A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

Happy New Year – A Look Back

2012 saw my first foray into the world of blogging and along the way I have met some truly lovely and caring people and uncovered some inspiring and motivating blogs.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very…

Happy New Year

and all the very best for 2013

2012 has had it’s highs and lows for many, my thoughts are with those that haven’t had the best of news and I hope that 2013 is a better year for you, whilst for others 2012 has brought new arrivals and new opportunities.

Having started out in 2012 I’d like to take this opportunity to look back at some of my blog moments from the last year.

It all started on February 15th 2012 with a small introduction to me but my first real blog post came the following day with my view on the Wonder that is Baby Signing, where I gave an overview of my experience of baby signing and the communication and language development benefits it can have.

Since then I have blogged about a range of topics from my experiences, products and books that we like, pregnancy, fashion and charity campaigns / topical news stories. But one of my most visited posts to date is my #Blogging4Madeleine post back on May 12th. I came up with the concept of a blogging campaign when I heard that it was Madeleine McCann’s 9th Birthday coming up and joined forces with fellow new blogger Tea & Biscotti to coordinate a blogging campaign that saw over 40+ bloggers in 48hrs join forces to write and release posts on Madeleine’s 9th birthday. We were supported by Britmums and the aim was to help spread the word that Madeleine is still missing and send the message to the four corners of the world. I get daily hits for this still.

In addition to #Blogging4Madeleine I’ve supported a number of campaigns since starting out in blogging including the One Thrive – Food and Farming, #Blogitforbabies, Syria a Day of Protest, Netmums United Kindmums, Transform Your Patch, CLIC Sargent Yummy Mummy Coffee Morning and some of of my most shared campaigns,  the British Red Cross First Aid campaign, the campaign for newborn testing for Group B Strep and the Six Months for Mums Working Mums Campaign.

Some of my most shared / liked posts have included my recent post about the benefits of music for young children and our morning out at a local Debuotots group, as well as my Great Garden Moments and Joy of Swimming competition entries and I was actually one of the chose winners following my Joy of Swimming entry, which I was thrilled about.

I have written about fun days out, our first family holiday to Centre Parcs and our Jubilee Celebrations as well a a posts celebrating the stars of the Olympics

I’ve shared some tips on how I have dealt with experiences such as Night Terrors, as well as views about some of our favourite books and products. We do love our books and have taken part in regular #FictionFriday and #FridayPick{tureBook} blog hops and some of our most popular book reviews have included the following titles:

The Singing Mermaid, Peepo, There’s a House Inside my Mummy, Hide and Seek Christmas, Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, Why I love My Mummy, What the Ladybird Heard, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Calm Down Boris.

I’ve also guest posted for Wriggly Rascals and Babyhuddle, I’ve received various nominations from fellow bloggers for blogging pat on the back style awards and In July I got two photo’s of the week awarded for my entries to See it Snap it Love it and Pretty.Little.Things, all of which were an honour.

So all in all my foray into blogging during 2012 has been eventful, varied and fun. It has also seen my little girl grow and develop into an amazing, gorgeous and funny toddler and the announcement that in February 2013 we are expecting our second child…

So all in all it’s been a good year and I wait to see what 2013 brings!

Thank you so much to everyone for your support and for making me welcome in the world of blogging and parent blogger community. I’ve had a great 2012….

How’s Yours Been?



Merry Christmas One and All

christmas bump 2


Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

With love




Maternity Bag Essentials

Now that I am 30 weeks pregnant I figured I had better start preparing my hospital bag!

I was so much more prepared last time! I guess it wasn’t getting close to Christmas last time though! I have been so busy trying to buy presents, decorate the house and write my Christmas cards that everything else has taken a back seat.

However I am now panicking somewhat that I should be more organised! Especially since my little girl came 3 weeks early with only one days notice and this baby is also, like she was, measuring small.

