Women’s March Oakland. Haute Drop-Off.

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I had to take a selfie before taking off to Oakland. If you know me well, you have free reign to poke fun; It seems like I’m attempting to morph into a contrived character out of a Free People catalog, I can see them advertising ‘free spirit protest clothing on sale after January 22′. And what my look says most likely is, “hey, I’m going to a protest, so let me draw a piece sign on my stomach, and wear something bohemian, but still stylish” I get it guys, and I admit it.  BUT when am I ever going to get a chance to draw a peace sign on my stomach and not get punched for it?

The issue is peace signs are so contrived, even if I still love them.  But there is a new symbol taking over, the VULVA. The vulva was the official symbol of the Women’s March. Women dressed as Vulvas, drew them and wore clothing with vulvas as the main theme. I am not great at drawing, so a last minute vulva sketch on my stomach was an impossible task – but know that I will be prepared at the next march.

FASHION NOTES: Plaid top: Zara, Denim, distressed tank: Intermix, Jeans: MOTHER, Moccasins: Minnetonka, Socks: Urban Outfitters

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I ran to CVS in a creepy area near my house, I kept thinking how I’m buying posters to protest for Women’s rights, and I’m nervous that a man is going to attack me in the dark, desolate parking lot. I also thought it very sorority like to buy poster board and sharpees at CVS, it’s good I have terrible handwriting, which always makes me seem legit!!  IMG_0779

My friends Willa and Eric, who happen to be with my family when Trump was elected. We were all horrified, and figured we should march together.

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This is en route to the Oakland march, tons of Police cars and traffic. My friend Eric brought a gorgeous Leica film camera to document the march, he didn’t want to waste any photos on us – – -bastard!!

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This march was filled with mothers and kids, families  – as a mother, I know how hard it is to stand/walk in a crowded place with kids for hours – this is so important for younger generations to participate and witness.

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My favorite sign, it had such a fashion angle. The signs were exceptional.

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Here I am, holding my sign high and proud – I make so many jokes, but the reality is serious here. I’ve struggled as a woman, like all of us  – but my basic rights have not personally been threatened. I thank the generations of women before me who stood up for equality  -we’re still not there yet – and the President elect has threatened our basic rights, and I’m not going to stand still and be silent. This is not a political issue – this is a human issue. Proud to stand with so many vocal Americans, who refuse to be muted. May we continue to be vocal, fight back and refuse to accept mistreatment, lack of human rights and inequality for all people.

Haute Temporary Butt Implants…

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I decided to be a Kardashian for Halloween.  We all know, it was just an excuse for me to stuff pull ups in my jeans, and finally get to exist in society with an impressive backside. I promise you I’m deep and soulful, but I have many sides, and one includes me clicking on a You Tube video explaining how to achieve a larger butt by utilizing pull ups.

Pull Ups, as you know are used as night time diapers for kids  – they aren’t cheap, I remember. But lucky for me, my friend Amy kindly lent me some – organic even! The first night I wore them, they worked – it was very hard to use the bathroom and re-stuff my self in a small bathroom at a party – I did look very lumpy by the middle of the night. I suggest you use tight, but stretchy jeans.

At the Halloween Party, people were staring at me – especially females – I knew they were wondering if I had implants, but they also know that Marin County is not Miami. It was pretty clear, after a few bathroom visits, and not placing the pull ups correctly that I was smuggling something in my jeans, and it didn’t look pretty.

Here’s the link to the video, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uXcqw0Gjq4E

Get my Look above: 6 pull ups, Zara heels, Gap Skinny jeans, H&M bomber jacket, gold hoops, Chanel bag, braids and lots of eyeliner.

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My little Axl Rose, Liam wanted a Slash side kick, but not many 10 year old kids want to dress up like Slash.

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I had to switch to high top Adidas, and my enormous Louis Vuitton Speedy bag to carry my camera and candy (I like candy) when we went trick-or-treating.  Look at my butt profile – impressive, huh?

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Liam is the only member of my family who will pose with me for my blog, or any social media.. Please say the kid continues to help his mama out 🙂

But all in all, after much serious research, It’s conclusive, blondes don’t have more fun, but those who stuff their jeans with Pull Ups, actually have the most fun….

My “grass roots” Drop-Off Style (when I’m not in leggings)

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Me. September 2016. Marin County. Shots by T. Palmer.

