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THE EDIT | The Black Shoulder Bag.

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APC Half Moon Bag | Image: Pinterest.

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I recently came to the conclusion that I have a new wardrobe void. I’m “missing” a small-medium sized,  smart/casual black shoulder bag (with gold hardware). Having lost my phone, not once, but twice (and miraculously TWICE it was handed in by kind folk!) from my Chanel 2.55, I have decided I need a bag that will effectively contain my wares.

I’ve trawled through my favourites and here is my Edit of The Black Shoulder Bag – perfect for shopping to dinner to dancing, and back round the shops again.

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A.P.C – Half Moon Bag –  £280. Available at selected stockists.

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SAINT LAURENT Monogram université – £1,500.

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Chloé – Drew Bag – £1, 140.

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Céline- Trio Bag – Around £650. Available at selected stockists.

 

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Valentino – Rock Stud Bag – £1, 240.

 

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Maje – Sharon Bag – £420.

 

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GUCCI – Soho Bag – £650.

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Mansur Gavriel – £395. Available at selected stockists.

 

I definitely have my eyes firmly fixed on the classic Céline Trio and the A.P.C Half Moon bag; with the A.P.C delight hitting the top of my #MoMWishlist! Which are your favourite(s)?

MM.

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Talipes | Struggling to find First Walker shoes.

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As I’ve mentioned, our darling boy is doing well with his walking – despite being born with Bilateral Talipes.

We’ve always just wanted Mr Eli to wear his Converse – just like Daddy (and occasionally Mummy too!). But we noticed that the Con’s just weren’t offering him much support around his ankles; and frankly, his new red Hi-Top’s are absolutely massive a wee bit big.

Eli’s Size 4 Black Converse trainers were too small, his toes are end the toe cap, so he had been wearing his new Red Hi Top Converse – which are a 5. We went to Clarks at the weekend where Eli was measured – his feet came up as a size 3F. The assistant did advise that Clarks sizing does vary against branded shoes, but it did make us think that Eli is really not wearing correct footwear right now. He requires a pair of shoes that will support his feet as he gains confidence in his walking, but also a pair that will encourage him to keep walking. The Converse he has right now seem to deter his walking as they’re ill-fitting, so he’s been mainly in stocking feet. Obviously, he can’t go outside the house like this, so we need to find him so First Walker shoes.

Here the issue begins…

It’s very common for children with Talipes to have odd-sized feet or feet that are on the smaller side. One foot could be a size 4, while the other foot could be a size 6. Meaning many children are bought two pairs of shoes to ensure they have correct fitting shoes for each foot. Clarks DO offer a discount for children affected however – you can read all about the Clark’s Odd Sized Feet Scheme on the STEPS charity website. Luckily, Eli’s feet do match up perfectly – but they are small. We didn’t realise until we started looking at the First Walker shoes in the shop… all of the shoes start at a size 4. The Pre-Walker/Cruiser shoes start at a size 3. But the sole is very thin on these styles and there isn’t the support on the shoe for a child who IS indeed walking.

We were looking online last night. Call me ridiculous if you will, but there are A LOT of boring or frankly unfashionable First Walker shoes out there. I know Eli is not par-taking in a fashion show, but we do take pride in our little man’s appearance, he has his own style. Also, these shoes are not cheap, so we want to make sure we’re all happy with them as he’ll have them on most of the day.

We don’t want velcro – we’re not a velcro family. We’d prefer Eli to be in Desert Boots, Brogue style shoes or at a push, some fashionable trainers. Take a look at the styles we’ve seen so far below…

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First Walker Shoes, Desert Boots in Brown £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com

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First Walker Shoes, Desert Boots in Brown £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com

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First Walker Shoes, Crazy Crew in Khaki, £36.00 – Click here to purchase at Clarks.com

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Digby, Zip up Brogue Boots, £40.00 – Available from StartRite.com

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Sullivan Brogue Shoes, WAS £49 NOW £18.00 – Available from StartRite.com

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Sullivan Brogue Shoes, WAS £49 NOW £18.00 – Available from StartRite.com

As you will notice, all of the lovely shoes above start at a size 4. So we’re in a wee pickle. If you have purchased from StartRite.com before, do their shoes match the size guide of Clarks? I’m so tempted to just get the size 4F shoes, especially considering the rate of growth; but can’t be sure that they will fit Eli correctly. So would ideally like to go into a shop to be able to have them expertly fitted.

