Monthly Archives: March 2012

Athletic wear moves from field to fashion

By Katie Day

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The light-weight, body-hugging clothing usually reserved for the gym or playing field is popping up everywhere these days, and it’s not just for athletes anymore. Models walked the spring and summer runways of New York Fashion Week in athletic-inspired pieces, showing the world that sweatpants and sneakers can be chic.Rag and Bone, Alexander Wang and Helmut Lang were just a few of the designers to foster the trend.Even Vera Wang featured a wetsuit-inspired dress.The sports look has since left the catwalk and made its way to the streets. SMU students are embracing this athletic-wear trend as well, both student athletes and non-athletes alike.Field Fashion

Junior Jeremy Grey is no stranger to fashion on the field.  During his time on SMU’s football team, he’s built himself a very stylish reputation.

“A lot of the guys on the team call me the King of Swag,” he says.

His extensive collection of exclusive cleats, gloves and tinted visors allow him to express his individuality in his sport.

“I just have to have something that kind of sticks out as my own,” he says.

When Grey chooses his sportswear he looks for not only performance, but for style as well. He’s looking forward to the SMU football program’s switch from Addidas to Nike because he feels Nike provides more room for creativity.

“Now I can really put my own twist on things without getting in trouble with the sponsors,” he says.

When Grey isn’t on the field, he prefers the look of lines like Rugby by Ralph Lauren.

“I really like Rugby because of the fit and the ruggedness of their clothing, and Tom Ford because of the unique designs,” he says.

Staying on top of the game

Yoga pants, sneakers and plenty of spandex can be spotted on SMU Boulevard during any given school day, but most of the students wearing them aren’t going to practice, or even headed to the gym.

They just like the look and feel of athletic wear and choose to wear it throughout the day.

Kelsey Adams, a senior at SMU, is one of many students who opt for the comfort of sportswear over getting dressed up for class as she once did.

“My favorite athletic wear is Lululemon,” she says. “It’s comfortable and flattering without having to put in too much thought into an outfit or look like you’re trying too hard.”

Adams says she finds herself constantly transitioning from work wear for her job to more comfortable clothing, so it’s very convenient for her busy lifestyle that athletic wear is considered fashionable.

“Now I’m usually either coming from work in my dress clothes or in Lululemon,” she says.

Adams isn’t the only fan of the Lululemon look. SMU’s women’s lacrosse team is now sporting new uniforms from the popular athletic apparel company.

Designers tap into the market

High-end designers have taken notice of the growing number of people buying athletic wear for everyday use, and many are using their fashion expertise to design lines of their own.

Love Tennisin Snider Plaza has sold Stella McCartney’s athletic-wear line for Addidas for three seasons now.They have seen it fly off the racks – and not just with tennis players.“It’s the fit and the design of the items that make them different from your typical tennis apparel,” says shop owner Brittain Watson.Designers like Stella McCartney know what colors and shapes are in style, and they carry that knowledge over to their sport lines, making them much more than just sweatpants and shirts, she says.“This season Stella did a lot of this great tomato red and bright orange,” says Watson. “There are some yellow colors and gray and white as well.”Love Tennis recognizes that athletic wear is not just for the courts now, and that is taken into consideration when choosing what to purchase for the shop.

“We have some yoga lines because people want to buy something they’re comfortable running around town in.  That’s what most of my clients do,” she says.

So what does this mean for fashionable women everywhere?

Time to hang up the high heels that look great but torture your toes?

At least for casual wear, those comfy tomato red Pumas may be the better choice.

“Athletic wear is becoming something you wear every day, whether you’re exercising or not,” Watson says.

“It’s become fashionable as well as comfortable.”

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Fashion on wheels: “Fashion truck” trend gains momentum in Dallas

By Laura Shepard

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When you hear the words “fashion truck,” what comes to mind?

For me, they evoke the image of an old-fashioned ice cream-style truck, driving around selling clothes instead of snow cones.

So when I set out to visit The Vintagemobile on a recent sunny Dallas afternoon, I was not sure what to expect.

I mean, how often can you say you’ve shopped for vintage clothes inside a renovated school bus?

