiliate links**
Are you always losing your phone, keys, work pass, or something else? Do you like me spend forever looking for your phone while you are talking on it? I do hope some of you are reading this and as forgetful as me! I am always losing things, though not as often as Stuart and Ben, what is it with men and kids not looking for things properly? If you or someone you know is always losing things then the Xupo could be just what you need! We were lucky enough to be sent one to review!

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5 Years Time - A look at what I want to achieve by 2022

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So, this is another one of those blogger posts where bloggers all task each other to share certain things with our readers. This time it is all about where we want to be in 5 years time! So here are my answers which may or may not surprise you!
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Planning Christmas - 13 ways to make your money stretch!

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With Christmas gifts and decorations starting to appear in the shops and children starting to countdown (and some adults!) may of us are starting to wonder how we will afford everything we want. It is the same date every year but somehow it seems to just creep up on us doesn't it! Here I will share some tips to help you make your money stretch as much as possible so you can have the best Christmas you can afford.
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Should we ever discriminate because of weight?

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I read an article on the Daily Mail website this week (yes I know Daily Mail can be very much argument enticing articles but I couldn't resist) about a lady who refuses to let her daughter be taught by a fat teacher. As I have been both a size 30 and a size 6-8 and various points in between I have a mixture of opinions on this I thought I would share. The article I am talking about can be found here if you are interested.

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Safety Tips for Exercising Outside Alone

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As the nights draw in and we get more and more toward the winter months it can be harder to exercise outdoors alone. In collaboration with Bike Discounts UK I have some tips which will hopefully help you to stay safe whilst still getting out and doing the exercise you love whether that be walking the dog, running, cycling or even roller-skating!

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40 Healthy Family Meals on a Budget

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Are you looking for some budget recipes to feed the whole family? Did you have a nice summer but now worrying about paying the bills? Are you saving for Christmas but feel like you will never afford everything you like? Or maybe you spent a small fortune on school uniforms and now you feel you need to cut back? Whatever the reason I have some great recipes here for you for meals that will feed a family of 4 for less than £5 with some of the meals much less. Not only this but all fit well into a healthy eating plan like Slimming World! Don't let people tell you that it is more expensive to eat healthily because it doesn't have to be! Read on for some amazing budget recipes!

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Global Energy Race Sheffield UK 3K and 5K and Discount Code

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Do you want to be part of a world record attempt, Burn some calories, Get a Medal and help a charity all for just a few hours of your time and a few pounds? What are you doing on 24th September 2017 and can you get to Sheffield? If the answer to these is yes then read on!

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Knoppers - A New Yummy Chocolatey Snack!

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Do you love chocolate as much as I do? If I could live off chocolate and not gain weight I really would and I love to try new things so when I was approached to try and review Knoppers which are low calorie/low syn I was excited. It is a dream job really being asked (and paid!) to review chocolate!! So obviously I forced myself to try them and I will share with you what I thought, but I wont be sharing my samples!

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Slimming With the Slow Cooker - Family Meals

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Now the summer is almost over and the kids are going back to school I know I am not alone in loving using the slow cooker for quickly preparing a meal in the morning ready for a hot meal for all the family later on. I have compiled a selection of great slow cooker recipes that are great on Slimming World and other healthy eating plans for you to try. Some of the recipes are mine and some are from other bloggers.

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Barbeque Chicken

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This really quick and easy to prepare barbeque chicken recipe can be put in the slow cooker in the morning and ready when you get in later, a hit with all the family and a great time saver!

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Mushy Pea Curry

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If you haven't tried mushy pea curry you really don't know what you are missing! I hate mushy peas so didn't think I would like this but actually I was surprised to find I do! It has to be one of the easiest meals to make but I warn you it can make you a little gassy!


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Chester Zoo - A family Day Out

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When Chester Zoo offered to give us tickets for a day at the zoo and only asked for a blog post if we enjoyed ourselves how could I resist! We had an amazing time so here I am sharing with you the best bits! I cant possibly share everything because I took over 300 photos!! Four of us went on the day out, myself, Stuart, Ben who is 11 and Stuarts Nephew Ryan who is 12. We were all very excited so read on to see how we found the day out.

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Double Soup of Red and Yellow Peppers

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This is one of those recipes that looks absolutely amazing and is actually really easy to make. I have made it a few times and when friends come over it always looks amazing and tastes so amazing too so very worth a try!

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Improving body confidence with clothes

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When you have low body confidence the clothes you wear and how they feel can make all the difference! As someone who has been a size 30 and a size 6-8 and varying places in between I thought it would be good to share with you some of my tips of what you can change about your clothes to help you to feel better about yourself.

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11 Tips for Healthy Choices when eating out.

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During my recent Facebook live chat a few people mentioned that eating out can be an issue. I have found that too and sometimes I chose to eat off plan as such and eat what I want on a meal out however many times I stick to plan too. If you are wanting to stick to plan but enjoy a meal out here are my top tips!

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Guest Post - Me and Multiple Sclerosis

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The lovely Jane from Lady Janey Blog has written a guest post for Just Average Jen about how Multiple Sclerosis has affected her to raise a bit of awareness and understanding. She talks about how it has affected her diet, her work and her daily life. Read on to hear from Jane and find out more.
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Free one week meal plan

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After many messages from readers asking if I can make a meal plan for them to follow I decided to make one that is downloadable. This is based on the kinds of foods I have eaten through my weight loss journey and continue to eat however please note there is no guarantee that you will lose weight whilst following it. You will also receive my newsletter every week with all the posts I have written that week so you don't miss anything!
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My 30 top phrases to keep you motivated

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I love a good phrase and find sometimes that putting one in my purse or on the fridge helps me stay motivated when I am tempted to eat something I shouldn't. I thought I would share a list of some of my favourites I have heard which may help you too!

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Supporting Elderly Relatives - 7 ways we can help?

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**Post in Collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing**

Since visiting my Grandma recently and sharing a post about her which you can read here I have been thinking lots about how we can help elderly relatives. I guess a lot of this would also apply to friends and neighbours who are elderly too or maybe who struggle due to disabilities.
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Photo Personalised Luxury Pencil Case and Notebook Giveaway!

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Do you want to win a luxury pencil case and notebook that you can personalise with your own photos? They are amazing quality and could be yours by entering this giveaway! The pencil case would be equally good as a make up bag or similar!

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Chunky BBQ Sauce

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We all love BBQ sauce at home but so many recipes I have seen are not vegetarian and I wanted to make a chunky sauce that was and also rather than a dip would be nice poured over a meal and this is what I created!

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Penclic R3 Wireless Mouse Review

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When I was approached to review the Penclic R3 Mouse I was very intrigued because on one hand it does look a little dull to be reviewing a mouse, but this mouse is different and fun looking so I wanted to see if it was really worth its £59.99 price tag or just an over priced gadget!

