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What Miami Moms Really Need on Their Baby Registry

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This post has been a long time coming. Now that baby girl is about 2 and a half years old I can say with certainty I would have put way different stuff on my baby registry. So here’s what I think Miami moms really need on their baby registry.
What Miami Moms Really Need on Their Baby Registry

Stuff Miami Moms Can Leave Off Their Baby Registry

Blankets – It’s too hot here! If anything get a very thin one
Long sleeved anything – It’s too hot here!!! (you might need one all year)
Jackets – It’s too hot here!!! (you might need one all year)
Those warm onesies that cover their entire hands and feet – It’s too hot here!!!
Baby hand covers – I know you are worried baby will scratch their eyes and face, but that’s supposed to happen!!! It heals and that’s how they learn not to do that. My doctor threw them in the trash, so don’t bother with them no matter what the older generation says. Not needed. Yes baby ended up scratching herself and her eye, but it healed and she did learn not to do that. One less thing to not worry about! Yay!
Black Carseats – Are you crazy?! It’s too hot here!!!!! I made this mistake, boy did I feel awful.
Black Strollers – Even more insane than black carseats. Why do they even sell these in FL?!?!? So crazy insanely hot baby was miserable 99% of the time. Sweating to death! I bought this expensive, but black, stroller thinking it would be a nice neutral color and wouldn’t show stains. At the expense of baby’s comfort. I had to give it away. Do not make that mistake just get a light colored stroller. With a HUGE freaking epic sun visor. We NEED that here!
Humidifiers – That’s for dry weather moms. Like up north when it’s snowing and they have the heaters on taking all the moisture out of their homes. We do not have that problem here. Plenty of moisture is already in your home and adding more will cause mold. A much more realistic (and dangerous) problem for us in Miami. If we need to make a room a little more humid, we can simply and safely crack open a window. More info.
Baby Tub – Never used it, waste of money. Cradle them in your arms in a tub with them or wash them bit by bit in the sink. In some countries they get a bucket and a hose and go outside. I can’t believe I almost got suckered into that jetted baby spa tub lol!

Baby Registry Items for Miami Moms

Feeding

Bottles: they are all BPA free now (yay!). Do NOT attempt to get glass or stainless steel style bottles. Boy I made that mistake. You swear you’re going to be careful with the glass ones. You think you are somehow more civilized than other moms and your baby will be calmer and different…HA!!! Honey, no. You are human, baby is a human infant. You WILL be sleep deprived and baby will get cranky. Sooner or later no matter what fancy safety contraption you put that glass bottle in, it will break and the results will be humbling. Same with the stainless steel. You cannot see how much baby is drinking and that’s huge! You need to simmer down and get the basic clear plastic BPA free bottles. You’re still a good mom. It will be just fine.

Bottle Nipples: Bottle nipples are the most important part of the bottle to babies. The first nipple they become comfortable with is what the will want FOREVER. We had 20 different bottle types and since we went with formula in the hospital and they use those pre-made little formula bottles we needed to get one near identical to those nipples and for us it was Dr. Brown’s bottles. Loved them.

Breastfeeding Supplies: If you exclusively breastfeeding you should be able to get a free breast pump now with your insurance so check with it and fight for it because if your health insurance is new (after the affordable care act) they have to give it to you. You’ll probably want bottles that are closer to a natural nipple shape in this case. My friend had luck with the Tommee Tippee brand. When breastfeeding you’ll also need nipple cream, a good nursing bra, and storage bags. Optional: nipple cream, nipple shields

Bottle Dryer: To dry your bottles get a standard bottle dryer. These are great and you need one.

Bibs: You’ll also need some bibs because babies like to spit up and eventually need to eat baby food which is messy. The bibs I like have button closure, easy to wash in the sink, and dry quick for reuse. Some good ones: here, here, and here. Button closure is preferred, but above all you want to rise and dry them for multiple uses throughout the day. Washing bibs means you need like 500 of them! It’s not smart and there is no need to suffer. Plenty of laundry to do without adding that to the mix. The ones that are entirely plastic will save yourself the most grief.

Utensils: At the beginning use something like these that are very tiny. Then get around 3 spoons and 3 forks. The best kind have plastic handles with metal like these.

Bowls: I started off with lots of fancy bowls and feeding trays. I quickly learned you want something small and that’s not easy to tip over at first. Do not judge me, but the best I found was a non slip cat dish! LoL!!! It had rubber on the bottom witch kept it in place for longer than the ones made for a baby. Something like this, but if that’s too much for you try this one. I know I’m horrible, but it really did work. When baby is a bit more civilized just go for some cheaper bowls/containers with lids and get a lot. Lids are great to save left overs that baby didn’t touch. Yay to no waste!

High Chair: You need this one. Get one that has a good harness to keep baby in it and safe. Eventually they try to escape and if baby figures out how to get out of the pack and play too soon this may be the only place you can keep them to be safe while you cook! So make sure the seat is strong and keeps them locked in. Nothing to heavy, so you can move it around to whatever room you are in. Kitchen to cook, etc. Look for something easy to wipe down with not a lot of nooks and crannies. It will get nasty and can be a pain to constantly clean. I went with a spacesaver one that attaches to any regular chair. I love this one even though it’s a huge pain to clean, because in the moments baby falls asleep while eating it reclines!

Baby Furniture

I’m going to just give you the essentials here.

Crib: Now your options are the cheap ones, the convertible ones that last forever, or getting multiple items like a bassinet + crib + whatever. I say just get a cheap crib and buy a nice big kid bed when the time comes. The pretty bassinet tiny crib is useless very quickly. Makes a great photo, but not much else. Co-sleeping contraptions are useless. The take up too much space and if you’re going to co-sleep just do it. Buy the mattress at least 4 months before your due date and open it up and air it out to release as much of the toxic flame retardant chemicals that are MANDATORY for all mattresses. They are toxic and a suspect in sudden infant death syndrome. Until the laws change do this much needed step. In fact formica furniture also has toxic fumes, if you are not buying all wood furniture buy everything a few months ahead of time to air it out and open windows while you’re home to let it escape.

