This month I...
  • Cooked healthy meals at home
  • Decluttered my home in preparation for 2015
  • Read Inferno by Dan Brown and I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 
  • Watched The 100, Hart of Dixie and The Carrie Diaries
  • Wrapped all the presents in brown paper and shiny ribbon
What have you been doing this month?


First of all, an apology. Over the last few months I've really neglected my blog; if you are a regular on HIW you might know that my dad passed away in August. I made the decision to head back to Uni in September and complete my final year, but it hasn't been easy. I was instantly overwhelmed; being a third year Law student is hard enough, and I was juggling that with running a society, attending blogger events, trying to post regularly, family commitments and trying to improve my fitness. It can be helpful to keep busy and throw yourself into work and university, but everyone needs time to themselves.. I haven't had a single weekend to relax at home in three months, and I'm exhausted. 

Something had to give, and at the end of the day blogging is only a hobby, and it was one that was making me feel guilty when I didn't work at it. The one thing I always say to new bloggers is "blog for yourself; post when you want about whatever you want, and don't feel guilty for not posting or for having different opinions." It's just a shame I can't take my own advice. I've cried over my blog before, over low traffic and a lack of responses to posts I worked hard on, and it's such a shame because blogging is supposed to be the thing that makes me happy. Recently I've been invited to some fantastic Manchester blogger events, and met some amazing new people, and I'd love that to continue in the New Year. I know it's a little early for resolutions but I'd love to get back into the swing of blogging, but without making myself feel guilty when I don't post. 

Secondly, I just wanted to talk a little about how I've been coping with my dad not being here. I know that everyone grieves in different ways, and I don't think there is any right or wrong way, but hopefully some of my experiences might be useful to any of you who are struggling. This semester has been really hard.. I've lost all motivation for doing anything. I used to love to cook every day, but recently I've relied on oven food and takeout which has resulted in me putting on weight and feeling worse. But I also couldn't motivate myself to exercise, and some days I couldn't even leave the house. My attendance at uni has dropped significantly, to the point where I've been called into uni to talk about it. I had a meeting with my academic advisor the other day and I only wish I'd seen her sooner. She was full of very helpful and practical advice. I also went to see my GP, and I felt just a little bit lighter after I explained everything to her and my advisor. I don't like to talk to my friends and family about dad because they all worry about me when I cry, so I prefer to do my crying on my own. But this only results in me pretending like I'm OK for a few days around friends and then going home and breaking down. Alone. 

Sometimes it feels like time should stop, that the world can't possibly carry on without dad by my side, but it doesn't. And I know he wouldn't want me to waste my days away crying in my room. I would say allow yourself time to grieve properly, most importantly find someone you can talk to.. Friends, family or someone else like a GP or an advisor at Uni. Manchester University has a counselling service, which is where I'll be going in the New Year. You are never alone through bad times, no matter how much you think you may be, there will always be someone out there who is willing to listen. 


This month I...
  • Enjoyed the Manchester Christmas Markets
  • Ate at Thaikun and Handmade Burger Co.
  • Saw the View from the Shard
  • Relaxed at Rushton Hall Hotel and Spa 
  • Exercised at home with a weighted hula hoop
What have you been up to this month?


The Body Shop Vitamin E range has gotten a lot of love from me over the years, (see here and here) and my current favourite is the Overnight Serum in Oil. Winter usually leaves my skin dry and rough, but recently I've been using this every evening, and I'm so pleased with the results. Despite being an oil, it's non-greasy and you only need a tiny bit of product to cover your face. It has a glass pipette applicator, which makes it easy to apply, and it also gives a 'high end spa product' feel to it. Shallow as it might seem, we all love a pretty bottle sat out on our nightstand. In the morning I wake up with soft, moisturised skin.

I like to use this in combination with The Body Shop Facial Roller, an inexpensive but amazing quality massager that helps product to sink into the skin and also works against ageing. A few minutes a day of this really helps my skin to glow and I get less little bumps when I use this. After continuous use my skin feels a lot smoother and looks much more 'awake'.