I’m not smiling in these (okay, I’m making that semi-weird lip expression), it was the first run & I’m a little rusty and a lot self conscious  – I warm up in the photos you’ll see in a few weeks.  Although, I will admit to feeling like I did a pretty good job pulling together this look from my closet – what? self-validation people!

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This basket weaved leather bag was a great summer purchase – $40.00 from Lola’s in Fairfax, CA – when I wear this bag, I get stopped constantly. My friend Em-J, who’s a very stylin’ twenty-something, surfing, mountain biking woman – has been on a constant search to find this bag, because she knows her friend Mara, has quite the eye for accessories & good prices (I’m kidding, but I do).

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The choker is a long chain, made by Shandi Levy Jewelry. Chokers are here for now, and I’m still not sure if they look right on me, because I don’t have the neck of a ballet dancer. This dress is from H&M, and it was very cheap. I impulsively shortened it, by cutting it with scissors and it came out uneven. It was my multi-talented & close friend Barb, who fixed the dress & made it wearable. It looks shredded and low end, but that doesn’t matter to me – accessories are key. The plaid top, also cut by yours truly, (so happy Grunge is back “in”) is by Zara. The gladiator sandals I LOVE, and found on sale at 02 in Aspen this summer. They are by Vince Camuto.

The sandals I guess seem sexy, because I get some “looks” when wearing them. They are totally flat with no heel, which makes them causal and wearable – but I guess the look of them seems out of the box for some…I’ve just been enjoying pairing them with everything in my closet – including the boring, but repeated yoga pant!!

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My nails are long again, they are acrylic and high maintenance. The males in my life think they are awful, but women usually love them. I love them, they elongate your hands and make me feel like I’m related to J.Lo :).

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I really look like I’m trying here….oy vey!

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The only issue with this dress and wearing it to pick up my kids is the wind factor. It’s always windy in Northern California, especially in San Francisco. I walk with my arms attached to my side or make all my bags messenger, to hold my dress down, I would wear dresses every day if it wasn’t windy –

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And a close up, sunglasses are on for reasons of vanity…

The New York Times. My Style Validator.

Mara Meter

Me. San Rafael, California. Unable to remove my credit card from the meter

Yes,  this has happened to me before and no, I’ll never learn.  Why aren’t our tax dollars going toward meters that can accommodate various nail lengths? Is our society only built for hands with regular length nails?

Fashion Notes: Moccasins: Minnetonka, Leggings: Lululemon, Bag: Chanel, Top: Zara

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If you look closely, you can see my green credit card stuck..until I solicited help from a very confused meter maid – apparently, they are not in the business of helping people who choose style over function. But, with my “charming” persistence, I was able to get the help I needed.

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Nails are so “in” right now. As usual, I’ve been pulling off these bad boys for a few years. It started with Madonna on the cover of VOGUE, with long, pointy gold nails. I had to have them. No matter how many of you, were horrified by what you labeled “cheesy” – I pulled through and proved you all wrong.

My own mother was not a fan of my long, semi-pointy nails. Until, the Jewish bible (aka, The New York Times) ran a Sunday fashion story on this nail trend, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/11/t-magazine/fashion/long-pointed-nails-trend-manicure.html?_r=0

So once again, it has been proven that I have quite a style instinct, thank you Fashion of the Times.

Maybe I can’t type or use a regular phone, maybe I didn’t hang up my phone properly and someone had to hear me yell at my offspring, maybe I accidentally lit a nail on fire and didn’t notice, until my child pointed it out – but it’s all worth it, in the name of style.

Some Haute moms and their long nails:

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Glowing & Haute in Ojai. (and my attempt at “hippie”)

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Sarah. Ojai, California. 2015.

A California mama in Ojai – relaxed, non-complicated, smiling…It’s all very California, even in the way Sarah is dressed – a floppy hat reminiscent of the 70’s, her shiny straight hair, striped fitted dress and an authentic smile… I’ll never look this easy breezy  – right?

There is a difference in style between LA, which is always on point, very sexy and laid back bohemian – but in places like Ojai and Joshua Tree, the style seems to be vintage, and the period 1970’s. I think it’s funny that when people visit Joshua Tree, they even pack like they are headed to a music festival or the original Woodstock.  I’ve attempted this look, but I always come out looking Miami.. like this:

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Shot of me by T. Palmer.

