Our Story.

April 16,2015: I’ve been debating for a while on whether to write about this or not, and I finally decided to just do it. I’m a very transparent and upfront person, and I don’t like living two different lives. I’m open and blunt, and who I portray on social media is who I am. I’m outspoken and honest, and often times I’ve gotten in trouble for that, but that’s just who I am. I only ever want to be honest and upfront, and that is why I have decided to write about our experience.

Originally, I had only told all my close and intimate family and friends. I was so scared about word getting out ,and to be honest, I was mostly embarrassed. I was embarrassed about everything that had happened. I felt almost ashamed at the fact that my body “wasn’t able to carry” the baby (btw, i refuse to call it a fetus) that had grown inside me. That’s the kind of stuff that the devil will fill your heart and mind with. I remember thinking this really can’t be happening to me. This is stuff you hear about all the time, but never in a million years did I think it would ever happen to me. Only God knows why he let this happen to us, and I’m ok with that. He has a perfect plan for my little family and I’m thrilled to see what the future will bring. I only want to share my story hoping to help someone who has gone or is going through the same thing, and to tell you that you are not alone and that God always has a plan.

We had first found out we were pregnant on New Year’s Day. Surprise, surprise! It was unexpected and it took us by surprise. Apparently, all it takes is one try for some (heehee). I remember reading that little stick saying PREGNANT. My first thought was “Oh no, what did we do?!” It took a few days for us to fully comprehend the news, but after a few weeks we were thrilled. I didn’t schedule my first doctor’s appointment till the 3rd week of January, and that’s when we confirmed it all and found out I was “8 and a half weeks pregnant.” I remember squirming like a little girl that day full of shock and joy when they told us our due date was estimated at August 31, 2015. Everything seemed ok on our first visit. All the blood work and tests came out 100% clear. We weren’t able to hear our baby’s heartbeat that first visit because the baby was still too small. Not thinking anything of it, we scheduled our next appointment 5 weeks later (our last week in Indiana before our California move). We had only told my in-laws about the baby and had decided to wait to tell my parents till we got to California (March 2nd) only because I really wanted to tell them in person and see their reactions. If you know my mom, you’ll know that she’s been asking me for a baby since the day after my wedding.

About 2 weeks after my first doctor’s appointment (10 weeks pregnant), I remember waking up one morning kind of sad and worried. My husband noticed and immediately asked what was wrong. I told him I felt different. I felt as if I no longer had a living baby. I remember him getting upset and asking me not to say that so I never brought it up again. It was that week that I had noticed a sudden decrease in my nausea and breast tenderness (if you know anything about pregnancy or being pregnant you understand what I mean). Not trying to think anything of it, I figured maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was ALMOST out of my first trimester.

I finally hit 13 weeks. Four days later, I had my second doctor’s appointment. The nurse checked everything as usual- blood, hcG levels, blood pressure, etc.. When she attempted to hear the baby’s heartbeat, nothing. I can’t explain the feeling, but I felt as if my heart dropped down to my stomach. I knew right there and then that something was wrong. We then proceeded to get an ultrasound done to confirm what exactly was going on. The technician that did my ultrasound was very quiet and didn’t say much. She didn’t need to say much because the look on her face told us everything. Three days before our big happy move to California, our world was shattered.

I can’t explain the feeling, and if I had super powers to never let this happen to anyone, ever, I would use it, but only God knows why. All we could do was cry. We were both in shock.

As if that was not enough pain for me to bear, the actual miscarriage was even worse. Usually you start bleeding and start releasing tissue on your own, but not me. I was already “13 weeks” and still no blood or sign of miscarriage. I just knew that my baby was dead by what the doctors and ultrasound proved.

It took a process of almost 2 weeks. Two weeks of waiting hours at a hospital to get seen; constantly getting blood drawn every visit (my arm was bruised by the 3rd time and I cried every time); ultrasound after ultrasound both abdominal and vaginal (I felt so violated every time); and the worst thing every time was hearing the doctor tell me I had to come back again. Every time I went back, I had to go through the whole process again. And again my heart would break because I was once again reminded that my baby didn’t make it. It was the longest weeks of my life and it felt never ending. I was hurt. If I could have somehow made the process quick and easy I would’ve. But only God knows why he let me (us) go through all of that.