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Money saving and eating healthily on a budget

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So, its that time of year where everyone is watching their pennies! Maybe you overspent on your holidays, you are saving for Christmas or next years holiday, you're trying to get your finances in order, or you have a sudden cost you didn't envisage such as problems with your car or a speeding fine! Whatever it is the chances are that as you are reading this, like me, you are thinking that you need to spend at little as you can on food whilst still eating healthily! It is easy to use the excuse of cost to mean you eat rubbish foods, I have done it many times over the years but the reality is that with the right foods and meal plans you can stick to a healthy eating plan like Slimming World and eat well on a budget!
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My Weight Loss - Your Questions Answered

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During my Facebook live session I answered a lot of questions about my weight loss journey and following some questions afterwards also I thought here would be a good place to put those answers down into words. For future live chats I will focus mostly on different areas asking you to put questions to me based on that subject for example comfort eating, Snacking, eating out etc.


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Back to School - Helping your children with school work

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It is almost September so all across the country parents like me are rejoicing at the idea of being able to clean a room and then an hour later it is still clean! The fridge will stay full and the routine will be back to normal! This does however bring the battles of homework, do they do it straight after school or at the last minute before it needs handing in? The reality is at some point every parent is likely to have this battle! There is something that may help you though.

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Facebook Live and Social Media

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If you follow me on social media you may see some extra things to those I post on my blog website here. For example this week I did a Facebook live broadcast which is an opportunity to hear me chat live to you and answer any questions you fire at me!

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Guest Post - Low Syn Carrot Cake

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Carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes, not that there are really many cakes I don't like in all honesty! When Stacey from Stacey in the Sticks blog said she had a great low syn carrot cake recipe she would like to share with you I was all excited! So over to Stacey for the recipe!

A wooden board with a loaf shape carrot cake with one slice cut covered in frosting

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101 things to do to avoid comfort or boredom eating

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I am often stuck comfort eating or boredom eating and I know I am not alone in this. Having lost over 10 stone many people ask me how I managed to avoid comfort or boredom eating so I do hope this helps someone. It is easy though isn't it to get caught up in emotions and eat to make us feel better, or we're sitting watching TV and need something to do with our hands.

I have compiled a list of lots of alternatives to help myself and others when you want to avoid eating but you just need that bit of inspiration! Some of these have helped me and others I have heard mentioned by others so I am sure there will be something for everyone! Feel free to add any ideas of your own in the comments and bookmark or Pin this page for anytime you need it.

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My Grandma my amazing inspiration!

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Last week I went to see my Grandma for the first time in months and have vowed I must see her more often. She lives about a 2 hour drive away though so it isn't always easy. I just wanted to share a bit with you guys about her and my thoughts about her generation.

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Five Funny Things Ben Does

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I have been tagged in another bloggers tag where we are asked to share something specific with our readers. This one is all about sharing Five funny things your child does! I was tagged by www.mrsmummyharris.co.uk and will tag some other bloggers at the end to also participate! I must say Ben is hilarious and makes me laugh daily so choosing just five things was rather difficult but I managed!

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Guest Post: 5 ideas to help you exercise ‘little and often’

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This is a guest post from the lovely Suzie from the blog Cinnamon Sunrise all about how you can get exercising easily even if you have never exercised before! A few ideas that might give you the courage to try something or the confidence you need that you don't need to do hours of exercise a day!
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Relaxing Body Butters and Essential Oils after a stressful day!

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When Natures Best offered to send me some products to try they really couldn't have come at a better time! In the middle of the school summer holidays all parents need to relax don't they and what better way than with something for you!

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Vegetable and Chick Pea Paella

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Recently whilst I was making Stuart the meat paella he loves (recipe here) I decided to make myself a vegetarian paella and thought I would share the recipe with you. It is very similar and perfect for vegetarians or vegans.

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Guest Post - Why Exercise helped me get pregnant when IVF didnt

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This guest post is from the lovely Carrie who blogs at www.mycircle.org.uk, Carrie shares her journey to having a family and how she thinks exercise really helped her achieve that dream.
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My weight loss story will never end, an honest update

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I know many of my followers and readers found my blog due to my amazing weight loss of over 10 stone. I still cant believe I did that, I lost over 10 stone in 15 months with 8 stone of that in 37 weeks, and I kept it off for over a year. Of course in that year I had ups and downs but I was never more than around half a stone away from my target weight. This year though things have changed and I have struggled so I want to be honest and share this with you and hope you understand and continue to follow my journey that will never end.

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Guest Post - Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

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This Spaghetti Bolognese recipe is from the lovely Kelly-Anne who blogs over at http://www.mimiroseandme.com/.

I don't now about you, but there really is nothing that beats a homemade bolognese when you are seeking some form of comfort food. The simple and easy to follow bolognese recipe will soon become a favourite that you can cook over and over again. It's a favourite in our household. This thick, rich sauce has become the staple for our Italian inspired recipe and what makes this even better is that it is low in calories and slimming world friendly -  a healthier shortcut to real Italian taste.

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Mobile Phone Shopping Made Easy!

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When you are looking for a new mobile phone whether it be a contract or pay as you go it really is a minefield isn't it? I love a bargain and knowing I have shopped around and found the best deal for me don't you? There is nothing worse than committing to something then realising you could have done so much better!

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What we're loving this week

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So far this week has been pretty rubbish weather wise but good food always makes up for that doesn't it so I thought I would share what we as a family are loving at the moment. It may give you some new ideas of things to buy or maybe just that you will think we have strange tastes!

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Globenfeld Seal Chronograph Sports Watch Review

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When I first saw this Globenfeld Seal Chronograph Sports Watch I was asked to review I thought wow it looks good, Stuart was impressed too when I told him he could keep it! It is very much an all round watch on initial impressions but at £59.99 is it worth it?

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You know you're an adult when.....

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After sharing a picture on my Facebook page saying "You know you're an adult when... you get excited when there's a new sponge in the sink" I thought I would share some more humorous (hopefully!) and real truths of adulthood! If there are any youngsters reading, this is the life you have to look forward to, enjoy your childhood now! Please comment at the end of the post with your "You know you're an adult when..." and give me a giggle!

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Guest Post - Different Weight Loss Plans, The Contrast of Success and Failure

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Here I have a guest post from a lovely blogger Laura who shares her experiences of a few different diets and why the Body Coach 90 Day challenge/Lean in 15 didn't work for her and what has worked for her. Well worth a read if you are looking into different weight loss plans and wondering what will work for you! So, I will pass you over to the lovely Laura!

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I am a Secret Eater

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My little attempt at a poem about secret eating and sabotaging yourself for the full week!

