July & August Wrap Up

Hello Again & Happy “Almost” Fall!

I’m so sorry… I am very aware that this Blog post is INSANELY late, but it’s been a wild few months haha. I was so late with my July Wrap Up, that I figured I would just wait until September, and do a July/August Wrap Up Combo post. So after over two months (or so) I am back, with probably WAY too many reviews for you guys, haha. Also now that it’s mid-September, I can also confidently say that next month’s Wrap Up has some incredible stuff in it too. There are just SO many incredible new Movies, T.V Shows & Books being released for the Fall Season.

Now before I go on and on about how much I love Fall, lets take it back a few months to July.. and do my end of the Summer Wrap Up ❤

Aside from all the fun events leading up to my Sister’s August Wedding, Ryan and I also had a ton of other fun Summer Adventures. We went to the Carnival, to the Island, read tons of books, saw lots of movies, went hiking, made picnics, and just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was so relaxing, and we dedicated at least one day a week to go out on a date night, doing something fun in our city. We tried new restaurants, went to new places, and did some “tourist-in-our-own-city” type things. It was so refreshing, and quite eye-opening. We had been completely missing out on SO many amazing things to do, right in our own city backyard!

Anyways more on all that later, lets get into the Wrap-Up’s (because honestly the list is long.. I’ll try to keep it brief-ish).

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TV SHOWS

1.) “Euphoria”- Season 1

New Show Currently On: HBO, 8 Episodes

10/10

SO AMAZING. It was just picked up for 2 more Seasons, thank GOD!

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I can’t even put into words how incredible this show is. It’s probably the best new TV Show I’ve seen in years. It feels so fresh, current, and really “of the time”. Not only that but it is one of the most visually stunning things I’ve ever watched. The color palettes are just SO aesthetically pleasing, in a retro/pastel/techno perfect way. The SOUNDTRACK as well (done hugely by the artist Labyrinth) is so hypnotic, and fits the vibe so perfectly. Drake is a producer on this show, and I feel like he had a hand in making it so cool. Also side note, the MAKEUP department absolutely KILLED IT with the looks in this show. So much glitter, and fun experimental fashion. I was so inspired I literally ordered a ton of glitter on Amazon, and I’m still trying to figure out a way to make it “fashion” and not “terrifying”.

This show is about a group of high-school kids (each episode focusing mainly on one character’s story) who are dealing with a lot of intense issues. It’s bold and direct, and they aren’t afraid to hit these issues head on.. like drug abuse, self harm, bullying, etc. One of the main characters Jules is also a Trans character (as well as in real life), and she’s such a brilliant young actress, and really brings this important issue to the screen in a very authentic way. I love all of the characters on this show so much, and as an ensemble they are even better. The show deals with sensitive material, and is quite racy, but just SO SO good. Trust me if you haven’t started watching this yet, you will be absolutely hooked.

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2.) “Stranger Things”- Season 3

All Seasons Currently Streaming On: Netflix

10/10

Since you guys may not have seen “Stranger Things Season 1” yet, I won’t spoil anything about the plot, or attach any Spoiler photos. Let’s just say this season was AMAZING.. a 80’s Nostalgic dream. You all need to get into this one, like YESTERDAY. 

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One little thing about Season 3…. Maya Hawke (Uma Thurman & Ethan Hawke’s Daughter in real life) plays Robin in this Season.. and I’m in LOVE with her. Also this will 100% be one of my 3 Halloween Costumes this year ❤ Big big crush on her.

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3.) “Big Little Lies”- Season 2

Currently On: HBO

6/10

Overall a bit disappointed with this season.

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“Big Little Lies” Season 1 was based on a very popular book, and I LOVED them both so much. The First Season was perfectly cast, expertly acted, and so well done. Season 2 went off book, because the author never wrote a sequel. I kind of feel like the story was better off ending the way it had in Season 1. While I absolutely love the cast.. I mean MERYL FUCKING STREEP is in Season 2… I just felt it sort of had no point? Not much really happened, and it sort of felt like one drawn out epilogue? It wasn’t terrible, but nowhere near as gripping as Season 1. That being said, Nicole Kidman was fantastic, and gives one of the best performances of her career, and obviously Meryl was stunning. Also Laura Dern was so funny, and I kind of want a spin-off just about Renata’s life. Some of those scenes between her and Mary-Louise (Meryl’s character) were SO good. Basically any scene with Meryl was the best scenes. I hate to sound like I’m being negative, because I did really enjoy it.. I was just left feeling a bit underwhelmed.

