Review 2018: HAIRaffair Basingstoke

I recently received a message on facebook from Aideen, asking me if I would like to have my hair done in exchange for a review on NorthHantsMum.

I jumped at the chance! 😀

(There is a special offer for NHM Readers at the bottom of this post :-D)

HAIRaffair Basingstoke

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not a “girly girl” but I do take an interest in how I look. I haven’t had my hair cut in a salon in over 10 years as I have always found hairdressers to be very intimidating places, especially as I’m not into fashion.

It turned out that at a recent fundraising raffle I had won a voucher to get my hair cut but hadn’t realised it that it was with Aideen. I actually gave the voucher to a friend who needed pampering more than me, so when Aideen got in contact it clicked that I’d given away my voucher!!!! lol.

I explained to Aideen that I wasn’t really a girly girl and she was absolutely lovely about it. I did know that I wanted my hair to be coloured but I didn’t want her to be anymore out of pocket, especially as she’d been so generous with her raffle donation.

I explained that I just wanted a trim and colour and we agreed that I would cover the cost of the colouring and she would cut my hair in exchange for this review.

About

Aideen decided on her career path when she was traveling around Australia for a year after studying at college and university. She’s always loved playing with hair but at the time she thought that she would end up in a different career. Then she saw that lots of fellow travellers cutting hair and making money flexibly and it confirmed her career decision.

Once back from Australia she worked and trained at Arc in Basingstoke town centre and then progressed to a salon in Odiham where she was assistant manager and senior stylist. Then a couple of years ago, after her son was born, she decided to convert a room in her house to her salon and she hasn’t looked back!

We had a chat when I arrived and Aideen chose the best colour for me based on what I’d told her.

Aideen then applied the foils to my hair whilst we continued chatting.

Once the foils came out, Aideen washing my hair in her fancy hair sink and gave me a lovely mini head massage.

Then Aideen cut my hair and layered it a bit. I didn’t realise how long my hair was as she cut off about 4 inches and it was still really long! lol.

We basically didn’t stop talking for the whole two hours!!! It was really lovely to chat to her and she’s a great listener.

She did a fantastic job with my hair and blow dried it straight as my hair normally has a bit of a kink about it.

I came out of Aideen’s salon literally bouncing. There is literally nothing like having 1.5 hours of being pampered and coming out with a fab new hair colour and hairstyle!

My FAB new hair!!!

When I got home Mr NHM said “something’s different…” which is high praise in our household! lol.

Miss NHM kept telling me how beautiful I looked. She’s not used to me having my hair down.

I felt amazing for the rest of the weekend with my fab new hair!

Tips

Aideen normally works only on Saturdays but if you are desperate, she can fit you in at other times.

Facilities

Aideen’s studio is attached to her house but it’s fab because you literally have it ALL TO YOURSELF!!! She only has one to two people at a time so you have her full concentration.

Baby Facilities

Babies are very welcome at Aideen’s studio.

The perk of Aideen only having one client at a time means that you can take your baby along as there is room for a baby car seat.

If you let her know in advance that you are taking a baby with you, she said she will allow extra time in case you need to focus on your baby at any point. How fab is that!

Aideen is very understanding as she has two small children of her own.

Parking

Is free and on the drive and streets near Aideen’s house.

Prices

Prices are what you would expect for an independent hairstylist with her own studio.

For example, a cut, style and finish is £35.

Rating out of 5

Aideen did SUCH an AWESOME job! I absolutely love it!!! My hair looked amazing.

I will easily give her 5 out of 5 because she made me feel so welcome and really looked after me.

I love the colour and the cut was a really good cut. It was such a luxury to have my hair washed AND dried.

If you need a new haircut and are looking for some pampering at the same time, I highly recommend visiting Aideen’s salon!

Aideen can be reach on 07808316933 for any bookings. She also has a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HAIRaffairbasingstoke/

Aideen is also very kindly offering NHM Readers a first time discount £5 off cut and £15 off colour and cut booked together.

