Tocara Review & Giveaway #MDGG

Tocara Jewelry was founded by Randall Markus and David Sigal who for over 30 years have have dared to do things differently and with that have created one of the leading fine jewelry design and manufacturing businesses in North America. Tocara pieces are exclusively designed and created for the company and sold only via Independent Consultants. Every piece has a professional designer style and offers superb quality while keeping each piece affordable.

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Tocara Independent Consultants have the wonderful ability to work their business around their life and control their income potential. By offering various levels of starters kits and the ability to even earn those for free by hosting a Starter Show it’s easy to become an Independent Tocara Consultant like Suzanne DiLazzaro. Independent Consultants have the opportunity to not only make a commission of their show sales but they also have less hassle with the direct customer shipping, no fee credit card processing, ability to purchase display samples for up to a 70% discount and best of all, a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee offered by Tocara. Independent Consultants across the United States and Canada are finding their success with Tocara with the help of the wonderful Hostess Rewards program and scheduling parties.

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Suzanne sent me two beautiful pieces for this years Mothers Day Gift Guide and once again I’m IMPRESSED with these review products and I think ANY mom would be happy to find these on her breakfast in bed tray on Mothers Day. I received the beautiful Suzanne Ring and The Natacha necklace… yep, the line is named after her!!  How cool is that!? In fact all of the Tocara lines are named after their Consultants and Staff… I think that is awesome.

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The Suzanne Ring comes in sizes 5-10 and is a beautiful freshwater DiAmi pearl set into a rhodium plated sterling silver ring. The perfectly sized pearl is cradled in a beautiful setting with the beautiful DiAmi stone twinkling on the band below.

The Natacha necklace measures approximately 17” with a 2” extension on the chain plus the pendant dimensions of 0.9” x 0.39”. This delicate piece is great for everyday wear or for special occasions like date night. The beautiful Swarovski Crystal Pearl is set below a Rhodium plated and Sterling silver piece accented with DiAmi ™ stones.

DiAmi stones are exclusive to Tocara jewelry. Each stone is made using pure elements and the same process that nature would to create precious gemstones of all types. Using high quality flawless stones each DiAmi ™ stone is faceted and polished to refract light for the ultimate sparkle.

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Tastefully Simple Review & Giveaway #MDGG

I am so happy that Independent Tastefully Simple Consultant Carrie Hurley contacted me to participate in the 2014 Mothers Day Gift Guide.   Why?  Because I love trying new recipes and foods but I’m TERRIBLE in the kitchen and have been learning for years how to cook, but at least I’m learning right?  However, with Tastefully Simple it’s so easy to create delicious gourmet like treats from desserts to main dishes and appetizers such as dips and snacks, even for the kitchen challenged like myself.  I love that most of their products only take 1-3 ingredients to make and are usually things I have on hand in my kitchen anyway so I can quickly prepare something for a last minute best friend gab session while the husband is out or when I need a to bring a side dish to an event but I’m short on time.

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Independent Tastefully Simple Consultant Carrie Hurley didn’t fail to deliver with this great Summer Fun package she sent for inclusion in the Mothers Day Gift Guide.   I received the Lush Lemon Pudding Cake Mix, Chipotle Beer marinade mix, Grilling Skewers and possibly my favorite, the Fuzzy Navel Slush Drink mix.

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Lets start with the Lush Lemon Pudding Cake mix,  this wonderful cake is made with just 2 ingredients, the contents of the box and water.  Yes WATER!  That’s it, dump these two things in a bowl, mix, pour into a baking pan and bake and voila – DONE!   Now there are some great variations you can do by adding various toppings like berries and whipped cream once it’s baked and being served or you can even add in chopped berries or nuts into the batter before baking.  I understand that you can even alter this to make it into a cheesecake version though I didn’t try that.  What I really loved is that the box even had directions on how to make individual servings of this cake using pineapple tidbits and the mix.  How awesome is that?   Now for the taste, it was delicious, with the light and airy texture and perfect lemon flavor it was perfect with cut up strawberries and a splash of whipped topping on it slightly warm out of the oven.