Does anyone else use The Body Shop Facial Roller?


For me, Sunday's are all about staying in, putting some cosy pyjamas on and having some serious me-time. Some weeks that means studying all day, and others I can sit back and relax a bit more. I saw Jennie from Sailboat do this tag, after seeing FleurDeForce do it on her YouTube channel, and I thought it was perfect for a Sunday post..

1. What do you like to read or watch during me-time?
At the moment I'm reading 'The Goldfinch', and it's pretty slow going, but if I'm need of cheering up I like to dig out a Harry Potter book. I grew up reading the series, and there is nothing like that happy, comforted feeling I get when reading now.

2. What do you wear during me-time?
Pyjamas; I've really been loving my Primark squirrel onesie recently.

3. What are your favourite me-time beauty products?
For me, it's all about a good facemask.. Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel really brightens dull winter skin, and the Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion is my go to manual exfoliator.

4. Current favourite nail polish?

Barry M Glitter polishes are what I always turn to for that festive look, I love Christmas Tree for an accent nail.

5. What do you eat or drink during me-time?
Endless cups of tea, with Jaffa Cakes or Oreos, any chocolate biscuit will do!

6. Current favourite candle?  
'Fireside Treats' from Yankee Candle is lovely, it fills the house with the scent of toasted marshmallows, but I'm looking forward to switching up with some Christmas candles soon.

7. Do you ever have an outdoor me-time?

Never! I'm not a very outdoorsy person, and I certainly don't like being on my own outside. In the summer I do enjoy a coffee and a good, long people watch sesh with the bestie.

8. Would you ever go and watch a film alone?
Nope, living at uni means I spend a lot of time with friends; they become like your family really, so if there was anything I wanted to see I'd always go with a friend.

9. Favourite online shop?
Gifts and Pieces always makes me want to buy something, and it's great for Christmas gifts too.

10. Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time?
When no one else is home I love to watch the Tinkerbell movies, or anything Disney really *hangs head in shame*
I'd love to know what you do during me-time, do the tag and let me know in the comments below or on twitter @nishKpatel


If you haven't heard of Fashionchick you need to check out their site now; they're an online retailer stocking everything from Boohoo to Burberry. Last week they invited some Manchester based bloggers to view some of this seasons key pieces with Boohoo and Dorothy Perkins. As it was a Christmas party, sequins and fur featured heavily on the rails. The Dorothy Perkins fur coats were absolutely beautiful; I bought a cream fur coat from them a few years back, and it has lasted so well. 
We were wined and dined, with the cutest mini croque monsieurs, and bangers and mash canapés, as well as some prosecco. Make-up artists, hairstylists and a manicurist were also on hand to help us get ready for the festive season. At the end of the night we were handed a fantastic goodie bag, which included a Dorothy Perkins 'yes, no' clutchwine faux fur stole and necklace; a Fashionchick phone case; and a hat from boohoo, as well as a cute dress shaped cookie and candy canes to celebrate the start of the festive season. 
As usual it was lovely to catch up with my faves, Maria, Amy, Ellie, Jasmine, Emma and have some fun with the photo props. I was so disappointed that the official photographer got a blurry shot, but nonetheless a great picture.. Make sure to check out these girls' blogs, they are all fantastic. A massive thank you to Fashionchick, Dorothy Perkins and Boohoo for having us!


Lips are an area that often get overlooked, many people think a slick of Vaseline is all that's needed to keep them protected and hydrated, However, the delicate skin on your lips is one of the first places to show the effects of the harsh winter air and drying central heating. I like to use three products to keep my lips supple and soft. 

