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torytoria

torytoria
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Member since: 03.08.2012

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    • More +
      06.09.2012 12:11

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      worth saving a list of things you need to get and then make a day of it!

      I live about half an hour away from gun wharf quays and would not say its the kind of place you would go regularly but if you have a few things to get and it is a nice day then it is definitely worth a visit.
      I tend to go most when my children need new shoes as there is a Clarks outlet there with a large children's section. The shoes tend to be between half price and a third off regular Clarke prices and are usually current season ones. A couple of pairs of shoes and it makes the extortionate parking charges almost worth it!
      The parking costs about £5 is you're there for 3 hours or more I think and I think this is quite expensive considering the only reason you go there is to spend more money! Having said that if you have a list of things to get you can easily save the parking charges in money off! Recent finds include a £60 radley handbag that should have been £120 and strapless bras from m&s for £7!
      There are some fantastic restaurants at Gun wharf Quays which is why I suggest going on a nice sunny day as the restaurants all have verandas with views of the water and Spinnaker Tower. It can get quite windy here as it is right by the sea so take a cardigan!
      If you don't want a full meal there is a couple of good stands in the middle square selling hot meat baguettes or soup in the winter, lovely!
      There is a great range of shops including lots of outlet versions of high street shops such as body shop and hmv. Good bargains to be had and great for buying birthday presents at fraction of the cost.

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      27.08.2012 21:32
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      not good value even though they are cheap and undermines confidence in the pampers brand.

      I bought these nappies when my son was in size 5 and they were on special offer in Sainsbury's. Like many previous reviewers, I thought that being pampers they would be of a certain quality at the very least. As they were on offer at 2 for £12, I ended up buying two packs of 45 odd which worked out at less than 10p a nappy (which is my golden rule when trying to work out if the nappy deal is good value).
      On first impressions the nappies seemed very good. They are as thin as most other pampers varieties and have the same cute pictures on the front, as well as a good strip where the tabs attach when you put the nappy on. I thought I had stumbled across a gem. That is until I used them on my son while we were on holiday in France.
      I first not iced that the nappies became quite see through when he had done a wee, they seemed to bulk up quite a bit and look like they would tear through to the absorbent gel quite easily. Being quite thin material I also found that you could smell as soon as he had done a wee which I don't find normally.
      Towards the end of our week away, I began to twig that he had had nappy rash for the last few days and it could be down to the nappies not keeping the moisture away fro his skin. Even with my normal bepanthen nappy rash cream, as soon as he used one of those nappies again, he became quite sore.
      As There weren't many other options on our remote campsite we persevred with the nappies and set off to come home, involving a seven hour car journey. As the packet states that the nappies have the same 12 hour dryness of normal pampers I thought it should be no problem just to change him once during the journey. Think again! About an hour from home he started crying and becoming quite fidgety, it turned out the nappy had leaked substantially, thankfully only wee though! We ended up having to cover his car seat in towels and change him by the roadside to make the last leg of the journey. Not ideal.
      I have now managed to use up the last if the nappies for short periods when we are going to be at home, however it has made me wary of straying from nappies I have tried and tested previously (which is quite a lot!). Next time I want a bargain I would go for supermarket own brands as although they don't have the thinness and look of pampers, they keep my son dry and his bottom happy!

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      • More +
        26.08.2012 14:59

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        fantastic toy, a newborn essential.

        I was given the soothing seahorse in blue when my son was about 5 months old. He had no problem sleeping once he was off but did need help dropping off to sleep by himself sometimes. I thought I would involve the seahorse in his bedtime routine and see if it helped.
        I would say that the seahorse helped him to relax and have continuity in his routine of what would be there as he was dropping off to sleep. The glow from the seahorses tummy is soft and subtle and isn't bright enough to keep him awake, just enough to reassure him. The music is also quite lovely, not like some electronic toys! You can choose from well known nursery tunes or the sounds of the ocean. He always seemed to prefer the white noise of the ocean sounds as it is like swishing waves, I imagine it may have been reminiscent of the womb. We had to have the volume if high to hear it well but there is two settings if you wish it to be more gentle.
        The music carries on for about ten minutes and you just squeeze the tummy to get it going again. Ten minutes was normally enough for us though as my son would have fallen asleep by the time the seahorse stopped playing. When it is going to stop the light from its tummy slowly fades which is lovely.
        The seahorse is great to cuddle as it is soft and the fins are silky for the baby to experience different textures. I have found myself giving it a little cuddle sometimes too!
        I wish I had been given this toy when my son was first born as it has become a firm favourite with him and us parents. I will be buying one in pink as a gift for my new niece.

