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“There are two things you can never have too many of: good friends and good shoes!” 

From one shoe-addict to another,  Carrie Bradshaw’s quote can be music to my ears…

But don’t get me wrong, I do think you can have too many shoes. Back when I was in college, my roommate and I had a wall full of shoes. We not only shared a room, a bed, but we also shared shoes. Hence, it made perfect sense to build a wall of 200+ shoes just between the two of us.

Did we wear them all? Who knows… All I know is that it was a little excessive. Okay, a lotta! Let’s just say we probably had at least five of the same shoes in different colors. (I know, it was pretty bad — don’t judge!)

Luckily, I can say that since then we’ve both de-cluttered and learned to not place value on quantity and things. Hoarding is never a good idea. It’s true what they say, less is more.

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of shoes and I mean they’re nice and all. But, do you really need one in every color? I don’t think so.

For today, let’s stick to basics. If I had to own only 10 shoes, I’d stick to one of each. There’s some for every price-range and every event.

Here are 10 shoes every woman should own:

Classic Black Pumps

Classic Nude Pumps


Ballet Flats


Ankle Strap Sandals


Casual Sneakers


Summer Wedges


Statement Heels


Ankle Booties


Riding Boots


Rain Boots

From a fun night out, to a day outdoors… I think with one of each, you’re pretty much set for any occasion! Which one do you need to add to your wardrobe?

WINTER FAVORITES

It finally happened! It was Winter in Miami, well at least for a week. Let’s see what next week has in store.

At the first hint of cool air, I snagged my winter favorites and wore them all at the same time. Do you blame me? It’s not often that we get to enjoy a breezy evening that reaches a low of 58 degrees. It was one for the books!

I grabbed my handy-dandy denim jacket. (I personally love denim everything and I had been searching for a good jacket for over a year. I must admit, this one was kind of a splurge but it fits so well.) I layered it over my H&M knit sweater, wrapped my favorite blanket scarf around my neck, and called it a day!

Since I was ready to browse around town, I paired the look with some adorable monogrammed accessories by MarleyLilly.

PS: If you’re on the hunt for a Valentine’s Day gift that says  “just for you,” be sure to see all of the adorable monogrammed options. They even personalize scarves!

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HUMBLE CHIC blanket scarf
MADEWELL denim jacket
H&M knit sweater (similar)
VINCE jeans
OLD NAVY flats (similar)
monogrammed clutch c/o MARLEYLILLY
personalized leather wrap bracelet c/o MARLEY LILLY

WInter Favorites 2016-4

What are some of your winter favorites?

Hi friends! I’m back…

It’s been about a month since my last post. Toward the end of last year, I decided I needed a break from all the hustle and bustle… You know, the holiday craze, blogging, social media any and all needless busyness. I wanted to purposely withdraw, simplify and focus on the reason for the season.

I’m pretty sure I’ve told you this before, but sometimes I busy myself so much that I find myself rushing through life just trying to get by. That’s why last year, around this same time I started a New Year’s tradition of making my New Year’s resolution just one word. My goal for 2015 was to simplify.

In retrospect without even realizing it, I did just that. I simplified life and my day-to-day… I quit my job after working there for seven years (currently working from home but I can’t say I’m a fan — more on that later). I learned to intentionally de-clutter and rid my home of “things/junk” on a regular basis. I also learned to be more intentional with my words — letting a simple yes be a yes and no be a no.

By focusing on just one word, I was able to accomplish way more than I would have with a long list of resolutions. It’s a tradition I hope to continue, so, this year my New Year’s resolution will again be just one word.

This year’s word, rejoice!

It’s not always easy to find joy in all things, but that’s the goal. Right? It doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to be happy with all circumstances, but rather that I would be glad and filled with joy. Plus, in case you and I need a refresher the Bible has over 100 verses with the word rejoice.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! – Phil. 4:4
  • This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.  – Psalm 118:24
  • Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. –1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 
  • But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. -Psalm 5:11
  • Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. -Romans 3:4

Maybe you too are in need of a little reminder to rejoice more often. If so, here’s a free gift that my friend Yuki from Drops of Honey and I decided to give you. Feel free to download the screensaver, or get this awesome print as a daily reminder to rejoice and find joy in everything you do.

