Easter treats without the guilt!

We’ve all been there – Easter, Christmas, Halloween… There are treats everywhere! But we’re watching our weight right? So we shouldn’t right? But temptation is everywhere! Bang goes the diet!

So I had a think! These tasty little treats come in at just 42kcal and 1.5g of fat each (based on making 6) but I could easily have made 12 smaller ones as I’ve been cutting these in half to eat them (my sensitive teeth can’t handle biting I to a whole one!)


So I bet you’d love to know how to make my Creamy Iced Easter Heart Treats? Well here is what you will need….

Silicone mould/ice cube tray (I used hearts but you can use anything silicone is best to pop them out nice and quickly)


1 pot weight watchers fat-free vanilla yogurt (these come in a 4pk with toffee ones which are a tasty treat in themselves at only 50kcal each!) any other brand will affect the calorie content.
20g malteasers
20g mini eggs
2 sandwich bags

Pour the yogurt into a bowl and whisk it up (I used a hand blender but you can use an electric or hand held whisk) thus thins it rather than whips it so don’t be suprised when it looks like milkshake!

Pop your malteasers into one bag and mini eggs into another. Twist the end of the bags to avoid spillages then bash with a rolling pin or other heavy instrument to crush. Don’t use a blender as you still want some texture not powder!


Pour these into the yogurt then mix well. Pour into moulds and freeze at least until frozen solid and until you are ready to eat them! It’s really that easy.


The entire recipe content is as follows:
254kcal 9.3g fat 6.1g saturates 30.7h sugar. To work out how much per serving simply decide these figures by the amount you have made – for example mine made 6 so each has 42kcal, 1.5g fat 1g sat and 5.1g sugar

Yes they are a little high in sugar but they are still low in both calories and fat. Do try them and let me know what you think.


I welcome all comments here I love to know your opinions. You can also join my weightloss group on Facebook – we are currently only a small group supporting each other in trying to lose a few pounds 🙂



Super Soup!

So after my first week back at work I am feeling a bit run down. Both Andy and Leo have colds, Leo also has tonsilitus and I think their bugs have passed on.

No one wants to be ill. It’s horrible.  I have a few fail safes I usually follow (paracetamol, ibuprofen, decongestants – the non paracetamol type, extra strong lemon tea with honey, fruit juice and extra vitamin c and b supplements work wonders!)

But I only have 2 days to improve so I needed to add a boost my regime!

A few years ago there was a show on BBC called grow your own drugs with a chef called James Wong. He gave us a recipe for special chicken soup and I figured I would give it a go.

Feeling like this? Yeah right! Who wants to do that much work when they feel like this?!?!

So I tried to design my own take. I think it helped! This recipe serves 2 but I ate it all myself lol. The best part is they are all ingredients you can keep in the cupboard (except the mushrooms unless you use dried instead)

Souper soup to soup you up (sorry I couldn’t resist!)

2 mushrooms
2tbsp dried goji berries
1 packet chicken noodle soup mix (simmer not cup – I used Morrison’s)
1dsp cornflower
1 nest noodles
1/4tsp Chinese 5 spice
Olive oil

Start by putting your goji berries (and mushrooms if using dried) in a bowl and cover with hot water to rehydrate them. If you have any echinecea powder add it here (I didn’t include it as I didn’t have any).

If using fresh slice the mushrooms and cook gently in a pan with the olive oil. Once yellowed add the goji berries including the water they were soaking in.

Pour in the soup mix and gradually add a pint of water stirring regularly. 

Add the 5 spice and noodles, bring to the boil and simmer.

If, like me, you like a thicker soup mix the cornflower with 3dsp water in a bowl until smooth, add to the soup and stir constantly whilst simmering to thicken it up. Once the noodles are cooked and the soup is the desired consistency then its done.

Nice and simple. Let me know how it goes for you 🙂

inspired by recipe on this page <—- if you want James' version (which is probably a lot better than mine) you can find it here.

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Sensory fun!

I was browsing through my fb timeline (as most of us do!) and came across this link http://nurturestore.co.uk/valentine-sensory-tub

Nurturestore is a brilliant resource for all things play! I have been meaning to try sensory play for a while and I thought this valentines themed sensory tray looked like a fab idea!