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      • More +
        26.08.2012 14:48

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        Go if your children are under 5 but take a picninc!

        I live quite near Paultons Park but hadn't been since I was a small child so when I had children of my own I thought it would be a great place to take them.
        My first reaction was shock at the price of tickets! Thankfully my two are quite short so I didn't have to pay for them as they were under 1metre, that just left over £40 for me and hubby! However when you get there, there really is loads to do, it seemed like one day wasn't enough to do it leisurely even when we didn't go on 50% of the rides be cause the kids weren't tall enough.
        I first went before Peppa Pig world was built and it was still great so the Peppa Pig world section is a fantastic added bonus.
        The main park has a variety of rides for all ages, some are traditional fun far type rides such as a magic carpet and teacups and then there are a few more adult theme park rides. Also dotted around the park are the little cars you normally pay 50p to sit in at the supermarket, at paultons these are all included and the kids can go on every single one!
        There is some lovely non ride parts to the park, such as the dinosaur walk with life size Dino models and the bird aviary and penguin talk. The gardens are also amazingly creative and very well tended, think snakes and ladder sets made of plants etc.
        Moving into peppa pig world , the first thing you notice is the piped theme music playing everywhere, this could drive you a little insane but I managed to block it out!
        The rides are pitched perfectly at the core audience of peppa pig and don't have long queues. There is also a great indoor soft play for when the weather turns!
        There is a lovely safe feel to the park. I felt quite happy leaving our pushchair at the entrance to the rides and not worrying that it or its contents would be pinched!
        The main drawback to the park is the food, which is quite poor. The outlets are dated now and the food offered is of a limited unhealthy range. Mostly burgers, chicken nuggets and chips. It is not too over priced for a theme park but given the beautiful surroundings and gardens in the park, a picnic would be the best way to eat.
        Look out for special theme days on the company website and book your tickets at least a day ahead as you get quite a good discount doing it like this. The park is best value if you're children are over 95cm but under 1m as they are tall enough to go on most rides don't have to pay to get in!
        Have fun!

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      • Water Birth / Pain Relief / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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        26.08.2012 12:28
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        well worth trying before other options.

        I have had water births with both my children and found the experiences quite different each time.
        With my first son, born in Feb 2008, my water birth was almost accidental! I arrived at the hospital and was on the verge of being sent home as I was only 2 cm dilated when labour really started! I think there was a strong psychological intervention going on as I really didn't want to go home!
        I really started to feel the contractions and was up to 4cm very quickly, eligible for pain relief now! I was given gas and air and found relief with this for an hour or so until I started to beg for an epidural! I had strongly said that I would hot have an epidural before my labour and therefore the midwife and my husband suggested some other methods, one of which was to labour in the water.
        I have never been a real fan of relaxing hot baths etc so I wasn't entirely sold on this idea but the only other alternative was to be transferred to the main hospital labour ward rather than the birthing centre so I decided to give it a go.
        The pool takes about 25 minutes to fill and has a temperature gauge in it so that the midwives can ensure it is the right temperature before you get in and maintain the temperature for the duration that you are in the pool. I have to say when I first stepped into the pool, there was an amazing sense of relief and a definite 'aaaahhh' feeling!
        Even though I was in the pool i was still able to have gas and air as my husband wheeled the canister around the pool following me around as I swam about! This was great as it allowed me a greater sense of freedom and I could adjust my position to how I was feeling with each contraction.
        The midwives were able to monitor the baby very easily still as they had a waterproof heart monitor and a special reflective instrument which looked like a fish slice to see what was going on 'down there'! They also had a sieve in case of any 'accidents' in the water so to speak!
        My labour progressed very quickly once I was in the pool and I feel that this was partly down to being able to move about and get into positions that let gravity help! I ended up giving birth in the pool rather than on dry lanecause there wasn' t a point where I ever felt I wanted to get out. I had the baby after being in the pool for about an hour and a half and the pushing stage of labour only took 20 minutes. I did find the experience a little bit scary when his head had been born and because I was sitting down leaning back on the pool walls, I could see everything, including him turning around and the hind waters etc and I wasn't expecting it. Once his body was born he was immediately placed on my chest, this was a lovely moment and we were so overwhelmed we didn't even look at what sex he was! He was quite slippery as he still had a lot of vernix covering him and was wet from the pool so I felt better when I handed him to my husband because I was worried I mi ght drop him!
        It seemed a bit fiddly cutting the cord while I was in the pool and we let the midwives do it instead of hubby as again I was worried about dropping him! I was given an injection of syntocinon while I was in the pool and then got out to deliver the placenta.
        Unfortunately because I had been in the pool and was all wet I ended up getting quite cold when I got out and it was quite unpleasant sitting in a wet tankini top whilst pushing the placenta out!