Thank you Aideen!!!!!!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of HairAffair Hairdressing. My experience was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

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NHM Reader Recommendations: Pregnancy Massages

An NHM Reader asked: “Can anyone recommend anywhere locally to get a massage while pregnant. I need my shoulders /neck done as they are very sore.”

The responses from the NHM Community are below, thank you for your contributions. Please note, they are in no particular order!

Thank you very much also to Juliet who put this post together!

NHM Reader Recommendations: Pregnancy Massages

The Courtyard

The Courtyard, Hampshire

Hannah says “The Courtyard, or Beechdown, went to Courtyard had a full massage and facial it’s a mother and bump package it’s soo relaxing would definitely recommend”

Yvette says “The Courtyard in Hatch Warren do an amazing pregnancy massage. I ended up having it done 3 times it was so good!”

Leah says “The Courtyard, absolutely amazing & you feel truly pampered when you leave & relaxed!”

Beechdown Health Club

Beechdown Health Club

Hannah says “The Courtyard, or Beechdown”

Lizzie says “I went to Beechdown when I was pregnant, it was lovely.”

Beth says “I went to Beechdown, lovely!”

Leah says “Beechdown.”

D&D Beauty

D&D Beauty

Clare says “DD Beauty in Sherfield park”

Lola says “Nicola Louise Ascroft from D&D”

Truly Scrumptious Beauty Salons

Truly Scrumptious Beauty Salons

Hayley says “Truly Scrumptious … Overton or Basingstoke”

Kirsten says “Yes I agree, amazing”

Different Strokes Massage

Different Strokes Massage

Kate says “Different Strokes Massage”

Ashley says “she’s fantastic! and specifically qualified in pregnancy massage.”

Charlotte McDonald Sports Massage

Charlotte McDonald Sports Massage

Rachel says “Charlotte McDonald she works from the regents offices in Chineham is brilliant. More sports massage than relaxation massage.”

Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist

Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist

Carla says “Charmaine Sala”

Claire says “Highly recommend Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist”

Sarah says “Charmaine Sala is fabulous”

Heather says “Charmaine Sala”

Winchester Spine Centre

Winchester Spine Centre

Mary says “Not sure if Winchester is too far, but I had an excellent pregnancy massage when I was overdue with my first baby here. Well worth travelling for”

Body Focus

Body Focus

Stevie says “Ali at Body Focus”

Thrive Massage

Thrive Massage

Nicola says “Hi I hold specialist pregnancy massage qualifications. I’m based in Chineham. My website needs to be updated with more pregnancy treatment descriptions, but please contact me if you need any information.”

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BASINGSTONES: Top Tips

The Basics

All you need to do is paint a stone and write “Basingstones” on it. Then hide it somewhere safe for someone to find and hopefully brighten their day!

If you find a Basingstone, please post a photo of it on our Facebook Group page so we can see how far it travels. Either keep it and replace, or just hide it again somewhere new.

 

The Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/basingstones/ The magic of Basingstones is what happens off social media ie the spending time together, being creative, getting outdoors, sharing and the small acts of kindness concept.

Our facebook page allows the wonderful Basingstones community to come together online to share photos and smiles but it shouldn’t be the focus.  That said, here are a few tips on using the facebook group page:

  • Pinned Post

Please make sure you have a read of the Pinned Post – lots of important information in there!

  • Searching

There is a SEARCH bar which allows you to search out key words in posts – very helpful for when you are looking for a particular post by an individual or regarding a certain topic. Just type the person’s name for example and hit SEARCH.

  • Reporting posts

Please help us to keep the page free of sales posts, unrelated page links and spam. If you see anything inappropriate or disrespectful, please press the three dots in the right hand corner of the post, then select the option to “Report post”

  • Sharing photos

Note that this group is public and can be seen and accessed by anyone, so please be mindful when sharing details and posting pics. Do NOT post photos of other people’s children.

Did you know…?

…there are often competition basingstones for you to keep a lookout for!
Try searching “competition” to see what you could win

…there is a Basingstones Admin photo album for Basingstones news
hit Albums and select Basingstones Admin

…there is a thread to track international Basingstones so that we can see them pop up all over the world! (This can be found in the Basingstones Admin album)

…Basingstones has been on the radio, in the newspaper and even nominated for a community project award!  Check out the Basingstones Admin Album for details

FAQs

Where can I get stones from?

