Rehearsal For No Soap

Who Doesn’t Love Shorts in Winter?

I’m very excited to report that I’m playing a small role in the Annual T. Schreiber Shorts 10-Minute Play Festival this year.

It is the 4th year that T. Schreiber Studio & Theatre in Chelsea, New York has put together the 10-Minute Play Festival, and every year I have been aching to be a part of it! I’m so excited that this year, my time has finally come!

Rehearsal For No Soap

Me and Mary Monahan trying on our maid’s outfits for the first time during rehearsals for Shelley Berman’s No Soap

I’m proud to say I will be playing the part of Bettie in Shelley Berman’s No Soap! written by Bob Canning and directed by Page Clements. It is a seriously funny play and is right up my alley. When I first read it I pissed myself laughing. I was lmao-ing and lol-ing all the way to the end. 

The 10-minute play series features works by 10 playwrights, selected from nearly 1000 submissions in a nationwide playwriting competition. Curated and produced by Halle Morse and Megan Grace, “The Schreiber Shorts” marks the second production of T. Schreiber’s 2016-17 season.

There are so many talented people involved that I simply must list them all here…

10 Talented Playwrights: Bob Canning, Eugenie Carabatsos, Nelson Clark, Alex Dremann, Jim Gordon, Peter Kennedy, Dan McGeehan, Rosemary Frisino Toohey, Michael Weems, Nathan Yungerberg

10 Talented Directors: Raquel Alamazan, Janet Bentley, Page ClementsAnn CooleyIvette Dumeng, Crystal Edn, Joan Kane, Clarissa Marie Lignon, Gregg Pica, Jake Turner

And, 27 Talented Actors: Jason Asher, Gregory Barone, Bill Barry, Emily Chastain, Thomas Conroy*, Jonathan Dauermann, Brian Dole, Elea Easton, Julian Gavilanes, Taylor GravesAnthony Inneo*, Steven Curtis Jones, Matt Maretz*, Andrew Markiewicz, Nicolle Marquez, Michele Merlo*, Mary Monahan, Rebeca Robles, Ivan Sandomire, John Sarno, Gus Solomons jr.*, Tai Thompson, Viviana Valeria, Vanessa Johansson, Kate Whitney*, Maeve Yore*, Jaron Young.

Produced by: Megan Grace & Halle Morse
Production Stage Manager: Eddy Roland
Lighting Design: Destiny Cordero
Sound Design: Andy Evan Cohen
Assistant Director: Kyra Bloom

It’s set to be an amazing show you simply can’t miss. Opening night is NEXT WEEK, so get your tickets now! 

Performances are Wednesdays-Sundays at 8:00pm at the Gloria Maddox Theatre (151 West 26th Street, 7th Floor) from 25th January – 11th February 2017. Tickets $15:

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At this time of year the festivities are well under way and everyone is in a relaxed party mood. Despite the joyful atmosphere, it is also a time of year where the pursestrings are a little more stretched than normal… we have the thanksgiving dinners, the friendsgiving dinners, the Christmas dinners, the office holiday parties, the New Years parties, the Christmas tree, the decorations, and not to mention all the presents. Oh the presents! Every year we feel more and more pressure to deliver bigger and better parties, bigger and better gifts. The pressure really puts a strain on those with lower incomes. To make things worse, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements telling us what we want and need. They surround us! They are on television, in the paper, in magazines, on billboards, in the subway, in our emails, they are sponsors of our sporting events and they are on leaflets stuffed through our doors. WE CANNOT ESCAPE THEM!! Trying to keep up with the financial demands caused by this constant bombardment could leave a low income parent feeling desperate and has the potential to make some people feel like a failure if the demands aren’t met. Some go into debt to keep up. Others just stay away from the festivities altogether. And some, a small few I might add, resort to measures that most of us would never dream of doing. And this, my friends, is what I need to warn you about.


Just over a week ago, I was robbed. A lady took my purse (wallet) straight out of my handbag (without me noticing) whilst I was clothes shopping with a friend.

I hardly ever go clothes shopping, I actually hate it. Traipsing around shops trying to find what you’re looking for hours on end is not my idea of fun. I really have to have a certain mindset to be able to go through with it. However, on this occasion I was trying to make the most of the Black Friday sales. We had just had Thanksgiving and the streets of New York seemed in a jolly mood. My friend and I had been in a couple of stores already and had picked up a few bargains. I had a bag of recycling for H&M (which by the way, I urge you all to do! You give them a bag of clothes for recycling and in return they give you a 15% off voucher… it’s great!) so we located a store nearby. Obviously while we were there, we couldn’t resist a little peek at the bargains…

So, there I was, overladen with shopping bags from other stores, clothes I was considering buying, and my bag of recycling.. and somewhere underneath everything was my handbag… containing what some would only describe as “my life”. What happens if “your life” disappears out the door without you? Well, I can tell you now… total breakdown.

You could say I was an easy target what with the amount of stuff I was carrying and trying to keep track of. Plus there I was, out shopping, with my friend. I have a theory about this…. When we’re out in the street our senses are somehow heightened. We are wary of every stranger that walks passed us, especially once the sun goes down, eyes alert, hands at the ready, protecting our belongings and our loved ones. But for some reason, when we’re in a store, it somehow seems like a safe haven… like there is a little bubble surrounding us, protecting us from all the nasties out there. I never thought about this hypothesis before now but I think it’s quite true…. but WHY?? Why do we think that?? I mean, if you are in a store it is no different, you are still susceptible to be robbed, man handled or otherwise.

Now, I’m not saying I was careless, because I wasn’t. I at no point left my bag unattended, and I did not walk around with it wide open for all to see the contents. I have always been vigilant of my belongings… ever since my sister’s car got broken into, just over 10 years ago, I have been ridiculously careful. Most of my friends will tell you this, and they probably think I’m crazy… but I didn’t want to take any risks after that incident. You see that day 10 years ago taught me a valuable lesson. I left 3 of my bags in full view on the back seat of a car (because there wasn’t room in the boot, or “trunk”). We thought, “It’s ok, it’s a quiet little village street just outside Cambridge (England) nothing will happen here!”… WRONG!!! Some people steal through sheer desperation, others just steal because they are opportunists. That can happen anywhere!!!

