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 I think this must be the first year that I have actually decorated for Halloween. Usually, I will buy a little pumpkin or two and pop it on the sideboard for a few weeks until it gets green spots on it and I start to panic that it is going mouldy and contaminating the whole house then it is off to the bin with it. But this year, I have actually purposefully gone out and bought decorations. Unfortunately though, I really only have a couple of places in the house that I can properly decorate. Because of this lockdown, I haven't been able to get my dad over to do all the DIY bits I want doing (I do not trust myself putting anything up on the walls in this rented flat) so the shelves I had planned have not come into fruition. However, I am quite happy with my spooky corners. And I am debating getting some Halloween bedding and cushions to take the theme further but, on the other hand, I feel like it is almost Halloween now and I wouldn't have long to gaze upon my spookiness before it is all filed away in favour of the Christmas decorations (oops, not the c word in October!). 

In all honesty, I have been a bit disappointed in the selection of Halloween stuff in shops this year. I mean, I took the bus all the way to big Tesco especially and there was barely one aisle. But one place I have been loving is Tiger for Halloween bits. It is all so affordable and cute too (not tacky at all). Also Etsy is amazing for unique decorations - I think if I was mega rich, I would solely kit my house out with bits off Etsy, I am a woman obsessed. I think I am going to do a whole other blog post about my favourite seasonal Etsy finds.

Chest of drawers decs: the details

I got this cute, little paper pumpkin garland that I have strung up over my chest of drawers in co-op actually. It was right by the tills and only like £2 or something so it was perfect. The mini crochet pumpkin however was a local small business find. In St David's shopping centre, they have a shop with a range of local sellers with tables in there so that is where I found this guy - I really couldn't leave him behind. I later found the seller's Instagram and Etsy which is great because she deserves loads more sales. The little pumpkins I found in Lidl - they also have a load of different squashes on sale in all different shapes, sizes, and colours and Ava just loves looking at them whenever we go in there. And the 'with my witches' slogan jumper is actually older than both my kids! I bought it way back in the first year of uni and somehow still manage to squeeze myself into it all these years later. I bet you could find it on depop easily enough though.


Dressing table details

The other bit of space I have in my room to decorate is my dressing table. I like to keep this quite tidy and organised as it helps me to feel a bit more relaxed and like I have everything under control - although you definitely wouldn't think that if you saw the rest of the house. So, I just added a little Halloween candle (£2 from Lidl) and a paper pumpkin which came in a pack of three from Tiger. I also recently added this (gifted) flag that says 'hip hip hooray' to my dressing table and I think it looks really cute.

Honestly, I dream of the day when I have more square footage to absolutely cover in spooky goodness but I hope that my little space and minimal decs at least inspired you to head out to Tiger or have a browse of Etsy and pick up something cute just in time for Halloween.

You may also enjoy:

Small ways to refresh your home on a budget

Best nursery decor bargains on the market

Top tips for decorating your uni room

Uni room tour

Room tour (2014)

Mini Halloween Room Tour

 I think this must be the first year that I have actually decorated for Halloween. Usually, I will buy a little pumpkin or two and pop it on the sideboard for a few weeks until it gets green spots on it and I start to panic that it is going mouldy and contaminating the whole house then it is off to the bin with it. But this year, I have actually purposefully gone out and bought decorations. Unfortunately though, I really only have a couple of places in the house that I can properly decorate. Because of this lockdown, I haven't been able to get my dad over to do all the DIY bits I want doing (I do not trust myself putting anything up on the walls in this rented flat) so the shelves I had planned have not come into fruition. However, I am quite happy with my spooky corners. And I am debating getting some Halloween bedding and cushions to take the theme further but, on the other hand, I feel like it is almost Halloween now and I wouldn't have long to gaze upon my spookiness before it is all filed away in favour of the Christmas decorations (oops, not the c word in October!). 

In all honesty, I have been a bit disappointed in the selection of Halloween stuff in shops this year. I mean, I took the bus all the way to big Tesco especially and there was barely one aisle. But one place I have been loving is Tiger for Halloween bits. It is all so affordable and cute too (not tacky at all). Also Etsy is amazing for unique decorations - I think if I was mega rich, I would solely kit my house out with bits off Etsy, I am a woman obsessed. I think I am going to do a whole other blog post about my favourite seasonal Etsy finds.

Chest of drawers decs: the details

I got this cute, little paper pumpkin garland that I have strung up over my chest of drawers in co-op actually. It was right by the tills and only like £2 or something so it was perfect. The mini crochet pumpkin however was a local small business find. In St David's shopping centre, they have a shop with a range of local sellers with tables in there so that is where I found this guy - I really couldn't leave him behind. I later found the seller's Instagram and Etsy which is great because she deserves loads more sales. The little pumpkins I found in Lidl - they also have a load of different squashes on sale in all different shapes, sizes, and colours and Ava just loves looking at them whenever we go in there. And the 'with my witches' slogan jumper is actually older than both my kids! I bought it way back in the first year of uni and somehow still manage to squeeze myself into it all these years later. I bet you could find it on depop easily enough though.


Dressing table details

The other bit of space I have in my room to decorate is my dressing table. I like to keep this quite tidy and organised as it helps me to feel a bit more relaxed and like I have everything under control - although you definitely wouldn't think that if you saw the rest of the house. So, I just added a little Halloween candle (£2 from Lidl) and a paper pumpkin which came in a pack of three from Tiger. I also recently added this (gifted) flag that says 'hip hip hooray' to my dressing table and I think it looks really cute.

Honestly, I dream of the day when I have more square footage to absolutely cover in spooky goodness but I hope that my little space and minimal decs at least inspired you to head out to Tiger or have a browse of Etsy and pick up something cute just in time for Halloween.

You may also enjoy:

Small ways to refresh your home on a budget

Best nursery decor bargains on the market

Top tips for decorating your uni room

Uni room tour

Room tour (2014)



Coffee Barker is quickly becoming my favourite place to eat in Cardiff. It was somewhere that I heard mentioned a lot back in my uni days as somewhere people would go with their laptops of an afternoon and quietly type of essays, coffee cup in hand. Back then, I always felt a little awkward going to such places alone - and, alas, I left Cardiff having never set foot in their once.

Times really have changed because I have only been back in Cardiff for just over a month and I am already setting foot in their more times that I would care to admit. But it really does have it all.