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Over 30 Money Saving Hacks for the Kitchen

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I have been looking a lot at how we could save money lately so I have taken to social media and searched the internet and found some great money saving ideas! I have not tried them all yet but I am going to give a lot of them a go! Do you have any ideas of how to save money in the kitchen?

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Leek and Macaroni Cheese

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This recipe is a firm family favourite and as it is syn free other than the cheese which can be used as a healthy extra a choice it is perfect for both those on Slimming World and everyone else in the family too.

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Lime Cheesecake Tartlets

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If you are looking for a tasty dessert that is a bit different and great for a party or even just having friends over for tea these tartlets are perfect. The filo pastry case with a cheesecake style filling is east to make and can be adapted easily with other flavours.

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Vintage Apple Crates Review

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When I came across an opportunity to review some vintage apple crates I was both excited and nervous! I love a challenge but was really undecided what to do with them. There are so many ideas online and I am so indecisive so I will share all my ideas with you and then what I settled on!

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Creamy Cheese and Ham Fusilli Bake

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Ben loves carbonara and similar type meals so I set about creating something similar to that. I wanted something I could make easily and pop in the oven for him and so this recipe was created! He assures me it is nice and tells me that I should tell Jamie Oliver the recipe because it is that good, I will let you try it out and decide!

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Bidvine - Finding the professional you need is a few clicks away

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**This is a Sponsored Post in collaboration with Bidvine**

How do you find a local tradesperson or maybe a photographer for your wedding, a personal trainer or a music teacher? We all ask friends don't we and then if we still struggle we go online and search various numbers ringing up and asking for quotes. It is awkward though trying to explain what you want and then knowing what to say if it is out of your price range! Bidvine eliminates all of that time and awkwardness!

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My 12 Favourite Blogs You Really Should Read

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I know many of you love reading other blogs not just mine so I thought I would share with you some of my favourite blogs and why I like them to maybe give you some ideas of other blogs you might like to read!

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A Healthy Picnic With Some Simple Hacks

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**This post contains affiliate links - this means that I may get a small reward for advertising these items to you if you buy them. The service to you is the same**

Today it is a bit rainy, typical British weather, however in the summer going out for a picnic with the kids is an essential activity really isn't it. It can be an activity that leads to an unhealthy meal often but it really doesn't have to be. Here are some tips and hacks so you can enjoy a family picnic in the sun without it being unhealthy!

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Jerk Chicken and Caribbean Rice

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This is a recipe that we all love as a family and whilst it may at times be a bit fiddly it is a dish that we enjoy all year round and perfect for a summer evening. It also works quite well with Quorn if like me you are vegetarian!

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Rosemary and Caramelised Red Onion Mini Crustless Quiches

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This is one of my favourite summery snack recipes which is ideal for a picnic, a snack or as part of a main meal. They are really easy to make and I am sure you will love them too!

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Locket Loves Leggings and Fitness Gear Discount Code

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**Please note this post contains affiliate links which means I am rewarded in some way for advertising them to you if you then go on to buy them. The service you receive is unaffected by this**

I have recently discovered some amazing leggings for running or really any kind of fitness that have some fabulous designs I know you will love! I also managed to get you guys a discount code to make them even better value than they are already!

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Wicked Uncle Outdoors Toys Review

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When we were asked to work with Wicked Uncle again I was of course excited as they had been such a pleasure to review for previously (previous review here). When I told Ben he was thrilled, to be honest would any child not be excited at the idea of getting new toys! It is the school summer holidays and the theme of this review was outdoors items and the choice on their website was good!

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Chicken Fajita Pasta Bake

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At the weekend I was planning on making Stuart a meatball pasta bake but then realised I had forgotten to buy meatballs! So instead I decided to experiment and from that the Chicken Fajita pasta bake was made!

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Dominique Bra from The Bra Closet Review

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When I was asked to review a bra from The Bra Closet I must say I was excited, I do like a new bra it really makes you feel good doesn't it? I was clear from the start though that I would not be posting photos of me in the bra! I wear bikinis which I know are not that different but I figured you guys wouldn't really want to see me in a bra so don't panic no photos of me here!

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20+ Ways with Quark - from Pasta to Baileys Cheesecake!

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One of the weird and wonderful things I had never heard of before I joined Slimming World but it became quite a staple in my diet and helped me lose so much weight I am sure. When I first started my blog back in autumn 2015 one of my first posts was about Quark and its uses and as it has always been popular so I thought I would write a new more detailed one! So here are a variety of Quark recipes from
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Guest Post: Deconstructed Frozen Berry Cheesecake

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We all love cheesecake don't we so this guest post from the lovely Kelly from www.schoolrunshop.com is perfect to fill that gap! Just looking at the picture is making my mouth water!

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Lives Not Knives - Having That Conversation

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When Leicestershire Police posted in a bloggers group asking for bloggers from across the UK to get on board with their campaign of #LivesNotKnives I thought it was a great idea. My son Ben is only 11 and in some ways I want to wrap him in cotton wool but in others I want to make sure he is as worldly wise as possible and obviously keep him safe. So what did I tell him and how did I approach this?

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School Holidays - 70 cheap ways to keep the kids moving!

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Here we are, the start of the six week summer holidays and parents everywhere are wondering how to keep the kids busy for such a long time, or is that just me? As much as Ben likes to play computer games and watch television I am determined he will have plenty of physical activity over the holidays and now my asthma is more under control I need it too. So I have compiled a list with some help from other bloggers of ideas to keep the kids active and also thinking back to what we all played as children! Obviously some of these ideas will not be appropriate to the age of your children or the area you live but hopefully will give you a few ideas, most cheap or free!
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JML Copper Stone Pan Review

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I love cooking as my regular readers will know, but I am also a bit of a cheapskate! I only buy new saucepans and frying pans when I need them and never buy anything expensive because I never thought they were any better than the cheap ones! So when I was asked to test out the new JML Copper Stone frying pans I was a little unsure as I was convinced they were just going to be the same as cheap ones with a hefty price tag!
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Dear Stressed Mum in the Supermarket

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Dear Stressed Mum,

As you walk around the supermarket with your little ones. The basket balanced on the pushchair and a littlest one trying to reach things. The older one wandering off and asking for everything they see. I see the stress in your eyes. The nappies hooked on to the handle and the little one starting to cry you look worn out. This isn't a criticism it is because you probably are worn out, children are hard work.

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Skinni Range Blazing BBQ Pack Review

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As we have reviewed items from the Skinni Range of West Coast foods before I was excited when they asked us to again as I know they are great products and were loved by both Ben and Stuart last time. We were asked to review the Skinni Range Blazing BBQ Pack for £24.99. So this time we decided to really put them to the test and have a family BBQ with Stuarts family with them!
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Kitchen Gadgets - Useful or Useless?

