Return of the Lost Blogger

A few weeks ago Claire from a monkey fatshionista came over to try out a bit of video blogging.  After a long chat about plus size fashion which kept being disrupted by my dog Porthos breaking continuity her lovely husband Rob was press ganged into taking a few photos for me to allow me actually put up a blog post.

They were slightly lacking in preparation for me, hence the mad ungroomed hair etc.  They are however very good and gives me a chance to actually blog again.

My husband Andrew just can’t be bribed into taking photos of me, I have a camera that doesn’t have the swivel round screen or a decent tripod so I guess I have slipped into doing a lot of instagram.

Its nice to be able to share some words too, so I’m going to try and find a work around on this one.

I thought I would start with this jumpsuit.  I really fancied the idea of a jumpsuit  this summer after being given one last year by Em which I unexpectedly really liked.  I have tried about 6 to get to one that I wanted to keep.  I loved the Cut for Evans jumpsuit but it just wasn’t good on me.  Pleats in the wrong places.  I also tried another couple of asos ones and a New Look inspire one before getting to this.  The main problem for me was that the legs were just too baggy or wide on most of them.  I have slim legs and being fairly small need to keep to a fairly fitted leg.

I love this one

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The jumpsuit is from Asos Curve & is really comfortable.  What I love about it is you can dress it up or down.  It looks great with a biker jacket but becomes very 70’s disco with a pair of wedges and some gold jewels.    I have my eye on a black Junarose one now too.  

The necklace is from Topshop and the shoes are an Evans pair from last year.

Pop Yo Colour

Im really sorry this is a week late. I have had yet another cold which laid me low and just a bit of general malaise. I have really enjoyed this work wear challenge so I was determined to do it, even if late. Im now also late with this week but it will be done by the end of the week.

This week its about wearing a bit of colour. This dress is a bit of a favourite of mine, its really easy to wear and dress up or down. Its quite structural and fluid so its not that easy to photograph. It kind of moves with you.

Its a Mary Portas dress which is sold in House of Fraser. I would really suggest that you give Mary Portas a look. A lot of shapes are cut oversizes and the quality is really good. The shapes are simple and well cut. Its worth going into the shop and trying on as this dress is a size 16.

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The colour is a good strong cobalt blue and you can change the look of it with different accessories. Today I wore it with my Tatty Devine dinosaur teeth necklace.

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I was lucky enough to get this necklace at the Tatty sample sale for £20! A steal.

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Lastly this weeks puppy porn

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Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers in challenge, especially my blogging partner Gemma.

Naomi – http://www.diamondsnpearls.co.uk
@naomi_griffiths

Amy – http://www.thesegirlsturnheads.blogspot.co.uk
@missamysimon

Claire – http://www.amonkeyfatshionista.co.uk
@chattermonkey

Hanna – http://www.thewardrobechallenge.co.uk
@fattyschallenge

Laura – http://www.whatlauralovesuk.com
@whatlauraloves

Rosie – http://www.aroselikethis.blogspot.co.uk
@rosieroundface

Gemma – http://www.pinkgemmaplus.blogspot.co.uk
@pinkgemma

Sara – http://www.confusedbrit.wordpress.com
@sarascribblings

Beth – http://www.tinkerbellandthelostgirls.blogspot.co.uk
@tinkslostgirls

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

So week 3 and I have successfully managed to blog every week on time! Despite having to improvise on the photos etc. I have really enjoyed this and the challenge has given me the discipline to do this.

Lets do the outfit first. This is very much out of my comfort zone. I managed to get it at the Anna Scholz sample sale. I had loved it when I saw it in her collection but it was so not me that I didnt really consider getting it. When it sat there at the sample sale, one on its own I took it to try. I tried it on and liked it but thought, nah its not me. The reason why this is not normally me or in my comfort zone is, the ruching and detail down the middle ( Im strictly a bit of ruching 40’s style pulling in to one side of the waist), the colour palette and the fact its a fairly in your face print.

But, I kept going back to it and trying it on again and thinking mmm I like it. The dress was such a steal on its original price that I decided to take a chance on it.

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I picked a really great week to wear this temperature wise, its bloody freezing and the dress is Anna’s amazing stretch silk. So I teamed it with leggings. Sorry the shoes came off but they were a pair of Nine West’s classic pointy toe courts.

