A Classic Combo

Ralph Lauren Fall 2012.

Give me anything I can wear in public that even vaguely resembles a bathrobe and I’m a happy camper.

 I’m still feeling the colour red, but mixing it up with black & white and welcoming some holiday sparkle.

A winning combination.

James de Givenchy for Taffin (price on request) You first.

Jean Paul Gaultier

 minaudiere by Chanel

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Alexander McQueen

Utterly timeless chic. Slim Keith in one of the most iconic images of red, black & white

Cruella for Christmas anyone?

Have you noticed how nails have become such a huge focal point lately?

Fail. I’m trying though. Really I am. I bought “Strong Nail System” and I think it’s maybe, sorta, kinda working.

As long as I don’t actually use my nails for anything.

50th anniversary edition of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Carolina Herrera 2012

Martyn Bullard’s home in LA

Are you watching Millionaire Dollar Decorators? If so, who is your favourite? I cannot take my eyes off of Martyn’s upper lip!

Adorbs kid’s room via tumblr-sorry I don’t know who designed it

Pottery Barn

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Throws available at Pottery Barn (on sale right now)

Yves Saint Laurent

Le Royal Monceau Hotel Paris

Fendi iPad case

“New York” custom silk rug by Dream Weavers

Oh, naughty, naughty Tom.

Love a red door, especially against this charcoal black.

Moncler Gamme Rouge 2012

Excusez moi, but isn’t that lift a two seater??

photo“Zwack” a tasty, inexpensive liqueur in a fun, wintery bottle. Available at Bevmo.

la-et-jc-the-last-typewriter-made-in-the-uk-ha-001Brother Where Art Thou?

Do you know what this is? This is the LAST TYPEWRITER to hobble off the assembly line two weeks ago at “Brother”, one of the largest manufacturers of typewriters in the world.

 Are we feeling old yet?!

The perfect homage to the writer in all of us, by Mary Katrantzou

Woops. Lost the credit

At least I found her some eyelashes for the holidays at Shu Uemura

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_PUC0599.450x675A nod to Surrealist Meret Oppenheim at Celine.

Why hide your sound source?  Elipson “Sound Tree” speakers-perfect for Christmas!

A glimpse of Spring (I know it’s December) at Prada  2013

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Do you have snow?

I went to choose our Christmas tree today and was worried that I didn’t have enough sun-screen on.

Tomorrow- I decorate. So much for my nails. After all these years, I’ve finally retired my old, rickety wooden ladder and bought a new metal one that even has my name on it. Alert the press.

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A bientôt New York

..Slim Paley photo

We bid adieu to New York!

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Above, a few mementos of our week.

I’m a scrapbook keeper from way back, so I’m like a little squirrel wherever I go.

I finished reading “Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge” the biography of the American tycoon Harry Selfridge who created one of the largest, successful department stores in the UK and probably the world. Interesting man, very interesting life, but sadly, I found the book a little dry. I’ve heard a film is in the works and I imagine his story could definitely make a great movie.

Next, I’m going to read “A Summer of Hummingbirds” ” Love, Art, and Scandal in the intersecting world of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe & Martin Johnson Heade” which I picked up in my new favourite bookshop on the upper East side “Archivia Books

I’ll let you know if it’s good. Anything to do with Mark Twain, I’m in. Now that was a life and a film begging to be made.

Also in the photo, business cards from a few of the shops I had fun visiting, including “R by 45rpm” (great casual clothes, I love their indigo) and “Nicholas Brawer” ( Campaign furniture, sporting antiques, vintage bar accessories and great chat. I was thrilled to find in him a fellow Charles Baker devotee’ )

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Read my post about cocktails and Charles Baker Jr. Here

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Speaking of cocktails, I had a positively SUBLIME “Whiskey Smash” in Bemelman’s Bar at The Carlyle Hotel.

OMG. I don’t even like whiskey.

It’s not on the menu, so you have to ask for it-a friend told me I must try one.

She’s an even Bester friend now :)

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Slim Paley photo

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Tommy Rowles, the Irish bartender who has been crafting cocktails behind the bar at Bemelmans since 1958!

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and lest you be concerned that was my only cocktail (I know you worry) fear not Dear Reader.

