Sunday, 29 May 2016

Life Lately: Finishing University and Not Having a Plan

After an amazing 3 years I've finally finished university! And as it turns out, the 3rd year of university is pretty difficult! Between exams, revision and the dreaded dissertation, something just had to give. And that something had to be blogging, which is why I haven't posted in over a month. So I thought I'd a quick chatty catch up post about finishing university and what I'm going to do next!
God knows why this was such a shock to me, but writing a dissertation is seriously time consuming. You've probably all heard dissertation horror stories, and I won't lie it is a bit of a stressy, scary nightmare, but equally, its such a proud moment when you finally hand it. And also when you realise you likely will never have to think or write about it ever again! Don't get me wrong, I loved the topic I chose, but 8000 words later and I will quite happily never discuss narcissism and empathy ever again. My final exams were probably equally stressful and time consuming, but thank god for chocolate, coffee and course friends for getting me through. Although some of my exams definitely could have gone better, its such an amazing, freeing feeling to realise that these are likely the last exams I'll ever sit!
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Sunday, 17 April 2016

5 Cheap and Easy Photography Backgrounds

Although photography is so much fun, taking beautiful blog pictures can sometimes seem like an impossible challenge! For me, the background of a picture is sometimes just as important as what's in the picture and being on a student budget (AKA not actually having lovely marble sides or distressed wooden floors in my house) I usually resort to using some clever samples. These are my top 5 backgrounds with links to where they came from!
Whitewash Oak Flooring Sample - £2 (X). This is by far my favourite background! It's simple enough to not make a picture too busy, but equally is interesting enough to make a picture slightly more eye-catching. It works so well for photographing beauty products and is also crazy affordable.
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Thursday, 14 April 2016

A Mini Lush Spring Haul

I know, there's probably been a hundred of these posts already, but I am apparently incapable of not rushing out and buying all of Lush's special seasonal products! I'm sorry, but look how adorable the carrots are. I somewhat impressively managed to only buy 3 products, but they all look incredible so read on to find out what I though of them!

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Monday, 28 March 2016

OOTD: Bloggers' London Fashion Week

I recently went to my first ever blogging event (read more about that here!) and had the best day! As I was surrounded by lots of other lovely bloggers who also love taking outfit pictures I decided to do my first ever outfit of the day post. 
As any of you who regularly read my blog will know, I am a massive lover of fashion and shopping. So I'm so excited to start sharing some outfits with you guys! 
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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Going To My First Blogging Event

The idea of going to a blogging event has always kinds of terrified me! Meeting lots of people I don't know in a situation I'm not familiar with just seemed so scary. But when an invitation to Bloggers Fashion Week popped up in my inbox I decided to be brave, take a risk and go along. And I am SO glad that I did! Despite being pretty nervous I had such a lovely day and would definitely go along to another event. 
I'm sure for some of you the idea of attending a fun blogging event in London would just be really exciting, but as someone with a little bit of social anxiety it was slightly daunting. I arranged on twitter to meet two other bloggers before the event so I didn't have to go completely by myself, which really made the day much more fun and less stressful. I met the lovely Jordan and Laura, who were both so friendly and have beautiful blogs at Just Jawwie and Laura Ayres which you should definitely check out!
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Monday, 21 March 2016

Born Sassy: Coconut Lane Haul

I was recently contacted the lovely Charlotte at Coconut Lane and asked if I'd interested in becoming a brand ambassador for them. A quick peak at their website and instagram, and I was instantly in love! Rose gold, funny quotes and plenty of marble, basically all of my favourite things! 
So I, of course, couldn't resist having a little payday haul. As you can tell, attempts to prevent my blog from becoming Confessions of a Shopoholic take 2 are not going well!!
Marble Bangle. What's better than rose gold or marble? Them both together! This adjustable bracelet is so gorgeous and sweet, and  instagram looks killer with a pretty watch.
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Friday, 18 March 2016

12 Reasons to Be Happy Spring Is Here

The sun has decided to make a rare appearance, my lovely student house if no longer freezing and beautiful flowers are appearing everyone, meaning only one thing, Spring is finally here! Don't get me wrong, I love autumn and winter but there's something so uplifting and positive about Spring. Here are 12 reasons to love this time of year!
1. Natural light is back. No more struggling to get decent picture in the what, 3 hours of okay winter light each day?!
2. Pastel colours are back. For some nail inspiration check out this post!
3. Something about the warmer weather seems to make eating healthily easier to do. Well, excluding Easter!
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Monday, 14 March 2016

10 Signs You're Slightly Obsessed With Shopping

So you've been on a cute little Saturday shopping session in town or a late night online shopping spree and you have this sudden realisation that you might, just might, spend a little bit too much time and money on shopping. Well, you're not alone! Here are 10 signs you're obsessed with shopping, all of which I am guilty of.
1. You are have this incredible ability to justify buying absolutely anything. "Yes Mum, that new lipstick is essential and definitely not the same as the others". 