        All in all I would say this water birth was excellent, the water was a fantastic pain relief method and helped my labour progress quickly and problem free. The small drawbacks were nothing in comparison with the benefits .

        When it came to being pregnant again I was adamant I wanted another water birth, fearing that this would be the only way I would cope with the pain of child birth! I questioned the midwife on how many pools there were at the hospital and what would happen if they were all in use. I was quite nervous that things would not go according to my plans, but these things rarely do!

        I went into labour in the middle of the night and knowing how quickly everything happened previously, I phoned the hospital straight away and was told to go in. Once I was examined I was told to stay and th but at I was definitely having a baby that day, lucky as it was Christmas eve!

        I mentioned straightaway that I wanted a water birth and asked them to get it ready, I was initially met with resistance as I was told that midwives don't really like delivering babies in water! This aside, they agreed to fill the pool and give me gas and air in the meantime. The main difference between the two births here being that my waters had not yet broken, this turned out to make the water quite a different experience.

        When I got in the pool I did not have the same feeling of relief, instead I felt uncomfortable and confined and no position seemed quite right, at least being in the pool meant I could change position easily!

        I felt indecisive about getting out of the pool but at the same time I did not want to leave the security of my space and area in pool. As it turned out I didn't have much time to dither as my waters finally broke and 13 minutes later he was here!

        The two births were different in terms of the pain relief and experience I had but I think this would be true of any two births. I would encourage any women thinking about a water birth to give it a go, even if it is just for the contractions and you get out for the actual birth. I believe the water aided both my deliveries and am very pleased I gave it a chance!

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      • Warburtons Potato Cakes / Snacks / 7 Readings / 5 Ratings
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        21.08.2012 22:17
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        yummy, grab them when you see them,

        I have tried many brands of potato cake and can easily and definitely say that these are the best!
        They come in packs of six in an easy to open clear wrapper with cardboard insert and can be frozen as well as eaten fresh.
        I tend to buy two packets when I see them and freeze one as they are quite often sold out in my local tesco and asda. Sainsbury do not seem to stock this brand.
        I have not noticed any difference in taste in the pack which has been frozen to the fresh ones but it is best to defrost them slowly rather than trying to blitz them in the microwave.
        I usually eat these toasted in the toaster as this develops a lovely crispy crust and it they taste much better this way than cold. Sometimes I spread a little butter on them but this is not really necessary as the cakes themselves have quite a buttery taste. They do not need any longer in the toaster than a regular slice of toast and are a great 'on the go snack or breakfast. They have about 130 calories each which is similar to some breads and in my opinion they taste better than a slice of toast!
        I have also tried Paul rankins potato farls and sainsburys own potato cakes and neither are a patch on these!

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          21.08.2012 22:02

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          an interesting book for the shelf but wont get used often.

          I was bought this book as a Christmas present and it is not something I think I would have bought myself normally.
          The book has a great concept, whole meals I.e side dishes, main and dessert made from start to finish in 30 minutes however the execution is quite frustrating.
          The meals in the book are great and the majority are mouth watering but they are only really suitable for when you are catering for dinner parties as I don't feel that many people would make dishes like this for day to day meals. It is difficult to extract just one part of each meal, for instance, the main dish, to prepare in isolation from dessert and sides because the book is written as a step by step guide to the whole meal. Having said that, the book does have the advantage of giving the reader a number of good 'cheats' in order to bring it in under 30 mins!
          My personal favourite in the book is the bakewell tarts! They are delicious and so quick and easy as you use pre-bought pastry cases. I have cooked them on a number of occasions and always had compliments. They are especially good with ice cream!
          I will persevere with the book as there are many more recipes that I would like to try out at future dinner parties but will be reserving it just for this purpose rather than trying to mix and match bits for my day to day cooking.

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        • Samsung S5830 Galaxy Ace / Smartphone / 8 Readings / 6 Ratings
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          10.08.2012 21:32
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          no qualms at all about recommending this phone. go for it!