Pack and Play: AKA play pen. Whatever you call it, you NEED it. Take it with you everywhere because you cannot put baby to sleep easily and safely without one. It’s also great when baby gets bigger and you need to go to the bathroom! Or if you want to cook and open an oven. There are so many times you need to put baby some place safe. These are a real need.

Changing Table: Yes this is important. More important than a dresser! Get a changing table. You never know if you end up with a c-section and you cannot bend down at ALL. I had one on the pack and play but it was still too low and I ended up having to buy one I didn’t make space for and had to cram it in the room. Buy one!!!!

Baby Sized Chair: Eventually baby will get big enough to sit and watch tv. Make baby more comfortable with a cute comfy baby sized chair. I bought one for like $50 or $60 and regretted it. It didn’t have a slipcover I could remove and wash. Just drinking water spilling on it made the chair look gross. It is worth it to get the ones from Pottery Barn or wherever that have the removable slipcovers. I may have to buy another one at this point.

Baby Clothes

Leave off any and all warm clothing from your registry! They usually give you swaddle blankets at the hospital and you need them for only a short time. Like I said before it’s hot here and babies like it cooler than it normally is in Miami at night. Unlike the rest of the country our nights are pretty warm. Baby will be fine in a just a normal onesie. So here’s what you’ll need…
Warm weather clothes: Think shorts, short sleeves, cotton, etc.
Snap buttons not real buttons: Who the heck put real buttons on baby clothes? I hate when behind the neck there is that one real button and you have to fight for hours to try and get it on. There is a special place in hell for companies that put real buttons on baby clothes. Go with snap buttons, trust me.
No polyester: Should go without saying but that’s too hot for Miami.

My top place to avoid if I don’t want to go broke on baby clothes… Janie and Jack. (Clothes so cute you’ll wish they were in your size!)
My other fave places to buy baby clothes: Lucky Brand used to have the BEST, but they just stopped (I bought bags full when they were clearing it out). Zara is expensive, but you can find cute clothes that look less cartoonish and decent materials. I like some of the stuff at Baby’s R Us like their FAO Schwarz. I also hit up TJMax and Marshall’s for name brands at great prices.

Baby Gear

Stroller: The bane of your existence for the next few years is the stroller. This is the true loss of your freedom when having a child. Not being able to maneuver ANYWHERE easily. Store aisles will be too narrow most of the time. People will be knocking into you. You’ll get stuck. It’s no fun, but you’ll get through it with the right stroller.

Again DO NOT GET A BLACK STROLLER. It’s freaking HOT in Miami! So you’re going to need to find a light colored one and only let your kiddos have water and food that doesn’t stain. Juice is horrible and gives them a sugar high and crash anyhow. The best color is something very light grey as it’s still neutral. If you just don’t care, get whatever light color you want and worry about selling it later or just donate it.

Be realistic with your needs for a stroller. It may be tempting to get a set with the infant carseat and stroller, but if that’s not the PERFECT stroller you’re going to regret it or be back at the store when you can’t take it anymore. I wanted to save money and ended up wasting tons more by doing that. Many people think light strollers are the best. I’ll let you in on a little secret, having a baby is going to give you killer STRONG arms! Right now you might not be able to lift 30 pounds. Eventually you’ll be able to lift 30 pound in ONE arm for HOURS at a time and not think twice about it. So when you’re struggling to lift that huge stroller now, keep that in mind. Within maybe 4 months I went from having trouble lifting groceries to holding a baby in one arm and a weeks worth of groceries in the other.

Stroller Features:

How light they are – I would rather heavy to get everything I want since you only open and close it when you arrive and leave.
How Easy it is to push and turn – one finger easy pushing is the way to go!
Storage basket – How much stuff can you store under the stroller? I mean that’s the ONE good thing about lugging a stroller around, the extra storage.
If the stroller can roll up to a restaurant and be about table height – This was important for me since we eat out a lot.
Comes in a light color fabric for the seat – It’s hot here!
Comfortable seat for baby – Padding? Adjustable?
Harness – Is it easy for a baby or toddler to escape?! Can the harness be tightened so that baby isn’t half way out of the stroller able to smack strangers? For that matter does the seat not go forward allowing baby to nearly jump out?
Sun Visor – Is it a strong one that really blocks the sun? Does it cover all or most of baby head to toe? Would baby not have any sunburnt skin after a hot day in Disney World?
How much space it takes up in your trunk – Not a big deal to me if I get what I want otherwise.
How easy it is to travel with – I say get a cheap umbrella stroller for that.

Stroller Recommendations:
Bugaboo Bee3 Stroller – a grey seat with different options for the sun shade color. From the options I saw the lightest colored ones were: Soft Pink and Yellow, and Off White. They come in other color combos, but again I’m looking at light seat colors for baby. These are also easy to move and have lots of under storage. Not a small or very light stroller, but you can’t have it all and this gives the most function.

Stokke Strollers – I love these!!! Lots of options in colors and features. Some allow for carseats and bassinets that lay baby flat for infants. The colors and function of these are why after trying many strollers I was finally happy with one of these…FINALLY! Since I no longer needed a carseat attachment (that phase goes by very quickly so don’t make it a selling point) I went with this simple model the Stokke Scoot.
The Stokke Crusi model is great too. This Crusi comes with a bassinet. I recommended checking these out and really deciding if you want to have more than one kids when purchasing. One of the models allows for two children and it’s a wonderful smooth ride.

