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Leather and Glitter

Badass, with a bit of bling!

It’s Update Time

So I was planning on posting a blog post about Shop Miss A this weekend, since my order finally arrived and I have quite a few thoughts. But this post is a bit more personal; and the Makeup post can wait for a little while.

We had our 20 Week scan on Thursday, and after telling our families and announcing it on Facebook this weekend, I can now proudly say that hubby and I are expecting a baby girl!

I’m so excited!

To be honest, I’d be just as excited if we were due to be having a baby boy, but I’m really looking forward to having a daughter!

I wanted to do something really creative with a pink babygro or something for the social media gender reveal but we ran out of time and I couldn’t really figure out what to do! So I just thought I’d update everyone on that before I get back to rabbiting about makeup again.

Cheers all.

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5 Things – The hearty food edition

Winter is fast approaching – some might say it’s already here – and that can only mean one thing. Hearty food. Now this year, I feel pretty good about the fact that I can enjoy many a hearty meal without feeling guilty – because I’m feeding a growing baby! Normally I eat fairly healthily, so my hearty foods are not always guilty foods; but since I’m very much a hot food kinda gal (salads, eugh!), this time of year is my favourite. So today I’m going to share with you five of my favourite foods to eat at this time of year.

1. Bangers and Mash.

I’m talking juicy sausages, fluffy mash, sweet peas, and buttery onion gravy, all served in a giant Yorkshire pudding. It’s my all time favourite comfort food and is a regular in our house. To make it less guilty I use turkey or chicken sausages to reduce the fat content without skimping on flavour. Turkey sausages are really damn tasty!

2. Apple Pie and Custard.

So, so, so damn good! I love it made without sugar, and then sprinkling cinnamon sugar over it before pouring the custard. Everything needs to be seaming hot, and the pastry can’t be soggy. A fluffy, crunchy shortcuts suits me fine, and a really thick filling. I can’t be doing with these pies that are all pastry with a tiny amount of filling. What’s the point? This always reminds me of my nan, who makes the best Apple pies! She prefers hers with good old Cornish clotted cream, but in the winter, a warm custard is definitely my go-to option.

3. Stews and Casserolles.

Give me gravy. Give me dumplings. Give me big chunks of tender meat and a rainbow of seasonal vegetables. Food that all comes in one pot is a win-win for me, firstly because it’s delicious, and secondly because it saves on washing up. Score!

4. Toast and Jam.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this not the ULTIMATE comfort food? Breakfast? Toast and jam. Snack? Toast and jam. Dessert? Toast and jam! (If you haven’t had jam on toast for dessert, you’re doing something wrong!) Of course toast is, in itself, a wonderful comfort food; but topping it with a sweet, fruity jam (Or even marmalade) of your choice takes it to the next level.

5. Roast Turkey with ALL the trimmings.

So it’s no secret to those that have ever spent Christmas with me that I LOVE roast turkey. Preferably with a big dose of trimmings like stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and heaps of golden roast potatoes, absolutely drenched in gravy. I can’t say I particularly like the Brussel sprouts, but if they’re done with bacon and chestnuts they’re pretty much edible.

So, those are my favourite 5 comfort foods t eat in the winter. Would you agree? What would you choose differently? Let me know in the comments!

5 Things – The Youtube Edition

I’ve been youtubing a lot lately. Particularly beauty vloggers, because there’s something so relaxing about watching people do their makeup. I also love haul videos and reviews, because I’m such a makeup junkie. I’m going to share with you my favourites because there are a few who I watch all the time.

1. NikkieTutorials

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Of course, she makes the list. I LOVE her! And so too, do 11 Million subscribers. She’s got such a cheery personality and her reviews are so honest. She’s incredibly talented and I am so inspired by her with my own makeup looks. I also kind of love her accent. One of her recent videos  – the what’s in the bag challenge – has inspired me to do something similar, but with my husband choosing my makeup. I’ll let you know how I get on.