So how did it happen this time? When did it happen? I must have taken my eye off the ball for a split second. It only takes a second and it’s gone. I had my bag on my shoulder and it must have been against my side or back as I was looking at things, perhaps I even bent over for a second… and bam! She unzipped my handbag and took my purse (wallet) that was sitting just on top of everything. I didn’t feel a thing. I swung round looking for my friend and suddenly noticed my handbag was wide open and my purse was gone and yet no-one was anywhere near me. I didn’t want to believe it was gone to start with. I kept looking and looking for it. I started getting hot and flustered and I can’t begin to tell you the panic that ran through me. I had no clue what to do. I hadn’t seen anything. When was it taken? Who took it? How did she know it was there? … my guess on that one is that she had been watching me for a period of time and was just waiting for the opportunity to grab it as swiftly and as smoothly as possible… quiet as a mouse, and gone without a trace. Gone. Just like that.

Thankfully, she had the decency to leave my iPhone in my bag, which had also been sitting on top. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if the iPhone had gone too. It makes you realize how much we rely on these things. It’s crazy, a few years ago we didn’t even have mobile phones and yet now they are everything to us – they are our phonebooks, calendars, navigation tools, alarm clocks, daily reminders, music players,… the list goes on and it doesn’t bear thinking about.

So anyway, there I was in the store in sheer panic due to the fact I was completely lost for what to do. Someone told me to call the police and I thought to myself “What are they going to do about it? The person that robbed me is already long gone and especially by the time the police arrive!” Plus I thought “Surely the police have better things to be doing than dealing with a petty crime such as this”. Regardless, I couldn’t think straight so I chose to listen to others in the belief that they may be thinking with more of a sound mind than me in that moment, and so I made my phone call to the police, which was swiftly followed by a call to my bank.

The bank almost refused to cancel my cards because as a fairly new resident of USA, I didn’t know my social security number off by heart. I didn’t take no for an answer however!! I had to swear and curse a few times but eventually I convinced them to use alternative means to verify who I was. And I’m glad I did because the lady that robbed me was already clocking up 200$ spend as we spoke.

You may be wondering how I know it was a girl that took my purse if I never saw her take it..right? Well, that’s when I went into detective mode. After waiting and delivering my report to the police, my friend and I began to re-trace some of the steps my thief had taken (we did this mainly to see if she had discarded my purse somewhere on the street, but unfortunately we couldn’t find it). The bank had told me where she had so far used my cards so I knew of two places to check. Off we went in search of two mystery locations – “Amsterdam Boutique” and “Tribeca Bagels”. By the time we arrived at the Amsterdam Boutique it had closed but Tribeca Bagels was situated just across the street. We went inside and asked the Shop Assistant if he could recall a card being declined. He could. I managed to get a description of the perpetrator, plus I managed to confirm that despite my bank card being cancelled, she was instead able to use my Payflex card, a debit card I use to pay for healthcare, in order to pay for cigarettes (of all things!). The Shop Assistant told me she’d even used MY I.D. to verify the card payment. Now that’s something that really didn’t make much sense to me. The description he provided of the thief sounded nothing like me, so how could she use my photo I.D. as verification?? Why would he have accepted that?? Why didn’t he call the police at this point?? (sigh).

Despite my additional detective efforts, the damage was already done. Yes, I had a few more details that I could provide the police report but it didn’t make me feel any better.

You see, the thing about what happened is that it doesn’t just affect your bank balance. And at the end of the day, the money doesn’t matter. The fact is, I hope to get my money back by filing a fraud report. In the end, the real damage done is to your personal wellbeing. When something happens to you like this, it affects your confidence. It may take me a while before I feel comfortable out in the street or in the stores. But should I ever even let my guard back down again? 

I had plans that evening. I was double booked in fact. I cancelled everything. I couldn’t be outside anymore. I needed comfort. I went home and cried, all night. I had a pit in my stomach. I felt sick. I felt violated. I felt vulnerable. I am super independent and usually it doesn’t bother me to live on another continent to my family, but that night, I felt so far away from my loved ones that I was inconsolable. The time difference meant I couldn’t talk to them either, so I felt very alone. The whole thing really shook me up and made me feel very uneasy about my foreign home. I didn’t sleep well that night or really for the next week.

It took me about a week of constant phone calls to various card companies and to the police in order to resolve everything that was lost. I also had to put a freeze on my accounts. It was an awful lot of stress and a total waste of my valuable time.

Despite my experience, I love New York and I don’t blame what happened on this city at all. It could have happened anywhere. This city is full of marvellous GOOD people. This city is deeply special to me and will continue to be so. Ain’t nothing gonna stop me living here and ain’t nothing gonna stop me from enjoying life! 🙂

I’ll take 3 positives away from this: 1. I now know my social security number off by heart after repeating it so many times on phone calls to the multiple card companies, 2. I now know that when calling those automated card services that I have to respond in an American accent in order for them to recognise what I’m saying, and most importantly 3. I will never let my guard down again, no matter where I am. 

My message to you all now is BE PREPARED and BE ALERT. Read my recommendations below….hopefully you can take something positive away from my experience too:

1. Know what your course of action is before you have to take it. I felt lost when in that moment of panic and couldn’t think straight.

2. Be selective about what you carry in your handbag. Don’t carry something with you if it’s not necessary. I had additional information about myself in the purse she took, additional information that could affect security of my personal identity. Information that I could have avoided carrying with me.

3. Perhaps leave one card at home so that you always have an emergency back up card. When the thief stole my purse it was a Saturday evening – I had no money, no cards and none of the banks were open until Monday. I had nothing.

4. As I discovered, the phone lines for Payflex (debit card for healthcare payments) and Etrac (debit card for transit payments) are not open on weekends, so you might want to consider leaving these cards out of your purse as I was unable to cancel them until 8am Monday morning. Meanwhile, my thief had free reign of them all weekend which caused me a lot of undue stress.

5. Make a personal note of everything you have in your purse and keep it somewhere safe at home. I struggled to remember what was in there when I needed to.

6. Always be vigilant no matter where you are. Be safe, not sorry.

I hope by sharing my story, I can prevent something from happening to you. Please share with your friends and stay safe!!

Here’s wishing you all a jolly time this Christmas (hopefully with no appearances from the thieving Jolly Rogers out there).

