Category Archives: Charm City Kim Shops

Fitness & Fashion Friday

I recently went on a colored denim bender. I had heard that The Loft was having a sale (40% off of EVERYTHING in the store) so I went to check it out. I work within walking distance of a mall. This is something that is both good and bad. It is usually bad.

I struck gold at this store with colored denim. Granted, I originally want full length colored denim pants but couldn’t pass up the great deal on these cropped pants.

A photo of my green cropped jeans from The Loft

I bought them in green, “caribbean” blue and pink. And now I want to go out and buy lavender jeans. I’m going to get the whole rainbow, I tell ya.

I’m currently in fashion identity limbo. I go back and forth between loving trends but then preferring basics and comfort above all else. Part of my problem is that my body has changed. Apparently having a baby does that to you. Who would’ve thought?

While I dropped the pregnancy weight and then some really quickly, since I’m not really breastfeeding anymore (thereby reaping the benefits of the calorie burn) – weight has been creeping back on. It isn’t anything extreme but let’s just say I’m not the skinny minny that I was 3 months post partum. And now weight seems to be settling in my midsection. I’ve got the mom pouch.

Even worse? A year of breastfeeding has left my already small boobs as even tinier sad things. If you’re following that means smaller boobs and a bigger waistline. Awesome.

So that brings me to fitness

I still run 3 times a week. I have spent the last few months working my way up to run longer distances. 2 weeks ago I completed my first 10k post-baby. I wasn’t pleased with my finish time (I averaged a 10:16 min/mile) but was glad that I was able to run the entire course without stopping (except for water).

I completed a 6k last week and was much happier with my time (9:30 min/mile).

So while I’ve conquered some distances (I’m happy just running 6 at the moment), I really need to work on getting faster again. I don’t think that having a baby messed up my pace though. I think training for that marathon 2 1/2 years ago messed up my pace. I’m so used to just starting off slow to “save energy” for the distance that I’m not accustomed to pushing myself. I do this on the treadmill too.

I’m also currently dealing with some killer shin splints.

Jeremy and I were doing well with p90x but can only really do it when Annmarie is asleep. So it is hit or miss when we complete it. If she wakes up early (thereby eliminating the possibility of us working out in the morning), we try to workout in the evening.

But I’m still only doing cardio 3 times a week. I feel like I need to increase my cardio but I don’t know when I’ll have the time! Granted, my clothes are still fitting but I feel like I’m seeing some muffin top that I’m not happy with.

So – are you a parent? How do you squeeze in meaningful workouts?

Btw – I recognize that I could change my diet a bit, and I have started to cut down on the amount of snacking I do throughout the day. I got very used to my nonstop eating during my breastfeeding months and since I am no longer reaping the breastfeeding benefits… I need to stop the nonstop snacking.

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Fashion Friday – Spring Cleaning and Still Searching

My quest for colored denim continues.  I went by Target this past weekend to try on the Mossimo Junior’s colored jeans that I linked last week.  ANDOHMYGOD – they were awful.  Beyond awful.  I could tell that they were quite skinny and bordering jeggings territory but I wasn’t prepared for how ridiculous I’d look in them.

I went with a friend of mine and her reaction was, “um… you look skinny.”  Normally that is a selling point for me but I could tell that she didn’t think highly of the pants.  They looked like leggings and that wasn’t exactly what I wanted.

On Monday, I hit up Kohl’s to check out their selection.  I found a decent pair (although they seemed a little more cropped than I liked) but I couldn’t justify the cost (even though they were on sale for $55 – that was still more than I wanted to pay for this trend):

I think I’m going to have to suck it up and pay a little more if I want non-jegging style versions of this damn trend.

I also went through my closet for an early spring cleaning.  I went through this exercise before I was pregnant and ended up removing 10 large shopping bags of clothes.  My closet was still pretty packed and I had recently reached that point where I found getting stuff out of my closet to be stressful.  I realized I wasn’t wearing a large portion of my clothing anymore because my sense of style has changed a bit or I *gasp* could not longer fit into them.

