November Favorites

Sooo…let’s pretend to ignore the fact that it’s been awhile since my last Favorites post ok? OK.

Bath & Body

Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

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It’s a very scary thing to realize how reliant I am on certain products. Take for example my beloved Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner from Lush. In the winter, my skin may as well be made of cardboard and every lotion I try just doesn’t cut it. The body conditioners from Lush are miracle workers. I smooth it all over in the shower, let it sit for a few seconds, rinse it off and then pat (not rub) myself dry. I feel like it’s locking the moisture in from the shower and the scent? I’ll put it this way – I have emailed and tweeted the company multiple times to re-release the Ro’s Argan perfume. A petition might be in order.

Cake Batter Chapstick

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It smells like cake and it feels great on the lips. What more could you possibly ask for in a lip balm?

Makeup

Dior Star Foundation

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I must preface this by backing up a few weeks ago. You see, I have been out of foundation for quite some time now. And rather than barrel into Sephora and select a random bottle from the gaggle of choices, I decided to be a bit more methodical. So, I have been slowly accumulating samples of high-end foundations to put through the ringer and of course blog my thoughts on each. But you guys -I may have struck gold not even a quarter of the way through my stash. I’m talking about Dior Star Foundation, and yes, I’m in love. You MUST apply with a Beauty Blender and the result is nearly perfect. It is slightly dewy, blurring and brightening and it applies smoothly and evenly leaving my skin looking like a literal movie star (the concept behind the name).

L’Oreal Carbon Black Liquid Eyeliner

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This eyeliner has to have earned holy grail status by now. It is truly a workhorse, providing a very pigmented black and super simple application. It’s also like  8 bucks so yeah, git it.

Mac Pressed Pigment in Warming Heart

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I have recently re-discovered this little gem from a Mac collection that was sitting all alone on my vanity and I have fallen back in love. The timing couldn’t be more perfect being the holidays. The holiday season means that I can finally bust out all my overly shimmery and glittery shades not suitable to other times of the year. This Mac pressed pigment is perfection because the glitter is so fine and when used in conjuction with a primer and a little Fixed +, ohh law. It is sooooo beautiful.

Hair

Nature’s Gate Aloe Vera Shampoo

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Guys, I have gone sulfate free and I may never look back. This shampoo not only smells great and leaves my hair feeling clean and healthy, but it is $9. Additionally, I feel like my hair has been growing much faster and I’ve been losing way less.

*A DUD*

Rusk Freezing Spray

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This Freezing Spray by Rusk is just the pits. I got last summer in the Allure Beauty Box and I had high hopes for it. It claimes to be completely weather-resistant and let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. I have tried it on multiple occasions where I curled my hair, finishing with the hairspray, and left to run an errand. I would look into the mirror not 30 minutes later and it would be frizzy, dull and devoid of ANY curl. I am better off using no hairspray at all.

Misc.

My Merin Bag

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Surprisingly I have never mentioned this bag in any of my favorites but I honestly use this almost every day. The company is out of Seattle and was started by a woman who wanted a tote bag that could do it all. The interior of the bag is lined with waterproof pockets of various sizes, making it a cinch to organize all your stuff. The thick, yet pliable canvas fabric is beautiful, making it a chic alternative to those plastic-y and obnoxious cheaper tote bags. The bottom of the bag is also made of waterproof fabric, which means it is perfect for the beach, the pool or ANYONE living in the Pacific Northwest. I have an older design and I could not live a day without it.

Sparkly Nina Flats

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I MEAN. Of course these pups made my favorites. They are MAJESTY.

And lastly…Our Christmas Tree/Décor!!

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You may remember our scant, poorly Christmas tree last year, appropriately named Nadine. Well this year, we made the tough decision to go artificial. Maybe it’s our small(er) front room, maybe we missed seeing actual branches, but whatever it was, running into Target and picking this little lady up for a mere $30 seemed all too perfect. Her name is Fanny, btw.

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I’ve also thrown around some miscellaneous décor this year, in the form of a new blanket(Martha Stewart Collection from Macy’s), new pillow (Marshalls) and little Christmas wall décor (Target). I couldn’t be happier! Merrrrry Christmas!

 

 

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October Favorites

Aww YEEAH.

Y’all ready for this?!

