Parisian Chic Style Guide

I, like so many others, have always been inspired by the idea of the french woman. She’s stylish and beautiful without much effort. She eats what she wants (butter, pastries, and cheese included). She drinks wine everyday and she stays slim and fresh. She makes no apologies for living a life of decadence and yet she glows with good health. The allure of the french woman has spawned hundreds of books and articles and it doesn’t seem to be fading away. And for good reason! After all, don’t we all want to wake up with glowing skin and perfectly mussed up hair, maintain our health and still indulge in everything good life has to offer? Unfortunately, as someone who has never lived in France, I don’t have the secrets to mastering this paradox. I do, however, have a pretty decent grip on french style (if I do say so myself) and in this blog post, I’m focusing entirely on the main principles of it. From the must-have spring accessories to the beauty essentials that will give you that oh-so-alluring je ne said quoi, here are my tips and picks that encapsulate French style.


A C C E S S O R I E S

The french approach to fashion is all about the classically elegant capsule wardrobe that is punctuated by luxe extras. Tie a silk scarf around your neck and slip into a beautifully crafted pair of velvet loafers and watch your neutral cashmere sweater and cigarette pants ensemble go from zero to a hundred, just like that. When it comes to accessories (and everything really), buy fewer pieces but make them count. Sure, that designer bag may seem like a ridiculous amount of money now, but if it’s taken care of, it will last and look beautiful from season to season, year after year. Like a fine wine, a Chanel 2.55 flap bag only gets better with time.

1 // Barneys New York – Small Straw Tote Bag

2 // Tiffany & Co. – Sterling Silver Elsa Peretti Bean Necklace

3 // Nine West – Huff Women’s Smoking Slipper

4 // Polo Ralph Lauren – Callie Raffia Smoking Mule

5 // The Cambridge Satchel Company – Cloud Shoulder Bag

6 // The Met – Monet Sunflowers Bangle

7 // Mulberry – Square Silk Scarf

O U T E R W E A R

When it comes to your coats and jackets, look for timeless silhouettes and high-quality fabrics. Once you’ve got a flattering style in mind, keep your eyes peeled for eclectic details and unexpected colours to breathe new life into basics. The mainstays of your spring/summer outerwear arsenal? A lightweight linen trench, a buttery soft cashmere cardigan, a waist-cinching leather jacket and a weekend-casual denim jacket.

1 // Vero Moda – Cool Trench Jacket in Pink

2 // Iro Luiga – Cropped Leather Jacket

3 // (Pre-Owned) Chanel – Striped Knit Cardigan

4 // Rebecca Taylor – La Vie Floral Embroidered Jacket

T O P S

The essence of french-girl chic is looking like you rolled out of bed in a striped Chanel boat neck and Dries Van Noten trousers, swiped on some lipstick and finger combed your hair before strutting outside with all of the confidence in the world. It’s effortless yet stunning. It’s put-together but not too polished. So how does one achieve this tricky balance when shirt-shopping? Look for well-made tops in beautiful, natural fabrics. Subtly sexy, unexpected details are oh-so-French as well. A deep, cleavage-baring v-neck? Non. But a plunging back in your linen sweater or an off the shoulder ruffled cotton tee? Oui. P.S. never underestimate the versatility of a silk t-shirt. It will take you from day to night with ease.

1 // H&M – Ruffled Open-Shoulder Blouse

2 // WtR – Sonnet Belted Silk Wrap Top in Emerald

3 // River Island – Petite Pink Striped Crop Shirt

4 // Chicwish – Focus On Lace-Up Back Sweater

5 // Patrizia Pepe – Silk Blouse in Fuchsia

6 // Mango – Floral Embroidered Striped Shirt

7 // Banana Republic – Cropped Ponte Shell

8 // Galvan London – V Neck Camisole in Black

B O T T O M S

Creating a well-rounded, french-inspired capsule wardrobe definitely requires a few essential pieces. For example, a perfectly worn-in pair of blue jeans for casual-wear is a must – I mean, how many of us live in denim? Also, a pair of dressier trousers that you can wear to work or to a fancier event. Don’t limit yourself to plain black – a classic print like stripes or houndstooth is a little more interesting but still goes with everything. Finally, make sure to have a collection of skirts that can take you from work to play. A lace or silk number is a sexy choice for a night out, while a fluttery knee-length piece can take you anywhere, from a wedding shower to a Sunday brunch. Like with everything else, never skimp on quality and pick pieces that are unique but not trendy – for example, a wide-legged pair of high-waisted blue jeans is ultra-modern but also timelessly flattering.

