Monday, October 28, 2013

In the Red: Coating & Roasting

...And, we're in the red...
 It's Monday again--How did that happen?!
Well, not to brag, but it's a gorgeous Monday morning, because I'm contently typing at a beach-chic desk, overlooking the sunrise and palm trees here in sunny, 75-degree-weather, Rosemary Beach, Florida.

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Mexico, back to NYC, to Connecticut, to Lake George, to Vermont, back to NYC, to New Jersey, back to NYC, and now, this.
I know, I know. I can hardly keep up with this Carmen SanDiego either with all of the traveling I've been doing as of late. But, hey, no one likes a Whining Whitney, and I've been encountering this whole concept of "good problems to have" these past few months. I'll shut my trap.
But, as a lady about town, I do have a legitimate grievance.

Oy vey!
The domestication conundrum.

I'm not quite my mother.
I failed to inherit her undeniable knack for spontaneously whipping up and effortlessly concocting the most delicious of dishes.
And, not only do they taste unearthly, but they're visually stunning as well.
The pressure!

Today, we're talking...
No, not turkey! Not just yet, at least, eager beaver.
We're talking RED.
It commences with the dressing.
The process of dressing, that is, which is the tastiest element, I think we can collectively agree upon.

Coating the RED...
Skirt:
This full-circle, pleated ASOS punch-y red skirt...
with
 a vintage camel-hued, wool cape with a collar

that I scored from a vintage store for a mere 40 bucks.
Capes are reigning the cooler seasons as of right now, and I'm a huge advocate for them. Since they do exude bygone eras and that timeless-style, vintage stores carry the widest variety of them and for extremely reasonable prices for the quality. Hey, it beats a mass-produced H&M or Forever21 copycat anyway, although I'm not knocking their well-priced and overall trendy stock. But, wouldn't you prefer the real deal?
I know I do.
This cape--I may never take it off.
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Ark & Co cream blouse with backless detail (not shown)//ASOS red full-mini skirt with golden button detail (similar here)// Vintage cape//  long rustic gold stone chain necklace (Artists and Fleas market in Williamsburg)//Chanel handbag with metallic disk logo// Proenza Schouler cateye sunglasses// oversized rock rings//Julie Vos moonstone & 24K gold bangle (gifted)// stacked Kate Spade various square and circular gold bangles, option 1, option 2, option 3//Kendra Phillip gold textured cuff (gifted)

Shoes?
Take your pick.
Ladylike pumps or casual smoking loafers.

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I wore both, the Antonio Melani (old) tiger print heels as well as the Dolce Vita black and red slippers,  which transitioned me throughout the day of Lucky Magazine's FABB (Fashion and Beauty Blogger) Conference, chock-full of activities and seminars.

Also, I switched to a Zara printed and embellished blouse, unbuttoned it a bit, took off my longer necklaces, and added a separate statement necklace (re:more bang!)  for the evening by Prima Donna, which offers TONS of affordable, of-the-moment accessories. This necklace costs a mere $22.99! Steal, Lucille.
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Roasting the RED...
Grapes:
with
winter veggies and quinoa.