Lots of garden centres and large DIY stores sell big bags of stones/cobbles for about £5.  Locally, you can try The Range, Wickes, Conkers, Home Bargains, B&M, Bunnings and many more.

Taking rocks from beaches is discouraged and you could actually be fined.  Whilst taking the odd stone will do no damage, we don’t want to have a negative impact on the environment.

How should I decorate basingstones?

You can paint the stone however you wish, perhaps with a pretty pattern, a fun cartoon character, an inspirational quote or an artistic design.

Please avoid sticking things to the stones though which could potentially fall off and be harmful to wildlife. We want to be friendly towards our environment and our furry friends too.

What paint is best to use?

Sharpie pens, permanent markers, nail polish, acrylic paints and clear varnish or spray (to make it weather proof) all work really well.

Why haven’t I seen a photo of the basingstone I hid?

There are thousands of group members and hundreds of posts each day. You cannot keep track of them all.  Also, some people may choose not to share their photos or finds online.

Don’t worry that not all hidden basingstones get a finder post – each one makes someone smile and each one is special!

I hope this helps.

Have fun!

Rachel x
Basingstones Admin

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Help!!! Sounds Babies pay attention too

I had a lovely message from Helen who has asked for the help of the NorthHantsMum Community.

We’ve helped Helen and her colleagues out before, via NHM, a few years ago and it would be great to help again!

Sounds Babies pay attention too

I work in the psychology department at Reading University.

A colleague is desperately looking for people to help with a project about the sounds babies pay attention to. It’s for babies aged 12-15 months and takes around 20 mins.

They will play sounds and pictures to the babies and measure which they prefer based on what they pay attention to.

It does mean a trip to Reading but might be something fun and different to do.

Would you be able to put out a plea to your lovely network of mums?

If you’re a parent that’s able to help can you please email g.w.schafer@reading.ac.uk stating you’d be interested in finding out more about the baby project and he can send you all the info.

Thanks in advance!

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NHM Readers: Football/dance classes for 2 year old

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could help this NHM reader: “I am thinking of sending my two year old boy to football and/or dance classes. Does anyone have any recommendations?”

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thanks very much to Juliet for putting this post together!!! 

NHM Readers recommend football/dance classes for 2 year olds

Leighann said: Basingstoke Academy of Dance is fantastic.

Fiona said: Lisa Beaumont offers ballet classes

Anita said: Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet is amazing!!! Also, my son goes to Pro-Skills Coaching Basingstoke

Vicki said: Tiny Tykes is great for football.

Christine said: My 2.5 year old really enjoys the football classes at Basingstoke Sports Centre. It’s for 2-4 year olds and run by Achieve Sports on a Monday 10-10.45 x

Heidi said: My son has been going to little kickers football since 18 months. He loves it and it helps teach them so many skills including colours, counting, animals etc.

Jessica said: Little Kickers is great for football.

Claire said: Little Kickers definitely. My son went to one at Carnival Hall when he was 2, gained loads of confidence and discipline and he is still playing grass root Sunday football at the age of 13 for a team with two friends from there.

Wendy said: RugbyTots is also worth considering. Great for hand eye coordination

Katie said: Kids Kan Dance specialise in dance for toddlers and preschoolers.

Claire said: JLD school of dancing.

Zoe said: I can recommend Katie at Kids Kan Dance, my girls love her!

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My Experience: Let’s talk about sex…

Yeah, I thought that might get your attention! Hahaha.

It certainly got my attention when Miss NHM came home from school a few weeks ago, talking about “hairy bhajina’s”. It took me about 5 seconds before I twigged what she was going on about!!?!?!?!?!

Then there was a “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I’m not READY, I’m not READY, I’m not READY!!!!” in my head for about another 5 seconds whilst I did some very quick thinking.

