An easy way to take Care of your Hair, Skin & Nails… and it works!

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Take care of your body from the inside, not just from the outside… simply nourish your body with, yes, gummies

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Starting a new life in Canada and all that it entails created a little bit of stress in me. Adapting to different customs, knowing the culture and especially starting a new life as a family is just a few of the things that contributed to it. It was then when I noticed my hair was falling out beyond what’s considered normal. Also, my nails would easily break and my skin was dull. Hence, I started looking for a new Biotin-based alternative to correct these problems.

One day, I had a conversation with a colleague from work after I noticed a bottle on her desk. It was thanks to this conversation that I found the new love in my life (so to speak)!

This product has become part of my morning routine, honestly. These delicious gummies are now part of my everyday life. I keep two bottles, one at home and another at work.

Every morning I start my day with a hot cup of tea and then I open up a pink top bottle that contains these delicious gummies. It’s not only the great strawberry taste that I love but knowing that these vitamins are helping keep my hair, nails, and skin healthy.

I am convinced this is the single element that helped to prevent my hair from falling out anymore. I am not good when it comes to taking medications and clearly, this product is far from being one. That’s why I feel so comfortable eating these gummies twice a day. Sometimes I would have one after lunch, more like a dessert to treat myself. It’s definitely something I could easily accommodate to my lifestyle. To be honest, it was not until a few days later that I realized these gummies also contain vitamin C, E, and antioxidants. Also, regularly consuming them helps protect your bones and teeth. Plus, they help to metabolize your carbs… it’s like all in one!

It’s not only the great flavour that caught me. It’s also all the positive things this product does for my body. Now I feel my hair looks healthier, my nails stronger and my skin glowing.

Here are some benefits I found through my own usage of Nature’s Bounty:

  • Reduced hair loss
  • Shiny and healthy hair
  • Stronger nails
  • Healthy, radiant and smoother skin

How do you take care of yourself?

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It’s Christmas time … Probably you are thinking of a perfect holiday gift for her… sister, daughter, BFF, wife, girlfriend, wife…  I encourage you to try it out.

You won’t regret it!

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My hubby knows how I love my gummies … He spoils me!

Note: All opinions are 100% mine. This is not sponsored or part of any paid advertising campaign. I simply want to share my personal experience with a product that is working for me. You can find the whole info here https://www.naturesbounty.ca/our-products/womens-health/hair-skin-and-nails-gummies/en

Also, you can connect with the brand on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/p/BqiWCRwg9lr/

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Looking back over fall season… It was so fun!

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Fall season is almost coming to an end, and for those of us who didn’t grow up in a country with four distinct seasons as Canada, watching the changing colours of leaves is something exciting. They first turn into bright yellow and then ochre. Others turn into scarlet and then fade away by becoming dark brown. These are new experiences for your eyes. Perhaps, for some this might be a routine process, the fact that nature slowly dies in order to prepare for the coming of winter. For those of us who enjoy the finest details of creation, we are still in awe.

Fall is that time of the year where fruit picking is the thing to do. Farms across the country see thousands of visitors pass through their gates as families enjoy harvests such as peaches, raspberries, apples and pumpkins. Pumpkins in particular are a fall classic. They come in many sizes and shapes and people would use them to decorate their homes – along with gerberas, haystacks, ochre and orange leaves – in an effort to celebrate its harvest season.

Pumpkins are also a family favourite as they’re used to carve Jack O’ Lanterns, a Halloween classic. Possibilities are endless if you want to get creative, and we usually enjoy carving my son’s favourite cartoon characters. Also, pumpkins are often used to make pumpkin pies, although we prefer to have an apple pie for dessert!

Fruit picking is not only a family activity but also one that can be enjoyed by couples. For instance, my oldest son enjoyed doing some apple picking with his friends this fall. They had a great time, took amazing pictures and enjoyed a delicious slice of apple pie with a cup of coffee to reward themselves for the arduous work.

Many of these fruit farms offer fun activities for small children as well, including corn mazes, haystacks, sandboxes, pony and tractor rides. Adults can also enjoy taking photographs, visiting the food market, and yes, going hot air ballooning!

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One of my favourite activities during the fall is “leaf peeping”, also known as “foliage touring”. Essentially, people would hike some trails during the few weeks when leaves are falling. It’s a beautiful thing to see all those leaves fully covering the ground, creating a tapestry of beautiful colours. It’s amazing how many of these leaves would still look shiny, even when they’ve already fallen into the ground. Perhaps our lives should mimic those leaves, shining until the very last moment.