Fashion Notes: Boots: Miss Sixty, Skirt: Zara, Top: vintage & designed knitted by my mama, Bag: Dooney & Bourke 1980 Bucket Bag, Cocktail Ring: Vintage Paris, Earrings: Shandi Levy Jewelry

I’m going to New York City tomorrow, and I haven’t packed – but I know, my suitcase will be filled with much more cool looking and funkier clothing then I wear in California. When I’m in NYC, I pull out my real style and feel like I can get away with anything – it’s so fun. This week I think I may even wear my Adidas high tops all day – and leave the heels at home. CRAAAAAZZZZYYYY!!

Shots by Angela Izzo, www.izzoimages.com – photographer, artist, filmmaker. Instagram https://www.instagram.com/izzoimages/

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Feeling Exposed, My Workout Style…

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Fashion Notes: Minnetonka moccasins, Lululemon Boogie shorts, Bag purchased in Barcelona, Uniqlo puffy jacket in navy.

I’ve come to the realization that I actually am that person, that “mom” who wears workout clothing every day – even without working out. Is it the support of the spandex, which offers me comfort? Whatever it may be, I still get stopped quite frequently (don’t roll your eyes), complimenting me on my different looks. It always surprises me, because I’m not even wearing proper clothing. If I lived in NYC, London or Paris – no chance I would spend my days in leggings..but I live somewhere, where it’s more acceptable. But it does get boring staring at a sea of Patagonia jackets and Lululemon leggings, and of course “reasonable” sneakers.  So once again, I put together a few looks on what I wear to make my workout clothing sexier, cooler and most importantly stylish.

So these looks are exaggerated, I’m sucking in and only showing you my best angles..When I leave the gym, I change – I add accessories, change my shoes etc.. I know it’s gross that I don’t shower, but who has time?  For more of my workout style tips..http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/how-to-be-a-style-icon-in_b_4898418.html

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Fashion Notes: Vintage GAP fanny pack (don’t be jealous), North Face cropped Jacket, Michael Stars Tank (but badly by me), Bangles by Shandi Levy Jewelry & India, Alternative Leggings

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Fashion Notes: Adidas slides, Chloe T-shirt, Leggings from TJ Max, Chanel Classic bag, Ralph Lauren vintage blue blazer (courtesy of one of my brother’s Bar Mitzvah’s), Door Knocker Earrings from Amazon, Socks??

Yes, Adidas slides are cool! The Adidas slides have been huge in Paris for a while now, especially worn with skirts. The problem for me, is that most people don’t know or care about style..so they see me walking around with socks and slides, and assume I’m a lunatic – which I am, but I also have a “look” – which usually is appreciated in cities like Paris and NYC. I once had an outfit on, and my Step-Father thought it was quite funny looking – as we walked down Madison, a man in a taxi had the taxi pull over, and asked me if I would appear in his boyfriend’s fashion show..”you are fierce”, he said to me. Validation baby!!

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Fashion Notes: Leggings from REI, by North Face, Vintage GAP fanny pack, Tribal leather jacket, Chanel Bag, Elizabeth & James Tank

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Fashion Notes: Miu Miu bag (it’s so huge, I can’t find anything), Marc Jacobs jean skirt, Chloe top, Uniqlo puffy, Armani aviators

I basically re-wear the same things over and over – but try to mix things up, to not seem like such a repeater – but I do a terrible job. I’m a lover of bags and earrings, so that’s my way of making my look a little less boring.

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I realize most of you aren’t running around in cropped shirts – and my style may be influenced by Miami – but style is about having fun – and NO JUDGMENTS!!

Fashion Shots by T. Palmer

 

Miami Mamas Don’t Do Mini-Vans.

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Vicky. Miami, Florida. December 2015.

Vicky is from Mexico City.  She studied Fashion Design and had her own line in Mexico City.  Currently, Vicky is living in Miami and using her skills as a painter and designer to create beautiful & fashionable Yoga mats. Her Yoga mat line is launching soon, this will help me “keep my eyes on my own mat”  -as I sometimes have an issue with focusing…ALWAYS, actually.

I’m pretty sure Janis Joplin wrote “Mercedes Benz” after a trip to Miami..”Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.” Miami is known for its cars and I love that Vicky squeezed three kids in this Porsche.