I really wanted a Stokke because I like to eat out a lot and not every place has high chairs with working or strong straps. Baby easily can stand up and climb out! It was becoming a nightmare. I saw a women pull up her table-height Stokke and the kid was locked in secure for restaurant eating with family! Even the lower end Scoot I bought is about average table height and we have been able to do this. It’s an amazing feeling and one less thing to worry about. Being short it’s a little harder since I don’t have the same view I did with a shorter stroller. However, baby being up higher has so many benefits I feel it’s totally worth it. The ride is a dream with one finger pushing and tons of lower storage for long shopping trips. I went with the light pink Scoot and it cleans easy with a soap and water sponge looking fabulous. I regret my first stroller choice. It was the very popular Britax B-Agile and was light, but that’s about it. It had an uncomfortable back, it was black and hot, hard to push, and not as much storage. If I could do it all over again knowing what I know now I would have got the Stokke Scoot the the same Light Pink I have now. I would also not worry about the stroller attaching a carseat. So let me get more into…

Carseat: Try to get a light color one (again it’s HOT here) but at least get those sun shields for the back passenger windows that stick on the glass. I’m big into safety so since rear-facing for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE has a huge benefit I’m doing it! I look at max weight and height for rear-facing and safety stats when choosing a carseat. I went with the Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, in Cowmooflage. It’s rear-facing from birth (5 lbs. to 40 lbs.) and forward facing for kids up to 65 lbs. It’s so much better the Britax carseat that came as a set with my first stroller. It’s just made better and baby girl is so much more comfortable. I know what you’re thinking….the Cowmooflage (lol) color is black…yeah but it’s cute and I have epic tints on my car plus the sun shields. That being said my last car has crappy light tints and the sun would come directly on baby’s face and it was horrible. Moral of the story…never buy a car without making them add dark as legally allowed tints! You just mention it before you lease or purchase the car to seal the deal and they do it without paying extra. It’s a cheap service if you need to pay for it yourself just do it.

Diaper Bag: I made the huge mistake of buying a large (black) Coach diaper bag. It was very nice leather and fancy, but I didn’t need all that space. Now I just buy a medium sized cross body leather or easy to clean bag and put 2 diapers, 1 emergency outfit, and the portable wipes container. When I need to bring a bottle I use this small insulated cooler (free from Similac) and attach it to the stroller. I used to also keep a small changing page in whatever purse I used too, but stopped to save space. Now I just use a disinfecting wipe before putting baby down. It’s not super comfortable, but after a while you become ninja fast at this diaper changing business and you learn where all the nice bathrooms are, or just don’t care anymore.

Portable High Chair: We went with the Inglesina Fast Table Chair. Now you can only use it when the restaurant table is strong and won’t tip over and not super thick that the chair won’t fit. However, when you can use it it’s the best. Baby’s feet hang and there is nothing to step on to push up and climb out! Plus it has a harness, Yay! Active toddlers can be a hand full, but this makes life a little easier and baby is happy they are the same level as everyone else at the table.

OK so I didn’t tell you EVERYTHING you’ll need, but I told you the big important stuff I wish someone had told me about. Things I never thought about until my money was wasted. I hope my advice or even a small part of it was helpful or at least made you think about what you really need differently.

From Curly Black Hair to Blonde Hair: Using Olaplex

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How I went from Naturally Curly Black Hair to Blonde Hair

Yes I naturally have curly black hair. It’s one of the hardest hair types to bleach. Not just because of the color, but because of the texture. Curly hair means your hair is naturally drier. Beaching my hair type used to mean going a shade lighter at a time and having to deal with straw broken hair at the end. It would just look damaged and snap off if not completely turn to mushy goo and need to be shaved off altogether.
From Black to Blonde Hair Olaplex Review
Here is me before with my dark brown/black hair. Just remember my hair is blow-dried and curled.
800avatarStill I decided to get some ombre done from Hair By Roxy.
CHERYL HOUNDSTOOTH CAPE
Then I added some Balayage but it wasn’t quite enough for me, so I went back to Hair By Roxy.

Balayage HairByRoxy

Balayage HairByRoxy

After that I heard about something called Olaplex.

What is Olaplex?

Some chemistry mumbojumbo that adds up to a new molecule that links broken bonds in hair back together again. This molecule, when added into any haircolor services, will prevent breakage. They call it hair insurance. And it’s probably the reason why celebrities like Kim Kardashian can afford to bleach their hair to oblivion with little care.

So I found a salon via Instagram Hair Healers that uses the product and went in.

The service took nearly 6 hours and in the end I was still really brassy. I needed another session of bleach and was told to come back.

afterHairHealers

After by Hair Healers

Only I found yet another hairstylist also via Instagram xLouis and who did a fabulous job on my sister. She’s a natural blonde who enjoys dying her hair dark and just decided to go back to blonde.
This was the final product…
HairByLouis

Hair by Louis

I finally feel I got the exact color I wanted. Louis darkened the roots a bit and bleached it more over all. Left side is without flash and right side is with flash. It looks more like a natural color. Not on me, of course, but someone else… lol. The very tips since they were lightened the most and I use the purple shampoo look a bit silvery. Which I find pretty cool and on trend.

Oh and did Olaplex work? Well let’s just say that my hair isn’t perfect, but it never was. I blow dry and flat iron all the time. However, it isn’t breaking off. It’s soft. And I’m a happy camper.

So yes, a lot more people will be going blonde now. Why? The same reason my blonde haired sister likes to darken her hair. Women like change and to spice it up. Now that us curly dark haired girls can do it with little to no damage, we’re going to get a little crazy.

Next post I’ll be giving all the details on how to take care of bleached blonde naturally curly hair. If you see me out and about feel free to ask to touch it.

Get to the comments and let me know what you think of my hair journey! Feel free to share yours and any of your hair tips too!

How to Grow Roses in Miami – My Miami Rose Garden

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Wait for your swoons, this one is going to hit you in your sweet spot.  Today I’m talking about How to grow roses in Miami and showing off my Miami Rose Garden.  Not only that, but I’ll also talk about growing the fabulous David Austin Roses in Miami.  Let me just say…YES YOU CAN!
How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden | David Austin Garden Roses

First I want to show off my favorite roses from Home Depot.  These are called Chicago Peach and they are huge and vibrant show stoppers.  If you follow me on Instagram (PersianKittyKat) I’ve posted photos of these beauties by my hand and they are so much bigger than my hands!  These make great cut roses.

How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose GardenSee what I mean?  Don’t they look fabulous on my table?

How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose GardenThen I have these cute little roses.  They grow with NO PROBLEMS in Miami.  I hardly pay much attention to them and they are always packed with flowers.  Yay!

How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose GardenHere is an old rose I’ve had since I was a kid, also from Home Depot.  No idea what it’s called, but it’s been alive both in ground or in a pot for most of my life with little attention.  It was attacked for a while, but nothing a little trimming couldn’t fix.