After “passing” all the remains, I waited a week to go back to the hospital just to make sure that I didn’t have anything left inside of me. When I finally went to the hospital to get checked out, we had to wait a total of 6 hours. They did the usual and we sat and waited hoping everything was clear and I was ok to leave, but no. The first doctor I saw said I didn’t release everything, and he said I might even need surgery to prevent an infection. Here we go again. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. I was tired of being “violated”. I was tired of being examined over and over. The doctor said he needed to go “in there” with a speculum and scrape out all the remains. This was a process that was going to be painful. I remember lying on the exam table, waiting for the doctor to come in and do the procedure. All I could do was cry. Once again, they were going to physically hurt me. My husband tried his best to comfort me and all I did was push him away and scold him. I laid there crying asking God to kill me (I know, so dramatic). I didn’t want to go through with the procedure. I literally asked God to take my life. My husband suggested praying, but I shouted out the words “No, I hate God.” I was done. This was the lowest point of my life and I hated it. And yes, I was beginning to become bitter towards my husband and God. After pleading with God for almost an hour, my first doctor came in with a gynecologist who then proceeded to say, you’re free to go. WHAT?!
Turns out my first doctor made a mistake and misread my ultrasound. I had passed all the remains. The bleeding was minimal and normal. I was finally cleared to go home! I got my discharge papers and was free to go.

That night my husband and I had a HUGE talk (it mostly consisted of me crying and him holding me). He knew I was hurt. And he also knew that this was causing me to push him away. I guess you can say I was bitter towards my husband too. I wanted him to feel the same physical pain I was going through.

As I write this out and re-read parts over and over, I’m appalled at the way I acted. I should be ashamed, but at the same time i’m amazed at how much I learned from it.

It’s taken time and I don’t know if I’ll ever “get over it”, but I’ve prayed and asked God to help me and heal me. I don’t ever want to be bitter towards God or to have jealous feelings towards other people because I understand that God has a perfect plan for us. It’s something I’m learning to accept. Every time I think about it I start to cry, but I also thank God for everything else that I do have. I thank God for the husband he gave me who has been my rock and comfort throughout the whole process (poor thing has been through the worst dealing with my emotions). And I trust God in knowing that it will happen in his perfect timing.

I write all of this because I am aware that I am not alone. I didn’t handle my miscarriage all too well, but I also didn’t let it destroy me. I decided to grow from it. Miscarriages happen more often than you think. And if you have been through the same thing that I have been through, I want you to know that you are not alone. It’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to be hurt, but please don’t ever let this eat you up and make you bitter. Life is too precious for that. Only God knows why he lets us go through what we went through. Also, please don’t have negative thoughts towards yourself. It is not your fault and there is nothing that you could’ve done different because God had already planned it. Just trust God. I too had so many different negative thoughts, beating myself up for nothing (“I went through 12 weeks of nausea and weight gain (almost 10 lbs.) all for nothing”) but eventually I learned to put it all in God’s hands and I decided to trust Him. He is the only one who can complete you and heal you.

I want to encourage others to do the same. This is not something you can just sweep under the rug. People get divorced over “incidents” like this. Don’t be afraid to talk to the “right people” about this. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other people. Seek counsel and let God use other people to help the healing process. To some this may not have been such a big deal and maybe they were able to handle it a lot better than me (us). But I’m here to be an encouragement to those who may be just like me (gosh I really hope I’m not the only crazy one).

With the whole moving process we had to find a new church and thankfully our previous pastor was able to guide us. We found a church we loved and we immediately got involved and joined a marriage class. I can honestly say that we learned more in that whole month of the miscarriage than we had in our (almost) 2 years of marriage. Our marriage has definitely gotten stronger and our relationship with God has gotten so much sweeter. There’s not a day that I don’t talk to God. Whether it be in the shower, while I’m doing my make-up, while I’m driving to work, etc.. I like to thank God daily for what I do have, and if we’re honest with ourselves, we know we don’t deserve anything that we have. I’m just thankful to God for EVERYTHING…  including my miscarriage.