2. Having a blog is pretty much your get out of jail free card when it comes to buying slightly unnecessary homeware. Blog props are important people. 

3. You are completely incapable of entering a shop like Boots or Lush and not buying at least 5 random products.

4. Similarly, entering a shop to buy the 1 specific item ONLY just does not happen. 

5. Going through a bank statement and trying to work out where all of your money has gone is a regular occurrence! I'm sorry how much in Boots and Superdrug?!
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Friday, 11 March 2016

Gorgeous Nail Varnishes For Spring

So its March, the sun has actually started to be visible, supermarkets are already crammed with Easter eggs and spring is definitely on its way! I'm not always one to change my make up or nails to match the season, but I do love some of the more "spring" like nail varnishes. So here's a few of my favourites to get you ready for the season of daffodils, natural light and everything pastel!
From Left to Right. 
Ballerina by Barry M. This beautiful dusty pink is such a gorgeous colour, and looks so delicate and pretty on.
Rose Hip by Barry M. This gorgeous pastel pink colour is one of my all time favourites! If you're looking for a soft, girly, muted light pink then look no further than this one.
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Monday, 7 March 2016

10 Beauty Confessions From My Teenage Years

Nowadays it seems that a lot of teenagers are just skipping the whole make up disaster stage, but back when I was 13 we didn't have YouTube tutorials to help us out and many, many fashion and make up mistakes were made! Here's a little nostalgic collection of my top 10.

1. The classic orange foundation white neck combination was a daily occurrence. From old pictures finding a shade of foundation that actually matched my skin colour was just not a priority!
2. Applying said orange foundation with my fingers.. Thank god for make up brushes!
3. Putting WAY too much mascara on until my lashes resemble clumpy spidery nightmares. I probably still wear too much mascara but thankfully not as much as I used to!
4. Wearing enough black eye liner on my lower lash line to rival Taylor Momsen in season 3 of Gossip Girl.
5. Taking straightening my hair to ridiculous levels, as in half an hour a day, every day.
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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Nars Sheer Glow: The Foundation That's Worth the Splurge

When it comes to make up a lot of the time you can't go wrong with high street. With so many brands and options finding a killer mascara or lipstick should be easy to do. But for me, the one perfect product I've never been able to find is a good foundation. I'm sure they're out there, I've just never quite found one I'd happily use forever. So after a seriously bad week skin wise I decided to screw it and try a more expensive one, and after much searching settled on Nars Sheer Glow
From twitter to youtube I've heard a lot of buzz about this £31 foundation, and although I'm probably quite late on the bandwagon I'm so glad I decided to try it! I don't live anywhere near a Nars outlet so decided to buy online from John Lewis as they have really affordable delivery rates. Admittedly buying a foundation without having seen it is pretty risky but I was lucky enough to have a near perfect match to my skin. They have about 20 shades to choose from so chances are they'll be a perfect shade for you, its just finding it! As I'm quite pale and cool toned I settled on the shade Mont Blanc after a lot of research online and watching tons of youtube tutorials featuring different shades. 
Promising to leave skin hydrated, luminous, glowing and even, this one definitely didn't disappoint! It has an incredible mix of feeling so light on the skin, but also giving really good coverage, meaning that skin looks completely even and near flawless (at least compared to pre-foundation!). I have really dry skin at the moment, and some CC creams and foundations can leave my skin even drier and just look horrible, so I was a bit worried that I may have spent quite a bit of money on a product that might just not work for me. But I've found this to be fairly hydrating and provided I've applied moisturiser and primer (If I remember the primer!) this doesn't dry out my skin at all. 
I wouldn't say this foundation is hugely glowing (which personally I prefer!), but rather gives a really natural, subtle finish which honestly just gives the illusion of having perfect skin. As a big fan of more natural looking make up this was right up my street, and I've literally gone from wearing only concealer to applying foundation nearly every day. One thing I would recommend though, is buying a pump for £3 as its a very liquidy foundation and personally I think it might be quite hard to judge how much is going to pour out! 
Despite having quite an expensive price tag compared to more high street options, this foundation is completely worth the money for me! It applied so easily, give skin a subtle, perfect finish and completely evens out my skin tone. Its also really raised my confidence, so if you're having a tough time skin wise and want a bit of a treat I'd definitely say give this one a go! 
What's your favourite foundation?
Georgia xxxx 
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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Ultimate Smoothie Bowl