How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose GardenHow to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden | David Austin Garden Roses

And another

How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden

David Austin Roses – Growing Garden Roses in Miami

I’ve got a few more roses from Home Depot and some from my favorite local plan nursery.  But if you’re a rose lover, like myself, you want to see the David Austin Roses!  These beautiful petal packed garden roses are the stuff of dreams and fairytales.  Every bride wanting roses truly would rather garden roses to traditional roses.  As they should, they are AWESOME.  These magical creatures have made it to the United States and are available to order online.

Here are some pictures to swoon your eyes out.  Then I’ll tell you everything you need to know about growing these babies in your Miami garden.

How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose GardenHow to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden

So you probably noticed how awesome the petals are compared to regular roses.  Garden roses come in more styles and most have much higher petal counts than traditional roses.  I love the cupped shaped garden roses like the Juliet variety.  Now if you venture back in my Instagram feed I have the names of these roses.  But new varieties are constantly being created, so just go to the David Austin Roses website and request a cataloge and see what’s best for your area.

Tips for Growing David Austin Garden Roses or any Roses in Miami

When you order then from the website I highly suggest getting their brand of rose food and if nothing else you MUST get their Mycorrhizal Fungi.

What the heck is Mycorrhizal Fungi, you ask?  It’s black magic that helps your roses deal with the stress of travel and being transplanted.  It helps them grow better and stronger roots, makes them more resistant to stress, and check out this link here for more details.   Just take my word for it, huge difference and for the money you are throwing into these beauties you want to give them every chance in the world of success.

Your roses will be bare rooted when they are shipped to you in a moist large plastic bag.  IMMEDIATELY get some huge plastic bins, like storage bins from Walmart or something.  Pure cool water into them and make sure you cover the entire roots with water.  Let them sit over night max and plant asap!  You don’t want to let them die.  Plant them right away or they will!  Track your shipment and make sure you’ll be home to take care of them.

Use lots of manure and a little bit of garden soil.  Mix that with the rose food.  Use the Mycorrhizal Fungi, by wetting the roots and stick it to them.  Make holes twice as wide and deep as the roots and 18 inches or so apart from each other.

Water them immediately after planting, a LOT for the first few weeks, in growing seasons, and when they look sad (even slightly droopy).  Mulch a lot, keeping at least 2 inches.

After a while you’ll notice happy leaves sprouting!!!  Like below.

How to Grow Roses in Miami - My Miami Rose Garden | David Austin Garden RosesThe site will only ship during the best growing season for your area, so trust them on that.  I do warn you not to order before your growing season, as they can forget to ship your order or whatever.  It’s a small company, so order when you need to plant them.

Now let’s talk about after the season is over and your roses start to look crappy.  Miami actually is so hot roses will go into a type of dormancy in the very hot summer months.  Less leaves and flowers.  Keep that in mind.  We don’t have a winter, but we do have times of the year your plants will not look as nice.  That’s totally OK!

Just keep them watered and when the temperature becomes favorable again, they will come back.

As far as keeping them healthy, I eat a lot of bananas.  Roses love potassium and I give them the peels of the bananas (inside faced DOWN).  Move the mulch over a bit, put them inside of the peel faced down in the dirt, then recover with mulch.  If the baby throws her banana on the floor I’ll also bury it in the dirt by the roses.

I sprinkle Organic Bone Meal around my roses every month or so.  Keep up with rose food depending on what your package says!  If you don’t go with the David Austin one, this is an Organic Rose Food I also use with much success.

Avoiding mold and black spots in Miami, is HARD!  Rainy seasons will drive you mad.  All you can do is your best and what I do is NEVER water the leaves.  Nope!  I have the little button pressed on my hose to keep it on, while on full mode, and sit it right to the ground with the least amount of splashing.  I let it saturate the ground underneath each rose one-by-one.  The button keeps it on, so I can walk away.  I count up to 60 seconds in my head for newly planted roses and up to 45 seconds for a regular day in growing season.  Obviously not so much if at all during rainy days and rainy season.

I only use poison on my non-David Austin Roses when they have an invasion of bugs.  And I only use organic non toxic like THIS or THIS.  If you see some spiders around leave them to get the bugs for you.  The other option is to manually rub the bugs off with a moist sponge gently.  Do this early so the leaves has time to dry.  For other plants I may put the hose on full blast and blast off the bugs section by section, but not a good idea for a rose.

How to Trim your Roses

Trimming your roses is VERY important!!!  It’s the secret to beautiful roses that come back year after year.  First, I want you to remember what your roses looked like when they came to you bare root.  This is a totally appropriate amount of trimming to do at the end of summer, just before growing season in Miami starts.

Other than the big yearly trimming, trim constantly after blooms die.  this is called dead-heading.  You want to trim down to the healthiest set of 5 leaves or more on the steam.  More if it just looks bad for a little ways down.  When leaves begin to look funny or smaller, TRIM. If all else fails, trim.

I was scared to trim so much, but once my roses started to look ugly I finally got the nerve to do it and boy they came back with nice shiny big leaves again!  So you can do this.  You are not looking for a huge plant, just a happy and healthy one.

Even more details on trimming and pruning your roses may be found HERE.

So get to the comments and let me know what you think about my Rose gardening tips!  Do you have any tips for getting beautiful roses?  Share with us in the comments!!!  If you have a link to your rose garden lemme see that too 😉

How to Organize Your Jewelry

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When new friends see my bedroom dresser they always comment on how organized my jewelry looks. Today I’m going to share with you how I organize my jewelry and how to organize your jewelry!
How to Organize Your Jewelry
I got the idea to organize my costume and cheaper jewelry when I realized exactly how much of it I had stuffed in random drawers. I never used it. Out of sight, out of mind! While expensive pieces need to be kept hidden, your cheaper pieces should be out where you can see and use it! I had so much stuff that the act of organizing it alone helped me to realize I needed to get rid of most of it. I just never used it, didn’t fit right, nothing matched it, uncomfortable, etc. I just put my most used pieces out and the rest could be put in a jewelry box next to my jewelry stands.
organize braceletsSome great displays for bracelets are HERE, HERE, and HERE!
Organize earringsCheck out these earring organizers HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Organize NecklacesMy favorite necklace displays are HERE, HERE, and HERE.
organize rings For a lot of rings I would recommend this fancy ring organizer box! Other options for ring holders are HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Larger jewelry pieces like watches, brooches, etc. I place on an acrylic tray like this one.
How to Organize Your JewelryIt’s SPRING, I say start your Spring cleaning with your jewelry. It’s been a whole year since I first organized my jewelry like this and I cannot tell you enough how it’s changed everything. I actually wear it now lol! It’s not a lot of stuff, but it is no longer going to waste. My casual daily look is always nicer with a little bit of jewelry to make me feel put together. This is coming from someone that hates putting on jewelry. I just never feel like I have time for it. Organizing it has made it such a quick and painless process.

