The Best Road Trip Cars at Mint Motors

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Many of you know that since February, I have been working as a Marketing Director for Mint Motors in Fort Myers, FL, where I have been learning so much about the car industry, sales, and customer relations. It’s been a lot of fun, and challenging to learn all the ins and outs, but every couple of weeks, I am going to be creating blogs about my favorite cars currently for Road Trips and traveling endeavors. Life’s been very different since quarantine and COVID-19 and many traveling plans have been put on hold, especially when it comes to flying.

So I’ve got you covered with deals and insights for the best cars to fit a traveling and adventurous lifestyle.


2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit


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jeep grand cherokee info


2014 Lexus RX 350


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lexus information


2014 Hyundai Sonata GLS


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hyunadi information


2012 Kia Sportage EX


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kia sportage information


We have more on the lot and in our inventory, so give us a call or search on Mint Motors!

Read our COVID-19 business update

THANKS PALS!

For more updates,

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The Travel Brats Episode 15 “All Things Best Reads in Quarantine”

The Travel Brats Episode 15 “All Things Best Reads in Quarantine”

Listen to our Podcast!

Over the past month, Sofia and Ashley (your Travel Brats) have been compiling a list of all the best books and authors to share with the Travel Brats Tribe. We’ve asked friends, family, and our listeners for what books they love and why, so now we have a big list of some of the greatest novels of all time. We’ve got a little bit of everything from nonfiction to historical fiction to mystery to romance, so delve on into our comprehensive book recommendations.

Top Picks for Nonfiction


  1. Dreams of Eldorado: A History of the American West. By W.H. Brand

This overview of the history of the West is exciting and beautifully written. Lewis and Clark, The Texas Revolution, California Gold Rush, wild San Francisco, Building the Trans-Continental Rail Road, over  the Sierras and across the plains which are  filled with Indians, one-armed John John Westly Powell leading the first expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, John Coulter discovering  Yellowstone and the Tetons( in mid-winter), all incredible, separate stories that, in combination,  depict what the West was like and why it is still so much a part of the American spirit.

  • The Second World Wars By Victor Davis Hanson

You may be wondering how someone could write anything new about WWII. But Dr.Hanson does. He has a commanding understanding of the grand strategy and tactics of each combatant nation, their strengths, and weaknesses, economically and militarily, who had the best weapons, how geography affected battles, and much more. It is just a very creative explanation of  the overall inexorability of the of the Allied victory (as long as they didn’t make too many blunders). If you would like a shorter and lighter example of what an inspiring writer Dr.Hanson is, try The Savior Generals, which shows how important leadership can be(examples in the book are: William Tecumseh Sherman, Mathew Ridgeway, and David Petraeus).

  • A Team of Rivals  By Doris Kearns Goodwin

This is about Abraham Lincoln and the brilliant men he chose for his cabinet, nearly all of whom wanted his job. There good mini-biographies of each cabinet member and his relationship with Lincoln. The most revealing is the relation with William Seward, who, brilliant in his own right, initially was Lincoln’s biggest rival and most severe critic. But Seward is smart enough to quickly realize that   Lincoln is in a class of his own and is far and away from the best man for the difficult times ahead. How Seward then becomes Lincoln’s most trusted and valuable advisor one of the great stories in this masterpiece.

  • The Thomas Sowell Reader: By Thomas Sowell

This is a compilation of short essays explaining, with humor, wit, and logic, how economics really works in our everyday lives. No graphs or equations,but clear lessons. Dr. Sowell has written many other engaging and brilliant books, all recommended..

  • The Aviators By Winston Groom

This is the story of the early days of aviation from before WWI through WWII as seen and lived by three remarkable aviation pioneers. Eddie Rickenbacker was a mechanic then race car driver ,who became America’s WWI ace fighter pilot. After the war , he founded and was president of Eastern Airlines, among other things. Jimmy Doolittle not only led the early air raid on Tokyo in WWII, he was a  pioneer in developing and flight testing aviation instrumentation. Charles Lindberg is known for being the first person to solo the Atlantic, but he also flew 40 combat missions as a civilian in WWII and greatly improved fighter plane engine performance. This is great adventure.

Top FICTION Picks


  • Open Season: By C.J. Box 

This is the first in a series of mysteries about game warden, Joe Pickett as he solves mysteries in the rugged mountains of Wyoming. Well plotted stories with engaging character development and great descriptions of the Wyoming wilderness.

