March 2016

As a mom, you find that your shopping sprees revolve around your children, especially if you have a little princess (‘cuz who can resist tiny baby girl fashions?)  What used to be my shoe budget has gone towards toddler outfits and accessories too cute to pass up!  So when mommy (finally) does get to go shoe shopping, getting the look for less is top of mind.  So here are some examples of how you can update your shoe wardrobe on a budget. I’m going to focus my attention on Altuzarra shoe styles since that brand is my current obsession

shoes, shoe lover, shoe deals

You may have noticed that revised gladiators are all the rage these days.  By that I mean,  instead of just seeing the up-the-calf, wind-up lace shoes, you’re seeing shorter revised versions where they lace up the front of the foot and/or just up the ankle.  I love this style for its edginess and wearability.  These are far more versatile than the traditional gladiators.  While I do love the designer high-end ones on the left by Atuazarra, the Forever Link shoes ‘black Ryann Ankle Strap flats are the same look  at Zulily for a fraction of the price.

shoe trends, altuzarra shoes

 

I have a weakness for heels.  My heart skipped a beat when I saw these stunning fringe Altuzarra sandals at Saks.  Aren’t these just so FUN?  I’d build an entire outfit based around these shoes. But who am I kidding?  I’m not about to fork over nearly $800 for a pair of red heels.

fringe trend, altuzarra red shoes

With a little bit of searching, I was able to find these Steve Madden lookalikes on one of my favorite online destinations, Asos.com!

Another festive Altuzarra shoe that caught my eye were these pom pom sandals.  The pom pom trend is HUGE.  It’s everywhere from hats to purses, to keychains and shoes.  I just couldn’t believe how similar this pair on Ebay was!pom pom comparison

Of course, if you wanted to get crafty, I imagine that this wouldn’t be too hard to DIY with a glue gun too…

So there you have it!  Fashionista fab finds!  What will you do with all your saved money?

 

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The outfit below was fashioned with a Guess Kids sweater/jacket that we purchased on our own.  I can’t help but jump in delight a little when I find fab furs for kids.  This one had the exact shades to match her pom pom hat so we had to snag it!

styling toddler girls, cute kids fashion

I have such nostalgia around the GUESS brand.  Growing up in the 80s, that was THE jean to have.  Who here’s an 80’s girl??  Remember how that triangular brand on the jeans signaled status, trendiness, and proof that you were part of the cool club?  It was soooo coveted!  So when GUESS invited us into their showroom, for an exclusive visit, we were so honored and couldn’t wait to experience their branded world.  Plus we got to walk away with some amazing items to add to our wardrobe (see all the wonderful pieces below)!

GUESS Kids, prides itself on being a fashion-forward collection of clothing geared towards the trendsetting boy and girl.   This black fur coat with its leather detailing would transform any toddler into a trendsetter for sure!  She gets compliments on it every time she wears it.  I think it’s because the women, like me are all secretly wishing it came in their size. Aren’t you jealous that it doesn’t?kids fashion, minifashionista, pom pom hat

The peachy, peplum top shown below is so girly glam that Juliet just HAD to have this one.  She actually picked it out herself and I’m so glad she did because when I brought it home, I realized it was the perfect underpinning for her new cardigan.  What an adorable addition to her wardrobe!

nyc fashionista, fashion blogger, guess kids

This lace, floral number screamed spring and made for a terrific Easter weekend outfit.  Here, we amped up the ladylike feel with some dainty gloves, a bright pink tutu and matching floppy hat and some bright white accessories.

stylish toddler, toddler style, minifashionista, baby fashion Spring, here we come!

And finally, here’s Juliet twinning with a real GUESS jeans model, Gigi Hadid with her GUESS jeans.  After seeing all the fashion inspiration split pics on my Instagram account, @fab_kids, and featuring the ones tagged #fab_copy, I just had to get in on the fun!

fashion inspiration, guess model, guess, gigi hadid jeans

So now basically after this incredible experience and all these gifted clothes, my daughter and I are now forever GUESS girls.

Products were received for this post.  As with any of my reviews, all opinions are 100% my own.

