What’s in the basket?

One thing I love about moving so often is that it forces you to get rid of clutter and start fresh wherever you go. Marrying a military man forced me to transform from the girl with hundreds of random bottles and cosmetics to more of a minimalist. I just get what I absolutely need and love, and replenish as necessary.

I learned my lesson the first time we moved and I realized I had over 50 colors of nail polish, most of which were old, and a crazy amount of fragrances from working as a men’s fragrance model. [<—it sounds fancy, but totally wasn’t. I was the girl who sprayed cologne on little tester sheets and handed them out to store guests as they walked by and tracked sales for my brand. A great bonus was that I received a lot of gratis products that I could either use for sales associates incentives or trade with fellow fragrance models]


The Pilot and I each have a drawer and a cabinet in our master bathroom –the top drawer we share and has stuff like toothpaste, floss, contact solution, stuff that we both need. Pictured above is a little peek into what I have in my drawer and here some of the products in there:


My makeup routine is pretty simple (SPF moisturizer, concealer, bronzer, eyeshadow, eyeliner) but the necessities are definitely Victoria’s Secret bronzer, MAC “Shroom” eyeshadow, and my beloved Tarte eyeliner

Skin and sun protection:


Face block (totally just wrote “Facebook.” Wow), Juice Beauty SPF moisturizer, Emu oil –I use this for breakouts and coconut oil as my nighttime moisturizer, face wash, and sun spray oil.

Fragrance and body:


A random Victoria’s Secret spray –I don’t know what fragrance it is, two perfumes (one from last winter: Vera Wang princess, and this summer: Lacoste Pink), Loccitane supple skin oil, a lotion shea butter and cocoa butter bar + stretch oil from Whole Foods (all designed to prevent stretch marks).

I’ve been on a mission for a new winter fragrance from this year, and I’ve been using two samples for the past month or so to decide which one I like better:

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They both smell LOVELY –I prefer fruity or floral scents- and I always will use a sample first to see if I really like it or get sick of it easily. Skin type has a huge effect on how a fragrance will smell on your skin, so it’s always a good idea to wear it before you buy it. For example, I LOVE the smell of D&G Light Blue and it smells like pepper on me. Sexy.

Some unpictured faves from the drawer:

-Hefty jar of coconut oil, which is in the cabinet right now. I use it for a nighttime moisturizer and it works fabulously.

Clarisonic. A Christmas gift from the madre, and I couldn’t live without it.

-Nail polish removers: one “natural” one (which was $16!), and one regular, acetone-filled one (which was $2) and works a thousand times better than the natural one [Nail polishes are in a large bag in the cabinet]

Frederic Fekkai hair glossing cream– two mini bottles. I buy the minis so that I can travel with them in my quart-sized baggie 😉

-Dry brush – still use it when I wake up in the morning

-Lotion. I have a weird thing about lotion because I have to have some on my body (especially my legs, feet and hands) before I go to bed, but I don’t like it to smell too strong or be too greasy. This is one I found at Target, and is my current fave:

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What is your favorite fragrance? Do you try it before you buy it? And, what’s in your makeup drawer that you can’t live without?

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  1. Denise @ Kumara Mash on October 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    In my pre-vegan days, I loved Cinema by Yves Saint Laurent. However, since going vegan at the beginning of 2008, I haven’t worn any fragrance since!

    The one thing I cannot live without in my makeup drawer is my Hurraw Black Cherry tinted lip balm. I don’t wear makeup (maybe once or twice a year), but need have a good quality vegan lip balm in my bag at all times 🙂

    • Denise @ Kumara Mash on October 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Thought I also add, I do spend a fair amount on good, quality skincare. I absolutely love the Sukin range – mainly organic, vegan, all plant-based and a very good price. I also use coconut oil, as a facial cleanser during winter, and in the summer as a body moisturiser 🙂

  2. Sarah Anne on October 28, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I actually don’t like anything fruity OR floral! If there’s sandalwood or amber in it, I am IN! I love rich, spicy scents like amber, sandalwood and vanilla, sometimes with a hint of rose or jasmine, but definitely the secondary scent. I have trouble finding fragrances because of this and sometimes have resorted to using a dab of amber oil behind the ears.

    Moisturizer… I’m not sold on. I use a LUSH moisturizer/toner/facial cleanser that I LOOOOVE to death, but have yet to find one I love for the body. Living in Vancouver, it’s ALWAYS wet here (October-May is rain season) so I don’t seem to need it much. That said – I seem to have a ridiculous amount of bottles of moisturizer that I’ve tried!