Thank you for reading and I hope this may have been of help to someone out there (feel free to share with anyone who might be interested). Just know that you aren’t alone and that God loves you very much.

Disclaimer: I am in no way looking for pity so please keep any “pity” comments to yourself. Please refrain from asking me questions about this in person. I am still human and my heart is still very sensitive over this matter. If I choose to talk about it, please let me bring it up. Also, please don’t ask if we’re trying again or when’s the next baby (even if you are our closest friends and family). Understand that we are at peace about this and we trust God to let it happen when the right time comes. Thank you.

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New Year, New Goals, New Life

Can you believe it’s already 2015? Where has the time gone??! I don’t know about you but it’s definitely flown for me. I feel like just yesterday I was planning my Italy trip, but unfortunately that’s all over for me (sad face). On a happier note, we have a new year ahead which means clean slates for everyone, yay! Like every year before, I usually have these ridiculous goals on how i’m going to eat healthier and lose “this much” weight… blah blah blah… but this year, i have bigger goals and dreams that need to be turned into reality with the help of my God and my family. We are a lot (not a little) scared but overall excited to start this journey, and i’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you guys!

With a lot of prayer and counsel, we have decided that we are finally moving to California this March! My husband and I will be leaving our very comfortable life here in Indiana and starting from scratch in California. I’m very thankful for the time we got to spend here in Indiana and especially for my husband’s job that let him rise little by little, and now is willing to watch him leave with best wishes and much support. We don’t have all the details perfected, but we are trusting in God to guide us through it all. My husband will be starting school this fall to start his career in becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy. It’ll be a long 7 years of schooling, but hey, it’s now or never. As for me, I will just be working and go with whatever comes along. It’s not going to be an easy goal to accomplish, so we need all the prayer we can get. I’m sure we will be faced with many trials and hardships along the way, but nothing good ever comes easy. I’m excited to start this journey with my best friend. I’m the lucky girl that gets to tag along as he pursues his dream. It’s no easy task, which is why I need prayers more than anybody. I need to become the wife that God wants me to be to assist my husband and be his right hand. I need to have the right attitude with whatever comes my way so I can build my husband instead of tearing him down. I’m sure tears will be shed several times (I’m a very emotional person, heehee) but in the end we will both reap from our hard work, and it’ll be so sweet knowing that we both accomplished our dream from the very bottom, up. So please just keep us in your prayers. Pray that my husband is able to focus and pass all his classes. And pray that God will provide for all our needs.

Thank you guys for being the best! I love reading all your sweet comments, and I wish I could meet each and every one of you and just go out for lunch. But hey, now that I’ll be in California, maybe one day we can go have lunch so let me know (girls only cuz I’m happily married- winky face). Thanks for reading and following along. Here’s to a new year with new goals and a new life!

Xo,
Christina Dolan

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Rome, Italy

Recently, my husband and I had the privilege to take a 12 day trip of a lifetime to Italy. Thanks to all the people who were really generous at our wedding, our trip was half paid, but since we decided to stay almost 2 weeks my husband had to chip in for the other half of it. I don’t even know where to start but say that it was worth every penny! Our first stop was in Rome. If you’re big into history and sight-seeing like my husband, then this city will blow you away! The whole city is full of beauty and history!

Now for those of you wondering where we booked our trip – all flights and hotels were booked through Expedia. I advise that if you’re planning on taking a trip like this, you book way ahead of time (at least 6 months in advance). Believe me, it’ll save you at least a couple hundred bucks!

We stayed at the Hotel Manfredi Suite in Rome. It was super cute and cozy and I couldn’t have picked a more perfect spot for our hotel. We were about 40 minutes from the airport but right in the middle of all the main attractions. Our hotel was right by the Spanish Steps ( for all you big Audrey Hepburn fans) and walking distance from the Colosseum, the Roman Forums, Pantheon, and the Vatican Museum. We decided we wanted to save a couple bucks on expensive taxi rides, so we woke up extra early every morning and walked to all our booked activities and tours (usually around 2-3 miles away). We really enjoyed walking the city in the cooler morning air and watching the sun rise over the historic city, all while having the streets to ourselves. After 11am the whole city is packed with people and tourists!