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If you saw my last post recapping Dining By Design, otherwise known as DIFFA, the leading trade show for table decor and party design, you know I love a fabulous tablescape! Here, I’m going to share with you some of my top tips for designing a stylish kids’ tablescape using pictures from my daughter’s bunny birthday party that I just produced!

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As a party planner, I’m a little jaded when it comes to party decor.  I’ve pretty much seen it all.  So when I plan my own, I like to stray from the ordinary and try to feature some unique items or two.  For instance, for the bunny birthday that I threw for my daughter’s 3rd birthday, I added a whimsical wow factor with a tall centerpiece that I hand crafted for the event.

how to throw a kids party on a budget, kids party decor, kids tablescape

The tall silk flowers were bought during a sale at Michael’s, the picket white fences from a Chinese wholesaler, and with some flower foam, hot glue, and juice boxes to weigh everything down, I had the perfect springy centerpieces that didn’t take much room, could be filled with Easter egg basket grass, and that created an immediate fun factor to the table.  It was one of the first things you saw when you walked into the room!

plan a kids party on a budget, bunny birthday, designing tablescapes, kids party decor, kids tablescape

The party space (within our building) fortunately had free kids tables and chairs for us to use but the chairs were a mish mash of different colors so I made them uniform with some spandex yellow seat covers (adult sized) and fitted them with a chair sash turned into a bow.  Both materials were bought wholesale which made them cheaper than renting and now I can use them for future events or sell/rent them out to others!

To continue the couture feel of this kiddie table, I color coordinated EVERYHING.  I am super strict about matching exact shades when it comes to purchasing napkins, straws, forks, cupcake toppers.. I mean everything.  It will bother me to no end to see something a shade or two off when I have already sent snippets of the exact fabric for the cake maker to match for instance.  i.e. Juliet’s 1s birthday party.

table design, tablescape, how to plan a kids party on a budget, kids party ideas

That’s why I often customize my table decor down to the very last detail.  Notice the paper runner, the frame turned into a tray, the milk bottles covered in coordinated papers and ribbons, and the covered styrofoam to stick the lollipops and chocolate bunnies in.  184

And to go along with the Easter timing, I presented each child with their own berry basket in lieu of a dinner plate.  Inside you’d find, a pink napkin, bunny-shaped sandwich, bunny trail mix (popcorn and cheerios), pretzel sticks wrapped in a yellow and white polka dot mini-bag, & a cupcake holder filled with fruit.  The milk jars were poured with milk, water or juice, whatever the child’s preference was.  189

Knowing that the pool table would be in the background, I also crafted the yellow and white backdrop that you see above.  With help from Mialandyn Events who helped build the actual structure out of foam core, tape and wood, I covered it in coordinating fabrics, floral garlands and gift wrap on the other side.

photo opp, hoppy birthday, bunny birthday ideas

When designing your tablescape, always consider what you’ll see in the background of your photos.  In this instance, I didn’t want a pool table to be in all my pictures so I dressed it up, used it as the food and dessert station, and created a photo opp area on the other side of it making double use out of the one backdrop piece! (That coordinating box that you see above by the way is simply a diaper box covered in fabric and it was great for kids to stand or sit on).  I’m a huge fan of creatively using what you have to save money.

kids party ideas, easter party ideas, how to throw a kid easter party

Here’s what it looked like on the other side during setup (The dinner menu of baked salmon, pulled pork, sweet plantains, beans and rice had not arrived yet).  Those Easter hats that you see hanging from the ceiling there by the way were given to each child in lieu of a party hat.  They were SO cute ON (one of my amazing finds in the Target $1 bin!)

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To summarize, here are some useful secrets from a professional party planner turned mommy planner that you can use when designing a kids’ tablescape:

  1. Color – Coordinate EVERTHING.  Be Hitler when sticking to this rule and your table will thank you for it!
  2. Consider the background for your most important shots.  What’s behind the cake? What’s behind the kids’ table? Remove or disguise eyesores.
  3. Add a themed centerpiece.  Not only is it a conversation starter but it can really stand out and turn your average kids’ table into a standout stunner!
  4. Think out of the box.  How about an enlarged candle in a cake, for a one year old’s birthday (the kind you’d stick in a candlestick?), how about a coordinated paper place mat that they can draw on, safari hats instead of birthday party hats for a safari themed event?
  5. Decorate your chairs.  Hang birthday hats from them, use them as placecards by assigning a child’s name to each one, hang a giftable cape on each one for a superhero themed party, slide tutus on them for a girly get together.