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**This post contains affiliate links, this means if you click and buy anything the item and service you receive is the same but I get given a small percentage from the company**

Kitchen gadgets are such a big market, every year we spend a fortune on the latest buy which promises to cook our food quicker or with less fat but are they worth the money? Do we use them day in day out or do they end up at the back of the cupboard? Here I use my experiences and share my favourite kitchen gadgets and chat to some other bloggers too about theirs!
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Skinni Range Blazing BBQ Pack Unboxing

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Here is a video showing the Skinni Range Blazing BBQ Pack which is great value at £24.99 and all except one item are syn free currently on Slimming World! I will be writing a review of the pack in the next few days!

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50 Questions you never asked

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I love doing bloggers tag posts so when Rhian from http://www.rhianwestbury.co.uk tagged me in the ’50 Questions You’ve Never Been Asked’ tag it was another chance for me to share random nonsense with you that you really didn't know you would ever want to know about me!

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Cosy Holder - Tablet holder (and protector from grumpy child!) Review

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This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy through my link I get a small percentage.

So recently I was asked to review the Cosy Holder tablet holder, initially I couldn't decide if it was cool or babyish and whether at 11 Ben would love it or hate it. I showed him it and he was very impressed and thought it was cool! After a few accidents with his iPad I was willing to give anything a go to protect it from more injury!
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My Most Popular Blog Posts Round-up

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I thought I would share some of my most popular posts for you to read again or maybe if you are new to my blog you may not have seen. Some of my posts have surprised me and been more popular than I imagined so I have looked through my stats and just sharing those which have been read most! I hope you enjoy reading some you have not read before. Obviously more blog posts to come as usual!
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Things Bloggers Don't Tell You!

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Everything is not always as it seems and if you were to be there in person when some photos are taken you'd see that the reality can be often be incredibly comical. When I was thinking about it the other day it gave me a giggle so I am sure it will have you in stitches too!

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When diets become more crazy than healthy

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As my regular readers know I lost weight with Slimming World and whilst I am a bit above my target weight at the moment I continue to follow Slimming World and go to a Slimming World group. In the past I have also tried Weight Watchers though it was not right for me at the time. Both of these are healthy eating diets which involve eating proper food and everything in moderation. Other diets can be like this too but not all, some are much more restrictive and a bit extreme so I thought I would ask the bloggers on a group I use what crazy foods they have eaten in attempt to lose weight and the answers really surprised me!

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My Favourite Aldi buys this week

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I am often asked about eating on a budget and it can be said that eating healthily costs more but this isn't always the case. I often shop at Aldi and this week I thought I would share with you some of my favourite buys.

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Lemon Curd or Lemon Fool

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A tasty snack with fruit or enjoyed on its own, quite quick to make and very tasty!

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Relaxing Bath Pillow - A Review and Discount code

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I love a relaxing bath to wind down after a busy day or to distract me when I feel like comfort eating and I know I am not alone in this! Are you like me too? I have never used a bath pillow and never saw the need to so I was intrigued when Luxury Bathtime offered me one to review.

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Hate Your Arms? Love this Giveaway and Discount Code!

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Do you hate your arms? I hate mine and I am sure there are very few women out there that don't! Are you like me and sometimes see lovely dresses and wish they covered your arms? Well this is where Wingz come in, sleeves that you can add to a top or dress to change its look entirely! I have a giveaway here to win one of two sets of Wingz (up to the value of £20) and a discount code for 20% off Wingz.

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Real Art at Real Prices - Crowdfunded Art by Matt Forster

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What do you have on your walls at home? Family photos? Quotes and phrases? Pictures and canvases from high street stores? This is the sort of thing we have and I imagine many of you do too. Why don't you have a real painting rather than a print of one purchased from somewhere on the high street and mass produced? Did you, like me, presume it would be too expensive? Finding the idea of walking into a gallery and not being able to afford anything daunting? Well there is another way and you can buy a genuine painting from just £25, meet the artist here and take a look.
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My 5 Favourite Things

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This is another of the bloggers tag posts where us bloggers tag each other to complete a set of questions or tasks to help our readers find out a bit more about us and then invite other bloggers to do the same! This time it is sharing my 5 favourite things! Obviously I love my family and friends but I wont write about those because this is about things not people! So here are my 5 favourite objects!

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Which apps could you not last a day without?

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This is a Sponsored Post

Which apps do you use on your smartphone regularly? Do you and your friends all use the same ones? Carphone Warehouse have done some research about the apps people use and it turns out I am quite average in that respect!

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Harvester Nottingham Castle Marina - A Review

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When we were asked to review the Harvester in Nottingham, Castle Marina, I was quite excited, I have been there before but not for quite a while and always loved the salad bar! I discovered the restaurant menu was online so I could have a good look before we went. As we all follow Slimming World as a family I was pleased to find the syn values of many items on the Slimming World app however we decided to enjoy our meal and have it off plan.

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Rich Tomato Soup

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The other day I made some tomato soup using the basics of a recipe I have used before and adding things I needed to use up! I was pleasantly surprised as it was really nice so I was glad I made loads! As it was popular on my social media and I have been asked for the recipe a few times I thought I should type it up and share it. I don't want to mention brand names but it is a rich one like you would get in a carton rather than a tinned soup type taste and texture in my opinion.

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Ben makes me proud at Slimming World

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This last 2 weeks Ben has made me very proud at Slimming World. He is only 11 and he has special needs but I am so immensely proud of him. If you follow me on social media you more than likely will know some of what I am going to say but read on as I haven't posted all of it. If you don't follow me on social media then why on earth not?! (Links are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest). Read on to see why I am such a proud mum!


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Bloggers' Summer Galaxy Tab E 9.7" Giveaway

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Again I have an amazing giveaway for you which is because I have teamed up with a number of other fabulous bloggers like myself! Together we have made it so one person can win a fantastic Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9,7" which is just amazing. Unfortunately I can't enter but if anyone wants to give it to me if they win I really wouldn't object! If you want to be in with a chance to win read on!

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The Ten Truths of Slimming as a Couple!

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As those who have followed my slimming journey for some time will know my boyfriend Stuart also follows Slimming World. We met through the mutual interest of Slimming World however had both started our journeys independently. Stuart had got to target with a loss of 22 Stone 7lb, and I was a fair way through my loss when we started dating. However now a few years down the line we have been following the plan as a couple and here I will share the truth of my experiences of the good and bad aspects of slimming as a couple!

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Guest Post - Moroccan Chicken Casserole, Roasted Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Rice by Lisa from Mummy Gummie

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Here I have a guest post of a recipe for Moroccan Chicken Casserole with Roasted Butternut Squash Cauliflower Rice, which I cant wait to make with Quorn for me and Chicken for Stuart as it sounds great! It was written by the lovely Lisa from www.mummygummie.com who is quite a new blogger but shares some great posts so definitely worth a read. Lisa has recently started Slimming World too and as you can see this is a great recipe if you follow Slimming World or any other healthy eating plan!
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A Coffee Break with Kate from Modern Mum, a farmer, blogger and mum to six!