  • The Black Echo: By Michael Connelly

This is the first in a series about police detective Harry Bosch. These mysteries are filled with rich, detailed descriptions of the grittier sides of LA, along with police department political intrigue and multiple plots. The have a compelling feeling of authenticity. The author was a police reporter before he started writing fiction.

  • South of Broad: By Pat Conroy

He has written so many great books, that it is difficult to pick just one. Most are about the South Carolina coastal region, and all are beautifully written with vivid description of this amazing area. South of Brond is his last and my favorite by an eyelash.

  • The Gods Themselves: By Isaac Asimov. 

Dr. Asimov is one of the giants of the Golden Age of science fiction. This book is perhaps even more timely today ( about free clean energy) than when it was published in 1972. It consists of three stories,one the near the future on earth, one a beautifully described alternative universe, and lastly, a very plausible story on our moon after it is colonized. All stories seem totally independent until the end. This is engaging and imaginative writing and would be a great introduction to science fiction.

  •   War and Peace: By Leo Tolstoy

This really is a fun and exciting read with sweeping grandeur and lots of subplots. Not at all dull like most books that are” classics”. OK it is long.-even better. A miniseries in one volume. Think of it as Downton Abbey in Russia,in the middle of a war. It will not take you 5 years to read. Promise!

Top Picks for Fiction Continued


  •   Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

This is a story of the relationship between a widower and a widow  who are in their 70’s.  They are acquainted as neighbors in a small rural town in eastern Colorado. This is a bittersweet tale of two lonely people who get to know each other better; sharing thoughts and feelings during the night which they agree can be so terribly lonely.  A beautiful story of second chances unfolds in this author’s last book before his death.

  • A Painted House by John Grisham

This is a story narrated by a 7-year old farm boy(Luke) who lives in Arkansas with his parents & grandparents in a house that has never been painted. The family has a hard life picking cotton on an 80 acre farm that they rent. They have to hire Mexican  immigrants and hill people from the Ozarks to help them at harvest time. This book is referred to as a  “real slice of Americana” with vivid descriptions of life in the rural South in the 1950’s.   Young Luke has a dream of being a Major League baseball player and looks forward to listening to games on the radio.  While this novel portrays some of the mundane experiences of his life, it also includes some harsh realities and a loss of innocence that he experiences.  The author usually writes legal thrillers, none of which I read.  But I found John Grisham to be a superb storyteller.  And I found this book to be a moving story of a portion of a  young  boy’s life.

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Very Highly Recommended)

This is a mesmerizing story of the richness of the North Carolina coastal marshlands and the disturbing story of a young woman who is abandoned by her parents and older siblings as a young child.  As the story unfolds we learn how she adapts and survives in the swamps with very little help from the outside world. And it also includes a love story and a murder-mystery tale.  So this book has a little bit of everything.  This book is so beautifully written and contains poetry and vivid descriptions of the Marsh where the entire story takes place.

4.  Just for good measure, I have to mention 3 other books by the author of my #1 selection–Kent Haruf.  They are:  Plainsong,  Where You Once Belonged  and  The Tie That Binds.  All three of these are compelling and compassionate novels set in the High Plains of Colorado. The author is an amazing storyteller who captures the everyday lives of various people in a small rural community.

Top Picks For Mystery, Drama, and Historical Fiction:


  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Ashley’s favorite book of all time, and has a first edition)
  • Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Anne Burns (Suzi S/O)
  • Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini
  • The Book Thief & I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn
  • The Pilot’s Wife & Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
  • The Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbie Ann Mason
  • The Tattooist of Aschwitz by Heather Morris
  • Pachinko by Min Jinn Lee
  • the Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks,
  • The Irishman by Charles Brandt
  • Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts,
  • A Southern Family Gail Godwin
  • My sister’s Keeper and All the Small Things by Jodi Pidcolut,
  • China rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Best Authors Recommended


  • Pat Conroy
  • James Michener
  • Ernest Hemingway (Ashley loves him)
  • Willa Cather
  • Ferrol Sams
  • Tom Wolfe
  • CJ Box
  • John Grisham
  • Sue Grafton
  • Kathy Reichs
  • Peter Mayle
  • Leon Uris
  • James Patterson (Mysteries)

Top Series Picks


  • Miss Marple series
  • Hercule Poirot series –my favorite is Murder on the Orient Express
  • Harry Potter
  • The Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz

OUR LISTENERS’ FAVORITE BOOKS (Thank you Hannah)


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

19th century Gothic Romance novel that follows the hard life of Jane Eyre in her journey to meeting and falling in love with her employer, Mr. Rochester, but she runs into trouble when she realizes that Rochester is keeping his first wife hostage in their attic.