For me, having a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. I'm never going to be happy if I only eat kale salad, but equally eating domino's and cream eggs all week isn't going to lead to a happy, healthy place either! There's nothing wrong with eating healthily most of the time and then having the occasional McDonalds and sprinkles! I think all students know that trying to cook healthy meals when you're not only stressed with work but also on a budget can be a challenge, so I thought I'd start sharing some of my favourite recipes, from colourful salads to yummy cream egg cupcakes! Kicking things off on the healthier side is this gorgeous and fun smoothie bowl!
Ingredients
For the smoothie
1 banana
Frozen Berries
Pomegranate seeds
A handful of blueberries
2-4 Strawberries
1 tsp pure maple syrup

For the topping
Half a kiwi
2 strawberries
A handful of blueberries
Frozen berries
Shredded coconut
Pomegranate seeds
Oats

What to do
Essentially just chuck all the smoothie ingredients in a blender and press blend! I've used my trusty Blend Active which not only makes the smoothie ready to go in a bottle (less washing up - win!) but only costs £29. Then just decorate with whatever toppings you like on top! If you're looking for some inspiration on making your smoothie bowl look gorgeous, then check out From My Bowl's amazing instagram!

Top Tips
My essential picks to go in this smoothie are the banana as its so cheap (11p) and gives a creamy texture to the smoothie and the frozen berries which again so cheap (around £2 for a big bag), super long lasting and give the smoothie its vivid rich purple colour. Whenever I'm on a bit of a budget and looking to save money I'll simply swap the fresh strawberries and blueberries for more frozen berries and leave out the slightly pricy shredded coconut! Although to be fair, the shredded coconut is a big bag which will probably last ages!

I'd love to know what you think of this recipe and whether you'd like to see some more recipes on Chasing Belle 23!
Georgia xxxx
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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Why I Dropped Out Of University

It occurred to me the other day that I don't seem to write many personal posts, my blog is full of chatty beauty favourites but not that many posts actually about me! I figured that as my blog is getting a lot more views than it used to I'd get a little more deep and share some of my life experiences. Kicking things off with why I dropped out of university and what happened following dropping out!
Rewind back to September 2012 and I was an excited but completely terrified fresher preparing to leave home for the first time. I'd made it through my A-levels, written the dreaded personal statement, battled through UCAS (application form of horror) and actually managed to get offers to study at university. I was off to study Law at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. I got celebratory pancakes with my Mum, bought way too much new home ware and made the 4 hour car journey to be waved off my mum and younger sister, who uncharacteristically cried, begged me not to go and said she'd send all of the spiders in the world to find me in Norwich, I'm not a fan of spiders!
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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Are These Bloggers' Favourites Worth the Hype?

We've all seen the many products adored by bloggers. This months "it" product, that has us all running to the shop to try it out, particularly for those of us with a slight tendency to majorly overshop! But are all of these products actually deserving of the hype they're given? And with so many recommended favourites how do we separate the amazing from over hyped? I've rounded up some of my recent blogger inspired purchases to let you know which ones I've loved and the few that I've hated! But please remember that this is just my personal opinion, and you're completely entitled to disagree with me!
Worth It!
Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb (X)This one is pretty much universally loved in the blogging world and its honestly not hard to see why! With a refreshing and uplifting grapefruit and peppermint scent this bomb turns your bath into a bright blue glittery lagoon with bright swirling colours and plenty of glitter. 
Soap and Glory Solar Powder (X). Another steady favourite is this gorgeous bronzer from Soap and Glory. It gives such a nice natural glow and is never too obvious. It contains two shades so is so easy to adjust to the look you're going for, whether that's just a natural sweeping of bronze or some more adventurous contouring. I literally use this almost every day! 
Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara (X)Hands down the best mascara I've ever tried! This is the one product I'd hate to leave the house without applying. In addition to its stunning packaging, it uses tiny hooks to effortlessly grip, curl and lengthen lashes while also coating lashes really evenly.
Daisy Dream (X). On top of having an insanely beautiful bottle, this also has a completely gorgeous scent with a beautiful mix of jasmine, grapefruit, coconut water, white woods and blue wisteria. The result is a floral but fruity scent which instantly feels summery, light and subtle, and for me is the perfect mix.
Micellar Water (X). If you haven't of micellar water then I honestly don't know how you've managed to avoid all the fuss over it! This insanely affordable product (its only £1.99 a bottle) removes makeup so quickly and gently, and is a world better for your skin than face wipes.
On the Fence!