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4.) “The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell” 

A True Crime Mini-Series

Currently Streaming On: Amazon Prime & Oxygen

10/10

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I hadn’t heard much about the horrifying case, before stumbling across this Docu-Series. It was a very well done Series, with lots of Interviews with family etc. It’s a very disturbing crime, and I found the series quite upsetting. It just kept getting more and more shocking, and I found the whole thing very hard to watch. I thought it was very well done, and an important case to re-visit. Not for the faint of heart though.

5.) “I Love You Now Die”

Another True Crime Documentary (Not a Series, a Movie)

Currently On: HBO

10/10

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This movie made me really really angry. This is hands down one of the most disgusting, awful and outrageous crimes I’ve ever heard about. I can’t even tell you how mad this made me. I think it was a very well done Documentary, that managed somehow to tell both sides of this story. Much like the Susan Cox Powell series I mentioned above, this was not an easy watch. It’s hard to review these positively, because they are about truly evil things.. but as a Documentary, they are both important and necessary.


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MOVIES

1.) “Midsommar”

Currently In: Theaters

10/10

SO HORRIFYING. The new Horror Movie from the brilliant Director of “Hereditary” Ari Aster

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WOW. Okay…… This movie was everything I hoped it would be, and even more if that’s possible. As you guys might remember, “Hereditary” was probably one of my Top 5 fav films last year, and I immediately fell in love with Ari Aster’s style of film-making. He’s such a brilliant Artist, and the VISUALS in his films are breathtaking. “Midsommar” is one of the most visually aesthetically THRILLING things I’ve ever seen. Every frame was like something out of a Anthropologie brochure.. but with a horrifying edge.

Usually Horror movies have their “scariest” moments take place in the dark, at night etc. What’s so unique about this movie is that 99%/if not all of it happens in the BLINDINGLY bright daylight. God this was a creepy movie. I screamed out loud a few times from shock, and I felt SO much dread. It was amazing. I was blown away by the lead Actress Florence Pugh. She is such a great Actress, and she is able to convey emotion so realistically, that it blurred the line of real life/movie for me.. which never happens. I could FEEL her anxiety through the screen. I love that haha.

Also I want all of these dresses for next Summer.

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Google Movie Plot Blurb

(With their relationship in trouble, a young American couple travel to a fabled Swedish midsummer festival where a seemingly pastoral paradise transforms into a sinister, dread-soaked nightmare as the locals reveal their terrifying agenda.)

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2.) “The Perfection”

Currently Streaming On: Netflix

8/10

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Oh my GOD this movie really creeped me out, in a lingering way. I’m almost a bit hesitant to recommend it, because it gets pretty sordid and weird AF.. but overall I found it to be a really interesting Horror movie (but more of a Psychological Thriller). The main Actress Allison Williams disturbed me SO deeply in the movie “Get Out”, that just seeing her on the screen put me on edge.

This movie really plays with all your expectations, and it really appreciates the “twists you never see coming” thing.

IMDB Movie Plot Blurb

(When troubled musical prodigy Charlotte (Allison Williams) seeks out Elizabeth (Logan Browning), the new star pupil of her former school, the encounter sends both musicians down a sinister path with shocking consequences.)

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3.) “After The Wedding”

Currently In: Theaters

9/10

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I came across this movie so randomly, and I’m so happy that I did. I was bored one Afternoon, and I was lurking around the local Movie Theater Website, trying to find a Matinee to watch. I hadn’t heard anything about “After The Wedding”, but as soon as I clicked on the Reviews I was so intrigued. It was highly praised, and the trailer looked really interesting. I didn’t realize it was a re-make of a foreign film, but after watching/and enjoying it so much, I want to watch the Original now.