The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis

18th century Gothic Horror novel that follows much of the plot of a modern soap opera. This novel details the depraved nature of a monk who sells his soul to his cross-dressing friend who turns out to be a woman, who then turns out to be a demon sent from hell to tempt him. Through his deal with the demon he tries to fulfill his sexual desires toward a young woman in his village who ends up being his long lost sister. Churches burn, people are poisoned, raped, and trampled to death. Pretty saucy for the 1700’s.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

set in a dystopian, futuristic society (likely America) where reading is outlawed, anyone who owns a book is arrested, and the book is promptly burned. The citizens are held captive by cool technology and entertainment so they do not realize that the government is completely taking over their minds and stifling knowledge.

Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee

set in an unnamed, futuristic society where members of “the Empire” are waiting to be attacked by “the Barbarians”. The main character ends up bringing a Barbarian girl to his home after she is captured and tortured by the Empire. There are lots of really weird, sexual bathing scenes, but ultimately, this novel is a commentary on racial injustice in South African apartheid.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

such a popular story, but many people have only seen the movie. If you read the book, you get to see the personalities of Darcy and Elizabeth so much clearer which makes their relationship so fun.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

this is a prequel to Jane Eyre that shows the origin story of Bertha, Rochester’s first wife and how she came to be “the mad-woman in the attic.” It made me cry.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

the 19th century Gothic/Horror story that many people know so well but have never actually read. Follows a team of vampire hunters led by a Dutch professor after Jonathan iis kidnapped and held hostage by Count Dracula. The team must race against time before Mina is forever un-dead and made to be Dracula’s wife. Super creepy, and uncomfortably sexual, lots of blood, kinda saucy.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

another 19th century Gothic Romance novel with a much more sinister and creepy love interest. Lots of Ghosts, some weird love triangles, and lots of useless violence. Rad.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

arguably the best Dickens book. It’s about two men, one British and one French, fighting over the same girl during the French Revolution.

Literally anything by Agatha Christie— Christie is known as the “Queen of Murder” and she is the most widely published author of all time. She wrote 80 novels and short story collections and 19 plays. Here are my favorite titles of her work and plays:

  • The Mousetrap-the longest running play in history
  • And Then There Were None (also called Ten Little Indians)
  • Appointment with Death
  • The Hollow
  • Witness for the Prosecution
  • Towards Zero
  • Verdict
  • Go Back for Murder 

Honorable Mentions


  • Prince of Tides
  • Hawaii
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Betsey, A Memoir with Mark Vitulano
  • Mademoiselle Chanel
  • Atlas Obscure
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • A Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

Thank you Sofia’s grandpa, Shelia, Sebastian, Caleigh, Jenny, Rachael, Hannah, and all of the wonderful people who made suggestions and recommendations! We love you! Enjoy and read on.

Episode 13: All Things Abacos Island, Bahamas with Andrew Morgan

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In Episode 13, The Travel Brats interviewed close friend, Andrew Morgan, to uncover the hidden gems, food recommendations, and fishing hot spots in Abacos Island, Bahamas. He shares his tips on how to make the most of out your Bahamian trip, best time to go, and how to stay safe!

Listen at Apple Podcast!

When in the Abacos Islands, he loves to visit and explore Elbow Caye and Hope Town. He recommends going in the summertime because that’s when it’s pretty busy and there are tons of activities to do; he also suggests going with family or friends, basically anyone who likes doing the same things as you so you can book fun day trips. The Bahamas are known for having a warm and welcoming culture, and the cays are a great places to delve into it. 

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Best place to stay: 

Rent a house and go to the local grocery stories; live like the locals

So you can check out places to rent: 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentals-g147424-Reviews-Great_Abaco_Island_Abaco_Islands_Out_Islands_Bahamas-Vacation_Rentals.html

https://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/caribbean/bahamas/abaco

Things to Do: 

Festivities and Activities:

Junkaknoo — a smaller version of mardi gras at Nassau https://www.bahamas.com/event/new-year’s-day-junkanoo-parade-abacos

Every island has its own band and they practice all year, drums trumpets, tubas, sticks, custom made costumes.

