12 April 2012

Dressed by Others?

You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select ... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis. It's actually cerulean ... That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of "stuff."

- Miranda Priestley, The Devil Wears Prada (film)

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Putting this outfit was a bit of a moment for me, as I've realized that I haven't really dressed in this style for almost half a year now. I am not sure if that is a sign of me maturing sartorially or my tastes are just different now.

I do sometimes wonder how much of my fashion choices are influenced by forces outside of myself  - magazines, retailers, style blogs - and as a gal who still considers herself trying to find her own style, I would think that I'm probably greatly influenced by others.

Through periods of last year I fell into full-on rhapsody over certain brands (hey, Anthropologie, I'm looking at you). I found myself falling for the sale cycle hype, buying pieces because they were popular, hunting and scavenging for things. Did I adore the brand? Of course - and still do. Did I get swept up into the fanaticism and make decisions that I probably wouldn't have on my own? Absolutely.

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I think the Anthroholic scandal (you can read a pretty thorough recap of the happenings from JG here) was a rude awakening for me on how influenced I was on my style choices at the time. Granted I wasn't affected directly, but it left a bad taste in my mouth on how easily I went with the flow of things for the sake of fashion. Unfortunately I wasn't alone in the feeling, as in the aftermath a lot of my favorite style blogs decided to go dark.

So does this mean that between last fall and now that I've finally "found myself" and my more streamlined (I think) style? Or did I just end up finding another brand or style inspiration to emulate? Going back to Anthropologie as an example, I find myself buying less from the brand now because I don't listen to the hype over certain pieces or styles as much, and choose what I really like and would wear. I've since sold a lot of my older Anthro brand pieces on my blog sale.

But as I've been buying less Anthro, my purchasing at J.Crew and Zara have picked up. I'm all about trying new trends (hello neon!) that come up in pop culture. I've tried piling on the arm candy (do I blame Man Repeller or Atlantic-Pacific for that?). On occasion, I still find myself hunting items down that I've seen on another blogger or in a magazine.

What do you think about your own style choices? How influenced by others do you think your sartorial choices are? Is influence a bad thing or is that just part of the fun of fashionable experimentation?

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Shirt: LEC gingham poplin (worn here - sim, sim)
Sweater: Gap (worn here - sim, sim, dotted)
Skirt: Parameter via Anthropologie apothecary (worn here - sim, as dress, pencil)
Brooches: blinkeye & lilywinkel via Etsy (worn here & here - sim, sim)
Shoes: Sam Edelman randall wedge (sim peep, floral)

67 comments:

  1. Great post Lis.
    I think I'm really influenced by outside forces, how could I not be? Not just bloggers, and magazines, but what's happening in my environment, what's happening politically, what's happening in my family. I like to draw on outside inspiration of all sorts.

    You're painting yourself. All great painters need influence. :) Hopefully we're all, every day, moving towards another great painting. :)

    xoxo

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

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    1. "You're painting yourself." You always use the best phrases - I love that!

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  2. Our style is always going to be influenced by everything, we are not living in a capsule apart from the world! Truth is that some people have a consistency in style, I think you get to that through the years, knowing yourself and your needs. Fashion is about experimenting and try new things, style is about find yourself in that mare magnum of influences.

    I lean towards style, it's a work in progress : )

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    1. If you see my closet, you can totally tell it's a construction zone, haha.

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  3. Your shoes are totally adorable! I would say I'm definitely influenced, but try and stay true to myself as well...I've definitely succumbed to the arm party(but hey, it's so much fun) but have also continued to be my colorful self!

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  4. I love the gingham and floral print pattern mixing! My style is definitely influenced by others, but I feel like it's very hard for it not to be unless I lived in a bubble :) I think it only starts becoming a bad thing if someone is wearing things they isn't really "them" because they simply want to follow the crowd.

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart

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  5. that skirt is gorgeous! love it!

    xx

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  6. This is a great post. I've wondered about the same thing myself, especially since I started my blog. I went through a long phase in college where I was actively trying to avoid my own personal style, since it tends to be a little frivilous and I was trying to look "grown up" in professional settings. Now I feel like I've come in to my own style-wise, but that style is also very close to what's "in" right now. I've found myself wondering if I am just able to really express myself because the right pieces are finally in stores, or if I simply think that these things are what I want to wear because I'm so immersed in style blogs, etc. It's really hard to strike a balance between personal style and modernity.

    Kelly @ Fashion or Fiction

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    1. In high school and through most of college, I literally had zero style. Fashion just wasn't something I was interested in. It wasn't really until I joined the workforce where I started realizing I needed to dress for someone other than myself because people were judging me by what I wore (fair or not). So I think I am still very much trying to find my way!

