Happy Monday!  Back to school, back to work and unfortunately back to the bitter cold - well we did have a beautiful spring like weekend respite. In addition to hacking the residual ice off of my driveway (a functional form of exercise) I spent a few minutes breezing through the remaining sale racks at a local favorite store.  As luck would have it - I came away with one perfect piece … a grey and white textured Isabel Marant unconstructed jacket. Great price, versatile, and perfect fit.  Met all of my criteria for a new purchase...

 Finding something on sale is all too easy  - who doesn't possess a few "have to have" items that were just too good to pass up, sitting around in the back of our closet - maybe even with the dangling price tags.  When considering something on sale -  here are my basic "rules" :
 a. Must fit perfectly or require one simple alteration
 b. Season neutral 
 c. Can be dressed up or down
 d. Age and lifestyle appropriate
 
In todays world, sales and store promotions occur continuously.  Being super selective is the only way to avoid buyer's remorse. Let's face it  - no one has unlimited funds or closet space.

 My great purchase!
 It may not look like much by itself but it has a lot of possibilities: 


Here is how I styled it.  For the polar vortex:  layer up… and maybe add a printed scarf that doesn't "match"  - Stop with the matching!  Imperfect perfection.
In what seems to be the unlikely event that the weather does warm up - add a pop of color via a pretty pink T shirt -  Comptoir Des Cotonniers is a favorite brand of mine. 
This jacket will also will look great over a dress or pencil skirt - Just swap out the yellow handbag for something more neutral during the winter months...
Other ideas to try :  a black leather skirt, pastel jeans or pants,  sneakers and a white T shirt, a favorite scarf...
Here's mine which I've had forever - 
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It's OK to be excited by the incoming spring fashions and trends - whats even more OK is to create your own fashion statement by incorporating todays newest "look"  in a personalized classic manner. The result: A wardrobe inventory that will withstand the test of time.

Thank you for reading, 
Lori
 
 
Another day another snowstorm? An onslaught of snow, a nor'easter, winter storm #6,  is falling as I write this, at the rapid rate of 3 -4" an hour with wild wind gusts and no end in sight... I am as prepared as possible having spent the last two days hunting and gathering food, wine, ice melt, and dog food.  What now?  Binge watch six seasons of Mad Men? Tempting and seductive as that sounds, I like to alternate periods of snow day indulgences with some sense of accomplishment.  On my agenda - clean out my closet - thats not big news but today we are doing Alan's too - (actually we did this a few months ago and I am first writing about it today :). Here's the story...
Alan, AJ, my husband,  has been in the clothing industry in one way or another for all of his life - even back in high school and college he worked long hours at various local flea markets .  Clothes are all about convenience and comfort first, getting a bargain second and style, a dismal third.  A typical shopping ritual of Alan's : go into a store, study the merchandise for an hour and them maybe if he actually buys something (which takes a lot)  he owns and wears it for the next 20 years –literally – I’m not kidding.
I've heard all the lines and excuses in the book when it comes to getting rid of old, nasty, outdated things – a few of his favorites:
"I can't give that away – it’s cashmere",  
"This is Armani, what are you crazy?  I paid a lot of $$ for this" (yes  back in 1985..)
"I got it for free from my friend/business connection Peter, Ed, Scott, Joey, etc. etc. 

Shredded collars, a hole or two - this never mattered much – he’d smirk at me like I was crazy  "it's comfortable!" 

For years I never said a word and just let him be - until now... I'm not sure what precipitated the change of heart on his part, but I'm not complaining.  Here are a few before and after photos..   

ALANS UNIFORM:
The uniform is basically the same every day no matter what the activity … Left to right - Going to work, Hiking in Arizona, Visiting colleges.
Even the baseball cap - "Millburn Tennis" is the same. It is old and ratty  - I have offered to buy him a new one on several occasions but he just likes this one…
There is a slight change in attire when the weather is warm - Black warm up pants become black shorts - 
What did we get rid of?  Pretty much three quarters of his closet.  Funny, quirky stuff that won't be missed and actually never gets worn anyway. 
Below:  
Ties that are too wide and too loud,  Hawaiian shirts circa ???, Outdated shoes, jeans and an oversized sport coat.
 I'm not quite sure where this came from but I'm sure it was a freebee...
When all was said and done it was time to go shop for a few new things.  Men's style is so much more straightforward than women's so we went with traditional quality basics, paying extra attention to fit, fabric and comfort.

Left to right: Featuring Navy tweed sport coat, Grey cashmere sweater, black down vest, dark wash jeans.