For more kids’ party inspiration, check out some of my other Fab Kids party posts and please leave a comment with your thoughts on these tips or let me know what you’re currently brainstorming and let me help you!

my Disney sponsored princess in training party

my gingerbread man cookie decorating play date sponsored by Bright starts

my Hello Kitty play date sponsored by HP

my pancakes and pajamas play date

My Toddler tea party

Thanks for reading!

kids easter party, toddler easter party, toddler easter egg hunt

Special thanks goes out to Image Ready for the pictures used in this post!

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Juliet’s only request when asked what kind of party she wanted was that there should be pink, cupcakes and lollipops.  So with that simple request this year, I delayed her celebration a bit to the week before Easter to throw her a Hoppy bunny birthday which was perfect ‘cuz this 3 year old just LOVES to jump around these days!    And of course, I made sure to include pink, cupcakes and lollipops!

nyc kids party planner, birthday party planning tips, how to throw a kids party

The invites were customized on Paperless Post, my go to online invitation source for stylish evites.  I love how they let you customize everything from the backgrounds to the stamps and wording!

bunny themed party invite

I’m not a poet but I came up with this original invite wording for the occasion.  “Some bunny is turning 3, so hop on over to celebrate me, dress to impress for pics w/Easter bunny, what’ll you find in the egg hunt, money?  Sweet treats and bunny bites too, but it’s not a party without YOU! xoxo, Juliet”  I feel the invite is super important for setting the tone and getting guests excited for the event.  I hoped this floral invite not only hinted at the springy, Easter theme but got them anticipating the dressy egg hunt too.

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After having taken her Easter photos last year and having been challenged by my husband with the question of what I’m going to do with these print outs, I came up with the idea of putting them to use by displaying them at a future bunny themed birthday party! With that in mind, I immediately went shopping the day after Easter to snag all the party decor at 80-90%off.  (I have to work within a budget, ya know)!  From there, I scoured the web to find the perfect crafty, DIY, and fashion details buying everything at wholesale prices, and scoring amazing finds from the Target dollar bins.  After having waited months to see it all come together, you can imagine my excitement finally getting to set it all up!

bunny party, kids easter party ideas

It was so exciting to finally have all the details out of my head start to come alive during setup.

easter party ideas, bunny birthday ideas, how to throw a kids party on a budgetIn any party space you may come across items that are not allowed to be removed.  Don’t fret.  Creatively cover them up!  There was a random framed photo of a strange man in this party space so I used wrapping paper to hide him and applied a cutout cardboard ‘3’ (also gift wrapped) and some wholesale bunny balloons.  The balloon arch was easy for me to make despite never having made one before – just used packing tape!

Here are my top 6 ideas for throwing a bunny or Easter themed party.