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As the dress does the talking I toned down the accessories this week

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The necklace I got when I went to New York last year

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This is a detail of the print

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So outfit wise

Dress – Anna Scholz White Label
Leggings – Evans
Necklace – The Shape of Lies NY

The other thing that happened this week was that I went to a brief bit of British Plus Sized Fashion Weekend. I had really been in two minds about this from the start. I kind of applaud them for wanting to have a high profile mainstream approach to plus size fashion. I wasn’t so keen on the way that I did feel this event was excluding the people who are excluded from mainstream fashion. I wasnt very keen on the idea of the blogger only press day. Bloggers play a really important and influential part in taking forward plus fashion but it just didnt sit right with me. I did also not like the lack of acknowledgment of the work that both Plus London 1& 2 and Plus North have done.

Im a bit of a crap blogger and never seem to get on the right PR lists, so it was really important to me that I felt completely included and that my opinion was valid. Which was very much how the Plus London events were. I have also made some amazing friends through this.

However I was impressed that the fashion show had attracted some designers that I was really interested in. Namely One One Three and Cult of Cali. So I decided to buy a ticket for the fashion show, which was £20. It also gave me the chance to look at the marketplace and hopefully buy the 113 dress I was eying up.

Unknown to me my husband had got theatre tickets for Valentines. Kristen Scott-Thomas no less in Old Times. So I was really under a time pressure to get in look at the marketplace see about 45 mins of fashion and shoot out to get to theatre. I got there just before 5, so I thought a good hour to chat and look at the fashion. The market place was in a smallish hall that was pretty crowded and had a mixture of stalls, some selling cupcakes. I have to say I do agree with buttercupsfrocks on this point re this being a bit of pastiche.

Unfortunately, 113 wasnt even there that day ( only the exclusive press day) and cult of cali and the amazing Jen in the amazing Galaxy dress was packing up her stuff to take it upstairs for the fashion show. In fact a few people were packing up. So if you arrived for the fashion show you weren’t really getting the best of the market place. So disappointing.

We werent allowed upstairs for the fashion show until close to 6. There was nowhere to sit down and relax or refreshments. So lots of us stood crowded waiting in a stuffy corridor. Once again the best thing was the people there. The amazing Bethany ( my arched eyebrow), Boombands Em (oh the places you’ll go) , Amy Simon (These girls turn heads), Danielle (Danielle Varnier) , Becky (Mrs Be Be)and I met Buttercup. My bloody wordpress link thing is not working so please look up their links. It was great to see them and generally amazingly dressed women. This was the best bit of the day for me and I think many others.

Eventually they let us in to the runway. I was excited to see the clothes and the designers and Velvet whose Volup2 magazine is amazing. Even if I wouldnt get to see it all.

Oh no ladies! We had a very late start. Around 6.30 the mc came on, a female comedian in an ” I dont want to be a size zero t-shirt. Who made I felt, inappropriate comments well reported elsewhere about thin women. Time was a ticking. I though well maybe I might get to see 10 mins. No, we then had the deputy mayor giving a speech. At 6.40 I could hold on no longer and had to exit seeing none of the fashion. As I was going down the stairs the first set of models were waiting to come in. So £20 not a brilliant market place & no fashion show. Apart from seeing the other women, pretty much a waste of time for me. I do feel if your going to charge people a not insubstantial amount £45 for the day. You have to be organised better than this, particularly if your touting yourself as the premier plus size fashion event. Yes fashion shows run late, but we weren’t sitting waiting for Anna Wintour to dash over from the Tom Ford show, and we were being charged for the pleasure! I wont comment on the show as I had to leave and others have done this really well.

I really hope this continues and the more fashion based events the better but the organisation really need to improve and I think the ethos needs a bit of a rethink.

Lastly as always I will close with the now I think expected puppy porn. As the accessories are low key he’s helping showcase the print and fabric.

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As always please check out the other challenge bloggers posts

Naomi – http://www.diamondsnpearls.co.uk
@naomi_griffiths

Amy – http://www.thesegirlsturnheads.blogspot.co.uk
@missamysimon

Claire – http://www.amonkeyfatshionista.co.uk
@chattermonkey

Hanna – http://www.thewardrobechallenge.co.uk
@fattyschallenge

Laura – http://www.whatlauralovesuk.com
@whatlauraloves

Rosie – http://www.aroselikethis.blogspot.co.uk
@rosieroundface

Gemma – http://www.pinkgemmaplus.blogspot.co.uk
@pinkgemma

Sara – http://www.confusedbrit.wordpress.com
@sarascribblings

Beth – http://www.tinkerbellandthelostgirls.blogspot.co.uk
@tinkslostgirls

Pencil Skirts and Pussy Bows

So its Valentines Day!

I hope everyone has had love in their life in one form or other today. Im just typing this up quickly before making some dinner for my lovely husband. M&S Dine in for Two special. Lovely. Husband on lates so once again somewhat cobbled together photos.