Additional purchases included V neck, fitted cashmere sweaters in classic colors - Navy, Black, Grey, and Burgundy, ties in a more modern narrower scale and  loafers in black pebbled leather.  

All in all I think the makeover was a big success!

But lets be realistic  -  On a day like today you need very different attire and accessories…a plow and a shovel and a ridiculous hat for starters..
I will quote a friend who called this morning and when I asked how he was doing this was his response - "I feel like I"m living in a snow globe!" 
Stay warm and safe.  Off to my Mad Men binge - is it five o'clock yet?
Thank you for reading, Lori


 
 
Hello and happy 2014!  It's been a while since I've written - I'll admit the plunging temperatures have gotten me somewhat off track -it's hard to think about fashion when it's frigidly cold outside.   It seems that everyone I know is feeling the effects of the last two months of snowy, crazy weather.  Winter is in full force and lack of fashion motivation seems to be the norm.  So….

Are you in need of a wardrobe reboot?  Look to the season ahead for some inspiration - staying stylish and warm need not be mutually exclusive… 

"Orange is the new black"
Not really, but a shot of color never hurt especially when shades of grey seem to be the norm. Mix in with denim, brown or grey.  
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Winter Floral Fever The floral obsession continues to blossom...Florals on dark backgrounds were a big trend this autumn/winter.  A great way to infuse some energy and color into your wardrobe now, and can be worn with beige, white and pastels later. Keep the rest of your outfit nice and simple...

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Pretty in Pink
A breath of fresh air to liven up  dark, dull winter colors.  Pick your favorite shade… 
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You can't put away your winter clothes just yet as much as you might like to, but mixing in some lighter, brighter colors will lighten up your mood as well.  Below some transitional pieces that you can wear now for an instant wardrobe upgrade and later on into the spring season…

1. Vince Black and White Cashmere Sweater and, 
2. Furla Messenger Bag  (in my favorite shade of orange)

Winter Wardrobe Wake up:
Spring Ahead...
A few trends from this fall that will continue through spring: 
Lace in every color
Animal Prints
Color Blocking
Prints and Florals

Are you feeling better yet? The good news is that we are halfway there!  
Wishing you the best of health and happiness for a wonderful and peaceful year ahead.
Thank you for reading, Lori

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Hi everyone, hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far and getting ready for a nice relaxing Sunday.  Now that it's just me, AJ, and the dogs, this day typically starts out with some type of workout (after I finish this post!) and hopefully then moves into a nice relaxing afternoon. (Empty nesting has it's advantages...)  If you can manage to change out of your workout clothes for a few hours here are a few of my favorite options for easy Sunday dressing that feel good and look great. Keep an eye out for the softest fabrics, lots of pockets, and definitely a little bit of stretch when it comes to jeans and pants. Have a great day..

1. Fisherman sweater - a true classic with forever style- This look seems to have made a strong resurgence this season and is perfect for a lazy afternoon watching football, and warm enough to wear on the sidelines too..
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2. Vests - cozy fur or other .. 
Fight off the elements and look great in one of these - you’ll probably want to wear them indoors too :)
Layer over everything from cashmere sweaters to gym clothes.
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3. Pea coats and safari jackets -
Neat and chic over your favorite Sunday outfit choice..
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Scarf love.. 
My go-to piece year round but especially on the weekends in the colder months..
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4. Cashmere -
Treat yourself to a luxurious super comfortable cashmere sweater –try a relaxed fit to balance slimmer bottom - Simply beautiful, minimalist chic.. 

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What are your favorites?
 Tip: Buy less – spend a little more on these items – over time you will end up with a collection of beautiful "pieces"  that you love and won't want to part with instead of a closet full of  things that never feels quite right.

Enjoy your day!  Thank you for reading, Lori
 
 
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Who among us doesn't love a new pair of shoes?  So easy to try on, no worries about a few extra pounds here or there, and can be a great investment since our foot size doesn't really change all that much over the years. 
That being said, shopping for the latest styles often creates a lot of confusion.  There are endless choices - and of course the important issue of comfort vs fashion.  Years ago my shoe wardrobe consisted of the following - a black and brown shoe of some sort, a single pair of multi purpose sneakers, a loafer, a sandal and probably something fancy that worked fine for special occasion dressing.  Fast forward 20 years or so to todays footwear market-  from ladylike pumps to chunky-heeled boots/booties, the season's best is all over the map and in every color imaginable. A quick re-cap of the essentials:

Chic and Classic:
Slip into a sexy, sleek pump.  Play with prints and colors.  Pair with everything from slim pants/jeans to a beautiful dress or pencil skirt. Did you know that this season two of my favorite shoe designers (Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo) are offering their classic pumps in several heel heights? Beauty and comfort in one.
Need something a little edgier?  Try a shoe/boot.  You can find them at every price point. These can transform even the simplest outfit into something spectacular..