*cues Jock Jams*

Makeup

Whilst in Maui, I picked up two items that I have been on an ongoing search for. We wandered into Longs Drugs and of course I couldn’t resist a trip down the makeup aisle. Here’s what I found:

0005005159757_500X500This Bonne Bell Lip Lites color is hugely popular with beauty gurus and 10 year old girls all over the world. The color looks real nice over the top of MAC Creme Cup and yeah, it smells delicious.

450I have been wanting to try the Jordana eyeliners given the line’s great reputation but alas, the brand is only sold at Walgreens and it’s mostly all nail polish. In Maui, they had the ENTIRE line of Jordana so I happily snagged this eyeliner. It reminds me alot of the Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen but it is way more pigmented.

s1343961-main-heroThis I brought with me from home and was a sample I received from Ulta. I only wore makeup out to dinner in Hawaii, since during the day we were either swimming in the ocean or in a pool. I don’t fuss with the waterproof mascaras because it’s too hard to get off. I surrender to the fact that I look like one of those hairless cats and just move on with my life. This stuff came in handy when we were dashing out the door to grab coffee and I wanted to look not so much like a corpse. I just brushed a few strokes on my cheeks and lightly tapped it in to my skin. It also works great on the lips with a coat of chapstick with SPF.

hello_flawless_Another free sample from Ulta! I got two of the lightest shades and was able to start with the lighter and transition into the darker as my face got more color. I really enjoyed this foundation while in Hawaii: it has SPF 25, no oil and it is brightening (I have dry skin). It performed beautifully, especially on the nights where went out for drinks at sunset. I have yet to give it a try since we have been back since I remain true to my MUFE HD Foundation, but it was definitely a hit in the tropics!

Other Stuff

suave-anti-dandruff-shampoo-coconut-shea-butterConfession: I have a very itchy scalp. It makes no sense, really. I wash my hair a mere two times a week, so you’d assume my scalp would be oily, if anything.  However, after the 4th or so day of not washing my hair, my scalp becomes SUPER itchy. Like fire ants are on my head. Thus, I decided to pick up a shampoo to treat my condition. I remember using Neutrogena T-Gel as a kid and it smelled like DEATH. This shampoo smells like coconut and nourishes my scalp. And it’s like $4 so yeah. WINNING.

87E620F7-D715-4038-975B-389E3DA97A1AConfession 2: I enjoy men’s deodorant. Always have. Always will. I know the aluminum is killing me but I refuse to fall victim to B.O. In high school, I would wander into Abercrombie and spray myself with Fierce, just OBSESSING over how good it smelled. This deo I picked up in a pinch one afternoon at my local QFC in the travel section. I have now grown fond of the smell, very fond. It smells like men’s soap. Simple as that.

10154685I picked up this little set of teasing combs at Target and am glad I did. After a 3-day no-wash my hair starts lookin a little limp. I enjoy taking a section towards the middle-back of my head and teasing, with the help of my beloved Tres 2 hairspray. Then I just comb another small section of hair over that and pull it into a pony. Just gives it a little somethin.

554_PackShotLast, but certainly not least are these AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS Kashi bars. I was on the hunt for my favorite pumpkin pie ones, but they were sold out (tis the season). I could literally have an entire pack of these. It’s like a candy bar, only good for you. I should have handed these out for Halloween instead of Snickers! Or maybe not…

The Autumn Tag

Much thanks to Kate for tagging me!

Fall is hurr and I couldn’t be more excited.

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  1. Favorite thing about it? Wrapping up in blankets, Brach’s Autumn Mix (the candy corn, indian corn and pumpkins one), crunchy leaves and (dare I say it?) football! Too many.
  2. Favorite drink? Starbucks Chai. Mmmmm!
  3. Favorite scent/candle? Leaves from Bath and Body Works! Pumpkin Cupcake would be a close second.
  4. Best lipstick? Er…Mac Creme Cup. I know it’s not a darker shade but I truly wear this color every day.
  5. Go to moisturizer? I need to be better about this! I still love the Origins Vitazing for underneath my makeup. Body Shop body butter for my body is just KILLA.
  6. Go to colors for the eyes? HANDS DOWN my Stila ‘In the Light’ palette. I left this at a hotel two weeks ago and almost broke down in tears. Luckily, they found it and shipped it back to me for free! The colors are buttery soft and there is a great mix of shimmer and matte shades. I find I can create any look with this baby.
  7. Favorite music or band/singer to listen to? Anything Disney, per usual.
  8. Favorite outfit to wear (i.e. boots and scarf combo)? Definitely jeans, ballet flats or flat riding boots and a tank with a baggy grandpa cardigan. Can’t go wrong!
  9. Autumn treat? Besides treating myself to multiple baskets of wings on Sundays…I’m really wanting the new Rockateur blush by Benefit. Can’t help myself when it comes to anything rose gold!