  1.  Get Pun-ny, Bunny.  For a kids party I say it’s OK to get a little cheesy with the puns.  Phrases like, “hoppy birthday,” “thanks for hopping on by,”  You’re Egg-stra special,”  We’re so egg-cited to see you soon,” are handy for invitations and thank you notes.  I also plastered such sayings onto the birthday banner, around the water bottles and Reeses Pieces bunny tubes (which I found at a local drug store for a little over a dollar each).  They have the same decorative effect as cake pops for a fraction of the price! IMG_6922 hoppy birthday, easter party, kids party ideas, kids party styling, yellow and white party2.  Post Easter or bunny themed photos of the guest of honor.  We all like to marvel how much kids have grown during a birthday party so why not post pictures within the party’s theme?  Last year for Juliet’s party animal themed party, I posted photos of Juliet holding various stuffed animals and labeled them each with a matching decorative title (‘lamb’, ‘puppy’ or whatever she was holding in the pic).  This year, I posted photos from her past Easter shoot, 1 year earlier. how to throw a bunny themed party3.  Bunny cut outs.  There are so many ways to incorporate a decorative bunny as part of the party’s decor.  I used enlarged bunny felts, bunny shaped-sandwiches, and bunny footprints leading up to the party’s entrance.  For more ideas, check out my Pinterest board!
  2. 1394.  Offer bunny – themed entertainment for the kids.  There was a coloring and sticker station, bunny book reading area, bunny game, a bunny and easter egg decorating area, bunny stuffed animals to play with and an Easter bunny to take pictures with at our party for instance.   All were toddler-friendly activities that parents could help out with or not! (Note how easily a borrowed Bugs Bunny costume can easily be converted into an Easter bunny with a simple felt add-on)?143how to throw an easter party for toddlers5.  Encourage Easter animal adoption!  A fun way for me to greet each guest at the door was to welcome them with the opportunity to adopt a pet of their choice.  Cabbage Patch Kid Style, they were given a certificate of adoption after getting to name their new pet.

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ideas for a kids easter party

6.  Host an Easter egg hunt!  Juliet helped me fill a whopping 200 Easter eggs.  (Child labor laws don’t apply in my home)! And the kids really seemed to have fun with this.  I loved it as a parent because the public Easter egg hunts in NYC are always overcrowded which means long lines, toddlers getting trampled, and the big kids getting to the eggs before the little ones have a fair chance at finding them.  Our private rooftop park gave them the exclusive opportunity to enjoy a leisurely hunt (ehem during a light drizzly snow day the day before Spring)!

how to throw a kids easter party, easter egg hunt for toddlers

how to throw an easter party for kids

The Easter eggs were filled with everything from egg-shaped chocolates to toys to coins and googly-eyed bunny stickers! tips for planning an easter party for toddlers

The lucky kids who found a golden egg or super-sized egg were prized with one of the bunny-shaped balloons to take home from the party!

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I think I smiled ear to ear the whole time being surrounded by all these cuties!

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kids easter party, kids bunny birthday, bunny birthday ideas I liken planning this party to giving birth.  It took 10 months of research, planning, buying, and preparing, and then intense laboring culminating in estatic celebration with post-op type recovery and bed rest in the end. Phew!  I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard on any one event, simply because I’m a one-mom production company. But come load-in and setup, I did have a little help from friends!  Thanks Roniescia, Janell, Stacie and even John and Juliet!  Subscribe to read on about my tips for setting up a stylish kids’ Easter table (not pictured here) and follow me @fabgabblog on Instagram and Twitter for all the preview pics and recap videos!  That’s a wrap folks!  ‘Til next year!!

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Please leave a comment and share what you liked most about this party so far and Happy Easter to you all!

Photos are a mix from Image Ready, Gotham Love and friends’.

