Me vs The Keto Diet +

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve probably seen me post various foods and drinks that have been sustaining me through The Keto Era.

If you’ve heard of Keto but don’t know what it entails, or if you’ve never heard of it at all, here’s a quick run through (minus all the sciencey stuff):

  • There are many purposes for this diet, depending on your goals or dietary needs
  • Keto forces your body into burning and breaking down fats instead of carbs
  • The diet “formula” is low carb / high fat (LCHF)

Facts about my specific diet:

  • I started Keto to help regulate my body’s insulin sensitivity
  • My daily macros were 5% Carbohydrates, 65% fats, 30% protein
  • My calorie intake ranged anywhere from 1300-1800
  • I workout (lifting and mild cardio) 4-6 times a week
  • I started at 116 lbs with a moderate goal to shed weight (5’2″)

So when I first heard my best friend was doing Keto at the direction of her husband who is a personal trainer, I literally laughed because I never in my life thought I would be capable of that kind of monumental self-discipline. After asking 6572680 questions like I tend to do with anything that sparks my interest, I found out it was a lot easier to do than I had thought.

That’s why I’m here- to bring awareness to this temporary lifestyle so you can make the decision if it’s the right option for you.

anyways, sign me up!

I was set to do Keto for two weeks. No ice cream for twooooooo weeeks?! Yeah trust me, I complained every single day. I

Starting off day 1- I was LIT. Honestly, it felt like I drank 8 shots of espresso and took an Adderall at once. I was weirdly hyper and energetic and distinctly remember saying “OMG THIS IS GREAT I feel fine Keto isn’t even bad” In reality, my survival instincts had probably kicked in since I hadn’t had one gram of sugar all day, & I was likely just running off adrenaline.

Day 2/3- Worst headache everrrrr. My brain was foggy. My whole body was exhausted. I felt like I had run around Disney World all day long, then finished the night by fighting Mike Tyson. Seriously, all I did was have a normal day at work.

Day 4/5/6/7- My brain is foggy, but no one’s hair is getting messed up at work… So that’s a good sign. I am a functioning human being again. I’m also an emotional zombie. The only things I can react to normally are humorous and lighthearted- anything with emotional depth I am completely unresponsive to. Also to note, I’m feeling wildly depressed for these few days. (carbs/sugar produce serotonin in your brain.) GIVE ME THE DAMN ICE CREAM. I can’t even eat my feelings if I wanted to!!!!!

Day 8 & up – I am feeling kind of energetically normal again! Wooooo. I am definitely drinking lots of coffee throughout the day and I’m making it to the gym. I did feel like I wasn’t completely able to give 100% during all of my workouts, mainly because of slight fogginess and lack of focus. But I’m there and that’s half the battle!

After I got off the diet – I have SO. MUCH. ENERGY. I stayed around 50 carbs for the first few days so my body can re-adjust, but my mental clarity is peaking. My body is using carbs for energy again and I’m definitely feeling electrified (or hyper, whatever you wanna call it) the first thing I did was go to Whole Food and get some Enlightened birthday cake ice cream. Nom nom. It has 15g carbs per half cup and my heart was honestly melting as fast as the ice cream I was eating, so I’m not sure how I even managed to regulate myself lol.

Doing Keto was nowhere near as difficult as I had imagined. It was energetically draining as my body got adjusted to such a huge diet change, but there are so many brands and foods available so you’re not binging on cheese and regretting it later, like me.

I’d like to share with you guys some companies I really love that can help you achieve your Keto goals!

Keep reading for the yums.

Jetpack Nutrition made it MASSIVELY easy for me to survive during The Keto Era. If you’re in Jacksonville, Fl they’re a meal prep company that is able to deliver you fresh & delicious food- they customized my plan to meet my macros. Their Instagram is @JetpackNutrition. If you’re not in Jax, just google search meal prep companies and see what’s available near you!

No Cow is a glutenfreesoyfreenondairynonGMOno sugaraddedvegan company who make protein cookies! I tried out some of the peanut butter and the double chocolate cookies and they’re delish!

Perfect Keto creates quite a variety of products that are specifically targeted to help you meet your macros on Keto. Their MCT oil powder is innovative and NECESSARY to help maintain energy levels throughout your day. They also carry softgels + pure MCT oil. One of their items I like specifically though is the Matcha Latte MCT Oil Powder. It’s perfect to mix in your morning coffee (or smoothie!) Shop with them HERE.