2. Nikkia Joy

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Another beauty vlogger whom I love the accent of, Nikkia Joy is an Australian beauty Vlogger; and like me, she has hella oily skin. Her videos include high-end and drugstore products; and she talks a lot about skincare for oily skin, which has helped me to no end.

3. SophDoesNails

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She doesn’t actually do nails. She did, but she’s moved onto makeup. I love watching her because she’s so chirpy and super honest. She also kind of reminds me of my cousin. Her skin type is also oily so it’s really helpful for me. She mainly uses  drugstore products, which is great because who has the money for high-end everything? She has also collaborated with my all time favourite makeup brand, Makeup Revolution.

4. Casey Holmes

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Her channel is actually not just beauty, but I love the makeup content. I love watching her create a look, and she always looks amazing when she’s done. She uses quite a lot of high-end stuff, but it’s really useful to know if it’s worth it. She’s also inspired me to do the blindfolded makeup challenge thanks to this video. Keep your eyes peeled on here, as I’ll be blogging about how it went.

5. Stephanie Toms

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She’s so relatable! The most down to earth beauty vlogger I watch regularly. She’s also a bit of a badass who doesn’t give a rats ass, and I totally dig that. She does a LOT of “Full face” videos using ridiculously cheap makeup. She’s done poundland, shop miss a and primark to name a few. It never ceases to amaze me how she can turn such cheap products which might not work for mere mortals, into some amazing looks.

So, there you have it. All the Youtubers I love. If you’re looking for some makeup inspiration, or just want to watch some incredible artists at work, I would recommend all of these women.

 

Granddad’s Scrambled Eggs

Hey everyone! I’ve been eating a lot of eggs recently. Three guesses why. But I’ve also realized that I’m becoming more like my granddad every day. His legacy certainly lives on; especially in my current taste in food. Salt and pepper on EVERYTHING! And also his special scrambled eggs which he taught me and my sister to make one weekend. I’m pretty sure it was the first thing I ever learned to cook. We’ve been making them ever since; and I can’t have my eggs any other way now. They just don’t taste right. So I’m gonna share the recipe with you, and trust me, you’ll thank me. Especially if you like a bit of a kick to your food.

You’ll need:

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  • 1 medium egg per person, plus one extra (so; 2 eggs for one person; 3 eggs for 2 people; 4 eggs for 3 people, etc.)

  • Milk (whatever colour lid you usually use. I’ve used green top and blue top and they both work equally well)

  • Butter or spread

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Curry Powder (Nothing special, just cheap, basic curry powder with a medium heat)

  • Your favourite bread (A good white farmhouse cut into thick slices is my favourite)

Method:

  1. Crack the eggs into a jug, add a splosh of milk and a knob of butter; and the salt, pepper and curry powder to taste. I like a good tablespoon of curry powder for my single portion size – but f you don’t like spice so much, use a bit less.2018-09-10 12.23.04

  2. Whisk vigorously until the egg is smooth and the butter is lumpy. It will look a bit gross and the curry powder will turn it a funny brown colour, but trust me on this, it tastes awesome.2018-09-10 12.23.31

  3. Pour into a pan on high heat and continue to whisk.

    • The pan is all down to preference. Typically I use non-stick as the eggs tend to burn otherwise. But I’ve used a frying pan, a saucepan, and even a wok. Don’t judge me, it was the only pan in the cupboard and I was hungry.

  1. While the eggs are cooking, toast & butter your bread the way you like it.

  2. Let the eggs cook to the consistency that you like. I enjoy proper rubbery eggs that are cooked until they are bouncy and fluffy and all goopyness has disappeared, but I know some people like their eggs a bit sloppier.

  3. Take the eggs off the heat, butter your toast and toss the eggs over the top. Add some more salt and pepper if required. In my case extra pepper is ALWAYS required.

  4. Enjoy!

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If you try this, do let me know. I would love to know what you think of my granddad’s recipe. It’s been a favourite of mine since I was a child and it’s super good for you thanks to eggs high protein content.

That’s all for now folks!