So I did some research and this is what I came up with


First I took around 500g uncooked rice and put it into a sandwich bag. I didn’t have any food colouring but I did have some mineral pigment from lipgloss making (a post for another day!) so in a bowl I mixed around half a teaspoon of pigment with a few tablespoons of water (I didn’t measure). I then poured this into the bag with the rice and shook it all around – rubbing from the outside of the bag just to make sure it was all coated. I added some glitter as well then poured it into a tub to dry.

Now what to put in… Well I found a measuring cup and a spoon, a heart shaped cutter and a silicone cake mould. I had some scraps of material so I cut out some hearts and flowers (I had some carpet like material, felt, cotton, leather and polyester) and made a little heart cushion using some of the felt. To finish I added an organza bag and a mini heart soap (for fragrance and texture!)

As you can see he is enjoying himself! And my 8 year old even had a go and said it was “quite fun!” (but I’m not supposed to tell you that!)


So give it a go and do comment to let me know how you got on, how you varied it or anything else – we love comments here but don’t get many that aren’t spam lol.

Ps I don’t think hubby is going to be too happy with all the rice on the floor!

Well that wasn’t the plan…..

OK so yesterday I posted about cakes for Mr K’s birthday

Mentioned home made buttercream didn’t I? Well I went for standard rather than white chocolate but it didn’t matter. Because, after loading it into my piping machine gun thingy (LOL) it turned out to be soooo thick that it kept taking the nozzle off and seeping out the sides!

Cut to me rushing to morrisons for some premade (I know naughty me but I was running out of time!)

As if things couldn’t get any worse I was so tired by the time I had iced them I just threw a load of sprinkles on top. They now look like my toddler did it!


They do however taste amazing!

And, I found cake boxes – altho they are a bit girly – despite trapsing round every single shop in town including the market (and purposefully avoiding the over priced hobbycraft that is right outside town!) I finally found some in Poundworld. Not land or stretcher. But the last shop I tried! Success in the end!

The chocolatiest fairy cakes ever!

So, Mr K’s birthday party is this weekend! I cheated a bit with his birthday cake and used a packet mix (shame on me!) to make a tray bake and ordered a cake topper.

But then I did the party bags…. There is just no room to add a slice of cake! I also realised, being on alloted time, there just won’t be enough time to chop it up at the party (they have just 30 minutes to eat, blow out candles and get ready to go!). So I thought ooh I’ll make fairy cakes then they can just take one as they leave…..

So feeling smug I went to the fridge…. No eggs. So I went to Google… Egg free chocolate sponge cake….

I found this recipe http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/7079/rich-and-easy-egg-free-chocolate-cake.aspx

I thought I’d give it a go but I made a few adjustments. Once they were done I could not resist and when my boys came in they were just as impressed as I was! Even my 2 year old who never eats cake (only the icing) ate a whole one! They were just the chocolatiest, meltiest, yummiest, most moreish rich gooey cakes I have ever experienced.

So here’s the recipe with my adjustments.

170g butter or margarine (I used Stork for Cakes)
110g caster sugar
2tbsp golden syrup (tip – grease your measuring spoon with oil first so it just slides off)
250ml milk
1 and 1/2tbsp vanilla bean extract*
100g plain chocolate chopped (I used an unopened packet and bashed with a rolling pin)*
170g self raising flour *
70g cocoa powder*

*differs from original recipe – original calls for optional 2 drops vanilla extract, does not contain chocolate, uses plain flour plus 1tsp each baking powder and bicarb and only 55g cocoa powder.

Add the butter, milk, vanilla, caster sugar and golden syrup to a pan. Put over a low heat and stir until melted. Turn off the heat, and the chocolate and stir until melted.

Pour into a bowl then add the flour and cocoa powder and mix with an electric whisk for 1-2mins (or by hand for a bit longer.

Pour into cases. I used fairy cake cases (slightly smaller than cupcake size) and managed to make 22 but could have made 24 easily if I hadn’t over filled. I baked at 180* (fan) for 15 minutes. Obviously for bigger cases a longer time will be needed. Just check with a skewer. Cakes should still feel delicate (due to the melted chocolate – they will firm up as they cool) but the skewer should come our clean. Don’t over bake or they will be dry.