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Decades after Janis Joplin’s song, Will Smith wrote specifically about Miami’s love of fancy cars in his song Welcome to Miami..”Hundred thousand dollar cars, everybody got ’em”… It’s kind of true – in Miami, it’s not only the wealthy who drive fancy cars. And certainly having kids would never stop Miamians from driving Porsches etc..

My mom drove a station wagon, and that wasn’t the norm..it was convertibles, two-door Mercedes and expensive sports cars. Personally, nothing made me feel cooler than riding around in my Mamas wood paneled station wagon as a kid in Miami – we were “retro” before “retro’ was considered cool. I’m totally kidding, we felt totally dorky in my mom’s station wagon – and my brother reminded me that a wire stuck out of the back, which accidentally caused gashes on our friend’s skin.

My friend’s mom drove a Porsche convertible, that car would pull up to school drop-off and arouse serious attention, my mom’s wagon..not so much. So in some way, I appreciate Vicky squeezing a family into a small, fancy sports car..

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Bag: Hermès

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Shoes: Loeffler Randall at Intermix, www.intermix.com  – I love Intermix, especially when they have sales.

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She’s so pretty and natural with glowing Miami skin. Cap Sleeve Blouse: Zara

Fedora Baby. Soccer Drop-Off.

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Fairfax, California. Soccer Season. November 2015.

I’m on the soccer field a lot, this is true. I’ve learned to wear flat shoes, I’ve learned to bring sun protection and water – but the people around me, who taught me all of the above, have not learned how to have a little fun with clothing (well except one mom, who wore a bikini on the field) – this dad, although not dressed like a style icon, had some fun – and I give him mad credit.

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I loved seeing this dad on the sidelines of the soccer field. Maybe it’s because he brought a little personality to the somewhat blandness overtaking Marin County – don’t be all offended, but I think all of us, including me have no time to make an effort  -especially when we’re running from game to game.

This is what I wore to soccer this week, I’ve been very paranoid of the sun and its aging properties. Lets just say, I had sun gloves with me. Note my slight fashion effort – which is minimal, due to lack of time and lack of appreciation by the fans and soccer players.

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Obviously, this dad also is protecting his skin from the sun. I forgot to put on pants though – oops.

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Haute Style Profile.

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“Each month, we ask our stylish mamas and local tastemakers to spill their secrets and share their stuff. Here, the fashion blogger behind Haute Drop-Off, Mara Menachem, lets us in on the one thing she can’t live without. Read on!” (Southern Marin Moms Club Newsletter)

STYLE + BEAUTY

Favorite piece of jewelry: A cocktail ring my mom bought for my grandmother, when she was in Paris, and my grandmother watched the four of us.

One thing in your wardrobe you can’t live without: My jean jacket collection, loving my new grunge one from INTERMIX.

Style Icons: Lisa Bonet, Joy Bryant, Chloe Sevigny, SJP as Carrie Bradshaw, Patricia Field, Anna Dello Russo (editor at VOGUE Japan), Bill Cunningham, because he knows how to pick ’em, Dolly Parton & Tina Turner, the sexiest women in show business at any age.

Daily uniform: Floral shorts, Frye ankle boots, gold door-knocker earrings, jean jacket, and ankle socks (sometimes with Chanel flats).

Jeans: USED. They have to be worn in…or very tight. The butt is everything in jeans.

Swimwear: Brazilians always make the best suits. If you can wear a bikini, tiny floral prints are the most flattering. I always think a black one-piece is classic and elegant.

Favorite accessory: My white Lanvin bag purchased at a consignment store in Aspen, Acid wash jean jacket, gold door-knocker earrings in the largest size made, and my gold hoop nose ring.

Describe your personal style: I adore vintage, accessories, and old handbags. Your 90-year-old grandmother’s closet is an exciting place for me!

Skincare: I’m crazy about Fresh’s Rice Oil. It makes you smell amazing.

Scent: LaVanilla makes great smelling stuff. I admit to liking Patchouli, too.

Lipstick: I stick to clear. Want BIG lips without the surgery? Smashbox O Plump does the trick.

Who colors your hair: Sonja Avallone at Christopher Salon in Mill Valley.

Favorite store: Hidden Treasures in Topanga is unbelievable, the original Century 21, Jeffrey NYC for drooling purposes, Intermix, Goodwill, Zara (but they are now off my list due to some poor practices).

Where do you get a facial: Lisa Perkins 415-272-8108, leave looking dewy and gorgeous.