It is located in the Castle Arcade which is one of Cardiff's many arcades - and, trust me, they are beautiful. There are fairy lights hanging across the ceiling and the sides of the arcade are lined with tables decked out with vases of flowers and candles. I can never get a good enough picture of the arcades to really show how beautiful they are but they really do make for the perfect setting.


However, if the 'outside' tables are full, you can do worse than sitting inside. The decor is absolutely beautiful. Quite retro coffee house style with exposed brick walls and leather seats and plants everywhere. It is serious interior goals. 

But, beside the A* aesthetics, the food is pretty marvellous too. Personally, I have only had the cakes when I have visited but they do have an extensive menu of breakfast items and other brunch goodies. But, let me tell you, the cakes are incredible. They vary depending on when you go but my favourite so far has been the jam and coconut slice. It was so moist and jammy and delicious.

And then we have the drinks. Coffee Barker have a wide range of coffees - and not just your standard cappucino and lattes. They do a Nutella latte which has Nutella and chopped nuts around the rim of the cup - and is absolutely heavenly, if not a little tricky to drink without getting a full chocolate beard. They also do a gorgeous hot chocolate and a range of milkshakes - Ava was a big fan of the small banana milkshake that came in an old fashioned milk bottle with a fun straw.

Also I have to say one of the things that really makes Coffee Barker is the staff there - they are so lovely. One time they were really busy so they told me to come back a bit later (totally fine) but I came back a little too late (15 minutes before closing time *oops*) but they insisted I came in and ordered something and were so nice and welcoming. 

So, if you are ever in Cardiff and looking for somewhere to go for brunch or a cup of coffee with some absolutely heavenly cake, then be sure to check out Coffee Barker.


You may also enjoy:

A Local's Guide To Visiting Cardiff

Top 10 British Staycation Destinations

How To Spend The Day In Weston-super-Mare

How To Survive A Mini Break With A Toddler

24 Hours In Bristol

Places To Eat In Cardiff: Coffee Barker



Coffee Barker is quickly becoming my favourite place to eat in Cardiff. It was somewhere that I heard mentioned a lot back in my uni days as somewhere people would go with their laptops of an afternoon and quietly type of essays, coffee cup in hand. Back then, I always felt a little awkward going to such places alone - and, alas, I left Cardiff having never set foot in their once.

Times really have changed because I have only been back in Cardiff for just over a month and I am already setting foot in their more times that I would care to admit. But it really does have it all.

It is located in the Castle Arcade which is one of Cardiff's many arcades - and, trust me, they are beautiful. There are fairy lights hanging across the ceiling and the sides of the arcade are lined with tables decked out with vases of flowers and candles. I can never get a good enough picture of the arcades to really show how beautiful they are but they really do make for the perfect setting.


However, if the 'outside' tables are full, you can do worse than sitting inside. The decor is absolutely beautiful. Quite retro coffee house style with exposed brick walls and leather seats and plants everywhere. It is serious interior goals. 

But, beside the A* aesthetics, the food is pretty marvellous too. Personally, I have only had the cakes when I have visited but they do have an extensive menu of breakfast items and other brunch goodies. But, let me tell you, the cakes are incredible. They vary depending on when you go but my favourite so far has been the jam and coconut slice. It was so moist and jammy and delicious.

And then we have the drinks. Coffee Barker have a wide range of coffees - and not just your standard cappucino and lattes. They do a Nutella latte which has Nutella and chopped nuts around the rim of the cup - and is absolutely heavenly, if not a little tricky to drink without getting a full chocolate beard. They also do a gorgeous hot chocolate and a range of milkshakes - Ava was a big fan of the small banana milkshake that came in an old fashioned milk bottle with a fun straw.

Also I have to say one of the things that really makes Coffee Barker is the staff there - they are so lovely. One time they were really busy so they told me to come back a bit later (totally fine) but I came back a little too late (15 minutes before closing time *oops*) but they insisted I came in and ordered something and were so nice and welcoming. 

So, if you are ever in Cardiff and looking for somewhere to go for brunch or a cup of coffee with some absolutely heavenly cake, then be sure to check out Coffee Barker.


You may also enjoy:

A Local's Guide To Visiting Cardiff

Top 10 British Staycation Destinations

How To Spend The Day In Weston-super-Mare

How To Survive A Mini Break With A Toddler

24 Hours In Bristol



These days, I feel like I don't often have a huge amount of time to really slow down and enjoy things. There is always another job on my list that needs doing - I guess that kinda comes with the territory of being a solo parent to two young kids. So, I have been pushing myself more lately just to live in the moment and enjoy the little things. Be it cuddling the kids on the sofa in the mornings and making the laundry wait or going for a day out somewhere just because. And, I have to say, we have had some lovely moments. We recently went down to Barry Island completely spontaneously. It was like 1.30pm and I was like 'let's go to the beach!'. And I am a planner (in case the fact that you are reading a list post hadn't already indicated that) so this was really unlike me. But we had the best time. Asaba ate sand (until I caught him and had to put him back in his pushchair before he blitzed through the entire beach). I ate chips and curry sauce. Ava ate all of my fancy chocolates that I wanted to do a cute flatlay with. It was a brilliant time. So, it kinda got me thinking of all the other fun stuff I want to experience with the kids this autumn (because when better than autumn??) and I thought I would jot it down to maybe give you some inspo too. 

Give the kids a Halloween Lush bath

Is this just an excuse for me to buy a lot of Halloween themed bath bombs? Almost definitely. But, at the same time, the kids have never actually used bath bombs (I worry because their skin is sensitive!) but I know they would just love them. So, I think a little shopping trip is in order so Ava can pick out a bath bomb or two and then she can drop it into the water and watch it dissolve and change colour. I just know she'll be so excited and it is a lot easier to clean up than that Jelly Baff stuff (rip my mum's bath circa 2003). 

Make really extra hot chocolates

I love a good hot chocolate but, this time, I want to take it to the next level. I'm talking Whittards flavoured hot chocolate (the peanut butter one is so good), ghost shaped marshmallows, mountains of squirty cream, even chocolate sauce, maybe even a flake (wait, no, an orange twirl!!). I wanna go all out and create a masterpiece.

