Tag Archives: crochet

An Edinburgh Adventure

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Last Thursday the opportunity arose for us to pack our bags, bundle the kids in and head north for a weekend with my father in law.

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I love Edinburgh. So grand yet so comfortable. Castles, mountains, culture, food. It has it all. What I had never appreciated before was how much amazing coastline there is within a short drive. This is Gullane beach and was a complete revelation. Wide stretches of clean, sandy beach with rock pools full of things to discover.

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The Little Man was in his element covering vast distances as he walked back and forward from our camp down to the water to drop a pebble into the sea.

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Unusually for us we indulged in a selection of bought treats from Gullane’s little treasure, the German Bakery Falko Konditormeister courtesy of my lovely father-in-law. The Little Man and I shared the raisin brioche bun above whilst hubby had a rather fancy continental sandwich. For afters we shared raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake and bakewell frangipane. So good!

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The beachy agenda was agreed before we set off from home so we remembered to pack a few trusty buckets and spades in preparation. I love the fact that many of these were used by my sister and me 25+ years for our own castle creations. Happy memories!

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Saturday saw us head indoors to escape the howling gales but Sunday saw the sun come out to play so we once again headed to the coast. This time we were on familiar territory as we returned to a favourite haunt, Queensferry.

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I love it here with the Forth Railway Bridge spanning the water and the boats clanking in the (permanent) breeze. As I couldn’t safely carry the Little Lady over the slippery rocks I once more had the luxury to indulge in a bit more seaside hooky with my South Bay Shawl. Bliss!

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The Little Lady did come out to play as well. She was fascinated by the feel of the pebbles and the sound they made as she threw them. She is such a happy baby and so interested in the world around her. Everything is new and exciting when you are 6 months old!

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Before long I got somewhat distracted by the brightly coloured sea glass that literally littered the beach. It wasn’t long before we were all sifting through the pebbles. The Little Man was especially proud of his haul, bringing each piece to me for my approval. He favoured the larger pieces and spent the rest of the day rooting around in his pockets to rediscover his hidden treasures. Bless.

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Thank you for joining us on the beaches. Next time I shall share our Saturday adventures with you. See you soon!

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Filed under Trips and outings

A Cupboard Full of Cake

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Greetings one and all, it’s been very quiet round here lately. First I was ill then we enjoyed a marvellous weekend with family in Edinburgh so life has been busy as ever. Even though I miss it when I cannot blog I am enjoying the ease of sharing snippets of my days on Instagram. It is a great way of trying to order my ideas and stop the obsessive mental stockpiling of things that I want to share on here!

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As I mentioned, I was knocked sideways by a bout of sickness the other week. I am rarely ill and do not make a good patient. Having caught the bug from the Little Man I was once again overcome with respect for the stoicism that my children show when they are poorly.

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For me, there are two things I need when I am under the weather – cake and chocolate. For inspiration I turned to the wonderful Lillian’s Cupboard. So let me take you on a tour of the treats that helped restore me to strength!

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I first made this Swedish Dream Bar for my colleagues a while ago and it proved to be such a hit that it is still commented on now. Therefore I do not understand why it has taken me so long to give it another go. Moist and chewy on top with a crunchy, biscuit base this makes the perfect sweet snack with a cuppa and is easily transportable for picnics.

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It was unfortunate timing that I caught a bug on the weekend that both my hubby and parents were away. When the craving for cake hit and I realised that the fridge was egg free I nearly cried. There was much internal cheering when I looked up one of my favourite of Lillian’s recipes, the Boiled Raisin Cake, and discovered it to be egg free. Oh happy days! (Incidentally the Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake is also egg free and definitely on my to-bake list!). This is a 1940s tea bread and I adore the simple, sweet cinnamon hit it delivers. It is also very popular with the Little Man as he is not a fan of sponge but loves fruit cakes.

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The final treat in this weekend bakeathon was another WWII era Cake, the Orange One Egg Cake. I blogged about this cake a couple years ago here but it was even better this time. I used half juice, half milk and whisked the frosting until it was extra light and fluffy. Delicious!

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And finally, for balance, there has been plenty of non-cake related feasting around here as barbecue season has hit. You know how much I love a picnic so you can imagine how excited I get about this sort of al-fresco dining and the Little Man thinks that they are the best thing ever! Ironically my favourite aspect of barbecues is not the meat but the salads (my husband says that this is sacrilege but hey ho).

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Here we have Mary Berry’s Coleslaw, made with half vinaigrette, half mayonnaise, roasted vegetables with balsalmic vinegar and, my latest obsession, Delia Smith’s Very Red Rice. Made with Carmague red rice, this salad has a lovely nutty texture. I saw it originally on Instagram and the secret I find is to leave it to cool slightly then stir through chunks of good feta cheese and a load of coriander. So good!