The challenge this week is pencil skirts and pussy bow blouses. I love a pencil skirt so it had to be that. The pencil skirt I have chosen is the very elusive asos curve multi sequin one. This was one of those pieces that appears and disappears from curve. Luckily Clare aka chattermonkey keeps an eagle eye out and spots when the odd one lands back on the site. So I was lucky to get it.

I hadnt managed to find the right place to wear it as I was ill all over Christmas so I decided to dress it down for work.

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I had to add the blazer to make it a bit formal so sorry for the two weeks of blazer. I wore it with a vintage style t-shirt, a replica of an original New Order t shirt I once had. I wore it with some ankle biker boots I have had for a couple of years from Evans.

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The accessories today is a sale bargain from Christmas 2011 a bargain £8 from River Island who do fab accessories

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So outfit is
Skirt – Asos Curve
T-Shirt – Topshop
Necklace – River Island
Blazer – H&M
Boots – Evans

This is a detail shot of the sequins and the necklace

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Finally, once again a bit of accessory puppy porn

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So sorry for the quick post today but please check out the other blogs in the challenge below. Once again my partner this week is Gemma.

Naomi – http://www.diamondsnpearls.co.uk
@naomi_griffiths

Amy – http://www.thesegirlsturnheads.blogspot.co.uk
@missamysimon

Claire – http://www.amonkeyfatshionista.co.uk
@chattermonkey

Hanna – http://www.thewardrobechallenge.co.uk
@fattyschallenge

Laura – http://www.whatlauralovesuk.com
@whatlauraloves

Rosie – http://www.aroselikethis.blogspot.co.uk
@rosieroundface

Gemma – http://www.pinkgemmaplus.blogspot.co.uk
@pinkgemma

Sara – http://www.confusedbrit.wordpress.com
@sarascribblings

Beth – http://www.tinkerbellandthelostgirls.blogspot.co.uk
@tinkslostgirls

Back to Black

I wanted to do a quick post as its been a while since I last put anything up. This is mostly due to just being busy at work, back late, tired and visitors at the weekend.

So a couple of outfit posts and bit of looking forward.

Since my last post we had a bit of a downturn in the weather. Most of you know what a winter child I am, so the prospect of a rainy summer was not all that much of a tragedy for me. So it let me get a couple of sneaky winter leaning outfits in.

I just wanted to show you my Clements Ribeiro shell top for Evans. I love this top. When I first bought them I wasnt sure that I hadn’t made a bit of a mistake. Then I wore the purple one with skinny jeans in NY and have worn it lots since. I was a bit stuck with the black one though. Bit too voluminous to wear with dress trousers and cant wear jeans for work. I tried it with leggings. I like it! Im lucky in that my legs are my thinnest part, so with my Evans high black platforms its an outfit I really love wearing.

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Shell top – Clements Ribeiro for Evans
Leggings – Evans
Shoes – Evans

Im really looking forward to the A/W collection. The 3 pieces I bought have been worth every penny. This is a rare total Evans outfit for me. I dont buy a lot from Evans these days as I find it just doesn’t do fashion any more, but I will be back for the next collection launch.

I also managed to get a bit of a sneaky A/W outfit in. Im so looking forward to next season. Loads of dark dramatic clothes. Goth glam, embellished baroque to the simple lines of Raph’s last collection for Jil Sander. So this was a bit of a joy.

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Dress – GAP
Biker Jacket – Simply Be
Necklace – Top Shop

This biker jacket is from Simply Be a few years ago. Its just starting to soften up properly and feel really comfortable. Biker jackets are due to be huge this A/W with lots already appearing in the high street new season drops.

The last thing I have to add is a quick look at my first Etsy purchase. This is a kaftan from Golddust Dresses. They use 70’s patterns and vintage printed Indian cotton fabric. Can I just say this is a lovely lovely thing. It could go so badly wrong but its beautiful. Its quite fitted around the top and the bust and then flows in a gradual bias cut. Its very flattering. I got it to swan around on my holiday to Mexico but its just too nice, so it will get more summer outings and I will definitely be wearing it with the biker jacket and boots in the winter.

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I will do a better post on this with better pictures soon.

I have already succumbed and got the odd bit of A/W from the stuff coming into store. I have ordered a winter coat. This is an M&S Autograph coat that is very Jil Sander in style and very much one of the big story’s for next season. Its a very simple cocoon shape in an amazing Royal Blue. It goes up to 22 but may also fit a bit bigger as its a little over size. The pictures on the web dont do it justice, especially the colour and the shape. Apparently its selling out very quickly, as usual especially in the bigger sizes so if you like the look of it get it soon. I get very frustrated by the coat issue and rarely buy a coat from a plus retailer. They just dont seem to get them right, they are always a bit off, late and the fabric never seems to have an edge or shape if its needed. They seem to make a particular mess of military coats. I really do wish they would realise that some of us suit a strong silhouette and sculptural shapes.