However, as I pulled up to Oddfellows, a laid-back restaurant in the Bishop Arts District, I realized that the kelly green bus would have piqued my interest even if I hadn’t planned to check it out.

As I stepped up into the bus-turned-boutique, I found Jeremy Turner, co-owner of The Vintagemobile, sitting in the driver’s seat, overseeing his shop-on-wheels.

He and his wife, Kelsey, decided to open a vintage store after spending their honeymoon in San Francisco and finding inspiration from the shops they visited there.

Turner took the venture in a unique direction when he thought, “Why not make it mobile?”

The next step was finding the wheels to make Turner’s plan a reality.

Enter craigslist and a 1980s school bus in Oklahoma that fit the bill.

After driving the bus back to Dallas, the Turners transformed it, filling the space with clothes and other vintage trinkets.

Although he won’t reveal all his sources, Turner says he picked up some items in The Vintagemobile at thrift stores; he ordered others from Ebay or purchased them from individual sellers.

Most of the items sold on Turner’s bus are midcentury and later.

The Vintagemobile’s clothes are perfect for channeling your inner Betty Draper.

“I love dresses from the ‘50s and ‘60s, the kind of stuff you see on Mad Men,” said Turner.

I personally fell in love with the vibrant, retro prints. There are also plenty of unique accessories, including fancy vintage cowboy boots.

While the idea of fashion trucks is fairly new to Dallas, The Vintagemobile isn’t the only shopping option on wheels.

Strut, an Austin-based boutique with a location on Lovers Lane, is bringing a mobile branch to Dallas for the upcoming Homegrown Fest on May 26, in downtown Dallas.

Mercedes Perez, the manager of the Lovers Lane store, says Strut’s truck-based boutique is stocked with the same items sold in the stores — contemporary clothing and accessories with an Austin-inspired flair.

She says the mobile store has been rented out for private events and parked at street fairs in Austin.

Perez says she is interested to see where fashion trucks fit into the retail industry in the future: “It’s a growing national trend, but still sparse.”

Southern Methodist University senior Jordan Kragen believes this trend will grow in coming years and sees mobile boutiques becoming popular.

“Dallas loves picking up on trends,” she says, “and food trucks have become so popular so why not fashion trucks? It’s different than just going shopping, so it feels like more of a special outing or adventure almost. It’s a good way to change things up.”

As for me, I’m debating going back for a striking, lime green blouse the next time The Vintagemobile its location.

My friend and photographer for the day, Claire Richardson, said it “screamed” me.

A bold statement for a bold shirt, and now I’m really wondering why I didn’t buy it.


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Boots on the Boulevard

By Grace Roberts, Laura Murphy, Shelby Foster

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Gadabout paper products

By Caroline Foster

Palm Beach: $48.00 per set of 25 cards and envelopes


We all know the importance of a timely thank-you note. But what about the value of adorable stationery?

You will be dying to leave e-mail behind when you get your hands on Gadabout stationery.

Illustrated by Hanna Nation, the stationery features drawings of stylish gals and other cute designs that you can personalize.

Even if you don’t need personalized note paper, be sure to check out the swoon-worthy Gadabout blog.


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The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman

By Caroline Foster

The Sartorialist



Famed street style photographer Scott Schuman’s ever-popular blog, The Sartorialist,  is sure to be bookmarked on every fashion lover’s computer.

But when you desire style inspiration away from your laptop, look no further than Schuman’s paperback titled The Sartorialist.

The wide book is filled with photos of some of Shuman’s favorite street style looks that are sure to leave you feeling inspired.

 To Buy: $16.50 at
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Critiquing the critics: the 2012 Academy Awards in fashion

By Caroline Foster


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One of the biggest nights in Hollywood happens to also be one of the biggest nights in fashion.

For the Academy Awards, stars spend hours perfecting their designer looks before they strut down the infamous red carpet and a flashbulb frenzy ensues. For fashion lovers, this walk into the Kodak Theater, where a celebrity’s clothing and accessories may be scrutinized more carefully than a transcendent film role, is the evening’s main event. But where’s a fashion-obsessed viewer to go for these juicy, red-carpet details?

