All posts by mgosser

Fuel Your Body Pre and Post Workout – Cardio

trail mix

What you eat pre and post workout can directly affect your performance during and recovery after. Cardio workouts, such as spin classes, are no joke; so don’t let all of your hard work go to waste by eating the wrong foods or by not eating at all. Your body needs fuel to function, especially if you are about to take a 45-minute to 1 hour spin class. So what should you eat? Eating a snack or meal rich in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat is a good rule to follow. Carbs are the best fuel for working muscles, especially during an intense cardio workout such as spin. Carbs are partially converted to glycogen, which is stored in your muscles in order to power your workout. If you are having a meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) you should give yourself 2-3 hours before working out and less 30 minutes to an hour for small snacks. For those who work out in the morning, don’t skip breakfast before your workout! Breakfast means to break the fast. Have something small such as a fruit smoothie, a banana, or split your breakfast in half (have half before your workout and half after). No matter what time you workout, always hydrate before, during and after exercise.

Try some of these snacks pre workout to help you power through your session:
1. Whole grain toast, tablespoon of all natural peanut butter and sliced banana
2. Steel cut oats or rolled oats (higher in fiber and lower in sugar than the pre-packed oats), mix with water, skim milk or unsweetened almond milk and add some fruit such as berries or bananas.
3. Smoothie (try blending 1 frozen banana, 2 cups baby spinach, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, 3//4 cup unsweetened almond milk, ½ cup fat free Greek yogurt
4. Apple slices with Almond butter

What you eat post workout is also important because the muscles are repairing. Help that process by consuming carbs and protein 30-60 minutes after your workout. Drink a lot of water as well. Sports drinks are not necessary and I only recommend them for workouts lasting longer than 90 minutes; food and water is sufficient for anything less than that.

Try some of these ideas post workout to help your muscles recover quickly so you can get back at it tomorrow:
1. Plain Greek yogurt (higher in protein than regular yogurt), topped with fresh fruit and walnuts
2. Cottage Cheese topped with fresh fruit (great with honey dew or cantaloupe) and almonds
3. Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lots of veggies and 1 slice of light or low-fat cheese
4. Mixed green salad with lean protein such as grilled chicken or fish with olive oil and vinegar.
5. Trail mix (mix almonds, dark chocolate chips, whole grain cheerios, sunflower seeds & raisins) – serving size ¼ cup

Mother’s Day Picks

mother's day gifts

Mother’s Day is only a few days away. I put together a list of some of my favorite gifts. Every mom is different, but there is a gift out there for everyone. You don’t have to go and spend a lot of money, something simple and thoughtful will let all the moms in your life know that they are appreciated on this special day.

For the Mom-to-be:
The book You Know You Are Pregnant When is the essential mother’s day gift for every expecting mother. This hysterical book is a collection of quotes from women and husbands from all over the country highlighting the often hilarious things that happen to you when you are growing a baby inside your body including hormonal and body changes, strange food cravings, uncomfortable sex, and having a foggy brain. It is a must read for anyone who has ever experienced pregnancy. Buy on AMAZON for only $8.95.

For the New Mom:
New moms love having anything that is monogramed with baby’s name or initials. And what mom doesn’t love jewelry. I have the two necklaces above from stella & dot: The Signature Engravable ID Tag and The Signature Engravable Bar Necklace Layering is so in this season and these necklaces go perfectly together and can be worn daily. Most importantly they will mean something special to that new mom.

For the Fit Mom:
Independent, intelligent, precise, strong, determined. Loves challenges and trains without wasting time. Extremely health-conscious, especially when it comes to fitness, nutrition, and hitting the gym. An inspiration to friends and family. Fighter. Won’t take no for an answer. Positive. Ass-kicker. Awesome. Does that describe a mom you know. Then KEEPTIGHT® gear is the line of workout clothes for her. It’s a brand dedicated to women and their fierce desire for fitness and health. One of my favorite items from the brand is the KEEPTIGHT® IronCharger™ Tank. The material is amazing and it keeps you cool and dry all workout long.

