Finding New Roads In the Summer of Adventure

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Disclosure: I was provided with a 2018 Chevy Equinox in order to facilitate this post. A note to the Frog Princess,

As we were talking about the summer plans a few weeks ago, I asked you what we should name this summer. With all the drama you've learned from your mama you proclaimed: the summer of adventure!

And here we were. We kicked it off a little early during National Photography Month thanks to Chevy because adventuring can't wait!

This summer I promise to:

  • Break up my work day so that we are spending quality time (we can get so much accomplished and so many new thoughts and ideas during lunch!).
  • Take you to as many places as we can afford.
  • Keep you safe while enjoying this summer of your 8th year.

Now, let's find new roads this summer, baby girl!

Our summer officially kicked off a the end of May because Florida and heat, folks. Also, because Chevy.

I had the grand pleasure of riding around in a Chevy Equinox that felt like something new and like home all at the same time.

It was roomy, it was comfortable and considering they start at $23,580, I think it's also mighty affordable.

I MUST be radically honest with you right now (because, have you met me?): the majority of the time I had this fantabulous SUV, we were dealing with the Frog Princess being sick with fevers, sore throats and headaches. I had ALL. THE. PLANS. to take this bad boy to all the special places but, life happened. I was sad that I only spent about half the time I was hoping to spend inside this beauty. I will say that baby girl slept comfortably in the back seat and could not get over the new car smell (seriously, at this rate, we're going to end up with a new car by July!).

I called her Ellie while she was here. And for the time we had her, we really enjoyed her.

Now, I can tell you all about: Safety Alert Seat, Surround Vision, Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator, Low speed Forward Automatic Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. All new in the 2018 Equinox. But instead, I am going to tell you about the one feature that held my heart, brought tears to my eyes and made me ridiculously grateful all at the same time (didn't think a car could do that, eh?).

REAR SEAT REMINDER. I saw it the first morning I took the Frog Princess to school. I needed a minute. I heard the ding as soon as I took the key out of the ignition and lo and behold, I see this:

Y'ALL. Why has this not been done before?! This was the simplest thing I've seen but the ONE thing I feel can make such a huge difference! I took a short survey amongst my friends and I got a unanimous "wow" from them all. How many lives could this save?

It's the little things, amirite? But also, it's the moments. The small moments that we can capture on film (I had to explain what "film" was to the kid recently. Fun. You should try it some time) and the ones we capture with our hearts.

Things like surprising her with tickets to see Solo at our favorite hangout spot, Disney Springs.

(here she didn't know where we were headed and thus the obligatory smile)

Or running off to the beach during late afternoons, catching the golden hour and collecting seashells and laughter in equal parts.

Life is short. The summer is shorter. Childhood is gone in the blink of an eye. And moms spend an inordinate amount of time in cars. So, what do you say you find yourself a vehicle that will add to your enjoyment of life (and your cool factor).

If you're in the market for a car (Dei, this is for you!), I highly recommend you head on over to a dealership and test drive this bad boy. You won't be disappointed.

Tell them Sili sent you. They won't know who I am but hey, that shouldn't stop you!

Okay but, to recap, here's what I enjoyed best:

  1. the cabin in the Equinox was roomier than I expected from seeing it on the outside.
  2. It handled great and picked up speed quickly (not that I speed or anything).
  3. The Frog Princess had a good amount of leg room in the back.
  4. The sound system allowed me to listen to my 90's & 00's music in loud comfort as I waited in the pick up line.
  5. The safety features on this vehicle blew me away.

Here's wishing you happy roads, happy summers and happy driving! May this summer show you how to #FindNewRoads!

Back-to-School Means Back to Disney (Springs)

Disclosure: We had the pleasure of being hosted by Disney in order to experience the fabulous new shops, dining and entertainment options right in our back yard. All opinions (and swooning) are purely my own. Last week I had the grand pleasure of heading over to Disney's Beach Club Resort for a few days. It was just what the doctor ordered. After a summer of surgery and recovery, you can imagine I've done little in the form of R&R OR shopping. The Frog Princess has been reluctant to leave my side (even passing up on art camp).