I mean, I struggle a bit with my culinary profiency. Struuuuuu-gggggggle. Actually, cooking, I can somewhat stumble and taste-test my way through it...as long as the recipe doesn't consist of an extensive list of obscure ingredients that one should never and would never purchase or keep in the pantry. But, even more so, I do NOT enjoy--Ok, I shiver at the premise of-- this whole measuring every. single. item., despite owning the appropriate measuring tools. It's too tedious.
This girl has plenty more to do, honey.
I have larger fish to fry.
 I like to keep it easy pea-sy unless there's some upcoming, incredibly pivotal event for which my pride forces me to buckle down and take this whole game-face, recipe-following, from-scratch cooking thing seriously. I'm one-hundred-percent cool with dropping veggies and whatnot into a pan, drizzling some olive oil, shaking some spices around, and sliding a baking sheet in the oven. You know, the basics. I'm not entirely incompetent. My grandfather was a chef. All of the women in my family- grandmothers, aunts, etc. have all worn that domestic goddess and queen of the kitchen crown without even double-checking the cookbook. It was genetic, as if passed through the bloodline. I can function, I can, but I suppose that I don't necessarily have a reason to put forth a great deal of time and energy into cooking just yet, considering I am out and about almost every day and night, hobnobbing. It's difficult in New York. We don't always have the space, the time to shop and prepare, and it's pretty darn expensive, still. The never-ending list of near and far options, from hole-in-the-wall, unpretentious neighborhood gems to destination, critically-acclaimed, and of-the-moment, 8-month-long-waiting-list restaurants, pulls you out like a magnet.
Why not embrace the city that never sleeps chooses to sleep? The problem is, though, that you could spend all day, every day bouncing from one place to the next, blowing every last penny on some of the most fascinating, delicious and curious bites in the world, covering any and all cuisines and even "fusions" among them, but you're a hamster on the wheel, flicking up cedar chips. You'll never actually make headway. More just flood in, others close, or re-create themselves. Bottom line, though,  I don't have a reason to exert myself and slave over a hot stove all night in the name of delivering a hot, intricate meal...for me to pseudo-enjoy.
Due to my aversion to that whole precise-measurement-process, I suppose the majority of baking is a no-go. That's a scientific process. Temperatures, chemistry, etc. No, thank you. Hall pass.

Throughout the years, I consistently ensured that I had an incredibly gifted laboratory partner for a reason. I was playing dress-up with the goggles and oversized lab coats, enthralled by the blow torches, and generally have a jolly-good-time while someone else deciphered those experiment instructions.
Now, that's a partnership I can get behind.

So, unshockingly, the oven has become a newly-found kitchen comrade. I flip a switch, press a few buttons, and place a tray on the rack. Then, I'm free to dress up, albeit no goggles, and frolic as I please.
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Roast the darn grapes.
They ARE the dish.


Brussel sprouts, halved
Sweet potatoes, thinly sliced in chips
Red seedless grapes, halved
*Cauliflower and Cubed Squash would also make additions or substitutes*
olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, apple cider vinegar, cracked pepper, sea salt, thyme, rosemary, and cinnamon
quinoa (red or white)
vegetable broth
sunflower seeds

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice sweet potatoes, and half the brussel sprouts and grapes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, apple cider vinegar, cracked pepper, sea salt, thyme, rosemary, and cinnamon.
Yes, cinnamon!
Toss the vegetables in, and with clean hands (Yes, dirty Harry/Harriet), begin mixing around.
Scoop out with a spoon and onto a pre-sprayed baking dish.
I roasted these vegetables for a total of about 30 minutes, turning them a few times throughout.
Once they're a perfectly golden color, pull the tray out, and drizzle with the remaining oil mixture.

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In the meantime, I cooked some quinoa in vegetable broth, cracked pepper, and cinnamon (again!).
I topped the quinoa with the roasted winter vegetables--the grapes REALLY are the dish, adding a perfect amount of sweetness--and I topped it off with some roasted sunflower seeds (I purchased mine from Trader Joe's).
Delight.

Right now...
Get into RED.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

What I Wore: Falling Just Right

Oh, and another week begins.
I'm OK with Monday, as of now.
Monday gets a pretty bad rep. So, preparing for the holiday spirit of cheer, I'll be easy on her today.
 
 
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I found this quote in the stairwell of the Museum of the City of New York.
All I could say was, "Righttttt?!"
 
I can hardly believe that it's almost the end of October. Mind-boggling. Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving, and then on to Christmas. It all rushes by so swiftly. The weather, at the moment, here in New York, is divine. It can pose a difficult task, though, dressing for days that warm up in an instant and equally drop down to shiver-inducing temperatures in the shade or with the passing of clouds.  Nobody enjoys being slammed against the sweaty girl (or, usually, guy) on a cattle-packed subway car. No thank you. I prefer to keep it sweat-free, so I choose pieces that keep me on the cooler side when I know that I'm in for a day of constant errands and transit.
 