Can you recommend any other stores where you can buy similar styles to the above? That perhaps start at ‘Clarks size 3F’ or the measured equivalent?  (And styles that don’t cost an arm-and-a-leg, to boot).

MM.

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REVIEW | BLEACH London.

Bleach London - review

A few months ago I decided I wanted to be back blonde. Truth be told, I was bored with my dip dye; despite it being very low-maintenance. I thought it might be nice to be a ‘natural’ blonde – something along the lines of Sienna Miller. After 6 boxes of home dye I realised it just wasn’t going to happen. And now I had weird wishy-washy dip dye. YACK.

“Why didn’t you just visit a salon?”, I hear you ask. Well, juggling Mr Eli, work, driving lessons (yes, I am 10 years late to the game) and sorting out the day-to-day running of your family home does not leave much time in the way of pampering. (In fact, it leaves zero time!). I’d dyed my hair on an evening once Eli was in bed and Mr Memoirs could tend to him while my hair “developed” – albeit, it didn’t develop into much as I previously mention.

Fed up – I came to the decision that I now wanted to go back to my not so natural roots.  The platinum (with an old ladies blue rinse mixed in for good measure) me. The old me.

I’d seen LOADS of hype about BLEACH London. The salon itself residing in WAH Nails on Kingsland Road, was masterminded by Alex Brownsell (super hair colourist extraordinaire) and Samantha Teasdale (brains behind the business – also a one time friend-of-a-friend and Teasdale Twin to Louise; the actual live-in hair stylist for One Direction).

Anyway, I digress.

BLEACH London have done incredibly well – obviously helped along by their insane black book of celebrity clients, of course – but they have only been open just over a year. The salon prides itself as the first people to recreate the Ombre look. A BLEACH London dip-dye is not for the faint hearted, think rainbows and My Little Pony. Just amazing unconventional dye jobs – that also remind me of Kate Winslet’s character, “Clementine Kruczynski”, in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (one of our all time favourite films, EVER!). You also won’t fail to notice that BLEACH London cleverly names itself after it’s speciality (bleaching, and lots of it) and after the Nirvana album (which famous font they also share).

Back in October, BLEACH London launched a range of vibrant dyes, treatments and styling products to Boots.You can purchase in store and online at Boots.com, choosing from colours such as Awkward Peach, Washed Up Mermaid and Bruised Violet. All products in the range cost under £10; which is ridiculously good, considering!

I purchased two boxes of the Total Bleach and a box of White Toner (in the 3 for 2 at Boots). I have used both boxes of bleach and the White Toner and this is the current result:

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I absolutely LOVE the Total Bleach. It smelt like really strong peroxide as I was mixing it and took my breath away at times – but the consistency is great. It goes on fairly easily, but would recommend you buy two boxes for hair longer than mine as it doesn’t stretch too far. Within the Total Bleach box you also get a mixing bowl, mixing brush and gloves. In both the Total Bleach and White Toner boxes you also get a tube of the amazing Reincarnation Mask; which I was going to purchase on it’s own anyway. The tube states to keep the mask on for up to 20 minutes or so; but twice now I’ve left the conditioning treatment on my hair for a few hours and kept it covered with a shower cap. This has DEFINITELY rescued my poor hair which has been through the mill, to say the very least!

BLEACH London is my new favourite bleach. It feels like it is very kind on my hair and it actually feels in a much better condition now than it did before I started the bleaching process. I’m so so happy with it. The colour is even and has a lovely shimmer, which I didn’t get with the previous brands I’ve used to achieve this same colour. I’m also using the following BLEACH London products:

Bleach London
BLEACH London Reincarnation Mask, £6.00 – Boots.com
This mask smells so so nice – almost like Men’s aftershave; not your usual fruity scent. My hair has a shimmer and feels so much stronger and less dry. I will be using the mask once a week to keep on top of dryness and damage.

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BLEACH London Silver Shampoo, £5.00 – Boots.com
I have used several ‘silver’ shampoo’s in my time as a platinum blonde – but NONE of them compare to this one from BLEACH London. Again, it smells divine and took every tiny bit of yellowy tone that was present away. It’s made my hair very ashy, which is the look I was going for! Careful though, this could make your hair pretty blue if left on too long. I would also recommend that your alternate using different shampoo’s to avoid toner build up; which will definitely result in blue hair (unless thats what you’re wanting of course!).