Rejoice Always

PS: It’s not too late to be intentional and seek your own word for 2016. Here re are a few steps to help you find your one word:

  1. Find time to be alone.
  2. Spend time in prayer.
  3. Read God’s word. (I recommend starting with Psalm 139.)
  4. Journal your throughts. What is God saying to you? What one word can you commit to for this year?

Hope you enjoy the process. Feel free to comment and share your word below. Happy New Year!

SOUTH BEACH FOOD TOUR

When I think of Chicago, I think deep dish pizza. Texas = A delicious BBQ and smoked brisket. NYC = Cronut and a hot dog.  But when it comes to Miami, I can’t seem to pin point it to just one food… Can you? There are so many culinary options that it seems kind of unfair to pick one or even two foods to describe us.

I guess we could always go with a cafecito and croqueta, but Miami food is just as diverse and multi-cultural as its people. Depending on what neighborhood you find yourself in, chances are you’ll most likely have plenty of options to satisfy your palate.

And last month Miami Culinary Tours proved our point by allowing Miguel and I to experience a unique and memorable culinary experience around our very own neighborhood, South Beach.

Here are some of the places we discovered:

1. Bolivar Restaurant
This stylish lounge offers a Colombian/Peruvian/Venezuelan fusion perfect for all occasions. Chef Jairo Hurtado, owner of La Ventana decided to take things up a notch and serve a blend of flavors. Here we had the classic Colombian empanada and a side of perfectly fresh ceviche. If you’ve never had ceviche, I stongly suggest you give it a go! Ceviche is a fresh raw fish cooked in citrus juices and spiced with ají. The dish was paired with refajo, a popular Colombian cocktail made with beer and Colombiana (a Colombian soda). A light and refreshing start!

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2. Larios On The Beach
We continued the tour with some additional comfort food, our next stop was a taste of Cuban cuisine at no other than Larios. (Not to be confused with Casa Larios.) Larios On The Beach is a go-to-destination for authentic award-winning Cuban cuisine. The restaurant is owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan and the food and beach-themed decor did not disappoint. I am usually pretty skeptical of overly-touristy places, but I was definitely impressed with both the food and ambiance. I devoured the classic ropa vieja that was paired with perfectly crispy mariquitas. The meat offered a delicious blend of tenderness and it was season with delectable spices and green peppers.
SoBe Culinary Food Tours-4SoBe Culinary Food Tours-93. The Tides Restaurant
This deco-style restaurant featured an international eclectic blend of flavors. The chef served a delightful chicken curry over a bed of couscous. Unfortunately, this specific dish was made just for the tour and is not normally on the menu. But if you want to give it a try, be sure to join the next tour! The sauce was rich and savory, you could almost taste the blend spices with just the smell.

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Our part of the tour came to an end here. (Miguel and I had to run to another commitment.) But the tour continued without us and after all was said and done, they stopped at 5 different locations! The other indulgences included a veggie wrap at Blocks Pizza Deli and gelato at Milani Gelateria.

Experiencing the culture, history, and hidden culinary delights of South Beach was such a treat! We enjoyed meeting other like-minded individuals who share a love for great culinary experiences and the Art Deco district.

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The South Beach food tour definitely leaves you feeling like an insider. You’re guaranteed a satisfied belly and a deeper love and understanding of Miami. Want to give it a try? Save $20 off the next experience, use the code GIFTLOVE. Enjoy!

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GIFT GUIDE FOR HIM

Whether you’re shopping for a significant other, dad, cousin, brother or friend buying gifts for men can actually be pretty daunting.

In fact, most men I know don’t even like surprises — they are problem solvers, doers that know exactly what they want and need. I was actually talking about this with a friend, she was telling me that whenever her fiancee shows interest in something, he actually ends up buying it for himself within days.

My husband on the other hand never wants or needs anything. I kid you not, them man could easily go a year (or two or three) without buying himself anything. Not because he doesn’t like shopping (which he of course doesn’t) but because he really could care less about material things.

