Hello Kitty Topshop Pop Up Shop Mini Haul

As you have all probably realised by now I have a serious weakness for Hello Kitty. If you are new welcome, my name is April, and be prepared for a lot of Hello Kitty. So this haul all started because I was scrolling my Instagram and saw on the official Hello Kitty Instagram that they had a pop up shop in Topshop till the 1st July.

Knowing that I had missed out on this last year from watching videos from a Youtuber called Princess Fancypants (if you love Lazy Oaf or Hello Kitty she is the Youtuber for you and has posted some really useful videos like what it is like going to a Lazy Oaf sample sale) I decided I couldn’t miss it this year. Especially as the theme this year was Hello Kitty gang themed (and I like to pretend I am sassier than I am).

Despite wanting pretty much everything they had there I was able to restrain myself and only got 3 items, and in my defence for one of them I actually needed it!

The first thing I got was this adorable customised Hello Kitty phone case (and the only thing I actually needed). They had two different designs to chose from and you could choose whether you wanted a white or black ring around the edge. I went for white just because I thought it would match my phone better.

For a Iphone 6S phone case customised it was £18.00, and took about 10 minutes to complete. You are able to have your first name (or whatever name or word you want to be fair) at the top and then at the bottom above the words ‘Hello Kitty Gang’ you can have up to three initials.  I ended up having three initials so I could include my middle name, as I think it looks classier somehow (don’t lie you can totally see those initials on a satchel bag looking swanky).

Apri Hello Kitty Phone Case

Here’s a picture of all the other options, and if I hadn’t chosen the one I did I would have definitely gone for the one of the Hello Kitty with her hands on her hips and a ‘Milk’ sweatshirt (which if they sold I would have definitely bought not going to lie).

Hello Kitty Phone Case Options

The only other clothing I got was the pink oversized hoodie, which was a debacle in itself. As basically I wanted the biggest size so a size large because I wanted it to be super big and comfy so I could just live in it essentially but all I could see was mediums. So I went to the till and I paid for my medium and my phone case.

This was an event in itself because I went to one of the tills, and kept being told I could buy the hoodie there and then getting told I couldn’t because that particular till (the jewellery counter on Topshop Oxford Street on the ground floor) didn’t process clothing. However, because it was part of the pop up they eventually let it go through. I then went back to the Hello Kitty stand to show I’d paid for the phone case so she could get to work, and then noticed that there was in fact a large hoodie. Unfortunately, I couldn’t refund it at the till I just paid at but had to go to the bottom floor (-2) to get a refund, though they also let me buy the pin badge that I forget to get the first time. By the way quick side note I’ve started collecting pins so be sure to watch this space!

So by then Martin who had graciously went with me was probably dying as he hates clothes shops because he hates large crowds of people, which I totally sympathise with but my love of clothes usually wins out. Also, I’m not recalling this story to call out the Topshop staff, as they were totally lovely the entire way through- I just wanted to share my stress with you all!

Anyway, getting back on point the hoodie was £28.00, which while not cheap I didn’t think was too bad for a hoodie, and it is super cute and comfy. I know that screen printing might not be a lot of people’s preference, and its definitely not as well made as the Lazy Oaf collection but I needed an oversized hoodie that was not stolen from my boyfriend, and for some reason that shade of pink really suits me.

Hello Kitty Hoodie

Hello Kitty Hoodie 2

Here’s what it looks like on. I will get better pictures soon I promise but wanted to get this post up as soon as possible so people would still have a chance to visit the pop up before it leaves. I had the hoodie on because it was pouring it down with rain and for the first time in forever (yes that is a Frozen reference) I was cold.

My final purchase as already mentioned was the Hello Kitty pin, which basically proclaims you as a member of Hello Kitty’s gang. This was £5.00, which is not bad and I highly recommend that everyone gets one so we can all identify each other as fellow gang members.

Hello Kitty Pins

I’ve taken pictures of all the other things they have on sale so you can see if there is anything else you prefer. If I’d have had the money I would have totally got one of the white t-shirts. Since I am a terrible blogger (and socially awkward) I was too nervous and forget to note down the prices for everything but hopefully the prices of the other items give you a good indication of what everything was priced at.

