DIY Floral Wall Hanging with Pompoms

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I’m a huge fan of decorating on a budget, and love to take on a DIY project in my spare time! If you’ve been following along since I received my Bloom mattress from Sleep Country, you know I’ve been playing around with my bedroom decor, especially with the bed as the new focal point of the room. After browsing Pinterest for ideas, I stumbled upon this photo of a gorgeous floral wall hanging. I absolutely loved the simplistic and whimsical look of it, like the flowers are magically suspended in mid-air.

I also noticed a few designs featuring pompoms and wanted to combine the two ideas. I’ve always enjoyed incorporating colours into my space, and thought this would be a fun way to bring life to the room, especially through the cooler months. This DIY took only a couple hours to do and I really love the end result! You could also substitute the fake flowers with real ones that have been dried if you’re after a more realistic look.

Check out the steps below to make your own and for photos of the finished piece.

What you’ll need:

Wall Hanging Materials

  • A large twig or branch (I found one in my backyard quite easily, but you could substitute a wooden dowel from the craft store if you have di culty finding one)
  • Fake flowers and leaves in a variety of sizes and types – I picked up five bouquets from my local dollar store for $1.50 – $3.00 a bunch.
  • Measuring tape
  • Clear fishing line or illusion cord for jewellery making
  • A needle
  • A pair of scissors

Instructions:

1. Remove the flowers from the plastic stems. Most fake flowers will pop o of the stem easily. Cut leaves down to size as necessary – I cut my faux eucalyptus leaves into 4” segments.

Wall Hanging Step 1

2. Roughly lay out your flowers in the formation you’d like them to appear on your wall hanging. This step helps with planning and to envision what you’d like the end result to look like – I didn’t end up using the faux roses as I felt the shape was too overpowering.

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3. Measure out and cut pieces of fishing line to the desired length of your finished wall hanging, leaving some extra for tying. I wanted the longest string to hit at about 35”, so I cut 45” inch strings to leave extra space for securing the line to the branch

4. Take one of the pieces of fishing line and thread it with the needle. Use the needle to sew through one of the lines of flowers you’ve laid out, starting by poking up through the back of the petals, down through the front of the petals, and repeating as necessary. Use this method to thread the flowers onto the fishing line until complete. Repeat with all of your lines of flowers.

5. Create the pompoms for your wall hanging (steps below).

6. Thread your pompoms onto the fishing line using a needle.

7. Arrange the lines of flowers and pompoms as desired along the branch. Double knot the fishing line at the top of each to secure it to the branch.

8. To hang the finished piece on a wall, tie a thicker piece of string to each end of the branch.

Easy DIY Pompoms:

What you’ll need:

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  • A pair of scissors
  • A fork (small or large, depending on the size of pompoms you wish to achieve) • Yarn in the colour of your choice

Instructions:

DIY Pompom

1. Wrap the yarn around the fork approximately 40-60 times and trim. The more times you wrap the yarn, the flu er and more dense the pompom will be. I used both a large and small fork to create two different sizes of pompoms.

2. Cut a small piece of yarn and poke one end through the centre of the fork at the hole near the base of where you’ve wrapped it. Tie a tight knot around the wrapped yarn.

3. Slide the yarn of the fork and cut all of the loops, leaving you with a rough pompom shape.

4. Using a pair of scissors, trim the pompom into a neat sphere.

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Love this DIY? Let me know if you try it out in the comments below!

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6 Hours in Tobermory, Ontario

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Earlier this summer, my boyfriend and I finally made the trip to Tobermory – a beautiful town along the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. We had been planning to make the visit for the past few summers, but had never been able to make the trip. This year, we finally set aside some time to spend a weekend there towards the end of June, and booked a campsite for a night at Bruce Peninsula National Park.

Tobermory is about a four hour drive from Toronto, and we hit the road around 9:00 am to get an early-ish start to our adventure. The forecast called for rain in the morning into the early afternoon, as well as cooler temperatures – so my bf was understandably wary of the drive. We actually encountered some hail along the way, so we were glad when the weather had cleared for the most part when we arrived.

After checking into our campsite, our first stop was a visit to downtown Tobermory to grab some lunch. The downtown area is comprised of basically one main street with a few restaurants and cafes, some little shops and a grocery store. We explored our options and decided on fish and chips for lunch at a restaurant called “The Fish & Chip Place.”