1 // Dries Van Noten – Velvet Culottes in Mint

2 // Weekday – Ace Wow Blue Jeans

3 // Daily Look – Lily Lace Trim High Waist Shorts

4 // River Island – Beige Paperbag Button Front Pencil Skirt

5 // J. Crew – Okinawa Striped Wide-Leg Silk-Twill Wrap Pants

6 // TOPSHOP – Heart Ruffle Toe Mini Skirt

B E A U T Y

French women are renowned for their simple yet extremely effective approach to beauty that centres far more around skin and hair care than makeup. Forget contouring or gluing on false lashes. French beauty is all about embracing your uniqueness and enhancing your natural beauty, while also taking excellent care of your complexion. Invest in top-shelf skincare and hair care items and stick to your regime everyday. Treat yourself to a bit of pampering as well – a monthly or bi-monthly facial and massage will keep your skin glowing, while also allowing you to gain professional insight on how to keep your face looking it’s best. Also, never forget to wear a bit of perfume. Find a scent you love and wear it until people associate it with you. Finally, go easy with the makeup. A bit of red lipstick and a smudge of eyeliner is all you need to make your beauty look really pop.

1 // Yves Saint Laurent – Rouge Pur Couture The Mat

2 // Byredo – Velvet Haze Eau De Parfum

3 // French Girl – Lumière Huile Pour Le Corps in Moonlight

4 // Avène – XeraCalm A. D Cleansing Oil

5 // Bobbi Brown- Long-Wear Liquid Liner in Carbon Black

6 // Peter Thomas Roth – 24K Gold Pure Luxury Hair Mask Treatment

I hope you enjoyed this post! What does french-style mean to you? Let me know your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia

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March Beauty Picks

Spring beauty for me is all about flawless, dewy skin, bright lips and a sense of playfulness, whether that’s an unexpected swipe of sea foam eyeshadow or a candy-coloured manicure. My skin has just recovered from a breakout of epic proportions and that’s all down to two holy-grail products in this list. Trust me, I’m a skincare junkie, and these are the cream of the crop.

1 // SAND & SKY – Purifying Pink Clay Mask

Not only does this mask work like a charm but it actually looks pretty while in action. Comprised of a Australian pink clay, it draws out excess oil, dirt, dead skin cells and other impurities, leaving your complexion smooth, clear, and matte. Plus, the petal pink hue is completely insta-worthy.

2 // Mellow Cosmetics – Passion Matte Lipstick in Light Pink

This may just be my favorite pink lipstick of all time. The formula is moisturizing and creamy but it dries to a velvety matte finish. Also the hue is pretty much perfect. It’s a light, rosy pink that makes me complexion look fresh and awake instead of ruddy or washed out like so many pink lipsticks do. A perfect ten – and I have a massive selection of lipsticks!

3 // Tarte – Sex Kitten Eyeliner in Black

My biggest beauty pet peeve is when my eyeliner runs and smudges into a racoon-ish mess within a couple of hours of me putting it on. I absolutely ADORE this formula (although honestly, Tarte rarely puts out a product I don’t love) because it glides on smooth and stays crisp and defined by the end of the day. It’s highly pigmented and the tip is super precise so this is my go-to for cat-eyes and when I want to fine-line my peepers. It’s a little pricey, but when you consider how well it works and that you only have to apply it ONCE in the day, it’s totally worth it.

4 // Kester Black – Nail Polish in Violet

Vibrant and sweet, this candy-esque lacquer reminds me of shiny hard candies – the kind my grandma would keep in a pretty bowl on the coffee table. This shade is not at all the subtle nude or french tips I usually go for, but it’s a great way to add a playful hit of colour that screams spring!