The other warmer option available is a grey sweatshirt with the same logo that is on the hoodie. I actually do know the price of this as it’s visible in the picture I took, so for those wondering as far as I can see this item is £25.00.

Hello Kitty Sweatshirt

Here’s a better picture from the Hello Kitty Instagram so you can see what it looks like on.

Have you joined #HELLOKITTYGANG yet? #hellokitty #topshop

A post shared by Hello Kitty (@wearehellokitty) on

Image: @wearehellokitty/ Instagram 

Looking at it now I kind of wish I had bought this shirt (below) but you know having money is also nice. It would look super cute with the gingham trousers from the Hello Kitty Lazy Oaf Collection though. I unfortunately don’t know how much this is priced at because I am a horrible blogger and didn’t look.

Hello Kitty T-shirt

Another thing I wished I would have been able to pick up is one of the caps because I suspect the heat is probably going to come back and hats really help me to well not melt in the heat and this would have been a super cute option.

Hello Kitty Gang Hats

They also had Hello Kitty bum bags but unless I am selling stuff at a car boot (which, I have done many times I’ll have you know) then bum bags are not my friend. Also, please no one call them a fanny pack around me.

Hello Kitty Bum Bags

There was also a super cute tote bag available but I have way too many of those already so had to pass but the logo did look particularly adorable on them.

Hello Kitty Tote Bag

Other merchandise included what I think are keychains (though they are massive but customisable) and mugs (which you could customise and were super cute and I wanted one but I actually needed a phone case and I don’t need a mug), as well as notebooks (which I don’t think you could customise).

Hello Kitty Key Chains

Hello Kitty Girl Gang Main Image

The collection is only available till the 1st July so if you want something I’d pick it up soon, as it’s a cute way to add a bit of Hello Kitty into your life without it being too ‘childish’ if that is not your style (though I personally don’t care at all about that). The pop up is located at the Oxford Street Topshop on the ground floor just in front of the Lola’s Cupcakes stand.

If you get a pin and want to join my gang send me a picture of you wearing it by tagging me on Instagram or on Twitter. My username for Instagram is @aprilisthecruellestmonth and for Twitter is @aprilcruelmonth.

Overall though this is a super cute collection for those who want some Hello Kitty merchandise but can’t afford anything from the Lazy Oaf collection.

Childhood fashion staples that shouldn’t be the latest trend

Image: Pexels 

Before I start this (short) blog post I have to say that I love some of the pieces that have emerged from the 90s and early 2000’s revival that is occurring at the moment. Like, for example choker necklaces. But some of the pieces I’ve seen recently, although they’ve give me a glowing bit of nostalgia when I see them, have no place in my (semi) adult life.

  1. The hairbands of doom

I LOVED these when I was little. Though, I also loved a hairstyle that basically consisted of my mum putting my hair into several small ponytails, which I had poking out from every direction out of my head (which, I’ve recreated below). However, these hairbands also caused some serious injuries. Yes, those little rainbow ball hairbands from Topshop look cute but I remember the damage that those balls can do (not a sentence I thought I’d be writing anytime soon).

Image: Topshop on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest

Childhood HairImage: April is the Cruellest Month 

2. Double Denim

For those who are cooler than me and can pull this off I salute you. However, double denim has no place in my life. I think it’s because I still get horrible flashbacks to some of the truly awful combinations that came out of the trend in the early 2000’s.

3. Neon

Neon enthusiasts please do not take offence! First of all, neon now is a lot less all over, but despite this neon will not be having a place in my life anytime soon. Just because I definitely prefer a much more muted palette (ok, so basically I’m just obsessed with pastel colours). Saying that if I could pull them off I’d probably wear these.

Image: Topshop on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

This is more 80s than 90s but I’m not sure why this is allowed to exist in the world!

4. Visors

Just no. Maybe I’m just not cool enough for this but still no. Either wear a cap or don’t. Like the one in the Hello Kitty x Lazy Oaf collection that is coming soon (on a side note if someone can just buy that whole collection for me it will be much appreciated).

Image: Topshop on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

However, I will forever thankful for the return of velvet (every Buffy fangirl’s dream).