Have a Halloween tea party

Usually I would go to the parents' for Halloween and we would all go out trick or treating but, with the new lockdown measures in Wales and the whole uncertainty of life in 2020, it isn't looking all that likely. So, I have decided that we will make our own fun instead. I want to buy all of the Halloween themed foods and put on a spread. Spend the day dancing around to Monster Mash and watching The Addams Family. Carve some pumpkins. I want this Halloween to feel really special for the kids because Ava is already obsessed with all things spooky and I know they'll have so much fun. Hell, we may even dress up!

Collect conkers and display them in a big glass bowl

A few weeks ago, we were at the park and we found some conkers. Ava got really excited when I explained what they were and then ran around collect loads of them and stashing them all under the pushchair (and in my handbag as I later discovered post-conker tsunami). So, I really want to go to the park with them, take a few little buckets, and fill them up with conkers. Then display them in a big glass jar (mostly so Asaba doesn't try to eat them - this time *oops*). Maybe we could even paint them. Or make a garland?

Take a day trip to Bath

Here in Cardiff, we are currently under a local lockdown but, if it is lifted soon enough, I would really love to take the kids on a day trip to Bath. I feel like Bath is one of those cities that is just so beautiful in the autumntime and would be the perfect place to mooch around exploring the cobbled streets, hot chocolate in hand.

Decorate the house

I have already started decorating my bedroom with festive bunting and about 8 different types of pumpkins (some real, some crochet, some fold out papery ones) but I am still on the look out for a few more bits to finish it off. I would love to get some new bedding - maybe just a plain, caramel colour duvet set. And I still need to find something to hang above my bed. I am thinking maybe 3 prints next to each other like a mini gallery wall. I will probably do a separate post once it is complete.  

What are your autumnal plans?

You may also enjoy:

Family Friendly Autumn Bucket List Ideas

Autumn Lookbook with Femme Luxe

Why I Want To Take More Fashion Risks This Autumn

Spooky Activities To Add To Your October Bucket List

Spooky Fun At Wookey Hole

Little Things I Want To Enjoy With The Kids This Autumn



These days, I feel like I don't often have a huge amount of time to really slow down and enjoy things. There is always another job on my list that needs doing - I guess that kinda comes with the territory of being a solo parent to two young kids. So, I have been pushing myself more lately just to live in the moment and enjoy the little things. Be it cuddling the kids on the sofa in the mornings and making the laundry wait or going for a day out somewhere just because. And, I have to say, we have had some lovely moments. We recently went down to Barry Island completely spontaneously. It was like 1.30pm and I was like 'let's go to the beach!'. And I am a planner (in case the fact that you are reading a list post hadn't already indicated that) so this was really unlike me. But we had the best time. Asaba ate sand (until I caught him and had to put him back in his pushchair before he blitzed through the entire beach). I ate chips and curry sauce. Ava ate all of my fancy chocolates that I wanted to do a cute flatlay with. It was a brilliant time. So, it kinda got me thinking of all the other fun stuff I want to experience with the kids this autumn (because when better than autumn??) and I thought I would jot it down to maybe give you some inspo too. 

Give the kids a Halloween Lush bath

Is this just an excuse for me to buy a lot of Halloween themed bath bombs? Almost definitely. But, at the same time, the kids have never actually used bath bombs (I worry because their skin is sensitive!) but I know they would just love them. So, I think a little shopping trip is in order so Ava can pick out a bath bomb or two and then she can drop it into the water and watch it dissolve and change colour. I just know she'll be so excited and it is a lot easier to clean up than that Jelly Baff stuff (rip my mum's bath circa 2003). 

Make really extra hot chocolates

I love a good hot chocolate but, this time, I want to take it to the next level. I'm talking Whittards flavoured hot chocolate (the peanut butter one is so good), ghost shaped marshmallows, mountains of squirty cream, even chocolate sauce, maybe even a flake (wait, no, an orange twirl!!). I wanna go all out and create a masterpiece.

Have a Halloween tea party

Usually I would go to the parents' for Halloween and we would all go out trick or treating but, with the new lockdown measures in Wales and the whole uncertainty of life in 2020, it isn't looking all that likely. So, I have decided that we will make our own fun instead. I want to buy all of the Halloween themed foods and put on a spread. Spend the day dancing around to Monster Mash and watching The Addams Family. Carve some pumpkins. I want this Halloween to feel really special for the kids because Ava is already obsessed with all things spooky and I know they'll have so much fun. Hell, we may even dress up!

Collect conkers and display them in a big glass bowl

A few weeks ago, we were at the park and we found some conkers. Ava got really excited when I explained what they were and then ran around collect loads of them and stashing them all under the pushchair (and in my handbag as I later discovered post-conker tsunami). So, I really want to go to the park with them, take a few little buckets, and fill them up with conkers. Then display them in a big glass jar (mostly so Asaba doesn't try to eat them - this time *oops*). Maybe we could even paint them. Or make a garland?

Take a day trip to Bath

Here in Cardiff, we are currently under a local lockdown but, if it is lifted soon enough, I would really love to take the kids on a day trip to Bath. I feel like Bath is one of those cities that is just so beautiful in the autumntime and would be the perfect place to mooch around exploring the cobbled streets, hot chocolate in hand.

Decorate the house

I have already started decorating my bedroom with festive bunting and about 8 different types of pumpkins (some real, some crochet, some fold out papery ones) but I am still on the look out for a few more bits to finish it off. I would love to get some new bedding - maybe just a plain, caramel colour duvet set. And I still need to find something to hang above my bed. I am thinking maybe 3 prints next to each other like a mini gallery wall. I will probably do a separate post once it is complete.  

What are your autumnal plans?

You may also enjoy:

Family Friendly Autumn Bucket List Ideas

Autumn Lookbook with Femme Luxe

Why I Want To Take More Fashion Risks This Autumn

Spooky Activities To Add To Your October Bucket List

Spooky Fun At Wookey Hole

Cardiff has always been one of my favourite UK cities. Ever since my uni days, I have felt a real affinity with the city. There is always something going on in Cardiff - but it doesn't feel overcrowded and busy. There are so many coffee shops and beautiful parks and hidden passageways running through the centre to explore. And the city really comes alive in the autumn time. Maybe it is the influx of new students coming to the city to study each September or maybe it is me projecting my own feelings that I felt back when I first came to Cardiff as a fresher but I love it. So, Cardiff was a natural choice for me when I decided that I should leave Devon. It was the last place that felt like home to me. Somewhere that I knew like the back of my hand but also somewhere big enough that there is still so much to explore. 