How will you be organizing your jewelry? Share any tips you have in the comments below!

My Miami Garden – Miami Gardening Tips

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I love gardening, even in this difficult Miami climate you can still find lots of flowers and beautiful gardens. Here are some of my first Miami Gardening tips and a mini tour of some of my Miami garden.Miami Garden Tour and Miami Gardening TipsWhen you decide to start gardening in Miami, the first thing you have to deal with is BUGS. We just have tons of pests!!! It’s icky. So I try to look for plants that don’t have a lot of pests and just keep them healthy. I use high pressure on my hose to blast off bugs under leaves and on pant stems. You just have to constantly check them and keep up with it.Miami Gardening Tips | Queens Wreath | Wisteria of FloridaThis is the beginnings of my Queen’s Wreath (aka: Bluebird Vine, Sandpaper Vine, Petrea volubilis, Florida Wisteria). These tiny purple flowers create hanging grape-like clusters and such lovely abundance of purple color for a few months out of the year in Miami. The rest of the time this pretty vine can offer you lovely greenery and shade over a pergola. Miami Gardening Tips | Geisha Girl FlowersGolden Dew Drop (aka: Sky Flower, Pigeon Berry, Duranta erecta ‘Geisha Girl’) this SUPER poisonous bush is loved by bees and butterflies. Just do not let little ones eat any part of it. It’s all poisonous. I love them because they make my bees happy and my butterflies love them. Whatever they love, I love! Miami Gardening | Tips climbing wall vineCreeping Fig (aka: Climbing Fig, Creeping Ficus (Ficus pumila) are great additions to your Miami garden. I just planted a few to begin covering the back concrete wall in my backyard. It will make a nice lush green backdrop and cover up that dull wall. Miami Gardening Tips | Mayer Lemon Tree
I’m half Persian, so I LOVE lemons and limes! I learned the hard way that you don’t want to plant citrus trees directly in the ground in Miami. It takes years and year and years before they will grow and mature enough to flower and fruit. The roots need to establish first, remember that. Also they are full of pests and it’s hard to keep them healthy in the ground. I found buying a HUGE pot from Costco or Home Depot is the best way. Not plastic pots please! In less than a year I already have my first flower buds!!!! Amazing! The roots established and since the entire tree is contained when it gets pests I’m on top of it and rip off any leaves with those bugs that dig inside them and use the hose at high pressure to clean off any bugs sticking to the stem or hiding under leaves. I do this every watering or at least once a week just to keep up with the bugs. You don’t want to let it go too long because it can get out of hand fast! The one in the ground got so invested it will just need to be cut down. Never let it get to that point. I don’t use sprays or chemicals. Just some good old organic citrus fertilizer.Miami Gardening Tips | Aloe FlowersI had no idea Aloe had flowers! Not only that, but they are pretty! The bees are not the only ones that love these flowers. There is this tiny little bird that is all over them every morning and evening. The cutest little bird ever with a little yellow under it’s cute belly. Only the little guy is too fast and I haven’t been able to get a photo yet. This is right below one of our windows so we get to watch him pretty close up without him knowing. Miami Gardening Tips | Aloe Flowers and BeeAll I can say is that if you’re looking for plants and you see bees all over them, BUY THEM!!!! You owe it to the environment and our precious bees. They keep making hybrids of flowers that look fuller and better to us, but the bees will not touch them. So do not buy these horrible abominations. Buy flowers that are bee approved! Miami Gardening Tips | Succulents Succulents are great for Miami. I just bought one of these for $1 or $2 and ignored them. They flower sometimes and have tons of little babies everywhere. You cannot go wrong. They are lovely year round. Miami Gardening Tips | Ground Orchids Want something to add some color but is SUPER low maintenance? Ground orchids are your friends! They come in lots of colors and once established (did not take long at all) will pretty much always have flowers. Like always. The neighbor across the street has some that are huge and ALWAYS blooming purple flowers. So get a bunch and landscape with them. Trust me!!!

Next gardening post I’m going to be talking about roses!!! Oh and David Austin Garden Roses!!! Yes yes yesssss!!! Eventurally once it’s all in full bloom I’ll do an official garden tour.
So what’s growing in your garden? What are your favorite low maintenance flowering plants? Share any Miami gardening tips in the comments! I would love to hear them!

Classic Leather Jackets

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Every girl needs this staple in their wardrobe, the classic leather jacket! I’m looking for one for next winter since I like to take my time and buy wardrobe staples when I don’t need them immediately. Here are some of my current favorites. I personally don’t like leather jackets that are not fitted properly, look funny open, and have bits that touch my neck. I spent all last weekend trying on jacket after jacket only to always find something wrong with them. Usually the zippers didn’t work properly or if it had buttons, they were a pain. Even $1000+ jackets with bad zippers. So sad. Attention fashion designers!!! Use quality zippers!!! I saw the most perfect nude/light pink leather fitted and fabulous jacket, but the zipper would constantly get stuck. It was horrible. No one wants to spend that kind of money on something that doesn’t work correctly.
How to choose a classic leather jacket for women
Now when I look for a leather jacket I try to stay away from trends as much as possible. I am willing to spend a lot of money and even ignore designer labels just to get exactly what I want. I love putting my hands in my jacket pockets, so I’ll always prefer good pockets on a jacket. Oh those that are zippered pockets really anger me! Or those pockets that are not really meant for hands…why so mean jacket?