Going be on your feet all day?  Comfort is a must but there's no reason to resort to your old shoddy stand bys.  The comfort shoe/sneaker market is expanding every season and is nothing like it used to be -  
Break out the boots... but no need to break the bank in this category either. The Jimmy Choos and Loeffer Randall choices below look amazing but Nine West and Via Spiga offer excellent alternatives at very affordable prices. 

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There's a lot to choose from so what to add?  Take a few minutes and go through your existing footwear.  Get rid of anything that:
1. Doesn't fit or feel comfortable - we all make mistakes and make impulsive purchases from time to time-  you can consign them -  or give them away and make someone happy!
2. Are old, tacky, or beyond repair.
3. Look dated - you won't go to them and they will continue to collect dust and space in your closet.

Consider your lifestyle and purchase accordingly.

Have fun building your shoe wardrobe!
Thank you for reading, 
Lori
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On a separate note - are you looking for a few new pair of jeans? Something current and on trend?  
 "Compliments Too" in Livingston NJ is hosting a "J Brand"  Jean Party - 
Support "LUNGEVITY" and shop at the same time ... 10% to the Cause 10% to you.
See you on: 
October 23, 2013
12:00pm to 8:00pm
Meet Oscar the Jean Specialist, from J BRAND!!
Address: 155 S Livingston Ave., Livingston, NJ

Enjoy!

 
 
 
 After a month or so of indian summer it’s starting to finally feel like fall is here to stay.  Leaves are changing colors, the days are getting shorter  - a perfect time for our closets to change as well. Luckily this doesn’t mean a complete overhaul – just the opposite. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably excited to begin wearing fall clothes but not looking forward to the temperature dropping, pulling out the heavy coats etc.  With a little effort and imagination you will find that simply by making a few adjustments to warm weather wardrobe items (and indulging in a few new purchases) is all that is needed for a seamless seasonal transition A few thoughts…

  First things  first – 
Take a few minutes to get rid of the really summery things – sandals, shorts, light weight cotton and linen pieces etc.
When it comes to transitioning from summer to fall, the key is layering. Silky brighly colored tanks and cottony tees that were great on their own can be layered under a cardigan, blazer, or shawl.  Transform a sleeveless dress with a light weight leather jacket. A simple change of footwear and handbag will take your favorite summer outfit well into the season and beyond.

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     Layering-
Cool jackets, comfy sweaters, topped with a variety of scarves, jewelry and maybe a vest of some sort —so how to pull this off and look chic and age appropriate at the same time? The key to interesting layering is mixing different prints and fabrics together to complete a unique and ever so slightly unconventional look . Don’t be afraid to accessorize - it's OK to pile on a few bracelets, a necklace and a scarf all at the same time...


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    Leopard and Florals - a mix that works
How does this work? It just does. I made a new purchase a few weeks ago - a leopard print/black leather handbag -see below - and love wearing it with my (old) Hermes scarf.  I "won" the scarf at a silent auction years ago and while it is pricey on it's own I've literally worn it hundreds of times over just about everything from cocktail dresses to sweaters to coats to jeans.  It doesn't owe me any money... 
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Handbag, Jimmy Choo, Scarf, Hermes
Word of caution- Layering and mixing prints and patterns can be tricky - a little goes a long way...
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My very stylish mom gave me this piece of advise years ago - Take a look in the mirror before you leave the house and take one accessory/piece of jewelry off. (or in the above case several :) It usually works..

Layered up for fall:

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Getting inspired?  I hope so!  The idea is not to clash but to compliment. Enjoy the beautiful week ahead and thank you for reading, Best, Lori
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I've started my fall wish list!  This is actually a very helpful and practical way for me (and for you too) to decide each season what key pieces are worth adding to my (your) existing wardrobe.  It definitely doesn't mean a complete closet overhaul - just the opposite.  Look for pieces that will :
1. Give you the most bang for your buck - Spend a little more on something that can be worn often  - not just for special occasions.
2. That make sense and fit right into your current lifestyle.  Do you go out to lots of functions, dinners, parties?  Maybe a new dress or two in a beautiful, fall floral is in your future. Do you spend much of your day running around town, carpooling etc?  A new tote, maybe a great pair of everyday boots would make sense to invest in. 
3 . That will add instant richness and give new life to pieces you already own.  A new scarf or two, maybe a gorgeous shoe or handbag in a new fall color...