As I pulled out a bunch of stuff, my friend noted that I had the closet of a Target or [insert large chain store name here].  I had so many khaki pants!  But not even cute khaki.  I had mom khaki.  I had Target employee khaki.  And lots of it.  I stopped wearing a lot of it years ago (and in fact and am almost embarrassed that I wore any of it).

And as my friend pointed out, since I can see how much stuff I’m removing – it is difficult to restrain myself from getting more stuff!  I’m hoping that I can consign a large portion of these items considering I found some high-ish end jeans that still had the price tag attached as well as some other decent items.

I also failed to snap any photos of myself again this week.  Again, I need my photographer (who has been busy studying).

Oh and I also ended up exchanging that H&M herringbone dress (I shared the link last week).  I felt sassy and bought the pink.  Then I sat on it for a few days and realized that I’m not that sassy and that I’d get more wear out of the black & white version.  I wore the dress on Tuesday and it got TONS of compliments.

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Fashion Friday – Trends I’m Digging

I didn’t take any pictures of what I wore this week. It was pretty lackluster (although I do like the dress I’m wearing today) plus I’ve had a sick baby who was ultra clingy (so trying to snap an outfit photo wasn’t exactly a priority). So here’s a picture of the shoes I’m wearing today:


I bought these at Target because I was really into the whole oxford shoe with cute dresses thing. But I don’t wear these often. I like them a lot but feel like a bit of a turd in them. Like maybe I’m not fashionable enough to pull off that trend.

Anywho. Despite not taking any pics of my outfits this week, I’m not abandoning this whole fashion thing. For this post, I’ll just talk about a couple of purchases, some trends I’m digging, and one of my favorite fashion items.

New Purchases

I received a generous gift card from my in-laws for Christmas to TOMS. I had a couple of shoes on my wish list and I guess they felt it was just easier to give me a gift card so that I could choose the shoes I wanted. I saw some blurb about how they were releasing ballet flats so I waited… and waited.

But then they released the ballet flats and I still waited. The gift card was enough to cover most of the cost of 2 pairs of classic TOMS. The ballet flats were much more. I hesitated. I went back to look at the large variety of shoes. I waited some more. But then I realized that I need to stop being such a turd about this because these were a gift! So I pulled the trigger and ordered these:

Morocco Women’s Vegan Classics

Isabel Burlap Flat

I tried to pick ballet flats that I thought would be more versatile (since they weren’t exactly cheap). And since I already own gray flats (and even gray classic TOMS), I wanted another good neutral shoe.

And I guess since I went so safe with my shoe choice, I was craving something a little more exciting. Actually, I popped into H&M to look for another trend I’m into right now but stumbled across this great dress for only $17.95!

H&M Herringbone Dress

I was really torn between the pink/black and the white/black. While the white/black seemed like a great versatile piece, I wanted something fun. And at $17.95, it didn’t seem like much of a risk! But I’ll be honest… I’m contemplating going back and also getting the white/black version.

Trends I’m Digging

I really am digging colored denim right now. At first I thought it was too loud, but it has been growing on me for quite some time. However, I refuse to spend a lot of money on this as I really think it is a fleeting trend.

While I’ve seen myriad colors, I really want either red jeans or cobalt blue jeans:

Target’s Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Skinny Denim

Forever 21′s Low-Rise Colored Skinny Jeans

I tried to run over to F21 today at lunch but they were sold out. I went over to H&M but they didn’t have my size in their red jeans (and holy hell… talk about feeling like a fatty boombalatty. I tried putting on the smaller size of the sizes I tend to teeter between and I couldn’t get it past my calves!).

I’m not sure if I’m too old for these (and the fact that the Target jeans are branded as “juniors” doesn’t help to alleviate this concern) but at less than $25, I figured it was too big of a loss. It is worth a try, right? I’m going to try them this weekend (if I can find my size).

Favorite Fashion Item

So one of my favorite fashion items is a scarf. Actually, 2 scarves but I find myself wearing this one around the office a lot more than the other (and it is because the other one is pink with white skulls on it).
Playing dress up

(okay – and I also just wanted to post a cute picture of my baby although this picture is from 6 months ago.)

I recently saw a pin on Pinterest about a different way to loop the scarf and have been a big fan of this method ever since.