Good luck – I will post my white chocolate buttercream recipe tomorrow 🙂 x

How to look after your bath toys

If your kids are anything like mine they love a good bath toy to play around with in the bubbles!

Most of us pay a lot of attention to making sure our toilets are scrubbed, sinks sparkling, no mould or soap scum in sight on our tiles, grout and mirrors. Some if us even have fancy air freshness and pretty soaps (available from Soapy Cauldron Gloucester 😉 ) to smarten it up. But the one thing that gets overlooked? Those bath toys loved by our children. Mostly left to go mouldy and stinky full of putrid bath water (which is then squirted at you by your toddler while you’re sat on the loo!)

Some of us love fancy soaps to smarten up our bathrooms!

“You mean you are meant to clean bath toys? I thought that was what baths were for!” I hear you cry! Well it’s actually quite quick and simple. Just follow these general rules and tour children’s beloved bath toys will keep for ages!

One of my fancy soaps!

1. Once children are removed from the bath, dry and clothed and the bath water has drained remove all toys and place in the sink. Don’t forget any that may be stuck to the side of the bath!

2. Make sure all old bath water is squeezed from inside any ducks, squirter etc. Then wipe all toys over with a damp cloth to remove any dirt. Don’t forget to wipe both sides of any suction cups. Fabric toys, flannel and sponges can usually be washed in a washing machine. Most can be tumble dried or dried on a radiator.

3. For more stubborn dirt or mould try some dettol spray – or if you prefer something more natural try white vinegar or lemon juice on a cloth or sponge (I prefer a sponge if it’s quite stuck on).

4. Rinse in hot water. Make sure to squeeze all toys that may have filled with water again to ensure they are completely empty as even a small amount of water can cause mould to grow on the inside (ever wondered why that old yellow duck turned green? That would be the black mould on the inside!)


5. Wipe dry with a soft cloth or towel clans store in a dry place such as a box, basket or hamper. I like these net bags as the air can still get to them allowing the inside of the squirters to properly dry out and also because I can hang it on the back of the door out of the way.


So there you go. It’s that easy. Takes me around 10 mins after every bath (the toys above are only a small selection!) and my kids are happy!

Don’t forget if you see anything in my pictures you like most of the items such as soaps (and the duckies above) are available to purchase from me at Soapy Cauldron Gloucester where you can also find lots of other bath time fun for sensitive skin at fabulous prices!

Good luck with your cleaning. Here’s to lots of bath time fun! Char xxx

Quick and tasty Spag Bol

Today I felt like I wanted something quick and easy. After a rummage through the freezer I decided to make spaghetti bolegnese – my way that is (or perhaps the lazy way!).


So for my Spag Bol you will need:

Half a bag of vegetarian mince (I used morrisons totalling at 75p for half a bag) ADAPTION beef, pork or lamb mince (change your first step to browning and draining the meat).

Half a packet of spaghetti (I used Aldi averaging at 14p as I think it was 27p a packet)

1-2 handfuls frozen diced onions (to your taste. Estimating cost at around 15p as hardly dented the £1 bag from Morrisons)

1-2 handfuls frozen peas (again estimating at 15-20p as barely dented the £1 bag from Aldi)

1 grated carrot (washed, ends chopped off and grated with peel to save time! 5p)

1 tin tomatoes (I used a carton from B&M they were 2 for 50p which us cheaper than tinned!)

1 heaped top frozen/fresh basil (I buy ready chopped and frozen from morrisons for £1 and it lasts ages! So I will say 20p to include all seasoning used in recipe)

1/4tsp dried oregano (store cupboard essential! Included in above cost)

Salt and pepper to taste (cost included above)

1 stock cube of your choice (I only ever use oxo I like the crumbliness but any flavour will do. 10p)

1tsp sugar of your choice

1/2 tsp garlic puree

1 tbsp tomato puree

So really quick and simple. Pop the spaghetti in a pan and cook as per instructions.


Pour tomatoes into seperate pan. Blend with hand blender if you have a fussy boy like mine that won’t eat tomatoes! Add all ingredients except for peas. Add a little water and simmer until mince is no longer frozen. Add peas and cook for a further 5 mins. And serve! It’s that simple!