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For the Health Conscious, Do-Gooder Mom:
Throughout the month of May all Vitamin Shoppe Stores stores across the country will be supporting Vitamin Angels. The Vitamin Shoppe will collect monetary donations at register and customers can purchase products – including the items featured in the gift basket above – from select vendors who will donate a percentage of the purchase to Vitamin Angels. So be creative and put a cute basket together like the one above and give to a mom who will be grateful that you helped someone on her behalf.

Vitamin Angels, a non-profit organization, helps at-risk populations in need – specifically pregnant women, new mothers and children under five – gain access to lifesaving and life changing vitamins and minerals in the U.S. and internationally by partnering with over 700 non-governmental organizations worldwide. Vitamin Angels envisions a world where every child, from the day he or she is born, has the chance to lead a healthy and productive life.

For the Classic Mom:
When I think of mother’s day I think of fragrance and flowers, two classic gifts. A fragrance says a lot about a woman and there is nothing more classic than Chanel. I love their fragrance Chanel Chance. It has a light, subtly sensual fragrance. Perfect for all moms, it’s a classic for sure.

Gym Bag Essentials

gym bag essentials

Spring has sprung (finally!) and it suddenly hits us that beach season is around the corner. Although we all know we feel better after a gym session, let’s face it – finding time to work out is HARD. That being said, a great starting point is to prep your gym bag with all the essentials. Keep your gym bag stocked and ready to go with the below necessities!

1. Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths in Energize: Keep up with your active lifestyle with ease. Try Ban® Total Refresh® Cooling Body Cloths to instantly cool the back of your neck and décolleté or use for an all-over refresh during any transitional moment day or night.

2. David Kirsch Wellness Kirschbar: Created by fitness expert David Kirsch, the KIRSCHBAR is the only meal-replacement bar gives you all the nutrition you need for a completely satisfying meal or post-workout snack: it’s 100% natural, gluten-free and is made from 20 grams of high quality, easily digestible protein and 6 grams of fiber.

3. KMS California HAIRPLAY makeover spray: Dry cleansing and instant style renewal. Split-second style refresher. Absorbs oil and builds bulk to refresh limp or day-old styles. Great for quick style touch-ups and in-between shampoos.

4. Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Mini Deodorant: The perfect deodorant to throw in your gym bag! This all-natural, freshly scented deodorant provides superior, long-lasting odor protection. Soothing essential oils blend with powerful anti-oxidants and beta glucan technology for daily defense and nourishment.

5. Rimmel London Wonder’lash Mascara with Argan Oil in Waterproof: You can now get the Moroccan Argan oil your hair loves in a Rimmel mascara with new Wonder’lash Mascara with Argan Oil. Condition lashes and break through clumps for full, smooth volume. The unique brush’s super-soft bristles hug and coat each lash, perfectly separating them from root to tip. Even small corner lashes are dramatically transformed for an effortlessly eye-catching look. Lashes are left smoother, sleeker, and more defined than ever.

6. Orico London Coco Spritz: An all day coco boost! With just one spritz, your skin will be cleansed, nourished and protected. The main ingredient, Coconut Water, is an excellent humectant and intensely hydrated and locks in moisture to encourage a healthy radiant complexion – especially after perspiring. The nutrients in each bottle provide anti-bacterial and antioxidant benefits to reduce the appearance of blemishes or redness, too.

7. Scunci Everyday & Active™ 3x Stronger Braided Hair Ties: A No Damage braided weave creates a hold three times stronger than regular no metal elastics to keep hair out of sight and out of mind.

8. NYC New York Color Smooth Skin BB Crème Instant Matte: NYC New York Color Smooth Skin BB Crème Instant Matte: Refine your skin instantly with this long-wearing crème with an effortlessly matte finish. Smoothing and hydrating, this crème leaves skin looking healthy and silky-smooth without even a hint of shine.

9. Burt’s Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser: Clinically proven to help improve the appearance of surface dullness, this cleanser, infused with Daisy extract, helps reveal a more even skin tone in as few as 4 weeks*. Formulated with a multifruit complex, our cleanser effectively removes dirt oil and makeup. Make it part of your daily regimen for a brighter and more even complexion, naturally.