So, as my previous post 'Local's Guide to Devon' did so well, I thought I would share with you all of my favourite things about Cardiff.
Where to stay 

There are a fair amount of hotels in the centre of Cardiff that are actually quite reasonably priced. Personally, I would recommend the Mercure hotel if you are looking for something really nice and are willing to pay a bit extra because the rooms are gorgeous and the on-site restaurant is serves gorgeous food too. 

But if you are looking for something a bit more cheap and cheerful, I would recommend the Holiday Inn. I actually worked there as a waitress for about a year so you know it is good if I am still recommending it. The buffet breakfast there is actually quite nice and there was always a good varitey of options. The rooms always seemed clean and tidy and it is just a good option for a lower budget.
Where to eat 

Let's get onto the important stuff, shall we? 

There are so many places to eat in Cardiff that I couldn't even begin to fit my favourites into this post. But, if you are in the centre, I would suggest heading to either Coffee Barker or Waterloo Tea for breakfast. Both are situated in arcades so you know the surroundings are beautiful (and oh so instagrammable) but also the food is impeccable. Coffee Barker do more traditional breakfasts and a nutella latte that I highly recommend (it has nutella around the rim of the mug *drools*) whereas Waterloo Tea do good brunch stuff like avo toast and some gorgeous cakes (the lemon polenta cake they sometimes do is something else). Honestly though, there are so many great cafes in town - I may have to dedicate a whole blog post to it. 

Personally, I haven't had a huge amount of evening meals out in Cardiff but I have heard good things about The Potted Pig and Pasture has recently opened in the centre which I have already heard great things about - and my boyfriend said their Bristol branch was really good and he knows his food so it most certainly is very good. And, if you are vegan, the Greazy Vegan is great for vegan junk food. They even do a vegan Big Mac and battered sausages! 

For me though, I love travelling outside of the centre of town and heading to City Road to eat in one of the several authentic Lebanese restaurants. There are a few to choose from. I don't have a favourite - as long as they serve lamb koftes with a tonne of chilli sauce and some rice and bread, I'm happy. Even more so if it comes with a pot of black tea and honey.
Where to go for history 

If you are coming to Cardiff, you should be sure to have a look around Cardiff Castle. There is an outside section where you can just wander around and look at the sections of the castle and maybe pick up a coffee from the on-site cafe to sip whilst you soak up the history and feel all artsy and cool (best done whilst wearing a beanie and a big camera around your neck). Or you could go on one of the tours of the inside bit (living quarters?). I have heard it is very fancy but unfortunately I was on mum duties the day that I visited with my family and was very concerned about Ava destroying literally everything. They also have a tower which you can climb up and, at the top, there is a great view over Cardiff (and a good spot for a quick insta snap, amirite). But my favourite bit is the tunnels that surround the castle which are set up as they were during the war when they were used as bomb shelters. It is all dark and the air rade siren goes off and you feel like you're really there - kinda cool but also kinda haunting.

Another great history place that I am dying to visit is St Fagan's National Museum of History which is an open-air museum that is kinda made to look like an old-worldy town. It shows how people lived back in the day and how houses would have been set up. It also shows lots of different trades that people would have undertaken back then and, basically, it is just a great place for immersive history. Also I think it would be perfect for kids (especially ones around three or four) who are kinda interested in learning about stuff but still need space to run around in a setting that isn't filled to the brim with priceless artefacts.
Where to take the kids 

There are loads of options in terms of places to take the kids. As I said, St Fagan's is great. But there are also a tonne of parks dotted all over the city. Bute Park is directly behind the castle (and is somewhere that I love going with the kids) and has a lot of open spaces to run around. There is also a river there which you can pay to go on a boat on and that takes you to Cardiff Bay which is a fun little excursion. Or, if you don't mind the walk/bus journey, Roath Park is a great place to take little ones. There is a big lake that you can walk around and a great play park for kids. 

Where you'll find the hidden gems of Cardiff 

I would say that there are two 'hidden gems' in Cardiff that could easily be overlooked. The first is the arcades. There are several in the city centre and they are just so beautiful to walk through (especially at Christmas!) but they are also a bit blink and you'll miss it kinda thing. They are full of lots of independent shops (some of the more unusual ones like vintage clothes shops and retro gamer shops) as well as loads of amazing cafes. Some of them you can also go up onto the balcony and the view is really gorgeous from up there. 

The second is the Indoor Market in Cardiff's city centre. I absolutely love this market for getting fruit and veg but also for finding gorgeous baked goodies like the creamiest Welsh cakes. They also have an upstairs which I think is home to a record store amongst other things but it is definitely worth checking out if you are passing through.
Where you'll get the best snacks 

There are so many amazing places to get snacks in Cardiff (I mean, my bank statement would probably give you a more concise list of them *oops*) but, as not to turn this blog post into War and Peace, I am only going to be sharing my two current favourites. First off, we have the Deliver Dough donuts at Corner Coffee which are these awesome donuts that come in the most incredible designs and flavours. We got a purple galaxy one the other day. And they do Party Rings ones. Not only do they look so cool, they taste so good too. 

And, secondly, we have fabulous welshcakes from Fabulous Welshcakes (see what I did there). These welshcakes are insane. So buttery and delicious - and only 50p each! They do all different flavours and, oh man, are they good. 

Where to go for an evening stroll 

And finally, once you are full to the brim with welsh cakes and coffee and kofte kebab and whatever else I have pushed you in the direction of, I would recommend a stroll down to Cardiff Bay to have a little glass of something whilst you watch the sun set on the water. 

You may also enjoy:

A Local's Guide To Visiting Cardiff

Cardiff has always been one of my favourite UK cities. Ever since my uni days, I have felt a real affinity with the city. There is always something going on in Cardiff - but it doesn't feel overcrowded and busy. There are so many coffee shops and beautiful parks and hidden passageways running through the centre to explore. And the city really comes alive in the autumn time. Maybe it is the influx of new students coming to the city to study each September or maybe it is me projecting my own feelings that I felt back when I first came to Cardiff as a fresher but I love it. So, Cardiff was a natural choice for me when I decided that I should leave Devon. It was the last place that felt like home to me. Somewhere that I knew like the back of my hand but also somewhere big enough that there is still so much to explore. 