I am having a planned c-section so know that baby will be coming at at least 39 weeks and I will be in hospital a little longer than the norm so will no doubt end up like a pack horse! However there are obviously a few essentials that I will need and from my experience last time couldn’t do without…

For me:

maternity bag montage 1

I’ve got my toiletries sorted out. I’ve bought a Sanctuary face wash, Dove body wash, Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner, a Nivea deodorant and Colgate toothbrush and toothpaste. I already had a Molton Brown body cream and some travel size Lancome moisturisers too which I will use, as well as my Batiste dry shampoo! (I looked like an oil slick last time!) I also swear by Lansinoh’s Nipple Cream and Breast Pads, I used them last time and they were fab and I always sleep with an eye mask too, a must have if you are in a room with lots of other women and lights are going on and off! I will take my basic make up supplies too… or at least have hubby or my mum ship them in post op if I forget!

Strangely I am told by my local chemist (or rather my poor hubby was told in quite some detail! that tena lady are fantastic as maternity pads??? The chemist apparently got all the promotional materials out and almost launched into a demonstration for my poor hubby so he took her word for it and I now have several packs! Hope she’s right!

I have some sleep bras from last time but will probably go and get fitted for some new sleep and nursing bras and as it was summer last time I may also invest in some new pyjamas, I love the above sets from Mamas & Papas and have also seen some at Castaluna.co.uk, so may have to treat myself!

For the baby…

hospital bag montage 2

I have just dug out all my old baby clothes and as my little girl was only 5lbs I have NO IDEA what size clothes to pack! I will probably pop in some 9-10lb ss vests, ls vests and sleepsuits for now, but have washed a lot of the tiny baby too just in case! I’ve got a couple of snow suits and some hats and booties. However despite having a tonne of bibs and mitts I seem to now have none! I probably dished them out amongst friends, so need to buy some more. I love the new bandana style bibs. There didn’t seem to be as many about when I had my daughter so I may get a few of them and use my existing pile of muslins!

I am planning to breastfeed or at least do combination but I will still pop a couple of Tommee Tippee bottles and ready prepared cartons in, just in case. I breastfed until 4 and a half months last time but did introduce an evening bottle at 2 and a half months. I am under no illusion that it will be harder this time round, I can’t sit for over an hour at a time feeding as I did with my little girl as I will have a toddler needing attention too, so am fully prepared to do combination this time and as it is Tommee Tipppee that I used last time so will do the same again as they worked a treat for me. I just need to buy some new teats and possibly some new bottles.

I’ve got nappy bags, cotton balls and a pack of Pampers New Baby nappies. One thing I won’t do this time is stock up like crazy as you are then left with tonnes of nappies you just don’t need. I will certainly buy as I go!

maternity bag montage 3

I will also take our Kindle with my latest Sophie Kinsella Mini Shopaholic read on, as well as a puzzle book… took my mind off the waiting last time! and I certainly won’t forget my camera and phone and their chargers!!!

 I know I will need our Britax car seat etc on the day we leave and intend to buy a head hugger for this as my little girl looked lost and so small last time, I didn’t know back then that I could buy a head hugger, I wish I had! I of course need to pack some clothes too! Note to self… do not forget your clothes and underwear!!! OMG now that would be a nightmare!!!

I am hoping that I have covered everything off, my mind feels like fudge so any suggestions always welcome! What did you pack???



Happy Birthday Mum

Today is my mum’s birthday and I just wanted to say…

“Happy Birthday Mum”


My mum is my rock and my best friend. She has stood by me through good and bad and gives me so much support, not only with my disability and my little girl, but with life in general.

She means the world to me  so I hope you will all join with me in wishing her a wonderful day.



30 Weeks Pregnant

30 weeks pregnant this week and I have no idea where the last few weeks have gone, they seem to have flown by! It’s probably been because I have been busy preparing for Christmas (or at least trying to!) so my mind has been taken up by other things!

30 weeks

At my latest consultant appointment I was told that my bump is measuring small again and I have to admit this has stressed me out a little. My little girl measured small throughout and suddenly at the end of 36 weeks dropped to lower than she should and a scan showed low blood supply to the placenta and low levels of amniotic fluid. I was given one days notice that they were going to bring her 3 weeks early and it was a real shock! You can read about this more HERE in my previous pregnancy story. However now I am paranoid that the same is going to happen again. I have been very aware that I have felt small throughout my pregnancy (we not small… I have felt like a house end…) but I mean that I have a small bump in comparison to many!