As fashionistas around the world sit glued to their TVs or computer monitors, ogling the gorgeous gowns, it’s the job of the media’s style critics to notice every shimmery sequin and misplaced ruffle.

One of the most outspoken and entertaining fashion arbiters on TV is comedienne Joan Rivers. Rivers stars on E!’s Fashion Police, alongside E! News host Giuliana Rancic, style expert George Kotsiopoulos and reality starlet Kelly Osbourne.

Watching Rivers, who is better known for her foul mouth and trenchant one-liners than her fashion sense, promised the liveliest coverage of the evening’s “other” award.

So whom did this opinionated team of fashion critics give their best- (and worst-) dressed award to? And is she worthy?

In her typical fashion, Rivers spared no actress’ feelings. Red-carpet newbie Rooney Mara, who wore a white Givenchy Spring 2009 Couture dress, looked a little harsh for such a glamorous event, Rivers ventured.

She cut Mara no slack: “She looks like the dominatrix getting married.” When the “police” turned their attention to acting’s good girl Natalie Portman, in a polka-dot 1950s Dior Haute Couture gown, Rivers’ comments didn’t sound any sweeter:

“Usually when you find dark red spots like she has on that dress, it’s time to call your past sexual partners,” Rivers chortled.

The comment may have swayed viewers to give the dress a second look, but not for the reasons Portman had in mind.

Next on the chopping block — My Week With Marilyn star Michelle Williams. Williams had donned a custom coral Louis Vuitton, a ruffled, dreamy dress with a subversive nude satin section running up the back.

While fashion-forward Osbourne loved the look and nominated the petite Williams for best-dressed celeb, Rivers quipped: “Best-dressed from the front, worst- dressed from the back.”

An actress should know that if she steps on the red carpet in a gown reminiscent of Awards Shows of the past, Rivers will call her out.

This time it was Emma Stone, whose Giambattista Valli Couture Spring 2012 dress was quite similar to Nicole Kidman’s red Balenciaga2007 Academy Awards gown.

Although Stone looked radiant, the critics flagged the actress’ fashion faux pas. As Rancic noted, “Her stylist should have never allowed this.”

While Rivers and her fashion police labeled many red-carpet looks disasters, others were declared triumphs.

Rivers had nothing but nice things to say about Gwyneth Paltrow’s white, figure-hugging Tom Ford gown and cape: “She looked amazing. So simple, so elegant.” Despite this comment, however, Rivers kept the drama going.

Although Paltrow’s look received the Best Dressed award from the other three Fashion Police hosts, leave it to Rivers to disagree.

Instead, Rivers overruled their decision and gave Viola Davis, of The Help, the Best Dressed honor.

Rivers needed only one word to describe Davis’ emerald green Vera Wang gown with a pleated skirt: “Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.”

It’s hard to disagree with the queen bee of the Fashion Police.


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RewardStyle: SMU alum Amber Venz turns blogging into a business

By Meg Jones


Amber Venz, President of rewardStyle

“I recently found this quote on Pinterest that said if your dreams

don’t scare you, you’re not doing something right.”

-Amber Venz, president of rewardStyle

I walked up the red brick steps and twisted an old-fashioned key to ring the door bell of a charming house on Boll Street in uptown, home to rewardStyle.

As I peeked in, I knew I was in the right place when I saw a backdrop with the rewardStyle and CurrentlyObsessed logos draped on the wall in the entrance.

I sat down with SMU alum Amber Venz, president of rewardStyle, and her boyfriend, Baxter Box, CEO, to get the inside scoop on the business they built together and how it has changed the landscape of fashion blogging.

After designing her own jewelry collection, dabbling as a buyer at Studio Sebastian, a stylist in Los Angeles, a global wholesale intern for fashion designer Thakoon and a fashion blogger, Venz had a purse-full of experience in the fashion industry.

And in the process, she had learned something: What she really loved was fashion blogging—the creativity of putting together outfits and sharing her work with readers.

The downside: Blogging was not a steady job.