Then I realised that I’m never going to be ready for this one, so I corrected Miss NHM with the right wording and said I would see if I could find a book that could help her understand some things.

Now, I’m the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing when it comes to parenting. I’m making the whole thing up as I go along. We all are and anyone who says they aren’t is a great, big, hairy fibber.

But I do know that it’s important to Mr NHM and I that Miss NHM doesn’t learn about sex from playground gossip.

I know this isn’t strictly about sex but when I was 8 years old one of my best friends, Rachel P, her Mum had a miscarriage. Rachel’s parents obviously tried to explain this awful situation in a way that Rachel would understand. What Rachel took away from this conversation was that the baby had died and that it had been flushed down the toilet. She then told everyone in the playground that this is what had happened. For YEARS I had nightmares about small babies dying and being flushed down toilets, like goldfish.

So I was adamant that Miss NHM doesn’t find out about the birds and the bees or anything like this from playground gossip.

I don’t ever remember having the “sex talk” with my parents. I still have a book that was given to me when I was 6 years old, which explained how things worked.

I discreetly asked a few of the Mum’s on the school run about whether they had come across this yet, and one of my lovely friends (Hi H!) suggested the following book: “Let’s talk about the birds and the bees”.

I got our copy from The Book People, because it was a third of the price of what it was on Amazon or at Waterstones.

It’s a hard back book and really good quality.

The following weekend, Miss NHM and I sat on the bed and read the first few pages of the book.

I can’t say it was an easy read for me. I was cringing  a lot of the way through those pages, which says quite a lot about me I’m sure. Hopefully this didn’t come across as I was doing my very best to read it naturally.

Miss NHM was quite fascinated by it all and she clearly took it all on board because a few nights later she asked about it over the dinner table, which wasn’t quite was I wanted to discuss whilst eating spag bol, but I’d rather she feels safe to discuss these things with us than not.

I have tried to explain to her that we only talk about these things at home. I’d like to apologise to the other school parents if she hasn’t taken this bit on board (face palm).

I have no idea if I’ve done the right thing or not. “Just turned 7 years old” seems FAR too early to me to be discussing things like sex, but then I remember being that age and being quite fascinated by it all.

There is a section at the back of the book for parents, which says that if you talk to your children about sex they are less likely to be hung up about it.

They better be right!!!!

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NHM Readers: Places to take toddlers paddling in a stream

As part of “North Hants Mum Question Time”, I was asked by Juliet “Is there anywhere close to Basingstoke where you can take toddlers paddling in a stream?”

My response, as well as those received from the community, are below.

NHM Readers: Places to take toddlers paddling in a stream

Louise NHM replied “There is a “secret” place in Hook that is safe for little ones to paddle. Plus there is the stream in Eastrop or the streams that are all over Chineham. In fact on Sunday, Mr NHM and Miss NHM walked through several streams in Chineham for two hours and had a blast! I still feel bad about the insects they probably destroyed though! lol”

Hannah said “piggy dams off Newnam Lane is lovely for paddling. At the village hall in basing you take a right down Newnam Lane and on the left there’s a dirt path….if you follow it there’s a stream and little bridgey thing. when we last went someone had put a tyre swing up too!”

Louise said “Hannah – I know exactly where you mean. It’s where the river curves off to the left. There is a footpath sign and a red post box? (I cycle that way a LOT in the summer! lol)”

Saretta said “There’s a lovely stream to paddle in in Overton. It’s down Station Road, once you go over the little bridge it’s just on the left”

Katie said “Saretta – the Overton one is is called Flashetts and is actually the River Test. We were there today”

Charlotte said “The Crabtree there is a little steam my little boy loves it”

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Charity Pamper Evening at The Holiday Inn

We are have a fundraising event at the Holiday Inn on the 16th May 2018

It would be a great evening out for anyone who would like a to have a little bit of pampering and enjoy an evening out.

Tickets are now on sale and can also be reserved for the evening. If you need more information please contact me.

Kind regards

Kathy Williams

Community Events Organiser for The Pink Place

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How to choose the right fitness professional

Thank you very much to Helen at Good for Mum’s for writing today’s post!