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For this weeks Coffee Break Chat I have had a great chat with Kate who blogs over at www.modernmum.net about her life as a blogger, mum to 6 and working on their family farm. I had lots of questions as I just cant imagine living on a farm so I am sure you will be interested too!

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Accepting Father's Day Is Not For Me And My Dad

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Father's Day is here again, a day when we celebrate our dad, the man who was part of bringing us into the world, the man who should be there for you no matter what. That isn't always the case though is it! For me Father's Day is always hard and emotional, not because I am grieving for my dad like some people are but because I am grieving for the Dad that my Father is not and I believe will never be, here I will share why.

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Some Questions I Would Like To Ask Breatharians...

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The practice of Breatharianism has been around for some time and involves living on sunlight alone see link here from Wikipedia . This week it has hit the media with many articles about a couple who are breatharian and they have two children who they are raising to understand their beliefs but still eat and drink normally. Snopes (here) however have looked into this and claim that there is no proof that breatharians actually live on sunlight alone! There has been a lot of interest in this practice as a result of this couples appearances in the media (an example here) and I feel there are a few questions I would like them to answer should they or any other breatharians read my post!

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Sweet Banana Pots - Great for kids to make!

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This is a recipe Ben loves because he can make it himself. It takes a few minutes and you really can't go wrong. Ben loves the fact that he is using a proper recipe and making something for us. The recipe is from the Slimming World little book of light bites but as you can see below is easy!

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Guest Post - Dating as a Single Mum by Natalie from Crazy Little Thing Called Love

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Many years ago I faced dating as a single mum and that was before all the now popular dating websites existed, or if they did before they were as popular as they are now! I can't imagine the world of dating now with online dating and having to juggle that and being a mum. Luckily I am happy with my boyfriend and don't have that to face. I do have single friends who have looked into it though so was very interested at Natalie's blog about being a single mum dating. I must admit I truly did laugh at some of her stories (links below!). This is a guest post from her about dating as a single mum.
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Admiral Young Driver 10-17yr old Driving Lessons - A Review

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When I received an email asking if Ben wanted an Admiral Young Driver driving lesson to review I must say I was a little unsure at first. Ben is 11 years old and a bright boy but he does have autism so I always worried that as an adult he would not have the quick responses and understanding required to drive. Also the reality is he is only 11, putting him behind a wheel when he is so easily frustrated and distracted. The idea did scare me but equally I was excited by the idea. I looked into it a little more and we decided to go for it! We survived to tell the tale so here is what we thought!

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An Update and Apologies

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Lately I have had a few longer gaps between blog posts that I would usually try to avoid so I just wanted to explain. I aim to try and get 3-4 blog posts a week online as a minimum with a mixture of guest posts, food related posts and lifestyle related posts but recently I apologise the frequency has been a bit sporadic.

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Guest Post - How To Survive Eating Out With a Toddler by Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me

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When you have young children eating out can be a disaster. Ben as a toddler (and beyond!) was terrible for throwing food, screaming if someone else's food came first, and getting bored whilst waiting for food. Not all restaurants have a play area or your children might not be old enough or tall enough to play. Trying to keep your little one quiet enough so that you avoid the glares of other diners can be a nightmare so here we have a guest post about just that. Kelly-Anne from the blog Mimi Rose and Me writes a family blog and shares with us her tips of how to survive eating out with a toddler!
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Getting The Perfect Fitting Bra

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This is a Sponsored post.

As I lost weight my bra size obviously changed and as a lady who suffers a lot with confidence I find going bra shopping, particularly being measured and trying on underwear quite stressful. At the time I was a bit reluctant to buy online but now I look back I really don't know why! The choice is good and it is straight forward to see what sizes each bra comes in, no rooting around the racks and them all falling off their hangers!

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Finding New Friendships as an Adult

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As a lady in my mid 30's (36 is still classed as mid thirties right?) and who has been in abusive and controlling relationships I have found myself finding new friendships and learning who I am all over again. A recently single friend and I were chatting the other day about how people of our age find new hobbies and friends which got me thinking about how others do it so I asked some blogger friends and did some research and have written about it!

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Guest Post - Frozen Fruit Nibbles by The Frugal Family Blog

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This guest post is a recipe for some frozen fruit nibbles. Whilst it isn't syn free if like me you follow Slimming World, it is a healthier option than many things you would bake with children! I have been asked many times for ideas to encourage children to try more fruit so this seems a great idea! Claire is a popular blogger who shares various ways to live a frugal family life so she shares this recipe with you guys.

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A Coffee Break with Liz Knight, a weight loss superstar!

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This week for my coffee break chat I have had a cuppa with Liz, an amazing lady who has lost a whopping 16 stone in weight following the Slimming World diet! She looks amazing and shares a bit of her story with you below! If she inspires you do comment and let her know!


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Exercise can be fun - Try these!

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When I think of exercise I often think of the gym or back to my school days and cross country, gym skirts, and having to get changed in front of loads of others. I didn't exercise during my weight loss journey because when I started any forms of exercise I felt self conscious or didn't enjoy it so I decided exercise wasn't for me. As my regular readers will know I then did start running and enjoyed that a lot however due to illness at the moment I cant run either!
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BBQ Week - My BBQ Essentials

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It is National BBQ week and the start of the summer and BBQ season, weather permitting! This week started with a typically wet bank holiday Monday but it has brightened up so I am sure we are not the only ones that have had a barbeque and rushed out to buy the essentials on the day to ensure we could do it while we had a nice day! So I thought I would share some of my essentials for a successful barbeque with you.

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Guest Post - Confidence in Makeup by Georgia Anne

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As a girl who suffered with acne throughout her teenage years, and still gets bouts of it as an adult,I've learned quite a few nifty tricks here or there about how to use makeup to make me feel justthat bit more confident in my skin, so read on to see how you can find your confidence inmakeup
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Father's Day Gift Guide

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In just over a fortnight it will be Father's Day here in the UK. A day that people up and down the country struggle to buy gifts for! Men are hard to buy for and I am sure I am not the only one who is starting to panic wondering what to get! My Step Dad is amazing and has been like a dad to me since I was a teenager but I call him by his first name not Dad, so that already rules out some gifts! I don't have contact with my own father so just have the one gift to buy from myself. Whilst looking for ideas I thought I would share some of my favourites with you!

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Please don't be offended if I dont share...

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On social media we are messaged daily asking us to share our underwear colour or where we keep our handbag for "awareness" and there are endless appeals for missing people, supporting charities and quizzes to complete. I very rarely share things like this and when I do I am very selective and here is why I am so cautious.
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Chinese Fakeaway - A Healthy Feast of a Takeaway!