This movie is sort of sold as a “thriller”, and it is in some regard.. but I would call it way more of a complex/layered family drama. It was actually really REALLY sad, and I was sobbing ALL ALONE at the matinee like a psycho. I really loved it though, and I’m so glad I sort of stumbled upon it.

Google Movie Plot Summary

(Seeking funds for her orphanage in India, Isabelle travels to New York to meet Theresa, a wealthy benefactor. An invitation to attend a wedding ignites a series of events in which the past collides with the present as mysteries unravel.)

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4.) “Vox Lux”

Currently Streaming On: Netflix

7/10

One of the strangest movies I’ve ever seen, but I sort of enjoyed it?

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I’ve been a huge Natalie Portman fan, for as long as I can really remember? When I heard about this movie, I thought it seemed like a bit of an odd role for her (especially when I realized how much singing was involved).. but I HAD to watch it. I saw it was recently added to Netflix, and I just kind of threw it on while I was editing photos. Within the first five minutes, after a very harrowing opening scene.. I was hooked. I wasn’t sure if I was enjoying it, or hating it.. or if I was so confused I just couldn’t look away? Either way I watched the entire thing, and then spent the following two hours watching You-Tube videos “explaining the ending of VOX LUX” & “the deeper symbolism in VOX LUX”. Basically, the entire movie I could tell there was something sort of going over my head, that I wasn’t quite grasping.. after all the You-Tube education after I think I need a re-watch. Also Natalie Portman was amazing as usual, and really gave her all to this bizarre/ futuristic-ish movie. The movie had a very interesting take on society, and the costumes were just wild. It reminded me kind of the way the citizens in the “Capital” dressed in “The Hunger Games”. I also loved that SIA was involved in all the Original music in this film, as well as seeing Jude Law as her Co-Star. I loved Natalie Portman and Jude Law together in the movie “Closer”, and getting to see them act alongside each other again was a thrill.

Google Movie Plot Blurb

(Celeste is a 13-year-old music prodigy who survives a horrific school shooting in Staten Island, N.Y., in 1999. Her talent shines through during the memorial service when she sings a song that touches the hearts of the mourners. Guided by her sister and a talent manager, the young phenom transforms into a rising pop star with a promising future. Eighteen years later, Celeste now finds herself on the comeback trail when a scandal, personal struggles and the pitfalls of fame threaten her career.)

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5.) “Below Her Mouth”

Currently Streaming On: Netflix

10/10

A beautiful LGBT Love Story (also a VERY steamy one). 

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I have been beyond in love with Model/Actress Erika Linder for years. She’s an incredibly successful androgynous model, who has modeled both Men’s & Women’s Fashion for major designers, and has been in Vogue many times. I’m obsessed with her, and all of her shoots. I had never seen her act in anything before, and when I came across this on Netflix I was thrilled.

This is a love story between two women who meet on a night out. Erika Linder’s character Dallas, meets Jasmine (who happens to be Engaged to a Man) and they begin a passionate affair. This is hands down one of the raciest movies I’ve ever seen (that wasn’t a porno haha). However it was done very beautifully, and tastefully. I just loved it so much, and I think my obsession with Erika Linder is maybe even more intense now.

Google Movie Plot Summary

(Jasmine is a successful fashion editor living with her fiance. On a night out in the city with her best friend, she meets Dallas, a roofer recently out of a relationship. Surprised by the confidence with which Dallas pursues her, Jasmine turns Dallas down but can’t get her out of her head. When Jasmine finally succumbs, the two women embark on a steamy affair that forces them both to re-evaluate their lives.)

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BOOKS

1.) “Conversations With Friends”

&

2.) “Normal People”

Both By: Sally Rooney

10/10

“No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.”

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I’ve been hearing so much buzz about this young Irish Author Sally Rooney. Her writing has won many awards, such as the prestigious  “Novel of the Year” at the British Book Awards… it was also nominated for the “Man Booker Prize”, praised by many celebrities, and just buzzed about ALL over the Book-Zone online.

I absolutely devoured both of her books in one weekend, and I was blown away. Not exactly by the “story”, because the plot of both of these books was quite mundane and sort of everyday. It was the WAY these books were written, that was so stunning. Her observations about society, about the inner workings of young people’s minds.. were SHOCKINGLY spot on. She manages to articulate, and put on paper… something I’ve never been able to define. It’s like a feeling we all feel, or the way it feels to grow up, interact with others etc… she lays it out for you in this book in a way that makes you think “yes this exactly.. omg this is EXACTLY right”. It’s hard to explain. You have to read her work to understand.