I shall leave you with a final, gratuitous snap of my darling Little Lady who joins in with all of this feasting with an (almost) permanent smile on her face!

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Filed under Cakes, Crochet, Food

Baby Granny No. 3

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Greetings my friends. I warned you that these cups would be reappearing soon! The Little Man and I have been baking so grab a ginger nut and let’s do a bit of blanket loving.

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This journey started four years ago when I first picked up a hook and began learning how to crochet. You can read the story here. My grannies quickly became square and I was hooked (excuse the pun!). Fast forward to just before the Little Lady was born and I found my original practice granny along with the King Cole Chunky and decided to put them to good use.

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It wasn’t long before I had a reasonable sized square (1 m x 1 m) in these fabulously vibrant colours.

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Next came the fun part – the border (#10 in Edie Eckman’s ‘Around the Corner Crochet Borders’). Made out of popcorn stitches separated by 5 chain stitches and a treble it is fun and frilly and I love the effect. There is nothing subtle about this blanket! Beware though, this edging is time consuming and eats yarn like nothing else so be prepared before embarking on a large border!

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Ta-dah! There we have it. A super thick and warm baby blanket, perfect for wrapping a little one in on frosty walks.

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The chunky yarn gives this blanket a really tactile quality that the Little Lady really enjoys. It makes me so happy to see her pulling on those little bobbles, all warm and cosy in her woolly nest. The King Cole is not as smooth as the Stylecraft feeling somewhat more ‘plasticy’, especially when wet, but blanket is soft, snuggly, rich in colour and washes well.

So there we go. A simple project that has been an excellent stash buster as well as putting a practice square to good use. Win win! I know you have seen my final picture before, but it is so cute so you will have to humour me. Be back soon! 🙂

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Filed under Baby, Blanket, Crochet

Sweet Pea Snapshots

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Evening all! Can I offer you a cup of tea? My lovely aunt came into possession of the most delightful Royal Winton tea set in Sweet Pea and very kindly gifted it to me. It is positively divine and I love every sip from it. I have a feeling that you will be seeing these pop up frequently from now on!

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The weather has been up and down this week. Beautiful sunshine, some much needed rain and a few grey, chilly mornings which have allowed us to wrap ourselves in the cosy blankets around the place. It makes me so happy to see them being put to good use.

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Even my Summer Garden Granny Throw was put to work as an impromptu picnic blanket.

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There has been a pleasing amount of crochet happening here at the moment. My South Bay Shawlette is coming along slowly but surely (the pattern can be found on Ravelry). The yarn is Drops Baby Alpaca Silk and is a dream to work with.

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Don’t you just love a bit of al fresco hooky? My Crochet Mood Blanket 2014 has become a 2015 mood blanket but I am loving choosing which colour it is to be each day.

However the most exciting news of this week has to be from Little Lady. Drumroll please…my little poppet is now eating!

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Yes, weaning take 2 has begun. I cannot believe how well she has taken to eating. She is even giving her brother a run for his money! So far she has scoffed banana, pear, orange, potatoes in all forms, carrots, swede, brocolli, peppers, tomatoes, Weetabix, Rice Crispies, turkey with five spice and ginger, steak, chicken curry, oxtail stew, red rice with feta, cheese sandwich, crumpets and probably loads more that I am forgetting. Here she is enjoying a pitta stick with cashew butter.

I cannot tell you how exciting I am finding this second journey into Baby Led Weaning (not least the improvement that we have seen in the length of time that she will go between feeds in the night now!). I will try to restrain myself from boring you with details of every meal time but please allow me this proud mommy moment as I leave you with one more picture.
See you soon!

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Filed under Baby, BLW, Crochet, Magic Moments

The Week In and Out

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Hello my dears, I hope I find you well. Thank you for your kind wishes for the Little Lady. Her spots are now clearing and normality has returned.

Do you like the yarn play that I enjoyed with my Little Man the other day? He is not the most enthusiastic artist/crafter but, with a bit of encouragement, we have some lovely sessions together. I am planning on creating a spider to live in his colourful web so it can hang in his bedroom.

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There are times when I get myself in a tizzy about this blog, planning posts, not writing them and then ending up stressing so I am hoping that this post clears a backlog. The last fortnight has been a busy mix of mundane, comfortable at home time (the in of the title) and merry outings here and there, picnicking with family and friends. Bits and pieces that make for messy posts but are a truthful reflection of everyday life. My latest obsession, Instagram, is a wonderful outlet for these moments but I still love writing my blog. If you’re on there please come and say hello @rosy_hill!