Now I’m wondering… what are your favourite activities during this lovely season?

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72 hours in “The Steel City” & “The Forest City”.

 

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After a 4 1/2-hour drive from Toronto, we arrived in Pittsburgh. Our first stop was Randyland which is an art project located in the north side of the city.A968A97C-3E88-4BE5-B579-B12AA3C7730A Randyland is essentially a folk-art museum based on up cycling, which is the creative reuse of waste materials or unwanted products into new materials. Randy Gilson has dedicated over 23 years to this project and has benefited from the support of his community as well as some local charities.0FF236BD-A787-4792-B14A-D1DA18917B30

 

I was impressed when I found out Randy has never taken vacation in the last 30 years, as he wanted to focus in building his project.

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The Gothic Revival skyscraper

To my amazement, my youngest had a blast at the Cathedral of Learning which is a true gem located at the University of Pittsburgh campus.

This gothic-style building awes visitors with its four amazing common rooms, majestic arches, as well as hand-carved stone work including poems and flowers.

Notably, this building features over a dozen classrooms each of them dedicated to a different country. I really enjoyed seeing my son running through the halls and stopping at each classroom door to read the corresponding name: “The English Room”, “The Korean Room”,  etc.CDB88598-681B-45E1-AC1D-45C72B596AB2 The decoration and architecture of each room would be inspired in the cultures that had an influence on Pittsburgh’s growth. When we entered the French room, my little one pretended he was a professor giving a lecture and was able to say a few words in French! Being inside of this true great gothic building I felt I was transported to the early twentieth century.A51D5292-1B4C-4B75-8734-A0CAA3B37BEB
The Cathedral of Learning is the second-tallest educational building in the world after the University of Moscow’s main building.
On Saturday evening we strolled around the heart of Pittsburgh’s downtown as we were craving for an ice cream. We were lucky to find Millie’s, a place serving the most delicious stuff. I treated myself with a lemon coconut sorbet while my travel mates went with their chocolate shakes.EA2595AB-4158-4AF8-B7D6-AA1E73F1F228 Also, we had the chance to explore “Market Square”, a vivid spot in the heart of downtown. Adding to the fun, we came across a cool festival with live music, food and shop tents. In that same area, we were able to discover the PPG Place Plaza, a perfect spot to take break. With a fountain with over 140 water jets plus plenty of chairs, this lovely area is surrounded by the PPG buildings, which feature little glass towers on top making them look like 21st century castles.
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Around 7:30 pm we headed to the Duquesne Incline which is an inclined plan railroad that climbs up Mt. Washington and where people enjoy the most stunning views of the city. My youngest was really excited to hop in the incline car as it was his first time riding this type of vehicle.

When we reached the top, we explored the station which featured a small museum with interesting exhibits and photographs of the city. Then we walked to the observation deck where we enjoyed most beautiful views of the city. The steel bridges along with the many boats sailing on each of the tree rivers looked impressive and were greatly complemented by the lights coming from the downtown building and nearby venues, including the PNC ballpark. Luckily, as we were getting ready to take the car back down we were told about a fireworks show taking place that night and so in the last minute we decided to stay a bit longer. This turned out to be a great decision as the show was stunning and added a bit more fun to our Pittsburgh experience.
“The fireworks”.

Sunday morning, we decided to explore Point State Park – such beautiful view of the city! This lovely spot is entrenched between three rivers (Ohio, Allegheny, Monongahela) and is crowned by a majestic fountain that refreshed visitors in what was a hot day. A huge green field is also a key element of this park and usually hosts cultural events and summer festivals.

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After spending our morning at Point State Park, we headed to PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Our seats on the upper deck behind home plate offered amazing views of the Pittsburgh skyline as well as the surrounding rivers with many boats sailing around. It was really a fun experience, especially because it was the first baseball game my mother in law was attending. Truth is baseball is not a popular sport in her hometown (Bogota) as it is in other cities in Colombia such as Barranquilla, hometown of a few celebrities, including Shakira, Sofia Vergara, and Edgar Renteria aka “The Barranquilla baby”.

 

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Our last minutes in Pittsburgh were spent exploring the former factory of the H. J. Heinz Company, home of the world-famous Heinz ketchup. Interestingly, the factory buildings – which encompass at least four blocks – have been transformed into residential spaces, now called Heinz Lofts. Strolling around this historic site was a nice way to put a finishing touch to our visit to the steel city.

 

“The Forest City”
Back in the highway we were now bound to Cleveland. After a two-hour drive we were already entering the city outskirts, but before venturing further into the city we made a quick stop at Brandywine falls, which make part of the Cuyahoga National Park.