I wanted to do something special for her and wouldn't you know it, I can always count on Disney to help me deliver the magic. Unbeknownst to her, I'd invited her BFF to come along with us (her mom & I are super close as well so, this works out PERFECTLY for us). On the day of, we met up and I scooped up my other child and off we went! I love these two!

After checking in, we sauntered over to Typhoon Lagoon where we spent way too much time chillaxing in the lazy river and talking about books, summer and the new school year. Afterward, we made our way back to the hotel for more pool time because, is there anything better than chilling in the water on a Florida summer day?

SHOPPING AT DISNEY SPRINGS

Let me preface this by saying that, I'm ashamed. As a local, I sometimes get stuck in my ways and don't venture past the places I'm used to going. As a local with annual passes to Disney World, I get stuck in the loop of heading to the parks and nothing else. Disney Springs has SOOO much to offer, y'all. I didn't realize 80% of these venues were there. HOW SWAY?!?

As we were watching a short presentation letting us know about all the things we'd been missing out on, the Frog Princess turns to me and says "I literally feel like I'm about to faint!" I shared her excitement.

With over 150 venues, Disney Springs brings all the things in one place. I love the atmosphere, I love the entertainment, I love the foods!

We hopped, skipped and jumped into stores like UNIQLO, World of Disney (of course), and LittleMissMatched because you already know the Sock Princess is about to make a comeback.

My girl and I enjoyed heading over to Zara and Sephora and made a note to head back without the minis next time for some big girl fashion, flavors and fun! We also side eyed each other with a "why hadn't we done this before" look. But guess what? Now we know! And we will definitely be back.

With the Frog Princess going to a school with no uniforms this year, I'd been stressing a bit about clothes. Levi's and UNIQLO came to the rescue, though.

Side note: we HAVE to make a return trip to the Levi's store because the Frog Princess wants a customized jean jacket and couldn't decide what she wanted on it. Thankfully, our boy Jonathan was super patient with us as we made our purchases and will definitely see us again for that one-of-a-kind item (and seriously, I think I need one too). Also: see what NYC looks like at Disney Springs!

LA NOUBA AND SPLITSVILLE

La Nouba will be getting its very own post soon because I have all. the. feels. over the performance at the moment but I did want to note that YOU HAVE TIL DECEMBER 31st TO GO SEE THEM. They will go away after that and I don't think I can deal with that reality at the moment.

If you find yourself at Disney Springs and in need of some fun and food, I hope you'll head on over to Splitsville. It's right across from the movie theater (the old heads will remember this as the Virgin Records Store). Y'all, you can order sushi while you bowl! That's all I'm going to say about that.

I was reminded of this little fun fact about Sili: she owns her own ball and shoes AND she's been known to bowl in a cape.

This kid needs more exposure to that Sili, y'all. and she's going to get it.

I love finding new places to go and I love it even more when it's right in my backyard. Rest assured that I'll be doing my best to visit as many of those 150 venues as I can! If you're around and looking for a place to shop, look no further. If you are planning to visit the area, I am going to highly recommend that you block out a day (or two) to check out Disney Springs. You won't be disappointed.

Letting My Daughter Find Her Style

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Disclosure: “This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included Carter’s clothing as compensation.” Some days I wonder how it is that this kid can grow so fast. One minute, I am shopping for clothes in December and the next it’s February and it seems like she has nothing to wear. NO.THING.

The Frog Princess has been fairly easy when it comes to clothing, though. I’ve never been one to give her too many choices. Couple that with her easy-going personality and we have ZERO issues getting dressed.

As she grows, she is showing more of her taste and comforts. When I shopped Kohl’s last spring, I was lamenting the thought of her soon being out of Carter’s clothing. Of course, that was before I realized that…HELLOOOO! Look at these bigger sizes AND these adorable alphets (Carter’s if you’re reading this, can we talk about creating a few of these pieces in Mami sizes?! Kthxbai).

Because she considers herself an artist, you can imagine that the Frog Princess has been developing certain tastes.