Dr Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips is a multi-purpose wonder made of medical grade lanolin. Use it on anything from cracked lips, scraggy cuticles, or sore nipples. I apply this before bed and wake up with smooth, hydrated lips. Lush Mint Julips is a product I always repurchase, it tastes fantastic, and buffs away dead lip skin without being too abrasive. It also contains Jojoba oil, to add moisture back in to your skin. Finally, we all know the benefits of Argan oil for our hair, and now The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil range allows us to feel those benefits all over. The Solid Lip Oil is a favourite product of mine, you only need a thin layer of this to really hydrate and nourish the lips. I like to apply this every morning before applying lipstick, and it also works to make any matte shades I have much more sheeny. 

What lip products do you use in the Winter?


When it's cold outside I hunch over; I cross my arms, bring my shoulders to my chin and generally walk around looking like a very cold, very old lady. Combined with late nights hunched over my laptop, and a few sessions at the gym, my muscles are in need of some serious relaxation. My new house has a bath, so Sunday evenings are reserved solely for pamper time.

I start by running a hot bath and adding two handfuls of Radox Herbal Salts Muscle Soak; I find this really helps my body to relax and it's cheap too. I then like to add in a little treat from Lush; one of my favourites is the Avobath. It contains lots of mashed avocado and olive oil, so brilliant for dry winter skin. It has a very strong, lemongrass scent, so if you're not a fan of strong scented baths I wouldn't recommend this, however, it's a great mood lifter and really helps me to mentally prepare for the week ahead. Sunday's for me are mostly spent at home, so it's rare that I'll be wearing any makeup, but if I am I'd usually take it off with a hot cloth cleanser, and then apply a face mask. Recently I've rediscovered the Good Things Five Minute Facial which also contains avocado to moisturise, and green clay and kaolin to cleanse. I love applying a face mask in the bath because the steam really helps to open pores and increase the benefits of the mask.

I then hop in, relax and let the products get to work. What bath products have you been loving recently?


Last night I was invited to The Body Shop Trafford to have a look at their Christmas launches. I headed over with some lovely girls from UoM BlogSoc (Magdalena, LauraBecLauraEmily & Maya) and we were handed a silver ribboned basket and some Bucks Fizz on arrival. The lovely ladies talked us through how the evening would work, and as we got there early I headed over to the skincare expert to test out some products. As you all know I'm a huge fan of the Vitamin E range, so I tested out a few of their intense hydrate products. I also loved the Aqua Boost Sorbet, a cooling hydrating cream that can be kept in the fridge for even better results. This range is perfect for my dry winter skin. I then tried the new Drops of Youth range, which sells a product every 28 seconds. It contains plant stem cells and works to reduce fine lines and signs of fatigue. I didn't need any of the products from the range at the moment, however, next time I need a new eye cream I'll definitely be getting one from here.
A lot of people I talked to were using the evening and special discounts to do their Christmas shopping, but as I wasn't organised enough to have a list I didn't pick anything up. However I learnt a bit more about why buying from The Body Shop is so beneficial. This year they've teamed up with the charity 'War Child', and for every pre-filled gift bought, they donate enough to fund a class for a child. They've already donated an incredible amount, but they need your help to get to their target of six million lessons. Definitely a good reason to go back and pick up my gifts from there.
The Christmas products themselves are also fantastic, with three ranges: Classic Frosted Cranberry, festive Vanilla Brulee and all-new Glazed Apple. These contain the usual body butters and scrubs but also some cute little bath jellies, soaps and bath sprinkles. The classic ranges also come in beautiful pre-filled gift sets. I loved the polar bear and penguin bath sponges too.
I bought a Frosted Cranberry Bath Jelly, which comes with the most adorable little wooden spoon. One scoop is all you need for a whole bath, so I can see this product lasting a long time. After having a few makeup products tested on me, I picked up a berry lipstick in 125 Crazy Sexy Crimson, another bestseller. Two of my friends also bought this shade, and they sold out on the night. I grabbed the lipliner in Mahogany too, which looks quite brown, but really intensifies the colour of the lipstick to a deep plum.
The lovely manager chucked in a few freebies for us, and insisted we take any leftover chocolates, so we walked away with our wallets considerably lighter and our pockets stuffed with Quality Street. Thank you to The Body Shop for having us and I'm very much looking forward to the next event. If you're a Manchester based blogger I recommend you follow 'Manchester Bloggers' on facebook and twitter to keep up to date with future events.