Serve alone sprinkled with cheese (half a bag aldi low fat grated works out 75p). Serve with garlic bread (morrisons savers 40p) or salad (lettuce cucumber and tomatoes £1.50 morrisons).


Please do let me know what you think 🙂

Killer Kieran

my son has started a blog forces stories! Please take a look at storiesbykieran.wordpress.com


This story is called Killer Kieran and is all about what I would be if I was a super hero.


Hello, my name is Killer Kieran.  Sometimes I secretly turn into a super hero!

Hey, want to know my super hero powers? Well, anyway they are fly like a bird, shape shift, shoot lightning, freeze power, shoot lasers out of my eyes and shoot fire out of my hands.


Now, do you want to know my rescues?

One hot summers day I was jogging to football. When I was jogging to football I heard a horrible scream!
When my daddy wasn’t looking I went to my football bag and got my super hero costume out.  I told my daddy I needed the toilet. Then I went into the woods (but I did not need the toilet I only got changed).

After that I flew for my first rescue.  I saw…

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school lunch tips

Ok, so first off if you want to save money, unless you are entitled to them for free, ditch school dinners!

My son’s school charges $2 (please note the $ is actually for gbp not dollars but i seem  to have a non british keyboard!) a day!  thats 10 pounds a week! I spend a similar amount on lunches for the week for all 3 of my boys!

Sandwiches. Yes they can be boring but they are cheap! Morrisons do very edible bread for just 59p a loaf, butter is cheap enough. Jam you can get for around 30p a jar, soft cheese around a pound a tub, a packet of ham (i buy turkey ham which is around a pound a pack depending where you buy it and can get it to do 2 to 3 days of sandwiches) will keep for a few days in the fridge. If your kids are happy with jam then you can do at least 3 days worth of sarnies for less than a quid!

Don’t be afraid of budget brands. My son has value braded crisps and snacks in his lunch box. these range from 30p for 6 bags to 80p for 10 bags! asda is probably the best place for these.

Drinks… most supermarkets do cartons of value orange juice for around 45p for 3. so thats 6 days of lunches for 90p! bargain.

so fruit and veg is an important part of lunches and the only place I really splurge as i have a very fussy child! My son will only eat cucumber with no seeds (50p at morrisons for a whole cucumber does me a week of lunches), bananans (but they have to not be bruised he is very particular about them! i can get 5 small loose for about 70p at morrisons) and fresh pinapple (which i have to cut carefully to make sure there are no bits or he wont eat any of it!) he also loves fresh strawberries but these are a luxury! When I do these i use small tubs (the same ones I used for storing my home made baby food weaning pots from morrisons recycled into big boy pots lol. Once I have prepared the fruit i line the bottom of the tub with kitchen roll. This helps to absorb the excess moisture and keep them from going soggy. Other things that can be prepare this way are celery, carrots, berries, tomatoes, raddishes, the list is pretty much endless! The only other fruit he will have is chopped apples but they have to be prepacked as they cannot be brown. I get these from asda and they are a great option if you are stuck for time as they have lots of different fruit and veg packs available at 5 for 1.50.  this is the best price i have found for this type of thing. Raisins are also a cheap alternative to fresh fruit. Buy a big bag and use a pot to save cash.

Another thing asda do at the moment is a special treat! yogurt coated strawberry flavour pieces (apple and strawberry) in little bags. a box of 5 is currently just 1.25 so a great additional treat.


A great way to keep it cold is to freeze tubes of yogurt. Wildlife do tubes that are 6 for just a pound in  most places. frubes are usually on offer 9 packs 2 for 3 pound or asda do their own 9 packs for 1.50. freeze and they will keep for a month.

Another top tip? a dairylee triangle and a few mini breadsticks (i get a tube that does 4 to 5 servings for around a pound at morrisons) in a little tub makes a great make your own dunker. why not have  a special tubs day? K loves it when on a friday he gets lots of little tubs to open to discover whats inside! fruit in one or two, ham in another, sausages maybe, grated cheese, raisins, nuts, crisps, cheese savouries, breadsticks, cheese triangle, the possibilities are endless! And I hae a fussy eater if you dont then its even more endless for you.

I hope this helps someone! please feel free to comment or ask questions. sorry for the lack of pictures I will try and add some soon!