Legendary Foods makes lots of yummy peanut and almond butters- but not in the traditional boring flavors. They have everything from Chocolate PB to Pecan Pie flavored! Those are the two I chose because they have the lowest carb content for Keto. When you’re not counting macros, they have so many other mouthwatering options to try out!!

Daily Harvest BLEW MY MIND! Seriously, every flavor or food I purchased was so delicious. The company has a lot of options tailored to dietary needs including Keto, low carb, low fat, low calorie, vegan, gluten free etc. so even when you’re not dieting you can enjoy these! I very highly recommend this company. You can use my link to try them out yourself + they’ll give you THREE free cups. Click here for your life to change.

Cave Fat Packs are awesome because they also help you meet your macros by helping you add more fat into or in between your meals. Whether you eat it straight from the pouch, or add to your coffee/smoothie, these are really convenient and a great option for busy people!!

Keto Kookie makes cookies (obviously LOL) that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. Although there is 16-21g carbs per 2 cookies, one definitely won’t throw your macros off. Double chocolate is my favorite flavor!

Welp that wraps up my experience from doing Keto. I will definitely be doing this diet again in the near future + also incorporating a weekly low carb day. Now knowing how many foods and options are available to assist you in meeting macros and help stay away from eating the same foods over and over and over, Keto will definitely be easier to conquer!

I’m so glad so many people had so many questions & some even joined me on this journey! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out by commenting or through DM on Instagram!

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My Favorite Way to Save Money +

So random topic but I had multiple people message me about the expenses for my 3 week long trip + straight up even ask me how I afforded it LOL. I am usually a pretty open book, so no I don’t think that’s rude in any way. (We all work our asses off + we all should want to aim higher for ourselves!)

I’m not rich guys, but I’m pretty decent with money management. So I just wanted to share an app I use that has intrigued me from the get-go!

It’s called Acorns.

Click here to get started!!

There’s a million apps out there to help you save money but I highly recommend this one first and foremost.

I’ve been using it since October 2016 + started it by simply linking my credit & debit cards to save roundups. Eventually I multiplied my roundups x2 (so doubling the amount) and then started automatically transferring $5 a week. The funds being moved are so small you literally don’t even notice, and it’s nice to check it every month or so and see your account grow.

What separates this app from most others is that instead of your hard earned money just lingering in an account, it actually turns around and invests it- aka the hard work is done for ya. All through the app. You also have the choice on how risky you wanna get with your money. The longer you use the app, the more money you’re building + sitting on, which means the more you have a chance to earn!

They have a $5 referral bonus, (for you and the new investor) so when you get your friends to save their first few dollars, you’re winning too! 💸

Use my link to download the app and sign up! And if you guys have any questions about how to do it I’m happy to help as much as possible! 😋

I back this app 100% and this is my personal experience using it. Start investing with Acorns today! Get $5 when you use my invite code:

Click here to save us both $$!

My Curly Hair Routine Products +

If you haven’t already seen my tutorial on how I style my curly hair, it’s definitely worth a watch! I go through all of my long-term favorite curly hair products & how I personally use them.

The link to that video is riiiiight HERE.

If you don’t have time to watch it all the way through, here’s a quick recap of my natural curly hair routine products.

 

1. Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair shampoo + conditioner.

Purchase here.

 

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2. Moroccan Oil Treatment Serum.

Purchase here.

 

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3. Moroccan Oil Curl Defining Cream.

Purchase here.

 

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4. Silicone Diffuser attachment. (Works on most blowdryers)

Purchase here.

 

 

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5. Tresemme Curl Locking Spray.

Purchase here.

 

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6. Kenra Curl Refresher. (For day 2-48288439 hair)

Purchase here.

 

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If you’re wondering how I use all of these products, then you’ll definitely want to check out my youtube tutorial. I completely walk you through the steps and explain why I love these products!

The links will take you to the product that is being distributed by Amazon. They are directly from the manufacturer & can only be guaranteed when purchased from the manufacturer or a professional salon.

Lopburi Sunflower Field, Thailand +

Checking off a huge to-do at the top of my bucket list:

play in a sunflower field like the kid at heart I am. 🌻

fun fact: I sat on Kev’s shoulders to get this photo. fun fact: there was a giant spider on this flower and kevin was screaming “DO IT FOR THE GRAM” to make me hold it long enough to align the photo

How to Get to Lopburi from Ayutthaya, Thailand

You have many options as for form of travel such as hiring a van or taxi, but we chose to take the train. It’s the most budget conservative, and honestly it’s the most interesting and like the local experience.