          I have had this Phoenix for over a month now and can safely say that I love it!
          The camera takes fantastic pictures and is so easy to use, it also has a flash, which can be on, off or automatic. This feature is unusual in phones of this price and is very useful. You can also use the flash as a torch if needed!
          The screen is super amoled and it is crystal clear. This does however mean it is a little bit more sensitive to scratches and drops etc but I have so far managed to avoid this!
          Music sounds good from the phone and you can select any song as your ringtone. The phone is very easy to set up if the shop have not already done that for you. I went to phones 4 u and they do a 'walk out working' service which meant I went in with my old phone and came out with this one ready to go with all my old numbers and photos on, fantastic!
          There are a range of pre-loaded apps and features, some of which are entirely unnecessary which is quite annoying as they take up valuable battery power and phone memory.
          The battery is OK, but I don't believe any smart phone has a great battery life as they have so many features running.
          The galaxy ace uses a task manager feature to allow you to close any unused apps and conserve your battery power.
          I like the layout of the phone and the fact that it has a 'back' button! This is a feature I really miss whenever I use another style of phone.
          Cases are really easy to come by on amazon as are the essential screen protectors.
          This phone is great value and comes free with many cheap contracts.

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          • Kindle 3 / Tablet PC / eBook Reader / 3 Readings / 1 Rating
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            10.08.2012 21:15

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            a great invention and the future for reading.

            Initially I was sceptical about the need for an book reader, but after receiving one for my birthday, I had to give it a go!
            The kindle is ridiculously easy to set up and was connected to my home wifi within minutes of coming out of the box. After this, I went straight to the amazon kindle shop to start downloading books! This is also an amazingly easy and straight forward process, especially if you have to one-click payment set up.
            Find a book you like and select it buy it, then voila, ten seconds later, it appears on the kindle ready to read! The device also syncs well with your other Android devices such as phone, PC or tablet meaning you can pick a book up where ever you left off on any device.
            I particularly like the ease of reading with the kindle, the e-ink is very realistic and I find it hurts my eyes less than even a normal book. I am able to read before bed with the kindle in one had and a cup of tea in the other, a perfect combination!
            I have also found that amazon customer service is incredible, when my first kindle screen broke, it was replaced within days at no cost to me and with no quibbles, even though I suspect my heavy handiness may have had something to do with the fault!
            The weight of the device is no more than a paperback and it is so slim you can slip it in your bag very easily. I would however recommend a case as there is a likelihood screen damage if it is left unprotected.
            I would not be without my kindle now and can't imagine ever going back to 'normal' books!

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          • More +
            10.08.2012 21:01

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            a great machine, which impresses all who play with it!

            I have been using the Acer Iconia A500 for about six months now and I'm sad to say it has become an integral part of my day to day life! It is always there ready to be used, to quickly look things up, make internet purchases or play games on, sometimes it is too easy!
            I am writing this review now on the Acer iconia with no extra keyboards or attachments, just the QWERTY keyboard. It responds quickly and has a very clear screen which is expandable.
            This tablet is much cheaper than other, we paid less than £300 for ours and it has the larger memory size available. I would not say that having a large internal memory was essential however, as the tablet itself has a USB slot and multisize memory card slot. We use an external hard drive to plug in via USB and watch movies on the tablet. We have downloaded an app called Mx player for this and it works perfectly. One of the great things about this tablet is the battery life, I was able to watch movies back to back for ten hours on a very long trip to france before it ran out of battery. Even then I used an adapter in the car and was able to fully charge it in around an hour!
            I particularly value the versatility of the android system over other, fruit based varieties, as it allows us to play a multitude of different media and apps without converting them. We have 100's of movies and songs which we can now play through the tablet with ease. We also bought the Acer docking station and speakers to turn it into a sort of multimedia system!
            I have been able to download flash player which allows me to watch BBC I player and 4od very easily.
            The camera can be used on either side of the tablet and takes some very clear pictures and movie footage. The dual core processor is also very useful and allows you to run two things simultaneously.

            Overall, it may not be as cool as an iPad but it still looks good and does everything you could need, and more!

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            10.08.2012 20:35

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            a great all round product for children (& husbands!)