    • Jill on October 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      With you… I LOVE spicy, sexy scents. I have one floral-ish scent that I do like, it’s a Victoria Beckham one… Otherwise I like 212 Sexy Carolina Herrera, Heat by Beyonce, and a few others. I also have a vanilla perfume from The Body Shop that’s divine.

  3. Lili on October 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Would the Clarisonic be good for skin in Winter? I live in Canada, and the minute the heat gets turned on, I immediately get dry itchy skin and even have to use prescription moisturisers on my face. It also spells the end of my swimming pool workouts until spring 🙁

    Would it be too harsh? My wedding is coming up, and I want nice skin.

    Also, is coconut oil safe for acne prone skin? Should I buy the more expensive “virgin” coconut oil?

  4. Jess @JessCantCook on October 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I really need to find a fragrance, I haven’t worn anything but random body sprays since I was wearing Polo Sport in high school 🙂

    In my makeup bag I have to have my Shimmering Sands eye shadow (Cover Girl) and my Bobbi Brown under eye concealer. Even from CVS that Cover Girl eye shadow is the best! And since I have dark circles under my eyes (it’s hereditary) the Bobbi Brown corrector is the best thing I’ve found to cover them up.

  5. Roselyn @ A Balanced Fit on October 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Ok so funny. I use both Vera Wang Princess and Lacoste Pink! Right now I love Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely and Hanae Mori Butterfly.

  6. [New Balance] Nicole on October 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I love decluttering!! It’s one of my stress relievers 🙂 I acctually like wearing some guy fragrances but my favorite perfume is flirt flirtatous haha

  7. Heather @ Bake, Run, Live on October 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    I would have to say that there is nothing in my make-up drawer that I couldn’t live without. I have psoriasis on my face (and eye lids), so it makes it difficult to wear make-up. There is one thing that I love to use this time of year, and that is my Cinnamon Buns shower gel from Philosophy. Smells so yummy!

  8. Jen G. on October 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I wish I could appreciate fragrance — I’m allergic to flowers, so floral scents make my throat close up. (I have to hold my breath while walking through the fragrance section of a department store.) However, I can handle vanilla and citrus scents. My sister teaches high school, and one of her students was a kid I baby-sat as a preschooler. My sister asked her student if she remembered me, and she said she remembers that I always smelled like vanilla!

  9. Caroline on October 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I’ve been wearing Angel, by Thierry Mugler for years now and I love it. I know a lot of people don’t really care for it, but I think it smells great. As for products, I cannot live without moisturizer, especially now that it’s getting colder out. And I’m starting to love Doo Gro hair vitalizer- it smells great, and it makes my hair shiney and not frizzy.

  10. Kate on October 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    D&G Light Blue is my signature but I’m currently trying to decide if I want to add Jen Aniston’s or Bvlgari’s White Tea into the mix. I prefer more earthier/beachy smells

    Sometimes I’ll use Lilly Pulitzer’s Wink or Coco Mademoiselle for nights out

  11. Vanessa @ Swift as Shadows on October 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I like trying out different perfume samples (like Kate Spade Twirl), but I like to think that my signature scent is Miss Dior Cherie. It smells like strawberry candy and caramel popcorn, but in a “sophisticated way.” haha

    For my makeup must-haves, I’m really big into lipglosses, especially Mac Dazzleglasses. So much glitter isn’t really practical, but it’s so pretty! I recently decorated a makeshift “boudoir” in my room. I blogged about it if anyone is interested (sorry for the plug — I don’t usually do this, but thought it fit with what you wrote): http://swift-as-shadows.blogspot.com/2011/10/let-it-shine-boudoir-decor-part-1.html

  12. Krystina (Organically Me) on October 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    My fragrance of choice has been Burberry Brit Sheer, but I haven’t bought it in a few years. Now I just roll with unscented lotion and sometimes body spray from VS.

  13. kathleen @ the daily crumb on October 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    my scent of choice is chloe (by chloe!) i cannot live without my mascara. even if i do not have time to put on any other makeup, i feel like mascara makes you look put together!

  14. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on October 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Love the post and what’s in your drawer and basket. I agree about moving and that it forces you to discard and streamline; I have moved soooo many times the past 10 years and completely relate to that.

    If you like fruit/floral, have you tried Coco Chanel Mademoiselle? I really love that scent.

    For body spray, I like V.S. Bombshell and most of the seasonal versions they come out with. They had one this summer called Bombshell Summer which I stocked up on b/c it was perfect for me.