Happy Holidays everyone!! 🙂


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The Turtle-necks Present…

April 4th, 2016


An Evening of Comedy & Music

VERY EXCITED to announce my event raising money for The Doe Fund, a New York charity that helps homeless people get back on their feet.

It’s going to be an amazing night of comedy and music and BOY do I have a fantastic line up for you!!

I am proud to say that we have the gorgeous Keleigh Nealon and the crazily unique Zardon Richardson who will both be hosting the event and making sure we have the best night ever! 🙂

On the Stand Up Comedy line up, we have the fabulously funny Tyler Fischer plus our host Zardon will also be putting in a performance.

Our Improv troop for the night includes these hilarious people: Andrea Simons, Andrea Pinkard, Becca Beberaggi, Eden Neville, Austin Henderson.Caroline Yost, Jerry Burgos and Sascha Garrey.

Plus we have comedy skits written and performed by yours truly Elea Easton and funny lady Jessica Napier. The skits also feature the amazing talents of Sarah Okada and Chris Finch.

The smooth sounds of Billey Bristol will take us into the night plus we are yet to confirm our final band so WATCH THIS SPACE!


Aim is to raise $1000 for The Doe Fund in donations and ticket sales… Even if you can’t make it to the event, please do feel free to donate at :

Donate $20 or more to secure your ticket. (Please write ‘ticket’ or ‘donation’ in the comments box when you make your donation)

Event takes place at 6:30pm on Sunday 17th April @ The Delancey, New York.

CLICK HERE for the Facebook event page.

Hope you can make it!!

Spread the word!!!

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I just went to the cinema and it inspired me to write this post. What i’m about to say has nothing to do with the film I just saw.

(Side note – I saw “Far from the Madding Crowd” and it was fabulous, you should go see it!)

Just going to the cinema, sparked something inside me. Whether it was the storyline, sharing a moment with a friend, or the fact that I would have loved to have been in it… I had a reaction and it inspired me… that made me happy.

In order to have a reaction, you need to perform an action first (like going to the cinema or going to an art gallery) don’t you? Right? Unless of course, we are reacting to someone else’s action… but that’s not something we’re in control of.

This is why I’m writing this post. In this life, to be happy, fulfilled and everything that we can be, we need to be active. We need to do things with our lives, whatever that may be, and feel part of this world…. have a purpose.

I just spent a weekend sitting around doing nothing. I felt miserable, lost, bored and worst of all, lonely. I felt like I was sitting there waiting, waiting for something to happen. Which is ridiculous. You can’t sit around and wait for something to happen. You lose all control that way. What you need to do, is take the bull by the horns, and be in charge of your own destiny. It’s YOUR life. No-one else’s.

Actors often feel helpless, like their lives are in someone else’s hands… but this is not the case. There are so many things that you can do to better yourself, to get where you want to be. It’s a hard profession. One where you have to constantly face rejection after rejection. Go to those dreaded auditions, put yourself out there… time after time… sometimes multiple times a day. This is not easy and it takes a lot of courage. This is something that other people only have to cope with maybe once every 3-5 years when they decide to have a job change. The thought of having to go through the pain of interviews on a daily or weekly basis would scare the living daylights out of most right minded people. So why do Actors do it? The answer will be different depending on the person. For me, it’s the only thing that has truly challenged me in this life. It doesn’t have a definitive answer… it’s not black and white and every time I do it, I learn something new about the world, about people and about me. It fascinates me. I’s not just that though, it’s the buzz you feel when you recreate life, when you really believe the world you create for your character, when you perform in front of a packed theatre, when you feel proud of your performance…. the list goes on. So with all these positives, why focus on the negative? Yes, we have to constantly face the rejection but there are other things we can do, which might in turn prevent those rejections from happening in future.

The important thing here, is to keep going. Believe in yourself. This is something that I have to keep reminding myself time and time again. I’m writing this post for me just as much as for anyone else to read. You could ask: “What does she know?” “What authority does she have on this?” I have none whatsoever, you’re right! I have by no means ‘made it’ in the acting world by any stretch of the imagination but I keep myself active which keeps me happy which keeps me going. I can only pass on what i’ve learnt to keep me happy in this crazy world, what I do to keep me going. Yes, we all have moments where we slip, like me this weekend just gone.. but that’s when we need something to remind us not to stay in that place, in that mind set.

You should never feel helpless. Brainstorm ways of taking control of your life. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas of things that I like to consider when brainstorming how to gain the control back!….

1.IMPROVE YOUR CRAFT – If you’re not working. You need to look at training. Can I do a short course somewhere? What do I still need to improve my craft? As my teachers at Theatre School told us again and again – training is something that will never end for you. You can always learn new things and improve your technique. A mistake that I made when I was younger, was that I thought I knew it all already and quite obviously, I didn’t.

2. MEET NEW PEOPLE – I think it goes without saying that if you stay in the same circle of friends all the time, you are never going to make those new connections with people that could change your life or even your career. I’m not saying that friends can’t introduce you to new people, of course they can (… and that is often where the magic happens!) but, the more you are out there meeting new people, the more chance you have of making that ONE important connection. You know those times when someone invites you to a party but you deliberate because you know that you will only know one person there but in the end you finally force yourself to go?… At the end of the night, you realise that forcing yourself to go was the best decision you made for a long time…. all because you made an important connection with another person. It doesn’t even matter if it wasn’t connected to your career. Maybe you made a new friend, or even a lover… but either way… that new connection may lead you to another new connection which may lead to a job…who the hell knows? You just don’t do you? So why sit at home worrying about the idea of you standing at a party looking like Billy-No-Mates?? If you go there and that happens…who cares? At least you tried. But how often has that actually ever happened to you when you’ve gone to a party? Very rarely right?


Performance of “Non-Starter”, a short scene written for a showcase event.








3. TAKE CREATIVE CHARGE – If you can write, write something. You can write your own part… how amazing is that? Then you can perform it somewhere and invite people to it! Or else film it? Ha! Sounds easy doesn’t it? If you put your mind to something, you CAN do it. If you think you’re bad at writing… just take some time to practice. The more you write, the better you’ll get. The more you work as an Actor on the things that you write, the more you’ll understand how to improve the writing. If you really don’t have any confidence in your writing… find a friend that can write! Ask them to write you a part! They might say no, but you never know, they might say yes!