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Less than an hour later we were driving around downtown looking for place to grab a bite. We ended up at 4th street East, a small alley famous for its world-class dining options. http://www.east4thstreet.com/shop-dine-experience
Our choice for that evening was Lola Restaurant, which turned out to be fabulous. As I prepared to write this post, I found out Lola is home to Iron Chef’s Michael Symon’. Good to know! I think that explains the details on each table, the fancy decorations and of course the amazing food.

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Right after Lola, we went to Playhouse Square, the second-largest theater complex in the US (after Lincoln Center) and home of the world’ largest outdoor chandelier. This magnificent piece was created in the 1920s.

Playhouse Square was set to be demolished 40 years ago and now it’s witnessing a renaissance that includes theatres and residences. Definitely worth a visit!
I love those glittering lights.
On the last day of our road trip we decided to further explore Cleveland landmarks, including downtown’s Pubic Square where we visited the neighboring Tower City Center, Renaissance Hotel, and Old Stone church.

At the heart of Cleveland’s Public Square lies the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, a marvelous piece of work commemorating the American Civil War. One thing that wrapped our attention was the small museum located inside the monument and its surrounding walls listing the names of the thousands of people who fought the war. I have to confess I was surprised with my little son’s knowledge of history my as he quickly identified Abraham Lincoln in one of the monuments.
Soon it was lunch time for which my husband took us to the West Side Market, home of the Parisian-style Crepes de Luxe. Truly recommended!

For dessert we walked a couple of blocks from the market to Mitchell’s Ice Cream (mitchellshomemade.com), a true oasis in the middle of a hot summer day. Not only we enjoyed our treats but also the views of their factory where you can see the elaboration process. Mitchell’s is located in a former theatre, then nightclub from the early 1900s, and has been home to this famous ice cream shop for over 65 years.

While It was about time to drive back to Toronto, we stretched our time in Cleveland for a quick visit to the Rock and Roll hall of Fame building where we took some cool pics of its front sign – LONG LIVE ROCK.

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It was then time to say our goodbyes to Cleveland, with a “full belly and a happy heart” as Colombians would say. After all, your perspective changes when all your basic needs are met, especially when body and mind have been nourished.

 

With Love

Andrea 🌸

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Trip to Chichen-itzá

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It’s around 6:55am on Tuesday and a white van picks us up at the resort lobby. Inside the vehicle we find four more people with whom we have something in common, we all speak Spanish. Surprisingly, there’s also a blonde German girl doing the tour along with her partner, a guy who looked like he was Hispanic.

And so, a three-hour ride began. Our destination? Chichen Itza, the world-famous Mayan city and ruins located west of Riviera Maya in the Yucatan peninsula. During the ride, our guide, Victor, made an effort to keep us awake by talking about the many aspects of Maya culture. In the process some people managed to take a nap, including me! Finally, we arrived to Chichen, right on time and way before the morning rush. Later that morning we found out this was the smart thing to do, as the place would be packed on our way out.

I will leave all the historic details to the multiple great books and reviews that have been written about this fascinating site. On a personal level, I can say I was impacted by the skill and precision displayed in each building we visited. It was simply staggering to see how smart this people were and the kind of technology they were able to develop.

 

By looking at El Castillo – a temple pyramid dedicated to Kukulkan, the feathered serpent you can witness the incredible kind of people the Maya were, as they were able to build such as majestic limestone structure without having the wheel. Also, consider the fact El Castillo is a physical representation of the Mayan calendar, which is nearly as accurate as ours. While listening to Victor, our guide, I also learned the Maya were highly resourceful and skilled when using their rustic tools. I can’t imagine the amazing things this people would be able to build with today’s technology!

Unfortunately, we couldn’t climb the stairs since access is restricted for safety reasons and conservation purposes. That said, I took lots of pictures and walked around it in order appreciate its majesty from different angles.

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Another structure that called my attention was the ball court, the largest found in Mesoamerica. Interestingly,players weren’t allowed to use their hands to play, just their shoulders and legs. Matches would be played for hours, and some would last a couple of days until one of the two teams managed to kick the ball through one of the two rims placed on the side walls bordering the court. Sadly enough, members of the losing team would be beheaded as an offering to their gods!

 

 

Other structures and monuments the Maya built at Chichen Itza were dedicated to their many gods,including fertility and war. Essentially, there are more than a dozen structures in the city, which would take the savviest archeology fan a couple of days to visit. In our case, we opted for the express tour, and thus spent about two hours visiting the main buildings.