I had a bunch in faux leather, and while I’m all for saving the animals, some things just need to be real leather. Your couch and your jacket. But there are many great faux leather option nowadays too. They are just not for me since I don’t want to constantly replace my jacket each year. If you are totally against leather, I would prefer going with a jean jacket. A nice one will stand up to good use and still be causal chic for years to come. If you do have the money to buy a faux jacket each year and don’t mind that, it’s a great way to get to try out lots of different styles and fads for less.

Here are some of my current favorites:

OK this one is AMAZING!!! Am I right? Love the color. ::dies::

I’m not currently feeling the double breasted jacket look (or asymmetrical). I say this only because I feel it may be a fad and be over with eventually. I prefer to purchase something expensive, but that will stand the test of time. That means looks great open too! It just isn’t cold enough in FL to need to keep your jacket constantly closed. This look only works well when the jacket is closed and while that is needed and great for a long winter coat, it’s a bit much for a jacket. To me, it looks messy open and bulky in most styles closed. Of course if you still love the look, here’s one that I think is super cute.

Here’s another that’s Faux Leather

Get to the comments and let me know which one I should get, or which one you want! Ahh!!! I can’t decide!
Bloomingdale's

Nars Cosmetics Promo and Favorites

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Nars Cosmetics Promo and Favorites

Nars Cosmetics Promo Offer | Nars Cosmetics Promo and Favorites

Complimentary Shipping & Returns on Any Order

My fave finds from Nars Cosmetics

Orgasm Blush Nars Cosmetics

Orgasm Blush

A cult classic! Beauty bloggers everywhere agree this blush is flattering on all skin tones and a staple for makeup artists.

Turkish Delight Nars Lipgloss

Turkish Delight Lipgloss

This lipgloss was made famous for the classic nude lip on Kim Kardashian. This shade is a light nude without simmer and I love it over liner and lipstick. It gives you that fuller glossy look.

Kim Kardashian in Turkish Delight Nars LipglossKim Kardashian in Turkish Delight Nars Lipgloss

Zen Blush Nars Cosmetics

Zen Blush

This is my fave contour blush! I use it along with Orgasm to enhance my near non-exsistant cheekbones.

Nars Cosmetics Promo Offer

Complimentary Shipping & Returns on Any Order

Diptyque Skincare Review After 3 Months

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Diptyque Skincare Review After 3 Months continued use. Before I made this big purchase, I research online. While I did find reviews, many were sponsored and I could tell there was no way they could review this line this week and another skin care line the next. While those reviews were helpful enough to get me to purchase, I wanted to give you my honest, non-sponsored review.
Diptyque Skin Care Review after 3 months
Now I’ll start off by saying what sold me was how these amazing products SMELL! No parabans + heavenly scents = yes please!!!

I’m a big fan of the Diptyque brand and always have a steady supply of their candles and perfumes (that’s another review to come!). Naturally when I heard they were releasing a skincare line I got excited. I found tons of reviews, then they offered some samples sizes with a candle order and I got to try them out! The samples were tiny, but I already knew I had to have the entire line. I ordered every single product and happily waited for them to arrive.

Infused Facial Water for the Face REVIEW

Diptyque Infused Facial Water for the Face Review

nfused Facial water by diptyque soothes, moisturizes and prepares your skin to withstand the day thanks to its natural formula. Damask rose hydrosol infused with nasturtium brings out your complexion’s natural radiance while a blend of nine traditional plants and flowers combine with vitamins and minerals to moisturize your face while giving it the nourishment it needs.
$55
5 oz.
Paraben-free.
By diptyque; made in France.

My Thoughts

I LOVE IT!!!! The smell is amazing! I have highly sensitive dry and acne prone skin. My skin loves this. The scent, the results, the lack of chemicals and parabens. What’s not to love? I mix a little with the balm, use it at a toner, and use it as a toner. I really love it as a floral mist after peels, microdermabrasion, and serious scrubs. I think I’ll be using this as long as they make it. I really loved to purchase products that are all natural with very little toxic chemical ingredients. This is a high end option that somehow seems to do more for me than other floral toners and mists.

Diptyque Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay for the Face Review

Diptyque Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay for the Face Review

Purify and detox your skin with an exfoliating clay mask by diptyque that’s formulated to leave your skin glowing and beautiful. Its blend of white clay and marble, rice and oat powders are designed to activate when mixed with water to remineralize your skin while flushing away toxins. Additional touches of apricot kernel oil, vitamins and trace minerals provide moisturizing and energizing benefits.
$65
3.4 oz.
Paraben-free.
By diptyque; made in France.

My Thoughts

The smell again, another win! These products are aromatherapy if nothing else. Oh so lovely! It’s not a rough scrub. You can easily use this scrub daily and let on as a mask treatment now and then. No irritation, no problem! Great daily scrub and perfect when I’m a little flaky. When I break out I leave it on longer as a mask. It’s fun to use and something you start to look forward too just like the facial water. When I need extra scrubbing, however, I use my One Love Organics One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub and Masque and mix it with it. If you want something even MORE scrubbing, get yourself a microdermabrasion treatment. TRUST ME! Does the job quick, but doesn’t cause damage like a lot of super harsh scrubs out there do.

Nourishing Cleansing Balm for the Face Review

Nourishing Cleansing Balm for the Face Review

Remove all traces of makeup while cleansing and nourishing your skin with diptyque Nourishing Cleansing balm. Its natural formula is enriched with oils and waxes to soften and cleanse your skin, while vitamins A, C and E give you an extra healthy boost.
$65
3.5 oz.
Paraben-free.
By diptyque; made in France.

My Thoughts

You may be shocked, but again THE SMELL!!! WOW!!! Haha, anyhow, it really gets off my war-paint on heavy eye makeup days. Waterproof mascara is no match for this. I mix it with the Infused Facial Water and warm it up in my hands and then work it into my face gently. Takes a bit time to wash off, but my day’s makeup is gone and my skin feels nice and moisturized. This is a must-have for me since I use a lot of eye makeup. If you’re in really harsh winters you should try this even if you don’t use makeup. It’s gentle and great for dehydrated winter skin.