So, if both of these men are at two different ends of the spectrum, how is anyone supposed to know what to buy them?

Here’s a tip…Ditch the boring tie, socks and flashlight idea and checkout this helpful Gift Guide for Him Under $100.

How do I know these are gifts they’ll love, you ask? Let’s just say I did a little research and asked a few of my male friends… Dads, techies, nerds, sports fans, stylish dudes — I asked them all. Don’t worry, I got you covered!

Here’s what they want for Christmas:

  • White tees are always a useful gift. They can be worn as undershirts, workout tees, or even paired with jeans. You can’t go wrong!
  • Sperry canvas sneakers always come in handy. They are versatile and comfortable.
  • JBL premium blue-tooth speakers are a must! Both the music aficionado and the techie in your life will approve.
  • Amphibian shorts make the perfect gift for all the practical fellas, they double as swimming trunks and regular shorts. Once he gets his hands on this material he’ll never want to get out of them.
  • Ditch the tighty withey and give him nice boxer briefs, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. (Whatever that means.) PS: If your’re a guy getting a gift for another guy, ignore this suggestion, things may get awkward.
  • For the savvy professionals, a luxury leather card holder is a must. One of my friends buys his card holders on eBay for like $2 (I won’t mention any names, you know who you are, lol) but I think I’ve seen him buy like 5 a year because they end up falling apart. I’m pretty sure this one would be a wiser investment for him, it provides a classier look and a timeless finish.
  • Okay, so I may have cheated with this one because it is my personal pick. I absolutely love seeing men wearing a striped tee. It is such a clean and classic look. Pair it with shorts or skinnies, and you’re all set! In case you’re wondering, yes, Miguel owns a gazillion striped tees because of me. ;)
  • Herschel Supply makes backpacks look oh so cool! The jet-setter and the cool kid at school has been eyeing one. I promise.
  • No-shave November has come and gone but from the looks of it, beards are here to stay. Help him eliminate the bumps and burns when he trims by treating him to The Perfect Shave Kit!
  • This last one is another one of my personal favorites… Converse. How can you go wrong? I say, Chucks for all! Suitable for a toddler, teen but also classy enough for the gents.

Some of the suggestions I got didn’t quite fit my Gift Guide for Him Under “$100 category” but during my extensive research ;) I also learned that since most men don’t shop throughout the year, when they do want something it isn’t cheap. So, in case you want to treat him to something extraordinary this year? Here are a few additional kick-butt options:

GIFT GUIDE FOR HER

Happy December, friends!

Christmas is just weeks away. Crazy, huh? Insert wide-eyed emoji here. I’m sure that by now most of us are making lists and checking them twice. Not to see who was naughty or nice, but to figure out who’s on your gift list.

If you’re anything like me, you make lists for everything. Grocery lists, to-do lists and of course that includes gift lists.

A gift list helps you make sure that you’ve accounted for all of your family and close friends, and it also helps you set a budget. Ah, yes a handy-dandy budget to ensure there are no post-holiday surprises.

Give it a try. Make a list of names, set a per/person budget and see if the total sum is something you can actually afford. After all, gift giving isn’t about what you give but how much thought and love you put into giving.

And just like last year, I’m here to help you pick out a gift she will surely love. Here are 10 gifts for her under $100.

PS: You can skip all the hustle and bustle and buy all of these items online. Just click on the images below for more info. Enjoy!

GIFT GUIDE FOR HER UNDER $100:

  • Totes make such great gifts, they’re useful and cute! Plus, this one is super affordable and reversible. You pretty much get two for one! PS: They come in a ton of different colors.
  • The good ol’ blanket scarf, great for winter days and for impromptu picnics. ;) You can even go the extra mile and get a monogrammed one here.
  • Word on the street is that good makeup brushes are key to flawless makeup. But good brushes can also be pretty expensive. Want to spoil your make-up junkie girlfriend? Get her the Best of Sigma Brush Kit!
  • You can never go wrong with a good pair of casual sneakers. Whether they’re the classic Chucks or Superstar Adidas. They go with everything and they are totally in! Your stylish gal will thank you! And they’re also mommy and errand friendly! ;)
  • Okay, before you ditch my $32 Dyptyque candle idea out the window, have you ever smelled them? They smell heavenly and they last forever. I’ll admit it, these candles are a splurge but they make a great gift. And if your girlfriend knows good candles, she’ll be ecstatic to receive one.
  • With a new year just around the corner, a planner is always a great gift. If your lady is a neat freak, loves lists and always writes things down on her calendar, these adorable Kate Spade planners are a must!
  • An on-the-go lady is ready for anything that comes her way. She not only looks put together but is also ready to save the mishaps of others around her… Probably because she carries everything in her purse. So why not add this awesome backpack to her collection? That way she can be helpful, productive and fashionable!
  • Doing good make up and getting just the right amount of contour takes practice. But, if she has this Anastasia contour kit she’s pretty much set.
  • Last but not least, every lady needs a set of comfy pj’s. We don’t always want to be dolled-up, sometimes we just want to watch Netflix and chill. Give her a day of rest, awesome pajamas and you’re winning!

Hope this gift guide was helpful! Stay tuned for his…

THANKFUL FOR…

Too often we find ourselves complaining, either wishing or hoping things would be different.

We say things like: ” If only I had more money.” “Or, if only I had more time.” “My life would be much better — if only…”

These phrases are said so often that we eventually become numb to them. We don’t even realize what’s being said as the words come out of our lips.

When we say if only I had more money, what we are truly saying is: I’m unhappy and I’m almost pretty sure that material things could help me experience greater joy.

When we say, if only I had more time, what others hear is: I sometimes live in such a rush that I take things for granted. I zoom through my days forgetting to be grateful for another day of life.

Sounds pretty awful, no? What we don’t realize is that sometimes, negativity can get the best of us and begin to affect our day-to-day decisions. One negative thought can cloud our judgement and distort our entire perspective on life.

I realize that not everything in our world is perfect and that’s okay. But today, in the spirit of Thanksgiving will you join me in giving thanks? For everything, the little things and the big things… Regardless of what surrounds you, my hope is that on this day Nov. 26, you too could have at least 26 things to be thankful for…

  1. Be thankful for another day of life.
  2. Be thankful for the food you eat.
  3. Be thankful for the air you breathe.
  4. Be thankful for the nature that surrounds you.
  5. Be thankful for the love of a family member.
  6. Be thankful for the love of a friend.
  7. Be thankful for freedom of religion.
  8. Be thankful for the roof over your head.
  9. Be thankful for the ability to read.
  10. Be thankful for clean water.
  11. Be thankful for your safety and security.
  12. Be thankful for the innocence of a child.
  13. Be thankful for the circumstances that you’ve faced.
  14. Be thankful for the tears you’ve cried. (They’ve helped you heal from past pain.)
  15. Be thankful for the joy of laughter.
  16. Be thankful for your health.
  17. Be thankful for medicine.
  18. Be thankful for older generations. (They make great mentors.)
  19. Be thankful for the shirt on your back.
  20. Be thankful for the soldiers that serve our country.
  21. Be thankful for a good book.
  22. Be thankful for the sound of music.
  23. Be thankful for the internet.
  24. Be thankful for vacation days.
  25. Be thankful for work.
  26. Be thankful for today and the fact that you have at least 26 things  to be thankful for. ;)

What else are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Share your thoughts below. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

It’s that time of year where all we do is eat.