 Food for thought...

Boots and Booties
The ones below are by Rag and Bone -They make one of the best everyday boot(s) out there -  classic and versatile and not too trendy. 
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Rag and Bone Booties
Lately I have been big on comfort and practicality with a little hint of edge when it comes to footwear.  My splurge this season will likely be a pair of flat motorcycle boots - not sure which ones yet.  I have my eye on a few by  Jimmy Choo - see below - they are rugged, on trend but not trendy and come lined with fur if you want real warmth for the upcoming winter months. Not inexpensive but I'd probably wear these a lot - My style is not really "biker" but I like the idea of mixing these with something sleek and polished on top. Opposites attract ...
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A statement making dress.  
I have a weakness for dresses, I will admit.  That said, I try to buy with discretion and not impulsively. That said, I have way more than I need... the one "rule" I have for myself- I stick to very classic simply cut styles in interesting fabrics.  Two of my most recent additions-  Tory Burch Dayton Floral Jacquard Sheath Dress:
Roberto Cavalli painted print back contrast sheath dress. (The back is completely different from the front which I thought was cool)  Great color, great fit, seasonless. Wear with pumps, sandals or booties. Tights or a bare leg - Wear to a cocktail party, dinner in the city, bridal shower (I just did this) take on vacation etc. etc.  Want to get my money's worth!
An oversized sweater - 
Pick a color you don't already own and turn a simple, basic cozy sweater into something outstanding. Add a scarf some accessories a fabulous boot and your good to go anywhere. I also love, love, love the handbag below by Elizabeth and James.  Available at Neiman Marcus. It comes in a lot of colors, is well priced and looks amazingly chic.
What ever your wish list consists of stay true to your own personal style but challenge yourself a little bit. Try a new trend or look in an approachable way that works for you, your body type, your age and your lifestyle. Fall is the best season to add a few good quality pieces that have staying power. There is so much to choose from so set your priorities (and budget ) ahead of time for best results. 

Thank you for reading,
Enjoy this beautiful day,
Lori 
 
 
The calendar still says August doesn't it?  I hope you are enjoying "the last gasps of summer" as a friend very accurately described this time of year to me recently. It's hard to imagine that Labor Day (and cooler temperatures) are just around the corner.  Summer is definitely my favorite time of year but nothing beats fall fashion. Rich gorgeous colors, textures and prints abound at every price point.  Here are a few of of the trends I'll be trying...

     A Leather dress or skirt
A "super trend".  Leather is everywhere in an array of colors from tops and jackets to fabulous dresses and skirts. Modern, edgy, stretchy, lightweight - mixed with fabric or alone- Ladylike but fierce!  I'm not sure how I feel about leather pants at my age but am loving the idea of a skirt or a dress - 
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     Leopard 
A classic trend every fall.  Defy old fashion rules and pair with just about any color or maybe with a contrasting strip, plaid or print.
Be careful not to over do - a little goes a long way...
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     A structured (scaled down) handbag
The absolutely perfect "new" accessory.  If you are going  to splurge here is a great place to do it... 
Sleek, classic and sophisticated -  combines with anything from jeans, to dresses etc. 
Below - From left to right:  My three favorites : Prada Mini Saffiano , Saint Laurent "Baby Duffle" , Ferragamo "Sofia" Satchel  - all come with an optional shoulder strap so can be worn cross body/hands free. The size is just right - big enough for the essentials but nothing more!  
If you are looking to spend a little less try J Crew, Tory Burch or Marc by Marc Jacobs. All solid brands with great styles to choose from. 
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Left to right: Prada Mini Saffiano, Saint Laurent "Baby Duffle", Ferragamo "Sofia" Satchel
    50  Shades of Blue
Blue is having a major moment. There are so many shades to choose from and to mix together, from vivid cobalt and turquoise to the more subtle (but my favorite) navy - and lets face it we all need a shot of color every now and again, especially as that summer glow fades away. 
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There's a lot to be excited about on the fashion front for fall - so much to choose from and so much room for self expression.  I love how pieces can be mixed, matched and worn in a variety of ways depending on someones individual style. 
Remember to do an "inventory check" on what you already have before hitting the stores. ( It's probably been a few months since you've needed anything warmer than the lightest weight cashmere ) A very good time to clean out your closet and make room for a few new things :)  
Enjoy the last "gasps" of summer and thank you for reading, 
Lori
 
 
Rolling hills, sprawling farms, stunning vineyards, peace and quiet, room to breathe  - this is the essence of life on the North Fork.  This "under the radar" region on long island has a unique style all its own and is just perfect for a quick getaway.  Feels a bit like the Napa Valley!  Wine tasting, boating, biking and no shortage of amazing spots to enjoy a delicious meal featuring the freshest local produce.  I'd been meaning to explore this area for ever and finally did.  AJ and I spent a night at the Shinn Vineyard Estates. Vintners Barbara Shinn and David Page bought the vineyard several years ago and create wines utilizing holistic farming techniques that result in exemplary wines and spirits from vineyard to table. They also run a bed and breakfast on their property that is just beautiful - The perfect retreat...

