Hello, Autumn Harvest

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Why are farmer’s markets always much more fun than going to the grocery store? I just love them. I don’t know why, but I really do enjoy sifting through boxes of fresh sweet smelling fruits and veggies in search of the perfect piece to take home with me. Yet, if you tell me I have to go to the grocery store, I’ll procrastinate as long as I can. I found a really cool farmer’s market in Coconut Grove called Glaser Organic Farms. Every Saturday from 10 to 7PM they set up camp on Grand Avenue underneath a canopy of  blue & white tents. Inside, this place is organic heaven. There’s everything: beans, herbs, all sorts of fruits and veggies, jams, sauces, spreads and a deli where you can get healthy made-to-order sushi, pizza, sandwiches and tacos. I even discovered a fruit I had never seen before called “Rambutan.” You can see more of it down below, but it’s the red hairy look fruit. Best part of this shoot aside from working with Andrea was seeing a box of  pumpkins peeking up at me and announcing the official start of autumn. Time to bring out the boots! 

xx TFP

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This is the Rambutan fruit. If you peel it, it looks like an apple.

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Outfit:  Top & hat c/o Forever 21, Blush boutique shorts, H&M shoes, DVF purse.

Photos by: Andrea of Bellamente Photography

Make up by: Cream in South Miami

Force of Nature

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At first glance, it might look like I’m in some sort of lush forest somewhere in the outskirts of Miami on an adventure as I usually am. Yet, the truth is these photos were shot in Miami Beach’s Broken Shaker. Funny right? This is what I love about editorial shoots and how creatively you can make places appear much more beautiful than where you really might be.

About a month ago, Disfunksion magazine asked me to come out and shoot with them for an “Endless Summer” themed feature. These are some of the selects from that shoot which is set to come out in their October issue. I’m excited to see what they finally picked as their winning shot. I got to style myself for the shoot with the glossy’s partner: PacSun. I hadn’t shopped at that store since high school and I wasn’t sure I’d find anything that would suit my style, but PacSun is beyond amazing now. They’ve revamped their look to include everyday street wear for the gals just like what I’m wearing. My head-to-toe look is  from the Kendall & Kylie collection minus the jewelry which is a mix of vintage pieces. Till next post. xx A

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Credits to the crew:

Magazine: Disfunkshion Magazine

Instagram: disfunkshionmag /// Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dfsmag ////Twitter: @DISfunkshion_

Editor-in-chief/Creative Director: Hugette Montesinos

Fashion Editor: Christina Horta /// Instagram - @cristinahorta_

Editorial Coordinator: Afroza Khan
Web - www.chicstylista.com Instagram - @chistylista

Photographer: Janel Kilnisan
Instagram - @JanelKilnisan

Location: The Broken Shaker
Instagram - @FreehandMiami /// Twitter - @FreehandMiami /// Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/freehandmiami

Make-up artist: Evette Villanueva
Instagram - @env_makeupartistry /// Facebook - [ENVme] Makeup

Outfit: Pacsun
Instagram - @Pacsun /// Twitter - @Pacsun/// Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pacsun

Jewelry: Rox House
Instagram: Rox_house///Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/RoxHouse/1439685986252849

Miami, the “Magic City”

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Do you believe in magic? In Miami, a lot of people actually do. At least, the countless botanicas dotting along the city’s neighborhoods makes it seem that way. Ever been inside of one? Well, for the 2nd installation of our Hispanic Heritage street style series, photographer Mayleen and I set out on a quest to visit a few of them— after all they are a prominent part of the culture down here. 

What we discovered was that each of them is unique in their own barrio or neighborhood. Although all of them carry a smorgasbord of candles, amulets, statutes, herbs and folk medicine, you’ll find some selling fresh plants or some also operating as part “pet store” with just chickens, roosters and doves for sale.  At times, you’ll stumble across some things you wish you wouldn’t of seen like miniature plastic babies or candles shaped like phallic symbols. One can only imagine what they are used for.  Yet, everyone and anyone frequents these small shops. Cute Abuelitas or grandmas amble inside in search of a new St. Lazarus statue or una veilita to light their prayers with. Power couples dressed to the nines and trendsetting youngsters often emerge in these shops nervously holding a paper scribbled with ingredients to concoct a spell a bruja or witch gave them. Sometimes these spells are to bring about money, a new love interest , a baby or find a cure for someone who is sick. Other times, what you hear will send chills down your spine. These are the types of spells that ebb from a lover’s revenge, an angry employee or a jealousy. It isn’t uncommon to see Santeria or offerings in the streets of the city. Drive around long enough and your bound to find a paper bag or two strewn across a lawn with the legs of a beheaded rooster or chicken protruding out. On beaches like Key Biscayne and Matheson Hammocks look close enough and you’ll unravel fruits and statues bobbing up and down in the ocean while soaked prayers wash up along the shore. Now maybe that’s why Miami is called the “Magic City” after all. Till next week xx A 

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OUTFIT: Zara jumpsuit, Chiffino shoes, DVF bag.