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Dining by Design is DIFFA’s marquee event showcasing designers, manufacturers and creative individuals who bring their vision and passion to the table.  It’s seriously my favorite ‘trade show’ and I feel so lucky to live in NYC and to have attended it for the past 5+ years.  Dining by Design runs March 17 – 20 in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Design Show and all event proceeds go toward DIFFA’s work to fight HIV/AIDS.  This year, I was invited to a special media sneak peak and personal tour through the space.  There were so many fabulous finds – too many to feature here so I’ll focus on sharing my favorite creative spaces that featured my favorite colors, black and white.
This all white room sponsored by Benjamin and Moore featured variations on their white paint options.  Each square art piece that hung on the wall for instance, was painted in one of their popular shades of white and noted (title style) with the exact paint chip color. What a beautiful way to showcase your whites!
DIFFA dining by design
The florals, chairs and tablescape were simply breathtaking, don’t you think?
benjamin moore, dining by design 2016
Another all-white room that had me gasping was one designed with Crate & Barrel products.  Look how they created that art installation on the wall with their plates and bowls!
crate and barrel, art installation, tablescape, diffa 2016
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I now NEED to have those furry white chairs.  They’d look so fab next to my dining table.  And can’t you just see them at a vanity or office space too?  Also, can we talk for a minute about those cloche platters??  They make me want to move to a suburban house just to have the room to store these beautiful finds!
Moving onto the next space, this one featured a live grafitti artist who we were excited to see decorate the walls right before our very eyes. I couldn’t help but imagine how much fun my daughter would have had scribbling all over the walls and furniture in the same manner..
dining by design, art installation, home decor, tablescape trends
He was kind enough to pose for pictures and give me this amazing Pra-DUH sticker which I will treasure forever.  Hands off my sticker, Juliet!  This one is MOMMY’S!
grafitti art, fashion stickers, art diffa
Here is the finished room.
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Imagine getting to dine with a zebra, and a fashionable one at that!  This room’s fusion between fashion, function, and furnishings was from Echo, a brand long known beautiful prints and patterns.  Many know of the brand from their famous scarves, but they have creatively branched out into wraps, bags, rugs, table linens, wall coverings, gloves, outerwear, beach ware and more!  At their booth you could see the brand on the hale bay bench fabrics, on their wallpaper and on the tenting.
DIFFA_DBD_Booth10_Echo_Room2
Also interactive, they encouraged selfies with their polka-dotted zebra named Dot.  Who could resist?
diffa 2016, change your stripes
Kate Spade.  I just love everything about the brand.  To me it exudes happiness.  I love the bright pops of color against graphic black and white elements, the usage of stripes and polka dots and their quirky advertising.  So I was super psyched to see their table decor come to life at DIFFA.

diffa 2016, dining by design, kate spade dinnerware, kate spade table decorSAMSUNG CSC

kate spade diffa

Wouldn’t this be such a fun, girly place to have a girls’ brunch?  I would die.

For more video coverage of DIFFA 2016, follow me on Instagram @fabgabblog where I re-capped even more highlights!  And click here to see some DIFFA blog posts from past years!
Please leave a comment below with what your favorite vignette was. I’d love to hear!

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My Instagram husband doesn’t understand or care for social media even when I try to convert him with stories of amazing collaborations that have happened through it like my most recent collab with famed kids photographer Molly Magnuson and the very talented Jessah Amarante from The Beauty Maiden.  Jessah contacted me wanting to work with little Juliet as her hair and makeup muse.  I styled the shoot and Molly shot it. Together we made a terrific team!  Just check out some of the pictures!

kids fashion model

I styled Juliet with a vintage dress and some socks and shoes from a wholesaler contact of mine.  The headpiece was a crazy concoction from a very dear friend who created this for her Burning Man trip – who would ever have imagined that it would get another use from a 3 year old minifashionista!

We went for a Pocohontas, tribal look inspired from Jessah’s vision board featuring an enlarged feathered headpiece, similar to this one.

kids fashion magazine

I have to say, these shots are pretty stunning!

For the next outfit, I went an entirely different direction.  I wanted simple and sweet, something less editorial and more timeless.

how to style a kids photo shoot juliet-4

There’s something innocent about bare feet and this frou frou dress, I think.

For the next series, I styled it a little quirky, adding a touch of trendy nerdiness to it.

juliet-6 juliet-7

I’m a sucker for nerd glasses on kids.  I just wish I had a mini briefcase for her to carry and complete this look haha.

Stay tuned and subscribe for another photo shoot I just styled for 3 kids in NYC!  And let me know if you have any styling questions in the comments below.  I’m always available for collabs and styling jobs.  You can contact me at fabgabblog@gmail.com

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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As a parent, you always think you know what’s best.  But with toys, it’s sort of a guessing game picking and choosing what you think your child will love.  Sometimes you’ll find that the child is more interested in the box and packing materials that the toy came in than the toy itself.  Sometimes, your child seems excited at first but then quickly bores of the new item and moves on leaving you losing all confidence in buying items that will really entice him/her in the long run.

 

This is why Green Pinata, is such an innovative subscription plan!

green pinataGreen Pinata does the research for you and finds well-designed, educational toys for your child to try out.  The toxin-free toys in each “piñata” come from reputable companies such as Greentoys, HABA, Plan Toys, and Hape.  $24.99/month gets you a new box every month. Use the toys for as long as you wish, and keep anything you love.  Green Piñata only charges 30% off the kept toy’s Amazon price!  (What a deal!)