She’s all about color! With trepidation in my heart, we shopped both online and in the store and…I let her pick her clothes!

She was excited to select her clothing. Also, is she lecturing me about the color yellow? I think so!

We want to be comfortable. And we want to be age appropriate. Can I say that again?! Age. Appropriate! Lounging at home, doing crafts, painting, watching a movie or out and about in the city playing to our heart’s content.

I think that not only did we find clothes that I love to put her in but she is finding her very own style and comfort which is super important to me.

For me, I like the options. I love that I can purchase a brand that we’ve loved since birth and that I can do it from the Kohl’s website or run over to the store for a shopping trip. This we love to do as part of a girl’s day where we have brunch at one of our favorite spots and hit up a park or two.

It’s a time for us to bond, for her to develop a sense of self and, with Carter’s, it means that I can rest easy knowing that she is selecting clothes that will fit beautifully and comfortably. Even if it’s just til her next growth spurt! (side note: when do they stop growing?!)

Oh and don’t miss this sale: from 3/17 through 4/2 get $10 off a $40 purchase with promo code KIDSALE10. I may or may not need to head back there. Don’t ask!

 

*My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites so I encourage you to read their privacy policies. These affiliate links are not associated with Kohl’s.

Big Hair DOES Care

Disclosure: I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy gift card and/or product in order to facilitate the review of the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. I love my big hair. What I don't love is letting it air dry. Mostly because when I wash my hair it's usually right before I'm leaving the house. Picture me attempting to put on mascara AND being unsuccessful at drying the mane.

As the Universe would have it, it seemed like my luck had run out with the blow dryer that I'd purchased years back. Don't ask. It's a hurtful recollection. My sister mentioned a Dyson hair dryer when she was here for Christmas and I looked at her like she was crazy.

"Dyson makes a hair dryer?" I asked. I'm a fan of their vacuums but this was news to me.

When I had a chance to take this bad boy for a spin, I took it!

The Deets: I feel like I'm drying my hair on an episode of Star Trek.

Yes, I use a blow dryer even though I wear my hair curly. Yes, the dryer AND the diffuser are super important with my curly hair because I need to make sure my hair doesn't get damaged. Yes, it felt like I was on the Star Trek Enterprise drying my hair after eating a meal created by the replicator.

With a unique digital motor for fast and balanced drying, an intelligent thermistor to help protect hair from extreme heat damage and three magnetic styling attachments.

MAGNETIC, y'all!

I also found it to be super light weight. Add to that the fact that it dried my hair in about half the time as the old hair dryer and I was overjoyed. 

This bad boy brings 3 attachments. The smoothing nozzle, the styling concentrator and the diffuser. Of course, the diffuser is my jam.

I loved that I was able to get my beautiful big hair dry and ready to roll without fuss. My BIG problem with this hair dryer right now? How will I ensure that my sister won't steal it the next time she visits?!

Quick Tips for a Linda Navidad

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Disclosure: this is a sponsored post in partnership with Target for the #LindaNavidad campaign. All thoughts, opinions and glitter body rolls are purely my own. It's been a long and stressful month already, and as a busy working Mami, I look forward to a fun, festive, and most importantly easy holiday season. The last thing I want to worry about is what to wear (y'all know my struggles).

I have found that sometimes, the simplest looks such as a little black dress works wonders during the holidays especially if worn with a fun, holiday inspired red lip. I'm not much of a makeup person but like most women, I love to dress it up whenever I can and find a beautiful lip to be the easiest and yet the most impactful look.

Quick beauty tips for a #LindaNavidad thanks to @Target! #spon

When Mexican beauty queen-turned-TV host, Ana Patricia Gamez, sent me this beauty box on behalf of her partnership with Target, I was excited to see a few lip colors right up my alley.

Quick beauty tips for a #LindaNavidad thanks to @Target! #spon

Here is my version of how to make you gloss really stand out. Because I love the simplicity and the shine of a gloss, I decided that this would be my go to look. I have to admit that Jai and Yanira were right about me needing more lippies. This is my new fave. Sheer berry.