5 Things – The Plastic Edition

Since January (after watching Blue Planet 2), I vowed to make more of an effort to reduce the plastic waste from our household. It’s been a long, ongoing process and I’m still doing everything I can – even if it does get on everyone’s nerves when I nag them about it too. But I’ve managed to reduce my plastic output quite a bit in the last few months. This is a subject that I’ve become incredibly passionate about, so please excuse me if I sound preachy. I’m really not trying to cause any offence or judge – I understand plastic is a huge part of everyone’s lives; and it’s hard to change habits. But at the same time if you want to change the world, it starts with your own life and home. Please also note that these are just the things I’ve done. I know there is so much more that can be done and that so many higher powers can change the way the plastic comes in to our homes to start with; and believe me, I’ve signed petitions and given so many companies a thumbs up when I see them using paper straws or plastic free packaging. This is also a pretty lengthy read, and the first time I’ve posted anything like this, so if you have anything to say, please be gentle. Without further ado, here are my top 5 ways in which I’ve done that.

  1. Think about plastic when you’re out and about.

Take a water bottle out with you. It’ll save you heaps of money on bottled water. And if you do buy a bottle, don’t just chuck the empties in a litter bin while you’re out. Keep them in your bag and put them in the recycling when you get home. Bonus, you can refill them when you’re done rather than buying another bottle. Try to opt for eat-in cafés rather than takeaways if you can, so you don’t get given a load of plastic food wrapping. And lastly, there’s absolutely #NoExcuseForSingleUse. Get yourself a reusable coffee mug and ask for your favourite coffee in that instead of your usual takeaway cup. They look far prettier anyway. I’ve got a gorgeous, panda safe bamboo one that insulates my hot beverages better than any disposable cup. And in recent months, you can also get bonuses from some cafés for having a reusable cup – I get an extra stamp on my card at Café Nero each time, so I’m an extra step closer to my free drink. I think Costa has a similar scheme. Also, reusable bags! The amount of plastic bags we get through as a country is absolutely disgusting, so I always carry several folded in the bottom of my bag. Primark sell them for £1 each and they are bigger than the average 5p bag, so you don’t need as many. When you’re out and about, thinking about your plastic output will save you money, as well as saving the environment.

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  1. Go through your bathroom!

The bathroom is the WORST place for plastic waste. Face Wipes, toothbrushes, bottles, jars, and everything in between. But it can be quite fun to find new and inventive ways to cut down your plastic output in there. So here’s a breakdown of what I’ve managed to cut back on so far:

  • Wipes. Be that facial, baby or other. Use toilet paper, or get some bamboo or microfibre flannels and use them with micellar or regular water to remove makeup – they feel just as gentle, but actually work better to get makeup off because they have longer fibres so exfoliate your skin at the same time as cleansing it. Then you can just chuck them in the washing machine after a couple of uses. That’s right, you can use them twice (or more if you’re smart about how you store them) by rinsing them out or using a gentle soap like dove to clean them. I use B&Ms bamboo cloths, and at pence each, they will save you SO much money!

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  • Toothbrushes! These are something that’s meant to be changed every 3 months. So that’s four toothbrushes a year. Per PERSON. Times that by seven billion and you have a LOT of plastic waste going straight to landfill and/or the ocean each year. A bamboo toothbrush is a great alternative. The bristles are softer, and if you’re a heavy brusher like myself you’ll probably have to replace it more often than every three months; but as they are not plastic, and cost far less than most conventional plastic toothbrushes, you’ll not feel bad about switching them up regularly.