Makeup in Miami

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Have you seen Cosmo Español new beauty blogger section? One of the products I’ve been trying out for it and I’m excited to tell you about is L’oreal’s Youth Code Pore Vanisher. I have seen a dramatic improvement in my skin since I started using it weeks ago. My pores are smaller, I don’t use as much makeup and my skin looks hydrated. It was really amazing to see that this product delivered. Growing up in South Florida where it’s scorching hot and humid, it’s challenging to have flawless skin let alone keep your makeup from running. Yet, the pore minimizer is actually helping me to maximize my makeup’s longevity and make my face look smoother. After I wash my face, I apply a tiny amount to my palm and then spread throughout before putting on my concealer and BB cream. It stays on for hours and my skin looks and feels great. Check out more here: 

blog.cosmoenespanol.com/bblounge

Hope Changes Everything

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Today is September 22. It’s a significant date in my life. Today, someone special came into my life and someone who inspired me also left. My little brother George was born today and my grandmother died today of cancer. It’s a mixture of emotions to feel, but in the end the strongest one I have is hope. Every year, I do a project that involves giving hope during the month of October and raising funds for breast cancer research.

This year, my project involves a special jewelry collection, I co-designed with my niece, The Petite Poet and jewelry company, TAudrey. The collection is part of our Lil Miss Miami line and  features 4 pieces all named after different areas in Miami: The Key Biscayne (a stack of 3 beaded bracelets with a gold flamingo), Bal Harbour ( 1 bracelet with a gold flamingo), El Farito ( A Beacon of Hope) necklace and A Homestead of Hope ring. The line is of course for women and children and starting today till October 31 anytime you purchase a piece of jewelry proceeds go to the Florida Foundation for Breast Cancer. 

Check out more of the pieces down below and mine and Mia’s shoot which was really fun. We did part of it in Wynwood and the other half in Coral Gables. Shop them here: http://www.taudrey.com/collections/lil-miss-miami

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The Fashion Poet OUTFIT: Urban Outfitters vest & sunnies, Boohoo skirt, Chiffino shoes, and all jewelry is from our Lil Miss Miami BCA collection

The Petite Poet OUTFIT: Forever 21 jacket & jeans, Old Navy tee, Converse All Star high top. 

'And It Was All Yellow

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So many of us in Miami, have been trying to find this eluding sunflower field after images of it and its coordinates surfaced on the internet years ago.I finally tracked it down a few days ago deep down in the Redlands and I had packed a change of outfit to shoot in just in case. Well, not just any clothes, but H&M’s new Fall collection which is pretty amazing. I spent forever trying to decide at the store what I wanted because the options are endless and I can’t believe I got these high-waisted jeans for under $20. They are a Cuban girls dream because they truly mold the body and make you look thinner. Even my boyfriend commented he loved them and he rarely pays a compliment on my wardrobe. My other favorite piece is this faux fur coat. It has that 70s vintage feel and I can’t wait for us to get a cold front to wear it. Well, if I had to pick one of the happiest photoshoots of my life, I’d have to say this one steps up to the category. I ran across the field screaming and flailing my arms at finding this chunk of heaven after a year of trying to locate it ( you can see the video on my insta). Seriously, it’s a magical experience to walk through rows and rows of sunflowers  towering over you and swaying in the wind while the sun is setting is as romantic as it gets.

To celebrate, my discovery and H&M’s new Fall collection. I have teamed up with them to give away

1.one lucky winner a $50 giftcard

To enter:

1.Repost image #5 on my Instagram with the hashtag #HMFallFashion to be entered. Good luck! Winners will be announced on 9/25/14

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OUTFIT: Leopard crop top, highwaisted jeans, shoes, fur coat and rings c/o H&M’s new fall collection. 

PHOTOS: By Alejandro Fernandez

Que Pasa USA?

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Hispanic Heritage month kicks off September 15 and to celebrate I’m dedicating a month long of posts about my Cuban culture with photographer Mayleen Gonzalez and what it means to grow up as the daughter of refugees in Miami.  