We attended a delightful soiree in the home of fellow proud parents from my son’s graduating class (one of those fab. NY apartments with so much charm, not to mention one of the best examples of vintage red & white stripes used in a cool way, but I can’t pull my camera out all the time, as much as I’d love to)

I also went to The Kips Bay 40th Annual Decorator Show House cocktail party with my friend Heather Clawson from Habitually Chic. We had lots of fun and I enjoyed meeting Nicole from the blog So Haute (who gave me an instant “Instagram” lesson) and Stefan from Architect Design . It’s always nice to put a face to blogs you read.

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Todd Alexander Romano’s dining room at Kips Bay

This year’s show house (actually two large apartments in a new high-rise building on the upper West side) was filled with shiny, reflective surfaces, including the walls & ceiling treatments and “Green” was definitely the flavour of the moment, in more ways than one. The apartment boasted an outdoor pool-can you imagine? A pool in the heavens but, alas, no hot tub for cold NY nights. The party was in full swing, so impossible for me to snap any pics, but if you’re interested in seeing it all beautifully shot, check out Habitually Chic where Heather has several posts and extensive photos from her visit earlier in the week as well as the complete ‘low down’.

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Thom Filicia’s entrance/foyer at Kips Bay

Both photos via Habitually Chic

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.For the most part, the weather co-operated and I maintained my 10,000+ steps a day walk around the city..

Slim Paley photo

I found more colourful Prada windows,

although I didn’t get a great shot of this one commemorating the Schiaparelli exhibit at the Met (which sadly I didn’t see)

and Caution;

Thighs in reflection will look bigger than they actually are (or so I tell myself)

Or,

Does this window make me look fat?

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Words of wisdom in the windows at Bergdorf’s

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and of love on the stairs of “Opening Ceremony” downtown

Slim Paley “Instagram” photo

you DO remember the song, right?! (start at the top)

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My alter ego “The Barktorialist” was charmed by a new model in town

The dogs of NYSlim Paley photo

Meet My Gal “Friday” (just coming from her eyelash extensions appointment on the upper East Side)

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Slim Paley “Instagram” photo

I managed to keep breakfasts down to a moderately subdued level.

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I’m not saying there weren’t a few of these consumed this week…

crispy french friesSlim Paley Photo

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But I was good in the afternoons

Slim Paley photo

usually ordering salads.

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Our absolute favourite meal was at “Eleven Madison Park”

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Trust me on this one.

Jump through whatever hoops you must to secure a reservation.

The extended tasting menu was

one of the best and most fun dinners we’ve experienced in a long time.

The menu below doesn’t even include the “amuse bouche(s)” (which I don’t want to spoil for you, but are truly ‘amusing’) or the insanely delicious dessert we enjoyed in the kitchen, where I (insert red face) when asked to ‘crack’ open with our spoons the dry ice prepared-rhubarb mound of wonderfulness floating in a divine liquer, cracked the actual glass cup instead.

Cringe. They promised me I wasn’t the first.

Some sort of mob boss was also too heavy handed.

Oh… red face encore just reliving the moment.

You have to believe me when I say I’m one of those people who never breaks anything!

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No spoilers, but the apple tea, the “lollipops”, the clams (served 3 ways), the lobster and the “Egg Cream” were my favourites.

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Definitely one of the most handsome locations in Manhattan

Eleven Madison ParkPhotos by Francesco Tonelli

The staff couldn’t possibly have been more charming in helping us to celebrate our Graduate with such a memorable feast.

“11 Madison Park: The Cookbook” video here

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Sunset in NYSlim Paley photo

Good night Manhattan & Manhattanites!

Until next time…

I have to go unpack.

I hope I don’t break anything.

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Postcard From NYC

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Slim Paley photo

“A Tree Grows in The Upper East Side”

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I’m checking in from NYC where we’re attending our older son’s graduation from college. (Tear pops out of eye) I’ve got the extra strength tissues at the ready.

I know many of you have been through this emotional experience before, while others are casting loving glances at your little ones and thinking you can’t even imagine the day potty training will be finished, much less discussing cap & gown pick up.

I hope I don’t embarrass myself.