Juliet and I had so much fun unboxing our pinata! It’s the perfect gift to give that new mom or picky child!  And it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Each toy is carefully chosen to be developmentally appropriate.  This toy for instance, challenged Juliet to use her fine motor skills to accurately place the wooden number onto the corresponding card’s puzzle piece sort of indentation which promoted number recognition, counting and number sequence.  After she was able to place all the numbers, I was happy to find that she was also able to arrange the cards in the correct sequence without my help – smarty pants!

green pinata toys

She just turned 3 last weekend but already counts to 30 on her own!  We’re moving onto 40.

The lacing beads from Plan Toys were fascinating to her because it was the first time she found herself being able to turn her toy into an accessory.  The colorful wooden beads not only promoted a conversation about color, shape and counting, but they also challenged her to string them all together, something her tiny 3 year old hands surpringly got the hang of.  And soon enough, she had made herself a new necklace – what a perfect toy for a minifashionista!

green pinata toys, toys, green pinata review

The magnetized maze within fish form proved to be mesmerizing because she had never tried such a board game before.  Plus she loves Nemo and this reminded her of her fishy little friend!

hape toys, green pinata, subscription plans for kids

Puzzles are a classic.  And since Juliet likes puzzles but tends to bore of them, I was happy to find this age-appropriate puzzle in her pack.

puzzle, kids puzzle, best puzzle for toddlers, non-toxic toys

Overall, we were impressed with the entire subscription box and would highly recommend it.  If you want to give it a try, use discount code GP83237 for $10 off of first month

 

What do you think?  Would you try this out?

This review was sponsored but all opinions are 100% my own.  Please see Green Pinata for more information and answers to FAQs.

 

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Yay! I am proud to announce FabGabBlog was nominated for a Liebster Award. And I’m here to say that I accept it.  (It’s a blogging network award where bloggers nominate one another and if a nominee accepts, they win the award and just has to continue the chain).  Thank you Purest Home for the nomination.

liebster award

The rules for the award are simple:

Thank the blogger that nominated you. Share the award on your blog and social media. (check and check!)  Answer the ten questions you were given by your nominator.  Nominate other new bloggers that you admire.  Notify your nominees via social media.  (see below)

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OK so here goes, I was asked to answer the following questions:

1. What is your blog about? FabGabBlog offers fabulous inspiration for girly glam style and covers lifestyle topics such as fashion, decor and events.

2. Why did you start blogging?  I believe in celebrating the every day in style and enjoy sharing my ideas and inspiration as my creative outlet.

3. What is the thing you find most interesting about yourself?  I’m a mix of so many contradictions.  It’s hard to pigeonhole me.

4. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? extrovert

5. What do you do to unwind after a stressful day? eat chocolate, veg in front of the TV if my toddler is asleep and get a massage

6. Coffee, tea, or something else? coffee please!

7. When did you start blogging? I started blogging over 5 years ago but I’ve only recently been able to give it the attention it deserves.

8. What are your favorite apps, websites, or forms of social media to help your blog? I’m very visual and so love Instagram and can waste countless hours on Pinterest.  You can follow me @fabgabblog there as well as on FB and Twitter.

9. What is one interesting thing about your hometown? Madonna came from the same home town (in MI).

10. Do you prefer movies or reading, and what is your favorite title?  If reading other people’s blogs count, I’ll choose that because I hardly have time for a 2hour+ movie these days.

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Now onto my nominations!  I nominate:

Congratulations! Please answer these questions in your post, so we can get a better idea about who you are:

  1.  What is your blog about?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. Where do you do most of your blogging?
  4. What do your parents think of your blog?
  5. Whose blogs do you admire?
  6. Where do you get your inspiration?
  7. How would you describe your style?
  8. What is your favorite quote?
  9. What do you hope to accomplish through your blog?
  10. Who is your style icon?

It has been fun meeting other bloggers and supporting one another along the way.  I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better and continue on with the spirit of support.  Please leave a comment here if you think I should add other blogger nominees!

-Stella

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