FOOD

December 13, 2016 |

Gifting Nespresso

His: H&M shirt (similar) | ASOS denim | Urban Outfitters socks 
Hers: Urban Outfitters jeans | Aritzia sweater | Eye Buy Direct glasses

We’ve been carving out some time early each day to embrace the quiet, brisk mornings with our doors and windows wide open. The chill when stepping out of bed when our bare feet hit the hardwood can sometimes be a bit shocking, but once we’ve thrown on some cozy clothes and have gotten ready for the day, the lower temps are pretty calming. We still can’t believe we live here. It really feels like we found a special piece of the country tucked away in Phoenix. Our neighborhood is pretty quiet, with the occasional rooster or chicken exercising their vocal chords each morning (I guess you could call some of our neighbors “urban farmers”) and we welcome their clucks while prepping our morning brew.

We’re a coffee loving, few cups of caffeine a day family around here. Cappuccinos, espressos, lattes, the list goes on — we don’t discriminate, so we were pretty excited to add Nespresso’s Evoluo Machine from their VertuoLine range. We ditched our traditional coffee maker a while back, and found ourselves getting into pour overs. They can be a bit timely but we love the taste of a strong Americano, so we were really eager to add the the Evolou Machine to the mix. We’ve been sharing a bit about it on Snapchat, experimenting with the Aeroccino4 Milk Frother, and chatting with a few of you about the process. It quickly brewed an 8 oz cup of coffee and shot of espresso, while still delivering a quality cup of coffee. If you’re looking to get fancy in your kitchen and make a couple of cappuccinos, try it with a double shot of espresso.

The machine has a nifty capsule receptacle, so once you open the machine to pop in a new capsule to brew, the used one drops off into the compartment on the side. You can pick up a recycling bag for free at any of their boutiques or order them online and then drop off all your used capsules at a UPS store to recycle, which is pretty cool too.

Nespresso Evoluo Machine | West Elm tea towel

With Christmas just around the corner, we have found ourselves reminiscing quite a bit on our childhood and the holidays growing up. Maybe it’s all the sappy Christmas music or the smell of cookies that we’ve been baking several times a week (no excuses, just fully embracing a sweet tooth over here!), but we can’t help it. The other day over breakfast, we found ourselves laughing over a similar memory we both shared involving our parents on Christmas morning. After a few big toys were opened our dads always snuck away, dragging their slippered feet into the kitchen to get a big pot of coffee brewing.  Meanwhile our moms held down the fort in the living room, with bows and colorful paper flying everywhere. Madness. We all gathered in the kitchen afterwards for a holiday breakfast, parents on their second cup of coffee, kids with orange juice or milk, scrambled eggs, pancakes — the works.  No matter how crazy of year it was, gathering together before our extended family came over was always a special time.

The smell of coffee this time of year always rekindles these fond memories. Nespresso has some limited edition capsules with some of our favorites like Banana Bread, Pumpkin Spice Cake, and Gingerbread.  Our parents always feel so difficult to shop for. They’re not picky, but I think we just struggle with finding something that is practical and also meaningful to surprise them with. We’ve been thinking about gifting them with a new Evoluo machine, along some capsules to get them started, and a personalized photo album with memories from past Christmases. It feels like it would be pretty perfect for them, with a big bow and tag that says “Open This One First” so they know it’s something they’ll want to open and enjoy right away. We think we just might hit a home-run this year in the gifting department. 😉

Anthropologie holiday plates | Bloom and Give tea towel

What are some of your favorite gift ideas? Do you have anyone close to you that is a little harder to shop for?

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Photos by: Willow Greene

Thanks to Nespresso for sponsoring this post. As always all thoughts & opinions are our own.

November 26, 2016 |

North Italia

New Darlings - North Italia RestuarantNew Darlings - North Italia Restuarant

One of our favorite things to do when we travel is highlight our favorite restaurants and coffee shops, so we figured why not do it in our own city? North Italia has been one of our go-to spots when we’re in the mood for some modern-Italian cuisine in Phoenix. They have everything from various pasta dishes (the strozzapreti is our fav!), crispy calamari, and garlic truffle bread for a nice dinner together to grilled cauliflower, the chef’s board, and seasonal pizzas for an afternoon brunch. We visited the restaurant earlier this week and snapped some photos with all the goodies we’ve been loving.