While on a weekend trip, Venz and Box, who holds an SMU MBA, brainstormed about her dilemma and developed a plan to accomplish what branded media companies have been trying for years: a plan to monetize on-line content, in this case, fashion blogs. Before long, rewardStyle was born.

RewardStyle has proved to be a lucrative tool for everyone from established, old-school fashion bloggers to up-and-comers.

“RewardStyle really evens the playing field of bloggers,” says Venz. “It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been around or who your grandfather is, it’s pure numbers.”

The 3,000 members of rewardStyle use affiliate links to connect their readers with online retailers. They then earn a commission if items are purchased.

RewardStyle works with top-tier fashion bloggers with unique URLs who are consistently posting original content and have built a social network around their blogs.

The invitation-only exclusivity of rewardStyle comes down to that crucial question in fashion: Who is influencial? Based on rewardStyle’s standards, influence is measured by which bloggers bring in the most dollars, not by who has the most followers.

“Fashion is a business,” Venz says. “Bloggers have incredible style and taste.  They are consistent, and they do a beautiful job on the creative side.  But at the end of the day, we are looking at the numbers, and those numbers are turned into sales for advertisers.”

SMU senior and Fashion Media minor Katie Day applied for a position with rewardStyle last fall, when the company was growing so quickly that Venz found she needed a bigger team.

“After working with rewardStyle, I’m amazed at the influence of the blogging world on fashion,” says Day, now an account consultant with the company. “People are making careers out of their personal style blogs, and they’re really building a brand for themselves.”

One factor behind rewardStyle’s success is the relationship the company can create with its bloggers. Venz speaks the language of fashion bloggers and knows how they operate on a day-to-day basis.

“I am literally my own client, so if something is frustrating, I change it,” says Venz.

Since the launch of rewardStyle, Venz and Box have been building auxilary products around it, such as CurrentlyObsessed,  a web tool that allows readers to stalk their favorite style bloggers and their obsessions.

Bloggers can opt in and create a cue of products to work with.  Then CurrentlyObsessed syndicates their favorite items.

“It’s really a look into the mind of an editor,” says Venz.

According to Venz, 30 percent to 50 percent of the fashion blogging industry’s sales every day originate through , Facebook, Twitter or CurrentlyObsessed.

SMU senior Krystal Schlegel, the blogger behind Krystal Schlegel The Style Book, was recently honored as one of the 25 top-grossing bloggers at rewardStyle’s influencers dinner held during New York Fashion Week.

“It was like a community of bloggers who all had rewardStyle in common,” says Schlegel. “I have met so many people in the fashion and blogging industry through rewardStyle.”

Mary Summers, an SMU alum and fashion blogger, recently spoke to the SMU Retail Club about her personal style blog, M.A.S. Fashion, and her experience as an account consultant at rewardStyle.

Some important advice I took away from Summers for would-be bloggers: Be an entrepreneur and build a business around your blog.

“You’re not just a URL,” Summers says, “you’re a face on your blog and a face on social media.”

Schlegel adds that bloggers must make their site their own. She says she thinks about how she would describe an event or style choice to her best friend when writing for readers.  She also tries to maintain a consistent “voice” across media – not just on her blog, but on Facebook and Twitter as well. Be a friend to readers, one with great fashion advice. A friend they visit often.

All Venz and Box’s media tools, from rewardStyle to CurrentlyObsessed, are designed to reward bloggers who succeed at this task—so a hobby can become a business.

“I think rewardStyle is very literal—reward your style,” says Venz. “If you’re a good styler, you’ll get paid.”



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SMU Fashion Week

By Mary Holbrook

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A year ago, Grace Davis, a senior Chemistry major and  Psychology and Fashion Media minor at SMU, was looking at online photos of Fashion Week at the University of Pennsylvania, where her brother is a freshman.  Penn’s Wharton Retail Club has sponsored a fashion week for several years running, and the event looked fantastic.

Why, she wondered, can’t we do this at SMU?

One year and lots of hard work later, Davis has her answer: we can. This spring marks a new event being held on the Southern Methodist University campus. In conjunction with the new Fashion Media minor, fashion-minded SMU students will celebrate style with a whole week dedicated to fashion and the fashion industry: SMU Fashion Week, from March 26 through 30.