What better way to start than with Cuban food and Miami fixture “El Palacio de Los Jugos” aka The Palace of Juices. This spot is one of those Cuban eateries that truly reminds you that you are in Miami. Everything from the “Spanglish” signage to the row of Catholic saint figurines sitting on shelves at the foot of the menu to the fresh produce consisting of yuca, platanos and guava are all indicators of how South Florida is truly shaped by an island 90 miles away that many of us have never stepped foot on. Today, El Palacio de Los Jugos has 7 locations all scattered throughout the city. The original one opened up more than 20 years in the city’s Little Havana neighborhood. I like to come the Coral Way location which is close to my place. A visit for me here includes trying a fresh juice and some good ole’ carb feasting with ( Mariquitas, Fufu, Congri and Yuca. To check out this eatery click here:  Palacio de Los Jugos

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OUTFIT: Lace top c/o Emma Luna, Closet Boutique pants, DVF c/o Sawgrass Mills mall, shoes c/o Chiffino Shoes.

PHOTOS: By Mayleen Gonzalez of PhotoBoutiqueInc.com

Listen to Your Art

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One of the things a lot people don’t know about me is that I love the theater and I used to take acting classes growing up. My parents were really into the scene and the first time they took me to a play it was at Actor’s Playhouse which originally in Kendall and I fell in love. Back then the Coconut Grove Playhouse was open, too.Nowadays, the Arsht Center in Miami’s downtown is where locals head out to get their “theater on.” The center has three state-of-the-art theaters: Ziff Ballet Opera House,  Knight Concert Hall, and the Carnival Studio Theatre; There’s also a lounge and a full service restaurant called Prelude by Barton G.

This month is pretty exciting since on September 19-21 the 3rd annual Art Days weekend kicks off with 170 free events from an Andy Warhol exhibition to a community mural where you can put your creative touch to gallery tours, pop ups and parties. The Arsht Center is participating with an “I Love Lucy” event to kick off the live performance on September 19 from 6 to 9PM. There’s going to be live performances, sips, bites, classic cars from the Dezer Collection, Desi Arnaz photos and artifacts exhibit courtesy of History Miami and really neat: a pin up photo shoot and a “Look Like Lucy Contest.” To rsvp email: promotions@arshtcenter.org. For more on art days check out: Downtown Art Days 

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OUTFIT: Forever 21 Red dress and shoes c/o Sawgrass Mills Mall, Nameplate c/o Tres Sorrelle

Under Construction Again

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"Life imitates art far more than art imitates life"-Oscar Wilde. 

Do you believe we can predict our future without knowing we are? Somehow I think I did this through this vary blog shoot I snapped six months ago with Mayleen. What’s even more eerie is that I found these images tucked into a folder this week right in the middle of all these changes swirling around me. My life is seriously in an “under construction” zone with a lot of career and personal changes happening. It’s an exciting time and yet scary time for me because while change is good. It’s not easy.

It’s weird to say, but I woke up a few weeks ago and realized I had to do something different for me. I was putting too much energy into things that I didn’t feel passionate about anymore and were actually draining me instead of energizing me. I finally began to say “no” to things which was so liberating and I’m even skipping out on the Spring shows this September to really focus on the bigger picture. What’s helping me the most is really getting my feelings on paper and talking to others and getting their input. Sometimes people see things in you that you don’t necessarily see yourself and it truly helps. Till Saturday. xx The Fashion Poet

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OUTFIT: Wildfox top, Bloomingdales skirt, Converse, Vintage bag

Mystic Pizza

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Down a busy Bird Road in a Miami suburb saturated with retail giants stands one of my most favorite places to eat: Frankie’s Pizza. In fact, if I had to pick my last meal: it would be hands down: cheese pizza from here. It’s hard to believe, it’s one of the last mom and pop shops of yesteryear in the suburb of Westchester. Growing up here, there used to be so many more. This spot has actually been here since 1955 and denizens still to this day will travel miles and miles just to sink their teeth into what many of us deem as the “best pizza” in the 305. 

Back then and still today, Frankie’s doesn’t deliver. If you want their pizza, you gotta make the drive the old school way. They also don’t take credit cards (don’t worry there’s an ATM inside). Dining here, also isn’t a piece of cake, there’s just a few stools inside or you can take your slice or pie and make your way to the back patio to dine under the stars. Yet, the simplicity of it all, I find utterly romantic. I’m not fancy. Believe me, when I wasn’t eating Frankie’s I was stuck eating the cheapest frozen grocery store bought pizza you can imagine. I had to literally squeeze ketchup over it to make it taste better. You know Totino’s? Yeah, the struggle was real.