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PSA: Do not, I repeat, do not get the fish tacos from this restaurant, though it claims to be “Home of the Tobermory Fish Taco”. I will spare your eyeballs from the photo evidence, but trust me when I say that these were the worst fish tacos we’ve ever eaten. The fish and chips (above) were tasty enough, and used local white fish from the area, but we learned after the fact that apparently the place to go is Shipwreck Lee’s Pirate Bistro – a sketchy looking all-you-can-eat place that we were too hesitant to try.

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After lunch, we headed back to the National Park to make the hike to The Grotto, Tobermory’s claim to fame. Luckily, as this year is Canada’s 150th, we had a Parks Canada Discovery Pass (which you can pick up at your local MEC or sign up for online), which entitled us to free parking.

The Grotto is a short and easy 30 minute hike from the parking lot, leading you to a beautiful shoreline area that you can explore. When we first made it to The Grotto, it was still quite cloudy, but shortly after the skies cleared making for a beautiful sunny day.

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What makes Tobermory so breathtaking is the crystal clear, turquoise blue waters of Lake Huron. I’ve never seen water this colour in Ontario, and was completely blown away! We were hoping to be able to go for a dip, but the water was absolutely frigid and just too cold to swim in. I think the water here is on the cooler side anyway, but would have been more tolerable on a hotter day than we visited. Only a few brave souls dared to take the plunge – and looked like they immediately regretted the decision!The Grotto

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The famous Grotto is actually an awesome wave-carved cave in Georgian Bay that visitors can explore. We had so much fun climbing the rocks and checking out the area!

Unfortunately once the evening hit, the temperatures dropped so low that we no longer wanted to camp out. After having some s’mores at the campsite, we packed up our things and hit the road to return home. I’d definitely like to return to Tobermory in the future, hopefully for a longer stretch of time!

Notes for next time:

  • Take a trip to Flowerpot Island: We didn’t have time to check out this site, but a friend of mine highly recommended taking the glass-bottom boat tour to this little island from downtown Tobermory. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful blue waters, with fewer crowds.
  • Visit later in the summer: A visit later in the summer would hopefully mean some warmer weather (no hail!) and being able to actually swim in the water.

Have you made the trip to Tobermory? Let me know in the comments below what your favourite things to see and do there are!

Fall Style with CF Eaton Centre

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It’s that time of year again! We’re breaking out the layers, leather jackets and booties and preparing for the short (but oh-so-sweet) fall weather in Toronto. I have to admit while I know this is a favourite time for fashion for many, I’ve always struggled to dress for this season. As soon as the temperatures drop you’ll typically find me in my sweats and Uggs, as much as I’m embarrassed to admit! I find it a bit of challenge to put together outfits that are cute, but also practical and weather appropriate.

So when CF Toronto Eaton Centre approached me to collaborate with them on their fall campaign, I thought it was the perfect time to step up my style for the new season. What better way to prep for fall than a visit to one of the city’s largest malls? I stopped by early on Saturday morning to beat the crowds and was invited to visit the property’s Fall Inspiration Station, which is running on weekends (Friday – Sunday) until September 17th.

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Fall Inspiration Station

The CF Inspiration Stations, which are running in all Cadillac Fairview shopping centres including CF Toronto Eaton Centre, are interactive installations that help shoppers freshen up their style for fall. Fall is a time for transformation – the leaves are changing, students head back to school, and closets are refreshed. To celebrate the change in seasons, CF is offering shoppers an adorable complimentary tote bag that can be personalized with one of six inspirational quotes that capture different intentions for the new season, from self-improvement to giving back to others.

The totes are screen printed on site, making them totally custom. After scrolling through the different designs available on the touch screen display provided, I settled on “Throw Kindness Like Confetti” as my personal motto for fall. I think this is a fitting phrase given the current state of some parts of the world, and it’s just an awesome, positive outlook to have on life.

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To complement the Inspiration Station, word art installations can be found around the mall until October 8th – the perfect photo opp to spread positivity with friends and family to mark the start of fall. What I love most about this installation are the super positive vibes it communicates! It put a smile on my face to see others snapping photos with the quotes, and to see the excitement of shoppers personalizing their own tote bags.

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My Fall Style Haul

I was also lucky enough to receive a CF Shop! card to help build my fall wardrobe, and picked up some key pieces that I know will be staples in my closet this fall:

Fall Style Haul

  1. Uniqlo Teddy Bear Coat

The teddy bear trend is definitely not over for me yet, and at only $50, this adorable coat from Uniqlo grabbed me immediately. Not only is the outside super soft and cozy, the inside is lined with fleece for that uber-comfy, warm feeling that automatically makes you want to fall asleep.