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BLEACH London Split Fix Serum, £6.00 – Boots.com
I’m finishing my hair with this incredible serum. I’ve tended to avoid things like this previously as they can be overly greasy and do more harm than good. But not this Split Fix Serum! This serum is amazing, it is controlling my hair like nothing else, fights frizz and fly away – without weighing my hair down. It also has that wonderful scent to it. I’ve been using this serum both on towel dried hair and on dry hair to tame those fly aways.

I seriously cannot recommend the BLEACH London range enough. I’m shocked and surprised at how good each and every product is – I’ve seen amazing results of their rainbow home-dyes too. Check out their Instagram for updates from their many happy customers! @BLEACHLondon.

Would you dare to experiment with the BLEACH London range? Would love to see your results!

MM.

 

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BRAND IN FOCUS | Whistles.

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As it’s London Fashion Week this week, I’ve been really drawn to what’s actually going on, right now, on the high street. One of the first places I always turn to is John Lewis. I’m a little bit of a John Lewis mega fan…  But that’s just because I always get the best service there; as well as the best selection from all of the designers and brands they kindly house under one roof!

This week, I’ve had a good rummage through one of my fave British High Street brands, Whistles. As the weather is absolutely abysmal, I thought I’d try and brighten your afternoon with my edit of Whistles treats that are available in store and online at JohnLewis.com!

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#1 – Whistles Katlin Heart Blouse, £125.00
WHISTLES SAY:  Crafted from luxurious silk, the Katlin Blouse from Whistles is a playfully lux addition to your new season wardrobe.
MM SAYS: Got to start off with this heart print shirt, reminiscent of Burberry’s own heart blouse that has taken celebritydom by storm. I actually prefer this Whistles one however! It’s got more going on, more interesting, lovely colourway. Tucked into skirts and trousers – or even jeans, this makes the perfect addition to your trans-seasonal wardrobe.

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#2 – Whistles Lula Tailored Trousers, £110.00
WHISTLES SAY:  These smart tailored trousers from Whistles are the perfect style for summer.
MM SAYS: I’d have to disagree with Whistles here, I think these smart tailored trousers are a perfect style all year round! Love the cropped length and side-slit detailing.

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#3Whistles Blake Dress, £135.00.
WHISTLES SAY: Chic and directional; this elegant shift dress from Whistles offers a round neck, short sleeves and a flattering waistband for feminine appeal.
MM SAYS: I’m really enjoying jewelled tones at the minute – think it’s that shift into Autumn and Winter. I love this emerald green dress. The shape is beautiful, will give you wonderful definition and silhouette.

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#4Whistles Kir Royale Ankle Boots, £150.00.
WHISTLES SAY: A smart pair of round-toe ankle boots that are a perfect heel height to wear throughout the day and into the night. Versatile enough to be worn with either skinny jeans or a dress.
MM SAYS: I love these boots! Much like the infamous ‘Pistol Boot’ from ACNE, these boots look really comfortable – yet fashion-conscious at the same time. I’d team these boots with midi skirts and dresses, jeans and smart tailoring. Great versatile footwear style for your Winter wardrobe!


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#5 Whistles Cora Exposed Seam Cardigan, £165.00.
WHISTLES SAY: This luxe cashmere cardigan from Whistles has a relaxed open neckline with a minimalist shape, raw exposed seams and two draping side pockets – ideal for layering.
MM SAYS: Don’t you just want to cosy up in this cashmere beauty? Again, the perfect piece for your wardrobe; perfect for smart or casual, plus great for layering on those chilly days!

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#6Whistles Long Sleeve Sculptured Dress, £110.00.
WHISTLES SAY: Update your wardrobe with this contemporary, chic style from Whistles. It has an on-trend midi length, side panelling and a simple straight shape, it’s feminine and functional.
MM SAYS: POW! Check this amazing dress out for a pop of vibrance in your life. I just LOVE this dress (I was saving the best till last). Great colour, again, for all year round. Definitely put a smile on my face on this absolutely miserable September afternoon that’s for sure! I love the length of this dress; as well as the sleeve length. It would certainly hide a multitude of sins when you’re not feeling your best. I think it looks REALLY expensive. It’s worth the pricetag this one!

Hope you enjoyed my picks from Whistles. Don’t forget you can shop Whistles online at JohnLewis.com – they offer FREE delivery for all order’s over £5o too. Bonus round!

MM.

 

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Our changing bag: The Mulberry Clipper Holdall.