For those of you wondering- all our activities and tours were booked through Viator.com. That’s the spot to book any activity/ tour anywhere in the world. The site is so easy to use and gives so many options of what kind of tours to take based on your budget. I would definitely recommend it 100%. Made my life so much easier.

In Rome, we were able to visit the Colosseum; the Trevi Fountain; the Roman Forums (Palatine Hill); the Vatican Museums including the Sistine chapel, Raphael’s rooms, and St. Peter’s Basilica; and the Pantheon. Can I just say – AMAZING! We were able to get a tour guide PLUS skip-the-line tickets for all our tours and that definitely was a huge bonus because we didn’t have to wait in any long lines (yay! happy me). Be prepared because it will always be packed with tourists. Like I said before, all tours were booked through Viator so you can also purchase skip-the-line tickets. Oh, and DO NOT leave the city without having a romantic patio dinner! It’s pretty pricey depending on where you choose to eat, but experiencing the romantic Italian evening atmosphere, and breathing the aura of this beautiful, picturesque city is definitely an item to check off the bucket list!

Rome is a beauty full of so much history and incredible sights that match exactly what you see in pictures – mind blowing!! Below are a few pictures from Rome. I had about 1000 pics from our whole trip so I had a hard time narrowing them down. Enjoy! 🙂

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We may have taken pictures inside the famous Sistine Chapel! Can you spot Michelangelo’s creation of man painting??!

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Florence, Italy

After spending a few nights in Rome, we took a bullet train to the most beautiful and romantic city I have ever seen or been to, hands down! This is where we were able to celebrate our big one year anniversary – so perfect and epic!

For those wondering- we took a bullet train from Rome to Florence; from Florence to Venice; and from Venice back to Rome. We also booked out tickets online ahead of time just so we wouldn’t have to deal with the language barrier at the station. It was so easy and convenient since at the train station there are a lot of foreign people trying to scam you. The train we took is called the Italo and you can book tickets here- Italio

Well, in Florence we decided to be a little fancier since we were celebrating our anniversary, so we stayed at the Grand Hotel Villa Cora. Can I just say – ELEGANT! Our hotel was located a few miles from the center of Florence and also walking distance from the main sight seeing spots. Of course, we walked everywhere again and only got lost once! The city was too pretty to take a cab or car anyway.

In Florence, we were able to see the beautiful Duomo located in central Florence, take a half day trip to Pisa on a charter bus, take a private Vespa tour all over the Tuscan hills and Florence, and do some fine dining. I have to say that this city had the best food we ate in all of Italy! If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful city, make sure you find a place that serves authentic Neapolitan pizza – the best you will ever taste!

As I said before, we did book all of our tours through Viator. There are several different things you can do, but this is what we decided to go with.

We took a half-day trip to Pisa on one of the days we spent in Florence. It was so cool to see and climb to the top of the historic Leaning Tower and learn the story behind such a neat building! I’ll definitely recommend you book the tour that allows you to climb your way to the top. It’s a few extra bucks, but the view up at the top was absolutely breath-taking! Another memory I will never forget!

Our anniversary date, April 27, was a little special so my husband made sure to make it an unforgettable day, and boy did he score! We started our day early in the morning walking all of Florence while the city was still sleeping- you have to try it. The silence is so soothing. After taking a stroll, we headed to our 9:00 Vespa tour appointment. Now, this tour is usually in a group of six or more people, but we were in for a surprise! Since we booked our tour early in the morning AND on a Sunday, we happened to be the only 2 people taking the tour – jackpot! Not only was our guide super nice and friendly, but he also spoke very fluent English, so it was easy to understand him. Because we happened to be the only 2 on the tour, he took us even farther, as we rode our own Vespa all throughout the Tuscany hills. He also took us to the top of Florence, Piazzale Michelangelo, where we were able to take in the beauty of Florence! The whole Vespa tour was an amazing, cool experience that will never be forgotten! Our tour ended with an amazing Italian cuisine. We went to a top notch restaurant where the chef cooked up some pretty amazing dishes (too fancy to pronounce and remember but for short: rabbit, veal, Italian meatballs, eggplant parmesan, and bacon wrapped chicken/asparagus). All of this was included in our tour, which is why I think it’s a must!