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The Chipotle Beer Marinade mix has a bit of an extra spicy zing from the jalapeno in its seasoning ingredients.  You add one beer (that’s all) to make a marinade that is great on chicken, shrimp and veggies.   Of course this works well with the awesome Grilling Skewers to create the perfect backyard spring or summer lunch.

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But I’ve saved the best for last …. the Fuzzy Navel Slush Drink mix is, well it’s like happiness in a tub.  First off let me just say that I’m not a big mixed drink fan really, but I do love a cool beverage when I’m sitting around the pool enjoying the Florida sun.  With the Fuzzy Navel drink mix it’s as easy as ringing the tub the mix comes in (don’t worry it’s in a sealed pouch inside you remove that and then wash the tub), empty the packet contents, add water and some peach shnapps and then freeze for about 12 hours.  You freeze it right in the bucket.  So when you are ready and it’s nice and slushy you just remove the lid and scoop out a serving.  With the perfect flavor for any summer day outdoors mom would love some quite time on the deck with a good book and this wonderful treat for Mothers Day, I know I enjoyed my afternoon with my best friend and some great conversation and the bucket of Fuzzy Navel Slush.    There is an alternate recipe to make this into a non alcoholic beverage as well.

Since 1995, Tastefully Simple has been providing their wonderfully simple edible mixes and treats exclusively through their network of Independent Consultants with a vision to make life more simple, and delicious at the same time.  By providing their wonderful tasting experiences through parties and other events, Independent Consultants like Carrie Hurley can turn anyone into a gourmet chef.

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Penelope Ann Review & Giveaway #MDGG

Do you want a fun and affordable way to accessorize your outfits and show your personality?  Then Penelope Ann is the answer for you!   Penelope Ann is all about the trends of today – from color to styles, Penelope Ann has something for your everyday look and for those special life events.  When you pair a Penelope Ann scarf or necklace with coordinating earrings and bracelet you can show your style from the grocery store to the girls night out dinner and everything in between. Penelope Ann is the sister company of Celebrating Home but features fashion accessories for every woman’s style.  Customers can easily order from Penelope Ann and Celebrating home at the same party even using the very same order form. Penelope Ann hosts enjoy many great benefits including free and discounted products as well as exclusive hostess super buys.


Independent Penelope Ann Consultant Kandice Anderson sent me the Love That Bag in Pewter for inclusion in the 2014 Mothers Day Gift Guide. First off let me say that the bag came in an amazing package ready to gift for that special woman in your life whether it’s your mom, yourself, your wife, your aunt or even your grandmother or sister.  Packaged in a beautiful logo box with tissue paper wrapping this handbag is something that not only looks high end it feels high end without the high end price tag!  This is like a womans best friend with handles!   Made with an animal friendly leather and featuring the Signature Collection peony medallion the Love That Bag handbag is something that is sure to make you a favorite gift giver.   The mag measures approximately 16” by 17” but you can EXPAND IT!  Yes, You can EXPAND the depth to 7 ½” by unzipping the outside zipper.

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This handbag also features 10” adjustable straps handle drop, a magnetic closure at the top as well as flat pockets and a zippered pocket inside AND a zippered pocket on the outside as well.  You just cannot beat the versatility of this bag.  It’s large enough to hold my laptop of I need it for on the go meetings as well as my planner which I never leave home without or I can expand it and put both of those things inside as well as my wallet, phone and other necessities and use the attached key fob clip to keep my keys handy.   The texture of the leather of this bag is really cool too it’s not completely smooth it has a little bit of texture ridge to it which I think really makes it stylish as well.  Because the color is in a neutral palette I also like that I can easily pair it with just about any look when I leave the house.