New Darlings - North Italia RestuarantNew Darlings - North Italia RestuarantNew Darlings - North Italia Restuarant

They just launched their Secret Cocktail Menu and boy is it good! Plus, what’s a mid-week brunch without a cocktail or two, especially during the holiday season, am I right?  😉  Ask about the Little Hot, Little Dirty Martini. It has a modern edge to the timeless classic with vodka, simple syrup, lime juice, calabrian chile paste, Castelvetrano Olive Juice.

New Darlings - North Italia RestuarantNew Darlings - North Italia RestuarantNew Darlings - North Italia Restuarant

The decor in this place is just so perfect. With a mix of Italian farmhouse and modern Scandinavian vibes, we’ve been taking notes for our future kitchen. Of course the greenery everywhere was just the icing on the cake. But speaking of cake…

New Darlings - North Italia RestuarantNew Darlings - North Italia RestuarantNew Darlings - North Italia Restuarant

His: Urban Outfitters shirt | ASOS jeans | Timex watch | Nisolo boots
Hers: H&M shirt (similar) | Urban Outfitters jeans | Moreea Seal necklace
Madewell flats & bag

New Darlings - North Italia RestuarantNew Darlings - North Italia RestuarantNew Darlings - North Italia Restuarant

It’s impossible not to go home with left overs, because you’re going to want to try a bit of everything. We’re a bit partial to the tiramisu. If you need any convincing it has chocolate espresso beans on top, enough said. 😉

Can’t wait to share some more of our favorite spots around town with you guys!

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Photos by: Willow Greene

August 26, 2016 |

St. Francis Summer Cocktails

New Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails - Phoenix, AZNew Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails - Phoenix, AZNew Darlings - St.Francis CocktailsNew Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails - Phoenix, AZ

“You wanna go where everybody knows your name…” Anyone remember that song? Any Cheers fans out there? I used to watch that show on Nick-at-Nite a lot as a kid. Kind of strange now that I think of it…a show about a bar on Nick-at-Nite, but I guess that’s a whole other topic. Anywho, I always just loved how everyone was together on that show. How it was a place people gathered after work, after a bad day, or to share in good news and a smile. Many of the places around Phoenix are like that. It may sound cheesy, but over the last few years we found a few favorite spots we can count on for a good laugh, amazing food, and unique cocktails.

New Darlings

His: J.Crew shirt | Topman jeans | oxfords c/o Nisolo
Hers:  bag c/o LiveFashionable | Aritzia dress (similar here and here) | glasses c/o EyeBuyDirect | shoes c/o Bed Stü

New Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails - Phoenix, AZ

The other day we stopped into St. Francis for a late lunch/early dinner and had the pleasure of trying out their new market menu, which featured some summer cocktails by our friend and their head bartender, Titus Fauntleroy. We were lucky to stop in on a day where the owner, Chef Aaron was in the back cooking up some fresh dishes as well. We were really in for a treat with the both of them there.

New Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails - Phoenix, AZNew Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails-6New Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails - Phoenix, AZ

One by one colorful dishes of crispy okra, melon gazpacho, and wood fired flatbreads were brought out to us. Once we started to dive into everything Chef Aaron joined us, told us a bit about the dishes, and we caught up on life and business. It’s always a pleasure getting to chat with him, whether it is about his son starting school and our house hunting or diving into his restaurant plans and ideas for new menus. One thing we always find ourselves fascinated with is his home garden and gardening skills. We always chat his ear off about it, and he’s so generous to share his tips and tricks that he’s learned over the years. The amount of fruit trees and vegetable beds he has is impressive and the fact that he continues to keep it thriving in a desert climate is so admirable. A home garden has always been a dream of ours…one day we’ll get there. Not sure if we’ll be producing a watermelon a day, like someone we know, but baby steps. 😉

New Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails-10

We met Titus way back when we first moved to Phoenix, at an instameet. It’s kind of crazy how you can meet people nowadays, but technology and community are powerful things…it really blows our minds repeatedly. It can be hard to hard to find genuine people, especially as you get older and get exposed to more in life, but man, Phoenix truly is a special place.  We are so lucky to call Titus our friend, and it’s a major bonus that he is a wizard behind the bar at one of our favorite restaurants in town.  He wears a lot of hats, and wears them well, bartender being one of them. He’s always coming up with something new and exciting to complement a dish. Plus, he’s the guy to go to when you’re having a holiday party.  Not only will he show up in the snazziest, festive suit around, he knows exactly what a bar cart should be stocked with to keep the night going.

New Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails

This was the Simple Thymes cocktail: vodka, thyme simple syrup, and fresh squeezed grape juice. He suggested pairing it with the fried okra, which was from a local farm at South Mountain. It was so light and fresh for these hotter days.

New Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails-13New Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails - Phoenix, AZNew Darlings - St.Francis Cocktails - Phoenix, AZ

Many of you have asked for suggestions on places to check in AZ and we’re looking forward to sharing a more formal list of our favorites, but until then…if you’re looking for somewhere to start, grab yourself a cocktail at St. Francis.

Happy Friday!

June 30, 2016 |

Summer Style

New Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer StyleNew Darlings-Pasta SaladNew Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer StyleNew Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer Style-19New Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer Style-10New Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer Style-16-cropNew Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer StyleNew Darlings-Summer FlowersNew Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer Style-23Getting back into the swing of things around here, means getting back into the routine of cooking. Cruise ship life has really spoiled us. 😉 Around this time of year, during the summer season, we always love making cold pasta salad.  It’s one of the easiest things to whip up before a big week ahead and is perfect for lunch or as a side dish for dinner. Plus, its nice and refreshing with a big glass of iced tea.  Growing up, our families would always make this for BBQs or anytime we had an outdoor party. It’s become such a summer staple and something we enjoy doing together. There are so many different variations on this recipe, but here’s a look at how we like to make it.

New Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer StyleNew Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer Style-6What you’ll need:

-1 lb of pasta — we like to use farfalle or fusilli
-baby spinach
-black olives
-olive oil
-1/2 red onion
-red wine vinegar
-roasted red peppers
-fresh mozzarella balls
-parmasean-romano blend grated cheese
-cherry tomatoes
-black pepper

It’s a pretty easy recipe to throw together, so much so that it feels a little funny to write out instructions, but here we go…
1. Boil pasta till al-dente. After draining, put in the fridge for an hour or so to chill.
2. In a large bowl mix in baby spinach, sliced red onion, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers and black olives with a little olive oil.
3. Now add in your pasta! Mix with more olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Top with as much black pepper and grated cheese until your heart’s content! Mix again, then serve and enjoy!

New Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer Style-4New Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer Style-20New Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer StyleNew Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer Style Speaking of summer staples, we’ve been pretty obsessed with Banana Republic’s summer styles lately. We’re pretty casual with our day-to-day looks, especially around this time of year in AZ, so shorts (that look like skirts) and tailored button downs are great for staying comfy and cool, while still feeling pulled together and polished. We were both never really shorts people before moving to the desert, but hey there are just some things you gotta go with, so you don’t feel like you’re about to melt. This blue striped tee (for her) and effortless button down (for him), would be perfect for a 4th of July cook out, with some pasta salad, of course! 😉 Scroll through below to see some of our current favorites from Banana Republic. They’re currently having a 50% off sale, which is a pretty nice deal too.

Summer favorites:

New Darlings-Banana Republic-Summer StyleWe are also SO glad to finally be enjoying this table in our new place.  If you follow along with us on Instagram, you may have read a little about the story behind it here.  It was hand-made by our dear friends Leah & Matt from Tremaine Ranch. They are both so talented and sweet. If you are looking for a custom piece, definitely check them out. 🙂

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 Thank you to Banana Republic for sponsoring this post. As always all thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help support this blog.