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  • Bottles & Jars. This is your shampoo; Your shower gel; Your face masks; your body butters. These are, in most cases, recyclable. So don’t be lazy and put them in the bin. Carry them to your recycling container and put them in it!
  • Cotton Buds. These can be made of plastic or paper. I ALWAYS choose paper. If there’s a plastic free alternative, I wonder, why waste your time buying the plastic variant? I’m living in hope that if we don’t buy the plastic items, the shops eventually wont stock them.
  • Sanitary wear. (Scroll past this to point 3 if you don’t want to read in too much detail, as I am sharing my experience, blood and all) Before you turn your nose up in disgust, please read the articles on google about the dangers of disposable pads. It’s scary. And I’d much rather reduce my risk of thrush, endometriosis, CANCER, and painful cramps – thank you very much. It cost me around £50 for a set of pads; and although I only used them for three periods before I fell pregnant, they changed my LIFE! Here’s a few reasons I love them:
    • I felt cleaner, despite there not being any perfumes to mask that odour; because they do have a waterproof external lining so when you’ve got all your clothes on you don’t notice any smells at all.
    • It was like having a pair of fleecy, supersoft knickers on, and that’s awesome when you want to feel comfortable at your most ‘vulnerable’ time of the month.
    • They didn’t make me itch! I’ve got to be honest, the disposable ones were awful. Even the “Cotton feel” ones were itchy as hell and really not pleasant.
    • They didn’t move around half as much as I expected. No more than a usual pad.
    • I’ve saved a TON of money! Unfortunately mother nature blessed me with the heaviest periods I’ve heard of compared to females I’ve spoken to. Which meant even the heaviest pads on the market were not enough of a match for me. I had to change them every couple of hours for four to five days, and wear an extra pair of shorts between my underwear and my pyjamas at night as I’d ALWAYS leak. Now, not only have I not had to buy as much because I wash and re-use the pads, but also because they are actually more absorbent so I didn’t have to change them as much. And guess what? I haven’t leaked since as the night-time ones are HUGE!

    There’s still a few items I’m trying to find alternatives for. I’m looking into a safety razor instead of disposables, and also toothpaste tubes – as some of these are not recyclable, which makes me a little bit angry, every time I brush my teeth.

3. Go through the kitchen.

I’ve put a blanket ban on cling film, opting for tin foil instead as it can be recycled. I use storage tubs for food instead of wrapping them – it keeps them much fresher too. I always try to make sure the food I buy is wrapped in as little plastic as possible – although the supermarkets really do need to do more to combat this. I also look at the packaging of food to see if it is recyclable before I buy it now. It drives my husband nuts but we aren’t filling our bin up anywhere near as much and the recycling is usually overflowing each week because I’m so scrutinous. I limit the amount that goes in the bin, recycling every scrap I can – boxes, jars, bottles etc. I always use a food waste bin for compostable leftovers (that wont get eaten) along with peels, shells, teabags and other biodegradable food waste.

4. Don’t be lazy!

As I’ve said previously; it takes a lot to change your habits. If you want to change them, you can’t be lazy. You need to have the drive to do it. Just look at all the heartbreaking photos of animals being killed by plastic that are readily available online. If that still isn’t enough, watch blue planet 2. You’ll soon be sorting through your rubbish and rethinking the way you shop, eat, and clean your teeth.

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The “rubbish” I brought downstairs from bedroom and bathroom bins that CAN be recycled!

5. Share your progress.

Social media is a fantastic way to share how you’re getting on, with the “5 minute beach clean-up”; “no excuse for single” use and “plastic free” movements being just a few to join in with. Using the hash-tags and spreading awareness to others is just as helpful as the act of recycling. If it trends on social media, more people will get involved and we’ll be living in a healthier world before we know it.

As always, thank you for reading. I know this is a much longer and slightly different blog post than usual, but what’s the point in me making all these changes if I don’t share them with the world? (See point 5). And I know that a lot of you may be wondering about my pregnancy, and how I’m going to bring my baby up in an eco-friendly environment. Well, I’ve been doing my research on biodegradable nappies, wipes and other baby products; and rest assured, if there’s plastic that can be avoided while taking care of my baby; then it will most definitely be avoided! If you’ve come up with any ways to reduce your plastic output, I’d love to hear them. As usual, please drop me a comment or reach me on social media.

Guess What?!

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Hey guys! It seems this year has been a bit of a rollercoaster. What with house moves and weddings and funerals taking up most of the first half of the year. When we thought we were safe to relax and enjoy the rest of the year without too much in the way of drama, along came a little surprise.