“I thought it could be an event that could be very successfully replicated on the SMU campus, especially with the induction of the Fashion Media minor program,” says Davis, Fashion Week executive director.
In August of 2011, Davis made a phone call to Camille Kraeplin, director of the Fashion Media program, who liked the idea and agreed to act as faculty advisor for the student-led project.  Kraeplin says she is amazed by what Davis and her team have accomplished.
“I could not be more excited,” says Kraeplin.

Team Fashion Week

Davis and her executive team have been hard at work organizing all the events, making phone calls and galvanizing student support for the week-long event, which promises both opportunities to learn about the fashion industry as well as lots of fun.

After that phone call to Professor Kraeplin, one of Davis’ first steps was to recruit an executive team to help execute and publicize the event.  That team includes SMU Retail Club President Rebecca Marin, who will work with Megan Jones, the team member responsible for coordinating the Retail Club Fashion Show, which will cap off the week Friday night.

“As the Coordinator for SMU Fashion Week I have assisted Grace in planning events, scheduling guest speakers, setting up the vendor fair and planning the Fashion Show,” says Jones.

Other executive team members include design & website directors Julia Eggleston and Laura Rogala; sponsorship directors Lauren Adams and Alexandra Harvel; external public relations director Kelsey Reynolds, internal public relations director Bree Unger, and social media coordinator Paige Parker.

Davis herself has focused on both the “big picture” and the small details, as well as steering her board in the right direction.

“I have overseen all of the planning of the events, as well as securing sponsors and speakers,” she says.  “I have also led weekly meetings with all the executive board members.”

What, When and Where

Fashion Week will be Monday through Friday, the week of March 26-30. Most of the events will be on the SMU campus, with the exception of the Monday launch party, which will be held at Tootsies, a fashionista favorite retailer at 8300 Preston Road.

Different events will take place each day of the week. Marin, an SMU junior and communication studies and creative advertising major, says she and Davis have been working closely together to plan the week’s events and panels.

“All of the panels and events are set to start around 6 p.m. and are free and open to both students and the public,” she says. “There will also be events on campus throughout school hours that week that students can participate in.”

On Tuesday through Thursday, panels will focus on different professions and opportunities within the fashion world.  The panel format was chosen over single speakers to provide a livelier, richer exchange.

“The event will bring great speakers to campus, speakers who will expose students to all aspects of the fashion industry,“ Kraeplin says.

The opening party at Tootsies (6:30 p.m. Monday) will include beauty demos, clothing previews and goody bags filled with essentials for any fashionista.

The Tuesday evening panel will feature fashion journalists and bloggers, including SMU alum Amber Venz, former FD Luxe editor Tracy Achor Hayes, Texas Monthly’s Kristie Ramirez and Dallas style blogger Tina Craig.

Wednesday evening is the business and fashion panel with guest speakers John Piermarimi from Piermarimi Boutique, JoannaLewis, director of Stanley Korshak online, and jewelry designer Amanda Sterett.

Thursday’s panel is dedicated to styling and designing. Tammy Theis, stylist and owner of Wallflower Management, and Tamar Minassia, Tootsies’ in-house stylist, and Nikki Trizza, assistant stylist at Neiman Marcus, will share their tips about how to create the perfect look for any occasion. Dallas designer Elizabeth Aynaa and SMU sophomore Kira Plastinina will expound on their experience as fashion designers.

On Friday, the annual Retail Club Fashion Show’s models will stroll down the runway outside of the Meadows School of the Arts wearing looks tailored to common SMU themes, says Marin.

“Boulevarding, formals, going to class and going out. I’m excited to see the end result,” she says.

“Our team had been working so hard, I’m so proud of all of them. More details are still being processed right now, but the venue, models and DJ information is well on its way.”

Also during the week there will be on-campus trunk shows and an appearance by the Vintage Mobile to entertain students between classes.

A Little Help from Friends

Several local organizations have stepped up to act as Fashion Week sponsors, contributing funds, goods and services to ensure the event’s success.