So, as my previous post 'Local's Guide to Devon' did so well, I thought I would share with you all of my favourite things about Cardiff.
Where to stay 

There are a fair amount of hotels in the centre of Cardiff that are actually quite reasonably priced. Personally, I would recommend the Mercure hotel if you are looking for something really nice and are willing to pay a bit extra because the rooms are gorgeous and the on-site restaurant is serves gorgeous food too. 

But if you are looking for something a bit more cheap and cheerful, I would recommend the Holiday Inn. I actually worked there as a waitress for about a year so you know it is good if I am still recommending it. The buffet breakfast there is actually quite nice and there was always a good varitey of options. The rooms always seemed clean and tidy and it is just a good option for a lower budget.
Where to eat 

Let's get onto the important stuff, shall we? 

There are so many places to eat in Cardiff that I couldn't even begin to fit my favourites into this post. But, if you are in the centre, I would suggest heading to either Coffee Barker or Waterloo Tea for breakfast. Both are situated in arcades so you know the surroundings are beautiful (and oh so instagrammable) but also the food is impeccable. Coffee Barker do more traditional breakfasts and a nutella latte that I highly recommend (it has nutella around the rim of the mug *drools*) whereas Waterloo Tea do good brunch stuff like avo toast and some gorgeous cakes (the lemon polenta cake they sometimes do is something else). Honestly though, there are so many great cafes in town - I may have to dedicate a whole blog post to it. 

Personally, I haven't had a huge amount of evening meals out in Cardiff but I have heard good things about The Potted Pig and Pasture has recently opened in the centre which I have already heard great things about - and my boyfriend said their Bristol branch was really good and he knows his food so it most certainly is very good. And, if you are vegan, the Greazy Vegan is great for vegan junk food. They even do a vegan Big Mac and battered sausages! 

For me though, I love travelling outside of the centre of town and heading to City Road to eat in one of the several authentic Lebanese restaurants. There are a few to choose from. I don't have a favourite - as long as they serve lamb koftes with a tonne of chilli sauce and some rice and bread, I'm happy. Even more so if it comes with a pot of black tea and honey.
Where to go for history 

If you are coming to Cardiff, you should be sure to have a look around Cardiff Castle. There is an outside section where you can just wander around and look at the sections of the castle and maybe pick up a coffee from the on-site cafe to sip whilst you soak up the history and feel all artsy and cool (best done whilst wearing a beanie and a big camera around your neck). Or you could go on one of the tours of the inside bit (living quarters?). I have heard it is very fancy but unfortunately I was on mum duties the day that I visited with my family and was very concerned about Ava destroying literally everything. They also have a tower which you can climb up and, at the top, there is a great view over Cardiff (and a good spot for a quick insta snap, amirite). But my favourite bit is the tunnels that surround the castle which are set up as they were during the war when they were used as bomb shelters. It is all dark and the air rade siren goes off and you feel like you're really there - kinda cool but also kinda haunting.

Another great history place that I am dying to visit is St Fagan's National Museum of History which is an open-air museum that is kinda made to look like an old-worldy town. It shows how people lived back in the day and how houses would have been set up. It also shows lots of different trades that people would have undertaken back then and, basically, it is just a great place for immersive history. Also I think it would be perfect for kids (especially ones around three or four) who are kinda interested in learning about stuff but still need space to run around in a setting that isn't filled to the brim with priceless artefacts.
Where to take the kids 

There are loads of options in terms of places to take the kids. As I said, St Fagan's is great. But there are also a tonne of parks dotted all over the city. Bute Park is directly behind the castle (and is somewhere that I love going with the kids) and has a lot of open spaces to run around. There is also a river there which you can pay to go on a boat on and that takes you to Cardiff Bay which is a fun little excursion. Or, if you don't mind the walk/bus journey, Roath Park is a great place to take little ones. There is a big lake that you can walk around and a great play park for kids. 

Where you'll find the hidden gems of Cardiff 

I would say that there are two 'hidden gems' in Cardiff that could easily be overlooked. The first is the arcades. There are several in the city centre and they are just so beautiful to walk through (especially at Christmas!) but they are also a bit blink and you'll miss it kinda thing. They are full of lots of independent shops (some of the more unusual ones like vintage clothes shops and retro gamer shops) as well as loads of amazing cafes. Some of them you can also go up onto the balcony and the view is really gorgeous from up there. 

The second is the Indoor Market in Cardiff's city centre. I absolutely love this market for getting fruit and veg but also for finding gorgeous baked goodies like the creamiest Welsh cakes. They also have an upstairs which I think is home to a record store amongst other things but it is definitely worth checking out if you are passing through.
Where you'll get the best snacks 

There are so many amazing places to get snacks in Cardiff (I mean, my bank statement would probably give you a more concise list of them *oops*) but, as not to turn this blog post into War and Peace, I am only going to be sharing my two current favourites. First off, we have the Deliver Dough donuts at Corner Coffee which are these awesome donuts that come in the most incredible designs and flavours. We got a purple galaxy one the other day. And they do Party Rings ones. Not only do they look so cool, they taste so good too. 

And, secondly, we have fabulous welshcakes from Fabulous Welshcakes (see what I did there). These welshcakes are insane. So buttery and delicious - and only 50p each! They do all different flavours and, oh man, are they good. 

Where to go for an evening stroll 

And finally, once you are full to the brim with welsh cakes and coffee and kofte kebab and whatever else I have pushed you in the direction of, I would recommend a stroll down to Cardiff Bay to have a little glass of something whilst you watch the sun set on the water. 

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I was introduced to the concept of the 'staycation' at a very young age. My parents much preferred exploring the UK over travelling abroad so most of my childhood summers were spent hiding in tents from freak hailstorms, going gooey-eyed over Cornish boys working in fudge shops, and making up 101 excuses for not joining in with the on-site holiday park entertainment. And I loved it. Devon and Cornwall were our usual destinations of choice and it really opened up my eyes to the wealth of things to do and see right on our doorstep. Every summer was different and exciting - despite being in the same region.

As I got a bit older, I ventured further afield. In my college years, I became rather a coach trip fiend. Admittedly, it wasn't the most glamorous means of travel but it was affordable, meant I could stay at a hotel and get full board included (buffet breakfast wya), and - most importantly - I could see a lot of stuff without having to sell my kidneys to afford train fares and entry fees. That is when I started seeing other parts of the UK. We stayed in the Cotswolds and ate a tonne of cake in adorable surroundings. We went on a Dickens themed Christmas trip that toured Rochester and Canterbury. And we even did a Harry Potter themed London one which included the Harry Potter Studios. It was awesome and really got me wanting to explore more of the UK.