Both of her novels are “coming of age” stories about young people. “Conversations with Friends” is about a young Artist named Frances, who gets involved in a messy affair with an older Married man. In “Normal People” we follow two best friends throughout their College-life. It sounds like a typical story we’ve all heard before, but trust me..  you will be blown away.

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“Gradually the waiting began to feel less like waiting and more like this was simply what life was: the distracting tasks undertaken while the thing you are waiting for continues not to happen.”

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Good-Reads Plot Summary

For: “Conversations With Friends”

(A sharply intelligent novel about two college students and the strange, unexpected connection they forge with a married couple.
Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student and aspiring writer, she devotes herself to a life of the mind–and to the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi, her best friend and comrade-in-arms. Lovers at school, the two young women now perform spoken-word poetry together in Dublin, where a journalist named Melissa spots their potential. Drawn into Melissa’s orbit, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband. Private property, Frances believes, is a cultural evil–and Nick, a bored actor who never quite lived up to his potential, looks like patriarchy made flesh. But however amusing their flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy neither of them expect. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally even with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile herself to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.
Written with gem-like precision and probing intelligence, Conversations With Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth.”)

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“Things and people moved around me, taking positions in obscure hierarchies, participating in systems I didn’t know about and never would. A complex network of objects and concepts. You live through certain things before you understand them. You can’t always take the analytical position.”

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“Marianne had the sense that her real life was happening somewhere very far away, happening without her, and she didn’t know if she would ever find out where it was or become part of it.”

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“Not for the first time Marianne thinks cruelty does not only hurt the victim, but the perpetrator also, and maybe more deeply and more permanently. You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.”

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Good-Reads Plot Summary 

For: “Normal People”

(At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.
A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.
Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.)

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3.) “Gone Without A Trace”

By, Mary Torjussen 

3/10

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I don’t really want to review this, other than to say how much I disliked it. It was well written, and what I think was the most disappointing was how much potential the story had. It started out great, with a really creepy and timely idea. Imagine if your spouse all of a sudden VANISHED. Social media, call history, texts, photos.. everything.. gone. What happened?! It’s a fascinating fun idea, but this book was just not my cup of tea. I think the biggest problem I had with this one, was how annoying and awful I found the main character to be. Probably the most irritating character I’ve ever read about. I kept seeing people talking about this amazing “twist” coming, and while it was interesting… it just wasn’t that good.

The ending was predictable, and I honestly predicted 1/2 of the twists in the first 1/4 of the book.

Skip this one guys, it was just not that good. The review on the cover that says it has a “twist so sharp it will give you WHIPLASH” was really bull-shitting, haha. I feel mean being negative, but I want to be honest with you guys. This just wasn’t worth the money.

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(No one ever disappears completely…

You leave for work one morning.
Another day in your normal life.
Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn’t been at work for weeks.
It’s as if he never existed.
But that’s not possible, is it?
And there is worse still to come.
Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.)

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4.) “I Know You”

By, Annabel Kantaria

8/10

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As soon as I read the blurb for this book, I was dying to pick it up. It gave me very creepy stalker vibes, like “You” by Caroline Kepnes. I loved the way this story was told from two points of view. One part is told by our main character, a young pregnant woman, new to the area trying to make friends. Another part of the book is told by an anonymous person who is saying creepy fucking things like “I know where you live”, “I know where you Honeymooned”… while they detail their terrifying stalker behavior. What’s so genius, is we have no idea WHO they are writing these letters to, as well as who is the target/who is the stalker. It was so genius! The entire book I was dying to find out who was who. Who was the stalker, who was the victim?!! This book had so many twists, and I loved it so much. Such a fun read!

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(You trust her.

You shouldn’t.

That picture you just posted on Instagram? I’ve seen it.
The location you tagged? I’ve been there.

You haven’t been careful enough, have you?
Because I know all about you.

But when I meet you, I won’t tell you that.
I’ll pretend. Just like you do.