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Initial Outfitters Review & Giveaway #MDGG

Like most Direct Sales Companies, Initial Outfitters was founded on a dream. Alicia and Jim Storbeck had dreams of owning their own company and leaving the corporate world they were in and experiencing layoffs and “glass ceilings”. In 1997 the Stonbecks left the corporate world and did just that, launched their first company with overwhelming success. After many years of hearing their customers talk about how they would love to find a way to make extra income but have a flexible schedule like with that of Direct Sales the StonBecks and Beth Reeves (an employee who started working for them while in college), Initial Outfitters was born in 2006. With the vision that Initial Outfitters would be more than just another direct sales business, the company partnered with Charlie’s Lunch Ministries which helps feed both physical and spiritual needs through their ministry. Through collections made, Initial Outfitters fully sponsors 13 lunchrooms in countries like Mexico, Guatemala and India. You can read more about the Charlie’s Lunch project on their website.

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Independent Initial Outfitters Consultant Amy Henderson contacted me to participate in the 2014 Mothers Day Gift Guide and I immediately knew what we should bring you for review. Because this is a Mothers Day review what better way to show mom you love her or for a mom to show her love for her children than to create your very own Initial Outfitters Generations Collection Initial Charm necklace. With the Generations Collection you can tell your story that is unique to you by choosing various styles and colors of engravable or pre-made initial pendants as your focal point, then your chain and finish your piece by choosing one or more accent pieces from initial charms to dangles and even inspirational charms. I chose these beautiful silver with black background initial charms for each of my Little Divas as my accent charms and a beautiful main charm engraved with my initials (or actually my initials to befor my focal point. The Charm holder chain has an adjustable length from 16”-19” and is silver plated.

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I have received many questions asking where I found such a beautiful and unique piece of jewelry and I’m always excited to tell them they can build their own unique piece with an Independent Initial Outfitters Consultant like Amy Henderson. Customers can build their own Generations Collection piece or purchase from the rest of the collections offered by attending or hosting an Initial Outfitters home party or by directly contacting their consultant.

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Lia Sophia Review & Giveaway

Lia Sophia provides exclusively designed pieces with a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee and while maintaining affordable prices.   Every piece of Lia Sophia jewelry is designed in their own studios and then is created and sold through Independent Consultants like Mary Lata.

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Independent Lia Sophia Consultant Mary Lata sent me a two beautiful pieces for inclusion in the 2014 Mother Day Gift Guide.   Possibly a little know fact about me, but I love butterflies, so I was over the moon excited to open the box and find the beautiful Souvenir Pendant/Pin which has a delicate little butterfly with amazing detail set in genuine mother-of-pearl and centered on an antiqued silver pendant with small silver bead dangle accents along the bottom.  This piece is perfectly sized to show the amazing detail without being overbearing like wearing a dinner plate.  I love the antique silver look as well as the accent of the mother-of-pearl, these things combined give this a classic look but fits with my modern wardrobe.

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I also received the Classified ™ Necklace to pair with the Souvenir pendant.   The Classified ™ necklace comes in 3 different finishes including silver shown in this review and hematite and matte gold.   The necklace is adjustable from 17-20” and is actually 3 detachable wheat chain pieces.  You can wear this piece in a multitude of ways because of the double Genius ™ Clasp.   Wear it as is for a classic look short or long or add the pendant for a whole new look.  Kick your look up by removing one or two of the chain pieces to provide a more simplified accessory piece. Check out this awesome video about ways you can wear and customize the Classified Necklace with the Genius Clasp.

One of my favorite things about Lia Sophia is the ability to easily mix and match pieces.  You will experience effortless mix and match and alternate wearing possibilities across essentially the entire Genius collection.  With the Genius clasp lets you switch up your looks with no effort due to the design of being able to easily slip pieces on and off the clasp.  It is so simple to add length, pendants, and add or remove chains of necklaces using the Genius Clasp, you just open the clasp and connect it or remove items from it.