Suddenly hitting the round figure of 30 weeks has galvanized me into a state of panic like action! I have had hubby up in the loft digging out all our old baby supplies and because my little girl was so small (5lb 7oz) I have a lot of baby clothes ranging from 6lb and 7 / 7.5lb to 9lb and 10lb and even 0-3 months! I have NO IDEA what size I am going to need so I went through all the boxes and washed a bit of each. It has been like wishy washy’s laundry in our house! We’ve had well over half a dozen loads through and I’ve nearly done myself an injury but I now have 3 boxes of sized up clothes for all eventualities and I feel a bit more prepared! I’ve also washed a couple of sleeping bags and wraps but did go into a mild panic when I couldn’t find any of my many Moses Basket sheets and blankets as I knew I had had tonnes of them! A quick call to my sister and I think I have tracked them down so just need to wash them and buy a new Moses Basket mattress to go with my Mamas & Papas basket.

I also need to get my steriliser back from my mum / sister who are currently using it for my niece and buy some new teats for my Tommee Tippee bottles if not totally new bottles. I am planning to breastfeed initially but know I will end up changing to bottles at some point if not doing combination so Tommee Tippee served me well last time and I will use these again this time. Did anyone else buy totally new bottles or just new teats? Any advice very welcome.

I haven’t packed my hospital / maternity bag yet either but have bought some travel sized toiletries and maternity pads. My poor hubby offered to go to our local chemist to see if they had maternity pads as I had forgotten when we had been in town. I think he was beginning to wish he hadn’t bothered when the sales assistant launched into a full sale pitch for Tena Lady and how great they were as maternity pads! Apparently they take a whole can of coke and the demonstration she’d seen was just fantastic! I did wonder where he had gone to when he had been gone so long and did have to laugh and his stunned face when he returned! Apparently she had even got the promotional literature out! Anyway… he came away with two big packs as he just wanted to get out of there so I hope she’s right! Has anyone else used them as maternity towels??? Any advice or experiences greatly welcome!

I’ve suddenly realised that my nursing nighties from last time are a bit past it and quite summery too so I am going to have to look around for a couple and perhaps another pair of nursing pyjamas, as having my baby in February it is still going to be cold.

We’ve been looking around at double buggy’s, as we just know that despite my little girl being 2 and a quarter when the baby comes, she still gets tired when out and about so will want to sit down too like her baby sister. We had her out in her Babystyle Oyster pushchair the other day and it was so funny, she looked massive and has really outgrown it. Her head was touching the top of the hood and the straps, despite being on the highest and longest setting are too tight bless her, I could hardly do up the buckle! It seems a long time to wait until February though to use a new double buggy so am in a dilemma as to what to do!? I can’t let my poor little girl be uncomfortable and can see myself walking along with a double and one child in it prior to baby coming! lol!

I also plan to buy a cosy cover for my car seat, the Ruby and Ginger ones look lovely and maybe a Snugglebundl too, as I am due another c-section and this looks a fab product! I struggled so much last time lifting my baby up and especially carrying her up and down the stairs. In the early weeks last time my mum would come over at bedtime if hubby was at work to help me get upstairs as I was in so much pain, the Snugglebundl looks like it would make life a whole lot easier!

In myself  I haven’t yet had my “glow” of last time and doubt I will now! I spent several days in bed over the last couple of weeks, floored by this cold and flu virus going around, nightmare when you can’t take anything for it! My hips are still holding out, I have good and bad days and do let out the occasional yelp when my hip jolts and / or gives way briefly, but on the whole I am holding out better than I thought, I just can’t manage to do a lot as I tire and hurt quickly and I think this is what frustrates me the most, especially with Christmas round the corner as there’s so much to do! I still have my lovely friend heartburn! Strangely I got a reprieve whilst ill but it came back as soon as I started to get over it… joy! I am also developing the bladder of a 90 year old! I am not sure if baby has moved position but I am sure it’s using me as a trampoline! I am running to the loo constantly and often finding I hardly need to go when I get there! It’s fantastic! Not long to go now though…


Hide and Seek Christmas – Friday Pick{ture Book}



I’m taking part in ChildLedChao’s Friday Pick{ture} Book linky again this week and really wanted to share a new book we have bought entitled Hide and Seek Christmas (Fiona Watt and Lesley Danson, Usborne Books, 2007)

hide and seek christmas


This is a fabulous ‘touchy feely’ book that invites its readers to search for mice in santa’s workshop, teddy’s on santa’s sleigh and much, much more. Children can lift the flaps to search for the images and explore various textures and colourful delights and images along the way!