YAHOO for fall! Check out Kate’s blog if you’re in the mood for awesome reviews and all types of products. She is awesome!

Summer Beauty Favorites

Hello Beauties!

I love my bathroom. I use the term “my” because mostly it’s me who uses it. We are lucky enough to house 2 bathrooms in our little apartment and Bry has slowly migrated to the other. #seperatebutequal.

Being allowed this luxury has meant filling it up with products and relishing the fact that I can do this. It has meant finding some duds along the way but also discovering potions that have seriously changed my life. A good product will do that for ya, I promise.

In no certain order, here are the standouts from my 2013 summer beauty collection:

coconut-crushed-pearl-bronzing-body-butter-9_0The Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Butter  came from a recent Ipsy bag I received. Sidenote: Ipsy is amazing. Best beauty box on the market if you ask me – and for $10 per month? Come on – put her there! It smells like an absolute dream and gives a deliciously subtle shimmer to the skin, along with providing a bit of a tint.

or_0HJX01_300The Origins Vitazing is another product I got thanks to Tiffany D. I have used it more during these summer months, when my skin needs less coverage and more sun protection – and have grown very fond. To be honest – when I first used it, I thought it was giving me spots (zits) but I haven’t had such problems since then. I feel this product gives me a radiance as well as a nice dose of moisture without looking greasy. The SPF is a welcome addition, making this the perfect summer moisturizer in my book.

220Forget everything you think you knew about black liquid liner. This Wet ‘n’ Wild eyeliner has put other high-end liquid eyeliners to absolute shame with it’s crazy black pigmentation and staying power. I much prefer this guy to do my heavy lifting, be it a precise cat eye or dramatic wing. It stays on, is JET black and costs $3. I curse my Mac blacktrack!

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I won’t lie on this blog – I have owned this for probably around 3 years. I realize I am probably smearing expired, bacteria-infested pigments all over my mug but really, don’t we all have a couple things in our makeup bags a tad past their prime?  This Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips compact should be awarded for it’s multi-purpose properties. The colors are gorg on their own worn as eyeshadows or as I do – for my highlight (just keep yer brush in the lighter colors). Along of the cheek bones, down the nose and the cupid’s bow and I feel like a woodland fairy.

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Mac Creme Cup. A perfect nudish-pink for a multitude of skin tones. I recently welcomed this color into my life and I haven’t looked back. I wear it in the morning, I wear it at night. Sometimes I put a little in my hair if I’ve had a rough week (name that movie!). It’s perfect.

InstantReconstructorThis is a new-to-me line of hair care products and this Enjoy Instant Reconstructor is a winna. Kimberly from C.Joy Salon used this on me after my recent highlight and my hair actually shined. This doesn’t happen to me. Oil shouldn’t be called liquid gold no mo’ – just sayin. jm_L26K_lrgThe English Pear and Freesia perfume from Jo Malone. I can’t. I literally have to force myself not to douse my entire body in this everyday. I am convinced that all the other scents on my perfume tray are so jealous of this modest little bottle (because inanimate objects might have feelings).

1473We all know that self-tanners are my bread and buttah. My wallet silently screamed as I forked over the $40 on this maracuja-infused formula from Tarte but, like so many products I’ve discovered that are well worth the higher price tag, it is indeed “brazilliance”. It has an olive undertone so I was able to say goodbye to my usual oompa-loompa tinge. The fade is brilliant and the package includes a mitt for perfect application. It also has cute packaging, making this the absolute best tanning product I’ve discovered so far. Bold claim, I know.

So that’s it! A menagerie of beauty-enhancing goops. Go get you some.

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Beauty Product Misses

For any gal who has fallen victim to a product slathered in catchy marketing and boasting “miracle” results only to discover it’s complete and utter uselessness, I say this: I am you.

I am the girl who spends hours, yes hours watching, reading and researching products that lay claim to serious results with no avail.  While I like to think that the majority of the items I choose to buy have been methodically selected, sometimes this is far from the truth.  I, like so many women, am easily wooed by product displays, limited editions, or my weakest spot – cute packaging.  Stick a piece of poo in a pink box with a cute font and I’m smitten.  You get the drift :).

Recent evidence of genius cute marketing:

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Instantly Instagramed Post-Purchase

The purpose of this post is to hopefully save some of you (the millions who are reading) from repeating my beauty section mistakes.