Lia Sophia offers a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee on every piece they sell.  This means if you have a problem with it due to manufacturers defect you can simply return the piece and they will replace for you at little to no charge.  If the piece is no longer available Lia Sophia will issue you a Merchandise Certificate to use on a new purchase.

Lia Sophia jewelry is also put through rigorous testing and safety is of the utmost importance to the company.  Because of this they go above and beyond industry standards in testing for nickel safety/allergy testing, lead safety and more.

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Celebrating Home Review & Giveaway #MDGG

I received this wonderful Paris Nights Bean Pot and Oval Bean Pot Basket along with the delightfully scented Apple Pie Forever Fragrance Candle for inclusion in the 2014 Mothers Day Gift Guide from Independent Celebrating Home Consultant Kandice Anderson. Now I have cooked in bean pots before, and I have even given my future Mother In Law one to cook in – so I can saw first hand what a great gift these unique little things are. And candles from Celebrating Home are always a great gift… that is, if you do not keep it for yourself.

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Let me start with this delicious candle.  It literally smells like a fresh baked apple pie, even before you light the wick and will make your taste buds all excited. I love the beautiful jar that looks elegant without overpowering my decor.  I set this up in my dining room and lit it for a little bit to see how well it covered the space. My dining room is actually part of my large living room due to the open floor plan. I was pleasantly surprised at the way the scent traveled without being overpowering. Because the jar is a beautiful color without an exterior label I felt it blended well with my rooms decor versus other jarred candles I’ve used from local retail stores. I was able to burn it for hours without the scent becoming stale in the air and it burned cleanly and evenly it appeared.

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The Paris Nights Bean Pot however is my FAVORITE product from Celebrating Home because not only is it a well made (heavy) piece of stoneware it is also BEAUTIFUL! I love to leave it sit on my counter in the Oval Bean Pot Basket when not in use because the beautiful Damask print makes me smile. As for cooking with it – I recently made a dinner for some friends and used this as a serving piece, I received many compliments on it and it definitely added a splash of fun to our table setting. The Paris Nights Bean Pot has a 4 Quart Capacity and can be used in the microwave or the oven. I love that I can make a wonderful dessert in this from a dump cake to a cobbler and bring it to the table in the same dish without it looking like a boring baking pan on my table.

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Many of you are aware of my, shall we say, inabilities in the kitchen, but with this wonderful Paris Nights Bean Pot at least I look good while trying to cook. The lidded dish is great for keeping your soups or stews warm while waiting to be served and the handles on the sides make it easy for moving from oven or microwave to table or serving bar, it is also dishwasher safe due to it’s total glazing which makes it an EASY clean up! Of course the Oval Bean Pot basket is a great way to keep a hot bean pot off your tabletop but also looks great.  I’ve also removed the lid and used the bean pot as an extra fruit/veggie basket on my container when we have an abundance for our regular spot.

Celebrating Home is one of the top Direct Sales companies in the United States with a known reputation of providing  quality home decor, fragrance and gift items to consumers nationwide and in Puerto Rico.  By blending Home Interiors & Gifts with Home & Garden Party, Celebrating home can truly provide something for everyone.  Celebrating Home products are sold exclusively through Independent Consultants like Kandice Anderson through home parties, online orders and catalog purchases.  Celebrating Home also offers a solid Hostess Plan for Hosts to receive free and discounted merchandise as well as Exclusive products and offers available only to those who host their own Celebrating Home party.

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Homecoming Truck Shows – Review & Giveaway – #MDGG

Several years ago Lisa Diaz, a Navy spouse, started her own fashion business enabling her to have a flexible schedule and an extra income doing something she was passionate about. Nearly a decade in the making she is sharing that opportunity with women across the United States after launching Homecoming Trunk Shows.