What trends are you into? Am I too old for colored denim?

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Frugal Friday

Over the last few months, Jeremy and I have really been looking at our finances and trying to figure out ways to cut unnecessary expenses.  Or maybe Jeremy has always done this but I lacked any sort of fiscal responsibility until we had a baby and then I was presented with all sorts of, “holy crap – that costs WHAT?!

Some things I’ve started to do include…

      • Use coupons!  I’m nowhere near the “Extreme Couponing” madness but the fact that I’m even using coupons is a big deal. 

We do the majority of our grocery shopping at Whole Foods and they do a great job with being able to print coupons from their site.  I don’t really go above and beyond to track down additional coupons though.  Baby steps, people.

  • Not buy so much random shit for myself.  Jeremy would probably disagree but my mindless shopping (whether it be online or just a random trip to the mall) has pretty much ceased.  I still occasionally buy stuff for myself but it is nowhere near what I used to do… but I think I’ve replaced that with wanting stuff for Annmarie.  So maybe I’m not actually saving anything.

So that’s just 2 things and I realize that is nothing impressive.

Some other areas of improvement in our financial lives include:

  • Cable – do we really need it?  Jeremy is toying with the idea of dropping cable and buying a digital antennae, paying for Netflix streaming and Hulu Plus.  I’ve already mentioned the need to break up with some TV shows so I feel like this should cover us.  Has anyone done this?  Any regrets? 
  • Phone – Jeremy tried to see if we could cut our cell phone bill down but it seems we’re already doing the cheapest plan available!  It is kind of crazy what we pay for our service.  And after analyzing usage, I’ll be sending more text messages (to at least make some of my plan worthwhile).  Brace yourself, friends.
  • Dining Out- Surprisingly, we really haven’t been going out to eat much.  I don’t know if this was intentional (on Jeremy’s part) but I’ve noticed we’ve been eating at home more a lot lately.  However, this means that I’m eating more cereal for dinner.  I’m okay with that thought because I love cereal for dinner. 

    My current favorite cereal. I love you, Kashi.

  • Sewing – I’m making Annmarie’s clothes!  Okay – I totally made this last one up but I am going to start sewing things.  I MEAN IT!

How do you save money?

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My Baby’s Got Back (Fashion Friday)

Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt.
It is so big.
She looks like one of those rap guys’ girlfriends.
But, you know, who understands those rap guys?
They only talk to her because she looks like a total prostitute.
I mean, her butt, is just so big.
I can’t believe it’s just so round, it’s like out there…

Fall is here

Seriously – check out my baby’s badonkadonk.

While I recognize that we’re in the middle of September, I still feel that this cold weather kind of came out of nowhere. It was pretty chilly this morning!

Most of Annmarie’s 6-9 month clothing is pretty summery but as I dug through her closet this morning, I was excited to be able to put her into this chilly weather outfit that was sized 6 months.

But as I tried to pull up her pants, I realized they wouldn’t go over her giant cloth diapered tush.

She looks like she’s rocking some serious booty today. And she definitely does not get that from her momma. I have a flat Asian butt.

As for my fashion as of late, it is pretty meh these days. I have 2 fashion personas. I have this casual, effortlessly chic desired persona where I live in dresses and flowy tops. But then I have this business persona where I wear structured pants and tops. I kind of just want to scrap it all and start over with my wardrobe. I’m just so bored with it. However that may have more to do with the fact that while I have these personas, I’m really just wearing my Target nursing tank tops with athletic shorts. Hot stuff. But now that the weather is getting colder, I can bust out my next favorite thing to wear… cardigans (over my sexy nursing tanks, of course).

What do you love to wear in the Fall? Are you jealous of my baby’s booty? I am.

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Uninspired Fashion (I Can’t Compete with a Fashionista)

I mentioned previously that I participated in a Little Black Dress (LBD) challenge against my good friend CAG.  I failed to blog about my 2nd challenge with her over the weekend (whoops!) so here’s my quick recap.

She totally kicked my ass both times.  And in looking at her outfits, I never stood a chance!  Her fashion sense is so much sassier than mine.  She informed me, however, that voting is open until Friday.  So – take pity on this tired mom.  Vote for me so I feel just a wee bit sassier.