I wish I could reveal all the memories in my mind of the beautiful things I saw and did, but you’ll just have to go see for yourself! However, I do have a couple pictures just to show you a little of the beauty that Florence holds. Enjoy! 🙂

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The most amazing gelato in all the world!!!! Holding heaven in my hand.

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For our anniversary night, our intentions were to dress up and have a fancy dinner at our hotel, but after reviewing the menu, we decided to skip out and head to the city.

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Last day in Florence, we stayed indoors and just enjoyed the beauty of our hotel.

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You get the picture, it was beautiful.

We ended our days here with some room service- the food was just okay but it was fun.

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Venice, Italy

We ended our trip in Italy by visiting the magical city of Venice. This city was small but so unique. Because we had booked various tours and were constantly on-the-go in Rome and Florence, we decided to just enjoy and explore Venice at our own leisure. Keep in mind that the city is pretty small so you can easily be in and out of there in a day. We were not aware of this or else we would have definitely spent extra days in Florence. However, our time was very enjoyable. We did explore Piazza San Marco in the early morning and also explored at night when choosing which place to dine at. This city is also full of romantic patio restaurants so if you aren’t able to do that in Rome, do not worry, that’s all you’ll get in Venice. Several nights we enjoyed dinner late at night by the canals full of lighted up gondola. We didn’t spend the extra money to ride a gondola, but the sight of it was enough for us as we strolled around in the evening. This city was definitely magical, romantic, and relaxing- the most perfect way to end our vacation in Italy.

Below are a few pictures to show you the beautiful and magical little city of Venice. Enjoy! 🙂

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Thank you for reading and following along! Xo

Let’s be real

Hi guys, I’m back! It’s been a couple months, but I decided to get back into doing this for you guys… Kind of. I’ve been debating over it A LOT because there’s so much to it than just posting stuff.

I do want to be real and upfront with anyone that actually cares to read this blog.

First, I try to keep my priorities straight. My main focus in life right now is to be the person that God wants me to be (it’s a daily struggle) and to be a help meet to my husband. My main priority is and will always be my husband. I don’t ever want him to feel or see that he is second runner-up to social media. I don’t plan on making this blog my main priority – which is why you will only hear from me every so often (boring, I know). I do have a full-time job as a wife and bank teller. Between the two, I keep a very busy life.

Second, I’m not a real professional blogger. Never have been and probably never will be. As you can tell, I don’t have a fancy blog page. There’s so much time and money that goes into it, and I’m just not ready for all that. I can hardly keep up with laundry (ooopsie), let alone a blog. I do this for fun and because sometimes I do feel like sharing my ideas, outfits, opinions, and a little bit of my life with you guys (for those who care, anyway). However, big kudos to all the fab bloggers out there who inspire me and keep me entertained. I have nothing against them but mad love and respect!

Third, I’m not a fashion expert. I do have a deep love for fashion but come on, what girl doesn’t? Just because I know how to throw an outfit together doesn’t make me an expert or a fashion icon. Even though I am flattered that most people would want me to head that route, I just can’t. Like I said before, there’s just too much work, time, and money that goes behind it all. And also, I’m too lazy. I’ll post as much as I can on here – and if you’re really interested, just tap on my Instagram pics, most outfit posts I tag all the details (Instagram- xo_mrsdolan).

Lastly, I am not a fitness expert or gym junkie. In fact, I hate the gym… with all my heart. Just ask my husband. However, I do have to force myself to go at least 3-5 times a week (mostly 3). I do struggle with maintaining my weight at a reasonable number thanks to my awesomely slow metabolism. So because of that, I do have to work extra hard at the gym. I did post a workout regime/ meal plan a few months back (keep scrolling down to read the old post), but I am working on creating a new workout regime/ meal plan in case you guys are interested. It may or may not work for you. Everybody is different. It helped me lose a total of 30 lbs when I first got into it. And since I’ve been married (over a year), I’ve only gained a total of 5-6 pounds. Huge deal to me since it’s so easy to just let myself go.