My favorite place after Chichen Itza was our trip to a cenote, one of the thousands of natural wells scattered across the Yucatan Peninsula. 51F0DBED-CB31-4979-AA27-8FC8ADE842CDThese formations were the result of underground rivers breaking through the limestone surface. To access the bottom of a cenote, you will need to walk down the steps that go deep down the rock. There, you will find a large cavern with high ceilings and dripping water, which makes the steps a bit slippery. Once you reach the bottom and jump into the water, you might notice it’s a bit chilly, which feels great after having spent hours walking around the ruins and enduring the heat.

4ECB1631-5094-4A98-9B46-33172F5055C2While I didn’t dive into the water – I didn’t have my bathing suit with me – my husband did. In the meantime, I had some fun recording videos and took some pics. It’s really amazing how the sunlight penetrates the cenote from the top and reaches the water at the bottom. How beautiful is God’s creation!

After leaving the cenote, we went for a much-needed lunch at a local restaurant. While enjoying the exquisite Yucatan cuisine, we had the chance to see a Jarana daAE8A0604-367D-4A26-8FCC-A0D0B41F79DBnce performance which turns out to be a mixture of Mayan and Spanish elements is. Dancers would perform in beautiful costumes while carrying trays with beer bottles on their heads.

Our last stop that day was in a small town called Valladolid. Just like any typical Mexican town, it featured a big square (plaza) surrounded by colourful buildings, including the lovely “Ochre” yellow colour. We also went to a few shops selling Mexican silver, souvenirs and of course, tequila.

After Valladolid, we headed back to our resort, where we were welcomed by a fruity cocktail. Much needed to cool off after a long day venturing outside!

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Feeling the community spirit! 

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Shop, dine and enjoy over six blocks of free family-friendly event in the big celebration of retail shops in downtown Oakville aka Midnight Madness. Delicious food, many restaurants and stores opening their doors to welcome thousands of people on a summer night, with live music.

Around 6:30 pm we walked into a nice place to reconnect & relax. The “Yellow Door Studio” store is a beautiful – luxury decorated nail studio and lounge bar located in the heart of old Oakville. I love the concept and decoration.

 

During the event we took some pictures at the selfie wall and got the Polaroid pic, drank some lemonade, wine in their original stand while people inside the bar were enjoining the night and pampering themselves, is a place not just for women is even for men.

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YDS Stand

After that I went to one of the main stores in the street, Mendocino.  It was packed and busy because of the Midnight Madness festival. It was crazy trying to get a jumpsuit, almost everything was on sale so the long line to pay took some time.

Strolling around we saw a couples dancing on the streets, musical performances, many activities for children and adults to catch the attention of people while promoting their businesses.

There is another store in the same street, Anthropologie A19719E6-4539-441A-A1FD-8983D09E35DEwhich is very original, its boho–chic style is really pretty.        I love to walk in to see the new trends and collections. the details in its decoration captivate  my attention.

Festivalgoers enjoy in the company of family and friends while they stroll around and their children play in the many entertainment spots located across Lakeshore Road.

My husband and my youngest always love to eat the most famous hot dog in town. This year we discovered ice cream sandwich waffles, which were huge. Well, 10:30 pm it’s time to go home.

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My summer outfit :

Dress : Suzy Shzer

Slide Sandals : Ralph Lauren ( I got them at the Hudson bay – 50% off)

Handbag : Kate Spade

Earing :Dynamite

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La Quinta Avenida at Playa del Carmen – Mexico

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0F95FCAD-7A77-46B7-8FBE-84209054EB1BLast June my husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. For this second honeymoon our chosen destination was Mexico, to be more exact Playa Del Carmen in beautiful Riviera Maya. It was probably the first time in over ten years we were able to spend a week as a couple without our children. This was a very enjoyable time for us as we renewed our votes and reinforced our initial commitment to build our marriage in a way that makes us both happy. Now, back to the topic, Playa del Carmen or PDC, as many people know it is a paradisiac tropical destination with amazing beaches where you can experience the purest white sand you’ll ever find. It’s a place with lots of resorts around, and a really nice place to spend memorable days. I have to confess I was really missing my children during our first day there as we would see little kids playing in the pool and young people having fun around but I also know we needed to spend time together as a couple. It was fantastic to wake up every day beside my husband and not having to think about our daily routine, worrying about work, rushing the kids in the morning, etc

The one thing that I really recommended is to pay close attention to the weather forecast. As much as we want to assume PDC is a great destination in the Caribbean where sunny days and blue skies are guaranteed, our vacations plans almost got ruined, all because of a tropical storm passing through the area. Fortunately for us, the storm dwindled at some point before our arrival but there were thousands of tourists the week before who saw their vacations ruined. According to the staff at our resort, people had to stay indoors, sometimes in their rooms and couldn’t even enjoy the pool! That said, you should definitely check the weather forecast before booking your vacation, otherwise, your plans can dramatically change.