You’ll like me though. You’ll trust me enough to let me into your life.

And then I’ll destroy it.)

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5.) “The New Me”

By Halle Butler

9/10

“You can’t ask someone to help you without letting them know you’re different than advertised, that you’ve been thinking and feeling strange things this whole time. That you’re uglier, weaker, more annoying, more basic, less interesting than promised. Without letting on that your feelings are easily hurt, and that you are boring, just like everyone else. Once you expose yourself as insecure, it’s easy to feel resentment if you’re not immediately put back at ease. If there’s even a flicker, a tiny recognition of your bad qualities, the resentment kicks in, the deal is broken, and suddenly you’re both angry strangers, spending hours alone in a room together and completely unsure of why.”

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This book was bizarre, and genius. Halle Butler’s writing reminded me a bit of Sally Rooney’s, in the deadpan, brutally honest depiction of a young person’s life today. It also reminded me a bit of Holden Caulfield from “Catcher in the Rye”. It’s sort of depressing, satirical, and weirdly relateable. I think we have all had a job at one point or another that’s felt a bit draining. I worked at McDonald’s when I was 15 and it wasn’t the best haha.

“The New Me” is about a young woman, who is working a Temp job, trying to get her life together. She is a bit rough around the edges, and describes herself in a very detailed way… going into detail about her poor hygiene, her sloppy appearance, her lonely life. It’s all quite pathetic, and dark… but it’s just a fascinating, weirdly hopeful read. You find yourself being turned off by her, but rooting for her to succeed. The intense self loathing she feels, is so real and honest.. and just her general anxieties felt so universal. She is also sort of delusional about her life, and how she comes off to other people. In certain points of the novel, we are given a chapter from other character’s in the story.. and lets just say their descriptions of our protagonist Millie, is pretty bleak.

It’s Millie’s observations about the people in her life, and the people she comes across, that I found the most exciting. The way she describes the people she knows, the people she works with.. and the weirdly specific ways they make her feel… was DEAD ON to some of my experiences. Probably to some of ALL of our experiences. This sense of camaraderie I felt is what made me love this so much.

“When I was a child, my mom used to tell me that life was like a game, and sometimes you had to do things you didn’t want to do in order to do the things that you did want to do. I always thought this was strange advice. I only ever had brief and fleeting ideas for things I did want to do, but mostly I felt completely overwhelmed by possibilities, and then just went down the list saying, no, no, no, not that, not that until I was playing this idiots game of racking up things I was doing that I didn’t want to do in service of some imaginary thing I might one day stumble upon.”

Good-Reads Plot Summary

(A biting satire of the false promise of reinvention, by a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and Granta Best Young American Novelist

I’m still trying to make the dream possible: still might finish my cleaning project, still might sign up for that yoga class, still might, still might. I step into the shower and almost faint, an image of taking the day by the throat and bashing its head against the wall floating in my mind.

Thirty-year-old Millie just can’t pull it together. Misanthropic and morose, she spends her days killing time at a thankless temp job until she can return home to her empty apartment, where she oscillates wildly between self-recrimination and mild delusion, fixating on all the little ways she might change her life. Then she watches TV until she drops off to sleep, and the cycle begins again.

When the possibility of a full-time job offer arises, it seems to bring the better life she’s envisioning – one that involves nicer clothes, fresh produce, maybe even financial independence – within reach. But with it also comes the paralyzing realization, lurking just beneath the surface, of just how hollow that vision has become.

Darkly hilarious and devastating, The New Me is a dizzying descent into the mind of a young woman trapped in the fun-house of American consumer culture. )


And….

I have a few more random shots from the End of Summer

One of my Best Friends gave birth to a beautiful baby Boy…

Ryan and I had some cute date nights…

I went biking once in my life, and the tire exploded five minutes into the ride…

I got into some new Makeup & Bought way too many new outfits…

I went into the Woods…

And so much more.

Thanks for Reading Guys,

I’ll see you VERY soon with some new Fashion Posts & My September Wrap Up (It won’t be months late I SWEAR)

xoxo,

Love Carly.


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All Photography @Carly Ingram Photography 2019

All Photos Of TV & Movies @Google Images 2019


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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