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We all love Chinese don't we especially at the weekend or with friends. It is one of the main things that can get in our way when we are trying to lose weight though, the love of takeaways and socialising with food versus the wish to lose weight! Last weekend my best friend was coming over for an evening of gossiping, drinks and food so I decided to cook a Chinese so we could save our syns (we all follow Slimming World) for the drinks! It turned out we had far more to drink that the daily syn allowance but it would have been worse with an actual take away! Here I will share what I made and maybe you will enjoy it too.
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Neighbours - are yours friends?

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This is a Sponsored Post (See my disclaimer page for more information)

I have moved house a fair few times over the years due to previously renting and also at university when I moved every year! Sometimes neighbours have become friends and other times I have not even known their names. In my grandparents era everyone knew who lived next door to them I do wonder if this is a sign of the times with so many people leading busy lives and driving so rarely even seeing their neighbours? What are your thoughts?


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Thrive Feel Stress Free App for Smartphones - A Review

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We all experience stress at some point in our lives whether that be a more long term depression or a shorter term problem like worrying about money before pay day. In the long term stress can sometimes need input from a doctor, counsellor, psychiatrist or psychologist however this is not for everyone. There are many apps out there designed for smartphones to help alleviate stress so when I was asked to try out and review the Thrive Feel Stress Free app I was keen to see whether it really does help or if it just preys on vulnerable people.


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Guest Post - Coffee Me Up by Latte Lindsay

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The name’s Lindsay, Latte Lindsay. I’ll have a coffee, black like my soul…..
When your screen name is after your favourite beverage, people have expectations. Sadly, for some people, they fall short of their name. But not me! I love coffee in every form and these are my top tips for getting your caffeine fix.
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General Election 2017 - Use your vote!

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I am voting....are you? Read on to see why I think it is important to vote for whoever it is you believe should rule this country.

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Bereavement Leave - The reality and how you can help

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I appreciate this isn't like the subjects I usually post about but it is something I think is an extremely important topic and one that I am sure you as readers will agree is in need of a big overhaul. Both the Labour party and the Conservative party have mentioned statutory bereavement leave in their manifestos but we will see what that entails as time progresses I guess. A campaigner Lucy Herd from Jacks Rainbow came to my attention recently for her continual work on this important issue following the death of her son Jack. For anyone who doesn't know what is and isn't available please do read on.

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A Coffee Break with Vanessa from Olivia's New Life

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This week for the coffee break series I am chatting to the lovely Vanessa who has a blog with a huge difference, it is a fictional blog so almost like reading a book chapter by chapter as they become available! I think it makes for such good reading and I was sure you readers would love it too so had to share!
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Starting a Blog - how easy is it?

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Since I started my blog I have had quite a few friends ask me about my blog and how easy it is to start one! I am by no means an expert but thought I would share my experiences as I know there are possibly other friends who want to know but haven't asked too!

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The You Have to Laugh Blogger Quiz

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So, the guys over at You have to laugh created a little bloggers quiz where bloggers tag each other to do it and tell everyone a bit more about them so we get to know other bloggers. Also it is great as it helps our readers know different things about us! So read on to see what silly questions I was asked, the answers I gave and maybe find out some random different things about me you may have otherwise never known, or even wanted to know!

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Do I Inspire you? Please Vote for Me!

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Since I started blogging I have been aware of some of the blogging awards that other bloggers ask for votes for but now I feel I am brave enough to ask if anyone might consider voting for me!

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Giveaway - Win an Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 and Kids Edition

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I love bringing my readers great giveaways and this one is amazing. A group of bloggers including myself have got together to have one huge giveaway for all our readers where you can win a Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet, a kids edition tablet and some accessories so in total it is worth around £200 for one lucky winner! Read on to see how you can be in with a chance to win!

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10 Tips for Money Saving on the Food Shopping!

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This is a Sponsored Post.

This evening when I popped into the supermarket for something I forget earlier, yes I know I should have written a list, I got some great yellow sticker bargains! That isn't the only way to save money on food shopping though is it, there are plenty of other ways so I thought I would share a few for you.


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A Coffee Break with Charlotte from Cups of Charlotte

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This week for my Coffee Break chat I am talking to the lovely Charlotte who blogs at www.cupsofcharlotte.co.uk. Charlotte is a mummy blogger but they are not a typical family, read on to find what makes Cups of Charlotte a bit different to other mummy blogs out there and if you have any exams coming up or children who do there are a few tips here too!

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The Love Myself Challenge

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I have been very open on my blog previously that I struggle with self confidence and I know many of my readers and followers do too so I have created a challenge which I hope will help me and others to build our confidence in small steps. So please do have a read and consider joining in.

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Landon Tyler Reed Diffusers - A Review

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I love candles for how they give your room such a nice aroma but candles can be such a pain can't they, especially with a child like mine who just blows them out whenever he sees them! Not only that but they just aren't practical are they? You have to think of the safety and if you are not staying in a room you shouldn't leave a candle on so then you get no scent! Frustrating I find as air fresheners are just not the same. I love reed diffusers for this very reason, they usually have lovely scents like a candle but smell lovely all the time!

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We Are Littles Coffee - A Review (Part 1)

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I love coffee, especially flavoured coffee, I am not such a big drinker of the plain stuff, its just too dull I much prefer a lively cuppa! There are a fair few flavoured coffees on the market and syrups to add to coffee but not all are low in calories, in fact some of the syrups are scarily sugary! I have been a fan of We Are Littles coffee for a while now so I was so excited to be asked to be a brand ambassador for them. As part of being their ambassador I get to sample their coffees for free - it is a hard life being a blogger I know! I also get a discount code for my followers!

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Sock Shop - Heat Holder Socks - A review

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As it is now the middle of May I appreciate sharing a review for heat holder socks may seem odd but bear with me! I always have cold feet, I never seem to be able to warm up when it comes to my feet so I was excited to try out these heat holder socks (http://www.heatholders.co.uk/). Usually I am a bit frugal and buy supermarket own brand socks and just opt for the thermal or thicker pairs rather than ones like this designed especially for the job! I was however surprised at the difference.

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Guest Post: Time Saving Health and Fitness Tips for Busy Parents!

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Today I have a great guest post for you from the lovely Anna who blogs with health and fitness tips over at www.squatssassandsaggyskin.co.uk. I am sure you will love the simple tips that will help you out if you want to squeeze a bit of fitness into your lifestyle and some healthy living tips too without having to follow a set diet! Have a read and see what you think!
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Mixed Meat Paella (Chorizo, chicken, and bacon) Recipe

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Yesterday I made Stuart a paella for tea and not only did he love it but my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter followers all loved the look of it too so I thought I had better share the recipe! I made it myself and didn't write it down as I went along but luckily I can remember how I made it so I can repeat it another time and you guys can try it too!