If you’ve seen my social media posts (Instagram and Twitter), then you’ll already know what I’m about to say. I’m going to be a mum! Yep. My husband and I are expecting our first (very unexpected) child. It was totally unplanned but we are both thrilled. The timing was a little early (first time anything in my life has happened early tbh!) but clearly somebody up there wanted it to happen now… (I’m looking at you, Luci!) So now hubby and I are both trying to settle in to the idea of being mum and dad, so soon after becoming husband and wife.

So if you were wondering where I’d been, I’ve sort of been in hiding. I was far too excited; and knew if I started writing a blog post I’d end up spilling the beans before we were ready to tell everyone. But now you know; and I’ll be on here more often (hopefully) throughout my pregnancy with a few more posts. Because at least now if I mention it in an off-topic post, I wont have let any cats out of the bag. They’re long gone now!

 

5 things: The Wedding Edition

So, as if I haven’t talked about it enough, I got married in May. It was quite an event, and I thought I’d share with you the 5 most important things I learned in the run up to the big day, and afterwards too. So here you go:

1. Learn what to DIY and what to Buy.

It sounds obvious, but it’s definitely worth thinking about. Short story: I was going to DIY a whole load of little crates for the centrepieces. I worked out the cost of the wood and the time it would take to make them. Then I went on eBay and realised I could get some exactly the right size for half the price of the materials without any production time. That saved me SO much money/time/stress.

2. Planning a wedding is a great time to engage with family & Friends

I rebuilt connections. I built bridges. And we hosted a couple of pre-marriage parties that introduced people from different circles. My social life now is so great compared to a year ago and building bridges with the important people in my life really was worth it.

3. Don’t waste money on extra food.

I made a candy cart and a cheese tower. We took 90% of it home with us. Seriously, it’s really not worth it.

The photo booth however? Totally worth the infinitesimal amount of money for some props – photos below. (I bought some cardboard props from eBay, and used a bunch of stuff from my dress up box, with an old curtain as a backdrop)

4. Enjoy the planning, and the day.

It takes up so much of your life, that when it’s finally there, it’s over so quickly and you feel a little empty afterwards. I had a few plans made for after the wedding so I didn’t feel too lost, and our honeymoon wasn’t until July so we had something to look forward to. Some of the best parts of the planning for me were my husband and I choosing the songs for our playlist, makeup trials, and getting all the girls together for dressing up sessions. On the day, I had only three alcoholic drinks. Keeping a clear head was totally worth it as I can remember 3very minute detail of the day and it’s something I can cherish.

5. The honeymoon period DOES exist.

I thought it was just a saying. But if you truly love your partner, there will be magic on the day. And magic for quite a while after. You will both feel it. My husband and I have never been closer than since we got married. It sounds totally daft, and I never believed it myself because we’ve been together for 11 years. I just assumed it would be just another day. Wrong. It was so unbelievably special!

So there you have it. 5 wedding tips for all you brides (or grooms) to be. Good luck!

5 Under £5 – The Makeup Revolution Edit

Hi Guys! Welcome back. So, the second half of this year will see me being a little more frugal – a wedding and a house move will do that to a girl. But me being me, I do love a good treat. I’ve decided to start a new idea. 5 little treats for under a fiver*. It will help me be a little more frugal, and learn to shop for the best bargains out there. Now since I’m a beauty junkie, I knew my first 5 treats had to come from makeup revolution. They are one of my favourite budget makeup companies and the products are such good quality. So, without further ado…

1. Revolution Pro Conceal and Camouflage concealer in C5 – £5

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I have tried their conceal and define concealer which is my go-to concealer for full coverage. I wrote about it in my 10 things post back along. This one comes in a tube without an applicator, and has a bit more product. I chose C5 because my other revolution concealer is in the shade C5, and the description for both was the same, so I thought I’d be safe, right? Wrong. The shade is MUCH darker. It’s gonna be great when my tan starts to sow through, but for everyday wear, it’s a bit on the dark side for my liking. As far as the product itself goes, I still prefer the conceal and define. This one is a bit more of a pasty texture with a very dewy finish. Not so great for oily skin types like myself. It still blends out really well and gives great coverage (although I would say slightly less coverage than the conceal and define). So all in all? Not such a good one for me. Onto the next!