That being said, here’s a brief summary of my seven days in PDC…( today just about first day)

On your first day, go for a stroll to La Quinta Avenida. Essentially, this is a pedestrian-oriented street, about 2 miles long with lots of shops, restaurants (both great and no so great) and other entertainment options available, including world-famous Coco Bongo.

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Our resort was located in Playacar, which put us within walking distance from La Quinta, about 15 minutes. We would enter la Quinta through a mall located on the southern tip. On the other side of the mall you would find a few streets leading to PDC’s main square – aka la plaza – where you will find the town’s main church. From there, you can enjoy amazing views of the beach at “Parque de los Fundadores” where you can also see a few street shows taking place under the Portal Maya sculptures in front of the beach. You will cross the plaza where lots of people would be eating, enjoying a drink in a lounge, walking, or simply shopping.

Walking through La Quinta you will find many cute places surrounded with green plants of all sorts as well as flowers of the most incredible colours, including red, orange and ochre, my favorite colour.  Just by looking at those yellow-painted walls you instantly know you’re in Mexico. Combined with this mixture of colours you will see painting artists doing their thing in the middle of the street, dozens of souvenir shops, and dozens of restaurants displaying the most gracious signs, including the classic “Gracias por visitar” – thank you for visiting. On a separate note, I want to emphasize how great the locals are when it comes to serving. Whether you’re in a restaurant, a bar, any store or even in the resort these people are very committed to pleasing their clientele and that’s something you can see and feel. Also, it’s nice to see and hear traditional Mexican bands singing in the street for everybody’s listening pleasure.  At night, these would be lit up with warm lights while others would be hosting boutique hotels such as “Hotel Lunata”, a fancy one.

 

I would say PDC is a place full of sensations. Whether it’s on a plate, a glass or a tortilla, there’s always something new to experience. 197DCC3F-EC7E-46EF-A193-B7CF0F62C7D4

Delicious tortillas with guac and pico de gallo won’t disappoint and great cocktails will surely escort them. By the way, one of my favourite places for drinks is Almirante Pech. Small shops selling native hats and totes are to be found on every corner, and hidden between big-brand stores you will spot local-style restaurants with thatched roofs, palm trees, water fountains and  flowers.

Also, colourful overhead banners decorate many sections of this buzzing street, a typical Mexican fixture.

 

Near “Mi Pueblo” restaurant, you will find the Frida Kahlo Museum, a hard-to-miss spot as it’s located in a highly visible corner. Unfortunately, the place was closed the day I went there but I managed to take a picture of the amazing portrait of Frida in the big wall outside the museum. In short, La Quinta is the kind of spot that mixes both Mexican and international sights, sounds and tastes while wielding the power to gather all types of people. People looking for a spot to see and be seen, to eat, drink and shop while enjoy the amazing Caribbean weather and warm winds.

 

42DB803E-F757-4BBF-9533-4BC94636ACC5Frida Kahlo Museum

 

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Andrea

Let your light shine!

 

 

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Meet Me

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Hi there, I’m Andrea De La Torre. That’s how people recognize me. A few years ago I started posting on social media as a way to explore new things, new tools in the digital world and also have fun. I’ve been doing this through my personal accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I started doing this simply to be part of what then was a new way of getting connected with others. But as a marketer/businesswoman, I’m always looking for new trends and yes, challenges. That’s why in 2015 I went back to school. I went U of T to get a certificate in Digital Marketing and had the opportunity to study these new tools and channels at the professional level while doing some networking in the process. I really enjoyed it. Actually, I would definitely come back to the academic world sometime again in the future!

The thing is, a very specific idea has been floating in my head for the past few weeks. While building my Instagram follower base I decided it would be exciting to start my own personal lifestyle blog,  and that’s what I’m doing! At first, I thought I’d start blogging about my last trip but then I decided I would share with you a little bit about me first so you could know me better. Yay!

That being said, in the upcoming blog entries, you can expect to be immersed in my life experiences, travels, restaurant trips, and shopping sprees. More than registering my own memories this would be a good opportunity to share my thoughts with you. I am very excited to start this new adventure – my own personal lifestyle blog.

See you around!

With love, Andrea

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