5 // Juice Beauty – Green Apple Peel Sensitive Exfoliating Mask

As someone with very sensitive, fair skin that’s prone to discolouration, I place a lot of importance on exfoliation in my skincare routine. Rough, abrasive scrubs just make my complexion red and irritated, so this gentle but effective peel is a favourite of mine. Packed full of fruit-derived alpha hydroxy acids and glycolic acid, this sweet-smelling gel breaks down dead skin cells and promotes collagen production and cell turn-over. Not only does this prevent breakouts but it helps to fade marks and enhance your skins natural glow. I use this twice a week and I absolutely love it. If you’re someone who finds traditional scrubs to be harsh for your skin, give this celebrity-approved product a try.

What beauty products are you obsessed with right now? Let’s chat makeup and skincare – I can’t get enough.

xoxo,

Alicia

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Valentine’s Gift Guides For Him & Her

Have some last minute V-Day shopping to get done? I feel you. But don’t fret – I’ve rounded up 22 pretty gorgeous gift ideas that are sure to please the special lady or gentleman in your life. Simply scroll, click, and pick up the perfect gift for your beloved or for numero uno – you.

FOR HER

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1 // Vivienne Westwood – Tamia Earrings

These sparklers are just the right blend of sweet and edgy, for the lady who likes a little bling in her day-to-day.

2 // Marc Jacobs – Daisy Eau So Fresh Kiss

If she loved the original, she’s going to gaga for this spring-fresh blend of cherry blossom, blackcurrant and creamy sandalwood. Plus, how gorgeous is this bottle?

3 // Godiva – 24 pc. Signature Chocolate Truffles Gift Box

This stunning collection of mouthwatering dark and milk chocolates is almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

4 // Tiffany & Co. – Elsa Peretti Open Heart Small Necklace

There is truly no better way to tell her she’s got your heart than with this minimalist open heart silver pendant. After all, jewelry is worth a thousand words.

5 // Côte Noire –  Pink Roses in Black Glass with Gift Box

Proving that faux can be fabulous, these artificial roses look like the real thing but last forever! They also smell gorgeous, thanks to the 10ml spray bottle of rose petal scent. Choose from ivory, blush, pink or crimson (the pink is my favourite).

6 // Jennifer Behr – Velvet Bow Hair Clip

Crafted out of luxe velvet, this sweet yet simple hair clip lends a touch of romance and femininity to an otherwise simple outfit.

7 // Tod’s – Women’s City Gommino Nubuck Penny Loafers in Pink

For the woman who is tired of traipsing around in toe-crushing stilettos, these hot pink loafers are super comfy and oh-so-chic.

8 // Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle Scented Foam Bath

Make bath time all the more indulgent with this creamy bubble bath, scented with Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle. Pair with a glass of champagne and oodles of candles.

9 // Olivia Burton – Moulded Floral Bouquet Watch in Blush & Rose Gold

This breathtaking time piece is seriously like a wearable piece of art. Guaranteed, anyone who wears this will be punctual, because they won’t be able to stop staring at their wrist.

10 // Pink Poodle – Collectif Heart Shoulder Bag (from Glasgow)

A little cheesy, a lot adorable, this statement-making bag will add a playful hit of colour and kitschiness to any and every outfit. The chain-link strap also keeps hands free!

11 // Cosabella – Jolie Printed Tall Triangle Bralette

Sweet and sexy, this floral-printed lacy number is as comfy as it is pretty. The crushed raspberry hue is also guaranteed to look gorgeous against all skin tones.

FOR HIM

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1 // Komono – Gold Winston Watch

If Cary Grant was a watch, he would be this gleaming beauty from Komono. From the cognac leather straps to the black face and gold hardware, everything about this watch says old-school dashing.

2 // L:A Bruket – 166 Grooming Kit

Think it’s just us ladies that like a bit of pampering? Think again. This fully-equipped shaving set makes it easy for your man to stay primped and polished with luxe products and ingredients that are selected especially for your man’s skin and hair.

3 // Mulberry – Mother Of Pearl Cufflinks

Like in relationships, when it comes to style, it’s the little things that make all the difference. With real mother of pearl, these sleek cufflinks are a luxe way to say ‘I love you’.