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OUTFIT: The Closet Boutique, Kate Moss tee & Shredded Leggings, Nine West red pumps, Kendall & Kylie Pac Sun hat,  Liza Schwartz bracelets. 

Back Home in Westchester

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Lately, I’ve had a pang of nostalgia creep up in my heart. I’ve been yearning to revisit familar spots of yesteryear that I grew up around. A few weeks ago, I drove to Frankie’s Pizza and today, I made my rounds at Arbetter Hot Dogs. I have a lot of good memories coming here as a kid with my family.

Has this ever happened to you? You know a sudden urge to connect with things of your past?

I guess I’m trying to remember what made me happy before and what I want now. I’ve been doing some major soul searching on the direction I want to go creatively with work. There are some things I just don’t enjoy so much anymore  and other projects I want to pursue. And just coming here put me at ease. I love the simplicity of the spot. It’s mom and pop vibe and of course the good food. I remember the first time, I sunk my teeth into a chili dog. It was like the heavens opened up. Ha and don’t get me started on their cheese fries. Best in town for real.

*Now scroll down so you can see a bit more of my favorite tees from Ohm Boutique and vintage to-die for Dolce and Gabanna bag. The bag was a total steal from local online shop Eve-Sher. It’s amazing for buying pre-loved couture goodies and for selling yours on it too. So you can make some more shopping money! Consignment is seriously a great way to update your wardrobe. hotdog4

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OUTFIT: Miami Homies tee from Ohm Boutique, Forever 21 plaid shirt and hat, Dolce and Gabanna purse from Eve Sher.  and 305 necklaces from Lil Miss Miami.

Bienvenido a Miami

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Welcome to Miami! I’m so happy. Today, marks one month that our Lil Miss Miami line launched online and it is officially hitting stores around the city. 

The capsule collection was created to make something cute and cool that truly represented Miami pride and to also give tourists something tangible that really wasn’t a T-shirt or mug.  It took me a year to really pursue this idea. Sometimes, we are scared of failure and I think that’s what holds us down or we get frustrated because we don’t know how to do it. I was a little bit worried to venture into unknown territory. Yet,  I thought what do I have to lose? The answer was nothing. I can tell you that I often toil with things in my head and it’s not until I just leap and go for it that it happens. I partnered with the best team ever: my niece, Mia because the jewelry is also for kids and Tiffany of TAudrey whose a seasoned designer in the city.  Together, we bounce off one another creatively and I can’t wait to show you what we have lined up for our holiday line. Shop it HERE

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OUTFIT: Lil Miss Miami Jewelry, Pretty Please Don’t Tell Skirt & Steve Madden Shoes

Makeup: Charlene B. Makeup & Hair: Elaine Zel 

Ride or Die Chick: Why We Need Girlfriends

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Are you a "Ride or Die" chick? Do you have a "Best Bitch”? Is an entourage like in Sex-in-the City more of your thing? Having girlfriends is really important. I don’t care if you think you found your best friend in the opposite sex or if your in a relationship with the man of your dreams, you need your hoes for the kinda stuff a man won’t ever understand because he’s simply not one of us. I’m not talking time of the month only either. I’m saying for practically everything. We need a women’s perspective. We need their opinion, guidance, their jokes, advice, strength and support. In the last, year I’ve had 3 of my soul sisters move to different cities and even countries. I’ve had to make new friends. Through it, I’m relearning why having girlfriends is the best thing any woman can have in their life and why we should never take friendships for granted.

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 When you find a friend who is going to tell you the truth. She’s  a Ride or Die”… My last bestie moved this April. I was attached to the hip. I pushed her to move to further her career, too. But I’m not gonna lie, I cried. She got me through a tough break up. She taught me to toughen up a bit and to take chances on my blog to change my look and to expose myself through words and images that weren’t safe for me. She was straight up with me and told me things I didn’t want to hear, but were the truth.

When you find a friend who is going to support you and pick you up when you’re falling. She’s  a "Ride or Die"…It was the same feeling when I recently got a surprise visit from my girl after not seeing her for almost a year. I was elated to spend time with her, but so sad to see her go. We spent hours talking just like if nothing had changed. Four years ago, she told me to quit my job and start a blog. She taught me how to put together a killer event. She armed me with confidence. She chiseled away at my shy shell. She showed me the ropes. She believed in me when none else did. If someone hurt me, she defended me. We shared intelligent conversations and we were there for each other. I remember one time she came to pick me up and I was going through a depression. I was dishelved and a total hot mess, but she dragged me out and talked me back to life. Her loyalty was unlike no other. 