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  7. What an adorable outfit! Love the floral print and those shoes, those shoes, those shoes!

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  8. Since I started reading blogs I shop more because I am influenced by what other bloggers are wearing, but I try to put my own spin on it. I try to ignore the Anthro hype because I don't want to spend $100 on a dress I will wear once.
    That skirt is so cute. It reminds me of a J. Crew skirt that recently went on sale and sold out.

    Tara
    Penniless Socialite

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  9. Those shoes need to be on my feet! I'm always up for a good arm party, but I try and stay true to myself. I do admit that seeing some pieces on others gives me the push to try them out for myself.

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    1. I always have to kind of give myself a moment when I am about to buy something I have seen on someone else and figure out if "I" really want it or am just getting carried away.

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  10. I think I'm actually starting to come to terms with my style and just trying to stay within my comfort zone at this point. I find ways to be happy with what i have and make those things work for me - not everyone else. Sure, I look around and fall in love with outfits and brands (ahem... Madewell) but I don't let them control my buying (or non-buying) power much anymore. I buy what I need or am seriously lacking - shoes, jeans that fit, new tees to replace my ratty ones... you get my drift. :) The Anthroholic scandal took place during my hiatus from blogging and i didn't even know about it until a few weeks after i came back. I was sad to see some of my favorite bloggers gone due to that fiasco, but can understand why they left.

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    1. Aimee, I adore your casual urban style. You seem to have found something that fits your lifestyle, plus the Madewell aesthetic seems perfect for your style!

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  11. my style has changed over the years of beeing in the blogosphere too.
    i only read about the scandal that involved kim,but it was sad so many style blogs shut down because of her.
    i think i am more into jcrew than i was before and because of that my style became more streamlined.i am also influenced by all the blogs i am reading and def. shop more!but the good is i think gradually finding my style and enjoying it!
    thanks for the great topic!

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    1. I am definitely into J.Crew because many of their styles are not only appropriate for work and play, but many pieces are more streamlined and timeless. And it totally helps that they've had some killer sales and % discounts recently!

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  12. This is really cute! I'm definitely influenced by outside sources but mostly because I don't know what I'm doing otherwise! I didn't care about fashion until about a year ago so I'm definitely a novice. I'm still learning to buy something because it fits into my wardrobe rather than just cuz it's cute. But I mostly look at style blogs and Pinterest to see what catches my eye then make it work for myself & my body type.

    Now I'm going to go read your link so I can find out about this Anthroholic scandal....I love a good scandal! :o)

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    1. I definitely had a "holy shit, WTF" moment when the whole deal broke last year. I was a big fan of the Anthroholic blog at the time so it was a shock - what a scammer!

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  13. I don't know why, but I really hate the word "sartorial". I have definitely had to rein myself in when rushing through checkout at jcrew.com for an item that I am only buying because it's popular. It's easy to get sucked in!

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    1. Haha, I've got friends who tell me "if you say sartorial one more time ..." I need to find more adjectives to "personal style."

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    2. That's so funny - I kind of hate the word "sartorial" too! I'm not sure why, but it almost always seems to push my buttons. Bizarre...and glad I'm not alone!

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  14. What a great post! I have never really gotten into Anthropologie because of the prices, but the Anthro scandal was really unfortunate.

    I'm definitely influenced by trends, magazines, other bloggers, street style, celebrities, etc. But I prefer to put my own spin on things and make it work for my body type, budget, age, work dress code, etc. I don't think influence is a bad thing if at the end of the day you are buying / wearing what makes you happy.

    One trend I will not be jumping on board with? Overalls. They were great for me in high school, and the Man Repeller can definitely pull them off. But for me? Nah!

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    1. Overalls are coming back? Oh hell na! The slouchy hanging crotch pants trend from last year was bad enough for me - nnoooooo to overalls!

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  15. I love that part in the movie! Cute skirt! I love that floral print.

    Amy

    fashionandbeautyfinds.blogspot.com

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    1. Devil Wears Prada - I was "meh" about the book, but all over the film!

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  16. I love this outfit, and I had no idea about the whole Anthroholic scam thing. Interesting reading. I think I am most influenced by color, I haven't bought new clothes in ages (not really), but I have loved mixing new color combos. I find things I like via other fashion blogs, home design blogs, and photography blogs.

    And finally? I love this outfit. LOVE it. :)

    xox

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  17. Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiirst of all, best. quote. ever. Second, I am def influenced in fashion by all kinds of avenues--the biggest being other blogs and magazines. But I don't think that's a bad thing--so long as you stay true to yourself and what you like and what you feel good in as opposed to just wearing something because it is "in style" or "on trend". Love your flower pin (very Bradshaw of you!) and those adorable heels Lisa!