4 // Guerlain – L’Homme Ideal Eau de Toilette

This woody oriental is so lush and sexy that I want to wear it myself. With notes of almond, incense, leather, woods and just a hint of vanilla, this sultry cologne will keep her leaning in.

5 // The Nikka Whisky Co. – Whiskies in Tube Tasting Set

Indulge his love for whisky with this sleek and stylish tasting set! It’s a great way to find out which one he loves the most and will make cocktail hour a lot more exciting. After all, variety is the spice of life!

6 // Electric Av2 – Polarized Gold Sunglasses

Help him channel Tom Cruise in Top Gun with these sexy sunnies. They cost a pretty penny but who can put a price on protecting the eyes of the one you love right? Exactly.

7 // Burberry – Check Cotton Oxford Shirt

There’s nothing like a well-made Oxford shirt to make a man look put together. This crimson gem is made out of high-quality cotton fabric and can be dressed up or down for date night or weekend wear.

8 // Scotch & Soda – Velvet Slip-On Loafers

These plush velvet loafers will make him feel like Sonny Corleone (without the crime family) and will keep his toes toasty during February’s chilly mornings and evenings.

9 // Beats by Dr. Dre – Studio 3 Wireless Headphones

Music just sounds better with Beats. Make his morning commute a little better with these luxe headphones. You can’t buy love but Beats is pretty close.

10 // Jack Black – Mint Lip Balm and Double Duty Moisturizer

Keep his lips kissable and his complexion smooth with this refreshing duo from Jack Black. My boyfriend loves their lip balms and I have to say, I borrow his minty formula all the time.

11 // Thom Browne – Penguin Mohair & Wool Jacquard Scarf

There’s something about gentlemen in scarves that just gets me. It’s that extra touch of style that not all men add to their ensembles but they should! I remember when I went to Paris, all men wore scarves and it just looked so polished and fabulous. This quirky piece will keep him warm and stylish with cozy mohair and wool.

Which gift options are your favorites? Make sure to pick up a Valentine’s treat for yourself!

xoxo,

Alicia

Extra Luxe Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season to be fan-ceh! Channel your inner Elizabeth Taylor and give your besties and favourite family members presents that ooze luxury. Or get them for yourself, because it’s been a crazy year and you totally deserve it.

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1 // Hudson Bay – 1940s Striped Wool Camp Blanket

I don’t think there’s anything more indulgent than curling up under a cozy blanket with a glass of wine and the person you love. Unless maybe said blanket is crafted out of 100% wool and has an iconic, ultra-chic Hudson Bay striped print.

2 // Charbonnel & Walker – Milk Sea Salt & Caramel Truffles

Sweet and salty is my absolute favorite flavour combination and this luxurious truffle box is the front runner when it comes to indulgent treats. The perfect blend of caramel, creamy chocolate and sea salt, these are dangerous and it’s easy to eat the whole box in one go.

3 // Archipelago Botanicals – Fragrance Diffuser

Fragrance is (obviously) very important to me. As our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to our memories and emotions, home fragrance can really have a big impact on your life and overall well-being. This elegant diffuser disperses beautiful essential oils throughout your home, creating a mood that uplifts, energizes, or relaxes you, depending on your mood.

4 // Crabtree & Evelyn – Pear & Pink Magnolia Deluxe Gift Set

I absolutely adore running myself a hot, luxurious bath at the end of an exhausting day. This gift set comes with everything one needs to give themselves some much needed pampering. Plus the sweet floral scent of pear and pink magnolia is absolutely to die for. It’s like a spa day in a box.

5 // Olivia von Halle – Lila Crystal Pink Silk Pyjama Set

Think that satin PJs are too indulgent? You’ll be whistlin’ a different tune after you run your fingers along this buttery soft lavender pyjama set. Plus, look how pretty! If Audrey Hepburn was a pair of pyjamas, she would be these.

6 // Virgin Wines – Bordeaux Duo in Wooden Gift Box

There are a few things in life we can never have too much of: love, laughter, friendship and bottles of wine. Wine is one of the true loves of my life and I’m sure if you’re reading this you are nodding your head in agreement. Bad day, good day, wine just gets me. So give your favorite person this delicious Bordeaux duo to show just how much you care. If you love someone enough to share your wine, there is no greater love.