Diptyque Radiance Boosting Powder Review

Diptyque Radiance Boosting Powder Review

Cleanses and clarifies skin for greater radiance.
Directions:
Moisten hands and face with warm water. Place one dose (approximately a half-teaspoon) in cupped palm and work the powder into a creamy lather with the ball. Gently massage face with small, circular movements, avoiding the eye area. Rinse with warm water or soak a washcloth in warm water and gently wipe.
$58
1.4 OZ.
Paraben-free.
By diptyque; made in France.

My Thoughts

The little circle black sponge thing is rough. I’m OK with scrubbing and such, but I’m just letting you know upfront. This would be best for oily skin. Mine is on the dry side so this really does nothing for me. I do use it sometimes after the balm when I want to get off the moisturizing feeling to use a treatment or whatever after. The smell again is nice, but I would say this is better suited for young and oily skin types.

_8830556

Diptyque Protective Moisturizing Lotion for the Face with added SPF 15 Review

Moisturize and protect your skin while giving it that healthy glow you love with benefits to block the sun’s harsh rays. It’s formulated with damask rose floral hydrosol to refresh skin, orange blossom to stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid and five floral, leaf and root extracts; calendula; and omegas 3, 6 and 9 to give your skin the comfort, strength and vitamins it deserves.
$72
1.7 oz.
Paraben-free.
By diptyque; made in France.

My Thoughts

I used this for a while, but then I switch back to my normal moisturizer, Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream. I use a separate SPF that is tinted and stronger. While I did enjoy the scent, I still preferred the Rose Day Cream. When I ran out of it, I just never repurchased. It’s still a great option and I love the scent and ingredients.
DIPTYQUE SKIN CARE REVIEW
Hope you found my Diptyque skin care review helpful in making your decision. Some really great ones here! If nothing else at least get yourself the Diptyque Infused Facial Water for the Face! But I really love the Balm and the Clay too! It’s hard, I know.

All Diptyque Skin Care Products are Available at NORDSTROM!
NORDSTROM - Expert Tips for Easy Skincare

Get to the comments and let me know what you think about Diptyque’s skin care line. Any of these products caught your eyes? Err, your nose?

What to Know Before You Get a Lovebird

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Lovebirds are adorable, come in many colors and varieties and are the subject of poetry and songs. They are the sweetest little feathered friends you could ask for, but before you run off and buy one you have to know the following and get some gear ready to go.
what to know before you get a lovebird

What to know before you get a Lovebird

Before you purchase your Lovebird here are some things you should know about your feathered pal. Not all type of Lovebirds is it possible to distinguish sex based on appearance. This means if you want to know the sex of your bird you may have to pay for a DNA test. Around here it will set you back $40. Sizes range from 4″, as in the Fischer’s, to 7″, as in the Peachfaced. Weights generally range from 50-60 grams and females tend to be larger than the males, and for the most part, more aggressive as well. Do not worry about biting in the beginning as this is a sign of fear and there are easy ways to train your new Lovebird not to bite and to trust you. However, if you want to make the process easier I suggest going to multiple places and holding Lovebirds until you find one that doesn’t shake much or at all and doesn’t bite you. Usually younger birds will be your best bet. Personally, I went to several places and handled over 10 birds until I found one that was very calm with me and did not bite. I purchased mine at the Aviary Nursery in Cauley Square. Again, if you’re set on a specific color patter, etc. but the bird you find bites and is scared, it just takes some patience and proper training to fix that.

Lovebirds usually live from 10-15 years. Lovebirds can live to be anywhere from 15 to 20 years allthough some may live to be 30 years old. Please make sure you can invest the time, money, and patience it requires to care for a Lovebird before you purchase. You will also need to do frequent wing and nail clippings. For a Lovebird that is around $5.

Contrary to popular belief it is a myth that Lovebirds need to be kept in pairs! However, they do need to have a strong bond with someone, so if you only purchase one bird make sure that strong bond is formed with you. That’s the nice part of buying only one bird, it will be more likely to bond strongly with you and more inclined to learn to speak a few words and do tricks. This does mean daily handling of your bird and spending time with them.

If you work all day, I would advise against a Lovebird as they need daily contact and sleep from sunset to sunrise. If you get home after dark it will be hard to spend enough time with your bird. Please consider this and make sure you have plenty of daytime time to spend with your Lovebird. When not home try leaving a radio on for your Lovebird to feel less longly and perhaps learn a few new sounds and words.

Cages for your Lovebird

Sleep is very important and as a basic rule cover their cage and let them sleep from sunset to sunrise in a quiet place. I have a cage on wheels so I may easily move the cage from the living room to a quiet dark bedroom to not disturb the bird while trying to sleep. A good size cage for a single lovebird is 18X18 and at least 24X24 or more for a pair. The bigger, the better! Here are some of my favorite cages:

Park Plaza Bird Cage Color: Pewter
Signature Series Royalty Small Bird Cage Color: White
Signature Series Large Bird Cage Color: Chalk White
Signature Series Select Small Bird Cage Color: Sage Green

My FAVORITE Cage for single lovebird is this one (in Sage Green)! It comes in so many fun colors too! I have it in white. My lovebird is crazy happy about it and loves having the perch above the cage to get a view from up high of her surroundings.

Another option is a portable perch, so your bird can hangout with you at your desk or on your coffee table as you watch tv. Here is a nice one or:

Deluxe Bird Play Stand with Wood Perch Color: Platinum

Remember that before you put your lovebird into a cage to remove the wood perches that come with the cage. They are very bad for lovebirds!!! Replace them with a few natural perches. Be prepared to replaces these natural perches often as the bird will ware them out over time.
Some branch perches:
Here, Here, and Here. Be sure they also have at least one pumice perch to file down their claws and beak like this one.

Be sure to always have at least 4 toys for your bird in their cage. You’ll need to rotate these toys weekly or at least monthly to keep them from getting bored. They will need a shredding toy, rope toys, swing, shinny or mirror toy, etc. Only give toys specific to birds as many materials contain toxins such as toilet paper rolls, newspapers, etc. Be safe and only use toys specific to birds. The adhesives used in many materials are toxic.