Char xxx

Food for thought..

So… It’s been a while since my  last post. I have been busy with all sorts but I won’t bore you with all that!

So what drove me to finally post again you ask? Well I’ve been thinking about food. Eating food, cooking food, buying food….

Scrolling through facebook I notice there are  more and more people struggling to feed themselves and their families in this economic climate.  We are all struggling. I aim to feed my family on 50 pounds a week! Sometimes I struggle with this but I NEVER spend more than 300 pounds (sorry for lack of pound signs this keyboard doesn’t have one!) a month on shopping!

So I am going to start sharing tips and recipies (costing them up where possible) and if it helps even 1 person then it is a success!

So today I start….. please keep posted 🙂

Char xxx

Gingerbread house bath bomb with creamy bubble melt roof

Continue reading Gingerbread house bath bomb with creamy bubble melt roof

Weaning! Orange Fun!

I cant believe it but Leonardo is nearly 6 months old! Which means weaning fun has started!


Now as some of you will be aware my eldest is a very fussy eater! I blame my laziness and dependance on tinned baby food!

Well not this time!!!

Making your own baby food is so easy! So I will be adding my recipes as I go along! Best investment – Asda Smartprice Hand Blender it cost less than £5 and is very easy to clean and store!

So I started just making simple vegetable purees – carrot, parsnip and sweet potato individually. Then I did a few portions of these mixed and also a few portions of brocolli and cauliflower. So far so good!!!


Tomorrow I will be making him portions of roast beef dinner and next week vegetable cassarole. Heinz has a range of babysafe low sodium products in their babyfood range such as gravy, stock cubes and pasta. You can also buy gluten and wheat free flour such as rice flour, dairy free cheese and a whole range of things to make making your own baby food easier – especially if like me you are weaning before 6 months as certain products such as dairy are unsuitable for babies younger than this!

So I will be sharing my recipes soon. And if you have any please feel free to share.

I am also looking at adapting meals so they are suitable for everyone – adding extra flavour once baby’s portion has been taken so everyone is happy.


Suggestions welcome 🙂

Creme egg cupcakes!!!

Wow these look amazing!!! I will have to try these later!!! Pics to follow!!! What a talented and creative cake maker and she has so much more on her blog – well worth checking out!!!

Sticky Pinny

Last Sunday I decided to make a return to the Ironcupcake:Leeds competition. I haven’t been for about 8 months sadly due to one thing and another but I decided I needed to get myself out there again….I have previously entered 3 times and won the last 2 times I entered, which gives me a 66.6% success rate…But could I do it again?? I have been keeping an eye on the competition over the past few months, and I have to admit, the competition is fierce!

Sticky Pinny Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcake

(Cut to a Rocky training montage, but instead of drinking raw eggs and running up and down stairs think of me eating cake batter and chasing a cat out of the kitchen with a wooden spoon…)

For those who don’t know what Iron Cupcake is, it’s actually a global competition that was started over in the US (Milwaukee to be exact). It usually happens monthly…

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Skinny Lasagne

Ok so lasagne (or if you are american lasagna lol) is one of the most unhealthy dishes there is!

Well, as a devotee of making things “skinny” I have developed my own tried and tested recipe that even the fussy 6 year old has declared his home made favourite (his actual faves apparently being pizza, chips and chicken dippers lol).

I haven’t worked it out so I don’t know how low fat it is but it is definetly lower in fat than a traditional recipe and much better for you than a ready meal!

You will Need…
Lasagne sheets (I used the Morrisons fresh ones to avoid having to cook them first)
75g half fat butter (or low fat spread but taste is not as good!)
3tbsp plain (or all purpose) flour
500ml skimmed milk
1 tin chopped tomatoes with garlic
1 and 1/2 tbsp red wine
1tsp sugar (I used caster but you can use what you like)
150g low fat grated cheese
4tbsp tomato puree
200g soya mince
Onion powder/granules
Garlic powder/granules
Bay leaves
Fresh Basil (I used the ready chopped fresh frozen basil from Morrisons)
Dried oregano
Dried Mixed Herbs

You will also need a jug, spoons, 2 saucepans and a rectangular ovenproof dish


To make the bechamel (white) sauce pop the butter in a pan and melt on the hob. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Mix well to form a smooth paste.