We meet up with friends to eat. We attend parties and eat. We celebrate holidays that center around a big fat turkey that we eat! Did I mention that we eat!? And we haven’t even gotten to Christmas or New Years yet…

Yup, we are officially in the holiday season and with all the festivities also come the (dare I say it?) extra pounds. Plus, is it just me, or doesn’t it feel like everyone likes to remind us about how the average American gains 5-10 lbs. during this season? I’m not sure how accurate that is, (or where in America these people live) but all I know is that I don’t want to be one of them. Not because I’m watching my weight but because I’d rather stay active and healthy.
Exercise Apparel

So, as we embark on the next few weeks here are a few reminders on how to stay motivated during the holidays:

  1. Find a friend. Maybe your goal is to stay active or to continue your regular workout regimen. Whatever the case, it is easier to stay motivated when you have someone to keep you accountable. Find a partner you can train with, or someone who can check-in on you to make sure you got your workout in. If you happen to go out of town, a jog/run is a great way to enjoy some time outdoors with family and friends!
  2. Keep it short. It’s no coincidence that getting in shape and losing weight are part of most New Year resolutions. When the holidays roll around our schedules get inundated with busyness and working out becomes quite a challenge. But, instead of skipping workouts altogether what if we maximize our time? Rather than planning a 45 min. or 1 hour workout, how about squeezing in a quick 20-30 minute workout during the day? Seems doable, right?
  3. Rise and grind. Start your day with an early workout. Trust me, I know this can take some getting used to — but the good thing about getting an early-morning workout is that it fuels you for the remainder of the day. Afterward, you’re free to roam and plan your day as needed. (I seriously have no idea how I used to wake up at 6am back in the day during my marathon training days.)
  4. Use your bodyweight. Maybe some of you have mommy /daddy duties to attend to in the morning, or you’re just literally too overwhelmed to even set foot in a gym. I’ve got good news for you — you can still get a great workout using your own body-weight! Just carve out 20-30 minutes of your day and get to it! Feel free to try this workout.
    Exercise Apparel SIX02 (5)Exercise Apparel SIX02 (13)
  5. Stick to colors.  As you find yourself ready to eat, when it comes to serving your actual plate try staying away from boring colorless items. You know, white or off-white foods like bread, rice and mashed potatoes. Instead, stick to all the fun bright colors on the serving table. Go for some delicious green beans, bright red tomatoes and even some orange carrots or sweet potatoes. PS. If possible, try to also choose an actual colored plate, according to Lifehacker, when the color of a plate matches the color of the food, people tend to serve themselves almost 30% more. Interesting, huh?
  6. Pick just one. When it comes to sweets, a little bit can go a long way. (Or so I hear.) Instead of serving yet another plate with mountain piles of dessert options. Try opting out of the sinful sweets and replacing them with a dessert-like cocktail. Little sips can help you get the sweet taste that you need, and it may even last longer. Plus, some cocktails can offer the savory sugar with as little as 45 calories. Okay okay, and if you absolutely must have some dessert, ditch the drink and get a small serving. But remember, just pick one!
  7. Walk it out. Post the big meal, (or even before) gather your friends and go for a walk. Maybe even start your holiday shopping and take a stroll down the mall. If you happen to be out of town, try sight-seeing on foot –if  the weather permits you can even go for a bike ride.
  8. Start a tradition. Sign-up the whole family for a holiday-themed run/walk. There are tons of family friendly options available, just search through the local listings in your city. Are you in the Miami or Florida area? Try the Turkey Trot or a any of these holiday run/walks.
  9. Keep it clean. The dreadful part of a holiday party is always the clean-up, even more if you are the one hosting. But if you get started on a few dishes, you may even burn off some of those unwanted calories. (About 100 – 130 calories. Hey,I said some…)
  10. Treat yo’self! No, not to to some extra gravy or another piece of pumpkin pie, but to some killer workout gear! If your budget permits, indulging in some athletic gear will allow you to not only feel good but also inspire you to look good. I don’t know about you, but I started off my holiday motivation with tip #10. I found these killer workout pants and a perfectly fitting sports bra and tank at SIX:02. As soon as I put them on I was automatically inspired to hit the gym. (Need a gift for a fit lady friend? How about some chic active-wear? I recommend visiting any of the SIX:02 locations. You’ll find perfect stocking stuffers and bold activewear providing both the style and comfort that you need. PS: My entire outfit was styled for me by the awesome and helpful ladies at the SIX:02 store in Aventura Mall, tell them I sent ya. :) PSS: I am absolutely in love with every piece, so much that I almost didn’t want to work out in it… Shhh. Don’t repeat that. It’s our little secret.)