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    1. I'm all on board with trying new trends but I think for the most part I am smart enough to realize at least after the first time what works (love you, neon) and what doesn't (baggy-crotched pants, not so much)!

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  18. Love the print mixing on this outfit!! Cap toed shoes hold a special place in my heart :) I too have stopped buying constantly at Anthropologie (thank goodness b/c the SAs were starting to know me by name!) I've been starting to buy more special pieces by independent designers but Jcrew and Madewell always suck me in!

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    1. The good thing about JCrew and Madewell items is that there is a less likely chance to have a "OMG she's wearing the same dress as me and everyone knows" moment than if you were wearing an Anthro dress that is pale pink with blue bicycles and red umbrellas or something. ;o)

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  19. Love the outfit! I get a lot of inspiration from the internet - whether it be the J. Crew site or fashion blogs. I try to put my own spin on things (besides not ironing and not accessorizing) but there are days where the inspiration goes too far and I feel like I'm wearing someone else's clothes.

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  20. Oh, this outfit is just perfect- you are so cute. I thinks it's fun to be influenced by others- it makes things dynamic and makes one venture outside of the box. I perceive the style as something that is everchanging and , yes, I welcome the influence- it gets me out of rut(sp?). My initial style wasbest descrbed as eurotrash, ha ha- loud labels, tight dresses, expensive shoes and bags. JCrew toned it down with the infusion of preppy simplicity and Anthro added a girly frill to it. I am looking to future influeneces- through the fashion houses adn through the bloggers. I do have to draw a line with spending though, enabling is high, that's why Project 333 is good for me- keeps me grounded.

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    1. I need to learn to work more with what I've got instead of always be on the prowl for something new. More classicwear like J.Crew pieces definitely helps because a lot of their styles are more timeless and less trendy.

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  21. Love that floral skirt! I get inspiration from bloggers, mags and then sometimes I just wear whatever I want....the beauty of fashion...the comfort of style.....the age of rebellion lol!!

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  22. Really great post. Its been awhile since I've thought about this stuff so thank you for reminding me. I'm very influenced by brands and trends (colored denim I WILL make you mine...) When I first got out of grad school and was earning a steady paycheck I was all about Anthro - I think it symbolized something for me that I couldn't afford before. But then I switched careers and felt odd in my girlie Anthro duds and then on came JCrew. I still love JCrew - and Madewell.
    Because I make a lot of my clothes (I realize this isn't practical or desirable to alot of people - but its really fun for me) I get to have a little bit more freedom in defining my personal style.
    At the end of the day though - I'm still hugely influenced by what I see on blogs/pinterest/magazines etc. I just get to tailor make those choices. I'm currently on a quest for dye to make my PERFECT pair of colored denim thats just for me :)

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    1. I'm on the same page as you about Anthro. I remember buying my first full price item from Anthro back in college and it was a REAL splurge, especially for my non-salary. But that piece had a prized position in my wardrobe forever.
      And then when I got into the regular corporate workforce ... still love the Anthro but honestly Anthro style and a corporate office environment sometimes don't mix!

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  23. I always love that gingham shirt on you, Lisa. Great color combination (especially for a spring outfit)

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  24. I totally hear you! I came to a fashion-style dilemma when I realized just how much I was influenced by others to a point when I was like "Is this even really me?" Now, I still read blog but try to make sure that when I buy and wear things, it's because it's me and not because I'm copying...Still kinda hard, but working on it :)

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  25. Really loving this look. Those shoes are fabulous!

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  26. I think you look adorable! I love the pattern mixing and the cute flower pins and the adorable shoes! It's all super cute!!

    I'm not really a brand person. I thrift and pick up a lot of different brands there... But I could say that I'm influenced a bit by other bloggers and magazines, definitely. I mean, there's nothing wrong with finding inspiration in those places, right?!?

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  27. I love this skirt with the gingham skirt!! I totally agree that the Anthroholic scandal has left a bad taste behind a lot of us. I think I'm influenced by other bloggers but I try my best to stay on my own track :)

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  28. Adorable outfit!! Love the mix of prints/textures!! Xox <3 hautepinkpretty.com

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  29. I love this outfit.
    I can honestly say that I draw influence from outside forces. With things like Pinterest and other boards getting so popular it is hard not to be influenced. I like to think that bloggers, magazines, and the like all help me learn to be more creative with what I already have without feeling like I have to copy every stitch or hunt down the exact item they are wearing.

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  30. i find influence by others who are in a similar demographic to me - age, height, similar body build and go from there. no matter how badly i would love to rock a mini skirt with my hips it just won't work - and hey i'm okay with that. but looking at how others style similar pieces that do work for me always makes me take another look at something i may have been ready to dismiss earlier.

    and i hear you on anthro. i've always loved jcrew, though... and everyone raves about zara, too. i'm itching for a blouse from there but have yet to let myself pull the trigger on it.