I was looking in my closet on Saturday morning and noticed my white jeans.  I love these jeans.  They’re skinny jeans that are so cute and summery.  I wore them a lot 2 summers ago.  Last summer I wasn’t able to squeeze my growing belly into them and this summer?  I kind of forgot about them (but was also avoiding most things “white” since I’m prone to staining).

But we’re coming up on the end of summer and I really wanted to bust out these jeans (partly to see if they still fit).

I decided to convert my jersey cotton wrap dress into a top.  I did this with the magic of 8 safety pins (that I meticulously fastened along the hem of the waistband so you wouldn’t see the pins).  This was kind of complicated to do because the wrap dress bottom hem isn’t a straight hem.  The ends sort of arch upward so trying to pin this in a way so that the “top” would look even on the bottom wasn’t easy.

Initially I had paired this with one of my large gray belts.  But I wasn’t 100% happy with the look.  For a summery outfit, it felt so dull.  Don’t get me wrong, I love gray clothing & accessories but I needed a pop of color.

I love the color of this infinity scarf but wasn’t sure how I could wrap this around my waist without adding bulk.  I decided to say f it and went for it.

Jeremy’s opinion?  “I like the belt better.  The scarf just looks like a lot of fabric.”

I didn’t care.  I liked the pop of color but clearly it wasn’t a good look because I lost the challenge… AGAIN!

I even tried to use Annmarie and Petie to get votes.  Sheesh.

Petie was just wondering why I was posing like an idiot. 

Look – a cute baby!  Vote for me, please! 

The whole outfit was pretty much from Old Navy.  Who knew I loved that store so much?  The dress, jeans and shoes all came from Old Navy.  The infinity scarf that I never wear (mostly because I don’t know how to wear a summery scarf) came from Urban Chic.  The baby came from my uterus via my vagina.

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Splurge vs Save (My Husband Thinks I’m Crazy)

I’ve blogged about how I’ve turned into a super cheapskate since having a baby but I’ve realized that I’m not consistently cheap when it comes to everything in my life.

Splurge Example 1:  My Groceries

Jeremy and I spend a lot of money on food every week.  I watch shows like Extreme Couponing (aka “Hoarders”) and think that I must be crazy to spend as much as I do each week (most of which gets consumed in a week) vs what these crazy couponers get for like $2.

But then I realize that we buy a TON of produce (and most of it is organic).  We also buy a lot of hippy dippy stuff that I like.  I never see coupons for these things (and I’ve never seen coupons for produce).

However, I don’t feel guilty about how much we spend on food because I think it is worth the money to buy good food since I am ingesting it.  If something is going in my body – I think it is worth the money (this goes for skin care as well).  I never understand people who buy crap food but splurge on clothes on material items.  What’s the point of looking good on the outside if you’re damaging your insides?  No thanks.

Splurge Example 2: Going Out to Eat

I know I just rambled about how I only buy “good” food but this dining out bit is completely unrelated.  I just realized that Jeremy and I buy lunches and dinners a lot.  I think a lot has to do with being tired.  Between having a baby, working and whatever else – sometimes I just don’t feel like making lunch or dinner on the weekend.  So we buy both.  Sometimes we buy good stuff but mostly we buy not so good stuff (lots of pizza).  We don’t generally buy lunch or dinner during the work week (I mean, those groceries we’re splurging on are for something) but the weekends are where we eat out ALL THE TIME.

Splurge Example 3: Vacuum

Okay, this isn’t a normal splurge item but this weekend we bought the Dyson Animal vacuum.  And let me tell you – it hurt my heart to spend that much on such a NOT fun appliance.

We had a $60 lightweight Eureka vacuum but it stopped working.  Jeremy kept insisting that we just splurge this once on a good vacuum instead of continually buying cheap vacuums every few years.  But have you seen the price tag on these things?  It physically hurt me to pay that much for something.  This vacuum cost more than our dishwasher (and that probably explains why the dishwasher isn’t that great).