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer (X). When I first bought this concealer I was a massive fan, and wore it solidly for about 3 months! But on reflection I'm not sure how well this actually worked for me. It doesn't make a lot of difference in covering my under eye circles and has a tendency to look a bit cakey. To clarify, its definitely not a bad concealer, I'm just not convinced its the magical cure its sometimes claimed to be.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara (X). I can definitely see why this mascara has become a staple blogger favourite, its amazingly reasonably priced, easy to apply and so, so lengthening! It appears to do it all, but for me its just not quite as good as Roller Lash. I also find that it's lengthening effect tends to not be hugely long lasting, while the mascara that is left isn't the easiest to remove. Having said that, I do still happily use this mascara some of the time, so its clearly not all bad!
Not for me! 

The Experimenter Bath Bomb (X). Based on reviews I've read and the general appearance of this bath bomb I was expecting gorgeous swirling colours, but honestly I just found this one a bit disappointing. I'm not a huge fan of its scent and while there were some colours (mostly yellow and orange!) emerging it was just a bit boring considering its £3.95 price tag. It also left my water grey, which doesn't quite match up to the gorgeous blue lagoons left by products such as Intergalactic!
Benefit They're Real Push Up Gel Liner (X). This may not be a huge bloggers favourite, but evidently I am quite easily pleased and actually couldn't come across many products I really disliked! My main issue with this liner is that its seemingly impossible to actually use! You twist round the top and the gel liner comes out, but I literally, for the life of me, cannot figure out how to get this to give a small amount and work well! I also found it clumpy and really difficult to draw a decent, straight line with. 

Have you tried any bloggers favourites that you've either loved or hated? Let me know in the comments! 
Georgia xxxx
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Sunday, 7 February 2016

8 Reasons Why I Keep Visiting Your Blog

One of my favourites things to do with a spare few hours is to read loads and loads of blog posts! But with so, so much choice out there how do we choose what to read first?! Here are 8 reasons I'm likely to visit and love your blog!
1. You have gorgeous clear photos. I'd say the majority of blogs I visit feature seriously amazing photography full of bright, colourful and vivid images. But some of them are just so, so impressive, looking at your flatlays Jasmine Talks Beauty!
2. You have a clear, easy to follow layout. I'll admit I'm a sucker for clear, bright and well organised blogs! I also love it when its ridiculously easy to find things like the search bar, about page and blog post archive.
3. You're on bloglovin or twitter. The first place I go when I want to read blogs is Bloglovin. It organises all the blogs I follow into a simple newsfeed and I can just scroll through and usually open about 20 different tabs of blog posts! I also use twitter to find lovely new blogs to explore.
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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Book Review: The Bones of You

I've never posted a book review before, but this beautifully written psychological thriller seemed like the perfect read to start with! I loved this book, with its captivating, intricate plot paved out with mystery and secrets that you become desperate to understand. This is the sort of book that you could easily read in one sitting, and become more and more intrigued by with each page.
The story revolves around the disappearance of eighteen year old Rosie from her seemingly perfect loving family in a quiet idyllic country village. As the village attempts to come to terms with the disappearances of one of their own, family friend Kate finds herself entwined in the aftermath of Rosie's disappearance and desperately trying to uncover what's happened to her. With her whole life ahead of her, who would want to harm a kind and beautiful girl like Rosie, and most importantly, why? The books many twists and turns investigate what's happened to Rosie, but also explore what happens to a family following a tragedy such as a child going missing. How can they possibly recover? And is there any such thing as a 'normal' reaction?

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

What I've Loved In January

Despite being very few people's favourite month January definitely did have some highlights! From finishing exams and taking spontaneous trips with old friends to discovering lots of fun new things. Here are some of the lovely products I've been loving this January.
Enchanted Forest Colouring Book (X). My Grandma bought me this gorgeous book way back in September and over the course of my exams I have become seriously obsessed with it! There is just something so relaxing and satisfying about perfectly (or not quite perfectly in my case!) colouring in a beautiful picture. I was slightly sceptical when these first started becoming really popular, but if you're ever looking for a creative and fun outlook to de stress then I'd really recommend giving one of these a go.
The Bones Of You (X)One of the best books I've read in a long time, beautifully written with a tragic but compelling story that you just can't stop reading. In equal parts heartbreaking and captivating this psychological thriller will keep you guessing what happened to missing 18 year old Rosie until the very end.
Urban Decay Naked Palette (X)I got this palette for Christmas and am loving it so far! With so many options its so much fun to experiment with, check out this post to see my top picks and how I apply it.
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Thursday, 28 January 2016