Thanks for reading and following along!

Penguins

It’s finally November! Wow, October flew right by!!! The weather is definitely getting colder, but I love it.

For today’s final look of the week, I am styling this super cute penguin sweater. I decided to pair it up with another sequined collar shirt and a striped pleated skirt. I also wore all black ruffled socks with heels, again. Talk about making a statement!

Thanks for viewing and let me know what you think!

Sweater- Forever 21
Shirt- Forever 21
Skirt- Forever 21
Socks- Forever 21
Shoes- Forever 21

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Polka dots

Happy Halloween!

For my fourth look this week, I’m going all polka dot. Who isn’t wearing polka dots this fall? For some reason, I feel like it’s such a classy polished look. But maybe that’s just me. Anyway, here is a super cute Peter Pan collared sweater I put together for you guys. Enjoy and let me know what you guys think!

Sweater- Forever 21
Skirt- H&M
Socks- Charlotte Russe
Shoes- Forever 21

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Thanks for viewing!

Plaid & Jewels

For my third look this week, I’m going for another big hit this fall- PLAID. I’m wearing a regular plaid shirt except I dressed it up with this cool bedazzled sweater. This is no ordinary sweater because this sweater is totally decked out! It has shiny jewels sewed onto the neckline of the sweater, making it appear as an oversized necklace. I fell in love with this sweater the first time I saw and I just had to buy it! One thing though, the sweater runs pretty big. I’m wearing a small and it’s still pretty big all around. But other than that, how pretty is it??!!

Next, it appears as if I’m wearing a skirt, but it’s actually a dress. I though this green was very appropriate for this fall weather.

Last, I added these cool thigh socks (another big trend this fall), and to finish off my look, I paired the outfit with some matching green shoes, which I also absolutely love! This outfit has a lot of layers, so I’m definitely keeping warm in this.

Shirt- Hollister
Sweater- Forever 21
Dress- H&M
Socks- Charlotte Russe
Shoes- Forever 21

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Just wanted to say a huge thank you to all my creepers and reader for taking time to read and view my blog! Thanks for all the sweet comments and messages! It’s only been a month and I’ve already hit 2,000 views, so thanks for following along!

Thanks again and stay tuned for more fall outfits coming very soon!

Sequins && leather

For my second look this week, I’m wearing a sequined collared shirt and my favorite leather skirt! I recently bought this shirt but I love that I can pair it up with any type of sweater. Plus, the pretty detail on the collar dresses up any casual sweater!

For my first outfit, I have paired up my sequined shirt with this cozy oversized sweater that I recently bought! Halloween is just around the corner so I think it fits perfectly with October. It’s a cute monster face. I paired this with a leather skirt that you guys saw before on my previous Fall Lookbook (scroll down in case you missed it). Also, I added some cute socks that have little gray hearts on them, and finished off my look with these black shiny Oxfords. I don’t have a close up of the shoes, but I’m sure I’ll be wearing them a lot this fall so you’ll probably see them again.

Shirt- Forever 21
Sweater- Forever 21
Skirt- Forever 21
Socks- Forever 21
Shoes- Forever 21

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For my second outfit, I’m still wearing the sequined shirt and same leather skirt, except I threw a different sweater over it. I’m in love with this sweater because it’s camo, duh (another big hit this fall)! I paired this outfit with some cute black ruffled socks and these new booties I recently bought. I cannot even begin to tell you how in LOVE I am with these booties!! Every time I wear them, I’m constantly staring at my feet! I love the edgy look and details on them! And, they weren’t too expensive so that’s definitely a plus.

Shirt- Forever 21
Sweater- Forever 21
Skirt- Forever 21
Socks- Forever 21
Booties- Forever 21

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Thanks for reading guys!!