Got2Be Beach Trippin

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Basically, I feel this entire brand is garbage. The name is bad enough. Textbook example of how cute packaging and unrealistic promises can break our hopeful hearts.  Or maybe it’s only me. I really should just splurge for the Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray, but can’t yet justify the $25 cost for what seems like a little salt-water.

Tresemme Dry Shampoo

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My never-ending hair growth saga has constituted the purchase of many hair products to aid in my quest for boob-length locks.  Dry shampoo is a necessity as frequent hair washing is a major no-no in the hair growth department.  For this beauty miss, I simply cheaped-out on my all time favorite dry shampoo, Batiste , for this $3 version. It comes out like a jet (TWSS), the formula is too wet (again, TWSS) and it leaves a dreaded white residue on your hair (this is out of control).

Macadamia Natural Hair Oil

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I was surprised by my distaste for this hair oil.  Lots of beauty gurus love this line.  The smell was nice at first, but I grew tired of it overtime and I felt it actually made my hair more dry! The horror! For a MUCH better alternative, albeit, substantially more expensive is Moroccan Oil.  Or, Nectar of the Gods as I call it.

Ulta Brand Tanning Products

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Self tanning products have become all the rage suddenly. I guess people are finally getting hip to how bad the sun is for your skin, derrr. As a child of a skin-cancer survivor many times over, I quit my tanning bed regime long ago.

As a result, I have become a connoisseur of drugstore self-tanning products. Neutrogena, Hawaiian Tropic, Jergens. They all aight.  L’Oreal Sublime Bronze is one of my favorites, save for the trail of glitter it leaves behind. Strippers prolly buy this stuff by the buckets.  I have yet to dive in to pricier options like St.Tropez, Fake Bake or the one I covet over all else by Tarte.

The Ulta self-tanner performed as well as you’d expect it to, which was completely disappointing.  Hardly any color and it faded terribly, read: lizard skin.

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

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Finding the right mascara is kind of like shopping for jeans. What looks great on one person gives the other saggy-butt. You understand.  Mascaras can be lengthening, volumizing, separating, moisturizing, the list goes on and on. For most, a combination works best. I have tried the Falsies multiple times, due to it’s wide popularity and good price. Each time, I was left with stiff, jagged spider eyes which isn’t exactly what I was going for. However, I have seen this product perform beautifully on others so I suppose the vote’s still out.

So that’s it, I hope I helped. Save your pennies for sensible things like a magic set or a quesadilla maker. Splurge on a vacation to Dollywood but please, don’t buy these products.

Material Girl: Beauty

Good Evening little bunnies!

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As of late, the most effective way for me to blow off steam, decompress and shut off m’engines doesn’t involve candles, exercise, Enya or a trip to the spa. I find complete and utter comfort whilst crouching over the displays in the beauty department.  And I’m not picky, neither. No, no. Of course I love me some Sephora after a long day, with the fun brands and makeup-belt ninjas.  However, it’s worse than that.  If Bryan and I are supposed to be grocery shopping,  you can find me tip-toeing away to the beauty department.  Give me an inch, I take a mile. As a result, I have grown somewhat obsessed and over educated in the world of beauty. Want to know how to get the Kardashian-chiseled cheeks?  Or how to get your foundation to stay all day?  What about a way to make your baby stop crying?  With the exception of  the last one, I think I can be of service. So in case any of the 10 of you who are still reading want to know, here’s what I’m loving this spring.

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1. Makeup Forever HD Foundation

Makeup For Ever HD Foundation

I’m not one for a full-fledged face-o-makeup.  Most foundations are deemed either light, medium or full coverage and just like my breakfast cereals, I like to have options.  This foundation provides medium coverage, but can easily be full-coverage by using a bit more product.  The reason I love this is for it’s beautiful finish on the skin while not looking pancakey.  The name suits the crime in this case.

2. Revlon Naked Foundation

Revlon Naked Foundation

This is my everyday stuff.  It’s definitely a lighter coverage, but again, is build-able. It’s easy to put on and blends nicely.  I know there is a die-hard Revlon Colorstay  cult out there, but I prefer the MFE HD to do my dirty work.

3. Urban Decay All-Nighter

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Confession: I have dry skin. So why do I use a makeup-setting spray? Confidence, my friends.  I don’t sweat profusely, yet I use deo (for the B.O).  Additionally, you never know when you might break a sweat. Your boss calls you into his office. Sweat. You realize you’ve been at Bath & Body Works too long and your lunch break was over 20 minutes ago. Sweat. You discover the pants you bought a year ago that were loose and are now tight. Sweat. You see? It’s perfectly logical.