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A Coffee Break with Gemma from Life at Floor Level

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This weeks coffee break chat I have chosen based on mental health as May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there has also been the introduction of Maternal Mental Health awareness week. It is a subject I feel very strongly about and feel more awareness should be raised on both mental health more generally but also on maternal mental health because how can you care for your baby or child if you are not well either mentally or physically. Gemma from Life At Floor Level talks about her experiences and Tokophobia, something you may have not heard of but it is worth reading about.
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BookBeat Review

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Do you enjoy reading but find you rarely are able to make enough time to read and finish a book? I love books and when I do have time I really do enjoy reading but I always seem to have something else to do first and books I start I rarely finish! I do love books though and have read to Ben since he was a little baby and now he reads with me every evening and loves his books too. He falls asleep every evening listening to audio books too. As a family we were excited to be able to try out and review BookBeat and given a year subscription.

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Guest Post from Jon from The Money Shed

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Here I have a guest post from Jon from The Money Shed for you to have a read of. The Money Shed is the UK's largest community website dedicated to earning money from home so definitely worth a visit. Jon wanted to share his thoughts with you about weight loss and exercise in regards to finances.
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Guest Post - Marie Curie Charity Appeal for Fundraisers

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Are you looking to fundraise for a good cause this spring? If so, look no further than Marie Curie. Although their Great Daffodil Appeal is drawing to a close, it’s not too late to fundraise this year. Marie Curie is a charity that helps people living with a terminal illness and their families. Here is a list of fundraising ideas to get you started:


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10 tricks to make your BBQ or Summer Buffet healthy!

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It is spring and almost summer, it is bank holiday weekend, and there is only a few weeks until we have another bank holiday weekend. Does this mean you have to eat unhealthy foods, drink lots and gain weight? No it certainly does not! Of course the choice is yours but if you want some tips to help you make your Barbeque or summer buffet healthy then here you go!
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A Coffee Break with Josh from Josh's Jobs

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This week for my coffee break chat I am chatting to someone very different. It is not another blogger but instead is someone I think is inspirational and you will all enjoy reading about. Josh, like many people is in debt, he is only 20 and wanted to get this sorted so he can move on in his life. To tackle his debts Josh has come up with an alternative to taking out more debt or struggling and has set up a business with a difference which I think you will love.

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Wicked Uncle Science and Engineering Toys Review

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I was lucky to be asked to review the Wicked Uncle website with some toys for their April theme of science and engineering. Ben was obviously very excited at the prospect of testing out a toy website and getting to order some toys! Though he did find the choice made him very indecisive.

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Spring PrAna Clothing Reviewed

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I was lucky to be asked to be part of the spring prAna campaign and share some of their lovely clothes with my readers along with a discount code for you! The spring range is a lovely relaxed range of beautiful outfits so I was very keen to try them out.


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A Coffee Break with.... Ana from Funky Fitness

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This week I have been chatting to the lovely Ana from Funky Fitness about her exercise classes and how she feels as a fitness instructor who has struggled with her weight and suffered various health problems but has changed that with exercise, yes that's exercise not extra fries! She has changed her life and understands the battles her clients face with their weight too which isn't always common with fitness instructors is it! Though I should add I have another friend who is a fitness instructor and has struggles with her weight who I will chat to another week for our coffee break chatter!
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10 Things People with Depression want you to know

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I have always been very open on here about my battles with depression and how that has impacted on my weight and my self confidence. I am always happy to share with you readers about my depression because I know that it is not my fault I have depression the same as any physical illness is not (usually!) caused by anything we do. I am not ashamed of having depression however as my son Ben does sometimes read my blog and I am aware some other youngsters read my blog I do try to be careful about what I do and don't share. This is the things that in my experiences and that of friends, people with depression want you to know.

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A Coffee Break With Jodie from Autism with Lots of Love and Affection

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This week on my coffee break series I am chatting to the lovely Jodie who writes a blog called Autism With Lots of Love and Affection about her children particularly her daughter Lola and how autism affects them as a family. As it is still April and Autism awareness month I thought it would be great to feature an autism blogger after sharing my own experiences of autism here.


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Garlic Mushroom Risotto

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I love risotto and recently decided that I fancied mushroom risotto so after a bit of experimenting I made the following and it was lovely so I thought I would share it!

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Goodbye my friend it is over!

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In recent weeks I have decided that a part of my life needs to change, I can no longer carry on with things as they are and I know that I need to be stronger and more confident in myself so that I can change. My friend is the reason I am not happy and the reason I need to get rid of this friend for good.

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School Dinners, then and now, healthy?

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Recently school meals have been in the news after Jeremy Corbyn (Labour Leader) suggested that free school dinners should be extended to cover all primary school aged children. On the BBC News website he is quoted to have said "All too often teachers see the impact that hunger has on their pupils. It affects their concentration and ability to learn and their physical and mental health and wellbeing. The benefits of a healthy and nutritious school lunch are well documented,". While I appreciate this may well be the case I would like to question how healthy school meals actually are.

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Little's Coffee Chocoholics Selection Pack Giveaway

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To win a yummy Chocoholics Selection Pack of coffee from Little's https://www.wearelittles.com/ it is quite easy with various different ways to enter it couldn't be simpler! I absolutely love Little's coffee as there are a variety of flavours and as I follow Slimming World I love that they are syn free! It is available in store at Sainsbury and Waitrose and online from Little's directly, Amazon and various other places. See their website for more details!

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Buddy Pouch Giveaway

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Do you want to be the lucky winner of one Buddy Pouch, colour and style of your choice? It is really easy to enter my giveaway and be in with a chance of winning. If you want to find out more about the Buddy Pouch pop over to read my review here.
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The Buddy Pouch - A Review

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Since I started running I have used a couple of different bags to carry my essentials but had never tried the Buddy Pouch so was excited by the opportunity to review one and share it with my readers. Due to the size of my phone (Samsung S7 edge) which I take on runs and the need to carry my inhaler I was sent the largest Buddy Pouch to review, the 7 XXL, however they are all very similar and the size is the only difference. All available models can be found on their website www.thebuddypouch.co.uk/.

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A Coffee Break with Sarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too

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This week for my Coffee Break series I have chatted to the lovely Sarah from the blog www.boorooandtiggertoo.com. Sarah writes a very popular parenting blog which has a mixture of days out, fun activities, reviews of products and more. Sarah talks about being a work at home mum and all the fun and stress that entails. So here we find a bit more about Sarah and her blog for a little coffee break reading!


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Ben's Slimming World Journey and half stone award!