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On Bank Holiday Monday we had a magical day out at one of our favourite places, Shugborough. I have taken you there before here if you want to look around but on Monday it was a relaxed, family affair that centred around the little people and the picnic!

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It makes me so happy to see the joy my Little Man gets out of life’s simple pleasures. Chasing a ball around. Picking dandelion clocks.

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Bless him.

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Another wonderful moment from last weekend was creating these little beauties. So simple, so effective, so delicious and so much fun! I have never used YouTube videos to cook from before but these worked out really well. Check it out here.

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Served warm with a blob of ice-cream they made quite a spectacular dessert!

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Today we are down in Kent with family and we took a trip to Riverhill Himalayan Gardens. We timed the visit well with the woods being carpeted with bluebells. What a smell!

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The little people had a wonderful time and the weather was kind to us. It only rained a little bit and the sun even came out to say hello.

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The Little Man was here, there and everywhere…

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…even getting up close and personal with the sculptures! I took so many pictures of the flowers, the views, the art but mostly it was pretty overcast and they just don’t do justice to the beauty of nature. Trust me, we shall be visiting again!

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Finally, we have been busy setting up the garden for the summer. Seeds have been planted, bushes have been mulched and some dubious seed potatoes have been plunged into the ground with fingers crossed! I hope to have some more to show you soon when things get going.

Thank you so much if you have made it to the end of my musings. Flicking through it all looks pretty bright and colourful so I shall leave you with a reminder that we’ve had the rain and clouds too, we’ve just carried on regardless! 🙂

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Filed under Crochet, Desserts, Gardening, Recipes, Trips and outings

Curry Comfort

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Good evening all, I hope this post finds you well. I was all set to do a ta-da post for a couple of pieces tonight but I am frankly just too tired to find the words. Illness has struck again as it is now the turn of Little Lady to be blighted by chickenpox. The poor little lamb is covered in spots, much more than her brother was. Luckily she does not seem to be overly unwell, just incredibly itchy.

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For the past few days I have therefore given myself over to a lot of sofa snuggles. She is a bit restless, waking regularly from her naps and needing extra comfort so I have kept her close by, resigning myself to a few days of films and crochet (well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!).

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I have taken the opportunity to resurrect a long forgotten project, my Summer Garden Throw. Using Lucy’s (Attic24) Summer Garden Granny Square this blanket is a colour bonanza and I am loving every minute of it.

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Yesterday I did manage to rouse myself from our cosy nest to create a rather delicious Carrot, Tomato and Lentil Soup. (Simply softened onions and garlic with paprika, salt and tomato puree with chopped carrots, tomatoes, red lentils and parsley).

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And today I took some time out to cook up a batch of comforting vegetable curry from Be Healed, Be Healthy, Be Happy. I absolutely love this recipe and, best of all, it’ll fill my stock pot with enough for 2 meals for the three of us and 3 lunches for me. The only real changes I make are using swede instead of butternut squash (cheaper and quicker to prepare) and adding a tonne of coriander (1 tbsp ground and as much fresh as I can get my hands on). I also only use 1 can of coconut milk, making up the difference with water.
Anyways, I have just fed and resettled the Little Lady so I am going to take the opportunity to grab as much sleep as possible until she stirs again.

Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

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Filed under Baby, Crochet, Recipes

A Moment

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Hello my lovelies! Just wanted to bring you a moment of sunny, snuggly goodness that the Little Lady and I slipped into our weekend whilst her brother was having his nap. Daytime hooky is quite unusual for me so this opportunity was a real treat. What’s more, I got chance to use my new Queens Couture ‘Swallow’ mug.

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Oh it makes me so happy to drink from this beauty! During my pregnancy I became a little obsessed with drinking from china cups (strange how hormones affect us!). However, I still wanted a good sized cuppa, not to mention something that can go in the dishwasher. Since discovering these mugs we’ve built up a little collection. So many colours, patterns and styles. Major wanties! But I shall be good for now and enjoy my birdies.

Hope you have a moment today. x

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Filed under Baby, Crochet

Baby Granny No. 2

Hello all! I promised you crochet this time so here we are.

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Just as with the Little Man, I made 2 new blankets prior to the arrival of the Little Lady. I had always intended to create another baby granny like the one that I shared here. So, with the arrival of my baby imminent, I reread that post and set to work as instructed – whip up 6 squares in each of your 6 colours and border with cream. Excellent.

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Although we did not know what the gender of our child was to be I was inspired by the autumnal colours around me so went for seasonal browns, yellows and pinks and got started. 36 completed squares later I decided that there’s no point in reinventing the wheel and began to copy the original colour placement. It did not take me long to realise that my previous post was wrong. The first blanket did not contain 6 shades of blue/green but 7. Whoops. I blame baby brain. I will revisit that post and amend the details! Never mind, onwards and upwards.

