Fuse Gelnamel System Review

Recently I received a “Fuse Gelnamel” kit from their PR department. It was a bit of bad timing considering only a few months before hand I had been desperately trying to find a gel system that I could buy from the beauty stores here with no luck. I ended up getting a full set for Christmas and discovered a brand of polishes that I really liked so I wasn’t really in the market for anything anymore… but I do like trying new things so yay!

The Fuse system markets itself as an all in one solution and you can get a starter kit with everything you need for a set of nails. Everything I received in the package is below.
This is what the starter kit contains.
I’ve seen the starter kit in stores for $49ish. I really liked the marketing, it’s quite funny!
At $49ish it’s the cheapest set I’ve seen in shops here that includes a lamp. That said, if you order supplies online you can get bigger lamps for less with polishes included as well.
I was a bit confused about the lamp. I’ve seen these in a lot of shops lately but mine came with a European (I think?) power plug which is useless in Australia. I assume that the ones being sold in Aus shops have the correct power plug but if you are considering buying one I would check first just in case. It also came with a USB power cable so I just used that instead.
So let’s get started with it!  I followed the instructions in the box to apply a coat of the light pink glitter polish. Basically that involves buffing and cleaning the nail with the solution provided (similar to rubbing alcohol), painting on a coat of polish and then holding your finger in the lamp for 30 seconds. The packaging says you only need one coat but I think that is referring to not needing a base/top coat because I found the polish to needed 2 coats to come close to being opaque.
This is my end result…
The system had some good parts but also some negatives as well. I loved the tiny lamp. It’s adorable and perfect for traveling. Doing one finger at a time wasn’t the quickest way ever but I could see how it’s still probably quicker than regular polish if you’re base/top coating and waiting a while for everything to dry. The top of the lamp comes off and flips around so you can do your toes too. Genius. I really did love the lamp but I had quite a few problems with the polishes.
The pink that I tried was streaky and had a gloopy consistency. I’ve used a lot of gel polishes and this didn’t seem normal to me, it made it hard to work with and I had to put a lot of effort in to get a decent finish.
The brush in the pink polish was half size as well for some reason. I’m not sure if I got a dud or if this was supposed to be a feature but the other two polishes I had were normal sized brushes. If it was a random dud that might explain the texture as well.
Weird tiny pink brush:
Normal brush in the red:
I did a set of the red nails as well and while the formula was better than the pink it still wasn’t anything to write home about. That was a bit disappointing because I loved the lamp so much. I gave the lamp a try with my other gel polishes and it didn’t cure them correctly so I can only assume that it’s a lower power than my other UV lamps and perhaps the consistency of the Fuse polishes is more on the nail polish side than the gel side.
I love gel polishes and I wanted to like this set a lot but between the wrong power plug and the weird brush I’m thinking I got a bad batch. Seeing as I have the lamp now anyway, I might have a look at some of the other Fuse gels which are available in store and see how they stack up against the ones I was sent, possibly the formula changed when it became commercially available? No idea but I’m definitely open to giving it another go!
Have any of you guys tried these out? What did you think? Do you have any other brands I should try?

Violet’s Watercolour Travel Diary

I always have such grand plans of relaxing when we travel. This time I went to the effort of making my own diary to paint in and everything… and barely used it because we were so busy! I am so not good at relaxing!

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I made the book by cutting watercolour paper to size then clamping them together and gluing the spine to another piece of paper.

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Once it was dry I folded the edges over and glued them down.

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Then it was time to paint the outside to personalise it for the trip.

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I went with a pink and purple gradient on the spine.

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Then filled in the rest with a sketch of Zurich and the title.

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Before we left I covered it in clear contact so it didn’t get dirty.

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Of course I didn’t actually get much time to use it at all… I painted this on the first flight…

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In fact flights were almost my only painting time >_<

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As you can see the second leg of the journey wasn’t as glamorous as the first!

 

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I’m normally fine with flying but after 21 hours of being in planes plus the 4 hours waiting around in airports plus the time we were awake before we even left our house for the first flight I started to feel a little worse for wear.

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I had a little bit more time in Germany and managed to sketch this after our archery adventure sometime between watching How I Met Your Mother in German and drifting in and out of consciousness.

 

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I managed to do this sketch while looking at the actual view along the lake which was nice haha!