7 // Byredo – Bibliothèque Candle

This ultra-chic candle from everyone’s favorite perfume brand encapsulates the smoky, mysterious smell of a library. With sultry notes of violet and leather, this bad boy is just the thing to set the mood and make your most stylish friend’s day.

8 // Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum

The fresher, more fabulous version of the original Coco perfume, this oriental gem is an oldie but goodie. With crisp florals such as orange blossom and jasmine alongside juicy citrus fruits and earthy patchouli and vetiver, this energetic yet elegant scent is the perfect balance between masculinity and femininity. And let’s face it, everyone needs more Chanel in their life.

9 // La Mer – Crème de la Mer

I’ll be honest – this sh*t ain’t cheap. But if you want to glow like the moon and age as freakishly slowly as J.Lo (a loyal fan), then invest in a jar of this miracle cream, infused with all of the best essences of the sea. And if you really, really love them, snag a jar for your most treasured fellow beauty fiend.

10 // Philips – Viva Compact Pasta Maker

Much like pizza and wine, I’ve never met a bowl of pasta I didn’t want to immediately stuff my face with. Pasta is even better (like much, much better) when it’s homemade. This sleek little gadget makes it super easy to create delectable homemade noodles in no time. Your foodie friend will go gaga for it and you can benefit by sneaking over for dinner whenever they feel like using it. Win-win.

xoxo,

Alicia

Copper


Warm shades of bronze, copper, rose gold and rust are ideal this time of year as we transition from summer into fall! Metallic hues pop against a tan and lend a boho goddess feel to an outfit. At the same time, they compliment the warm, cozy palette of fall and mimic the colours of fallen leaves – maroon, cognac, gold. These gorgeous bronze pieces will add a bit of glitz and luxury to your home and wardrobe while taking you from summer all the way through fall!

COPPER BUYS

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1 // Joos Tricot – Knitted Lurex Sweater

2 // Adidas – Stan Smith Boost Copper Metallic

3 // Tom Dixon – London Scented Candle

4 // Sophia Webster – Clara Crystal-Embellished Metal Clutch

5 // Miu Miu – Short Metallic Copper Dress

6 // MM6 Maison Margiela – Metallic Textured-Leather Ankle Boots

7 // Mark & Graham – Copper Martini Glass

8 // Oliver Bonas – Rudy Copper Cat Eye Sunglasses

9 // Kevyn Aucoin – The Molten Lip Colour Molten Metals in Rose Gold

10 // Nails Inc. – The Mindful Manicure Nail Polish in And Breathe

xoxo,

Alicia

6 Stylish Backpacks For Back To School

There’s something about getting prepped for back to school that I’ve always loved. January 1st may be the official beginning of the new year but I always feel like September is a fresh start. A time when everyone’s slates are wiped clean and we can start fresh – new clothes, new classes, new goals. One of my new goals is to be more organized. As someone who works full time and is working on a bachelors degree in marketing, I’m pretty freakin’ busy and keeping my life scheduled and my stuff organized is pretty crucial to my sanity. One small step I’m taking is swapping my overly stuffed, messy handbag for a practical yet stylish backpack. Unless I’m on a hike or camping trip, I’m never going to tote around a canvas rucksack, but these backpacks check all of my requirements – sleek, chic, roomy, and on-trend without being overly trendy. Let me know which one you like best!

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BACKPACK BUYS


1 // Proenza Schouler – Pebbled Courier Backpack in Acid Yellow

I love the combination of minimalist lines with the punky acid yellow hue. I know it would add a shot of flair to even the laziest of student outfits. 


2 // Charlotte Russe – Velvet Lattice-Front Backpack

As I mentioned before, velvet is HUGE this fall. This backpack may just be my favorite. The burgundy velvet is oh-so luxe and the corset-inspired lacing references the 90s, which is obviously ridiculously on-trend right now. 