7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

Despite having read blogs for a long time I found that starting my own was a completely different experience, and there were so many things I just wish I knew back then! I know these sort of posts can be a bit decisive, but personally I find 'blog tips' type posts so, so helpful and I thought now that I've been blogging for 8 months I'd do one myself!
1. Commenting and interacting with other blogs is not only one of the most enjoyable parts of blogging, but also what will help to grow your blog. I love reading comments on something I've written and always try to check out blogs in return. I think a nice, thoughtful comment really can make somebody's day. I would suggest not going for a really generic "great post, follow my blog" type of comment though as they can seem slightly insincere, and honestly if they've just been cut and paste to as many places as possible its fairly obvious!
2. Remember your blog's supposed to be fun! It can be so easy to get swept away with increasing your follower counts, getting a few free products and trying to keep up with posting goals that you forget why you started all of this in the first place! I won't lie, reaching 500 followers on Bloglovin, Twitter and Instagram was great, but it isn't a magic fix to making you love your blog so remember to enjoy and be proud of what your posting, even if it gets a few less comments than usual!
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Monday, 25 January 2016

7 Quotes to Get You Through Janurary

January is essentially the Monday of months, Christmas is finished for another year, it's still cold, you're back at work and everyone seems to be actually going to the gym. The horror! With my January exams and dissertation deadline getting scarily close my stress levels are getting increasingly out of control, and based on my friends and family, I'm not the only one. So here are 7 inspirational quotes to try and get some new years motivation. Although if you hate cheesy motivational quotes then maybe don't read on!
“Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.” 
Maya Angelou
“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” 
Ayn Rand
“I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
J.K. Rowling
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.” 
Nikos Kazantzakis
“Don’t let the muggles get you down.”
J.K. Rowling
"She can turn any ordinary moment into an adventure." "Can you give an example of that?" "When Hurricane Sandy destroyed the bottom floor of our house, she decorated the rubble in Christmas lights." 
Humans of New York
"The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters." 
Audrey Hepburn

 Do you have a favourite quote? Let me know in the comments below and I hope your January so far has been fabulous! Georgia xxxx

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Sunday, 3 January 2016

My Top 5 Posts of 2015

I can't believe it, but we're now in 2016! Anyone else not quite sure where 2015 went?! Its been an unbelievable 8 months since I decided on a whim to start this blog while procrastinating revising for my summer exams, and I definitely didn't imagine that I'd still be loving blogging this far on or that this many of you would want to read any of my little old posts. So thank you so, so much to anyone who's read my blog so far! I was actually quite surprised by some of my most read posts, so read on to see my top 5 of 2015!
1. 5 Amazing Bloggers You Should Be Reading. I'll admit I was initially a bit surprised that this is my most read post ever, but then I remembered how much I love reading these sort of posts! These 5 have such awesome blogs and it makes me happy that a post highlighting amazing and hard working bloggers is my top post of 2015! I'll definitely have to do a part 2 with some more lovely bloggers soon.
2. New Look Winter Haul. Haul posts (of litereally any kind) are my absolute favourite posts to read, probably because I'm such a shopoholic that if I'm unable to be out frittering away my own money then I need to be vicariously living through others! I also think these sorts of posts are so useful to get some wardrobe inspiration and be able to see exactly where someone got their outfit from. They're even better when they have accompanying outfit pictures so that's something I'm aiming to improve on my blog this year, as I love fashion and putting outfits together I just get too nervous to get someone to take the pictures for the post!
3. Benefit Real Cheeky Party Review. I think this one is mainly up here because it comes up on the second page if you search for a review of the product as I don't remember it getting loads of page views initially! That being said I really enjoy writing review posts and this set was so fab I not only got it for my sisters birthday present but also went out the next day and bought one for myself!
4.Winter Pamper Routine. This is one of those odd posts that started out being written as a last minute on the day replacement post, but actually ended up being so much fun to write and hopefully to read! Sometimes things can get really stressful and we could all use a little bit of pampering, so give this one a click if you ever want some inspiration about how to have a relaxed, chilled out evening in on a budget!
5. The £5 or Less Skin Care Routine. Whilst I do think this is a really useful post for anyone interested in starting a more consistent skincare routine on a budget, I just cannot deal with the photography in this post! It was my first time using my new camera and it definitely shows! I can remember being so frustrated at the time, but also so proud of the content of the post that I just got annoyed and posted it anyway. So yeah, love the content of this one, just don't judge me too harshly on the accompanying picture!

I'd love to know if there's anything you'd like to see posted in 2016? More beauty, more lifestyle, more fashion? Please let me know, whatever it is! And thank you so much for all your lovely blogging support this year!! Georgia xxxx
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