4. TRY OUT A NEW PERSPECTIVE – Why not understand your craft better by getting involved in the other side of things? Try your hand at directing, learn how to edit, be an intern in a Casting office, volunteer as a reader for auditions. Knowing what is required from the other side can only improve what you need to do as an Actor to provide the Director or Editor with what they want. I speak from experience on this one. I recently put together a mini web series called Banging on the Brick Work. I directed and edited the series and as a result, I learnt sooo much about what to do on camera and what not to do.

Banging on the Brick Work

Screen Shot from Banging on the Brick Work.







5. KEEPING PRACTICING – If you struggle with a certain accent, or with learning lines… keep practicing while you’re not working so that you can get better at it. That way, when the time comes, and you get that big audition, you WILL be ready. So, again, as before with the training, think of things that you need to improve and then just take the time to work on it. Maybe set yourself the goal of spending 1 or 2 hours a week on it. 1 or 2 hours a week is nothing but it could make a difference in the long run.

6. RUN AN EVENT – Organise a charity event. I’ve had the pleasure of putting together two charity events so far. Before that, I was involved in 2 or 3 that others had organised. Do something for the greater good, it will make you feel like you’re contributing to this world but it will also give you and your friends the chance to put on a performance and invite people. What could be better than that? If you would like to do this but have never done it before, my advise to you, is to book a venue that will not expect you to pay for the venue hire, but instead will take the earnings made from the bar. You can then charge a ticket fee that you will be able to donate to the charity. All you then need to do is work out the line up, get someone to help you collect an entrance fee and get an MC involved to introduce the acts. And there you have it.

made on crack

Photo from “Made on Crack” performed at charity event in London.








7. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX – You know that special skill section of every casting page? You ever want to tick a few extra boxes on there without lying about it? Why not actually take some classes in something that is not acting? For example: learn a specific style of dance, learn a martial art, do carpentry, knitting… anything that you are actually interested in… do it! Then you can put it on your resume! Perhaps, you can also think ahead here about the parts you want to get in the future, and what skill set you could offer Casting Directors that will set you above everyone else. For example, if your dream is to play a middle class lady from 19th century England like Bathsheba Everdene from “Far from the Madding Crowd” (obviously this is currently on my mind right now ;o) ) …you may want to make sure you can perfect the R.P. accent and learn how to ride a horse.

There are so many more things you could do. These are just the beginning and hopefully they will inspire you to think of many others. My main message here is to take the reign of your own life. It’s sometimes easier than you think. You just need a plan.

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Elea Easton Facebook Page

May 10th, 2015

Elea Easton Facebook Page is now active!

To connect with me on Facebook and keep up with all my news, go to: and click like!

Photo by Rod Goodman

Photo by Rod Goodman


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‘Tea and Sangria’ is now showing at cinemas in the UK!

I’m very pleased to report that ‘Tea and Sangria’ has finally entered into the spotlight with screenings taking place throughout the UK. With the UK premiere at Cine Lumiere in London, a successful screening at the Watershed in Bristol and a two week run at the Empire Cinema chain, it’s already got people talking and achieved some great reviews.

After the amount of hard work that went into making and editing the film and the huge amount of effort promoting it, Director, Peter Domankiewicz fully deserves it!

We filmed Tea and Sangria way back in 2010. It now seems like a distant memory. I only played a small role in the film but nonetheless, a role… and it was great to be a part of it. It is funny when you get involved in these sorts of projects, you never know which direction they are going to go! I’m so pleased for Peter and wish him all the success.

If you are in the UK, I recommend you go and see it whilst you can! There are limited screening dates remaining!

TEA&SAN_UKquad_posterFilm Synopsis

Love-struck Londoner David drops everything and makes for Madrid to be with his Spanish sweetheart Marisa, but quickly finds himself dumped, dazed and confused in a land and a language very different from his own.

With the help of some lively and outrageous locals, David immerses himself in Latin life and discovers (with a few complications along the way) that in order to love a Spanish woman you first have to learn to love Spain.

A charming romp through romance, rejection and culture shock, this romantic comedy plays like a cinematic love letter to Madrid.





25th MAY – CAMEO, EDINBURGH – screening plus Q&A with director/ leading actor Peter Domankiewicz

1st JUNE – PICTUREHOUSE @ FACT – screening plus Q&A with director/ leading actor Peter Domankiewicz

To read more about the movie, upcoming screenings and tickets go to the website:




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Banging on the Brick Work

Banging on the Brick Work, my new mini web-series, has launched on YouTube this week in support of staff development company, Mountain Associates.

Banging on the Brick Work, written, directed and edited by none other than moi, is a 5-part mini comedy series about some ordinary folk who work in an ordinary office, and live ordinary lives which are turned upside down because they just don’t know how to communicate.

You have that boss that barks unreasonable orders, you have the secretary who lacks motivation and would rather spend her time doing her nails, you have that smarmy guy who has sex on the brain and cannot refrain from checking you out (eew stop! I’m at work!!) … then lastly, there’s that double-crossing, ladder-climbing ruthless b**** colleague we all love to hate…. 



We come across people we find difficult all the time, perhaps not as extreme as our examples here, but regardless of that, we are sometimes faced with these difficult encounters on a daily basis at work, but how do we deal with this? Are we confrontational? Or do we just hide the issue under the carpet and hope it’ll go away?

Mountain Associates is a company that specialises in improving the way we communicate in the work place, producing results that develop better working relationships, improve energy, morale and productivity for the benefit of the organization and it’s people. This can only be a good thing for all of us!

To find out more about Mountain Associates, click here to go to the website.

Click here to view the 1st episode of Banging on the Brick Work!

I hope you enjoy it!

Watch out for the next episode, which will be released on 23rd March 2015.


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Ikea Doesn’t Deliver The Goods

August 27th, 2014

It’s not often that a home furnishing company makes me so mad that I want to scream. It’s not often that a home furnishing company makes me so exasperated on the phone that it literally brings me to tears on three separate occasions. It’s not often that a legitimate complaint with a well-known company goes unresolved for 3 weeks. It’s not often that I find myself so angered by the lack of customer care towards my complaint, that I struggle to get to sleep at night. No, in actual fact, I have to say that this has NEVER happened to me in my life. Until now.