Skincare Tips During Pregnancy

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During pregnancy we all want that pregnancy glow that everyone talks about. I mean you are creating a human being and carrying it around for 9 months so you deserve to have glowing skin, right? Unfortunately we all don’t get the glow. Hormones can make our skin look more like we are going through puberty than having a baby. Creams and lotions that may have been your go to pre-pregnancy might not work anymore. Thankfully Jaime Cane, Licensed Esthetician and Director of Education for natural skincare brand derma e® has some tips to help solve some of your skin issues and get you on your way to the glowing skin you deserve!

1. During pregnancy, skin can be more sensitive, redder or thinner than usual. Choose natural skincare products that are extra gentle and include anti-inflammatory, calming and soothing ingredients like Aloe, Chamomile and Pycnogenol®. Also, avoid aggressive or frequent exfoliation.

2. Many women complain of being scent-sensitive or adverse to fragrance while pregnant. Choose fragrance-free products for your face and body so you’re not overwhelmed by scent.

3. During and after pregnancy, many woman experience Chloasma or “Pregnancy Mask”, a hormonally-induced discoloration that appears in patchy brown spots on the face and sometimes the décolleté. Use natural skincare products enriched with melanin inhibiting ingredients like Vitamin C, Licorice and Alpha Arbutin to help minimize and prevent the appearance of dark spots. Additionally, protect the skin daily with a chemical-free, nanoparticle-free Zinc Oxide sunscreen to help prevent future discoloration.

Jaime Cane, Licensed Esthetician and Director of Education for natural skincare brand derma e®
Jaime Cane, Licensed Esthetician and Director of Education for natural skincare brand derma e®

About derma e®
Family owned and operated for 30 years, derma e® has pioneered the development of vitamin-rich, high-performance antioxidant skincare solutions. The award-winning line features over 80 doctor-developed and clinically-test products that are free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil and petrolatum. derma e® products are cruelty-free and 100 percent vegan. Manufacturing and operations are offset 100 percent by wind power. derma e® can be found in over 8,000 retail outlets across the U.S. with additional distribution in 25 countries internationally and on www.dermae.com. For more information, visit www.dermae.com, call (800) 933-9344, follow on Facebook at derma e® Natural Skincare or Twitter @derma_e.

Green Morning Smoothie

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Get your morning started right with this delicious and nutritious smoothie. It’s so simple all you need is the five ingredients below and you will be in your way to a great day!

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Ingredients:
-1 frozen banana
-1 cup fresh spinach leaves
-1/2 cup Greek yogurt
-1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Blend ingredients together until smooth and enjoy! I topped mine with some goji berries for some added crunch.

Cake Smash

Photo credit:  Alexa Drew Photography
Photo credit: Alexa Drew Photography

Hard to believe my baby turned one over a month ago. I’ve been a little busy over here so haven’t had the chance to share any details. A week before her party we had a cake smash photo shoot at my house with the amazing and talented Alexa of Alexa Drew Photography. I got some amazing props, a beautiful smash cake and the cutest little one year old ever and the result were these awesome pics below. I’ve included details and props for most of the items. Alexa captured so many special moments from a precious moment shared between my two girls to me and my husband jumping around trying to make her smile. I swear my daughter is the only one who doesn’t like cake (and this one was exceptionally delicious). I had to put raisins on the cake for her to actually attempt to smash it and we even had to give her a spoon because she didn’t like the frosting on her hands lol.