Homecoming Trunk Shows has a wonderful community of Homecoming Stylists that support each other and have the knowledge that they work with a company who supports the military community. Homecoming Stylists bring fashion forward pieces including jewelry and handbags and clothing options at affordable prices to women all over.


Customers and Hostesses can shop exclusively with Independent Consultants also known as Stylists at in home parties and other events. As part of the 2014 Mothers Day Gift Guide, we are featuring the Cayman Agate Necklace Set.  This beautiful piece comes in Turquoise and Coral (ahem, hello Diva pink). The Triple Strand polished agate stones make for an absolutely stunning piece that not only looks classy enough for a night on the town but fun and flirty enough for a daytime lunch date with your girlfriends. This necklaces features a lobster-claw style clasp and a 3” extender which allows you to wear it in a variety of lengths to go with any blouse or dress style. Included in the Cayman Necklace set is a pair of matching Agate Earrings which are on french wires with a perfect 1.5” drop length.  The total length of the beautiful necklace piece is 19” and is made with silk cord and gold tone metal.

Homecoming Trunk Shows also offers a variety of other jewelry pieces including a coordinating wrap bracelet for the Agate Necklace set, but the fabulous fashion sense doesn’t stop there. With Homecoming Trunk Shows you can truly have a “one stop shopping” experience by choosing the perfect dress, accessorizing with the beautiful Cayman Agate necklace set and finishing off your look with a hair accessory and handbag.

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Paperly Personalized Frame Review #MDGG

Founded in 2009, Paperly is a direct sales company that allows their Independent Consultants to work directly with customers to create custom stationery at home parties, and other events. Since the founding paperly has already expanded their brand to includes other personalized products such as phone cases, cutting boards and more.


Independent Paperly Consultant Carolyn Rogers contacted me to participate in the 2014 Mothers Day Gift Guide. We discussed options for what would be great for this review and I was in the middle of the Party Plan Divas office remodeling project with my assistant. My assistant had just stated a few days earlier that we needed some cute frames for the office to decorate one of our new decorative shelving pieces.  So it was kind of a no brainer to decide to pick a wonderful Picture frame for 5×7 photos for the office and this review. What mom wouldn’t want a great framed photo of their child or even grandchildren for the Grandma for Mothers Day?  And with Paperly you can customize not only the color scheme but also add text to the frame as well.

When my assistant and I were out shopping for things for the office there was a recurring theme, you guessed it PINK!  of course (you can’t get much more Diva than that) but also Zebra. I was strangely attracted to this beautiful chair that has a light color Zebra print on it and it finally grew on Elizabeth too, but we couldn’t figure out a way to make it work with the rest of the pieces we had already chosen, so I was THRILLED to find that I could choose not only pink as the color option for my Paperly frame but also kick it up a notch with a zebra print!  This was the PERFECT addition to the Party Plan Divas office decor and even better when I was able to add a custom text box with Diva! on it!  You really can’t get any more Diva-licious than this!  I LOVE the quality of this frame, it looks AMAZING in person and definitely something that some wonderful women in my life are going to need.


Of course when you set out to create your own personalized gift you may choose something different and with their expansive product line such as the accent pillow, keychain, wine totes, dry erase boards or even custom car mats!   There really is something for everyone with Paperly and with so many choices to personalize you truly can create a unique one of a kind gift for that special person in your life.

It’s pretty simple, just connect with an Independent Consultant like Carolyn Rogers then choose a product, choose a design, choose 2 colors (primary and secondary) and a font! After that you can choose how to personalize it with initials, name, phrase or the like and even in most instances preview your creation online before placing your order.

Check out Independent Paperly Consultant Carolyn Roger’s website for all that Paperly has to offer!

Buckles In A Snap – Review & Giveaway #MDGG

With Buckles in a Snap you can really wear your personality and as the company says “Belt out your true colors”.   All of Buckles in a Snap buckles are handmade in the United States using zinc metal and come in three finishes including bronze, pewter and gold.  Each buckle also has a high gloss seal which gives the appearance of glass to complete these high quality designer look belt buckles.    You can choose from their pre-designed pieces or work with them to create a custom piece of your own vision.