M&S Autograph Cocoon Coat

I also bought this sweatshirt from the Indigo range which really has the odd gem. Again going towards the embellished trend for winter. I think I will wear this with dark jeans and maxi skirts, probably also over a pencil skirt and shoe boots. Again this looks much better in the flesh.

M&S Indigo Embellished Sweatshirt

Firework

After being away for so long I wanted to post again quite quickly. Especially around my Mary Portas discovery.

Last week I went shopping with my friend Paula to get her a wedding outfit. Her first point of call was House of Fraser to look at the Mary Portas range. When we got in there I started to have a moan at one of the assistants ( the guy Mary nearly sacked in the documentary series if you watched) about how disappointed I was that Mary had limited the size range at 16/18, when he said,
“Oh but some of the range now goes up to 20 . . . and with some styles being over sized we have customers who 24 and 26 buying stuff.”

How did I miss this!? I have always liked the Mary Portas range and been a bit frankly pissed off at Mary for abandoning women who want fashion but are over 16.

So while helping Paula to find an outfit I felt it was almost my duty to try a few things on. The range has a lot of well cut simple items but many with a twist or a little bit of edge. I wouldnt even say its aimed at the more mature women. On my second visit this Friday a teenage girl was in there with her mother persuading her to buy sale and non sale bargains for her. The sale by the way is very good. My friend Paula got a fabulous emerald green crepe dress reduced from £130 to £40.

Did `I end up with a sale bargain. Oh no, (well I did a bit) but full price first. I bought the firework print tunic.

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I broke it up with leggings and some high black wedges to go and see some jazz with Andrew. I really like it. The print is amazing, its very comfortable and hangs really well. I would also wear it opaque tights or tanned bare legs. If your my height 5’4 ish you probably need heels. I also took one without the flash `I think you can see the print better.

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In regards to sale bargains I also got the volume sheer shirt, a sheer cotton shirt with full sleeves and then went back and got a similar shape dress in a bright yellow and pink print reduced from £130 to £36. Valerie from Blog to be Alive had picked it up on her flying visit to London this Wednesday and it inspired me to go back. I will blog it soon when I wear it.

I would just say the assistants in Mary Portas are brilliant. Its a really good shopping environment and the staff are very knowledgable about the range and what will suit you. They give an honest opinion and look after you very well. Really all you would want from a fashion assistant.

Andrew and I went to The Hideaway which is new jazz club in Streatham, yes Streatham. Its really good, great sound, decent food, bottle of wine for £15 and they get great acts. Last night we went to see The Dirty Martinis which Lea Delaria fronts. A really fun night, she has an amazing voice and is also very funny. This is a pic of her and Andrew.

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A couple of other quick weekend off outfits. This is for my Friday day off hair cut and lunch evening date with my husband.

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Top-New Look Inspire (top has a split back and is really a good deal)
Trouser – New Look Inspire
Necklace – Top Shop concession

Saturday mooching about in Brixton

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Top – Clement Ribeiro for Evans
Jeans – Marks and Spencers
Necklace – Vintage Spitalfields market
Shoes as ever Havianas

I like this CB top, especially with skinny jeans. Its very cool and comfortable to wear and if there is any left in the sale I would recommend it.

So whats everyone wearing for Unskinny Bop Prom?

Also its Plus North this weekend and if your thinking about going – GO! I met such a great set of women through Plus London, some of whom have now become friends.

New York – Part 2

I really enjoyed doing the first post and got some great feedback already, so I actually was quite keen to do the Part 2. On the advice of Chattermonkey I have also invested in a photo editing app so hopefully the photos will also be the right way up this time.

I hate having my photo taken, not necessarily to do with size but just that I dont seem to translate well or look like me (apart from my wedding pics strangely, I will put one up so you can see what I mean at some point). I tend to avoid it at all costs, but I have to say just deciding to do this and having the husband take outfit shots over the last week has already made me a bit less camera wary. So thats a good thing.

Anyway, New York. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the clothes shopping this time. Every trip to New York is different for me and sometimes its hard core shopping and others hard core mooching or sightseeing. This time it was very much about hanging out with my husband and doing some planned stuff and just what happens stuff.