Lopburi is about an hour train ride north from Ayutthaya (including the stops it makes at other stations along the route). There are multiple trains than run back and forth, but I would recommend going early and purchasing your ticket as soon as possible. During high season, the tickets sell out.

There’s 3 types of tickets- first second and third class. The price in US dollars ranges anywhere from 50¢ to $15ish for second-third class. We rode either second/third for all of our train rides; and only once our second class car had A/C. The train has huge open windows though, so the heat definitely isn’t unbearable. Just don’t make the mistake I did by wearing white! By the end of the ride you feel a bit sticky and dirty.

We used this timetable to check when each train departed from Ayutthaya.

Once you’re in Lopburi,

you’ll want to find a driver to take you to the sunflower fields. Don’t worry, there are planets of taxi drivers waiting around, and if you’re gavin trouble it doesn’t hurt to ask the ticket counter for help. They were so kind to us and the man even called us a driver himself. We paid 700 baht for the day. (which was overpriced in my opinion) To my knowledge, there are two main fields, about a 30 minute drive from the train station. The one I was recommended to visit was Khao Jeen Lae, but it was mid January and the driver informed us the flowers were already dying.

Peak season is late November to late January.

We went to another sunflower field to which I didn’t know the name of, but the drivers are used to tourists visiting so I’m sure they know well where to go. Either way, the place was massive, the mountains were visible on the horizon, and the sunflowers were blooming.

The weather was overcast, which was amazing since Thailand is so hot all the time. So we had a full on photo shoot!

There was only a couple other people wandering around the fields. We spent a little over a solid hour here. On a normal hot day I’m sure we maybe only would have lasted 30-45 minutes. There’s no shade whatsoever!

Bring a selfie stick, like the Vicdozia GoPro one I love, some sunscreen like Alba’s, a hat or bandana that alternates as a head wrap, or whatever else you’ll need to stay cool in Lopburi’s hot climate, and enjoy the beautiful majestic flowers!

Christmas Mimosas +

I’m sure at some point you saw the Facebook video circulating about with the pretty glasses full of fruit & champagne. 10 seconds in and I was sold.

I decided to try out the “Christmosas” for myself. The video was super simple so I stacked up the ingredients & went to work!

 

What you’ll need:

  • 2 apples (whatever kind you prefer)
  • Green or red grapes
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Sparkling grape juice
  • Extra dry champagne

 

I diced up the apples & grapes and tossed them in a large glass pitcher I had.


Then dumped in a handful of cranberries & a half a pack (2.0 oz) of pomegranate seeds.

Afterward I poured in about half the sparkling grape juice & the entire bottle of champagne.

Mix up and enjoy!

I loved making this for my family. We all sipped our Christmosas and got lit as we opened presents! It was an extremely simple recipe and cost under $30. Totally doing this again next year.

Balayage and Pricing+

As many of you know, balayage is the hair trend that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. You may have realized that these services cost more than your average traditional foils. I get asked so many questions about this topic, so I’d like to fully explain why a balayage is an investment worth making.

one.

Balayage (for me at least) was not taught in my beauty school. I took it upon myself to spend hours watching videos, reading and understanding techniques, and MOSTLY learning through trial and error. Lots of trial. Many errors. It’s a special service that takes more practice and time to perfect than any other. We as stylists put in the hard work and it’s nice to be rewarded.

two.

Many stylists do not offer balayage because they aren’t trained! Therefore, the more limited number of artists who are offering this special service means a higher demand of our time. Essentially, this means our time is even more valuable.

three.

Balayage is a service that takes a bit longer. From start to finish, we are hand painting section after section of your hair, working to perfect it. It processes slower since it’s an “open air” service as opposed to going under heat to speed things up. The more time being invested in the service = the more costly.

four.

Traditional foils (patterned foils all the way up to the scalp) usually grow out with a harsh line of demarcation. They need to be redone every 4-6 weeks for maintenance. So every 4-6 weeks you’re visiting the salon for about a 2 hour sesh to get your hair done, and every time you come in you’re paying for the full or partial highlight price (+ haircut // blowout // etc). With balayage, you’re getting a low maintenance service that only needs to be touched up anywhere from 2-10 months. In the long run, you’re actually saving yourself money!