This month I...
  • Visited MediaCityUK
  • Bought some treats from Lush
  • Listened to the new Taylor Swift album
  • Went to my first ever elite Yelp event
  • Burnt 'Fireside Treats' from Yankee Candle
What have you been doing this month?
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On Saturday I ventured to MediaCityUK with some friends to visit the Imperial War Museum and the Lowry Outlet. We'd just filled up with pancakes at Bill's in town and really weren't planning on having to anything to eat, when a lady walked up to us and said "Free food, free mulled wine this way." Not ones to turn down a good offer we wandered over to The Lodge, a brand new pop-up venture. Think giant teepee on the outside, and fairy lit festive haven inside. The space is cosy and inviting, with picnic style benches, furs and blankets to keep you warm and hay bales surrounding a fire pit.

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MAC Fix+ £15.50
MUA Pro-Base Fixing Mist £5.00
My face eats my makeup; I've often been asked if I'm wearing any foundation just four or five hours after application. So in comes the setting spray - think hairspray for your face but with no sticky feel or funny smell. A quick spritz not only fixes your look in place, but can also sort out an over-caked face and gives a subtle sheen to the skin. Today I'll be comparing MAC Fix+ with a drugstore dupe, MUA's pro-base fixing mist. Whilst I don't use setting spray every day, it's a great product for special events, when you want your makeup to really last. But is it worth splashing the cash on Fix+?
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Blanket wraps, knitted kimonos, call them what you will there's no denying they're a massive trend this season. I round up my favourites here:
  1. Topshop Checked Cape £28 This piece is very British heritage; classic pattern, classic colours and oh so cosy looking.
  2. New Look Black Aztec Border £19.99 I love the simplicity of this; black and grey are timeless colours meaning this piece will go with everything in my wardrobe.
  3. New Look Teal Check Toggle Front £19.99 The bolder colours of this might not make this an everyday wear, but will instantly add something to a plain outfit.
  4. ASOS Reversible Cape With Check Panel £25 Reversible = two looks for the price of one. What's not to love?
Are you loving this cosy trend?


Recently I've been testing a few Wild About Beauty products. I'd never heard of the brand before, but I'm impressed by their affordable paraben-free products. They focus on using lots of skin improving, natural goodness in their products, such as aloe vera and beeswax. Check out their ingredients here.
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Whether you're an everyday shadow kinda girl, or you only crack out the colour for special occasions, these are the only two brushes you need for an effortless and professional finish. 
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A few days ago I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party for the new 'Icons' collection from Little Black Dress. I arrived fairly early which gave me a chance to look around and get a feel for the new collection. You may have heard of LBD before; they sell a number of dresses from brands such as Frock and Frill, Goddiva and Virgos Lounge but this is their first own brand collection. Each dress is inspired by and named after a different fashion icon, such as Carrie, Marilyn, Alexa and Kate. 
The dresses themselves are all beautiful, there is a range of different styles to suit lots of body shapes and of course they are all black, making them perfect for any occassion. As Karl Lagerfeld once said:
  “One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.”
You can just see the detail put into each of them, such as the lace work on the Bridgette dress and the fun feather detail on the Kate. I also really enjoyed spending the evening with Ellie, MariaEmma, Amy and Jasmine. They are all lovely girls and fantastic bloggers so go and check them out!

What do you think of the new collection? Which is your favourite dress?


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"The essence of autumn. The sensuous freshness of just-ripe pears is wrapped in a bouquet of white freesias, and mellowed by amber, patchouli and woods. Luscious and golden."

Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne is not a product my student budget can afford, so when I received this scent as a gift I was overjoyed. First of all, can we just take a second to note how damn pretty this bottle is going to look perched on my dressing table. 
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It's been a month since my dad died, and almost two since he went into hospital. Today, like most days I lack motivation to do anything. I am struggling to see that there is anything good or right or fair left in the world. I feel angry. I feel resentful. I am unhappy. I am bored. I miss him; I miss our conversations, his laugh, his food, his hugs. I miss his presence in the house. I miss seeing his face, I miss everything about my life before he died, and I cannot understand why this has happened.

I haven't blogged since dad got ill, but recently I've been remembering how happy posting makes me, and how dad wouldn't want me to quit doing something I love because of him. After feeling especially crappy today I browsed pinterest for some happy quotes, and I came across people listing ten things they were grateful for. Here's mine.
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This month I...
  • Celebrated the end of my exams
  • Saw Wicked the Musical
  • Enjoyed the Manchester Day Parade
  • Lazed around in the park everytime it was sunny
  • Watched Game of Thrones and American Horror Story
What have you been doing this month?


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I'm not going on holiday this summer, but if I did, these would be the first things in my case:

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To achieve that summery fresh-skin glow, I've been turning my attention to citrus products. Citrus has a high vitamin content, improves circulation and has a fresh and uplifting scent, making it perfect for use in skincare. Products containing lemon, grapefruit and orange contain natural acids, which help to exfoliate the skin, removing dead cells and allowing skin to be refreshed. Citric acid is also antibacterial, keeping skin clean and preventing breakouts.
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This month I:
  • Exercised to Davina Intense
  • Revised for most of my waking hours
  • Drank San Pellegrino Limonata
  • Ate at Almost Famous, Red Chilli and Panama Hatty's
  • Wore sandals and a floral kimono
What have you been doing this month?


Despite having thick locks already, the desire for volume is a never-ending quest.  There are a few products I've been trying out recently, and I thought it was about time to pop up an edit of the best. Everyone wants big, bouncy hair swishing around in the summer, like the women you see on shampoo adverts, but is it really possible?
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Late nights and early mornings in the library often mean that a full cleanse/tone/moisturise routine gets pushed to the back of a student's priorities. Coupled with stress, a poor exam time diet and lack of exercise this can lead to a number of skin problems. Here's what I've been using recently to soothe and hydrate my dry and breakout prone skin.

Lush Tea Tree Water is a toner water with an antibacterial effect. Ingredients such as grapefruit and juniper berry also act as astringents on the skin, and a few sprays throughout the day provide a burst of freshness.

Anatomicals Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer. And the best named product award goes to? At £6 for 3 applications these under-eye patches aren't cheapest product ever, but are perfect for a treat. Left on for 30 minutes post cleanse, they leave skin soft and hydrated and eyes feeling refreshed.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo is a cult product that works to keep spots at bay. It's non-comedogenic, so great for acne prone skin, and it also seems to reduce the appearance of my acne scars. I apply mine everyday before or instead of moisturiser.. It's very light, sinks in quickly and doesn't leave skin feeling tacky. It's now been reformulated to Duo+ which I can't wait to try as I've heard great things about it. 

The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter is a hard cleansing balm that melts very quickly on the face, and dissolves all traces of makeup as well as leaving skin feeling smooth. It's quite heavy so remove it with a muslin cloth, but it's also very gentle on the eyes and has a lovely soothing smell, great for sending you off to sleep.

Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask does exactly what it says on the tin. Slap this on, leave for five minutes, then rinse off for smooth and hydrated skin. Ingredients such as white willow extract and vitamin E leave skin refreshed and plump, as well as working to calm down any redness.

What products do you use to sort out your skin in times of stress?