May 2, 2016 |

Cultivate Festival with IZZE

NewDarlings - Cultivate Festival IZZENew Darlings - Cultivate FestivalNew Darlings - Cultivate Festival

This past weekend was the Chipotle Cultivate Festival here in Phoenix, and we had the privilege to work alongside one of the featured partners for the event, IZZE.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the event, the Cultivate Festival brings in some great musicians and mixes that in with some top notch cooking presentations by some of the world’s best chefs. (Do names like Aaron Sanchez and Amanda Freitag ring a bell?)  It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday in Phoenix.  We had just gotten back from our San Francisco trip, so it was nice to get thrown back into town in the best way possible.  Our friend Cheyanne met us at the event and we had a blast wandering all over the festival grounds.  We ate some tacos, took a ton of photos, and danced a bit in between.  It was an absolute pleasure to get to hang with the lovely ladies from the IZZE team who kept us from ever feeling thirsty with some of our favorite IZZE flavors.
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April 7, 2016 |

Ways To Graze

New Darlings - Graze - Tea + snacks in bedNew Darlings at HomeNEW DARLINGS HANGING PLANT New Darlings - Graze - Tea + snacks in bedNew Darlings at home New Darlings - Graze - Tea + snacks in bedNew Darlings - Graze - Tea + snacks in bed

Good Mood tee c/o Sub-Urban Riot | jeans c/o Madewell | Warby Parker glasses
Jenny Pennywood tea towel | Target breakfast tray

Snacking in bed or even having any food in the bedroom was something that was considered a big no-no in my house growing up. I remember one night, my sister snuck a bunch of candy bars upstairs and we watched Nick-at-Night all night together (when I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched were still on), thinking we were real rebels…like we got away with something huuuuugge! We hid the candy wrappers in my Barbie house that morning, before heading downstairs to breakfast. (The Barbie house always seemed to be the decoy for everything, like when I spilt nail polish remover on my carpet and bleached the rug…just put the doll house over it, no one will ever know. Yeah, sure. Hah) What rule breakers we were. 😉 Anyway, my mother found the candy wrappers the next morning and wasn’t too happy. Eating belonged in the dining room, bedrooms were for sleeping, laundry needed to be put away promptly, and you had to made sure not to mess up the vacuum marks going into a room after it was cleaned. Everything had a place and every room had a purpose. This probably accounts for my over-neatness, each room always needing to be organized before going out, and doing a deep cleaning every Sunday, but let’s face it — sometimes it’s fun to just lounge around, snack in bed and binge watch House of Cards on Netflix.

We’ve never been huge fans of subscription boxes and were always hesitant to try them with so many of them floating around the web, but Graze has been one that we find ourselves using over and over again. Back when we were road tripping to Nashville, we found the need for some simple to-go snacks that were also healthy. Being in the car for hours on end, just passing vast desert land, you get pretty hungry. We love to indulge in a good `ol bag of chips just as much as the next person, but we wanted something that we didn’t feel guilty munching on quite a bit. Graze has some pretty great snack options, that we find ourselves reaching for daily. There’s no artificial flavors, or colors, no high fructose corn syrup, and no trans fat, and they still some how taste amazing.  Our favorites are the “Anytime Energizer” and “Dark Rocky Road” (dark chocolate, cranberries, and pecans? Yes, please!). I like that they’re small enough to throw in my bag when we’re on the go, or incorporate into our breakfast each morning.  The berry granola and lemon drizzle flapjack bars are perfect for that. Graze is giving all of our readers their first sampler box for free, when they when they subscribe. Use code: DARLING, when you visit graze.com/us and click on “have a special code? enter it here”. Happy snacking!

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Thank you to Graze for kindly sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are 100% honest & completely our own.