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And there ends how much I painted on the trip… Next time I swear I’m going to lay on a beach somewhere and do nothing but sip fruity drinks and paint…. next time >_>

Beautiful Scenery From The Grand European Expedition

Something else Europe had? Awesome scenery! Everywhere looked like a postcard. It made me wonder if people think that about any country that they don’t see day in day out.

For example this was the bus stop we waited at in Germany. It was covered in fog and still freaking scenic!

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The man-made details in natural settings were beautiful too.

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Also this was adorable, this cat had his own play house/bed in the local park!

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It was foggy on the way to Germany but the border was still beautiful.

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And tiny dew drops on spider webs!

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Germany was a bit foggy in general in the mornings but it had a real fairy tale vibe about it!

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Of course when you add a sepia filter it looks like the beginning of a horror film. When we were driving back to Zurich we drove down a dead end and then another dead end and I started having some serious Silent Hill flash backs.

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The view from the cable cars at the snow field was amazing!

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Lake Titisee was beautiful.

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This was the view from our second hotel.

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The windows at the archery place were iron bows!

 

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We took a walk down to the edge of the late and it was even more beautiful. The lake was so reflective.

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And there was this little hidden door. I wondered what it lead to because it went into the actual mountain *_*

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In my head it leads to this beautiful house on the hill.

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But back to the beautiful lake…

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So cute.

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And of course Germany had lovely details as well.

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And everything looks more magical in the rain!

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Beautiful Architecture From The Grand Europe Expedition

You guys know how much I love looking at interesting architecture so it wasn’t really a shock that most of the photos I took on our trip were of some really amazing buildings. Zurich is a city much like Melbourne which is a mix of very old and very new. It’s interesting seeing the two mix together in a city that is very proud of it’s heritage!

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The morning we arrived in Zurich we were just in time for the sunrise and it made everything even more beautiful.

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This was the view from the bottom of our hill up the the hotel the B2 Boutique, it’s the white building on the left in front of the big tower.

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The tower up close:

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There were some really cool statues on the building as well like this lady/dove and the stork below.

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I want lamps like this in my dream house.

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There were so many tiny cute lane ways around the city!

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We explored down the lanes and they were full of tiny shops, apartments and mini restaurants.

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Further out from Zurich things became more traditional and cottage-y. The border between Germany and Switzerland was adorable.

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I love this style of building with flowers in every window.

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This was our second hotel, it was the same style.

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Everything inside was wooden and matched perfectly.

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This was one of my favorite shots from Germany because it’s the perfect mix of old and new buildings and if you look closely, the second half of the old building is reflected perfectly in windows of the modern building.

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Back in Zurich things were more modern but still with beautiful classical style.

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There were a lot of details which were gilded too, the whole city shone in the sunlight.

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I’ve just noticed that the truck in this shot has “Angst” written on it… I wonder if that’s what it’s delivering XD

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So many steep hills and buildings with little window shutters!

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This was a model of the huge actual church behind it.

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I found myself constantly looking up to find more details.

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There were little water fountains everywhere as well. I thought they were just fancy fountains but I saw a lot of people drinking from them and filling up water bottles.

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And ending on something a little whimsical, here’s a gigantic bull painted blue on the second floor balcony of a hotel ^_^

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Beautiful Flowers From The Grand Europe Expedition

The flowers in Europe were amazing and everywhere. I couldn’t believe that it was Autumn and there were still so many flowers everywhere! It’s Spring in Aus and there aren’t that many here ;_;

The colours were so vibrant and amazing. I think most of these photos are just going to be gratuitous use of my new macro attachment…

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Everything was so green!

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There was an amazing park which was full of Autumn trees losing their leaves.

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I like being able to get so close up to tiny details like this pretty moss!

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All of the places we visited had an abundance of berries too. Apparently they are used to make a lot of the local specialty alcohols.

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With flowers of course come all kinds of wildlife! Some of it was extremely pretty like this little butterfly…

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But there were also a lot of terrifying spiders.

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I did enjoy looking at their webs though!

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Here are some of the other animals we came across. There were puppies everywhere but I didn’t feel comfortable taking photos of other people’s dogs so you’ll just have to take my word for it haha!

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Beautiful trees everywhere!

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Now let’s see some flowers!