Exercise Apparel SIX02 (8) Exercise Apparel SIX02 (4)

KORAL ACTIVEWEAR jacket, sports bra & leggings c/o SIX:02 (similar)
NIKE DUNK SKY HI sneakers c/o  SIX:02

Exercise Apparel SIX02 (1)Exercise Apparel SIX02 (14)Exercise Apparel SIX02 (10)

Remember, it isn’t about a number on the scale but about being a healthy and confident YOU! Don’t strive for perfection but rather start habits that you can incorporate into your day-to-day life.

Enoy the holidays!!

YOINS REVIEW

It’s no surprise that shopping online is not only a convenience, but nowadays it is also the norm.

Gone are the days of waiting in long lines trying to get your hands on that new item you’ve been longing for. These days, if you see something you like and can’t find it at your local department store —  you just browse the web and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a similar piece online. Probably even at a lower price.

Well, that’s kind of what happened to me a few weeks ago. I was searching high and low for a black vest and a white cape. I really wanted to add both of these pieces to my Fall wardrobe but I didn’t really feel like spending a fortune on such trendy items. I tried on a few capes and vests at the mall and they were either too big or too expensive.

After my unsuccessful shopping trip, I decided to search the good ol’ world wide web and I stumbled upon Yoins. The name rang a bell because just days ago I had actually received an email from them asking me if I’d be interested in collaborating. Needless to say, it was perfect timing.

In just minutes, I found the perfect structured white cape blazer and decided to give it a go! A few weeks later the cape and vest (styled here) arrived at my door and I was beyond pleased!
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The fit, the cut and the quality was excellent! Plus, my cape was less than $40!

The shipment arrived way faster than I thought. Did I mention I lost my mail key? Good thing I’m basically besties with my mail lady because I guess she realized it had been weeks since I last checked my mail, she was actually kind enough to deliver the package to my door. Yeay!

Are you in the hunt for a trendy topper but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg? Give Yoins a try! I think you’ll be thoroughly pleased!

Yoins-12 Yoins-14

structured cape c/o YOINS
GAP cami
H&M faux leather pants (similar)
ZARA pumps
INSTYLE clutch c/o NINE WEST
TJ MAXX earings (similar & similar)
necklace c/o TAUDREY

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#CHEVYPLAY MIAMI

Remember in my last post I was complaining about working from home?

Well, this past week has been quite the opposite. I’ve actually loved every second of it! ( I wasn’t kidding when I told you it’s a love/hate relationship.) Luckily, I’ve been busy running around town from meeting to meeting and I’ve had the opportunity to meet with some pretty amazing brands, one of them being Chevy.

Last week Chevrolet and She Buys Cars asked me to be a part of the ChevyPlay Miami program — since the Miami Auto Show is in town (Nov. 6-15), they gathered a few Miami influencers and invited us to participate in a day of fun, fashion and social hacking at the Surfcomber hotel.ChevroletChevrolet-2

The event included sessions on social media, a quick coding class and helpful fashion tips. However, the highlight of my day was getting to test out the new Chevrolet in-car technology, featuring Apple Car Play. The technology was beyond impressive!

To get started, you simply plug-in to the USB port and voila! All compatible apps are automatically displayed on the vehicle screen allowing the user to navigate through the system with voice commands or through the touch-screen of the vehicle. The system allows access to texts, music, maps and even wifi. Did I mention that some models even offer a wireless charging station? Genius and oh so convenient!

Chevrolet-6Chevrolet-8

Looks like now instead of working from home, you can even work from the comfort of your Chevy. ;)  Integration is available in 14 of the Chevy vehicles and this winter they also plan on integrating Android Auto. Pretty neat huh?

 

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If you get a chance, be sure to pass by the Miami Auto Show and check out the new Chevy features and all the other cool car exhibitions. Whether you’re a car enthusiasts or not, it is always fun to see more than a thousand new vehicles from over 40 manufacturers from around the world! PS. If you don’t already — be sure to follow me on Instagram because we’ll be having another giveaway soon!

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