However I was not going to start crocheting more squares at this point. So Baby Granny 2 really does only contain 6 colours and cream but I do not believe that it is any the poorer for it!

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Ahh, my two blankets for my two little munchkins. As you can see, there is a slight disparity in size despite being the same yarn on the same hook. This is simply because, as the years have gone by, my crochet has become more relaxed and even giving it a softer texture and resulting is a slightly looser weave.

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(Excuse the clutter but this one’s just so darn cute!) There is an extra special reason why this granny means so much to me. It was the day before my due date and I was desperate to both finish hooking and have the baby! By lunchtime the blanket was done. A few hours later I went into labour and out she popped on her due date, clever girl. She’d just been waiting for mommy to finish before she arrived.

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Blanket Stats:

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK

Hook: 5 mm (H)

1132 : Shrimp
1114 : Sunshine
1064 : Mocha
1035 : Burgundy
1123 : Claret
1029 : Copper
1005 : Cream

Pattern: 4 round Granny Square then Bunny Mummy’s ‘chain round a granny‘ before the final round

Size: 90 x 90 cm (36 squares)

Edging: Double V Edging

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Filed under Baby, Blanket, Crochet

Magic Moments

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Greetings all! Easter is over and spring has well and truly arrived. Lots of little things have been going on around here and I have a hundred posts buzzing in my head so I have decided to do a Magic Moments post to clear my mind and share a few bits and bobs that have been amusing me lately.

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Most exciting of all has been Little Man turning 3. His birthday was on Sunday and his requests were simple – a picnic, pizza for dinner and cake (‘If me has cakes mees will be happy’, bless him). The only other thing that he asked for was to take his cars and play with them outside at the picnic.

I am pleased to say that we managed to tick everything off his list and a wonderful day was had by all. We chose Packwood House as the location for the picnic. There was the added bonus that the National Trust were once again running the ‘Cadbury Easter Eggsploration’ so entertainment was provided! The day was topped off by a family pizza making party and ended on a high with us all tucking into the amazing cake made by my lovely mommy.

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The beautiful weather has lured us into the garden a lot more. Last autumn we planted a load of bulbs in the herb pots and these are really coming into their own now.

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This is the Little Man’s garden. A planter choc a block with spring colour! Over winter it provided a splash of colour in the form of cyclamen, primroses and pansies. Now the bulbs have sprouted and there are so many wonderful blooms to admire. It might not be a very subtle display but the Little Man is very proud of them and loves watching the bees that they are attracting.

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One of the best things about the warm weather is the opportunity for garden picnics. As you know, we picnic out and about in all weathers but it is only when the sun is shining that we start enjoying as many meals as possible al fresco.

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Finally, we have crochet! The other week saw me enjoying the luxury of a few hours on a train, alone. The sun was shining, I had downloaded a couple of programmes on catch up and I had my hook in hand. Bliss. There’s not been a lot of hooky action on the blog lately but I have some projects to share and even a few finished items! Making the most of the sunny weather on Monday I tried to photograph a few pieces. So I shall leave you with a picture of my little helper and will be back soon to share some more. Enjoy your own magic moments!

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Crochet Mood Blanket – Week 4

Crochet Mood Blanket 2014

Good evening all, Tuesday’s here again – time to join Hazel’s link party and update on my Crochet Mood Blanket. Boy is it getting big! Already longer than I am and still 4 more triangles to attach. Hey ho, it’ll be a weighty finished item. I always like to veer on the side of caution as I worry things will be too small – this is why I do not sew!

I am looking forward to some sunny Spring snaps so that you can see the true colours as they are much more vivid, but also softer, than these images imply. I love the fact that I would not choose these colours for a blanket but they work so well. I do miss my yellows and browns but I do not feel ‘yellow’ so it cannot appear in my mood blanket. As I have discovered that the weather affects what colour I ‘feel like’ on any given day, brown may start creeping in during the course of the year.

Crochet Mood Blanket 2014

It has been a revelation that I feel so pink for positive days full of family and friends, whereas the working week tends to lean towards various shades of purple depending on stress levels. Beige and greys are for those dark, Winter days, although they do not necessarily imply a dip in mood, just weather conditions! The blues come out when the sun is shining and my mood soars – finding myself outside for at least part of the day definitely lifts my spirits, even if it is just for P.E.. My moss-green day stands out as when I felt most connected to nature this year at the Birmingham Nature Centre (read about it here), though I envisage more green creeping in as the trees begin to leaf. The colours definitely dulled to match my mood towards the end of last week so I am pleased to see the brighter shades return as I regain the spring in my step.

If you are taking part in the Mood Blanket 2014 party, please leave a comment so that I can see how yours is coming on.

Back soon! x

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