3 // Marc Jacobs – Denim Patchwork Biker Backpack

Denim. Patchwork. Marc Jacobs. Need I say more? This biker backpack definitely makes a statement and is roomy enough to fit your textbooks, MacBook and all of your other essentials.


4 // Jessica Simpson – Camille Backpack in Blush

I have to hand it to her, Jessica Simpson’s line of clothing and accessories is actually pretty fabulous. I love the nude/blush hue and the gold hardware adds just the right amount of edge.


5 // Coach – Billie Textured Leather Backpack in Tan

My style has always been a little more on the classic side and so this streamlined cognac backpack instantly caught my eye. It has a slightly masculine vibe that I love and the front two pockets are perfect for storing my always hard to find essentials – my keys and phone. 


6 // TOMS – Suede Embroidered Poet Backpack in Dusty Rose

This slouchy suede bag is feminine and sweet without being too precious. The beaded tassel is also such a cute touch. Cute, chic with room to spare. What more could a girl want?

xoxo,

Alicia

Beauty Of The Vine

I’ll be perfectly honest – there are very few things I love more than wine. I adore wine. Unwinding after work with a glass full of pinot grigio or merlot is pretty much the highlight of my day. Aside from it’s delicious taste and ability to help us relax, wine is also packed full of antioxidants and other skin-beautifying properties. Everyone knows that a glass of red wine a day is good for your health, but who knew that it could do wonders for your skin as well? From diminishing the signs of aging to deeply hydrating and evening out one’s skin tone, there’s very little that this magical elixir can’t do beauty-wise. Now, I’m not suggesting that we all go home and start chugging cabernet sauvignon by the bottle (that will only leave you looking ruddy and bloated), but these six wine-infused products pack all of the beneficial vitamins and antioxidants as our favorite beverage, but with none of the calories or, ahem, other side effects. So here’s to having more vino in our lives, in our glasses and on our faces. Bottom’s up.

WINE BEAUTY PICKS

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1 // Vine Vera Resveratrol Skin Care – Merlot Collection Moisture Day Cream

Drawing skin-perfecting power from wine’s magic component – resveratrol – this splurge-worthy moisturizing cream deeply hydrates and evens out one’s skin tone. If you’re looking for a powerful anti aging cream that will even out discolouration, this is your best bet.

2 // DeAge – Red Wine Essence

Anything that claims to be the essence of wine has instantly captured my attention. Just a drop or two will penetrate deeply into the layers of your skin, improving tone, texture and elasticity. It also feels super luxurious and absorbs instantly!

3 // TONYMOLY – Pore Care Red Wine Sheet Face Mask

What could be more indulgent than sipping a glass of wine while donning a face mask? Well, this wine-fused sheet mask is here to answer that question. With antioxidant rich jasmine juice and resveratrols from red wine, this inexpensive mask works better than a ton of masks from luxury brands!

4 // Arcona – Wine Oil (Repair AM/PM)

Nothing quenches thirsty skin better than a facial oil, especially if it’s loaded with ultra-nourishing grape seed oil and extract. This lightweight oil is like food for your face with all of the proteins, carbohydrates, fats and polyphenols your skin needs to be healthy and radiant! It’s a splurge, but it’s worth every penny.

5 // Labiotte – Chateau Wine Lip Balm

Your lips will love the silky texture of this balm – not to mention the just-bitten berry hue! This moisturizing formula is enriched with hydrating grape seed oil and Chateau Margaux wine extract, which acts as a natural chemical exfoliant. If satin-smooth, lush lips are your beauty MO (and really, why wouldn’t they be), then this luxe balm is an instant add-to-cart!

6 // Holika Holika – Wine Therapy Sleeping Masks (White & Red Wine)

Whether you’re more of a red or white wine kind of gal, there’s a sleeping mask for you! First, the wine barrel-inspired packaging is adorable. Second, these masks smell delicious. Third, they actually do what they are supposed to. If you’re looking to reduce fine lines and discolouration, slather on a bit of the red mask. Is hydration your concern? A little bit of the white mask will do the trick in no time. If you’re feeling saucy, double dip both masks to address both issues at the same time!

Have you tried any wine skincare products? What were your thoughts on the results? Let me know what you think!

xoxo,

Alicia