Now onto how I’m a cheapskate…

Cheap Example 1: Baby Gear

I’ve mentioned how cheap I am but it has gotten much worse with baby gear.  Now that I realize how quickly my baby is growing – the idea of spending so much on baby gear seems absurd.  I’ve let go of clothes (mostly because there are so many inexpensive options thanks to Target) – but the toys and gear?  Oy!  Thankfully all of our toys/gear were given to us at our showers (the swing, the rocking chair, the pack-n-plays…) but now we’re looking at other toys like exersaucers.  I refuse to buy a brand new exersaucer so I’ve been scouring the parenting listserv for parents who are giving away or selling their used ones.  And every time I see a posting, I’m always too late to claim it!

I saw a post on Craigslist for a used exersaucer.  The poster said it was a “few years old” and that his kids had outgrown in (implying multiple children have played on this thing).  It supposedly retailed for $80 when he bought it but he’s asking $35.  I still think that’s a bit steep for a multi-kid several years old toy.  Is it ridiculous that I want to haggle him down to $25?  Jeremy thinks I’m crazy.

Cheap Example 2: Arguing for Store Credit

Further proving why I hate Babies R Us, we tried to return 2 unopened items from our baby register the 2 week of May.  Jeremy ran into the store to do the exchange and came back out to say that they wouldn’t accept the returns because it was past the 90 days of our registry date (Annmarie’s birth date).  We had missed it by less than a week.  I found that unacceptable and ridiculous.  I can’t remember the circumstances but I didn’t go into the store.

Later that month, I found the receipt to one of the items we tried to return (a $25 item).  I went to the store today to get store credit and they said they couldn’t take the item back because it had been over 90 days since the receipt.  I balked.  I wanted my damn store credit.  I wasn’t leaving without it.  They didn’t put up much of a fight (the girl called over her manager who not so nicely said they’d make an acception “just this once”) but dammit – I got my $25 store credit.

So what about you?  On what do you splurge vs. save?

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Crap I Bought (and what I wore)

Remember when I mentioned some of the crap I wanted to buy?  Well I bought it.  The catalyst for me buying the stuff was my wearing a particularly revealing dress to the office last week.  I tried the dress on in a hurry over one of my nursing tanks and was too busy celebrating the fact that it zipped (it was a “skinny” dress) that I didn’t pay attention to where the v-neck hit.  I just threw the dress in my gym bag and headed off to the gym.  Only when I was getting ready for work and was getting slightly engorged (it was close to pumping time!) did I notice just how revealing the dress was and how awkward and inappropriate it looked.  I realized that I needed the secret cami!

Sorry – no picture of the revealing dress but here are 2 things that I remembered to snap a very grainy photo of this past week…

It is difficult to tell but this dress buttons all the way from top to botton in the front.  This is perfect nursing dress!  I also like that it is belted.  Since returning to work, I’m trying to wear more waist enhancing attire (anything that has a defined waist or can be belted).

Jeremy saw this outfit and said, “I know your secret” because he knew I was rocking the secret cami.  I felt like a giant turd snapping it over my bra but it was really convenient and helped me to feel office appropriate.

But now on to the other crap purchase… Easy Feet.  Save your $10!  While the bristles feel nice on my tootsies, this plastic piece of crap doesn’t stick to my tub!  And because it doesn’t stay in place, your foot kind of slides all over the place.  I don’t see how the elderly are the demographic for this product.  They would slip and break a hip!  I’m really mad about this purchase.  I was looking forward to pampering my feet in a convenient way to pamper my feet but instead am stuck with the world’s largest flip flop.

What’s the last crappy item you’ve purchased?

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Crap I Want to Buy

I don’t know if this is the impacts of motherhood or aging talking here but I’m finding myself really wanting some stupid things lately.

The first thing that jumps out at me is something that I initially laughed at when I saw it advertised on television.  The whole concept was ridiculous and the way this task was portrayed on television (as though it was incredibly difficult) was even more absurd.

But after watching this commercial a few times and really thinking about… I want it.
Easy Feet

My feet are looking busted lately.  The constant bending over and picking up of a wee baby (that isn’t so light weight anymore) are starting to take a toll on my terrible back (I really feel like I am one sneeze away from a muscle spasm).  And the fact that I have now turned into crazy floor lady (my floors are never clean enough!) – the idea of having this fabulous foot scrubber that allows me to clean my tootsies without having to bend over seems like magic.  And for the low low price of $14.95, I can’t resist.  The next time I’m at Bed, Bath and Beyond - I think I’ll pick one of these up.