Jimmy Buffet Event: Margaritaville, free burgers and beers and everything with tons of boats and Mr. Buffet will fly in with his boat, every year, stage in the middle of the water

https://strandednaked.com

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Best Food To Eat:

  • Crab Conch or Conch Fritters
  • Conch Salad Raw conch, pounded down, a shot of rum and beer, with chips and salsa

Restaurants: 

Nippers, north end of guana cay. Crazy colors, right on the beach, pool you can hang at, it’s very beachy vibe and on Sundays, there is a pig roast, 25 pigs 500+ people, 9am until the parties go on late (frozen nipper: best drink rum, cranberry juice, gumbay punch: illegal in the US bc too much sugar. https://www.nippersbar.com

Pete’s Pub — get there by noon for food http://www.petespub.com

Firefly — Hotel/ Restaurant owned by the people who own Firefly vodka https://fireflysunsetresort.com

Local Drinks: 

Sea Spray

Gumbay Smash

Kalik Beer

Rum Runnas

Mud Slide

Hidden Gems Fishing Editions:

Kalamora Caye– https://www.kamalame.com

Crashed plane from the 80’ so it’s a sunken plane off the coast and you can dive into it, it’s only in 10 feet of water (try to find it)

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Tips to make the most out of a Bahamas trip:

Don’t take too many lobsters (no no, trouble)

Staying safe advice:

Traveling on boat, make sure to follow the GPS, don’t want to hit a reef, so pay attention to the navigation system

When diving, be aware of your surroundings and know where the boat is at all time

Don’t get too far from the boat, there are a lot of sharks and you may have to get back to the boat quickly 

If a shark swims towards you, don’t get so frantic and swim away, you are a friend, not food 

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Travel Brats Episode 12: All Things Asheville

Listen on Apple Podcast!

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In Episode 12, The Travel Brats interviewed actress, Natalie Brouwer, about all things Asheville (the little sister city to San Franscico). In this episode, Natalie shares her recommendations and hidden gems on where to go, what to see, and how to make the most out of your time in the beautiful city of Asheville, North Carolina. She even shares her favorite Breweries with beer recs, so tune in before you head to NC!

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There’s so much to do in Asheville and there’s a lot of opportunities to travel there on a budget because there are a ton of free things to do, like hiking/parks/walk around downtown

Best times to go to Asheville: Recommended times to go— spring and fall for different reasons

Things to do:

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Fall time recommendations:

Winter Recommendations:

Skiing at Beech and Sugar Mountain https://www.beechmountainresort.com
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ARTSY + Cultural Activities To Attend:

River Arts District https://www.riverartsdistrict.com

Biltmore House (late 1800’s) https://www.biltmore.com

Grove Park Inn (1913) https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park

Best Places to Eat

Breakfast –

Sunny Point Cafe https://sunnypointcafe.com

Louise’s (Black Mountain) https://louisesblackmtn.com

Over Easy Cafe http://www.overeasyasheville.com

 

Lunch/Dinner –

WHITE DUCK TACO http://whiteducktacoshop.com

Chestnut https://www.chestnutasheville.com

Chai Pani http://www.chaipaniasheville.com/

Nine Mile https://ninemileasheville.com

Farm Burger https://farmburger.com/asheville-nc/

Easy Girl Eatery https://earlygirleatery.com

Tupelo Honey Cafe https://tupelohoneycafe.com/location/downtown-asheville/

My Father’s Pizza (BM) http://www.myfatherspizza.com

Fresh (BM) https://freshwoodfiredpizza.net

 

Where are the best places to stay? 

Air bnb! Or you can rent houses/cabins. Or stay at one of the nicer/fancier places connected to Biltmore/Grove Park

https://www.airbnb.com/s/Asheville–NC

 

Best Places to Explore/“hidden” gems:

Visit Black Mountain: https://www.exploreblackmountain.comThe town of Black Mountain

Sliding Rock a little farther away in Brevard and LAKE LURE: http://www.townoflakelure.com

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Top Breweries!!!!

-Beer (Brewing companies)

*Sierra Nevada  https://sierranevada.com/visit/north-carolina/

*Wicked Weed https://www.wickedweedbrewing.com/

*New Belgium https://www.newbelgium.com/brewery/asheville/

*Highland Brewing https://highlandbrewing.com/

*Green Man http://www.greenmanbrewery.com/

*Catawba https://catawbabrewing.com/

-favorite beers – Octoberfest (SN), White Zombie (Catawba), Pernicious IPA (WW)

 

Safety Tips

Asheville is a very safe town

When Hiking, make sure you dress appropriately for the season. Bug spray, water, snacks. Bears (black bears) you will likely not see. They are nocturnal animals and are more scared of you then you are of them. With a snake, if it’s a black snake you are fine. You will likely not see them either, but perhaps look up what to do if you see a copperhead, rattlesnake, or water moccasin. Make sure to lock your car! In general, just be aware of your surroundings. Our hikes are VERY user friendly!