I have always been an avid fan of Ikea. A huge promoter of Ikea products amongst my friends. I very much valued the Ikea brand. I suppose that’s why what has happened to me has surprised me so much.

Ikea has taken the world by storm with it’s innovative furniture designs at affordable prices. The popularity of Ikea has grown and grown over the years. According to Wikipedia, in January 2008, Ikea became the world’s largest furniture retailer. Last year, Ikea’s founder Ingvar Kamprad, was listed as one of the world’s richest people. Ikea’s total assets value at around €42 billion. With a company this well off, why is it that I’m left high and dry?

Up until recently, I had always purchased Ikea products in store and had the means by which I could get it all home myself or with a friend. On this occasion, I had spent a small fortune kitting out my new bedroom in Astoria, Queens with bulky items such as a bed, a desk, and a shelving unit and I didn’t have the luxury of a ride home so I opted for the Ikea Home Delivery Service. BIG MISTAKE.

Although I wasn’t enamored by the customer service I received in the Brooklyn store, my experience would have been a whole different story if I’d been able to take it all home myself. It would have saved me a hell of a lot of bother. ANYTHING would have been better than going through what I have gone through in the last few weeks.

Move date for my new apartment was set for 1st August 2014 so I booked my Ikea furniture to arrive that same day. I had rented an unfurnished room so would need my new Ikea bed to sleep in that very night.

The delivery date came and I was so excited at the thought of finally setting up my room the way I wanted it. The process of moving across the seas from the U.K. to the U.S. meant that I hadn’t had a proper bedroom for months. Suffice to say, it was going to be a huge relief for me.

I arranged to leave work early to expect the delivery. The delivery arrived. And this is where the issues began to unfold…

ISSUE NUMBER 1 – LESS THAN HALF OF MY GOODS WERE DELIVERED: Missing from the delivery were – my desk, my chair, my bed, my mattress, my shelving unit, my chest of drawers and my rug. The delivery man exclaimed that these items had been ‘forgotten to be loaded onto the truck’ at the Ikea branch. I phoned ikea to try to rearrange the delivery but was told that I would be contacted at some point within 72 hrs. So, the main problem for me now was – where am I going to sleep? I didn’t have a bed.

ISSUE NUMBER 2 – 2ND DELIVERY ATTEMPT WAS NOT COMMUNICATED TO THE CUSTOMER IN ADVANCE: The next day, the delivery company (which by the way is a separate company to Ikea) attempted to deliver my missing items but didn’t tell me in advance. With no prior notice, they phoned and left me a voice-mail message to say that they were already outside. Ummm… I wasn’t at the property due to the lack of bed and didn’t receive this message until it was too late. I don’t understand why no-one told me in advance that they were coming?

ISSUE NUMBER 3 – DELIVERY ARRIVED WITH OTHER CUSTOMER’S GOODS: I finally managed to receive the 2nd half of my delivery two days later. I had ordered a queen sized bed. It came in separate parts – the headboard and footer, the bed sides, the mattress and the wooden slats that go underneath. As soon as my bed was delivered, I noticed that not only were the sides of the bed of an incorrect size (full/double) but they also quoted a different customer service reference number. How was I delivered someone else’s order?

ISSUE NUMBER 4 – INCORRECT INFORMATION GIVEN BY DELIVERY STAFF: The delivery man assured me that the bed sides of a full/double bed were the same length as a queen bed. So that evening, I assembled the bed only to find that the mattress didn’t fit in the base. I later looked up the measurements online the Ikea website and found that the length of the double/full sized bed is shorter than the queen bed by 9cm. So I was given the wrong information here which has been a waste of my time because I then had to take the bed apart again.

ISSUE NUMBER 5 – DELIVERY ARRIVED WITH DAMAGED GOODS: As I began assembling the rest of my furniture, I realised that both my desk and my shelving unit were damaged. The shelving unit has a huge dent in it that appears to have occurred during the course of the home delivery as the very same dent actually appears on the cardboard box that it was delivered in. One of the parts of the desks has a huge crack across it.

ISSUE NUMBER 6 – APPALLING CUSTOMER CARE LINE:  I have tried over and over again to resolve my outstanding issues using the Ikea Customer Care Line with no success. For a start, wait times are astronomical. They really need a call back system in place because I have waited to speak to someone for over an hour on multiple occasions. It’s been extremely frustrating because when I have finally got through to a person, they have often put the phone down on me before I’ve even said two words and after an hour of waiting it’s infuriating. I’ve no idea why they’ve put the phone down but it has happened so many times that I have begun to think it’s deliberate. When I have actually got through and spoken to people they have been incredibly unhelpful.There have been a couple of saving graces that I’ve had the luck to speak with but they have been few and far between and then the issue is that you leave your problem with them and never hear from them again. There’s also no way in the world that you’re able to get back through and speak to the same person. So, feeling at my limit, I resorted to putting myself through to the operator in the attempt to speak to someone with authority. Most of the time, I was then put on hold for eternity. It seemed to me that this was in the hope that I would give up and put the phone down myself. It was useless. I was going around in circles. A huge waste of my time and energy.

ISSUE NUMBER 7 – MULTIPLE CUSTOMER SERVICE EMAILS: I gave up trying to resolve things over the phone and instead found a customer service email online the Ikea website. I emailed and thankfully 3 days later I received a call. I explained to the Customer Service Representative that after all my troubles I just wanted the bed sides replaced with the correct size and a discount for the damaged goods. He explained that in order to receive a discount for the damaged goods I would have to contact someone else and wait another 3 days. Why? Why can’t it be resolved in one place for me? This wastes more of my time when it’s not my fault it was damaged.

ISSUE NUMBER 8 – DELIVERY DIDN’T SHOW UP: The Customer Service Representative had arranged that the bed sides would be exchanged with the correct size the following Monday. So, not knowing at what time I would expect the delivery, I arranged with my boss that I would spend the day at home. The delivery day came, and I phoned Ikea to confirm the time of delivery. After an hour trying to get through to someone, I found out that supposedly my order wasn’t down for delivery (but oddly the delivery company had it scheduled for that day but just didn’t have the item in order to carry out the delivery). The person I spoke to could not confirm either way if the delivery was going to take place and did not wish to guarantee that anyone was even going to call me back to confirm if the delivery would occur that day or not. This was one of the occasions that brought me to breaking point as it was ridiculously unhelpful, so I started to cry and I begged the lady to promise me that she would call me back. All I wanted to know was… ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I waited all day. No phone call. No delivery. Nothing. Again, waste of my time.