  1. Free People Denim Button Up*

I think sticking to some good, neutral basics is key to building a stylish, yet wearable fall wardrobe. This simple denim shirt by Free People checked all the boxes for me, and will be super easy to throw on with leggings or jeans for an easy, put together look. It has the perfect slouchy silhouette and looks super cute with the sleeves rolled up!

*Unfortunately I found this on clearance at The Bay, and it seems to be sold out everywhere online 😦

  1. Topshop Tote

I love seeing colour in my closet, so switching to more subdued tones in the fall is challenging for me. Adding a pop of colour with a handbag is a great way to add some personality to an outfit, and I loved the pretty blush tone of this bag.

  1. Zara Super Soft Coat

I’ve been desperately searching for a coat like this for years – a timeless grey coat with enough structure to look chic when dressed up, but comfortable enough to wear with casual outfits as well. This was another steal at only $70 from Zara.

  1. Steve Madden Chelsea Booties

I’ve finally found the perfect black leather booties! Every year I buy a new pair, hoping I’ll fall in love with them, but end up with pinched toes, the wrong heel height, or boots that fall apart with only a few wears. These were a bit pricier then I’m used to, but I think they’ll serve me well over the colder months.

This is the last weekend the Inspiration Stations will be running at CF properties across the country. Make sure you stop by to pick up your complimentary tote and to reflect on your personal goals (and closet goals) for the new season! Which fall staples are you planning to invest in this year? Let me know in the comments below.

My Must-Have Sleep Essentials

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Sleeping is at the top of the list of my favourite activities – and I’m sure I’m not the only one! Lately this is even more the case with my uber-comfy Bloom mattress from Sleep Country. Whether I’m having an afternoon siesta, snacking and watching Netflix in bed, or even working from home, my bed definitely plays a central role in my day to day. One of the best parts of lounging in bed? Doing it in a pair of adorable PJs!

I’m a firm believer that even if you won’t be making a public appearance, you should be dressing in things that make you happy. Pyjamas exist first and foremost for your own enjoyment, and are the perfect outfit to express your personality. I’m more of a comfort over style kind of gal when it comes to sleepwear (no lacy slips for me please!), but I think it’s relatively easy to find a happy medium between comfy and cute.

I’ve rounded up a list of some of my favourite pyjama styles, as well as my must-have sleep essentials! Check them out below:

Classic Pyjamas:

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A classic striped PJ set is an absolute must for feeling put together, even when you’re just lounging around. These are my “going out” pyjamas – aka the ones I’ll bring to a sleepover with friends or to a PJ party. I love a set with short sleeves for warmer months, and a set with long sleeves (or even better, in flannel) for the winter.

Pictured: Pink Stripe – Forever 21, Blue Stripe – Victoria Secret

Fun Pyjamas:

Quirky-Pajamas

These are my everyday, go-to style of PJs. I love a fun print, bright colour, or clever graphic! Pyjamas are meant to be fun, and I love the touch of childish whimsy a graphic set adds to your life. Forever 21 usually has really affordable and cute styles available online – just make sure to scoop them up when you see them, as they sell out quickly.

Pictured: Citrus PJs – Forever 21, Cactus PJs – Forever 21

My Must-Have Sleep Accessories:

Sleep-Essentials

1. A Comfortable Robe

For some extra warmth and and a ton of added coziness, I love snuggling up in an fuzzy robe (bonus points if there’s a hood). Robes are also great to wrap up in after showers or when you need to leave your covers to hit the fridge for extra snacks.

Pictured: Victoria Secret Cozy Hooded Short Robe

2. Fuzzy Slippers

Fuzzy slippers serve double duty by keeping your feet both warm and clean. I love all the fun designs that have come out in stores recently, from unicorns to hamburgers, to these adorable Koala slippers!

Pictured: Forever 21 Koala Slippers

3. A Lovable Stuffie!

My kryptonite: stuffed animals. I can’t sleep without snuggling up to a stuffie, and this adorable one is marketed as a “pillow” – making it slightly more socially acceptable.

Pictured: Forever 21 Lil Angel Pillow

4. A Good Sleep Mask

Sleep masks are so underrated! I have trouble sleeping if the room isn’t completely dark, so these come in handy. Sleep masks are especially useful if you live in a downtown area with bright lights or want to sleep in past when the sun comes up.

Pictured: Aerie Day Off Sleep Mask

5. Cozy Socks

A great pair of cable knit slipper socks is another awesome footwear option to keep your tootsies warm, especially through the colder seasons. I love designs that include the anti-slip silicone dots on the bottom, to make sure you don’t slide or fall on tile or hardwood floors.