This has been the sight next to our front door, for the past NINE weeks. These are all our hospital bags, ready and waiting! Suitcase is mine, and is filled to the brim with every essential you need for your stay at hospital – you can read what those absolute essentials are, here>>I’ve FINALLY done it! Hospital Bag(s) are packed! The amazing Mulberry Clipper Holdall is our changing bag (more on that in a second), the Barbour bag to the bottom left is OH’s essentials (iPad, change of clothing, toiletries) and the Borough Market bag is all our food supplies!

So, Changing Bag… we spent such a long time searching for the “perfect” bag. We wanted something that didn’t look ‘Mummsy’. We didn’t want something that was feminine, OH will be carrying it around too! During our search we found that there was nothing that was completely unisex – apart from the generic black satchel style bags… which to be honest, just didn’t hit the spot for us! This is going to be a bag that we’ll use every day, so we wanted to be really happy with it! All of the ‘Mummsy’ style bags are pretty expensive anyway, £250+!

We looked for actual Leather satchels as we felt this would be most universal for us both. But with Leather, comes a pricetag. We soon found that even just nice Leather satchel bags, that weren’t necessarily for our purpose, were coming up at £400+. When we would look into the details of these bags, we found that there just wouldn’t be enough space for everything that a babba needs on a daily basis – as well as what we might need to cram in for ourselves too! We also decided we wanted something that would be kind of waterproof – Britain is not renowned for it’s dry weather is it!

We went to all the usual high street stores in search of just a standard, but small, holdall that would meet all our demands. We almost settled on this one from Barbour – Barbour Wax Cotton and Leather Trim Satchel, £119: Style available from JohnLewis.com

But, this bag is actually a little too big for what we need it for! It looked massive against me and I just couldn’t see ME using it. OH on the other hand, was chuffed with it.

So on with the search!

I’m a massive fan of Mulberry. It’s my favourite brand. So, I said I wanted a Mulberry Alexa…

Mulberry Oversized Alexa Messenger & Shoulder Bag, £925. Style available from JohnLewis.com

But then we realised that the £795 size wasn’t big enough… and £795 is a ridiculous price for a ‘changing’ bag! OH also concluded that an Alexa was too feminine for him. I did email Mulberry regarding changing bags, as they’re clearly missing a huge audience by not offering a selection! They replied to me with:

We have taken on board customer requests for changing bags and our soon to be available Autumn Winter 2012 collection will include the Rosie Baby bag in Black or Oak Tiger Print Nylon as part of the range.

Pretty exciting! But a bit too late…

Then I started looking at their holdalls. We’d always said we wanted a Clipper holdall. They’re classic Mulberry. They’re perfect for trips away. They’re a style that just will not date – but will get better with age.

We went along to Westfield: Stratford City to take a closer look. The Simple Mulberry Clipper Holdall (£350), was the perfect size! Inside and out 🙂

So we said “sod it” and bought it 😀 It’s beautiful. We’re over the moon with it – and more to the point, unlike ‘real’ changing bags, we’ll be using this holdall for years and years and years and years to come. It’s a style that is built to last! So we were happy to pay the £350 price-tag, because it’s going to get so much more use than a standard changing bag. It completely meets our very niche criteria and OH cannot wait to get outside with it 🙂

MM.

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Thoughts on the Silver Cross ‘Balmoral’ pram? As seen with Lily Allen.

After seeing this picture of Lily Allen with the Silver Cross “Balmoral” pram I just had to write a blog post to see what you all thought!

First things first, it’s an eerily old fashioned pram – one of which I had a miniature version when I was growing up for my own dolls, and loved dearly! I always said “When I grow up I want a pram like this in real life”. Now real life is happening and I can’t think of a pram worse!

Obviously, this is my own opinion, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

But this pram is clunky, it’s too old-fashioned for dare I say it; modern times…. and this is coming from someone who’s house looks like a throw-back to the 70’s. It just isn’t practical. How on earth would I get on a bus with this pram? It certainly wouldn’t fit into the boot or even the back seat of our modest family car either! Which just makes me think – is this simply a pram for the celebrities? Also, the only time I’ve seen this style of pram recently is on that “Gypsy Wedding” programme (of which I’ve only seen the one episode and was appalled with the explicit dance moves and provocative clothing of FIVE YEAR OLDS, so couldn’t watch it again).

Another thing is, this pram does not come cheap. It’s £1250. I know our iCandy Strawberry did not come cheap, but we chose it on it’s practical-ness, it can fit in all cars, its perfect for public transport, it can rotate to front/rear facing and converts to accomodate a car seat, carry cot and seat unit. The iCandy Strawberry will also cater a child up to 3-4 years old. I can’t see how this Balmoral pram will accomodate a child from 6 months upwards really!?