Since then, I have been lucky enough to explore a fair amount of places (but still not enough!) so I thought I would share with you my favourites so you too can get some inspo on where you want to travel to next.


The Lake District
I would go as far as saying that the Lake District is one of my favourite parts of the UK. The scenery is unlike any other part that I have visited. And the towns and villages dotted around are so quaint and old-worldy - it is like stepping back in time. 

I used to live in Ambleside so I would feel like a traitor not to recommend visiting there. Be also be sure to add Rydal Caves to your itinerary as well as taking a boat ride on Lake Windermere. Also be sure to stop in at Lucy's On A Plate if you are in Ambleside as the food is insane (and I worked there so I would know *licks lips*). 

Bath
Bath is another firm favourite of mine. It is somewhere that I have visited a handful of times but never really tire of. The architecture, for one, is absolutely stunning and it just has this quaint charm that you rarely find in a city. They also have a Jane Austen Centre which brings joy to my little English Lit grad heart and a fashion museum which is mega interesting and full of the wackiest dresses you'll ever lay eyes upon. I would also strongly advise you to go to the Fudge Kitchen there as they make the best fudge ever (ok, maybe not as good as Roley's Fudge but, yknow, still pretty incredible) and they also sell these hot chocolate fudge sachets that make the dreamiest hot chocolate ever. Damn, now I really want fudge.


Edinburgh
Edinburgh is another one of my top UK cities that I could visit time and again without getting bored. Naturally, you have to visit Edinburgh Castle. The view over Edinburgh from up there is gorgeous and it is so interesting as the castle is one of those fancy ones like Windsor Castle - it is more of a military base so you get to see where they kept the prisoners of war back in the day and it is just mega interesting. But, of course, I was mostly swept away by two things - pretty, colourful streets and good food. For that, all you have to do is head to Victoria Street. It is a crescent shaped street full of the most beautiful, colourful buildings. It is absolutely gorgeous and oh so instagrammable. But it is also on that street that you will find my favourite restaurant in Edinburgh - Howies Restaurant. The food there is next level. They fill up quick so it is good to prebook and, back when I went, they did a really reasonably priced early bird menu which I would totally recommend. Just thinking of the food there makes me desperately want to book another trip.  

Cornwall
Of course, I had to put Cornwall on here. I haven't actually been to Cornwall for so long but I remember always loving the beaches. Also my dad was really into history around that time and we would always learn so much about Cornwall's Celtic routes and many of its folklores and fables. Cornwall always had quite a mystical vibe for me with its stories of mermaids and sailors lost at sea, and the shops selling crystals and dreamcatchers that you found in every town and village, and the ancient battle reenactments that we went to. I think Cornwall has so much character and it is much more than just a beach holiday destination. Particularly, I would suggest visiting Tintagel. That was our favourite destination growing up because of all the King Arthur legends surrounding it but also because the beach there is just beautiful and the town feels like it has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.


Cardiff
So, I am going to round up Part One with maybe the most underrated city I can think of - Cardiff. As it was my uni city (and will soon be my home again!), I do have a bit of partiality towards Cardiff but, honestly, I do think it is a great place to visit. On the surface, it may just seem like an average city that is the same as any other but, when you look deeper, you notice its uniqueness. The arcades in the city centre are my favourite example of this. You could blink and miss them but these arcades running through the centre of town are full of independent shops and cafes and have a Victorian charm about them. Not only that but you have Cardiff Castle too and so many parks and places to explore. You can even take a boat from Bute Park to Cardiff Bay which is lovely on a nice day.

I hope you enjoyed part one of my favourite UK staycation destinations - be sure to keep your eyes out for part two and comment below your favourite place to visit in the UK!

My Top 10 British Staycation Destinations (Pt 1)

I was introduced to the concept of the 'staycation' at a very young age. My parents much preferred exploring the UK over travelling abroad so most of my childhood summers were spent hiding in tents from freak hailstorms, going gooey-eyed over Cornish boys working in fudge shops, and making up 101 excuses for not joining in with the on-site holiday park entertainment. And I loved it. Devon and Cornwall were our usual destinations of choice and it really opened up my eyes to the wealth of things to do and see right on our doorstep. Every summer was different and exciting - despite being in the same region.

As I got a bit older, I ventured further afield. In my college years, I became rather a coach trip fiend. Admittedly, it wasn't the most glamorous means of travel but it was affordable, meant I could stay at a hotel and get full board included (buffet breakfast wya), and - most importantly - I could see a lot of stuff without having to sell my kidneys to afford train fares and entry fees. That is when I started seeing other parts of the UK. We stayed in the Cotswolds and ate a tonne of cake in adorable surroundings. We went on a Dickens themed Christmas trip that toured Rochester and Canterbury. And we even did a Harry Potter themed London one which included the Harry Potter Studios. It was awesome and really got me wanting to explore more of the UK.

Since then, I have been lucky enough to explore a fair amount of places (but still not enough!) so I thought I would share with you my favourites so you too can get some inspo on where you want to travel to next.


The Lake District
I would go as far as saying that the Lake District is one of my favourite parts of the UK. The scenery is unlike any other part that I have visited. And the towns and villages dotted around are so quaint and old-worldy - it is like stepping back in time. 

I used to live in Ambleside so I would feel like a traitor not to recommend visiting there. Be also be sure to add Rydal Caves to your itinerary as well as taking a boat ride on Lake Windermere. Also be sure to stop in at Lucy's On A Plate if you are in Ambleside as the food is insane (and I worked there so I would know *licks lips*). 

Bath
Bath is another firm favourite of mine. It is somewhere that I have visited a handful of times but never really tire of. The architecture, for one, is absolutely stunning and it just has this quaint charm that you rarely find in a city. They also have a Jane Austen Centre which brings joy to my little English Lit grad heart and a fashion museum which is mega interesting and full of the wackiest dresses you'll ever lay eyes upon. I would also strongly advise you to go to the Fudge Kitchen there as they make the best fudge ever (ok, maybe not as good as Roley's Fudge but, yknow, still pretty incredible) and they also sell these hot chocolate fudge sachets that make the dreamiest hot chocolate ever. Damn, now I really want fudge.