When you find a friend who you can bond with about the same things we go through.  She’s a "Ride or Die." Then there’s my BFF wholooks more like a model than stylist. She made me more spiritual. She taught me to manifest my dreams. To meditate, to pray and really look within myself and see what I wanted in life. She pointed out my weaknesses while helping me bandage them, but taught me that in order to lose them, I had to change. We confided in one another in our doubts, our scars from past experiences and we cried to one another about our fears. 

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Now these days, I’m relearning to foster new friendships with others. I keep in touch with my besties, but being that we are in different cities makes it a bit challenging. Though I know a lot of people, I’m very choosy about who I let into my life on a personal level. Being in the blogger world, you begin to see that not all women are created equally. Some chicks are catty, others you just don’t mesh well with and a lot of the times they want to use you to move up. In this new phase, I’m discovering the art of making friends and it’s amazing to bond with other girls. In the end, many of us do share the same fears, have the same insecurities and want the same things.  The other day, a few of us went to catch the YSL flick and then we grabbed drinks after and had some real great laughs talking about exes and the dating world. It was fun.

During an out-of-the blue breakfast with another friend, I ended up learning how much a like we are in character to our dating trials with men. It felt good to bond and open up with someone. 

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In this tough world, it sometimes might feel like we are traveling alone or what we are going through no one might understand, but it’s not true. Some other woman somewhere else is going through it too. We are human so we all go through similar experiences. Life is much better with women who can be like sisters to us. So reach out to that girl at work or acquaintance and invite them out. You never know, they just might be the best friend you never had.

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OUTFIT: Top c/o The Closet Boutique, Forever 21 bottom, Lil Miss Miami jewelry, Kaanas c/o 4 Sisters1Closet

A Miami: Sugar Shack

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Every time, I drive by Coral Way, I see this tiny food truck parked underneath an overpass. Sometimes it sits there lonely hiding in the shade from the scorching summer heat and other moments locals make a beeline for a lunch bag sized of churros. This sweet dessert isn’t fancy by any means. In fact, it’s just fried dough that’s shrouded in sugar. There’s so much sugar, you have to use the bag to shake it around.

Yesterday, my curiosity caved in. I wanted to know more about this loner food truck that wasn’t somewhere like Wynwood where most of them tend to post up. I pulled over. An old Cuban man was helming the operations and he had customers lined up who had just gotten off work. From original to guava, chocolate and dulce de leche, there was options and all for $3.  We tried them all. They were piping hot, fresh and delectable. These were the original churros, I remember savoring as a kid. The ones my grandfather would buy us off street vendors. The old man told us he truck was named “Churro Maria” after his wife Maria, but there was no signage saying so. He also said he has a Facebook page, but I haven’t been able to find one. All I can tell you is that this pop up is a must-try and it’s situated on the corner of Coral Way a few feet from the Stay America hotel (298 SW 15th Road) and is there Monday-Friday from 2 to 7:30pm. 

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OUTFIT: Skirt c/o Target, Top & Hat c/o Pac Sun, Denim c/o Gap.

She Speaks to Me in Waves: A Poem

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I’ve been getting requests to include more of my poems on here. This is about what I’m feeling right now and how I’ve been coping with it. I tend to retreat to the ocean a lot when I have inner turmoil. I like to go really early or late so I can be by myself and get clarity there. At the moment, I’m going through some changes and trying to find answers. Change is positive, but it can sometimes make us anxious of the unknown so it’s about that. But I hope you enjoy the poem. I think through metaphors a lot. xx-The Fashion Poet

She Speaks to Me in Waves 

I go to the ocean for clarity and counsel

She speaks to me in waves

At times pushing and pulling me in

Her words aren’t what I always want to hear

But they are the truth

Not like sandy shells that you press up against your ear

That speak in secret muffling

My mind right now feels so full

A soup boiling and ready to seep out and scorch the skin

A television screaming in static

A  swarm of bees buzzing

Buzz Buzz Buzz

Have you heard this before in your head?

I’ve been trying to drown it out 

Stepping deep into her

Holding my breath and watching the bubbles

Rise up to the top and 

Pop Pop Pop

If only this feeling could dissipate

Just like that

Her arms cradle me and calm me and clean me

I let my salty tears become one with her

She wipes them away

And I step back into the shore

A little better.

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Outfit: Forever 21 swimsuit, ”lil miss miami” jewelery 

Hair: Hair by Elaine Zel

Makeup: Charlene B Makeup