 

Balayage pricing is on average 15-30% more than traditional foils, and for a good reason! People often don’t realize that they’re getting so much out of the appointment! Expertise, time investment, and a beautiful low maintenance color. We’re giving you our best!

Bottom line, if it’s important to you it should be worth investing in!

 

 

Christmas Gift Idea for Moms

If you’re like me, every holiday you struggle trying to figure out what to buy for your mom. Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and especially Christmas.

What do you buy the person who already has everything?!

 

Here’s a simple yet thoughtful gift idea that I was inspired to put together for this Christmas holiday in particular.

GIFT BOXES!

 

  1. The box itself

    I purchased this pretty festive and floral box at Homegoods. There were soOOoOOOo many to choose from, and if you think they’re running low check inside each box- they pile even more inside each other. (Box priced at $7.99)

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2. The goodies inside

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(From left to right)

  • The light pink box is full of luxury chocolates. I chose this one because it matched the color scheme of the box. I purchased these from Homegoods also! ($7.99)
  • The colored tin foil wrapped bath bombs are from Amazon. You can find them here. They are 100% vegan and created from essential oils. It came as a pack of 6, but I only used the three complementing colors. There is also a $5 off coupon you can apply when checking out! ($19.87 before coupon)
  • The DW Home light pink Koa Wood candle smells AMAZING and also fit the color pallet I was working with. It was from Homegoods as well. ($6.99)
  • Sutter Home can be found almost anywhere that sells wine! I got the mini chardonnay  bottle at Fresh Market. ($3 or less each)
  • Last but not least (my personal favorite item) is the rose petal bath soap. The petals are able to be pulled apart for hand washing or just toss them in a tub to have a luxurious bath. I found this on Amazon. They also sell other beautiful color options as well! ($11.99)

UPDATE: The original petal bath soap is unavailable, so I’ve linked another one HERE. 

The skinny tea trio was purchased at Fresh Markett ($15.95)

The festive individual chocolate bars are from Target in the holiday section. (3 for $5)

 

I hope this inspires you to build your mom a box that is personal and tailored to her individuality! If you have any questions about the items, leave a comment!

Xx

Kris

San Francisco to Seattle Road Trip +

For my birthday this year, Kevin and I embarked on a road trip. Living on the east coast my entire life has made me completely lust after the Pacific. I figured a road trip is a great, quick way to start checking off spots on my bucket list, as well as revisiting some of the places I wanted to explore more in depth.

First things first. Planning this bad boy was a little disorienting in the beginning. The BEST tool I can recommend for a road trip is the app InRoute. (This is not sponsored) I highly suggest purchasing the full version to further relieve you of stress. The app is identical to Apple Maps and lets you pin multiple locations along the route, THEN it allows you to optimize the list, and organizes the locations in order to give you the most efficient route. This way you’re not doing any backtracking and the places you want to visit are laid out in front of you. This simplifies so much! Especially when you’re taking detours or running around a big unfamiliar city.

So we hopped on a flight to San Francisco, rented a car and got on our way.


+San Francisco

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We climbed a bunch of stairs to visit Twin Peaks. It was one of the most breathtaking views of the city.

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We walked through Alamo Square to see the Painted Ladies. The significance of these houses is that the Victorian architectural detail is enhanced by being painted with three or more colors. They are truly beautiful!

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Made a point to drop by the Palace of Fine Arts just to admire the structure!

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We strolled by the Cliff House to get a panoramic view of the coast and Land’s End, then had to do some serious hiking from there to find this local gem. 100+ stair steps later, we finally walked back to the coast to find the Labyrinth. Eduardo Aguilera created this in 2004, and in spite of it being ruined a couple times since then, he continues to make sure it remains! He dedicated it to “peace, love and enlightenment”.

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Tucked away in the woods is also the Spire by Andy Goldsworthy.

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We visited the outer edge of Fort Point to watch the sunset fade around the Golden Gate Bridge.

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The next morning we stopped at Home for coffee. There are multiple locations around San Fran, and they have not only DELICIOUS coffee but super fun flavors. and they’re aesthetically pleasing. We got red velvet and birthday cake!


+Cypress Tree Tunnel

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About an hour north of SF, and totally in the middle of nowhere, is an amazing little spot where cypress trees line up to create a natural tunnel. It literally looks like the entrance to a fairy tale!