Edinburgh
Edinburgh is another one of my top UK cities that I could visit time and again without getting bored. Naturally, you have to visit Edinburgh Castle. The view over Edinburgh from up there is gorgeous and it is so interesting as the castle is one of those fancy ones like Windsor Castle - it is more of a military base so you get to see where they kept the prisoners of war back in the day and it is just mega interesting. But, of course, I was mostly swept away by two things - pretty, colourful streets and good food. For that, all you have to do is head to Victoria Street. It is a crescent shaped street full of the most beautiful, colourful buildings. It is absolutely gorgeous and oh so instagrammable. But it is also on that street that you will find my favourite restaurant in Edinburgh - Howies Restaurant. The food there is next level. They fill up quick so it is good to prebook and, back when I went, they did a really reasonably priced early bird menu which I would totally recommend. Just thinking of the food there makes me desperately want to book another trip.  

Cornwall
Of course, I had to put Cornwall on here. I haven't actually been to Cornwall for so long but I remember always loving the beaches. Also my dad was really into history around that time and we would always learn so much about Cornwall's Celtic routes and many of its folklores and fables. Cornwall always had quite a mystical vibe for me with its stories of mermaids and sailors lost at sea, and the shops selling crystals and dreamcatchers that you found in every town and village, and the ancient battle reenactments that we went to. I think Cornwall has so much character and it is much more than just a beach holiday destination. Particularly, I would suggest visiting Tintagel. That was our favourite destination growing up because of all the King Arthur legends surrounding it but also because the beach there is just beautiful and the town feels like it has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.


Cardiff
So, I am going to round up Part One with maybe the most underrated city I can think of - Cardiff. As it was my uni city (and will soon be my home again!), I do have a bit of partiality towards Cardiff but, honestly, I do think it is a great place to visit. On the surface, it may just seem like an average city that is the same as any other but, when you look deeper, you notice its uniqueness. The arcades in the city centre are my favourite example of this. You could blink and miss them but these arcades running through the centre of town are full of independent shops and cafes and have a Victorian charm about them. Not only that but you have Cardiff Castle too and so many parks and places to explore. You can even take a boat from Bute Park to Cardiff Bay which is lovely on a nice day.

I hope you enjoyed part one of my favourite UK staycation destinations - be sure to keep your eyes out for part two and comment below your favourite place to visit in the UK!

[gifted ad]

When it comes to Father's Day, I am usually lost for what to buy. I think men are notoriously difficult to buy for and I always feel like the gifts I lump for are a bit impersonal - usually a liquorice-based cop-out, if you will.

But that all changed when I started using Moonpig. When I moved abroad to Germany, I originally used it to send birthday cards and gifts to family back home in the UK without having to deal with the nightmare that is international delivery systems. And what was at first a marriage of convenience, soon became a bit of a running joke in my family. I'd spend ages scrolling through cringey Facebook pictures to find the most embarrassing picture to ever exist and plaster it across the front of the card.

I mean, you could create really beautiful, nostalgia-filled cards with the personalisation feature too but, lets be honest, that just isn't me.

Alongside the personalised cards, there are plenty of gifts to suit all tastes too. Whether your dad is into football, Star Wars, or something in between - there really is something for everyone (and I can vouch for this because my dad is a nightmare to buy for).


Personally, I opted this year for a Liverpool themed card (go on you reds) because my dad is a mega fan. Alongside a snack tray filled with nuts and meaty snacks and two bottles of fancy beer to watch whilst the game is on (if football ever returns - although I dont mind if it takes its time...).

So, whether you have a dad, a grandad who has always been there for you, a mum who has been both mum and dad, a stepdad, two dads, or two mums, make sure to treat them this Father's Day to let them know how much you care!

Celebrating Father's Day With Moonpig


[gifted ad]

When it comes to Father's Day, I am usually lost for what to buy. I think men are notoriously difficult to buy for and I always feel like the gifts I lump for are a bit impersonal - usually a liquorice-based cop-out, if you will.

But that all changed when I started using Moonpig. When I moved abroad to Germany, I originally used it to send birthday cards and gifts to family back home in the UK without having to deal with the nightmare that is international delivery systems. And what was at first a marriage of convenience, soon became a bit of a running joke in my family. I'd spend ages scrolling through cringey Facebook pictures to find the most embarrassing picture to ever exist and plaster it across the front of the card.

I mean, you could create really beautiful, nostalgia-filled cards with the personalisation feature too but, lets be honest, that just isn't me.

Alongside the personalised cards, there are plenty of gifts to suit all tastes too. Whether your dad is into football, Star Wars, or something in between - there really is something for everyone (and I can vouch for this because my dad is a nightmare to buy for).


Personally, I opted this year for a Liverpool themed card (go on you reds) because my dad is a mega fan. Alongside a snack tray filled with nuts and meaty snacks and two bottles of fancy beer to watch whilst the game is on (if football ever returns - although I dont mind if it takes its time...).

So, whether you have a dad, a grandad who has always been there for you, a mum who has been both mum and dad, a stepdad, two dads, or two mums, make sure to treat them this Father's Day to let them know how much you care!

When we first went into lockdown, I had this whole positive mindset. I had big plans of how I would utilise this time and be really productive. Reader, I have not been productive. We are now on week 7 (I think??) and I have been for a run like three times. I have only written two blog posts this whole time. Hell, the only thing I have achieved is breaking my previous records of how many biscuits I can eat in one sitting and how many consecutive hours CBeebies can play for.

Saying that though, there are a couple of things that I have started doing more of. I have tried to get back into baking - everything I have made has been kinda disgusting but at least I am trying?? And I have been rejigging the house a lot. And that is one thing that is actually paying off. All this free time has meant that I can actually do the odd jobs around the house that I never would have done. I have painted walls. I have mounted pictures (very, very poorly - sorry to whoever moves into this house in future for all the holes in the walls). I have even painted a chest of drawers. And it is starting to come together. My house is starting to look more me.

So, I thought I would put together a post on how to refresh your home on a budget so I can share with you guys all the little tips and tricks on how to totally turn around your living space without it costing the earth.

Change up the knobs
Lol (sorry). But yeah, one mega easy and affordable way to change up your home is to buy some new knobs and swap them in. Sideboards, cupboards, kitchen cabinets, bedside tables - anywhere! I find Knobbles and Bobbles is the best place to find really fun and unusual designs that will spice up any space and tie into your colour scheme a lot better than the plain ones that usually come on drawers and things.