We loved reading this last year and it has been a firm favourite again this year. I can highly recommend it to mums out there with toddlers.

If you have a favourite book why not link up with Friday Pick{ture} Book across at ChildLedChaos?


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Reader Appreciation Award

I have some wonderful Blog followers out there and was recently awarded another lovely blog award, The Reader Appreciation Award, from one of them, the lovely Missuswolf who hosts Missuswolf’s Storyland, a fabulous blog dedicated to her love of literature and her own amazing writing skills. If you do get the chance, you must stop by and some of you may like to check out her children’s book, The Ruby of Egypt.

This is how the Award works:

* I have to nominate 10-15 blogs that I love to read (or just the one’s I read the most) and give them this award.

* 10 questions were given to me to answer from Missuswolf and then I am to ask alternate questions to those I nominate.

So… here’s my ten questions to answer:

What book have you read that effected you the most?

I don’t tend to read intense books, I read autobiographies and lighthearted fiction. The ones that really captured my attention, stayed in my mind, made me laugh out loud, and to which the younger me could relate are the Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic series. I was also very moved by Marian Keyes “Is there anybody out there”.

What do you do  to relax?

I have to admit I really am not the best at relaxing! lol! However I guess I get the majority of my relaxation these days when I get a lie in from my hubby OR I simply switch of by watching some of my trash TV. In an ideal world though I’d probably visit a spa for the whole day or at least head out for a treatment, when I was younger and had more of a disposable income that was certainly how I would relax!

Do you listen to music whilst reading/writing – if so – what type of music?

I only ever get to listen to music in the car nowadays to be honest, so often it just tends to be the radio (local stations). In the rare times we have friends for dinner I like a bit of classical, jazz or chill out style music.

Which person has inspired you the most in life and why?

May sound cliche but probably my parents. I have learnt a lot from them, some good, some bad! lol! However they have inspired me to be who I am today, they have supported me in my decisions and through my disability, they have put up with my feisty temperament probably more than I care to admit and have consoled me when I needed it. My dad has inspired me to strive to achieve and my mum’s caring nature has inspired me to look out for my friends and family and to show compassion and understanding of others.

What is your favourite season of the year?

Summer! Most certainly the summer! I love the heat, I love the sun, I love loose clothing and being warm! I love spending time outdoors in the sun and playing with my little girl in the garden and at the park.

If you could spend a day in the life of someone else, who would it be and why?

I am really struggling with this one… I’m asking myself the question and hoping that I will be inspired and a face will pop into my mind for a really justifiable, worthwhile reason, but my mind is just totally blank! I may have to come back to this one!

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

Our honeymoon in Mauritius was stunning, the people were wonderful and we had such a special and relaxing time. However I also loved Mexico, the resort was tailored to our every need, beautifully landscaped, on the beach, a host of restaurants and style of food to choose from, wonderful and friendly people and a lively atmosphere too. So either would be top of my list again!

If a film was made of your life, what would it be called and why?

My husband quite simply says for my life pre-marriage and kids… Bridget Jones! lol! or in the here and now and to incorporate the past “What if?” as apparently I spend most of my life questioning things, looking back on things or worrying about what might happen… Have to say I can’t argue! lol!

I love thinking of names for character’s in my books. What are your favourite male and female names and why?

Oh gosh this is hard, male names I like the names Benjamin, Joshua and Jacob for boys and for girls… wow so many but pretty names like Grace and Sophia spring to mind

And finally …are you a coffee or tea drinker?

Tea! A total tea drinker. Don’t really enjoy coffee.

So now I have to think up 10 questions for those I nominate…. I’m looking at a theme of ‘then and now’ so here are my questions:

1. What was your favourite childhood book and why?

2. What was your favourite childhood TV programme and why?

3. Did you have a special teddy or toy when you were younger and what were they called?

4. What game / activity would best sum up your childhood?

5. Do you have a special childhood holiday memory and if so what is it and why?

6. Where is your favourite current holiday location and why?

7. What’s your ideal family day together?

8. What is your favourite children’s book today?

9. What is your favourite children’s TV programme / presenter today and why?

10.Would you like to be a child today or back in the era when you grew up and why?