Stay connected with Natalie by following her on IG: https://www.instagram.com/nataliejuneb/

My Favorite Used Cars For Sale At Mint Motors

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Recently, I started working for my stepdad’s automotive dealership to help out during the pandemic and to further my own professional career by gaining new insights and crafting transferable skills in a new industry. Working in the car business has been exciting to say the least—from learning how to reverse park perfectly to marketing the car lot to uncovering the layers of digital marketing that goes into it all. There are quite a few cars on the lot that I love, and they’re affordable too. So what I’ve decided to do is every couple of weeks I’m going to post our best deals on the lot and buying the perfect used car for roadtrippin’ is where I’m going to start. All these listings can be found at Mint Motors for more details on inventory and financing.


 

2017 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition

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mileage elantra


2016 Hyundai Tucson Sport

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mileage tuscon


2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

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mileage jeep


2013 Nissan Rogue SL

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mileage nissian


2016 Ford Escape SE

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mileage ford escape


2018 Kia Sorento SX Limited V6

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milege kia sorento


We have more on the lot and in our inventory, so give us a call or search on Mint Motors!

Read our COVID-19 business update

THANKS PALS!

For more updates,

Our Google Reviews

Instagram

LinkedIn

Facebook

 

Travel Guide for All Things Punta Cana, DR: Episode 9 with Connor Firmender

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Whether it’s a family trip, going out with the guys, or taking a wild spring break trip, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (often referred to as DR)  may be the place for you to go explore for fun nights, gambling, cave diving, drink tasting, and dune buggies.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE!!!

Where to Stay:

Connor stayed at The Grande Bahia Principe

His cost was $1,100 bundled with 3 people which included a roundtrip flight, 5 days and 4 nights.

A connection from RSW to Miami to Punta Cana int. Flew Southwest.

https://www.bahia-principe.com/en/resorts-in-dominican-republic/resort-punta-cana/

expedia deals:

https://www.expedia.com/Punta-Cana-Hotels-Grand-Bahia-Principe-Punta-Cana-All-Inclusive.h1091208.Hotel-Information

Ashley stayed at Majestic Mirage:

https://www.majestic-resorts.com/en/our-resorts/majestic-mirage-punta-cana

Day time Activities and Recommendations:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductReview-g147293-d12467586-Punta_Cana_Discovery_Package_Dune_Buggy_Adventure_and_Catamaran_Cruise-Punta_Cana_.html

Nighttime Activities:

Drinks Recommendations

  • Coconut drinks
  • Pineapple drinks
  • Shots of the sig liquor: Mama Juana (rum, red wine, and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs)

Tips to Stay Safe while in DR

  • Stay with a friend the entire time, let friends know ahead of time where you are going. Share your locations with friends
  • Look at your data plan. Call provider for $10 a day for unlimited data. Unless you have an unlimited international plan.
  • Ask resort people where to eat, where is safe and unsafe etc.

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13 Looks The Travel Brats Can’t Wait To Rock When Quarantine is Over

Since I am currently quarantined in Florida and it’s 80 degrees everyday, I’ve been wearing a swimsuit everyday. I can’t remember the last time I put on real clothes (that weren’t pajamas) or did up my hair and makeup. I am already daydreaming about all the cute outfits I am going to wear out when the world heals and this pandemic comes to an end, until then I am happy to stay in and keep everyone else safe. Here are some of the looks I can’t wait to wear out and about, to the beach, and on adventures. 

Shop all these looks and more at SHOP BEST DRESSED and follow @shopbestdressed on IG!


Getting Fancy Looks:


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Shop the dress

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Shop the clip

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Shop the Skirt


Girl’s Night Out Looks:


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Shop the Dress

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Shop the Bodysuit

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Swimsuit/ Beach Looks:


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Shop the Sunflower Swimsuit

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Shop the Stripe Swimsuit

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Shop the Sunglasses

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Shop the Romper


Out and About Day Looks:


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Shop the Shirt

Shop the Leather Shorts

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Shop the Shirt

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Shop the Dress

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Shop the Jacket

SHOP LOOKS HERE!