Get some new cushion covers 
When we first moved into our house, we went to this furniture place that was full of stuff people had donated and we got our (monstrous, burgundy velvet) sofa from there. It can with these awful dark purple cushions that just always looked so ugly to me. For years, I have just chucked them in the cupboard and not thought anymore of them. Until recently! I decided to replace the cushion covers and I am so much happier for it (although I will be even happier when I can finally buy a new sofa). H&M Home is great for this and you can also find some cute ones for the kids rooms on Amazon too.


Create a gallery wall
Whenever I used to think of gallery walls, I would imagine the typical selection of cute prints in frame above the sofa or going up the staircase. That was until I got on Pinterest and go inspired to create a gallery wall in Ava's room using a mixture of pictures, hanging decorations, metal word art, and a hanging shelf too. I even bought a canvas and got Ava to paint a picture to go on her wall too. And I am so happy with the result. It may look a little chaotic but I like it and I feel like it is such a nice idea for a kids room. And I did it using mostly all stuff we already had at home that was either just shoved in a drawer or sat unloved on another shelf somewhere else in the house.

Put up a shelf
I'm a big fan of shelves. I feel like they really fill a space and give the room more character. And you don't even have to spend much to decorate them either. You can display things you already have tucked away in drawers. Or get a few cheap frames and print some pictures via Free Prints. Or even wash out a glass jar when you finish using it and fill it with some flowers you find out on your walks.

Change up the grout
The bathroom and kitchen are two rooms in the house that I haven't even started decorating yet because they were newly fitted when we moved in and have served us fairly well since then. I mean, they are functional. But one hack I have been seeing online that seems to make a big difference to the look of kitchens and bathrooms is changing the grout. Yeah, that white stuff between the tiles. Buy a grout pen (maybe choose black if you have white tiles for that monochrome vibe) and go to work on that grout (a sentence I never thought I would be writing).

Paint old furniture
Wilko recently kindly gifted me some of their furniture paint and, since painting a horrible, old dresser/chest of drawers bright yellow, I have definitely been bitten by the furniture painting bug. None of my furniture is safe anymore. I fully intend to paint everything that I don't like anymore and then change up the knobs too. My bedside table will definitely be my next victim.

What are your top tips for changing up your living space?


You may also enjoy:
15 Things To Do At Home That Don't Involve A Screen
You Don't Have To Be Productive Right Now
The Best Nursery Décor Bargains On The Market
Blogging On A Budget: Is It Possible?

Small Ways To Refresh Your Home On A Budget


When we first went into lockdown, I had this whole positive mindset. I had big plans of how I would utilise this time and be really productive. Reader, I have not been productive. We are now on week 7 (I think??) and I have been for a run like three times. I have only written two blog posts this whole time. Hell, the only thing I have achieved is breaking my previous records of how many biscuits I can eat in one sitting and how many consecutive hours CBeebies can play for.

Saying that though, there are a couple of things that I have started doing more of. I have tried to get back into baking - everything I have made has been kinda disgusting but at least I am trying?? And I have been rejigging the house a lot. And that is one thing that is actually paying off. All this free time has meant that I can actually do the odd jobs around the house that I never would have done. I have painted walls. I have mounted pictures (very, very poorly - sorry to whoever moves into this house in future for all the holes in the walls). I have even painted a chest of drawers. And it is starting to come together. My house is starting to look more me.

So, I thought I would put together a post on how to refresh your home on a budget so I can share with you guys all the little tips and tricks on how to totally turn around your living space without it costing the earth.

Change up the knobs
Lol (sorry). But yeah, one mega easy and affordable way to change up your home is to buy some new knobs and swap them in. Sideboards, cupboards, kitchen cabinets, bedside tables - anywhere! I find Knobbles and Bobbles is the best place to find really fun and unusual designs that will spice up any space and tie into your colour scheme a lot better than the plain ones that usually come on drawers and things.

Get some new cushion covers 
When we first moved into our house, we went to this furniture place that was full of stuff people had donated and we got our (monstrous, burgundy velvet) sofa from there. It can with these awful dark purple cushions that just always looked so ugly to me. For years, I have just chucked them in the cupboard and not thought anymore of them. Until recently! I decided to replace the cushion covers and I am so much happier for it (although I will be even happier when I can finally buy a new sofa). H&M Home is great for this and you can also find some cute ones for the kids rooms on Amazon too.


Create a gallery wall
Whenever I used to think of gallery walls, I would imagine the typical selection of cute prints in frame above the sofa or going up the staircase. That was until I got on Pinterest and go inspired to create a gallery wall in Ava's room using a mixture of pictures, hanging decorations, metal word art, and a hanging shelf too. I even bought a canvas and got Ava to paint a picture to go on her wall too. And I am so happy with the result. It may look a little chaotic but I like it and I feel like it is such a nice idea for a kids room. And I did it using mostly all stuff we already had at home that was either just shoved in a drawer or sat unloved on another shelf somewhere else in the house.

Put up a shelf
I'm a big fan of shelves. I feel like they really fill a space and give the room more character. And you don't even have to spend much to decorate them either. You can display things you already have tucked away in drawers. Or get a few cheap frames and print some pictures via Free Prints. Or even wash out a glass jar when you finish using it and fill it with some flowers you find out on your walks.

Change up the grout
The bathroom and kitchen are two rooms in the house that I haven't even started decorating yet because they were newly fitted when we moved in and have served us fairly well since then. I mean, they are functional. But one hack I have been seeing online that seems to make a big difference to the look of kitchens and bathrooms is changing the grout. Yeah, that white stuff between the tiles. Buy a grout pen (maybe choose black if you have white tiles for that monochrome vibe) and go to work on that grout (a sentence I never thought I would be writing).

Paint old furniture
Wilko recently kindly gifted me some of their furniture paint and, since painting a horrible, old dresser/chest of drawers bright yellow, I have definitely been bitten by the furniture painting bug. None of my furniture is safe anymore. I fully intend to paint everything that I don't like anymore and then change up the knobs too. My bedside table will definitely be my next victim.

What are your top tips for changing up your living space?


You may also enjoy:
15 Things To Do At Home That Don't Involve A Screen
You Don't Have To Be Productive Right Now
The Best Nursery Décor Bargains On The Market
Blogging On A Budget: Is It Possible?

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