March 21, 2016 |

Easy Pinterest Recipes for Dinner

New Darlings - Easy Recipes
image via Kinfolk

Scouring pinterest for recipes is one of our favorite uses for the website.  Sure, we add outfit inspiration and dreamy pictures of vacations, but 9 times out of 10 the reason we go back and look at our pins is for a recipe we had saved. Everything on there looks so delicious, but there are definitely some recipes that haven’t turned out quite right. 😉 Working from home has been a blessing, but it’s also been way too easy to get carried away on a project and then before we know it, it’s dinner time and we’re rushing to put a meal together.  We’re all about easy meals that taste good and are healthy, so we thought we’d share some dishes we’ve been loving lately, that are pretty quick to whip up during the week.

NewDarlings-FavoriteRecipes1. GARLIC SHRIMP PASTA via wellplated.com
This has been one of our favorites! It’s so easy and tasty, with wheat pasta, lemon shrimp, and a ton of veggies. We followed the recipe exactly and had some leftovers for lunch the next day, which is always a plus!

2. CRISPY POTATO ROAST via foodietale.com
We’re still dreaming about these potatoes.  We used the recipe linked above as a framework, but switched a few things up.  We used two large sweet potatoes, and cut them the morning of, because slicing them does take a bit of time. Instead of arranging them vertically, we stacked and overlapped them on top of one another.  Still came out crispy and delicious, and I think this way saved us a bit of time — baking for only 45mins – 1 hour vs. 1 1/4 hours.

3. ROASTED BROCOLLI + CARROT SALAD via soletshangout.com
This is such a versatile recipe and something that can definitely be made ahead of time for the week.  We’ve also done this as a side dish with fish or chicken.

4. CHICKEN WITH CREAMY CILANTRO SAUCE via sallysbakingaddiction.com
One pan meals are some of our favorites — easy and super flavorful. Finishing this off in the oven for some crispiness is the icing on the cake. We’ve made this one quite a few times already.

5. LEMON CHICKEN STIR FRY WITH ASPARAGUS via rachelshultz.com
Was perfect for two large portions — probably could have saved some for leftovers but it was so tasty! We ate this plated over some basmati rice.

6. PESTO PASTA via damndelicious.net
With or without the fried egg, you won’t be disappointed! 😉

Follow along with us on pinterest for more recipes and share some of your favorites below with us!
Happy Monday!

January 12, 2016 |

New Year, New Goals

New Darlings - Pique TeaNew Darlings - Pique TeaNew Darlings - Pique TeaNew Darlings - Pique Tea
A new year means new goals, new routines, and perfecting some old ones too. We’ve never been ones for new years resolutions, but as we get older we like to set new goals to keep ourselves healthy and happy. We mentioned a bit in our end of the year recap how we had each privately written down goals for the new year, but didn’t share them with each other.  Although we have still kept our lists private, there is one big goal we both agree on and are working on together…keeping our bodies healthy and rested. It may sound like an obvious one, but with day to day routines, it’s easy to forget to take a breather or eat right. We’ve modified our weekly routine a bit to ensure we get everything done that needs to get done that day, while also having a little quiet time.

Here’s a few changes we’ve made so far:

-MEAL PLANNING/PREPPING: This is something we have been wanting to do for a long time now.  A friend of ours is so good at this; every Sunday he does all of his food shopping for the week and preps several meals.  This consists of making a big pot of brown rice, chopping veggies and storing them in individual containers, cooking a batch of chicken for the week, and so on. It’s so admirable and something that we’re slowly getting the hang of.  We’ve been pinning easy and healthy recipes on pinterest and have been making it a point to cook at home more, no matter how late it may be.  If you follow along with us on snapchat, chances are you’ve seen a few late night dinners on there. 😉
New Darlings - Pique Tea
New Darlings - Pique Tea
-MAKE TIME FOR A QUIET MORNING: A few months ago we made an active decision to make time for a calm morning before starting our day. We are so glad to have this be something we look forward to each morning.  We won’t lie, it’s not always pleasant when the alarm sounds earlier than we actually need to be up, but knowing that we have that extra time to unwind, get ready, and make a good breakfast has been worth it.  We recently added Pique tea to our morning routine and have been hooked. Being big tea lovers, we were excited to learn about their new tea crystals, which are made from organic loose leaves, brewed, and then distilled.  Our favorites so far are the English breakfast and Jasmine teas. Add a blueberry scone, a good book, and Chet Baker spinning in the background, and you’re good to go.