If you like this post let me know and I’ll do a post with my favourite pieces that have come out of the 90s/ early 2000’s revival! Also, comment with your favourite childhood fashion staple of the childhood. Mine has to be the jelly sandals (which, are on sale at the moment FYI!!!). 

Image: Office on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

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Living out my embroidery dreams

Well, now I’ve gotten over my fear about talking about fashion, I see no reason not to continue onwards and upwards and talk about another trend that has been gracing the high street this spring: floral embroidery (well, embroidery in general but I’m going to focus on pieces with floral motifs).

For those of you who did not read my previous post whenever I mention a retailer I will mention a little bit about their ethics and sustainability, not to be judgemental or anything like that, but just so you know more about the retailer you are buying from. Now, before I even started this I knew that this list of my favourite embroidery pieces was going to be dominated by Topshop and Zara. However, I tried to scour the internet for some other retailers, especially retailers with a good track record for ethics and sustainability.

As always however let’s start with my favourite:

Topshop (I think my love for Topshop is partly fuelled by that I longed after their pieces for years but they were way out of my price range so now that I can sometimes actually afford some of their stuff I get way too excited).

7/20 on the Ethical shopping guide. 

For a list of pro’s and con’s for Topshop click on this link. To summarise, Topshop is committed to the Sustainable Clothing Plan and its targets, but the brand does not publicly share the detailers of its suppliers.

First of all, I’m going to talk about this beautiful dress (£29.00) I picked up from them, purely because of the sleeve details. However, I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed to realise that it’s a bit too transparent for my tastes to wear without a white cami dress underneath. However, it would perfect for the beach (not that I am a frequent beach visitor- I’m much more of a autumn/winter person) with a swimsuit or bikini underneath. I wouldn’t have minded if it was advertised as see through or it looked see through in the pictures on the website, but it was not so I have to admit it was a little bit disappointing. Especially, as it means I have to purchase another item to make it wearable.

18362622_2248264658732685_1528254569_o        Image: April is the Cruellest Month 

As for my other picks from Topshop, they’re numerous so I thought they’d be best summed up in a Polyvore set.

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 20.11.16 Full set available on my Polyvore!

Top left shirt: £29.00 (clothes will now be described as seen from left to right).

I love, love, love this shirt- it’d be such a good piece for when you want to dress up an outfit (maybe a black skirt) a bit more but aren’t feeling like going ‘all out’ that day.

Cream jacket with blue embroidery: £55

At first I was not sure about this piece but I have been feeling the pastels recently, and this totally fits that vibe. It makes me wish I had pastel pink hair again to match.

White blouse with floral shoulder detail: £36 (currently sold out online but still available at time of writing in some stores).

Ok, so I am very upset that this is basically almost sold out because I only managed to discover this the other day on the Topshop website. Especially, as I’m really loving all the floral embroidery pieces with detailing around the shoulders at the moment and this blouse so perfectly fits that bill.

Black moto western borg jacket with rose embroidery detail: £85 (Petite) Available here in standard sizing (same price).

So this is quite expensive (please, please go on sale) and maybe a little out of season that is if we ever actually start to warm up here in the UK (which I’m hoping we don’t as I am not a child of the sun) but I just adore borg jackets.

Denim flatform trainers with rose embroidery: £29

I don’t know why but I’m really feeling denim trainers in all forms at the moment so these for me are a must (that is if I didn’t need to invest in some solid shoes that will work for all day everyday since all my other pairs have holes in).

White studded shoulder bag with floral embroidery and a gold strap: £25.00

I’m not going to lie I am not a fan of the gold strap but other than that I love this bag and it would look lovely with some denim.

Denim pinafore with floral embroidery on the pockets: £45

Ok, so I cannot decide between this denim pinafore or the other one shown- I love them both. I’m slightly more inclined to the other one however as I’d rather not draw too much attention to my hip area just because the way I am proportioned means it might not neccessarily flatter me.

Floral embroidered MOM jeans: £59.00

Confession time. I have yet to venture into the world of MOM jeans though they’ve grown on me over the last year, especially when they feature floral patterns like the one on this pair.