Quick beauty tips for a #LindaNavidad thanks to @Target! #spon

Quick beauty tips for a #LindaNavidad thanks to @Target! #spon

The best way to jazz this up for an evening look is to dab a sparkle shadow (pick any, I like the night lid in the Pixi palette, check it out below!) and gently dab over the gloss with your finger. This not only adds sparkle but alters the color depending on the shadow color you use. It takes just seconds to do and looks finished.

Quick beauty tips for a #LindaNavidad thanks to @Target! #spon

Seriously, I can throw on some makeup now as I'm running out the door and look a little put together. This makes me happy.

Quick beauty tips for a #LindaNavidad thanks to @Target! #spon

Want some of that? It's easy! The 10 days of deals is off and running at Target so make sure you take advantage of the 25% off beauty purchases on Tuesday 11/22. Be sure to join us in our Linda Navidad beauty challenge yourself or, take advantage and fill up those stockings early.

Quick beauty tips for a #LindaNavidad thanks to Target! #spon

Do you know what parrandas are? It's the Latino version of Christmas carols with a little louder music and a bit more dancing. So, in the spirit of the holidays, join me as we go on a parranda and visit my friends to learn more about these beauty tips. Because Lord knows I can use them!

YANIRA GARZAMAMI’S TIME OUT | LIVING MI VIDA LOCA | VIVA FASHION

Our Generation Dolls

Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are purely my own. The Frog Princess got her first doll at age 1. It was a beautiful brown baby that looked like her. At the time, it was almost as big as her too. She would play with her but dolls were generally relegated to the toy box.

That's until last year when I noticed her taking an interest in dolls. Since then, we've acquired a few of them in different shapes, colors and sizes always making sure that we center her main doll collection to look like her.

So when I heard that there was going to be an Our Generation Event locally, I took it upon myself to do a deep recon mission. Since the Frog Princess hasn't been that interested in dolls, I haven't gotten myself properly educated in all things dolly until recently. I'm grateful to my friend Cara who constantly pings me or gives me background on these things.

I will tell you that I was happy to see the wonderful variety in this doll collection. Check out the #SquadGoals.

Aren't they adorable? I went to the event at the Target in Sanford and was blown away by this collection. Not just the dolls but the accessories. Y'all. The. Accessories.

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og_camping

og_camper

og_vespa

og_truck

og_sweets_shop

og_horses

I cannot. They are too much.

The dolls themselves are well made and give you a nice price range. I got the Frog Princess her first OG Doll, Abrianna. Rumor has it that, upon seeing the pics on Instagram last week, some family members have already picked up a few things for her her upcoming birthday at the end of the month. Needless to say, I feel like this is only the beginning of the Our Generation obsession here in the 'hood.

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One of my favorite things was turning these boxes around and reading an inspirational story about a woman/girl. I also loved reading about Abrianna herself.

og_abrianna_storyI wanted you to see the actual box. Because the Frog Princess could not contain her excitement and lost. her. mind. when she saw the doll. I may or may not have had to tear this from her hands. So, there's that.

Not only will the Frog Princess be all set during this season but I am spreading the word in my circles as there's a group of fabulous women in my area that collect dolls before the holidays to give to little girls. But not just any dolls. They collect dolls that look like them! And with the amazing collection that Our Generation Dolls has, I can't think of a better brand to pick up for this amazing cause.

And get this! There will be other events coming up on December 10th, if you want to check it out, feel free to head on over to the following Target locations:

Naperville 1951 W Jefferson Ave IL Huntsville West 6275 University Dr NW AL  Huntsville South 2750 Carl T Jones Dr SE Ste 7 AL  Ocean Township 2331 Route 66 NJ  Plainfield 12800 S State Route 59 IL  Lakeville 18275 Kenrick Ave MN  Miramar 16901 Miramar Pkwy FL  Algonquin 750 S Randall Rd IL Birmingham 280 Corridor 4616 Highway 280 AL Champlin 11990 Business Park Blvd N MN Cordova 475 N Germantown Pkwy TN South Elgin 530 Randall Rd IL Mundelein 3100 W IL Route 60 IL Mount Laurel 4 Centerton Rd NJ Viera 8455 N Wickham Rd FL Royal Palm Beach 10155 Okeechobee Blvd FL Sanford 1201 WP Ball Blvd FL Broadview 800 Broadview Village Sq IL Acworth 3378 Cobb Pkwy NW GA

Because the holidays are around the corner and I hate to be excited about something all on my own, I am going to give y'all a head start on the holiday shopping.