I now nominate:

Mummy Glitzer

Not My Year Off

The 40 Year Old Domestic Goddess

Love From Mummy

Tea & Biscotti

Mummy Daddy and Me Makes Three


Northern Mum

Jamie Oliver

Homeless Mummy


I Spy With My Little Eye

Recently I have been playing eye spy but an alternative version… I’ve been looking out for some fab Christmas gift ideas for toddlers and wanted to share some of my fave finds with you!

I think there are some adorable ideas what do you think?

christmas gifts montage

1. Little Life Rucsac (Little Life), 2. Little Bird Told Me Ruby and Belle Rocker (Mummy and Little Me), 3. Crazy Stuff Red Cat Helmet (Cissy Wears), 4. Happy Hopperz Cow (loobylous.co.uk), 5. Wooden Animal Skittles (Little Monkey Little Madam)

christmas gifts montage 2

1. Wooden Heart Bunting (Little Lily Pad) 2.  Twinkle Twinkle Print (Little Birdie House) 3. Personalised Christmas Sack (Not on the High Street – Jonnys Sister) 4. Colour in Christmas Table Cloth (little Birdie House) 5. Chocolate Funny Faces (Not on the High Street – Cocoa Pod) 6. Wooden Fairy Princess Bookends (Little Monkey Little Madam)

Christmas gifts momtage 3

1. Keep Calm Give Me a Kiss T-Shirt (Doodle Boo Baby) 2. Kids Cooking Company Starter Cooking Set (The Kids Cooking Company) 3. Long Sleeve Swan Print Top (Pinky Purple Girl) 4. H&M Red Ruffle Dress (H&M) 5. Ladybird Outfit (Wee Gooseberry) 6. Stars Jumper (Next)

Have you been on the look out? Have you found any great ideas I’d love to hear.



Want an exclusive peek at the gorgeous new AW Range from Pinky Purple Girl?

Over the last couple of weeks I came across a fab new website via Twitter called Pinky Purple Girl

Pinky Purple Girl offer a fab range of little girls clothing that celebrates all things pink and purple! I was in my element taking a look!

They are dedicated to promoting Fair trade, organic and ethical children’s wear so whilst they may be “Pinky Purple they’re Green too!”

I loved their products and saw some amazing t-shirt designs that I liked for my little girl, such as the Girls LS Blue Long Sleeved Swan Printed Top and Girls Purple Long Sleeved Ragdoll T-Shirt to mention a couple, so I just had to share their site with other mums and dads out there.

I was very honoured when I received an email asking f I would like to offer my readers an exclusive first look at Pinky Purple Girl’s Autumn / Winter video so of course I immediately said yes!

Want a sneak peek??? oh go on then…… GIVE ME A CLICK TO SEE

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The evidence is apparent… all you need is music!

As many of my regular readers will be aware I have taken part in many groups and activities with my little girl from her being a very young age, such as Water Babies, Baby Signing, Debutots and various music groups. I have written about my various experiences in my posts entitled Baby Swimming – An Amazing and Most Valuable Life Lesson, The Wonder That is Baby Signing and Fun Morning Out Trying Something New. I can’t reinforce enough how important I feel it is to engage and communicate with your child in a variety of manners from a young age. It really does help their development in so many different ways.

One of the things I have done from word go (literally) is sing and read to my little girl on a daily basis. Bedtime stories have been a part of our routine from the first few weeks of my daughter’s life and I have attended music groups with her since she was 6 weeks old and she’s still going to them now with my mum while I work.

Research has shown that singing songs and rhymes on a regular basis helps to widen your child’s vocabulary and listening skills and in-turn forms an essential part of learning to read, write and communicate. Singing teaches children how language is constructed and singing can help a baby to build up a vocabulary of sounds and words long before they actually understand the meaning.

For example a study published in Science Daily highlights how researchers at McMaster University have discovered that very early musical training benefits children even before they can walk or talk. They found that one-year-old babies who participate in interactive music classes with their parents smile more, communicate better and show earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music. A year-long programme conducted and published by the University of Cambridge also suggests that children who make music together are markedly more compassionate.