Black denim jacket with summery floral embroidery details: £65.00

I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel like these have a slight fruity vibe in terms of the colours of the florals, making this a jacket that I think (as long as the weather is not too hot) could make the transition into summer.

Denim pinafore with floral detailing at the top: £45.00

I think this pinafore just beats the other one for me, however, I’m not sure what the fit would be like for me, whereas I know what the other dress fits like (as I have a plain denim version).

White embroidered ‘Jamie’ jeans: £59.00

I saw someone wearing these, or at least a similar pair the other day and once again I started dreaming of white denim. I don’t know why but I always loved white denim especially when I was a teenager and these jeans kind of rekindled that love in me.

Black platforms with floral embroidery detail: £34.00

These are so pretty that I might actually attempt to wear heals for once just so I can strut my stuff in these.

Zara 

I could not find a rating on the Ethical Sustainability guide for Zara. However, I found some information about their ethics here, which talks about how the company is committed to a living wage for all workers, however, the brand has been implicated in the appalling working conditions of workers in Bangalore, India.  

Ah Zara, home of embroidery. I went on the website in search of treasures, and treasures I found. Since Zara is refusing to clip onto my Polyvore for some reason I had to pin the pieces I liked to my Pinterest board. On the plus side it’s encouraged me to start using my Pinterest board alongside this blog.

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

This dress combines a lot of things I love. Sheer polka dot details, floral embroidery and the fact that it is a jumpsuit underneath so you do not have to worry about the perils of wearing a dress. I love it so much it’s making me wish I was going to my university’s Summer Ball this year simply so I would have an excuse to buy it.

Price: £29.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

So you know what this would go well with? Gingham! For those who are confused why I sound so excited about this it’s because in my last post I came to the realisation of how much I loved gingham and daisies together. These shorts would also look great with the gingham crop shirt from Topshop that I wore in that post.

Price: £25.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

So this shirt basically ticks all the boxes for things I love right now. Especially since I have been meaning to get a top with a built in choker neckline. I think this definitely needs to go on my birthday list.

Price: £17.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

Unsure if you love or hate this? Me too. But I figure there must be something that keeps drawing me in. I think it definitely will look amazing when its unzipped. Either way, it’s a must have statement piece for anyone looking to jazz up a normal parka.

Price: £99.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest

There’s some definite flapper vibes going on with this dress and I love it. It also looks like it will be super comfortable on hot days due to its flowy feel.

Price: £59.99

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

This is another dress that looks like a dress but is in fact actually a jumpsuit. You can’t see it on the pin but the dress has a beautiful tie up detail to the back and from the pictures on the Zara site I am pretty sure it has pockets. That’s right, pockets.

Price: £29.99

Rokit (vintage) 

Rokit is a UK based vintage clothing retailer that according to their website has recycled over a million tonnes of discarded clothing and accessories over the last three decades. In terms of sustainability vintage clothing is always a plus, as it ensures clothes are not being wasted and given a new life. 

My love affair with vintage clothing started in my teenage years. It was as I begun my vintage journey that Rokit came on my radar, despite that they specialised in denim and I was more a fan of the ‘classic’ vintage styles. While places like Rokit are great for sustainability they can be irritating in terms of sizing, as since they stock individual, unique options they might not always have your size.

The piece that I am going to showcase from Rokit will only fit the size indicated on the listing, so I chose the piece based on whether they fit the trend/ aesthetic I was looking for rather than whether they’d fit me personally or not.

The piece I am talking about is this amazing 80s blue denim sleeveless dress (perfect for nailing that Rachel from Friends aesthetic) for £40.00, which would look amazing with this long sleeve crop top from Topshop (in burgundy) for £20.00, some black tights and the pair of vegan dr. martens I am forever lusting over (£100.00).

Source: aprilisthecruellestmonth/Pinterest 

So those are my embroidery picks! I also spotted some pieces I liked at New Look so I would definitely take a look there too but there was nothing that stood out to me enough to make this list. As always if you know a good sustainable retailer I should check out please let me know!

Crazy about Gingham

Image: Wizard of Oz/ Warner Bros. 