ISSUE NUMBER 9 – BROKEN PROMISES: So, not only was my scheduled delivery not scheduled but no-one from Ikea Customer Service called me back to confirm either way. Over the course of the next few days, I made further attempts to resolve the exchange of my incorrectly delivered bed sides. I spoke to a number of additional Customer Service Reps who promised to call me back to advise on the situation and never did. One of them did call back once and left a message to say that they would call me the following day to confirm everything but then I heard nothing more from them.

ISSUE NUMBER 10 – WASTE OF TIME: I am guessing that I have spent in excess of 8 hours on the phone to Ikea trying to resolve my issues. I have wasted time assembling furniture that I’ve then had to take apart again. On top of that, I’ve had to wait in for the delivery company three times. It should not take this long to resolve such a simple straightforward thing. But not only is it a waste of time for me, it’s a waste of time for Ikea’s business. The hours spent on the phone, the number of times having to return to my property.

My issues are still not resolved.

I understand that people make mistakes, none of us are perfect, but too many mistakes have been made here. It’s been one thing after another. I don’t understand what the problem is? Is it the delivery company? Is it a lack of staff training? Is it perhaps the fact that Ikea are not hiring a sufficient number of staff to cope with the demand? Are the staff at Ikea Brooklyn ridiculously overworked and underpaid to the point that they just can’t cope or don’t care anymore? What is it? What’s the truth? There is definitely a problem here. It’s not right that I should be treated like this. I feel really messed around. Does buying furniture at affordable prices necessarily mean bad customer service? Do we have to put up with this? Am I supposed to just ‘make do’ with sub-standard damaged furniture and an ill-fitting bed?

I am disappointed with Ikea. This really has been the worst customer service I have experienced in my life. I have never known such a lack of care and attention. It has really upset me to the point of writing this blog post. I cannot seem to get an answer from Ikea.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has experienced frustrating customer service like this. How do we as consumers handle this kind of situation? Do I really need to post my complaints online for all to see in order for Ikea to sit up and take note? It shouldn’t be this way. It shouldn’t be this hard.


Torn Between Two Worlds

June 19th, 2014

Sometimes, we make decisions that can completely change our lives. Everything you once knew is thrown out of the window. All your home comforts and safety nets gone… at the click of your fingers. It’s just you now and you have to start building your life all over again.

Many of us go through this in our lives, but what makes us do it? New beginnings are fun, exciting, and refreshing of course but they can also be very daunting, scary and at times, quite lonely.

Sometimes, it’s not a choice that we were given. Perhaps it was an unexpected break up from a long term love, or an unplanned pregnancy… or maybe, out of nowhere, you were let go by work. However it happens, it’s a shock to the system when these life changes are thrown upon us and it can be very difficult to adjust.

That said, it can be just as daunting when you make the decision for yourself. You will always compare your old life to your new and wonder if you made the right decision.

Six weeks ago, I took a huge step and moved across the Atlantic ocean to my new life, my new home, New York City. I had wanted to live in New York for over a year and it had taken me a long time to actually make it happen. It wasn’t easy. However, the day came when I was finally going to go, and all that waiting had been worth it.

Brooklyn Bridge


In the weeks leading up to leaving England, huge doubts came over me.

I was saying goodbye to everyone, I did what you might call a ‘mini tour’ of my family and friends. When the time came to say goodbye to each person, it was so hard. I thought to myself “Why am I doing this? Why am I moving millions of miles away from the people I love? Am I crazy?” The only thing that made me get on that plane is the fact that I kept reminding myself how lucky I was to have the opportunity and that I had wanted this for a long time… at that point, I couldn’t see straight as I was blinded by my emotions. It felt like I was being pulled left, right, and centre. The excitement of moving to the big city, the anxiety of the unknown, the sadness of leaving my home, my friends, my family. It was an emotional rollercoaster.

In a way, it’s funny that it had such an effect on me. This wasn’t the first time I had left England to live in a different country. You would have thought I was an old hat at this game.

In 2007, I moved to Spain and lived there for three years. I suppose the difference was that Spain is one of our neighbouring countries and it doesn’t cost a packet to fly back and forth between the two. People were happy to send me off on my adventure. This time, when I said goodbye to people it seemed so final, like I was never going to see them again. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to come back and visit. I’m not made of money and apart from that, the time zone issue means I can’t really pop back for a weekend and working full time with not much holiday entitlement doesn’t really allow for a long break either!

So, how does one cope living in a city so far away from home? I must say, it’s a lot harder to cope with just by knowing that fact. It seems that people always want what they can’t have!

One thing is for certain, the world IS more connected these days – we have numerous social media sites to keep us looped in plus the emergence of skype has meant that we are able to feel like we are ‘down the road’ from each other when we’re on the other side of the planet. The different time zones can be problematic however… i.e. I get home from work in New York and everyone in England is in bed.

Which brings me to the most important thing we have to do in situations like these….


It’s hard to put yourself out there but it needs to be done. We are all human and need REAL human contact to keep of a sane mind. It’s a sloooow process though.

I am making an effort but I still have moments where I feel lonely and that obviously makes me think of all my lovely friends back home and I miss them terribly. Of course, I don’t want to ever forget about them but it’s kind of like you have to ‘move on’ and get on with your life. You have to live in the ‘now’, if you are going to get by in this new world.

As I write this, I’m about to watch the sun go down over the Manhattan skyline from Astoria Park, in Astoria, my new neighbourhood. At the moment, I still feel massively torn between my two worlds, the old and the new but tomorrow will bring a new day, and with each day I will begin to find my feet in this strange but amazing city and each day will bring new adventures.

Astoria Park


Life brings us amazing opportunities, it’s important to appreciate where you are today. The future is unknown but you have to trust that you made the right decisions and then really live it.