2. Revolution Pro Supreme Pigment Dip Liquid Eyeliner in White – £3

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I have been wanting a white eyeliner for ages! I’ve been seeing them used for some beautiful arty looks on Instagram and pinterest and I really wanted to try it for myself. This little baby will be my new favourite. I can already tell. It’s got a great, fine applicator. It’s highly pigmented and it dries quickly. What more can I say? For £3 it’s totally worth it!

3. Eat Sleep Makeup Repeat Palette – £3

The first of three palettes – I now have around 20. I think I may have a problem….. So this one’s neon colours and Oh. My. Gosh! They are SO bright! I cannot wait to turn these bad boys into a look for everyone. Keep your eyes peeled over on my Instagram for that look soon. They are super pigmented (as always. I totally trust revolution’s eyeshadows) and buttery soft to apply. They don’t have much fallout either which is awesome. Buildable from subtle neon glow to full megawatt bright, I would have gladly paid more for this palette!

4. Eyes Like Angels Palette – £4

Yes. Yes! YES! This is my new favourite. After LOVING the neutral shades of the “fortune favours the brave” palette, I wanted a big palette that gave me more brights and metallics. This one delivered. I am in love! Again, the pigment and texture is perfect; but the colour choice is what’s got me hooked. My new summer favourite for do-all looks.

5. Makeup Geek Palette – £4

Yes, I realise I bought three huge eyeshadow palettes. No, I’m not sorry. This one has ALL the colours. It’s a great all rounder if you’re away and can’t take it all with you (I’d need an extra two suitcases for all my makeup!). But what I really love is the texture. All the other revolution palettes I’ve tried have been a little more on the powdery side, which meant great buildability and blending, with a little fallout. But this? This is in a league of it’s own. It’s so damn buttery. Almost a cream eyeshadow palette but not quite. One sweep is enough to get a great colour. And I thought this would be the worst one of the lot. I also love the holographic design on the packaging. Total bonus.

So there you have it. 5 little treats for under a fiver*. The postage wasn’t too bad either at £1.95 for standard delivery (It did take a little while to arrive – 4 days – but I wasn’t in any rush).

Will you be stopping by Makeup Revolution anytime soon? Keep your eyes peeled for my next round of bargain hunting!

*Prices correct at time of purchase.

Spreading the Love.

So, I feel rather shocked. A blogger whom I follow – the lovely Kelly over at “This, Tatt and the Other” – wrote a blog post on Friday. Nothing unusual. Except it was about me! Now thankfully it was a lovely post, and the thing that sparked it was a simple tag on my Instagram.

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I’ve always felt like people should get credit where it’s due, and you might notice a few tags on my Instagram from time to time. None of them are ads, none of them are endorsed. If I like something, I feel everyone deserves to know. Anyway, Kelly wrote about me because on a post a few weeks ago, she was writing about bikinis and despite my zero belly confidence, she inspired me to give the world the finger and wear one.

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I’ve been hiding in swimsuits since my late teens when I saw holiday photos of my inherently wobbly belly in a bikini, which made me say “never again”. All through my twenties I’ve been wearing swimsuits. And her post made me realise that actually, who cares? I don’t care about what people think of the rest of my clothes, so why should my swimwear be any different?

So anyway, I’m not really here to write about bikinis, but to show how powerful things like a simple tag can be. You never know how far that tag will go. That’s the beauty of the internet. So my point here is, don’t let a good blog post go to waste. Tag bloggers and let them know they’ve inspired you. Tag brands and let them know you love their product. Tag people and let them know you love them. Just spread the love. I implore you. It really is worth it when you see the internet become such a positive thing, used for the good in the world instead of spreading hatred.

So, go forth and get tagging!

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