I’ve not written about fashion before on this blog. In fact, I’ve always been nervous about talking about fashion fullstop. For the longest time I was afraid that feminism and fashion could not align. I always kind of felt that too many people considered fashion too frivolous and that it concentrated too much on looks. As I got older I realised that this does not have to be the case. Fashion can be liberating. It can help people break away from the gender identity imposed on them by society (although it can often make us want to conform to it too). Fashion can (mind the pun) make a statement.

Fashion is also problematic. Sweatshops are a real reality, which we seem to ignore until it’s brought up occasionally. I along with others justify it because well every clothes retailer is doing it. Some of the brands you think are the worst also are not. The highest scoring brands according to the Ethical shopping guide by the Ethical Consumer include H and M (probably due to their Conscious range) with Asos and Topshop scoring just above average. While difficult at times I try as much as possible to avoid the brands with the lower scores.

Fashion can also be difficult as a vegetarian (for those who don’t know I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 16). For the first few years being vegetarian I just made choices based on food, not remembering that the clothes we wear can contain animal products too. Consequently, I still own things that are leather that I now feel uncomfortable wearing. Though, I of course feel it would be worse to throw these items away. Currently, my plan is to sell them on my Depop shop so they can be used by people who don’t feel the same as I do (as it makes me feel worse they are not being used), and hopefully I can raise myself the funds to get some vegan Dr. Martens.

So as you can see I find it difficult to talk about fashion, especially fashion trends. As it is the demand for fast fashion that has helped create the need for mass, cheap labour. However, I do not see the trend market as something that is going to change. That’s capitalism. What I feel we can change is the pressure we put on companies to be ethical and transparent about what they are selling. We can also ensure we support local, ethical and sustainable businesses where possible (I am aware these companies are often more expensive, which is problematic if you are on a low income). Another fantastic option for sustainability is vintage clothing.

To help everyone make informed decision when shopping when outlining my favourite pieces from one of Spring’s current trends, gingham. I have to admit when I saw the flurry of gingham hit the shops I was super excited, probably because Wizard of Oz was my favourite film growing up so this was my moment to live out my gingham dreams.

Topshop 

7/20 on the Ethical shopping guide. 

For a list of pro’s and con’s for Topshop click on this link. To summarise, Topshop is committed to the Sustainable Clothing Plan and its targets, but the brand does not publicly share the detailers of its suppliers. 

One thing I have seen combined a lot is pink with gingham (usually a pink top with gingham trousers). And although she does not wear gingham in the video the vibe I am talking of reminds me of Hayley Williams look in Paramore’s Playing God music video.

screen-shot-2017-05-01-at-19-56-49.png
Image: Paramore Playing God Music Video/ Fueled by Ramen 

I’ve also seen the look pop up a few times on my Instagram feed.

gingham + pink 🍦🍦🍦 http://liketk.it/2rbzr #liketkit

A post shared by kayla hadlington (@kaylahadlington) on

Image: @kaylahaddington/ Instagram 

Image: @asos/ Instagram 

Therefore, these trousers from Topshop that combine both pink and gingham are definitely on my to buy list. At £45.00 they are going to have to wait a while however!

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 18.10.58How I’d style the trousers. Full set available on my Polyvore!

Items featured

Look 1:

Top: Topshop £26.00

Sandals: Asos £46.00 (Brand however is River Island so they should be available on the River Island website also)

Look 2:

Top: Topshop £22.00

Shoes: Topshop £28.00

Look 3:

Top: Monki  £8.00

Jacket: Topshop £49.00

Ring: Asos £11.00

Bag: Matt and Nat (vegan)- No Longer Available. You can find similar backpacks here. Average price is around £98.00-£110.00. There are also some Matt and Nat backpacks available from Asos, which offer a student discount.

Shoes: Vegan Dr Martens £100.00

The next piece I love featuring gingham from Topshop is this beautiful, oversized gingham crop top showcasing another trend I’m loving at the moment, embroidery. This piece retails from £29.00, but I bought mine when Topshop were offering a 20% off student discount. I paired mine with a denim pinafore (£36.00) from Topshop that I bought the same time as the crop top.