Pictured: Indigo Cable Knit Slipper Socks

Let me know in the comments below what you can’t sleep without! Are you a classic PJ or a fun, graphic tee kind of person?

 

A weekend in Scottsdale: Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa Review

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A couple weeks back, I took advantage of the long weekend hopped on a plane to visit my boyfriend, who’s currently spending the summer working in Scottsdale, Arizona. Since both of our schedules are quite hectic, I had booked the trip last minute and was a bit worried about finding a place for us to stay while I came to visit. To my surprise, I discovered that June to August is actually the off season for Arizona (I didn’t realize quite how HOT it would be – it is the desert after all!), and for that reason there was a fair bit of choice when it came to choosing a hotel.

The Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa immediately caught my eye while browsing vacation packages. The resort is beautifully designed and modern, having opened recently in the Fall of 2016. Typically, my accommodations when traveling play a secondary role, as I usually spend more time exploring the area than relaxing at the resort. However, as temperatures in Scottsdale reached 40+ degrees Celsius during my stay (making exploring during the daytime a difficult feat), the hotel played an extremely important role.

The Room

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We were lucky enough to be upgraded to an XL King Room, which was more than enough space than the two of us. The rooms at the resort are set up “casita” style (like a little house), making it super private. The room featured a king-sized bed, wooden beam ceiling and was tastefully and simply decorated. We were greeted with a thoughtful card and cactus-shaped macaron on the bedside table – my idea of the perfect warm welcome. There was also a gigantic television hung on the wall opposite the bed, which made for great binge-watching/snuggling sessions when it was just too hot to go outside. The resort offers Chromecast (allowing you to project anything you’re streaming on your phone onto the TV), which I hadn’t previously used before. We had some difficulty setting it up, but the resort was quick to send a technician out to our room to help us figure it out! Once it was set up, it was honestly life changing to be able to watch whatever we wanted on the big screen.

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The best part of the room? The swoon-worthy bathroom! The modern, beautiful space was flooded with natural light thanks to a skylight and patio entrance, and the gorgeous, white subway-tiled double shower was big enough for 10 people. I often find myself frustrated that there aren’t enough mirrors or natural light in the hotel to do my makeup comfortably when traveling – but this was definitely not the case here. The room also had a nice closet area, vanity space (perfect for doing your hair and not hogging the bathroom), and mini-fridge area with a Keurig.

The Resort

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An open concept style lobby that leads into the resort’s restaurant made for a grand entrance when checking in. The resort itself was absolutely stunning and felt completely secluded, with Camelback Mountain providing the backdrop. The bungalow style rooms make the property feel more like an exclusive neighbourhood community than a resort, dotted with adorable cacti, palm trees, and desert-native plants. The Andaz is equipped with three pools (the main pool was located near our room, and the other two by the spa), a gym and a restaurant.

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The Turquoise pool (the main pool) was definitely the star of the resort, situated in the centre and a popular spot during the hot, sunny day. I loved the cactus and pineapple shaped pool floats they provided for resort guests, and there were more than enough lounge chairs and cabanas to accommodate everyone. My favourite feature was that the pool was salt water, which I prefer over traditional chlorine. I wish it could have been kept at a cooler temperature (I love a cool, refreshing swim in the heat!), but it’s unrealistic to keep a pool cooled in such intense weather conditions.

Location

Scottsdale is a relatively small city in comparison to the big cities I’m used to – meaning everything is located conveniently close together or just a short drive away.  The resort provided a complimentary car service (in a Tesla!) to shuttle guests to downtown and Oldtown Scottsdale, or anywhere within a short drive away. We used this to get downtown each day, and then used  Uber to get back to the resort, which was very affordable due to its central location.

Since I was in Scottsdale for only three days, I didn’t get to visit all of the spots on my wishlist – however I did get to try a few cafes and restaurants I had researched beforehand. I highly recommend stopping by these places if you’re ever in the area:

  • Diego Pops: an adorable Mexican spot with a cute patio & yummy food
  • Sugar Bowl: an old-school cafe and ice cream shop that’s been in Scottsdale since 1958. Also home to the most perfect pink wall for Instagram opps!
  • Ruze Cake House: the cafe of my dreams! This little spot serves boba and other sweet treats
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes: not unique to Scottsdale, but adorable nonetheless

Within walking distance of the resort, there’s also a Walgreens, Trader Joe’s and a casual but tasty Mexican spot (Blanco Tacos + Tequila), which basically covers all the bases.

Dining

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The resort’s restaurant is the Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, which serves up farm-to-table dishes and features an awesome “glass box” kitchen. We received a $50 credit for the restaurant and used it to grab a lovely Sunday morning breakfast. I’ll admit it was a bit on the pricier side, but everything was delicious – especially the avocado toast!