I'm giving away a $100 Target Gift Card so you can pick up your very own doll and whatever other accessories you might want to get. Let me tell you, $100 goes a long way with these dolls. We picked up Abrianna, a matching pajama set as well as 2 changes of clothes. One for the Florida girl and one for the girl that travels to wintry seasons. Oh and we had some money left over and now we need to go back and get Abrianna a pet! WHAT?! YASSSS! So much fun!

What will you get when you win?

Mamis and Mazdas

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Disclosure: I was loaned this vehicle in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts, opinions and sass are purely my own. It is summer. And I'm planning a girl's trip. This planning process is reminding me of a few weeks back when the BFF and kid were here. We got a chance to get in the car and DRIVE! Oh and what did we drive? This little doohickey right here:

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I never think of cars! But this one had me doing a double take and really enjoying the ride. We drove down to Miami and had a ball.

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It's never been a secret that I'm out of my league around car fanatics. The details and specifics don't always stick to my brain.

Sure, I love that new car smell as much as the next guy and can tell you about my favorite features on the vehicle my family has been using the past few years (currently that favorite feature is that it still rolls down the street) but once the hood is popped I have a hard time. I mean yeah, I know how to replenish the wind shield wiper fluid, throw in some brake fluid and my claim to fame is my awesome tire changing abilities.

But I've begun the slow descent into speaking car and driver. I still can't tell you the inner workings of the engine specifically but I'm steadily learning little bits and pieces as I go.

Generally speaking, if a car gets me from point A. to point B. without breaking down on the side of the road, I'm a happy camper. Add in some power windows, air conditioning and a working radio/CD player and I think I'm in car heaven.

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When it comes to brand new cars though, there's just something amazing about sliding behind the wheel and taking them for a test drive. I have my suspicions that the new car smell is what makes the drive so special but then again, when you have a plethora of new features to choose from and play with, that makes it all the more exciting too!

When I was given the chance to pair the 2016 Mazda6 and my girls, I squealed with joy at the opportunity. Y'all know I'm kinda sorta keeping my eyes out for a car (it'll come after the house). So the more I drive, the better.

Available in 8 different beautiful colors to choose from, the Mazda6 is a gorgeous vehicle for anyone in the market for a mid sized vehicle with superior driving capabilities. It's the cure for the common drive, the vehicle to have if you're looking to impress your family or friends with your new ride. Or maybe if you're running away from the kids. I mean, no judgement.

It was also called the "Highest Ranked Vehicle Appeal among midsized cars, two years in a row" by J.D Power Power and associates. Cuz you might believe them more than me.

As usual, I'm kinda impressed by that Skyactiv Technology. My favorite part of the trip was driving 483 miles on a single tank of gas!

Dancing Baby

Here are the deets for those of you that want all the business:

  • Skyactiv Technology. The holistic, from the ground up approach to re-engineering each component for the ultimate in efficiency and lower emissions.
  • 2.5L Skyactive G Gasoline Engine. With up to 40mpg on the highway you'll get more bang for your buck as far as miles per gallon are concerned. (see dancing baby above)
  • Stylish design. With it's gorgeous signature front bumper and grill, you'll be riding in style! I can't be responsible if you wear yoga pants tho so, there's that.
  • Cruise Control with proximity Warning. This feature judges the speed and distance of the car ahead of you, working to maintain a set speed range to help maintain a safe following distance. It makes highway driving less stressful for drivers and passengers alike.
  • Leather interior.
  • Power windows and door locks.
You can't go wrong by choosing the 2016 Mazda6 if you're in the market for a new vehicle this year. 
 