First stop - berry picking!  I haven't done this since my kids were little...
We stopped into the little town of Mattituck, and had a beautiful lunch at Love Lane Kitchen, one of the most popular restaurants on the North Fork. Actually had to wait 20 minutes for a table on a Monday afternoon - but well worth the wait. I fell in love with their seared tuna (black and blue) mango and avocado salad -  
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Brighten your day, drink rose!
Greenport  - a charming town, brimming with character.  Home of "The Frisky Oyster" -another popular place to eat-  will definitely try it next visit. Take a spin on the antique carousel, sail, stroll along the pier, or catch the ferry to Shelter Island...
The North Fork is not on the ocean but the bay and the harbor are pristine -  perfect for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding or just relaxing...
One of my favorite things about the summer months  - fresh produce at the local farm stands. The most amazing greens and sweetest corn.  We stopped at several along the way...
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Scallions on steroids!!!
An early evening wine tasting was waiting for us back at our B and B - the perfect ending to our day, 
Panda the border collie kept us company.
Another place to stay, have a meal or just visit when exploring the North Fork - Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport.  There was a fantastic art exhibit going on there so we checked it out. Below: These are paintings - so realistic they looked like photographs. Just beautiful...
 Summer fashion essentials?  Easy dresses in a variety of lengths, a few pairs of sandals, workout gear and a bathing suit or two.  Below: My favorite new footwear (that I seem to wear daily) : Sandals by Pedro Garcia, Dress - Minnie Rose, Sweater- Tory Burch
Never Enough: Summer Dresses...

What could be easier than throwing something on that instantly makes you look better in one step? Summer dresses are the mainstay of my wardrobe this time of year -I rotate about a dozen or so- a must-have during warm weather months.

Add a rugged sandal
Comfortable - definitely yes, ugly- probably, but the combination works beautifully. Not too sweet, not too preppy, not too matchy...
Tip: You can dress down your "dressier" dresses and skirts by simply adding this type of footwear - the result : get more use out of items you already own but do not wear as frequently as you might like to.

 Enjoy your weekend, (the weather forecast looks great :) And check out the North Fork - a wonderful blend of nature and simple pleasures.
Thank you as always for reading, Lori 


 
 
The hot, hazy (and sometimes lazy) days of summer are definitely here to stay.  Last weeks heat wave was enough to last for a while don't you agree?  How lucky for me to have spent this past weekend with my amazing extended family up in Roxbury, New York. If you haven't been, you should go sometime.  Located 45 miles from Woodstock,  Roxbury’s offerings are abundant. A hub for both artists and naturalists. We hiked, golfed, ate, drank, did yoga, and enjoyed a local art exhibition and weekend farmers market. This was the perfect place to relax, sit on the porch and watch the world go by — at a leisurely pace.

Fashion is relaxed with a capital R!  A perfect weekend all around...
One of my favorite farmers market ever- the Round Barn...
We found the most amazing berries, breads, cheeses and the highlight for me - an outstanding  handmade tuscan kale fettuccine pasta.  I made it for dinner Sunday night with fresh tomatos, garlic, oil, salt and pepper... healthy and delicious...
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Brand: Northern Farmhouse Pasta 209 Rockland Road, Roscoe, NY (other varieties available at Union Square Farmers Market, NYC)
Easy dresses and lots of white - perfect summer fashion.  Add your own simple accessories and you are good to go...
A crazy cool place to stay when visiting Roxbury - “The Roxbury Inn: a vibrant mélange of marvelousness”- I can't really do it justice - just go on their website and check it out! The Roxbury Inn - Catskills NY - an over the top themed boutique hotel - go there! 
 www.theroxburymotel.com
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Left: Coconut Creme Themed Room Right: Hollywood Suite
This sleepy little town has definitely won me over.  2 1/2 hours away from my home in NJ and a little shorter from the city - A great weekend getaway...

I hope you are enjoying your summer,

Thank you for reading, Lori
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Left- Morning hike with Sandy, Middle- Jaime and me, Right - AJ and Jaime