And in doing so, I find that I don't fall short.
I fall, just right.

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 The Vitals:
Atmosphere cream and neon green arrow sweater//Australian Primark brand, which unfortunately, is almost completely unavailable online with the exception of Ebay
 Sperry pony-hair leopard loafers//Sold out, Similar here
J. Crew blue and green rhinestone bangle
Black and gold arrow ring// Crossroads consignment
Kenneth Jay Lane indigo blue cocktail ring
Textured black beanie//Similar here
Comptoir des Cotonniers oversized red leather satchel//Sold Out
Tom Ford Nikita cateye tortoise sunglasses// On sale here 
 
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 In this particular outfit, I headed out for yet another day of exploration. I chose to visit the Museum of the City of New York up at 104th street, on Fifth Ave, overlooking northern Central Park. Due to the existence of an endless array of prominent museums here in New York City, often, some of the smaller, less publicized can be overlooked. That's a shame, in itself. I'd caught wind of current exhibits, and I'd added the Museum of the City of New York to my "to do/to see" list. The museum showcased a riveting exhibition called "Activist," highlighting New York's longstanding battles of passion between one another...feminism, racism, nativism, religious persecution, homosexuality, you name it. A lot has occurred on this small island. A lot of lives lived. Endless stories of both heroism and courage as well as hate and unspeakable cruelty. It's overwhelming for the mind to wholly comprehend all of this humanity. Afterward, I viewed a twenty-minute film, Timescape, which chronicled New York's evolution from a Native American settlement, to early European territories, to its present state as one of the greatest, most powerful, most populous cities in the world.
  
This museum, and particularly, its temporary featured exhibits, was just what I needed. Some days, I need these reminders that although I, and we, as individuals, are minute pieces in this chaotic, never-ending world-of-a-puzzle, my existence is not doomed for insignificance. It might be irritatingly idealistic for me to add this, but I do believe that each of us possess a role. Or, many, for that matter. Some of us inherently understand what this is, intuitively embracing ourselves. Others, well...we struggle in searching for some semblance of meaning, exploring the world in order to explore ourselves. Some are in between. Some deny them and set off to prove otherwise or create their own role. And you know what?
All are OK.

I took my time after the museum, simply breathing in this monumental city around me. I strolled across the street and into the Central Park's Conservatory Garden, which became my own personal secret garden for fifteen minutes of reverence. I meandered to the lake and took a few more minutes to pay homage to those who have come and gone long before me in order to create the life I lead and world I do it in, as only I know it to be. It's pretty remarkable what a half hour can do for the soul when you're still with eyes wide open.

 
 
 
And,
I'll leave you with this, which was engraved in the crown molding of the Museum of the City of New York.
 
"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live, so that his place will be proud of him."
-Abraham Lincoln
 
I don't think that I've read anything as of late that has struck me so deeply as this. New York, if you do your part, I'll sure as hell do everything within my power to do the same.
Every day, I have 24 hours to try.

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Living well...
 
Do it your way, whatever way you may know or feel it to be.
 
Today.

See you around, buster.
 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

On the Run: NY Fashion Week Part 2

Well,
Hello, stranger.

Like I mentioned oh-so-long-ago in  "On the Run: NY Fashion Week Part 1," there was much more to say and to see in regards to this past September's New York Fashion Week. And, although late--timing has never been my strong suit, much to friends' and family's dismay...hey, I try, ok?!--I am a woman of my word. Words, in fact. A woman of my own and many other words. I've been continuing to run, or at least fly and ride, around to such extremities like Cabo, Mexico and then immediately to Lake George, Connecticut, and Vermont. But, we'll get to that later.

Promise.