How to choose the right fitness professional

Maybe you’re pregnant or you’ve recently had a baby and you’re looking for a fitness class. But how, in an industry where you can qualify in as little as a couple of months and complete an entirely online qualification in pre/postnatal exercise programming, can you be sure that your instructor is prescribing safe and appropriate exercise?

The answer is simple A.S.K !!!

A. Accredited – They should be qualified, ask to see their certificates. If they aren’t qualified then they won’t have insurance and you aren’t then protected should anything go wrong. Do they have an up to date first aid certificate? Are they a member of a regulating body, such as REPs, CIMSPA or FHT Sports. There are lots of professional standards agencies which fitness instructors can voluntarily sign up to. They often provide CPD, training, further education and keep the instructor up to date with changes in regulations or guidance and it shows they’re committed to maintaining high standards. How long have they been in the industry and what is their speciality. Do they have testimonials from clients which evidences their skills. Do they get results?

S. Screening – Pregnant and Postnatal women go through massive changes when carrying and birthing babies. No two women or births are the same and as such, the screening should be in depth and facilitate answers to questions which are as unique as your body. If your fitness provider is not screening you for pelvic floor disfunction, diastasis recti, over all core function, postural assessment, birth trauma to tissues and the fourth trimester, are they really screening you deeply? Are they painting a picture of your pre/postnatal health and truly able to prescribe appropriate exercise? I recently heard a wise lady say ‘Specialists assess, they don’t guess’ and when it comes to ladies who carry and birth babies, this could not be more true.

K. Knowledge – Does the Company or Fitness Instructor truly understand the client they are working with? Are they saying that you are only postnatal if you had a baby less than six months ago? Are they able to identify potential complications? Do they have the integrity to know when to refer a client to another specialist when symptoms warn of something which maybe beyond their professional capabilities?  Or are they telling you to ‘just take the low impact modification’ and taking your money. Is the instructor offering you explanation and reasoning behind their instructions? Do they talk sense? If it sounds like BS it probably is and if they’re saying lots of ‘I don’t know’ or ‘no you don’t need to do that’ you have to ask yourself do you want to settle for  industry standard or does your body deserve best practice?

If you’re serious about getting your body to a place where it heals well and recovers properly, be serious about your choices when looking at exercise classes. Your GP check at six weeks clears you to return to ‘normal activity’ such as driving, walking, lifting a baby etc it does not clear you to head straight back to boot camp or iron-mans. Even if you regularly did them pre-pregnancy.

Do something good for you and always remember to ASK.

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Finding Your style when returning to work – By Victoria Kennedy

Hi, I’m Victoria, mum to 2 crazy, lively boys, vintage frock lover, tea drinker and Personal Stylist. I am passionate about empowering women to love being themselves. My style ethos is that ‘you are best at being you’.

So embrace who you are and shout about it for the world to hear! I’m often contacted by women returning to work after having their children. The story is almost always the same, and 99% of the time it boils down to confidence, confidence in ourselves as working women. If you are considering returning to work, read on!

Going back to work after having a baby is a big move, your heart, mind and body are still adjusting to the new ‘normal’ and it can feel very overwhelming and stressful. Usually full of emotional turmoil and a bucket load of ‘mum-guilt’ at the thought of leaving your child.

Whether you took 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years of maternity leave, deciding what to wear to work after having a baby will be different but yet the same for all of us. You may still be carrying baby weight, you may still be breastfeeding and more than likely your confidence will have dipped.

For me, returning to work after the birth of my first son was so daunting. I was absolutely riddled with guilt as well as feeling totally overwhelmed about my ‘new body’ and how to dress for it. Let’s face it, I’d spent the majority of the last 12 months in my new found ‘mummy uniform’- rotating PJ’s for leggings and oversized sweaters. Marry that with a distinct lack of sleep and time to myself meant makeup and hair styling was no longer on my monthly to do list let alone part of my mornings routine!