Tassel Garland from Fanciful Chaos Photography Mini Glittery Hat from Kutie Bow Tuties Photography
Tassel Garland from Fanciful Chaos
Mini Glittery Hat from Kutie Bow Tuties

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ONE banner from Topper & Twine Headband from So Bailey
ONE banner from Topper & Twine
Headband from So Bailey

Romper from Ever After Fairy Tales
Romper from Ever After Fairy Tales

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Crown Headband from Posh Peanut KidsAlexa Drew Photography
Crown Headband from Posh Peanut Kids

Smash Cake from The Hudson Cakeryy
Smash Cake from The Hudson Cakeryy

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Work It Out – Pre & Postnatal Fitness Tips From the Experts

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We all know that physical activity is important and something that we should incorporate into our lives daily, but what about when we are pregnant or post pregnancy? Our bodies definitely have different needs during and post pregnancy, however, exercise can greatly benefit us and our babies. During pregnancy exercise can help reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling, increase your energy, improve your mood, promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance, may improve ability to cope with labor and makes it easier for you to get back in shape after the baby is born. Exercise postpartum can help restore muscle strength and firm up your body and can make you less tired because it raises your energy level and improves your sense of well-being.

So now that you know how great exercise is, what should you do? Prenatal and postnatal exercise definitely has modifications no matter what your fitness level. When I was pregnant and directly post pregnancy I found DVDs and classes specifically targeted to my needs were best and taught me what modifications I needed to make. I’m lucky enough to live in an urban area where I have access to amazing prenatal, postnatal, mommy & me classes and gyms that offer babysitting (once the babies are old enough). A great resource for finding out what the guidelines for exercise pre and post pregnancy is The AMERICAN CONGRESS of OBSTETRICIANS and GYNECOLOGISTS (ACOG).

It is also great to speak with a trainer who knows the appropriate modifications. I was lucky enough to chat with Noël Descalzi (founder) and Lisa Bruno (co-founder) of Work it Out Fitness Studios (WiO) located in Hoboken, NJ. If you live here definitely check it out. It’s an amazing boutique gym that offers an amazing variety of classes, prenatal classes, mommy & me classes, babysitting, and gymnastics for kids. Check out their tips below to get started:

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PRENATAL
1. Do not do any exercises which require you to lie flat on your stomach or back after the first trimester
2. Walking is a great way to stay fit throughout all 9 months of pregnancy
-When walking use the curb or stairs to do step-ups
3. Standing leg lifts are a simple exercise that moms-to-be can do at home. You can also lie on your side and do this exercise!
WiO suggests three sets of ten leg lifts on each side

wio mom and baby

POSTNATAL – Work out with baby!
1. New moms can do pushups over baby (lying flat on floor), and give little ones a kiss each time they go down!
-Scale up the difficulty and once in the ‘up’ position push back into downward dog before going back into another pushup
2. Put baby in a carrier (or hold out in front of you) standing with legs shoulder-width apart and do three sets of 10 squats
-Scale up the difficulty and do this exercise in releve
3. Group fitness classes are great for new moms
-Classes introduce you to other new moms
-Get new moms out of the house
4. WiO suggests finding a gym that offers on-site childcare and/or mom-and-me classes, since no new mom wants to be too far from baby!

Always check with your health care provider before starting any exercise routine and to get clearance post pregnancy. For more great tips and inspiration follow Wio on their BLOG, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, & YOUTUBE.

Earth Week 2015 – Spring Clean for a Great Cause – Second Chance Toys

designed by Freepik.com
designed by Freepik.com

Spring is in the air (finally)! That means it’s time to spring clean. This week is Earth Week and it is a great reminder that we should be mindful of our earth and instead of throwing things away find ways to recycle them.

The organization, Second Chance Toys (SCT), rescues, cleans and redistributes gently used plastic toys to children in need. It’s part of a huge effort underway – organized by SCT and 1-800-Got-Junk. The two have partnered not only to help disadvantaged kids – but also to keep these toys out of the landfills.

Do an act of kindness this week by putting toys in the hands of underprivileged kids, teaching more privileged children to donate the toys they’ve outgrown and helping to keep thousands of pounds of non-biodegradable waste out of our landfills.

Families can drop off toys at any of these LOCATIONS in the NY, NJ, PA, MA, D.C. areas.

New Mama Tells All – Q & A with Fashion Blogger Elaine of See Lark!