That leads me to this next invention.  I didn’t scoff at this initially – in fact, I’ve always thought it was a good idea.  I just wasn’t crazy about the look.
Secret Cami

I don’t like the lace at the top but I do dig the concept.  Sometimes I hate wearing a full on cami under stuff.  And as I reread that sentence, I realize it sounds ridiculous but I have a few dresses where you could see the line of the bottom of the cami and it just looked stupid.  So I started safety pinning a few of my dresses but that also looked stupid.

Now that I’m breastfeeding, I need access to my milk shooters.  And since the feedbags are now filled with something, I’m showing a lot cleavage.  It makes me uncomfortable to showcase my lovely lady lumps like that in the office BUT I need easy access to them for pumping.  Basically what I’m saying is that I need this stupid secret cami.  I just wished it didn’t look so cheap.

And now what I really need someone to invent is an inexpensive yet chic line of nursing clothes.  The nursing stuff offered by most stores is either grossly overpriced (seriously – why are you asking that I pay an extra $50 to pull out my boob?) or hideously designed.  And I don’t understand the nursing wear that has “secret” ways in which you can pull out your breasticle.  I just need an easy wrap, button down or v-neck that is stretchy enough to be pulled down.  No need for the theatrics – and if you look up some nursing gear, you’ll see what I mean.

If I had the means to design some nursing wear, I totally would.  Hey nursing wear designers, contact me.  Let’s work together to make something that isn’t butt ugly but that I won’t have to take a second job to afford.  And something as simple as putting some “pads” in the top to absorb any leaks would be amazing.  That’s not that hard, is it? 

The hubs and I are attending a wedding next month and based on the timeframe of the wedding – I am quite concerned about engorgement.  I know I’ll have to pump between the ceremony and reception but I worry that I won’t make it through the reception.  I told Jeremy that I think about halfway through the reception, I will look AH-MAH-ZING in my dress (and I’ll make him snap 1000 pictures of my beautiful chest) but that I will probably start leaking.  And when the leak gets so bad that you see 2 wet spots concentrated heavily around my nipples – I’m going to spill water all over me and we’ll have to vamoose.  I’ll just tell everyone that Jeremy is clearly SO DRUNK and that we have to go.  And if they don’t believe me, I’ll trip Jeremy and make it seem as though he’s just stumbling.  Brilliant plan, I know.

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What I Wore Wednesday (I’m trying something new)

I was thinking about how I used to try to make an effort to look put together during my pregnancy (at least at work).  I liked that blogging about it made me feel a little more accountable to remaining somewhat chic.  And I think I need that accountability again.  This time, my work wardrobe has to function in a way that I never thought I’d need… and that way is accessible to my boobs.

So on Wednesdays (but maybe not every Wednesday) – I’ll try to post some of my work outfits that allow me easy access to the girls so that I can pump.  Yes, I pump at work.  And yes, it sucks.  But maybe this will give some future nursing moms that have to go back to work some hope that you can still look professional without screaming “I’m wearing this so that I can squeeze milk out of my nipples.”

Because I just thought of this today, I only have today’s outfit to show.  And please excuse the crappy photos.  I tried to sneak some quick photos in as soon as I got home from work / picking Annmarie up from daycare and she was crying (because she wanted attention and couldn’t understand why mom kept fumbling with the camera).

For some reason, I couldn’t get the flash to go off on the point & shoot (despite it being set to automatic).  So here is a sort of blurry close-up of my outfit:

Dress: I saw this dress in a Target ad (with a red sweater) and loved it.  I removed the cloth belt and used a fake leather belt in its place.  I thought it made it look more polished.  The buttons at the neckline made accessing my boobs easy.

Belt: Target (from a few years ago).

Sweater: H&M (from a few years ago).

Shoes:  Target (and I wore the shit out of these during my pregnancy.  I love flats!)

I felt a little patriotic / country chic in this but also very preppy and pulled together.

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