Olivia Inkster, StyleDefinedNYC, fashion contributors New York City NYC, fashionable scene kids New York, orange Dolce Vita dress, wearing a turban, black turban and orange, orange chiffon, bright chiffon silk dress Dolce Vita, all black outfits for men, fashion inspiration for men, black hats for men and women, Adrian and Richie Moo, transgender fashion, high fashion for fashion week, NYFW, S/S 14 collections, fashion week in new York, streetstyle NYC, street fashion NY, What to wear to fashion week in new York, spring and summer collections, parties in NYC, parties on the pier, Hudson River party venue, fashion week partiesOlivia Inkster, StyleDefinedNYC, writers and stylists in New York, fashion contributors New York City NYC, fashionable scene kids New York, orange Dolce Vita dress, wearing a turban, black turban and orange, orange chiffon, bright chiffon silk dress Dolce Vita, all black outfits for men, fashion inspiration for men, black hats for men and women, Adrian and Richie Moo, transgender fashion, high fashion for fashion week, NYFW, S/S 14 collections, fashion week in new York, streetstyle NYC, street fashion NY, What to wear to fashion week in new York, spring and summer collections, parties in NYC, parties on the pier, Hudson River party venue, fashion week parties

Work WITH play:
Friends of mine and creative powerhouse, Richie Moo and Adrian.


There were endless noteworthy and awe-inducing occurrences, of course. Incredible moments, entirely unique and talented individuals, electric parties, shows, mind-blowing creativity, as well as a few letdowns and missing-the-mark situations.  I'll just cover a few for you, you know--just to fill you in--and I'll deliver you insight on many of the designers and random tidbits that haven't oversaturated the internet's fashion week feed, been covered too many times, and that you can find anywhere.
I'll keep it brief (er) this time.
You're welcome.

Abbreviated CliffsNotes:




 "In their fifth collection, designers Koon Lim and Catrine The fully cemented their androgynous aesthetic as a force–a woman–to be reckoned with. In short, Koonhor’s collection stands out for its quiet but bold details. It’s feminine because it acknowledges and embraces masculinity as a part of its makeup. With an honest look at both the dark and light brooding beneath the surface, Koonhor captures the self-exploration in addition to the self-expression of today’s woman. Well done."

StyleDefinedNYC, writers and stylists in New York, fashion contributors New York City NYC, fashionable scene kids New York, womenswear, powersuits, suits for women, black and white outfits, work ideas, edgy suits, stylish suits, slim black and white pants, white fur top, white outfits, white skirt and top, Koonhor, Koonhor pantsuit, Stoker film, film inspiration and fashion, green suits, skirts and blazers, women's fashionable blazers, high fashion for fashion week, New York Fashion Week, NYFW, S/S 14 collections, fashion week in new York, streetstyle NYC, street fashion NY, What to wear to fashion week in new York, spring and summer collections, parties in NYC, fashion week parties
*Favorites list:*
How fabulous is this white "hair" top with the matching white skirt?


StyleDefinedNYC, writers and stylists in New York, fashion contributors New York City NYC, fashionable scene kids New York, womenswear, those kinds of girls, that kind of girl, those kinds of women, those kinds of ladies, powersuits, suits for women, black and white outfits, work ideas, edgy suits, stylish suits, slim black and white pants, white fur top, white outfits, white skirt and top, Koonhor, Koonhor pantsuit, Koohnhor fashion, emerging New York designers, Stoker film, film inspiration and fashion, green suits, skirts and blazers, women's fashionable blazers, high fashion for fashion week, New York Fashion Week, NYFW, S/S 14 collections, fashion week in new York, streetstyle NYC, street fashion NY, What to wear to fashion week in new York, spring and summer collections, parties in NYC, fashion week parties
*Favorites List:*
Who says that pantsuits are for the stiff and boring? I'm craving a sharp, edgy pantsuit now, and we all know that this girl is anything but boring. Instant power without being prudish or overbearing. You're hired.
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Jonathan Simkhai S/S 14

Read my review of Jonathan Simkhai'sfall and winter 2013 collection via StyleDefinedNYC HERE to view what you should be buying and wearing right now...right now, I say!