When deciding to return to work, first and foremost, before thinking about what to wear: 

  1. Be kind to yourself

 Take some time to process the return to work decision in your own head. You may be feeling guilty about leaving your child, you may be feeling guilty about being excited to return to work. All of these feelings are normal. Do not beat yourself up about how you feel. Talk to your partner, friends, family and allow yourself those feelings.

2. Take up the offer of ‘Return to work days’

Going back into work in an informal way, for a chat & coffee can help it feel less daunting. Remember these days are for you to ‘catch up and refresh yourself’ don’t be pushed into working or being pulled into office politics!

3. Take care of yourself

Try to build a routine into the mornings and evenings on the days leading up to your return to work. This will help you ensure you get enough sleep and eat well- returning to work is tiring! Prepare yourself!

So once you’ve found good childcare, figured out logistics, battled tiredness and getting into the ‘work’ frame of mind, you can start to think about what you will wear on the ‘big day’.  This was such a huge challenge for me as I felt I had lost myself. I was ‘mummy’ and knew that role quite well- I knew the uniform! But I had no idea what ‘working Victoria’ looked like these days. Plus I had no idea what suited my new expanse of tummy!

I knew I wanted to return to work feeling confident about myself. I wanted people to see me as a professional, not as a ‘mummy’- which is strange as I have the utmost respect for mums- the jobs a tough one! But I felt, on my return to work, I would be judged by my appearance, that ‘how together’ I looked was a reflection on my ability to be a working mum.

So with that in mind I went shopping with a close friend, someone who had returned to work previously after having her children, and her advice is something I still use regularly with my clients today!

1. New Clothes

Whilst it seems obvious to say buy new clothes- after all we are all familiar with that ‘shiny new item’ feeling- much like the first day back at school adorned head to toe in new gear! But when I say buy new clothes what I really mean is take a good look at your new post baby body shape and buy new pieces that flatter this new fabulous shape.

If you’re unsure of your body shape- take a look at my facebook page for some tips and guidance! Dressing to flatter your shape can make you look slimmer, younger and feel more confident. There is no need to purchase the entire Next Directory- See my next point!

2. Buy 3 or 4 versatile items

For example, buying a black shift or wrap dress (great if breastfeeding/pumping) can be a great investment as you can wear it in different ways- with a blazer, with a scarf, with heels, with boots, with a bright necklace etc.

A great rule I impose on my clients is ‘never buy an item that doesn’t already go with 2 or 3 items you own’- that way you can wear it in many ways. So when you are choosing some new workwear think carefully about how the pieces can be worn to create multiple outfits.
Other good versatile items are;

  • ‘trophy blazers’- bright/jazzy fabric blazers that can be added to outfits to provide colour or texture.
  • Statement jewellery- another great way of adding colour and changing the look of an outfit.
  • Neutral coloured trousers or skirt- these can then be worn with a variety of tops and shoes to create different looks.

3. Bag & Shoes

You’ve probably got the hang of packing the changing bag with every possibility accounted for. You’re used to lugging around the contents of your house- just in case! But when returning to work the contents of your bag is entirely for you. So as well as having the luxury of carrying just your purse and lippy, you can do so in a lovely new bag! Treating yourself to a gorgeous-but- totally-impractical-for-mummy-duty bag can be a great way to bring your personality back into your style.

It’s a way of reminding yourself that ‘you’ are still ‘you’! This can also be the case with shoes! Although an air of practicality may well be needed, depending on your job, but it can be a great confidence boost to walk into work rocking a killer pair of heels! You’ve still got it girl!

Whatever you choose to wear to return to work, above everything else, it should make you feel most like you. Your style is a reflection of your personality as well as your lifestyle and body shape.

We are naturally going to feel most confident when we are being ourselves. Embrace who you are- an amazing women, who has carried and birthed a precious baby, a baby who loves you unconditionally for being their Mama. Return to work with this love in your heart and let your light shine- You are best at being you!

If you would like more tips and advice on finding your style join my ‘Style File’ group on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/groups/107764566603327

Alternatively, book a Personal Styling session with me for an in depth analysis of your shape, colours, style and personality- www.givingyouaboost.wixsite.com/hello

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