Also, looking at the gallery of the Balmoral style on the Silver Cross website I couldn’t help but notice that the model looks ‘too tall’ for the pram. Just look how low down that handle bar is! OH certainly wouldn’t be able to push this pram that’s for sure.

So what do you think then? Am I being unreasonable here?! Do you have the Balmoral pram?

MM.

 

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Lifehouse Country Spa Resort – long weekend away…

 

So, Lifehouse Spa!

We had booked this little break away after having all the scans and tests a few weeks ago. We’d decided that we would need a relax after such a rollercoaster couple of weeks…

Being 19 weeks pregnant, we jut wanted to go somewhere where we could relax and chill out for a few days. Get away from it all. A spa was perfect. I literally spent 3 days alternating between the swimming pool and jacuzzi (Hydrotherapy Pool). Unfortunately, all of the treatments were too expensive for our budget… in fact, they were just overpriced in general.

I’m well aware that this review is just going to sound like a right moan! It was our first trip to a Spa though, so we would have expected a bit more in some areas. Albeit, we had a wonderful time and would return tomorrow! But with hindsight of course ;o

Pro’s

– Drinks were relatively cheap.

– Comfortable bed.

– Contemporary room with lovely bathroom and great views of the gardens. Usual coffee and tea making facilities.

– Lovely staff – all very polite and always had a smile.

– Easy place to relax.

– Food was great, restaurant quality.

– Great swimming pool and hydrotherapy pool. Can’t review the Steam, Sauna or Salt Inhalations rooms as I can’t use them being pregnant… but DP absolutely loved all three. So they kept him quiet! 😀

– Loved the Orchids Bar area too… must recommend the bread and olives. Best olives I’ve ever eaten! Amazing! Just £2.00 too!

– Very very nice gardens… it was absolutely blowing a gale outside and raining but this did not deter us! We borrowed some Hunter wellies from reception and had a great walk right around the gardens.

 

Con’s

– We weren’t given a ‘welcome’ note or shown around the complex. So didn’t know what facilities we could and couldn’t use.

– Because of the above, we didn’t know we had a safe in the room, until we were messing on with a rather ambiguous looking drawer underneath the TV!

– Again, because we weren’t given a ‘welcome’ note, we didn’t know that you could order Room Service.

– Couldn’t lock the door to the room.

– No bath in the room – albeit, the shower was incredible. I still could have done with a soak before bed!

– Treatments are expensive and need to be booked well in advance. Many people were left disappointment upon arrival when all appointments were booked up.

– Pregnant ladies cannot use Sauna, Steam room or Salt Inhalation rooms as they raise the body temperature too much.

– Packages that exclude food are very expensive. A lunchtime meal (main and starter) will be around £45 for a couple with one wine and one soft drink. An evening meal is per the set menu, £35 for 3 courses or £28.50 for 2 courses.

– Menu’s left a lot to be desired for someone who is both pregnant and doesn’t eat fish or mushrooms! I ended up having the same evening meal on both nights of our stay because the menu didn’t change… and the Duck dish was the only one that didn’t contain fish or mushrooms! There was also a £3 additional supplement on this.

– There were no decaff teabags! I also wasn’t given an alternative… would have definitely thought there would be decaffeinated everything with it being a health spa!

– No soft drinks menu! Just Wine and Cocktail lists… which isn’t great when you can’t drink! Imagine if you’re an alcoholic visiting for a detox!

– Restaurant was basic-looking; for such an ambitious menu, it was a shame that the restaurant was more like a canteen in a Sainsbury’s with cheap chairs and tables. The chairs of which offered zero support for a pregnant lady.

– There were no bottles of water for free, or even for sale! So it was a case of having to get up every 5 minutes to go to the water fountain in the corner of the ‘Wet Area’. Which is quite annoying when you’re pregnant and just want to lay down, but of course, you need to keep hydrated.

– Although this spa is relatively new, (about a year old), we did notice lots of signs of wear and tear. I actually stood on a piece of broken glass in the Hydrotherapy Pool! Turns out, upon further inspection, lots of the mosaic tiles were cracked and broken, but glued back together. Again, when looking up from the jacuzzi, the ceiling paint was peeling…

It was such a shame there were these little niggles – we really did enjoy ourselves though! Honestly! And we would go back… just hopefully when they have a different menu! 🙂

 

MM.