Buckles in a Snap Buckles fit on any belt that is 1.5” or smaller so you can use with your existing belt collection or choose one of the Buckles in a Snap Snap Belts which are genuine leather and include both plain and distressed designs in a range of sizes and colors.

Buckles In a Snap Owner Erin Abrams provided me with this beautiful Snap Belt and two beautiful buckles, the London and the Bright Floral options. There are SO many to choose from it’s so hard to really pick my favorites but I love these two buckles as they go with a variety of my clothing options and I wear a belt DAILY! I can remember a time when I was with a friend and getting ready to head out for a fun girls evening out to dinner and drinks and I refused to leave until I found my belt. As my friend sat on my bed laughing at me while I “tossed” the closet in search of the PERFECT belt to go with my outfit I wish I’d have had Buckles in a Snap back then because we could have saved ourselves some time, frustration and laughing had I just been able to swap out the buckle to what would go best with my mood and outfit at the time.  It’s easy to remove the buckle and exchange for a different design so you can change as often as you desire.

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With a nominal starter kit cost, you can start your own Buckles in a Snap home party business and become an Independent Consultant in this fast growing company.  With the ability to be your own boss you control your success with corporate marketing materials, samples and an e-commerce website.

Buckles in a Snap was launched officially in 2012 after working with various artists and perfecting the designs as well as ensuring the highest made in the United States quality buckles.  With your buckle from Buckles in a Snap you truly transform your outfit - in a snap!

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Madison Handbags Review & Giveaway #MDGG

Founded in 2005 in the basement of Trish Rosts home, Madison Handbags has gone from being a passionate idea into an extremely successful direct sales company.  With nationwide growth  Trish’s initial start by cutting fabrics herself at home to then be sewn by a team of home sewers quickly went to the move to hire a company to do production in New York state.  As the name spreads across the country with their dedicated team of Independent Consultants like Kerry Abernethy,  consumers are excited to be able to see the quality product line by hosting and attending home parties.

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With a relatively low cost starter kit and corporate sponsored training materials new consultants can expect great products for use and display as well as the support necessary to launch their own successful home party plan business. Independent Madison Handbags consultants earn an immediate commission on their personal sales and bonus commissions also payable not to mention downline commissions. Consultants also love the 100% company paid hostess program which helps them maximize their earning potential.  With no inventory or deliveries necessary being a Madison Handbags Independent Consultant really can work their business with no hassle.

As a Madison Handbags customer you have many options to choose from to create your own perfect handbag by choosing from their extensive style options and then choosing your favorite fabric from their choice of eye catching prints and textures, even your favorite lining fabric for your very own custom made bag. With your Madison Handbag purchase you truly can bring out your personality in your unique handbag.

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Independent Madison Handbags Consultant Kerry Abernethy contacted me to participate in the 2014 Mothers Day Gift Guide and she actually did the picking out of the style and fabric print for me but I have to say, I don’t think I could have picked better if it were left up to me. Kerry sent me the Brandywine Hipster which is a wonderfully roomy crossbody that is perfect for my everyday on the go lifestyle but works remarkably well for travel as well with the large exterior pocket which is great for holding onto travel documents like boarding passes or passports but also the zippered compartment if I’d rather keep things more secure like cameras, wallet etc.  It also has an adjustable strap so no matter the body style I think that anyone can achieve a perfect comfortable fit.  Measuring approximately 9” x 7.5” this bag can accommodate a number of necessities easily without being overwhelmingly large or bulky.  I LOVE the Tetris Black print fabric because I can use this wonderful purse with any outfit day or night.  They have so many other fabric prints and textures to choose from that include fun bright colors and patterns from florals, geometric and solids.

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