Measure 500ml skimmed milk into a jug. Gradually add 1 and a half tbsp at a time to the flour and butter mixture mixing between spoons with a spoon or a whisk to ensure smoothness.

Once you have added 100ml the mixture should be quite thin so you can now add 50ml at a time making sure you carry on mixing in between.

Add 1/4tsp onion granules, 1/4tsp garlic granules, 1 bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Pop back onto the hob and simmer gently for 2 minutes stiring regularly.

Add 50g of the cheese and carry on stirring until sauce is hot and cheese is melted. Turn off the heat and set aside. Remember to stir occasionally to avoid lumps and a skin forming. Don’t forget to remove the bayleaf when you go to use the sauce.


Now for the red sauce….

In another pan add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine, 1tsp sugar, 1/4tsp salt, 1/4tsp pepper, 1/4tsp garlic granules, 1/2tsp onion granules, 1 and 1/2tbsp fresh basil, 1tsp dried oregano and 1/2tsp dried mixed herbs and stir to combine. Turn on the heat and add 200g frozen soya (or Quorn) mince. Heat until the mince is cooked stirring frequently to avoid burning and sticking – about 10 -15mins.

Now to build our layers!

In your ovenproof dish start with a thin layer of mince mixture.

Then pasta sheets (2 per layer were enough for me)

Then white sauce

Carry on building the layers until you reach the top or run out of mixture. I managed 3 layers.

Finish the final layer by sprinkling the rest of the cheese over the top.

Then pop in the oven heated to 180°c and cook for 20-30 mins.

Serve hot with plenty of salad!

Enjoy and let me know what you think 🙂

Melting Snowman Fridge Cakes!

Ok so I started this in November and never finished it! A bit late but perfect for next year!!!

Whilst visiting an elderly relative an image on her tv screen caught my eye. Once home I searched online for the recipe but I couldnt find it anywhere! Luckily the show was on iplayer so I decided to watch and write it up myself with my own tweaks for you to try. Its very unhealthy but it is christmas! Both my husband and my son said these are the best cakes they have ever tasted!!!


Melting snowman cake recipe

For the cakes
220g stork (the block kind)
100g dark chocolate chips
180g golden caster sugar
4tbsp golden syrup
2tbsp drinking chocolate
4 squares plain chocolate
300g low fat digestives
Roughly 300g sweets – I used 2 full size crunchies, 2 full size cadburys caramel bars, 4 treatsized flakes, 2 treatsized bags malteasers, 2 milky way bars and a handful of mini marshmallows

For the topping
600g white ready to roll icing
Black and red writing/designer icing tubes
1 bag mini smarties (the 25p ones)
1 pack strawberry fizzy laces, fizzy belts etc.
Icing sugar


You will also need:
Mixing bowl
Rolling pin
Zippy bag
12 hole cake tin
Fairy cake cases
Chopping board
Sharp knife
Round cutter
Small cup/bowl
Spoons for mixing


Line your cake tin with cases.

Put the stork, sugar, chocolate powder, golden syrup and squares of plain chocolate into the saucepan and melt over a low heat stiring regularly. Once melted and combined remove from heat.

Crush the digestives by popping into a zippy bag and bashing with a rolling pin. Pour into the mixing bowl and stir in the chocolate mixture. Leave to cool slightly then fold in the rest of the cake ingredients. Spoon into cake cases, flatten and leave to cool in the fridge.

Meanwhile roll small balls out of icing to make heads for the snowmen. Roll out the rest of the icing and cut into cake size circles.

Remove the cakes from the fridge. Make a paste using icing sugar and water. Press a flat circle over the top of each cake pressing gently round the edges. Then attach a head to each using the paste. You can then decorate using sweets and icing.

Once iced do not put back in the fridge.

Enjoy – we did x


Hi. I’m Char, 24 from Gloucester UK. I am mummy to Kieran, 5, and Leo, 5 weeks, and wifey to Andy. I am a qualified beauty therapist and stay at home mum. As a BT I love make up, nails etc. So you will probably see a lot of posts from me about these things. I also love crafting and cooking so keep your eyed peeled for my creations! Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy following and feel free to leave feedback.

Char xxx