I love talking with new mamas. It brings me back to those early months with my first baby girl and how life-changing, crazy, confusing, amazing, wonderful, emotional and brilliant it was. It’s one of those “you don’t know until you’ve actually experienced it” things. You just can’t explain how you are feeling, thinking, surviving during those first few days/weeks/months. That is definitely one common bond all mamas share.

I had the chance to chat with new mom and fashion blogger, Elaine of SEE LARK!. She is brutally honest about life as a new mama so all you new mamas and mamas-to-be will definitely be able to relate. She also shares how she looks so pulled together and how you can look that way too, really! (even though you haven’t slept in days, can’t remember what your last meal was and just had a meltdown!). Read on to get the scoop…And seriously how ridiculously adorable is her son!?!?

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Fit Fab Mommy (FFM): How/Why did you start See Lark?

See Lark! (SL): I have had a lot of life events in the past 4-5 years such as buying a house, planning a wedding, having a baby, etc . With each one, I discovered a new found joy of decorating, completing a DIY project, finding something I coveted at a discount, and (of course) dressing for all these special occasions. I started SEE LARK! as a way to share my interests and practice photography. A great side benefit is that I have a chronicle of life events that I can look back upon and share with my family.

FFM: Congratulations on your new role as mama! What was the biggest shock/biggest adjustment for you from no child to mommy hood?

SL: This was a tough question for me to succinctly answer. There are a lot of adjustments and surprises, but I think the biggest adjustment is defining my role and expectations as a new mother. Before baby, responsibilities were clear between me and my husband and there was always time to take care of myself. The first few weeks we were all out of sorts and I wasn’t sure where or how I should spend my time. If I spent it away from baby I would feel guilty, if I did all the baby-related tasks I would feel a little resentful. I think I am balancing out now and my husband and I have our new responsibilities figured out (he is good with diapering, I do baby’s laundry) so we are figuring it out.

FFM: What were your three favorite items when you were pregnant?

SL: Yoga blocks, Hatch maternity line, and cocoa butter lotion. Yoga is a great stress reliever and yoga blocks were a life saver for me, especially in the third trimester. I would use them as an assist in stretching, sit on them to adjust my pelvis, and just to have around to help me off the floor or couch! Maternity fashion has definitely improved and the Hatch Collection pieces, even if just a couple, just makes you feel prettier while pregnant. Their high-quality legging, a v-neck tee, and a dress are what I would recommend. The pieces are really flattering and totally acceptable to wear when not pregnant (I still wear the leggings and plan to wear a couple of their dresses in the Spring time). This line is a bit of a splurge, but you can find an occasional discount by shopping their sale section or looking on Gilt which has a flash sale with this brand on a semi-regular basis. Finally, as your skin stretches it gets itchy. I got into a good practice of using cocoa butter lotion after showers every day. I think it helped me reduce stretch marks as well.

FFM: What did you wear home from the hospital?

SL: A plaid dress by Hatch, black loafers, and a Club Monaco cocoon coat. No one ever talks about what happens after birth and the fact that you will still look pregnant. Therefore, loose silhouettes are ideal for those first few weeks after delivery.

FFM: How do you stay comfy, yet look so fashionable now that you are a mom?

SL: Fortunately, the trend these days is “athletic chic” so mixing style with comfort is much more achievable. I look for things that are both true to my personal style (simple, clean lines, and anything black, white or gray), functional, and I am firm believer in layering. For example, a pair of distressed boyfriend or slouchy skinny jeans is my go-to piece. Then I choose a henley or a button-down shirt (something nursing friendly) to wear on top and then add a scarf (that can double as a nursing cover) and leather jacket or a drapey coat.

Fashion Blogger & new mom Elaine of SEE LARK! says that boyfriend jeans and red lipstick are a must for every mama.
Fashion Blogger & new mom Elaine of SEE LARK! says that boyfriend jeans and red lipstick are a must for every mama.

FFM: 5 items all new moms need to own?