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    1. I adore Zara but I agree with the folks who say it is hit or miss. I've got some shoes and blazers from there which I think are a great deal and fit really well, but then there are some $50 blouses which look and feel like something you've picked from F21.

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  31. You look so pretty in this outfit...I love the cap toed shoes and the sweet flower pins! Thanks you for taking a moment to stop by and say hello. ;-)

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  32. Girl you are really rocking this look today! I'm loving it! I'm definitely influence by other bloggers and fashion magazines, but I think that I've been staying true to myself. I try to buy things that really fit my personality and style. Also, I hear you about Anthropologie! Last year, I spent a ton of money at Anthro because I was keeping up with the Jones, but my bank account couldn't continue to support my habit. I have a closet full of clothes and I have learned to become creative with my outfits. If I want to try something trendy, I run to Forever 21 or H&M for a more cost effective option.

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    1. I agree, I don't really like it when brands like Anthro try to do something really trendy because a lot of the times the quality isn't a ton better than something from H&M and the price is like $98 or something. Stay true to your aesthetic, Anthro!

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  33. Love the mixing of the patterns!... I'd like to believe it's not so much of an influence but more of an inspiration or a starting point for ideas. I think...:p

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  34. You've inspired me to put one of my thrifted gingham shirts and thrifted floral skirts together :) Great look!

    It's probably good my wallet can't afford Anthro, but it doesn't stop me from running in once in a while and going, "Wow, wow, wow!" - and then going to the thrift store...lol.

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    1. I am fully an admitted gingham addict. I probably have more gingham in my closet than is necessary - but think of it like a neutral!

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  35. love this outfit! and that last detail photo is stunning!

    xo julesinflats.blogspot.com

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  36. Lisa, I was just thinking about all of this today!! I certainly am influenced and have been by bloggers. I have purchased things that just weren't me and have since given away. I got on the Anthro bandwagon last year and now think its probably too young for me. I am loving Jcrew and its more of what my style has always been, classic. Its all a growing process. I sure do enjoy reading the fashion blogs and seeing what people put together!

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    1. It's fun to read the blogs I've been following for a while (like yours) because going through the seasons, it's always interesting to see how people's style change and morph!

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  37. Gorgeous look! Love the mix of blue gingham, florals and a peachy flower brooch. :)

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  38. I like the print mixing and the overall look. Few years backed I worked at Anthro for 6.5 years and I find their items not that much interesting now. I sold many of my old items but still have a handful of skirts that I love. i liked Anthro because it has a distinctive style and growing up with limited budget I wasn't really into designer items or what's in or out. I've always wore what I wanted and felt comfortable in. I think that's what makes us have our own style and how we interpret a look we see in a magazine with something we already have.

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    1. Ooh, I think Anthro was at the top of their game a few years ago. Great quality, whimsical prints, unique shapes. I wish I had a few of their previous season's items!

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  39. lovely look!

    Follow me with GFC + bloglovin, and I'll follow you!

    www.linlicious-style.nl

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  40. Absolutely love this outfit!!! Love the floral and the checks.
    Creamy

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  41. The gingham plus floral looks so pretty together! I will definitely have to try this - I'm such a wuss when it comes to print-mixing but gals like you make it look so good!

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  42. I wrote a post on this same subject a couple weeks ago. Last year I was gazing into my closet at clothes I didn't even really want to wear and it was devastating as well as eye opening. I had been letting the reading of blogs and other people's styles dictate my purchases without even fully realizing it.

    I'm back on my own wagon and following my mantra: Will I want to wear this for years to come? Will I find myself reaching into my closet regularly to wear this very item? If not, I don't buy it. Has been working marvelously!

    I'm moving in the opposite direction as you: I'm more into the boho pieces at Anthro and less into J.Crew at the moment. But the thing is: we're being true to ourselves vs. just doing what others are doing.

    Word girlfriend. Word.

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  43. I know what you mean. I DEFINITELY feel that my style has evolved and been influenced due to fellow bloggers I admire such as Atlantic-Pacific. Somehow after seeing and loving their outfit so much, I can't help myself from looking for similar items or pilling on more arm candy a-lo-atlantic-pacific. In the end, I don't think it's bad in moderation. If I love their style and they inspire me, I don't see the harm of taking a tip or two from their style. However, I don't think full on copying their style everyday forever is good if it really isn't your thing.

    www.thejoyoffashion.blogspot.com

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  44. I dunno... I actually really love getting in on all the blogger trends. I don't do anything that I don't like myself, but I use all the bloggers I see and follow for inspiration.

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