To learn more about Mazda and to keep yourself up to date on all the latest updates you can connect with them on Facebook|Twitter|Pinterest|Instagram|Youtube and more! 

 

Meet the 2016 Kia Sorento

Reposting this from the fall as I begin to seriously search for a car. Yes, I've been reading my own car reviews as I shop. Imagine that!


I'll admit that I don't know much about cars. As long as they take me from point A to point B, I'm generally not very picky. Well, a radio, air conditioning, heat and comfortable seats are all big pluses in my book too but I mean aside from those I'm easy to please vehicle wise.

Well, kinda. I do like a good looking vehicle.

Although I'm not a car girl per say, I do enjoy a good test drive from time to time. So, when I was given the opportunity to take the new 2016 Kia Sorento for a spin, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. With it's stylish body, roomy interior and that new car smell, who could? 

Related Post: The 2015 Kia Sorento & How Two Sisters Fell In Love

The 2016 Kia Sorento has been totally redesigned to fit the needs of consumers. After it's adaptions, it's now stronger and sleeker than ever before. With it's beautiful seats, roomy cabin and wraparound dashboard, you'll feel confident in completing your daily errands or even taking the family on an adventure. With 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg highway miles, you can rest easy doing your daily driving while knowing that you're getting the best mileage for your buck. So, no matter what your plans are for your new Kia Sorento, you'll enjoy the experience wherever your travels take you! 

Key features of the exterior to look for when test driving the Kia Sorento include but aren't limited to: 

  • Smart Welcome System that detects your smart key and unfolds mirrors as well as illuminates the door pocket lights. This is especially convenient when entering your vehicle in the dark. 
  • LED Turn Signal Indicators. 
  • Panoramic Sunroof with Power Sunshade. 
  • Smart Power Liftgate. 
  • Solar Control Glass. 
  • Windshield De-icer. 
  • Heated Rear Glass with Timer. 
  • Roof Rails. 

If the exterior features aren't enough to tempt you then check out the Interior features. They include but aren't limited to: 

  • Fully functional Sirius AM/XM Radio with CD, MP3 audio system. 
  • Infinity Surround Sound Audio. 
  • Rear-Camera Display. 
  • Back-up Warning System. 
  • Surround View Monitor. 
  • Blind Spot Detection System. 
  • Bluetooth Capabilities. 
  • USB 2.1 Connectors. 
  • EcoMinder Fuel-efficiency Indicator. 
  • Power Windows and Power Door Locks. 

The Frog Princess approved of this little bad boy and it's seriously on my top 3 list of next purchases. I even like the color. What do you guys think?

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Disclosure: this vehicle was loaned to me in order to facilitate the review. All thoughts, opinions and drooling are purely my own.

Fashion Fridays: Perfect In Pink

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I am a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Last Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of hanging out with my sorority sisters as we celebrated our Founders' Day with a luncheon. I always enjoy the time with my girls. Add to that dressing up and playing with makeup and what we have here is a bonafide perfect Saturday!

I wore a pink Calvin Klein sheath dress. Let the record show that I adore how Calvin Klein dresses fit me. It's what I wore when I met Potus so you know I believe in the fit!

Related Post: Meeting the First Man

Add to that the black, pink and green heels from Hot Tomatoes, the black Vince Camuto bag my stylist Yanira had delivered while I was in Vegas, and the look is almost complete. The winner of the outfit though? the shawl. That I knitted. Because...fiyah! I knitted this thing so long ago and it came out like this by mistake. But this is a mistake I will happily take credit for. That fur yarn is EVERYTHING, you hear me?!

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I don't dress up often enough but this month, with everything happening and with these twists making me think I'm all that and a bag of chips (spoiler: I already thought that cuz my mama said), there's no telling what shenanigans will bring!

Related Post: Twist and Shout

What I do know is that every woman should take the time to play dress up every once in a while. Whatever "dress up" means to you. It's good for the soul. Trust me, I'm a Mami!

 

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