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Skinny Fat

April 17th, 2014

Skinny Fat

I came across this video on You Tube the other week about ‘How to Overcome Your Skinny Fat Body’. Apart from making me want to go off and immediately do some weights (which incidentally, I didn’t do in case you’re wondering!), it really made me think… How can we live in a society where we’re branding skinny people as ‘fat’? It’s so negative. Why do we have to make EVERYONE feel bad about themselves in order to make them buy into something? It’s like saying, ‘You look awful, but with my product you’ll feel and look ten times better!’ It actually makes me angry. Despite that fact, I still buy into it myself… I think, ‘Oh ok, I’m Skinny Fat’... like I’ve got some kind of condition, something is wrong with me and I have to fix it.

You know what though? Nothing is wrong with me! Yes, I’m in my 30’s and I’m a bit rough around the edges. Like most ‘Skinny Fat’ people of my age, we are like this because we’ve never done a stroke of exercise in our lives. When we were younger we just didn’t have to, we stayed slim regardless of what we ate and regardless of how little exercise we did, so we never got into the habit of exercising. It’s never been something that’s appealed to me and it just never mattered.

Now that I’m older, it doesn’t work like that anymore, the metabolism has slowed down and I prob should start doing some exercise in order to tone up… and I will, in my own time but not because some advertising makes me feel bad about myself! I’ll do it for me, because I want to keep fit and feel good.

skinny fat

Can you honestly see anything ‘wrong’ with the picture on the left here?

How can society tell ladies that they have something ‘wrong’ with them if they have the physique of the woman on the left?? What must that do to a lady that is already lacking in confidence?

It’s not just advertising on the tele or the internet that makes us feel bad about ourselves. Sometimes when I go clothes shopping I end up wanting to give up and go home! I’ll tell you two stories from my recent shopping expeditions that have made me wanna scream!!

Firstly, I’d like to tell you about a recent trip I made to La Senza

I hadn’t been in La Senza for years. For me, I’ve always seen it as quite an expensive shop so I’ve avoided it due to the lack of pennies but at the same time, I’ve always wanted to go in there because their selection of underwear is so pretty and feminine. So, on this occasion, I ventured inside as a special treat to myself. Going in there after so long, I was like a little kid in a sweet shop…wow… so many pretty things I wanted! I had stack loads of knickers in my hands and I wanted to take them ALL home with me! There was just one pair of knickers that wasn’t in my size.

A Shop Assistant approached me just at the right moment. ‘Can I help you Madam?’ (I hate being called ‘Madam’ by the way, it makes me feel like an old fat matron) ‘Yes, actually, you can, I’d like these in a size 10 please’. The Shop Assistant took a moment, she looked me up and down and inspected me in a such a way that she seemed disgusted by what she saw in front of her. ‘Are you sure you would like a size 10 Madam?’ I said yes and she winced at me. ‘Umm, I’m not being funny or nuffin’ but wouldn’t you rather try a larger size?’ I looked at her in shock. I have always been a size 10. Perhaps I was currently sporting a little bit of extra weight and I had a baggy jumper on which made me look particularly dumpy that day but who was she to judge?? It’s my problem if I get the wrong size isn’t it? It made me feel absolutely awful about myself, to point that the beautiful array of knickers I was nursing in my arms, one by one, all got put back on the shelves and I walked on out of there without buying a thing… (I thought a Shop Assistant’s job was to make you feel good about your purchase??)

Now, it’s not really just the Shop Assistants of this world that are judging us and making us feel bad. It goes right to the core of the fashion industry. Everywhere we look we are exposed to perfect airbrushed images of tiny stick thin women, that just aren’t a real portrayal of the women themselves.

According to Bershka I’m a ‘Large’. If I’m a ‘Large’, what do the ‘Large’ people wear?? I suppose they don’t shop at Bershka.

I was meandering home one evening after a strange audition as a young mother for Thomas the Tank Engine (yes really), I spotted a nice sequin black dress in Bershka and decided to give it a go. Given that it was a skimpy little thing, I opted for the ‘Medium’ thinking that would be a safe bet. I took it to the changing rooms and ended up getting stuck in it for a good 30 mins. Due to the choice of material, I scratched half a layer of skin off trying to get the damned thing off. Glutton for punishment, I then asked the Shop Assistant to get me the ‘Large’. It fitted but it still wasn’t easy to peel off… (god help me if I needed to get that off in a hurry!! ;o) ) Suffice to say, I left the shop without it. But the whole escapade really did make me wonder about this whole sizing business…. what is society doing to us???

It doesn’t do much for the self confidence when you’re told by the shops that you’re a ‘Large’. Having been a ‘Small’ all my life I never really experienced it until now. But the thing is, I’m not really a ‘Large’ am I? I’m a UK size 10. That in my book is not large. When I was younger, a size 8 or 10 was a ‘Small’. So, what’s happened since then? Have we evolved into tiny little stick thin people? Or did they make the clothes smaller to make us feel bad??

This is me. I challenge a society that labels me as a ‘Large’ ‘Skinny Fat’ person.

(c) Adee Phelan Studio

(c) Adee Phelan Studio


Watch the ‘Skinny Fat’ video here:


Clubbing in your 30’s

April 6th, 2014

Clubbing in your 30’s

People think that when you hit 30, life slows down…. for me, this hasn’t been the case. I’m 33 and I still love going out. I love going dancing. I’m free and single and I don’t have any children yet.

I party with the best of them.

But when I do go out, I see the world in a very different way to how I did 10 years ago.

Then and Now

So what are the key differences?

For a start I dress differently…

ATTIRE – 10 years ago I was a lot more scantily clad with ridiculously uncomfortable high heels. I felt that that was part and parcel of going out. Now, I seem to be a lot more sensible. Yeh, I still attempt to look ‘sexy’ but I wear my more ‘sensible’ heels, or else I put flats in my bag for later. I always wear a coat and I choose an outfit that covers up more flesh… well, I mean I make a choice between cleavage and legs..never both!!

Then and Now

HAIRDOS AND PUTTING THE ‘SLAP ON’ – I think when I was 23, I was pretty crap at doing my hair and make up. Often I’d go out the door with half wet, half blow-dried hair. I would wear the same make up day in day out, night or day, I didn’t really have a clue what suited me or what sort of make up went with what outfit. Nowadays, if I go out, I try and make more of an effort with my hair, I sometimes actually style it! I am more experimental and I try to co-ordinate make up that looks more striking with the outfit i’m wearing.