I really hate crying in public. Seriously. I have tricks I’ve almost perfected at sad movies and plays and can no longer watch anything to do with animals.

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Slim Paley photo

It’s a beautiful time to be here. Springtime in NY…

It gives Springtime in Paris a run for it’s Euros.

The weekend weather was perfection. We walked and walked – one of the things about living in NY that I miss the most.

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Slim Paley photo of Prada’s windows

Although today it clouded over and rained, just as predicted, I still walked over 6 miles (of course I have my trusty pedometer with me)

As my shoes were totally flat with leather soles, my feet are burning with the heat of a thousand suns and my toes are cramping up like little crippled Cheetos.

Drinking $8 bottles of water doesn’t seem to be helping.

How so many woman in Manhattan walk all these city blocks in teetering heels never ceases to amaze (and slightly irritate) me.

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Slim Paley photo

The ‘heel-less’ sky high platform, first seen at Alexander McQueen, is still around.

Not surprising given the obvious  practicality, not to mention never having to worry about getting your heel stuck in the hem of your pants or a side-walk grate.

Genius, really.

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Slim Paley photo

Loved this display in Prada of the  paparazzi, I assume perhaps a nod to  the Met Ball last week?

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Slim Paley photo

and the Barney’s windows- a tribute to 10 years of Alber Elbaz at Lanvin

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The Ralph Lauren windows, while at the other end of the spectrum, are always delicious.

Can I be Ricky Lauren when I grow up? (but  still be married to my husband, though I don’t know quite how that would work)

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Slim Paley photo

#1 Son and I walked for hours downtown too.

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Slim Paley photo

I snapped this photo only because I felt it incapsulated a little bit of everything downtown- a lot of beauty, a little garbage, promotion of the Arts and graffiti.

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Such GREAT people watching too. Probably the best in the country in NY, don’t you think?

Bloody hell, there are a lot of gorgeous woman downtown.

As my mom would say, “Every Dog has it’s Day”

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And speaking of’; my moonlighting job as “The Barktorialist” also kept me busy.

Slim Paley photo

Meet “Martin”. She likes to sing when having her photo taken. (and yes, “Martin” is a girl. It’s NY, after all…)

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.Slim Paley photo

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Unfortunately, because I have a mild aversion to getting arrested, one of  my  favorite NY moments had to go without photo documentation today.

3 New York City policemen locked out of their squad car on 5th Ave. and trying to jimmy the window open with one of those coat hanger/window shimmier thingies.

Hilarious.

You can’t imagine how hard it was not to grab my camera (or ask if they needed me to call the police :) )

More than a couple of 5th Avenue doormen were having quite a chuckle at the NYPD’s expense.

And what’s with President Obama coming to NY every time I’m here?!

Coincidence???

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Finally, I treated myself to updating my make-up collection with a late afternoon visit to Barney’s. God I love the guys that work in cosmetics down there- they’re the best!

Im such  a sucker for getting caught up in the moment when I finally  succumb to the cosmetics department- are you?

I usually sprint through, just to save my credit cards the burn, but once I sit down for an application …it’s all over.

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Naturally, I’m firmly convinced I’m going to look like this tomorrow morning

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After all, a girl can dream.

Especially in New York.

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Wishing you a wonderful week and please, one last reminder that the “Circle of Mom’s” Top 25 Design Bloggers” contest closes at 4 pm tomorrow.

If you’d like to help me win this year , just click HERE to place your 1 click vote. It couldn’t be easier.

Thanks to all of you who are voting and voting daily!- xoxo

PS. please excuse any spelling or grammatical errorz on this post- It’s been a long day and I’ve still got a lot of make-up to remove :)

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A Little Palette Cleanser

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Happy Weekend Everyone! Isn’t it wonderful that Spring has arrived?! (Although Winter barely made an appearance in many places this year)

 I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, though my holiday lingers in my thoughts like a beautiful dream that promises to last for a very long time.

 Still, it seemed it might be time to give you a break from travel posts and offer up a little colour palette cleanser as it were.

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As you can see in my photo above,  I arrived home to a lovely big spray of purple and orange tulips- how pretty are they?!