Just you know ignore the mess in the background… 😂and my bleach stained towel. And focus on the gingham 💙

A post shared by April Wilson (@aprilisthecruellestmonth) on

Image: @aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Instagram

My other favourites from Topshop include this cropped jacket with frill sleeves (£49.00); this off the shoulder dress with tie straps (£36.00)- the version I have linked is for Petites but there is a pink version available (£30.00) on their website that is not Petite (I also looked on the Glamorous website for the dress but could not find it); these adorable  wedges (£39.00) and finally this pinafore (£39.00) that basically combines the look I created with my gingham top and dungarees.

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 18.45.53Full set available on my Polyvore

On another note all these pieces would look amazing with some form of daisy accessory (daisy earrings, perhaps?)!

Another thing to remember with Topshop, along with Asos is that they also stock brands that are not their own that have different manufacturing processes so remember to look up any brand that is not their own brand, as their ethics and sustainability might differ. 

Asos 

7.5 on the Ethical shopping guide. 

More about Asos and sustainability can be found here. On the Asos website they have a ‘Eco Edit’ section featuring brands that fit Asos’s criteria for sustainability. 

First of all, I want to talk about a top that I recently bought from Asos which is also part of their eco-edit from the Scandinavian brand Monki. It’s a off the shoulder, bardot blue gingham top with ruffle sleeves. Overall, it’s generally very lovely but is quite tight on the shoulders and chest area (despite me buying a size that should have been fine in that respect so bear that in mind when buying). It retails for £25.00.

April GinghamImage: Aprilisthecruellestmonth. My choker is also from Asos as part of a set of 2. I gave the choker featuring the Hamsa symbol to my sister, as I did not feel comfortable wearing such a spiritual symbol. 

A lot of the rest of my picks are also from Monki including this red gingham cami dress (£30.00) and this black and white gingham shirt with massive ruffle detail (£20.00). The pieces I loved not from Monki included a yellow gingham halter neck dress (there needs to be more yellow gingham pieces- I love the combination!) retailing for £30.00; this jumpsuit that I wish I had the height to wear (£38.00); this gingham sundress by a brand called QED London with adorable daisies embroidered all over it (which made me so happy considering I not just ranting about how daisies and gingham were a match made in heaven) that is on sale for £15.00 and finally this high waisted gingham skirt for £35.00 (because I have seen long gingham skirts everywhere and I have to admit they look ridiculously pretty).

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 19.13.29Full set available on my Polyvore

Zara 

I could not find a rating on the Ethical Sustainability guide for Zara. However, I found some information about their ethics here, which talks about how the company is committed to a living wage for all workers, however, the brand has been implicated in the appalling working conditions of workers in Bangalore, India.  

There are many beautiful gingham pieces at Zara right now with many featuring embroidery, my favourite however has to be this yellow gingham crop top and skirt set (though I only really want the skirt- it’s a shame they don’t sell them separately) for £29.99. The skirt would go amazing with a 60s style wicker basket bag (I’ve seen some at vintage stores and always wished I picked one up).

Image: @orangwanita/ Instagram 

The bag closest to the left had side is the kind of bag I mean.

New Look

5.5 on the Ethical shopping guide. However, it has also been commended for its approach to ethics by the ediTRACK blog

Another trend that is everywhere this season is mules. Although, I was resistant at first as they are just not the style of shoe I usually prefer; I have to admit they have grown on me. Though the fact that Betty Draper sports them in Mad Men might have something to do with that.

When I saw this embroidered pair in New Look (£25.99) I couldn’t help but fall in love. My other top pick from New Look is yet again another Gingham skirt (£24.99) but the ruffle detail at the bottom that adds just that bit of drama clinched it for me, and it would look amazing with a red lip or top, or both! My final pick from New Look is this midi dress that I just love for it simplicity and 90s music video vibes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my gingham picks. Comment with your favourites, and if you know of any places that stock any more ethical and sustainable options please let me know, as I know that it may seem a bit hypocritical that I talk about sustainable fashion and then show clothes from places that do not completely advocate those ideals. My point wasn’t that, and I don’t want to call out people for supporting these companies (one, because it would be hypocritical, and two, I know that’s not realistic); I just wanted to make sure people had the information there, so that if they liked a piece from two different companies, and couldn’t decide- maybe this would help.