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Ben is doing really well on his Slimming World Journey and wanted to share some news of a certificate he got today! Watch the following video to find out how he is doing! I am so proud of him! He would love any nice comments too!

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11 things every stay at home parent knows!

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If like me you are a stay at home parent you will already know all these things and I am sure will giggle along with me at how true this is!

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All the things you didnt know you needed to know about me!

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This is one of those blogging tag posts where we ask each other to tell you readers random things! This one is 26 things you didn't know that you needed to know about me, one for each letter of the alphabet! Some might surprise you others might make you giggle and some may just be odd but hey here goes with some random things you didn't know you would find out about me today!

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A Coffee Break with Laura from Mama, Eden and Me

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This week for my coffee break chat I am talking to the lovely Laura who blogs over at Mama, Eden and Me about her two mum fairytale adventure. Laura is in a same sex relationship and has a beautiful daughter. Mama, Eden and Me is a blog which talks about difficulties conceiving, conceiving using a sperm donor, same sex parenting, and just the ups and downs of parenting from a mums perspective. Laura talks so openly about their journey to become a family and it really is a great read.

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Autism Awareness Day - Our Reality

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Today, 2nd April is World Autism Awareness Day and April is Autism Awareness month. This is something I was not aware of before I was a mum, something I had probably heard and soon forgotten because it didn't affect me. I am sure there are many of you readers that have not had a personal experience of autism and only know of autism from what you have read or seen in the media or heard through friends. There is nothing wrong with this in my opinion as we all have life experiences of different things and no-one can expect to know everything about everything! So here on World Autism Awareness Day I thought it only right that I briefly share our experiences of autism as a family and my hopes for autism awareness.

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Slimming World - What no-one warns you!

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When you think about losing weight the main things you imagine are feeling slimmer, getting into smaller clothes and loving yourself more. There are lots of other things that you need to be aware of that happen when you lose weight that no one warns you of so I thought I would share with you a little list of things I think weight loss groups such as Slimming World should warn you before you even start losing weight!


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Musclefood Giveaway

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There is currently a giveaway running on the Just Average Jen Facebook page which can be found here which is for a £79 Ultimate Slimming hamper and a £30 voucher for Musclefood (two separate prizes). Please do pop over and enter it is really quick and easy to do and closes on 9th April 2017 at 23.59pm. I have a few more giveaways coming up so do keep checking back so you don't miss out.

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House of Watches Sekonda Watch - A Review

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I was sent a watch to review from House of Watches, an online store which is part of the T H Baker family of Jewellers. I had never heard of the company before but have owned several Sekonda watches over the years and they have always been good so I was keen to see what this would be like. A watch is usually something I would buy in a shop where I can see it first rather then online so I wasn't sure if the watch would be as pictured and how accurate the description would be. What did I think?
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A Coffee Break with Ellamental Mama

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This week I am chatting to the lovely blogger from Ellamental Mama blog which can be found here. Ella is an anonymous blogger who uses the name Ella for writing purposes and when you read her blog you really do get drawn in and it doesn't matter in the slightest that you don't know her "real" name. Whilst I would like you to read more and find out what Ella blogs about I will say now it talks about some mental health issues and may not be suitable for a younger reader.
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My 10 Reasons to be Happy

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This week was International Day of Happiness. Whilst I don't usually partake in all the days of this that and the other I quite like this one and a lot of bloggers have been sharing with their readers a list of their top ten reasons to be happy and asking other bloggers to do the same. So, I thought I would join in on this and share with you my 10 reasons I have to be happy (plus things like this also help with my depression!).


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Ego Mediterranean Restaurant Sutton In Ashfield - A Review

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Anyone who has read my blog before or even just seen me on social media knows that I love my food, so being able to review Ego Restaurant in Sutton In Ashfield (website here) was a great opportunity. As a vegetarian, especially one who tries to stick to a healthy low fat diet where I can, eating out can be extremely difficult with the choices limited. Looking at Ego's menu online (here) I was excited and decided that I would eat off plan on this occasion and enjoy the food as it sounded amazing. Did it live up to my expectations?
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A Coffee Break with Hayley from Fat Girl Slim

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This week for my Coffee Break Series I have chatted to the lovely Hayley from Fat Girl Slim. I have known Hayley a while through Slimming World and I know you guys will all be astonished by her weight loss too. I wont spoil it for you by telling you her story here but read on to find out how she lost an amazing amount and changed her life!

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Eat out and lose weight - Ten tips!

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There are some quite simple things you can do when eating out to make your meals that little bit healthier and actually mean you can still lose weight! Sometimes I chose to eat off plan and enjoy my meal out without worrying about what I am eating, other times I really am careful and have had a few meals out in a week and still lost weight! Here are my ten top tips!

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Redex - A Review

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When I was approached to review Redex I felt a little daunted at first because anyone who knows me will know that I am not at all technically minded and I am very clueless when it comes to cars. Though when I looked into it a little more I realised that there is nothing at all technical about using Redex at all.


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Activ8rlives Buddy Band 2 - A Review

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When I was asked to review the Buddy Band 2 waterproof activity and sleep tracker (available here) I was very excited as I have wanted an activity tracker for ages but haven't been able to justify buying one! There are so many different activity trackers on the market I would never know where to start and the prices vary so much! There are large brands of activity trackers but they are out of so many peoples price range that this activity tracker at an RRP of £59.99 seemed a great alternative so I was keen to put it to the test!


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Activ8rlives Body Analyser Bluetooth Smart Scales - A Review

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When I was contacted and asked to review a set of these Activ8rlives Body Analyser Bluetooth Smart Scales I was quite excited as I have only ever used normal digital scales at home or the Slimming World scales at my Slimming World group so the idea of fancy scales like this appealed to me. I was also to be reviewing the Buddy Band 2 activity monitor and sleep tracker made by the same company so was keen to see how both would work with the app they provide to track various elements of your health.


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Which dieter are you?

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It occurred to me last night when I couldn't sleep that I have many friends who all have different approaches to dieting and I was thinking back over the years how my views and experiences of diets have changed. I thought I would put together this, hopefully amusing, definition of the different dieters there are, and how to spot them! Which dieter are you?


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A Coffee Break with Laura from Five Little Doves

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This week I have chatted to the lovely Laura who blogs over at www.fivelittledoves.com. I was instantly drawn to Laura's blog and I am sure you will be too as she is not the same as many other parenting bloggers I have come across. Laura not only shares the ups and downs of parenthood and the things they get up to as a family but she also talks very openly about some very sensitive subjects. The subjects Laura talks about are stillbirth and anorexia from her own personal experiences. I hope that you are comfortable reading this and know it wont be for everyone and may be too close to home for some however I do think they are important subjects that Laura talks about so eloquently and it really did touch me and make me think about how I would respond to a friend in a similar situation so if you can it would be great to read on.


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