Overall, the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa was honestly one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had! The staff was friendly, attentive, and more than ready to help with any special requests or needs my boyfriend and I had. The weekend truly felt like our own private getaway and was just the escape I needed! I would highly recommend staying at the Andaz – and if you’re working with a tight budget and can brave the Arizona summer heat, booking during the off season is a great way to save.

Feast in the Fields

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When Robyn of Simply Fresh Dinners reached out to me a few months ago about joining the “Feast in the Fields” event she was hosting in collaboration with Barrie Hill Farms, I was so excited to hear from her! I may be a city girl at heart, but I do love a relaxing day at the farm. Some of my favourite memories are actually connected to the farm, spending time with family and loved ones picking fresh fruit, and just enjoying the quiet of the countryside.

This is the second year Robyn has hosted the feast, a series of events that celebrates the start of the harvest season for a variety of fresh and local Ontario produce. I attended the second event in this series, which was all about raspberries and blueberries! I brought my mom along (who’s always been passionate about gardening and the outdoors) and was joined by some fellow influencers who also made the trip out to Barrie from Toronto.

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The day started with a tour of Barrie Hill Farms, led by owner Morris. You could see the passion behind his love for farm fresh produce, and all of the work that goes into growing his product. After taking a lovely wagon ride through the property, we were met in the blueberry fields with a yummy plate of appetizers: blueberry pizza with bacon and goat cheese, and some lovely little skewers of raspberries, bocconcini and mint.

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After the tour, we headed to a beautiful table for our feast, set with the perfect country tableware and adorable pops of blue. The menu was simple and delicious, showcasing the beauty of the ingredients. We were served family style, which kept the occasion casual and made it the ideal setting for great conversation!

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The food was beyond tasty – my favourite dish had to be the sugar snap peas, which were finished with a healthy dose of butter and olive oil! There’s something special about eating farm to table food; all of the flavours seem to be fresher, tastier and more pronounced. In fact, the carrots we had were so sweet, they were mistaken for sweet potatoes!

Barrie Hill Farms is such a beautiful destination, and perfect for a weekend getaway from the city. Whether you’re spending time with the family or just want to get your hands on some unique, local Ontario products, it’s truly worth the trip. I had an absolutely amazing time learning more about the farm and of course feasting on delicious food! A huge thanks to Barrie Hill Farms for hosting us and to Robyn for having me.

Rose gold hair with Redken

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I recently had the opportunity to team up with Redken for their Style Transformation campaign, which launched in May. This series is all about expressing yourself by transforming your hair and not conforming to any labels or limits! When I was first approached with the concept, and given the freedom to try something new with my hairstyle, I immediately gravitated towards adding a pop of colour.

I’ve always been pretty guarded when it comes to my hair (it was my safety blanket for many years), and was never comfortable taking risks with it. That is, until the winter of 2016 when I decided to chop 12 inches off! Since then, I’ve definitely been more open to the idea of having fun with my hair and using it to express my personal style.

I was introduced to the lovely Marie-Eve Faucher, a Redken Artist who also works out of Salon Tocci in Liberty Village. I’ve been absolutely lusting after the rose gold hair trend and took this as the perfect opportunity to try it out. After meeting with Marie-Eve and showing her a few inspiration photos, she let me know that a super pastel look I was after would be a bit of a challenge to achieve considering the dryness of my hair. My natural texture is actually quite coarse and wavy (unusual for Asian hair), so I’ve always used hot tools for styling, causing damage over the years. Although a little disappointed, I trusted her advice and settled into my chair for the five hour appointment.

The end result was more vibrant than I imagined, and definitely out of my comfort zone! Marie-Eve used a combination of Redken City Beats (a semi-permanent dye) in Chelsea Coral and City Ballet Pink to achieve the striking colour. What I love about this style is that it starts out bold, but will fade with washing and time, making it the perfect solution for someone like me who’s just starting to experiment with colour and isn’t super committed.

Before After

I also picked up a few tips about protecting and caring for my hair, especially since I’m hoping to grow it long again. Marie-Eve used some awesome Redken products to tame frizz and protect my hair from heat while styling, including the Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer Spray, which I loved and smelled amazing!

This was a super exciting experience for me, and I love how it turned out. It was refreshing to take a risk and I’m actually proud of myself for doing it! I can’t wait to see how the colour fades over the next few weeks, and who knows – I may try another fun colour this summer. Have you ever taken a risk with your hair? Let me know about your experience in the comments below!

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