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And lastly, this was how I took most of those… by being a creeper in the bushes >_>

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Delicious Food From The Grand Europe Expedition

Ok kids, it’s time for some serious European food loving. While we were in Switzerland pretty much our number 1 priority was eating… and we did a lot of it. So get ready to be hungry because this is all food!

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From the beginning we had decided to make this trip count so we started by trying somewhere in the airport that we’d been eyeing for ages: Cafe Vue. There’s actually one of these close to our place but it’s very pricey so we’ve never been. It was still pricey at the airport but we felt like while we were on holidays we would just justify it XD

I had a chocolate crackle which to be honest was terrible. Very little flavour  and tasted a bit stale. James had a burger which I didn’t get a photo of and he said it was the best thing he’d had in his mouth for months. Insert joke here.

I bought the lunch box which that month was themed around famous musicians. I ate everything other than the bagel which I saved for the plane and it was SO good. The tofu and bean salad was amazing.

Our first leg was Singapore Air and they fed us so much that I didn’t even get to eat my bagel! They were making everyone “Singapore Sling” drinks, James enjoyed his a lot. I asked for a non-alcoholic version (not realising it was a premix), the attendant didn’t hear properly and just smiled, nodded and made me a regular one. I got a nice big mouthful of alcohol XD

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In case anyone was interested in the kind of airline food we had here’s a compilation! It’s definitely improved since I used to fly regularly as a kid XD Most of the time James and I tried to order one of each option so if one sucked we could switch and share. I also stashed anything sealed in my bag for snack times later… because I’m like that.

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The highlight of the airline food was being given actual real ice cream on Singapore Airlines.

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Our first taste of Swiss food was at our hotel the B2 Boutique. The breakfast buffet was included in the room price and it was AWESOME. An array of breads and pastries, fruits, dried fruits, spreads etc was all fairly standard but the cheeses and cured meat section was so good! My average breakfast there was a croissant with cottage cheese and dried cranberries, a latte and one of their custom made scrambled eggs with a side of bacon (for James). I’ve never had scrambled eggs that good before. I need to work out what the secret ingredient was!!

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We often had dinner at the hotel as well because we were so tired at night and everything we tried was yummy. Something I saw a lot of there were restaurants which had a particular meal special each day of the week. Our hotel was the same so the first night I had the vegetarian option (creamy mix of vegetable with potato bowls) and James had the the spaghetti bolognese. Both were delicious!

The bottom photos in this set are of my morning omelette and latte. Lattes in Switzerland and Germany were so much more creamy and smooth than they generally are in Aus. I think it might be a difference in the kind of milk they use but whatever it was, it was yummy!

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Having such a nice filling breakfast really made a change in my energy levels because at home I usually just have a piece of toast!

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Not particularly Swiss… but how yummy does this cream from Starbucks look? I’m kind of obsessed with using the new macro attachment on my camera!

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Of course there were chocolate shops eeeeeeverywhere.

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But I was more interested in the cheese. We went to a supermarket to get some cheeses to try at home and they were SO CHEAP! There was a brand called “Budget” which was like Homebrand and they had huge 250g wedges of brie for under $2. I tried it while we were there and it was sooooo good. It was like butter. So much better than the expensive ones I’ve tried here. The cheapest brie here is $3 for Coles brand and it’s terrible. I mean it’s not inedible but I had some after trying Budget brie and it was like licking dirt in comparison. I refused to get any of the really high quality cheese from Switzerland in case it ruined me forever.

Anyway… I managed to bring back a few wedges for myself… which I’ve almost finished… so now I need to work out how I can get it here ;_;

 

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We learned that most Swiss people buy groceries only for the day or for a few meals at a time so they can have fresh ingredients.

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The selection of fresh food was a much bigger ratio than at home and lots of things came in individual portions. I thought these little berry parcels were cute and very well priced.

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So onwards to Germany!

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German lattes were equally good and had a much better view!

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A snapshot of our dishes, the portions here were HUGE. And everyone kept poking fun of us for not being able to finish!

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Seriously, this was from the archery hotel and it was bigger than me. It was venison (caught in the forest behind the hotel!), potato croquettes, pear and cabbage salad. It doesn’t look huge here but also part of it was another plate of the red cabbage salad and another 10 croquettes. I could only eat like half of what was on my plate let alone the rest *_*

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Breakfast at the Alemannenhof was similar to Switzerland but with many more types of local smoked meat, fish and cheese.