            I bought these for my children, aged 4 and 2 as a healthy ish pudding. They are made from real fruit juice and have no artificial flavours and colourings in them so they seemed ideal for little ones.
            The packs of 6 contain 3 flavours, orange, strawberry and blackcurrant and are usually on offer in Sainsbury for 2 for £2 which is good value for twelve puddings in my opinion.
            They smell very strong when you take the lid off, a bit like undiluted squash, however this does not put the children off! On the contrary, the love the fruity flavours and always ask for jelly for pudding now.
            The pots are just the right size for children of this age and can be put in the lunchbox for later in the day without suffering too much. I don't eat jelly myself but have had good reports on taste from children and husband and I'm happy with the ingredients so these are a regular in our trolley!

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            10.08.2012 19:16

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            go for it.

            We went to chatel in January 2009 and had a fantastic time. We stayed in a chalet called le trois canards which was excellent, but more on that later.
            Chatel itself is quite a small village, we stayed in petit chatel which is off to one side of the main village. The village is quite quaint and has the usual ski wear shops, cheese shops and random souvenir shops, as well as some lovely warm tea shops for when you've had enough snow. There are a few restaurants but not lots of choice of cuisine. We ended up getting takeaway pizza on out chalet hosts night off!
            The skiing at chattel is split into two separate areas and neither was that easy to access on foot from our chalet or the main bit of chatel. We were lucky that there was a mini bus included in our chalet and I think you would be lost without one. This, I would say is the only downside of the resort.
            There are plenty of runs for people of all experience and the learning slopes are quite separate but big enough for you to get your confidence on before heading up the main mountain. We didn't experience any queues and the lift pass system was easy to use..
            For the more experienced skier there is plenty to explore but you will cover and lot of the same ground quite quickly if you don't get the big area pass.
            Food on the mountains is OK and much the same as for most mountain restaurants, there is however a cafe right at the border of France and Switzerland which has the most amazing views out over the world!
            Fantastic resort overall and I cannot recommend our chalet highly enough. It was clean and modern, with absolutely fantastic catering and the most friendly hosts you could wish for, nothing was too much trouble, which , when travelling with children, is such a relief!

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            04.08.2012 18:07

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            ok but not as good as others for this purpose.

            Hi, as I said in the title this product is interesting, but is not as good as the other body shop moisturisers, such as the ones from the vitamin e range which I have also reviewed. It has quite a strange texture, it is a gel rather than a cream and I find that although this is quite soothing, it does soak in very quickly, I also find it sometimes makes my skin feels a bit tight, like I haven't moisturised yet, therefore I feel like i need to use more. The product will not be very good value for money as it will be used very quickly.
            It does the job of moisturising the dry bits absolutely fine but I still find my skin gets a bit oily with this and it is not as good as other combination skin clay based moisturisers. It smells fine and is fine to use but I think I will be going back to the vitamin e range when this is finished. I have also had some breakouts on my skin since using this range from The Body Shop and so I feel it simply does not suit my skin.

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          • Warburtons Crumpets / Snacks / 6 Readings / 5 Ratings
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            03.08.2012 23:26

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            great.

            I bought these crumpets on special offer at Tesco, normally I buy tesco own but this was a better value deal! The crumpets are nice and thick and not too dark on the tops so go nice and crispy on top when you toast them. The dough / batter has a nice yeasty flavour and can be used for sweet and savoury toppings. I often too these with tomato puree and cheese to make a crumpet pizza! Goes down well with the kids! These are my favourite breakfast item and I really found this brand far ahead of the competition in terms of flavour and versatility. I will buy these crumpets again and may even pay full price for them! At the moment I have bought a few packets for the freezer and am working my way through them! Recommend over other brands especially when on offer. Am trying other products from warburtons now.

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            03.08.2012 23:15
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            a disappointment

            I bought this product in duty free at the airport and really looked forward to using it. The scent is light and could be used as either a day or evening time perfume. I mainly use it in the day time and was very disappointed when I used it and found that the scent does not last. With my previous perfume, Chanel chance, I would keep getting wafts throughout the day and thought this might be similar, sadly not. Within an hour of using the scent, the smell has faded and I would be feeling the need to reapply. I will carry on using it as I like the smell and am loathed to throw anything away before its finished but will probably use it pretty quick as I have to put so much on each time! I have checked with friends and hubby and he can't smell it either so its not just me!
            The bottle is eye catching and looks nice on the dressing table, it is sturdy and does not break or chip easily, I know this from experience!
            The light scent is very pleasant and would not offend anyone. The price for the bottle is quite expensive considering how quickly it fades but it can be bought in gift packs with body lotion which makes it better value and compounds the smell.

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