LIFESTYLE

Must-have: Sun, friends, social interaction.

Influences: I think I’m influenced by humanity, photography.

What inspires you: People inspire me, if I could talk to and observe people as a career, I would.

Item you keep purchasing over and over: Jean jackets.

Something no ones knows about you: I’m shy.

First thing you do every morning: Cuddle with whoever is around.

Signature staple: Short Shorts/Skirt/Dresses.

Pet peeve: Not a lot bothers me, but I would appreciate a nod or a thank you if I open the door for you.

Guilty pleasures: Donuts, talking to strangers & enormous earrings.

Favorite holiday: Halloween is so fun – and I love visiting my brother Seth in LA for Hanukkah, mostly because of the donuts.

Favorite workout: Yoga at Marin Power Yoga & Spinning.

Overrated: Being perfect.

VIRTUAL

Websites you always check: Humans of New York, NY Times, The Sartorialist, Facebook, Page 6 occasionally.

Bloggers you follow: The Sartorialist, Bill Cunningham.

Mama bloggers you follow: Scary Mommy, HuffPost Parents.

On your iPod: Lauryn Hill, lots of 1990’s R&B, Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Run DMC, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Neal Casal.

Favorite people to follow on Instagram: Afropunk

ENTERTAINMENT

Celebrity crush: Ben Harper, Louis CK and Larry David.

Favorite artist, past or present: Bill Cunningham. Not sure if people consider him an artist, but I do. He has made fashion into something that’s not snobby or inaccessible. Michael Moore. He created films that not only
rocked the boat and took major risks and exposed horror, but actually change occurred. I guess that’s not usually the expectation of art, but it’s one I admire.

Best place to hear music: Coming from Miami, Marin/San Francisco is heaven on earth for live music. I think Big Sur is a special place, Greek Theater in Berkeley, and I love The Sweetwater, and when I’m really wanting to be around the “jam band” crowd, it’s Phil Lesh’s place Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael.

Best show on TV: Curb Your Enthusiasm is my all time favorite. I also love Louis CK, and Sex and The City re-runs, I also love watching The Goldberg’s with my kids

Favorite magazine: Psychology Today, I promise they have the most interesting articles.

Favorite book: Animal Farm

Favorite podcast: NPR All Songs Considered and This American Life, and Ted Talks.

PLACES

Favorite museum: The Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Favorite restaurant: Zuma in Miami & my close friend’s husband Vinny Dotolo’s spot Son of a Gun.

Favorite domestic travel spot: Big Sur, Miami & Aspen.

Favorite international travel spot: Someplace new.

Best-kept secret: Rancho Nicasio, it’s an authentic Northern California bar in West Marin.

Favorite city: NYC & London.

Favorite hotel: The Ellerman House in Cape Town – where we stayed on our honeymoon.

Favorite hike: Aspen Mountain, it’s so hard, feels like it’s never going to end…and then it does.

KIDS

First-year must-haves: Friends to tell you it gets better, and lots of nights out to remind you of your life before…

Best day with the kids: The best night for me, was getting in late from the airport on our way to camp, and hanging out in one of those super gas stations drinking slurpees, and talking to people. Taking them to see Super Diamond, the Neil Diamond cover band in Aspen.

Best place to see a movie with your kid(s): Fairfax in town, and Larkspur, my youngest and I had the best date their ever, I took him to see Chef, a little inappropriate.

Kids’ fashion brand: Trunk vintage concert T’s.

Favorite ritual you have with your kid(s): Dance parties, late night desert outings, playing card games, hang man..just being spontaneous, because that’s the mom they got.

Best park: Berkeley Playground or Golden Gate Park.

Favorite children’s movie: Jerry Lewis and Peter Sellers,.. so fun to watch with them, and Vacation (kind of inappropriate).

How Does my Ass Look? Haute in HuffPost.

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“…Landing at JFK at nearly 3:00 a.m., I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings. I was focused on walking from the west side of Central Park to the east, where I could plop on a bench lazily and watch my kids play. “Hold up,” a young guy spoke into his phone, “I’m looking at a damn perfect ass.” 

Click link to read complete article in The Huffington Post…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/how-does-my-ass-look-lessons-on-raising-boys_b_7232490.html

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Fashion Notes: Leggings: American Apparel, Boots: Frye, Bag: Colombian Mochila, Jacket: Zara, Glasses: Polaroid, Fanny Pack: Peru