-BE MORE ACTIVE: This may sound like another obvious one, but since we’ve made the transition from a 9-5 to working from home, we spend a lot more time in front of the computer, so we haven’t been working out as much as we used to.  We recently got bikes and have been riding around our neighborhood on the weekends, which has been such a treat.  We’ve also starting hiking with friends on Saturday mornings, which has been a great motivator, and also a nice way to catch up with some people we don’t get to see during the week. South Mountain is always a great local trail to check out.

What are some of your goals for the new year? Do you have any weekly or morning routines?

New Darlings - Pique TeaJ.Crew sweater (similar) | Madewell tee (similar) and jeans | Crate and Barrel tea kettle and stools

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Thank you to Pique Tea for sponsoring this post. As always all thoughts and opinions our own.

November 17, 2015 |

Cluse

New Darlings - Coffee and pastriesNewDarlings-Madewell gingham - Cluse watchNew Darlings - CoffeeNew Darlings - CoffeeNew Darlings - Urban Outfitters plaidNew Darlings - Cluse watchNew Darlings - Coffee
We headed to one of our favorite coffee shops the other day for a little afternoon pick-me-up.  We got the usual, green tea and a latte, plus this pretty amazing Nutella pastry. Oh man, we’ve been on a Nutella kick lately. Rob tried Nutella for the first time this week and has been seeking it out everywhere we go. Haha. It was such a pretty day out, so we brought our treats outside and sat on the patio.  It was a bit windy, but we’ve been embracing every chance we get to be outside lately, layered up in flannels, scarves, and fall accessories.

We usually keep things pretty simple when it comes to accessorizing.  Neither of us have ever been ones for flashy jewelry or super bold prints.  Classic pieces that can transition into our everyday wardrobe, as well as be dressed up for a fun date night or holiday party are our favorite.  Lately we’ve been loving styles from Cluse watches.  They focus on simplicity and the beauty of minimalism which we’re huge fans of.  I remember a few years back when big chunky jewelry was really popular (maybe it still is?) and everyone was stacking up their bracelets and watches.  It never really appealed to me.  I like the idea that simple doesn’t have to be plain or boring. Kind of a “less is more” approach. 🙂

Check out their site to see some more of their styles.  For the most part their watches are unisex, so you can share with your significant other, which is always a plus for us when shopping. 🙂

His: Urban Outfitters shirt | jeans c/o Dstld Denim
Hers: Madewell shirt | scarf c/o Everlane | watch c/o Cluse | Estee Lauder lipstick in “Defiant Coral”

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This post was made in partnership with Cluse Watches. Thank you for supporting the companies that help support this blog.

November 9, 2015 |

Coffee Dates

New Darlings - Gap sweater and black jeansNew Darlings - Gap Fall styleNew Darlings - Gap gray sweater - black jeansNew Darlings - Menswear - black jeans and brown bootsNew Darlings - Gap Styld.by - Gray sweater and black jeans

In the two years we have lived in Phoenix, it feels like it is constantly evolving.  New places are popping up all over the place and the best thing about it…they are good!  Back in April, Desoto Central Market opened it’s doors and we find ourselves there quite often.  They have a little bit of everything, so it doesn’t ever matter what time of day it is…we always find something!

Our go-to is usually some Tea & Toast and then a little outdoor time on their awesome patio. Yay for November in Phoenix!

Happy Monday everyone! 🙂

Check out more from this post on styld-by.com.

His: button down and jeans c/o Gap | Clarks boots (similar here and here) | Garrett Leight sunglasses c/o Framed Ewe
Hers: sweater and jeans c/o Gap | Nisolo shoes (similar here and here) | Target hat (similar here and here) | watch c/o Daniel Wellington | Madewell bag (old — similar here and here)

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This post was made in partnership with Gap and styld-by.com.

 

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