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*Favorites List:*
Jonathan Simkhai's presentation at Milk Studios- chock full of contrasting colors and patterns. This patterned trench with floral slacks and pumps is on my radar for spring. Lady about town attire.

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 "For a line that debuted in February 2012, Houghton has quickly created its signature timelessness that fully understands how to design for and dress a woman of any age throughout the ages. This line solidifies Houghton’s legacy amongst the great womenswear household names.
Between the warm sunshine, light breeze from the water (albeit the Hudson River), and the outstanding-looking crowd in attendance, the collection proved that art can–and often does–imitate life. A fabulous, white sand and blue sky, kind of life. I’m on board with Houghton and …a tiki drink already."
Via my review on StyleDefinedNYC
*Read the full scoop*

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                                 Photo courtesy of Style.com.
*Favorites List:*
Like, I mentioned in "On the Run: NY Fashion Week Part 1," Katharine Polk, the designer, creates ladylike gowns that enhance and drape the figure ever so delicately and effortlessly, standing apart from the dense cluster of fashion week. Prim and precise tailoring in silk, chiffon, organza and French cotton provided the basis for clean lines and easy, breezy garments that were beautifully regal in their design. While the frocks were clearly standouts, fluttering down the terrace, a white crinkle long blazer and matching baggy shorts paired with a silk tee offered a cool reprieve that still maintained the collection’s unfaltering elegance. Oh, what the heart desires...

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fashion contributors New York City NYC, fashionable scene kids New York, black and white, black and white flats loafers, bat clothes, batman shoes, bat flats, clothing with bats, bats on your shoes, black and white shoes, funky flats, New York Fashion Week, NYFW, S/S 14 collections, fashion week in new York, streetstyle NYC, street fashion NY, What to wear to fashion week in new York, spring and summer collections, parties in NYC, fashion week parties
*Favorites List:*
 This lovely lady rode across from me on the subway, before we both exited and walked together to several of the collection presentations and shows in the Meatpacking district. Seriously, take a gander at her flats.
Seriously?! How fantastic are they?! Obsessed.
More than obsessed, though....jealous.
Sadly, designer unknown. Tear.

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Azede-Jean Pierre S/S 14

"Technicolor dreams inspired by Mother Nature dominated this equally-sleek and fun collection by this season’s designer to watch, Azede-Jean Pierre. Much like the natural world, nothing about this collection is hard. In general, the spring season represents a rebirth after the slumber of winter, and the impeccable design and craftsmanship of Azede-Jean Pierre launches a fresh awakening that ignites all of the senses with her Spring and Summer 2014 collection. This is what it’s about. We won’t just be watching Azede-Jean Pierre, we’ll be wearing her as well."
Via my review on StyleDefinedNYC
*Read the full scoop*
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Jean-Pierre implements subtle details, such as slits and embroidery, to balance some of the louder prints. Somehow, even black beetle images embroidered onto many of the pieces came off as chic and polished, most notably on a silk white cropped jacket and white skirt.


StyleDefinedNYC, those kinds of girls, Olivia Inkster reviews, writers and stylists in New York, fashion contributors New York City NYC, fashionable scene kids New York, womenswear, French cotton dresses, bugs on clothing and apparel, black and white skirt and blazer, funky and fun skirts and tops, technicolor clothing, bright dresses, nature clothing, fashion and nature, nature inspired clothing line, red and orange dress, yellow feminine dress, red yellow and green, tulip style dresses, clothing with cutouts, black romper, Azede Jean Pierre, emerging designers, young female designers, high fashion for fashion week, New York Fashion Week, NYFW, S/S 14 collections, fashion week in new York, who's who and who's hot NY Fashion week, designers to watch for, streetstyle NYC, street fashion NY, Azede Jean, Jean-Pierre, amazing wow gowns and dresses, crazy prints, crazy colored outfits dresses, What to wear to fashion week in new York, spring and summer collections, parties in NYC, fashion week

*Favorites List:*
I was enamored with this tulip-like green, pink and yellow knee-length dress with peek-a-boo collarbone cutouts and a petal-like hem.