4. Too-Faced Chocolate Soliel Bronzer

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Holy grail of bronzers, I’m telling you.  I’ve learned my lesson with shimmery, frosted or glittery bronzers and now I wisely stick to matte.  You want your face to look  like you’ve just run a marathon while eating a cheeseburger and drinking warm, Spicy V8?  Just dust a think coat of frosted bronzer all over your mug. This bronzer is spiritual for me.  A little at my temples, the hollows of my cheeks and under my jawline. Pow! I just lost 5 pounds. Jelly? *I like to wear shimmery bronzers too, but strategically placed and in moderation.

Honorable Mention: MAC mineralized skin finish natural.

EYES

1. Revlon Color Stay Felt Tipped Eyeliner

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I swear, a 5 year old could apply this eyeliner. I’m not suggesting a 5-year old wear eyeliner, but you get the jist. For anyone who uses the excuse that they can’t apply eyeliner due to an unsteady hand, no more excuses! I’ve done it perfectly after 2 cocktails, TWSS.  This stuff is idiot-proof and easy to wing-out (if you don’t know about winged eyeliner I feel bad for you).

2. Stila eyeshadow in Kitten

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Courtesy of Sephora

If I had to choose one eyeshadow to wear for the rest of my life, this would be it.  Well, actually I would throw a “wish for more wishes” at ya and I’d choose the Urban Decay Naked palette, so ha! But seriously, this eyeshadow is so very pretty.  It makes any eyecolor pop and appear twinkling.  It’s also velvety rich and super-pigmented which means a little goes a long way.  I like to put it around my tear-duct and at the brow bone. Throw a little in the air and say “Mazel Tof!”. It’s maje.

3. NYX Rollerball in Salmon

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Hat tip to sister Rachel for unearthing this majesty in a tube.  This stuff is undeniably gorgeous and I think merits a swatch.

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Doesn’t do it justice.

Disclaimer: Apply with a brush or your finger to heavily-primed eyelids – or – get a lil’ MAC fixed-plus on yer tool of choice before applying. With this product, a dab’ll do ya.  If not, you’ll have a hot mess of a face.

LIPS

1. Mac Lipstick in St.Germain

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This is my underdog of a lipstick.  When MAC stupidly decided to discontinue the Lady Gaga lipstick I searched high and low for a dupe (I hate limited edish’s).  Saint Germain is lovely on it’s own or paired with the lipglass of the same name. Be prepared for serious pink that doesn’t quit and a high level of Barbiness.  Aren’t we all searching for the perfect shade of Barbie pink? I think yes.

OTHER

1. Burt’s Bees Citrus Facial Scrub

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Smells like pumpkin pie, says citrus on the lid.  I heard Burt’s Bees is owned by Clorox, so maybe they named this product after sniffing a fresh batch a bleach?  I recently discovered that I need to be exfoliating on the daily, so I nabbed this cute little jar after marveling at the short n’ sweet list of ingredients.  My friends, it’s time to start reading labels.  This pale face is the only one I’ve got and I really don’t want to end up looking like anyone from Real Housewives.  I’ve had to say au revior to many drugstore face items that I’ve turned over to discover the first ingredient is mineral oil.  May as well be high fructose corn syrup.

2. Luna Fiber Bars in Peanut Butter Strawberry

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Reminiscent of the ever-popular Nutragrain bars, these pups pack a seriously delicious punch for a mere 120 cals.  Sans all the fake crap I’m sure Kellogg’s chalks theirs full of, Luna delivers this soft-baked delight using the organic stuff.   But don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely more seafoam than green.  Basically, for a few minutes a day I can pretend that  shop at PCC and drink Kefir, whatever that is.

3. Russell Stover Easter Egss in Vanilla and Coconut Cream

0363ae12_dtCan I just start this post over and talk only about food?  When I was 5, I stole a Cadbury creme egg from the grocery store, you know the commercial.  I nibbled it quietly in the corner of a room which Meg and I shared.  I was caught and forced to use 2 whole weeks allowance (25 cents a week kids) to pay the store back.  What did I learn from this?

I should have taken a Russel Stover egg instead.

*Edited to Add: Not sure what all these links are doing in my post but they’re certainly not intentional. Apologies.