High-end retailer Stanley Korshak and its sister store, The Shak, are providing all the clothes for the fashion show.

D Style Sheet shot photos for the ad campaign — where the models wore clothes from Luxe Boutique.

In addition, these retailers as well as several other boutiques have agreed to participate in the “10 for 10” card promotion to help fund Fashion Week.

“The card will be $10 and will let you get 10% off at all participating stores. We are still in the midst of getting participants,” Davis says.

 The cards will go on sale the week prior to fashion week.

Between the help from sponsors and the efforts of Davis, Marin and the rest of the Fashion Week team, Kraeplin expects the event to bring attention not only to the fashion talent here at SMU and in the larger Dallas community but also to Meadows year-old Fashion Media minor.

“The whole week promises to bring a level of excitement and energy to campus, with all the events and activities Grace and the rest of her team have worked so hard to organize.  I also hope Fashion Week shines a spotlight on our new Fashion Media program and the level of dedication and initiative our students are capable of,“ says Kraeplin.

For more information on this upcoming week of fashion and fun, visit the Fashion Week website,, the Facebook page, , or follow them on Twitter .

RSVP to the Launch Party here.

RSVP to the Panels and Fashion Show here.


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Tracy Achor Hayes’ Top Picks

By Hillary Hirschfeld

1) Check out Tracy Hayes’ favorite nail polish color for the spring: Buff by RGB

According to Tracy Hayes, Buff by RGB is the must-have nail polish for the spring. The creamy, sheer beige polish is perfect for a natural, clean look and will go great with any and all of spring’s bright color palette in your wardrobe.


2) Upcoming label to watch for: Mary Katrantzou

Named “Mary, Queen of Prints” by Harper’s Bazaar, Mary Katrantzou is an up-and-coming designer with bold, vibrant prints and geometric designs. In Tracy Hayes’ 20 questions, she lists Mary Katrantzou as the label to watch for its “pretty amazing prints.”


Photo from Elle Catwalk Supplement, August 2011

Photo from Vogue USA, August 2011

Photo from Harper’s Bazaar, August 2011

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20 Questions: Tracy Achor Hayes

By Hillary Hirschfeld

Tracy Hayes, former fashion editor of the Dallas Morning News, now works as director of editorial content for Neiman Marcus.

1. Favorite color for the spring: Navy

2. Favorite fashion designer: Marc Jacobs to watch, Dries Van Noten to wear

3. Favorite NYFW show: Marc Jacobs (even though I only saw it online)

4. Upcoming label to watch for: Mary Katrantzou’s prints are pretty amazing

5. Favorite item of clothing: Judging by my closet, it must be black pants, although striped Ts, pea coats and trenches are well-represented, too.

6. Favorite trend for spring: Quirky pants, either colorful or in a print

7. Favorite fashion publication: Couldn’t live without any of them — Vogue, Elle, W, New York Times, Marie Claire…

8. Favorite blog to follow: manrepeller, fug girls

9. Best accessory: Wedding ring (still crazy about my guy)

10. Favorite perfume/scent: Nothing out of bottle even comes close to smell of sagebrush, horses or nag champa incense

11. Spring nail polish color: Buff by RGB

12. Favorite restaurant in Dallas: Uchiko. It’s in Austin not Dallas, but I just had one of the top-five best meals of my life there so can’t get it out of my mind.

13. Favorite boutique in Dallas: V.O.D. in Victory Park, and not just because one of my best friends is the co-owner

14. What’s always in your purse? wallet, iPhone, keys, multiple packs of Stride gum

15. Most surreal fashion/work experience to date? Too, too many to try to name one

16. Who is your go-to style inspiration? No single person. I just try to soak it up wherever I see it.

17. What was your latest purchase? Two ’80s jackets and a pair of vintage Frye boots in Austin

18. If you could meet with one fashion designer, alive or not, who would it be? I’ve met most of the living ones, so the answer would probably have to be Chanel.

19. What would you ask him/her? “Can I please just quietly observe you at work for the next month?”

20. How would you describe your personality? Enthusiastic


Read all about Tracy Hayes’ Top Picks for spring here.


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