Like here some of the plus size stores have gone from the city. Lane Bryant who had a store on 34th street and was very convenient has gone. Lane Bryant is good for work wear and is a bit better quality Evans, but it does occassionally have some gems. It also stocks 7 for all mankind jeans and a wide range of Spanx shapewear. Old Navy no longer stocks the plus range in its stores. Also the lovely Redress NYC has now gone.

I did visit Forever 21. In Manhattan the Times Square store has a pretty big selection of the Forever 21+ range. The store is wildly busy, go on a weekday or late at night. I wasnt wildly impressed. They did have an amazing cobalt blue blazer in there which was only $29! However there was only one left in the whole of NY and it was you guessed it the smallest size. Apparently the bigger sizes in the range sell out pretty much straight away, so it was fairly frustrating in that some of the things i did like were only in the small sizes in the range. Also I think i have already said that Im not a lover of this season and I think that had a lot to do with it. I did actually get to the point that I am boring myself buying black. I like strong colours but I just cant do the pastels and the ghastly sorbet colours, busy prints etc. Forever 21+ was pretty much like this and the main line range, it was also quite 80’s but in a bad way in my opinion. In fact I have pretty much given up and have accepted that I am shopping for A/W 12 now (more of this later). In the spirit of this I did buy a black chiffon, low high hem dress which will be worn with biker jacket in the A/W.

Macys has whole floor of plus ranges. Again can be a bit old wifey but worth looking. I noticed this time I was in there they seemed to have dropped some of the junior ranges. it used to be great for jeans but I think Apple Bottoms and Baby Phat have gone. Annoyingly the do stock the Levis body fit ranges but, yes you have guessed it only small sizes left ladies. Levis dont currently supply this range in plus sizes in the uk and dont stock them in their Levis stores in the US. They do also stock Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren plus ranges. Calvin Klein had a great pair of emerald green cigarette trousers which I definitely would have got. Yes only small sizes ladies. This is the frustration shopping out there.

Brooklyn does seem like a good bet. There is a big Lane Bryant there, a Forever 21 stocking the + range and Torrid is opening a store there shortly, the first in central NY. Brooklyn is definitely worth a look anyway. Some great shops in Williamsburg and Boerum Hill.

On the Saturday night the husband and I went to the 21 club for dinner, which is where we got married for a belated anniversary dinner. Its very old school patrician NY with impeccable service and amazing food.

I wore my Clements Ribeiro for Evans “Betty” dress and the Evans high suede wedges. I do love this dress. It felt very Mad Men. It was very comfortable to wear and felt very Elegant.

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Again looked a bit better in real life than the photo. We had a great night and also got a tour of the secret wine cellar from prohibition which was amazing.

After buying a vintage rabbit fur coat from ebay, which I have pretty much lived in for the winter. One of the things I was keen to do was to explore some of the vintage fur shops in NY. There are a lot more out there as due to the very cold winters people do wear fur more and part exchange their fur. I know this is a bit of an emotive issue and personally I would never wear or buy new fur but i do feel ok buying vintage. So during some freak spring weather in NY and on one of the hottest April days on record, over 90 degrees I went to Ritz furs on 29th and 7th street. Ritz furs used to be Ritz Furs Thrift shop and specialise in pre-owned and vintage fur. Compared to the odd plus size fur that you can find on ebay or in vintage shops, this store had lots for me to try. I didnt really go in there with the aim to buy but the coat was there waiting for me.

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Its so lovely! So once again Im shopping for AW and now wishing summer over. Im giving the coat a couple of weeks for a possible cold weekend and then it will need to go into cold storage for the summer.
You can also get a glimpse of my favourite daytime outfit of the week which I didnt get a good picture of. I wore the pansy print tunic by Clements Ribeiro for Evans and loved it. I wasnt sure at first but I wore it with skinny jeans and converse trainers. It looked better dressed down a bit and it was cool and comfortable.

On Monday to belatedly celebrate my birthday we went back to the East Village for drinks. We went to a few bars around East 6th and 7th street and back to Death and Company. Which once you are in there is just great. I love cocktails and am a real purist about it. These were very well made and the bar has a great vibe to it
This is the outfit I wore for drinks

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Jacket – New Look inspire from monkeyfatshionistas clothes swap
Top – GAP pure range
Jeans – New Look Inspire
Shoes – cant see in picture Evans Black suede wedges
Necklace – Tatty Devine

I love, love, love New York. We did very New Yorky and tourist things, including the sightseeing bus which I really would recommend, especially if you haven’t been before as it gives you a quick flavour of the whole city and where you might want to go. Also with the one we went with you get a free boat trip, again not to be missed. These last two photos just sum up NY for me. The amazing blue skies and my favourite building ever the Empire State Building.

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