SL: Boyfriend jeans, red lipstick, shape wear, smartphone, and Blue Apron. The boyfriend jeans and red lipstick really helps you feel a little glam and like your old self in this first few weeks. Shape wear makes you feel secure if you have to go out and wear something other than sweatpants soon after giving birth. We all have smartphones but mine is an extension of my arm these days. I use it to track diaper changes, naps, feedings, blog, read blogs, online shop, pay bills…all while holding or nursing baby. Finally, Blue Apron is a game changer for dinners. You don’t have to think about planning dinner and the meals are well balanced.

FFM: Baby essentials – items you can’t live without for your little one?

SL: Breast Friend nursing pillow, Kickee Pants onesies, Fisher Price Cradle N’ Swing. The Brest Friend is the best nursing pillow out there. It really helps you hold baby up higher which your shoulders will thank you for later. Kickee Pants are the softest onesies I have ever encountered, they are my go-to for baby pajamas and as baby gifts. I’d like to think I have an “average” sleeper on my hands but who knows! But what I do know is that coupled with tight swaddling and the sound of running water, the Fisher Price Cradle and Rock swing really puts my guy to sleep so much more easily at night than me rocking him to sleep. It’s another game changer!

FFM: Do you think your style has changed since becoming a mom, if so, how. And what is the one or two items you probably won’t wear when you are with you baby?

SL: This is a great question. Before having a baby I wouldn’t think twice about material or care instructions, but for now I steer clear of silk and anything that is dry clean only! Also, I have to put the dresses with a crew neck collar on the back burning…who wants to lift up their entire dress to feed baby?!

FFM: How do you make work/life balance?

SL: Check in with me in June when I have had a few months of work under my belt! Right now I am on maternity leave so it makes work/life balance a little easier. I go back in March and to be honest, I am a little anxious. I do think it’s important to define what balance looks like for you. I think a common misconception is that balance is that both work and life are great and equally fulfilled at the same time. To me, balance is knowing when one may take back burner for awhile. This may mean that I will want to focus on life and be as efficient and productive with work during work hours and try to limit working late hours (which my job can often demand).

FFM: What do you find most challenging about being a first time mama?

SL: As a first time mother, you don’t have a point of comparison. It’s hard to know what is normal and you end up second guessing yourself a lot or benchmarking your kid with someone else’s. I know the advice if ‘you know what will work best for you and baby’ is conceptually correct, but that sixth sense doesn’t kick in automatically.

FFM: What do you love most about being a mom?

SL: I knew I would love my baby boy, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love him until he was born. The amount of love and joy just cannot be described in words. That “feeling” is what is best about being a mom. It’s the looks, that first smile, it’s knowing that he loves you back unconditionally and that your voice and touch brings him comfort. I’m tearing up just writing this!

FFM: Words of wisdom for mamas-to-be…

SL: It will take time but pick and choose (and have confidence in your decisions) from the flurry of advice you will get from parenting books, online, and from friends and family. When you feel ready, carve out time for yourself to workout, get a mani/pedi, or for some fresh air. Get dressed everyday, it will help your mindset and mood. Lastly, find good girlfriends or a new parent support group to talk to, be it venting, sharing good and bad experiences…anything that helps you emotionally and have a since of belonging.

Fashion Blogger and new mom, Elaine of SEE LARK! has such amazing style!
Fashion Blogger and new mom, Elaine of SEE LARK! has such amazing style!

If you aren’t doing so all ready, follow Elaine on social media…SEE LARK! – The Blog, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST.

So Bailey – Hair Accessories for Girls

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I love buying hair accessories for my girls. Bows, barrettes, headbands, you name it. The bigger, the better. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found the company So Bailey.

Each month you receive a variety of bows, headbands, flowers or barrettes delivered right to your door. It’s like birch box for hair bows. It’s fabulous! I just got my Valentine’s day box and it came with 3 items: 2 headbands and 1 bow. I’m officially obsessed and so are my girls (well my big one at least, the little one doesn’t have a choice lol).
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What little girl wouldn’t love receiving a box of new hair accessories in the mail each month? It’s a great gift idea too. We have been testing out our new hair accessories all week and can’t wait to get our next box! Get your March box for only $10 and FREE SHIPPING, just go to SoBailey.com and enter code: FB10.

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