Here are some good toys for your Lovebird:
Shredding Toys: 1 | 2 | 3
Hanging, Swinging and Activity Toys: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Crinkle Toys: 1 | 2 | 3
Mirror Toys: 1 | 2 | 3
Hide Out Toys: 1 | 2 | 3

Warnings for Lovebirds

Keep their cage away from air vents and heaters! Be sure to keep them away from the kitchen as cooking fumes, smoke, and especially using Teflon pans may injure or kill them. If you must cook with Teflon pan, first note there are other safer options like this, this, or this. But if you still use it do so with the windows open and move your bird to another room for a few hours after you are done cooking. Be sure to not leave the pan for a second as to never let whatever you are cooking over heat or burn. An over heated pan (or burning of anything) is the most dangerous for your bird.
Avocado is reported to be potentially toxic.

Foods to feed your Lovebird

ZuPeem FruitBlend Premium Daily Bird Food – daily except Tuesdays/Thursdays

Seed mix for Lovebirds – Tuesdays/Thursdays

Daily you’ll also want to add some of the following healthy foods (without seasonings or oils, etc.), organic is recommend due to toxins used in non organic food pesticides. Be sure not to use the same foods too often and vary their diet daily for optimum health. Keep trying foods they won’t eat, give them a chance to get a taste for them. Go with veggies daily, and add some fruits every now and then.


– scrambled Eggs
– silver beets
– red and green bell peppers
– broccoli
– dandelion flowers
– corn on the cob or corn kernels (non GMO)
– chick weed
– banana
– apple
– celery
– mung beans
– snow peas
– cherries (not the pit)
– pear
– apricots
– bok choy
– peas
– pineapple

– beans (cooked)
– lima
– lentils
– cucumber
– plum
– pomegranate
– potato
– endive
– pumpkin
– fig
– grapes
– raspberries
– grapefruit
– cooked brown rice
– soy
– kale
– romaine lettuce

– beet
– kiwi
– spinach
– blueberry
– melons
– sprouted seeds
– mango
– squash
– brussel sprouts
– nectarines
– strawberry
– cantaloupe
– papaya
– tomato
– carrot
– parsnip
– zucchini
– carrot tops
– peaches
 

Additional proteins can be offered such as nuts. Try some unshelled peanuts as well as hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and chestnuts. Lovebirds drink a lot of water, so will need fresh drinking water every day.

Getting your lovebird used to you after bringing it home

The following tips from from The Parrot Whisperer.
Taming your lovebird may not be difficult, but expect it to take a lot of time. Taming your lovebird is a huge commitment both during and after the taming process. Once tame, your lovebird will require your attention daily. These are very demanding birds. So again if you do not have the time to devote to your bird I suggest getting a pair and just having them for viewing enjoyment. A tamed lovebird will develop psychological problems if you fail to meet its emotional demands. They are monogamous, which means they mate for life. They will need to interact with you as must as possible.

To begin taming, let your lovebird get used to it’s new home. A nervous bird needs time to adjust and understand its surroundings. Let the bird locate its food and water dishes, reduce anxiety, and feel secure and confident about this new environment. This usually takes around two weeks. A good sign the lovebird is feeling comfortable is how it acts. A nervous and unsure bird will sit still on its perch. Before the taming process can begin it is important your bird feels secure about its environment. This means the bird will not flutter or show signs of intimidation while you are in its room (It will go about its business while you are present).

Placing the budgie in a busy room is ideal to start the taming process. Many times they are placed in quiet rooms upon their arrival, but if you look at the bigger picture this technique is counterproductive. A bird that has been separated will have to readjust to humans and this causes excessive stress. A busy room will help speed the taming process and will help the bird understand that humans are not predators. In a sense, you are conditioning your new bird for human interaction.

Once the bird has learned to accept your presence and it is active around you, you may start to gently open the cage door and place your hand inside the cage. This needs to be done consistently and regularly throughout the day until the bird can handle your hand inside the cage. During this processes of taming, avoid eye contact and sudden movements. They may flutter around the cage but do not react! This exercise needs to be done until the bird shows no fear of your hand. It can take weeks or days. Just be consistent and practice doing this often throughout the day.

Once the parakeet can confidently deal with the presence of your hand inside its cage, gently take your finger and try to make the bird step up on your finger. Most lovebird will jump and cling to the cage bars. Try to position your finger below the breast line and gently push up. It is important you not jerk your hand back during this stage. If you have a fear of getting bitten, then use a dowel. The bird needs to step up on your finger and needs to remain there for a while. Do not try to get remove the bird once this is finally achieved. Just let it remain on your finger or dowel as long as possible before it returns to another perch. Again, this needs to be practiced until the bird can do this without hesitation.

Once it it used to stepping up on a dowel, using the dowel more your finger to nearly the end of the dowel. Leave only an inch or two for the bird to step on to. Once the bird achieves this, remove the dowel and use your finger alone. This takes a lot of time and patience.

If your bird is stepping up on your finger inside its cage, then slowly try to coax him outside the cage while he is on your finger. Do not be surprised if the bird decides to quickly head for a perch or the cage bars. Just continue trying to coax him outside the cage. Once out, you can take the bird into a room that is not familiar, such as a small bathroom, While in this unfamiliar room, try giving your bird a treat. You might try step ups or just gently holding him on your finger while you recite nursery rhymes. During this process keep your voice soothing and mellow.

For more great video with tips on taming, training and all things birds…check out this YouTube page for the Parrot Whisperer.

Good luck with your new lovebird buddy! Get to the comments and let me know if you found these tips helpful. Here’s some pix of my new lovebird, Fifi!
what to know before you get a lovebird
what to know before you get a lovebird

Friday Free People Picks

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Free People Womens Festival Bodice Mini
Some of my Friday Free People picks that I’ve been eyeing lately. How cute are these flowy fun finds?! The black dress I literally just bought and cannot wait to blog it sometime soon. I absolutely love the look!
Free People Womens Russian Circles Dress
Free People Womens Black Dove Dress
Free People Womens Bellflower Tall Sandal
For Love & Lemons Womens Lolo Lace Fit and Flare Dress
Free People Womens Commemorative Bell Sleeve Dress
Intimately Womens Outlined High Low Cami
Intimately Womens Voile and Lace Trapeze Slip
Intimately Womens French Courtship Slip
Free People Womens Floral Foil Print Swing Tunic
Get to the comments and let me know your favorite Friday Free People pick!
Sky Bell

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