Last week I finally bit the bullet and bought this beautiful kimono. Far from satisfying my cravings, it just made me want to buy more. Here are my top four..
  1. This aztec offering from New Look is a perfect statement piece (£20)
  2. Navy florals would look so lovely in the evening Oh My Love (£25) 
  3. New Look are so on point this season (£20)
  4. Boohoo offer a beautiful monochrome fringed version (£15)
What do you think of kimonos?
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I'm pretty sure you guys know how much I love The Body Shop's Vitamin E range; I've mentioned it enough times on the blog already. However, with each product costing £10+ buying all your skincare from the range can get pretty pricey. In comes the drugstore dupe.. Superdrug have a fantastic Vitamin E range at bargain prices. Not all of them live up to the Body Shop range, but the whole range is good value for money, gentle on the skin and has an inoffensive smell, unlike some other cheap skincare.
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I'm writing this post in bed, having had one lunchtime drink in the SU and then sleeping until now. A few too many late nights cramming in the library have meant I've wasted a whole afternoon in bed just because I couldn't stay awake.. It was much needed sleep, so I don't regret it too much. I just wanted to remind all of you studying hard for exams that it is important to make sure you're taking breaks from that computer screen, getting some fresh air and plenty of good food. I know that it might be your finals, or a really important module that you know nothing about, but after eight straight hours at a desk your brain is not going to absorb any new information. Plan some fun things with your friends on a Friday evening, or reward yourself for completing a past paper by doing something you love. Me and my housemates cook and eat together every night, giving us a chance to catch up whilst getting some much needed food.

I think it's really important to schedule time off for fun things that you enjoy, even really close to exams. Tomorrow I'm going for some lunch in town (recommendations please?) and then to Triumph's Stand Up For Fit event. Running all-day tomorrow and Saturday in House of Fraser, Triumph are encouraging all women to 'nip along' and get properly fitted for their bra. There will be lots of lingerie experts on hand to help and advise on all things from shape to fit, to style and colour. Experts will also be providing information on the importance of wearing a good bra; on how the right one for you can affect your health and your confidence. As well as all of this there will be competitions, 20% off and a goodie bag when purchasing.

Hope to see some of you there, it would make a perfect revision break..
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  1. Perfectly cut away from the front, these Zara dungarees would go well with a loud slogan tee 
  2. Mango gives us the classic pair: faded denim, a few rips and a turned up hem. Dungaree perfection. 
  3. Patchwork and blended colours make this Monki offering a throwback to childhood fun
Will you be rocking dungarees this summer?

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I'd never normally buy nail polish from Primark, but this little nude quartet was sitting by the checkout and at only £2, who would say no? They don't have names, but I'll just talk about them from l-r.

The white polish is opaque after two coats, which isn't bad for the price. I tend to use this for nail art, for example when applying spots with a dotting tool over another colour. The second shade is a nudey pink with a hint of shimmer running through it when it hits the light. This is one of my favourites from the range as it goes on so well and doesn't even need a second coat. I'm not normally a fan of shimmer polish either, but this is really subtle. The third polish is pretty unique addition to my collection. It's a khaki grey, muddy kind of colour, which looks a lot better on than it sounds. This polish is the streakist of the set, taking a few coats to become opaque. Finally, my favourite shade is an inky blue grey, with a purple undertone. This is the darkest shade, and it's opaque with just one coat. Add a topcoat for extra shine and maybe some glitter polish on top of an accent nail and you have a perfect evening look.

Whilst most of the polishes aren't the quickest drying and require two coats, they are still better than you'd expect for 50p a polish. The pigmentation is great and a decent topcoat helps them last for a few days. These are great for travelling as they are so tiny, and would also make a perfect gift.

What do you think? Will you be picking up some Primark nail polish?


This month I...
  • Bought this adorable mini pencilcase from H&M
  • Ate at the Friday Food Fight (post coming soon)
  • Read my Law textbooks
  • Watched Gogglebox
  • Became an aunty, to my beautiful little nephew Dilan 
What have you been doing this month?

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The weather might be warming up but Manchester is still grey and cloudy most of the time. This chiffon skort from Primark goes with everything, and is super comfy too. I paired it with a Warehouse studded jumper, printed New Look jacket and tights for warmth. Flat boots kept the whole look casual enough for a day's shopping, and accessories such as my cat eared hat and green Zara bag gave it a little something extra.

What do you think of my hat? Would you wear it?

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