+Highway 101 (North California)

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Highway 101 follows the coast for the most part and is easily one of the most mesmerizing scenic roads I’ve witnessed. The cliffs are rugged and watching the waves crash against the rocks is so beautiful. There are tons of pull-offs to stop and enjoy the jaw-dropping view.


+Glass Beach

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This small beach area is located near Fort Bragg, California in MacKerricher State Park. The sand is mixed with tons of pieces of soft sea glass that was created from garbage dumping near the coast over the years.


+Redwood National Forest

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Visiting the redwoods has always been a dream of mine. First, we stopped at the Chandelier Tree, a 276 ft tall drive-thru tree that just barely let our SUV through. The hole is 6 ft wide and 6’9″ high…and I mean we made it through with about an inch on each side (mirrors tucked in). The next early morning we walked a trail through Lady Bird Johnson Grove, 1000 ft above sea level.


+Mckinleyville, California

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Somewhere on the Cali coast we camped out in Mckinleyville. It was far away from the big cities and the stars were beautifully visible. We could still catch a glimpse of the tail end of the Milky Way!

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+Umpqua National Forest

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Our first stop in Oregon was Umpqua Hot Springs! Another one checked off my bucket list. We hiked up the mountain and there are multiple pools lined down the cliff. I hopped right in- it was just like being in a jacuzzi. If you look over the edge of the pool you can see a creek rushing through the trees down below. It was such a relaxing moment, and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.


+Portland, Oregon

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We didn’t spend much time in Portland, aside from grabbing a snack from Voodoo Doughnuts and a cup of coffee from two different places: Good Coffee + Deadstock Coffee. Deadstock was awesome for any sneakerhead. They topped the latte’s with different sneaker designs- everything from Retro 1’s to Foamposites.


+Seattle, Washington

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Right near the Space Needle is a little park that gives you a perfect view.

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Molly Moo’s is an infamous ice cream shop located all around Seattle. They have so many fun and unique flavors- aside from the fact the cones are enormous. I got cookie dough and honey lavender with sprinkles.

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Seattle Central Public Library is an essential! It’s not only huge, but once you reach the top floor there is a lookout where you can see straight through the streets into the city.

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Chihuly Garden and Glass was an amazing art exhibit…so much talent and beauty clearly went into creating these hand-blown glass creations.

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Once in twenty years the gum wall had been pressure washed…….two weeks before we visited. Luckily they were nice enough to leave this heart-shaped area that probably contained saliva from all over the world.

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Two museums we visited were the Pop Culture Museum and the Seattle Art Museum.

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Hiding under the overpass of Troll Ave is the 18 ft Fremont Troll sculpture. He’s holding a VW and his eye is actually made out of a hubcap.

 

We then caught our flight from Seattle back home. I’m already planning my next road trip adventure!

The 2017 Okeechobee Music Festival Experience +

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I can confidently tell you that Okeechobee Music Festival was the best weekend of my life.

Music festivals, in general, are great for being surrounded by close friends while having the opportunity to meet new ones who share so many common interests. Although nothing is as liberating as being completely worry-free from our usual mundane reality, the power of the music comes close.

Jam packed with art exhibits, food trucks, and hidden stages, it’s easy to see that OMF crew knows what they’re doing, and they do it well. Overall, the festival is extremely organized, and there’s never a shortage of things to do. Not to mention, they cater to vegan and vegetarian lifestyles!

There’s a strong sense of humanity and unity at music festivals that seems rare to experience in daily life, but I especially felt it at Okeechobee. It’s a heart warming feeling that really opens your eyes!

If you’re comfortable camping out, then I highly recommend this festival- especially if it’s your first time attending one (it was mine).

Tickets are currently on sale for OMF 2018 – will I see you there?!

 

Exploring Tampa, FL +

This post was generously sponsored by Hallelu Boutique + Inspire Boutique!

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Buddy Brew Coffee
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Romper from Inspire Boutique
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Romper is from Inspire Boutique


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Off the shoulder star print top from Hallelu Boutique!
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Remi’s Minis donuts!
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Romper from Inspire Boutique
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Top from Hallelu Boutique ; boots from Steve Madden
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Tacos from Green Lemon in Soho
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Romper is Inspire Boutique ; Denim mules are Hallelu Boutique
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Raw Smoothie Co.
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Unicorn (UNICONE) from Iceberg in DT St. Petersburg!
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Remi’s Mini’s food truck
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Unicone