In addition Kids Health also highlights how children who actively take part in music do better in reading and math when they start school, are better able to control their bodies, play better with others and have higher self-esteem as their language / communication skills are likely to have developed to a good standard as a result of their interaction with music. According to Professor Gordon Shaw at the University of California, “Music helps children to learn maths.” Singing counting songs with your child (ie 3 little ducks, ten green bottles etc) helps them to relate to their own personal experiences and to recognise numbers, patterns and sequences within their immediate environment.

I think the evidence speaks for itself, and the fact that at 26 months old, my daughter can hold a full conversation with me, express her needs and recite a good dozen+ nursery rhymes, shows just how much all of her early experiences have paid off. I’ve had a number of people comment in recent weeks how good her communications kills are and it makes me really proud of her and pleased that I have been able to aid her development in this way. I am even more pleased that she can tell me what she wants, which will undoubtedly reduce a lot of frustration!

I was really interested to read the compassion article published by the University of Cambridge. Those who read my blog regularly will have read my posts such as Would My Disability Run in The Family? and Hobbling in Through Pregnancy Pains and Temper Tantrums and will therefore know that I am disabled and can struggle with my hips and back. I have been a bit overcome in the last week as my daughter has started asking me how my leg is and showing real empathy towards me. The other day I was putting her shoes on and struggled to get up from the floor, something pulled in my hip and I let a yelp out. She immediately asked if I was ok and I explained mummy’s leg was hurting but that I just needed a minute and I would be ok. She immediately replied “oh poor mummy, I cuddle you and give you a kiss”. It was so cute of her and really made me smile. I would never have associated her involvement in music with her ability to show compassion but if this is the case then that’s great and just another positive to all the hours of songs and nursery rhymes we have sung!

If you like what you are hearing then you will be pleased to know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of music groups throughout the UK that you can take your children to, ranging from independent organisations and Sure Start / Library groups, as well as the bigger national franchises such as Music Bugs.

Music Bugs is an award winning company that provides interactive music and singing classes for babies and children in various towns and cities throughout the UK. They run various classes aimed at a range of age groups, as well as sessions at Sure Start Centres, Nurseries, Pre-School and After School Groups. They also run birthday parties!

Classes are divided into age groups such as Baby Bugs (0-12 months), a multi-sensory introduction to music, Mini Bugs (6-24 months) encouraging interaction and movement with exciting props, counting and action songs etc and Jumping Bugs (18 months – 4 years) encouraging children to express themselves through music and movement and designed to build confidence and independence.

Music Bugs also run Family Bugs, sessions designed to involve all the family, which is great for someone like me who is about to have a newborn and a toddler as I can take both along for equal fun!

I can’t recommend groups like Music Bugs enough. I wholeheartedly think my involvement in taking my daughter to various groups like this since she was born and continuing to sing with her on a regular basis has helped her develop into the confident and communicative little girl she is today and know it will continue to help her. We sing daily and in addition to the bedtime story each night, we currently have to sing at least three nursery rhymes together before she will go to sleep… often many more! Favourites include Rock a Bye Baby, Hey Diddle Diddle, Mary Mary, Mary Had a Little Lamb and many more! She loves going to music groups and actively joins in dancing around, singing and having a go at actions. She also adores all the theme tunes and songs on CBeebies programmes and merrily dances around the living room to Justin’s House, Mr Bloom, Rhyme Rocket, Baby Jake, In the Night Garden and many many more! It’s lovely to watch and I am very happy to encourage it, we often get her music set out and shake the maracas and clap our hands to the music. She also asks me to turn the radio on whenever we are in the car and loves listening to all the various songs. I often sing along, talk to her about the songs and try to encourage her to join in.

All I can say is if you have a newborn (or even a younger baby) and have enjoyed reading this then what are you waiting for? Get googling and find out what classes are in you local area or see if there’s a Music Bugs group in your town too, I can promise you will have great fun, meet new mums and children and the long term benefits are evident!


I’d also love to hear any of my readers own experiences? Do you take your little one to a music group? Do they / you enjoy it? Have you seen the benefits? Please do leave me a comment.



Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and is based on my own experiences and opinions but was written with kind support from Music Bugs

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