Out and about…

IN THE BAR – At age 23, I loved a packed bar, I thought it was great atmosphere. Now, without a doubt, I still like somewhere with atmosphere, but there’s gotta be a seat and I’ve gotta hear myself think. When the music is so loud that you have to shout to hear each other it gets on my wick. I’m forever going ‘What?’ and I complain of a sore throat. It’s not as if this never happened when I was 23, it did, but I was less bothered by it back then. I find myself moaning about these things more and more now rather than just putting up with them.

Then and Now

IN THE CLUB – A packed hot sweaty club never used to bother me. Nowadays, I find I have no patience. At age 23, I was absorbed in the moment, and would dance the night away without any cares in the world. Now, I find myself commenting…. ‘Isn’t the music loud?’ ‘Why don’t they have the air-conditioning on?’ ‘I’m sweating’ ‘Why are there so many people in here?’ ‘Oh hey, nice chandelier…’

I loooooved clubbing at age 23. It was the best thing in the world because (a) I loved dancing and (b) I loved the attention I got from boys. At age 33, I still loooove dancing but I’m very selective about which clubs I wanna go to. The main reason for this, is not because of the music as you’d expect, although it plays a part… The main reason is the clientele. There are so many people nowadays in clubs that p*ss me off! It’s mainly drunk people admittedly, and mainly men. Sorry guys, but when you’re in clubs and you’re drunk, some of you, are reeeally annoying! I’ll give you a few examples of the types of guys us women have to deal with on a night out….

1. THE CREEPER – That guy that just doesn’t leave you alone, follows you around the club, watching your every move. It’s creepy, either come up and say something or leave us alone. Stop with this freaky behaviour!!

2. THE DRUNK GUY – There is always that annoying drunk guy that approaches a girl and thinks he’s saying something cool or funny… maybe it was, but you’re slurring and I can’t hear a thing. Plus you had a curry earlier so you’re breathing your curry breath all over me. It’s not nice.

3. THE OVER-FRIENDLY HANDS GUY – That guy that immediately starts putting his hands on you…now it may just be on the small of your back, and it’s not a sexual thing, but it’s NOT called for when you’ve hardly said 2 words to us. Just don’t touch me! I need my personal space! Maybe later on, if we get on well, then, and only then, can you start putting your hands on me. But for now, nooo! Ewww! Stop!

4. THE UNEXPECTED SPOON DANCER – This guy, is someone who has annoyed me since I was first clubbing at age 18 and I have never understood why these guys do this, I find it THE most annoying thing a guy can do to you in a club. They come up behind you and spoon dance you… completely unannounced… you haven’t even said hello, we haven’t even seen your face. You guys just come from nowhere and start rubbing your bits against us from behind. This is NOT the way you ‘pull’ a lady.

5. THE GEEK THAT GOES ON AND ON – Always, without fail, some little geeky guy will come up to you in the club and try to pull you. No offence geeky guys.. you’re probably very nice people but we’re just not on the same wavelength are we? You don’t know how to talk to girls. You start talking to us about something YOU’RE interested in and you haven’t checked whether WE’RE interested in it too… and 9 times out of 10, possibly even 10 times out of 10… we’re not. And yet, you bore us to death with your 30 minute monologue about ‘Games Workshop’ and how you hand painted 200 little figurines yourself (OH MY GOD THIS IS THE DULLEST THING IN THE WHOLE WORLD… I REALLY DON’T CARE!!! HOW DELUDED ARE YOU TO THINK THAT ANYONE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN THIS??), …until you realise we’ve either fallen asleep or we’ve already walked away.

6. THE RUDE BOY – Last night, some guy stepped on my foot on the dancefloor. Stepping on my foot was obviously an is more the fact that he didn’t say sorry that irks me. So rude! It’s still hurting now and I have a bruise for god’s sake, not on! The ‘Rude Boy’ doesn’t just step on feet, he also typically pushes passed you, spills his drink over you, or annoyingly knocks your drink over… and there is never an apology. When you look at them in disgust, they respond with a look that says ‘So?’.. ‘And?’. This type of character comes in a male and female variety.

7. THE TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL DUDE – You know the type, he wears sunglasses and a leather jacket in a hot dark club. He looks cool but he’s actually probably really sweaty under that jacket… (didn’t think it through did you?) He will never catch your eye coz he’s just too cool for that. What’s the point??

8. MR ARROGANT – He’s quite similar to Mr ‘Too Cool for School’ except he is more blatant. He clearly thinks he’s the best… best dressed, best dancer… and he thinks that all the girls fancy him…and maybe they do, but arrogance is NOT attractive and is enough to put anyone off. The worst variety of this character, is the man that thinks he is ‘all that’, when he is so far from it it’s untrue. All I can say is, ‘oh dear’!!

9. THE CUTE GUY IN THE CORNER – You know, the one that you have your eye on all night and he never comes up to you but his friend does. Damn it. Haha.

So I’m kidding about that last one, I know I would have the power to approach the cute guy in the corner if I wanted to. But, to be honest with you, most of the time, I just can’t be bothered. I think perhaps I’ve become a cynic in my old age and no longer believe it’s possible to meet the man of my dreams in a club. When I was younger I was easily disillusioned, ‘He’s gorgeous, he could be the one!!’ ..He never was. He was usually just after one thing…and over time, that just gets boring, it’s meaningless… but that is what you should expect from meeting someone in a nightclub I suppose!

Then and Now

Perhaps I’m just a bitter old lady nowadays? But all these things, really do get to me when I go out. I just wanna have a good time with my friends! I just wanna dance like it’s 1999…

Literally…I wish I could dance like it was 1999… I had more energy back then.

How hard can it be to create the most perfect venue and clientele for 30 year olds? Is it possible? Or would we still find something to moan about?


Win tickets to Milk & Sugar!

March 17th, 2014

Win 2 free tickets for an evening of Comedy and Music at the Milk and Sugar Charity Event!


It’s going to be a fabulous evening packed with music, food, drinks and laughter. The event takes place at Bush Hall on the 25th March 2014. Doors open at 7pm, live acts from 7:30pm.

If you like live music and a bit of a laugh then you don’t want to miss this!

You can buy tickets for £7.50 each in advance here or you can enter the competition and be lucky enough to come for free if you win!

Don’t forget to look out for #MilkAndSugarEvent on social media for all the latest news!

Click on the link below to enter the competition!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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