Hermes scarf, Chanel bracelet

 I don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but  I’m a little gobsmacked at the amount of orange and purple I’m seeing everywhere- a frisky combination to be sure, despite their relative proximity on the colour wheel.

 Of course what works in art & nature doesn’t always translate to fashion, but many designers this season are certainly giving it the old college try.

What do you make of it?

Personally, I don’t have the complexion to sport this bold duo anywhere near my face but I’d be happy to entertain them  in accessories and I love their pop of  colour in a room, especially for Spring and Summer.

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Prada Fall 2012

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Vogue

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Prada Fall 2012

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It works for Jennifer Anniston apparently.

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Prada

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Difficult lipstick shade to carry off, but imagine these three colours in a a floral arrangement. I have small Calla lilies in the garden almost the same colour as this nail polish so I’m definitely filing this away for future inspiration. 

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Even the runway rug at Prada was purple.

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Nature excels in the combo as always

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credit unknown

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Prada

Got tired of contemplating on how many levels this wouldn’t  work for me.

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.Consider repurposing your scarves in your home. Chic recycling.

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.Slim Paley photo

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woops-lost credit. Don’t you love when I save you $ like that? 

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Etro

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Giambattista Valli Resort 2012

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Bottega Veneta Spring 2012

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“Rorschach” fabric or wallcovering from Timorous Beasties (Love them).

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I just know these shoes are going to grow on me…

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Let’s be BOLD in some way this weekend- Why not? It’s SPRING!

xx

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Black & White Stripes

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Slim Paley photo

Still bagging some roses from the garden :-)

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We enjoyed a gorgeous weekend here in Santa Barbara, hope you had a lovely couple of days as well.  Did you watch the Emmys? I don’t think there were too many upsets or surprises, other than perhaps Charlie Sheen who was shockingly subdued and well-behaved.  Good for him-maybe he is Winning after all. I was happy that “Downton Abbey” won several Emmys. The 2nd season premiered in the UK tonight (Sunday) It’s going to take some willpower on my part not to grill my friend in London for details!   I thought Jane Lynch was funny and made a fine host but here’s my guilty little secret; I’ve never once watched “Glee”.  Of course I never tried out for school plays, the band or cheerleading either so maybe it’s just not in my genetic makeup. As I’ve mentioned once before, my stage debut as a tiny ballerina was a rather traumatic experience that rendered me performance anxiety-ed through high school so suffice it to say no drama teachers were exactly falling over themselves to cast me as “Sandy” in “Grease”

But, enough about me.   Drew Barrymore’s dress was stunning, as was Sophia Vergara’s and while the preponderance of red gowns at the Emmys came as no surprise, it was a little unusual to see virtually no black, don’t you think?  Gwyneth Paltrow was one of the few stars wearing it in a midriff baring lace gown by Pucci. Thoughts??  Her black & white diamond earrings, diamond bracelets and a diamond & onyx ring, supposedly weighed in at over 100 carats.

Wait, back to me…maybe I should have persevered with the ballet.

Oh well, next life.

Speaking of black & white  (How’s that for a segue?!)

This is after all, a post about stripes not dashed dreams, so let’s get started;


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Pretty cool, but I hope there isn’t a bar upstairs

and that is probably the first time I’ve ever said those words.

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David Tsay photo

My beach house entry hall way

via House Beautiful

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One stripe, powerfully placed

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Oscar de la Renta Resort 2012

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Slim Paley photo

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We called these “Humbugs” when we were kids, did you?

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Me. Here. Now.

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Chanel Resort Collection 2012

Seriously Karl- what’s with the boots??

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Aperlai

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Jason Peters at Oklahoma Museum of Modern Arts

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Striped bow tie pasta available at Pierre Lafond, Montecito, CA.

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“Brittania” cushion by The Rug Company

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Monique Pean

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Love Monique Pean.

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Mark Williams

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Gareth Pugh S/S 2012

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Lands End blanket

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So pretty!

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Handy instant wake up call every morning

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Pottery Barn

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Glamping in Tibet

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Scandinavian Accents

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Dior Watch

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Just in case you didn’t wake up in the first bathroom

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Prada

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Let’s all try to adhere to this the rest of the week and report back if we were successful-

No cheating!

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