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Titania Inglis S/S 14

"Marching through triangular archways to the opening chords of Nine Inch Nails “Closer” at the Standard Hotel, emerged the “Tessellation” Spring/Summer 2014 collection by Titania Inglis. Like the sound of beats of the blaring music, the look was both hard and soft. Metal jewelry and accessories–a collaborative effort with jeweler WXYZ–included caged leggings, intricate collar-like necklaces, and hair ornaments. Dresses and separates in shades of grey, white, and a few pops of lemon yellow in light linen, cotton, and leather kept the visual aesthetic demure, whispering rather than screaming."
Via my review on StyleDefinedNYC
*Read the full scoop*

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Titania Inglis, installation-master Olafur Eliasson and architect Bucky Fuller, minimalist style, Titania Inglis fashion, NY Fashion Week, New York City fashion kids, New York City fashion and style, spring and summer designer collections, S/S 14, SPRING SHOPPING CLOTHING, NYC FASHION WEEK, NYFW, Olivia Inkster writer reviews, StyleDefinedNYC, fashion editors, designers to look for, women designers, womenswear, beautiful linen, linen dresses, geometric fashion, fashion and Nine Inch Nails, crowns, wearing a crown, metal crowns, WXYZ, WXYZ jewelry, caged shoes sandals, caged leggings, metal jewelry, pyramid jewelry, metal and soft accessories and fashion, grey and yellow together, mixing hard and soft, how to mix fashion, contrasting looks during Fashion Week
Photo by Katya Moorman
*Favorites List:
A personal favorite look floated down the runway in a white and grey floor-length suspension dress, overlap jacket, finished by a dark crown of pyramids around her head. Combining the stiff shapes with that of the simple and streamlined silhouettes, two worlds seemed to collide–the natural and that of the industrial. And, some how, surprisingly to me, they manage to orbit in unison, relying on one another for survival.

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Quick beauty and hair fixes: Mynxii, a living doll and a fellow StyleDefinedNYC contributor who covers alllllll things beauty for us, undergoes a maintenance check at Milk Studios.

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Bellavance S/S 14

"The combined trio of sporty, playful and fresh dominate the Spring and Summer collection 2014 for designers Nolan Bellavance and Ava Hama’s line, Bellavance. Interestingly, in only the line’s second collection, Nolan Bellavance cites “the idea of trios” as the season’s inspiration, and more specifically, “the relationship between three sisters.” At the line’s Milk Studios presentation, models stood in threes, and although clearly related (fashionably speaking), each represented a much different and unique interpretation. Together and cohesive, yes, but individual as well–familial foundations at work, don’t we wish it was so easy?!"
Via my review on StyleDefinedNYC
*Read the full scoop*

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Bellavance, Bellavance fashion, Nolan Bellavance, spring and summer designer collections, S/S 14, SPRING SHOPPING CLOTHING, NYC FASHION WEEK, NYFW, Olivia Inkster writer reviews, StyleDefinedNYC, fashion editors, designers to look for, women designers, womenswear, beautiful linen, linen and cotton dresses, color-blocked heels pumps, long ivory coats, floor-length coat, nautical prints, blue and white stripes, sporty fashion, sporty and nautical women's looks fashion, nautical dresses, preppy fashion for women, preppy jacket, preppy blazer, preppy dress, striped dress
*Favorites List:*
I honed in on an exquisite floor-length off-white silk jacket (worthy of Blanche Devereaux herself) with a contrastingly short dress and black/cream color-blocked heels.

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Clearly, a great deal more went on, but you get the idea. I won't bore you.
Want to know more?
Read the book!
BOOM.

Talk soon,

This Kind of Girl
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