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When we explored the local town there were bakeries everywhere with huuuuge loaves of bread. I wish I’d put something here for size reference but it was like 50cm across.

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Of course, being in the Black Forest we had to try Black Forest Cake aka Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. I actually hate cherries but it was pretty good. James loved it!

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Also, this shop is called “Happy Cheese” and is highly misleading if you’re looking for cheese because it sells none. Also finding still water as opposed to sparkling is surprisingly difficult for some reason.

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Omg I tried this potato dish from one of the local vendors and it was SO good. It was called “Bratkartoffeln mit hausgemachtem Krauterquark” or fried potato with home made sour cream and it was AWESOME. I want to try making my own sour cream because holy crap it’s the best thing ever!

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Update: Limejuice and Karian have let me know that “quark” actually translates to curds in English. I think it must have been mislabelled because it definitely tasted like sour cream and it was labeled as sour cream in English as well as the German name. Something lost in translation but now I’ll have to try some curds too because whatever it was was delicious ;_;

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A special mention goes to James’ favorite dish of the trip: Cheese Spätzle. Basically it’s a cheesy noodley thing with lots and lots of cheese and fried onion strings. Winner! It was so rich that I could only have a few mouthfuls! We ordered one to share and the room service waiter was like “Are you guys sure this will be enough?” … we didn’t even finish the one plate.

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The first photo in this set is the last one from Germany. The thing that looks like some kind of delicious mashed potato next to the croissant isn’t. Don’t be fooled or else you’ll get a whole lump of it and regret it as I did. Seriously I thought it was mashed potato! It was fat… for using like butter… so so so so wrong when I had a mouthful of it…

On the other side of the spectrum the blue cheese gnocci from the B2 Boutique restaurant next to it was so freaking delicious. I was so full that I could only eat like half but I did contemplate scraping the rest into my handbag it was that good.

Below that is the salad we had at the hotel spa. After you do the spa part there’s a relaxation cafe zone up the top which has some yummy healthy food. The salad was great. It made me want to put more effort into my salads at home. James is on another health kick so apparently we’re going to be eating healthy again soon so I might as well give it a try!

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This was the B2 Restaurant. I loved being surrounded by books.

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Something you’ve probably been waiting for: fondue!

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We went to this place on the recommendation of our driver as James really wanted to do traditional fondue before we left. We weren’t really very hungry so we’d been planning on sharing but they had a one dish per person limit so we ended up ordering fondue and also raclette which we had thought was a type of cheese but turned out to be a type of cheese and a cooking method of eating cheese where you’re given a mini grill to cook cheese, ham and various bits and pieces before you pour the cheese over it and eat it all. It came with baby potatoes that James didn’t eat but I thought were delicious!

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So as much of a cheese fan as I am… turns out I don’t like fondue. I know, I’m disappointed in myself too. Honestly though, it didn’t taste like cheese, it tasted like white wine… like eating solid white wine. I can’t stand the taste of alcohol so I ended up only eating a little of the cheese and eating the potatoes and bread. Most expensive prison style meal ever XD

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It was really fun to watch though! And I think if I could make it at home I would enjoy it a lot more because I could control the level of alcohol going in and not feel like I was getting drunk just off the fumes XD

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Macarons are clearly still a popular choice as they were in windows everywhere.

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I tried roasted chestnuts for the first time ever and fell in love with them too! I got so annoyed trying to shell them between eating though that I sat on the chairs outside our hotel and made James help me do them all at once with me. Convenience for the win!

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While we were waiting at the airport James wanted to get rid of all of our coins so he went to the duty free shop and asked what he could buy with 3 francs. The lady was so nice (also probably at the end of her shift that late at night!) that she found these new chocolate bars which were 3.50 and insisted we take them for 3. She was so lovely! She made James promise that next time he was in Switzerland he’d bring her the extra 0.50. Hopefully that won’t be too far away… but  to be honest I really don’t want to sit through another 24hr flight, they are murder.

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Lastly on this food adventure I give you a mochi donut I bought at Singapore airport on the way home. It was chewy, weird and not something I would buy again… but looked pretty!

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I’m so hungry looking at al of this food again, I think I’m going to go finish off the last of my budget brie >_>

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