    I have tried soooo many perfumes over the years; couldn’t even begin to start with all my faves 🙂

  15. Mara @ What's For Dinner? on October 28, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I run into the same issue with purfume! I’ll LOVE the way one smells in the bottle, but then in an hour, I smell like either an old lady or a spice cabinet. My best one ever? CK One. I can get it at walgreens now 🙂

    In the makeup drawer(s): Lorac smoky eye palette, clinique anti-break-out foundation, shadow insurance eye shadow primer, PCA Skin anti-blemish bar and my Clairisonic Mia… and about 40 nail polishes…I think I have an addiction.

  16. Brittany on October 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I love this post! So fun.

    Favorite fragrances: Givenchy Ange ou Demon and Burberry Brit. Givenchy is my #1, but I wish the scent was longer-lasting. I’m definitely a try-before-I-buy girl. 🙂

    Favorite beauty products: Bare Mins, could not live without. Waterproof Diorshow mascara, also could not live without. Nars Orgasm & Deep Throat blushes for when I do a full makeup face. Benefit Hoola bronzer for when I’m looking pasty. Nars Hot Wired lip gloss is an amazing fuscha that I love – but not for everyday wear 🙂 I swear by Neutrogena face lotion – SPF 55 sensitive skin for everyday and waterproof SPF 70 for running. And Moroccan Oil to make my hair pretty.

    • Brittany on October 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm


  17. Laury @ thefitnessdish on October 28, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Sounds like my family needs to move more often. I am a pack rat and a half….especially with beauty products. I have like 1 dozen almost empty lotions, hair products and makeup stuff under my sink. I need a support group.

    I wore Clinique Happy from the time I was 15 on. Now I wear Dolce and Gabbana “The One.” Love it, been wearing for a few years now. Once I find a scent I am pretty loyal. I still buy Happy….love it in the summer!

    I wear Bare Minerals foundation and eye shadow. The colors for my eyes vary on what I am wearing or the season. I have SO much. Blush I use Physicians Formula bronzer strips. I have a bronze one and just got a pink one I love. Lipstick and gloss is always MAC. Frou is my fav since I was like 16. See, loyalty. Eyeliner is Loreal Infallable(?) blackest black? I wear liquid on top and pencil on bottom and to accent the sides.

    I should have been a makeup artist for my second career. I am obsessed with it. I was the girl that did all my friends makeup for the night out, and even worked at a salon when I was younger, the owner actually had me doing prom and wedding makeup when they were low on staff. I was 18 or 19. Love it almost as much as I do fitness 😉 Have a great weekend G$!

  18. Parita on October 28, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Amazing Grace by Philosophy is…well, amazing! LOVE it 🙂

  19. Amanda on October 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I take finding a new fragrance (for myself and as gifts for others) very seriously!! When I was in Sephora last, they made me 3 sample vials of the fragrances that I loved to try out – which was perfect! I was able to smell them on myself all day long and figure out what I loved! My current favorite is Juicy Couture’s Viva La Juicy! Some of my other favs are Bvlgari Amethyste, Marc Jacobs Daisy, and Burberry. I’m with you on the D&G Light Blue – I really love it, but I have so many friends who I associate it with, that I can’t bring myself to wear it, too!

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2011 at 2:04 am

      burberry smells BEAUTIFUL, but funky on me!

  20. Rebecca on October 28, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Viva la Juicy is my absolute favorite right now, but I like to sample them first. I usually select random samples whenever I order from sephora, and that’s how I’ve found my last few favorites.

  21. Amy on October 29, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I don’t do fragrances, most cause me to have a horrible allergic reaction (hives, throat swelling) or a nasty migraine. I don’t have a make up drawer either, but I do have chapstick most of the time. I very rarely wear make up, again because of the allergies. I swear with all the allergies sometimes it feels like it’s easier to list the things I’m not allergic to.

  22. Anna on October 29, 2011 at 2:20 am

    My favourite is Fantasy by Britney Spears only because it smells like candy. I also love Lacoste Pink, D&G light blue and anything by JLo. If I can’t sleep I spray some Fantasy on my sheets and within a few minutes I’m in a deep sleep. I don’t wear makeup at all so I don’t have a makeup bag but I do get makeup (eyeshadow’s and lipsticks mostly) as gifts but I’ve never actually used any of it.

  23. Jennifer on October 29, 2011 at 3:52 am

    I try to minimalize what I use as much as I can but its hard. I hate clutter and have limited storage space so I just try to not have multiples of anything. I am addicted to lotion I apply lotion constantly since I have dry skin, especially to my hands. I like Eucerin and EOS. I really love Molton Brown shower gels even though I admit drugstore kinds work the best, but something about the MB Vitalising shower gel that actually WARMS your skin, its amazing! I use Origins skincare, I love everything I’ve tried from the brand, my favorite things being the Checks and Balances cleanser and the Night-a-Mins nighttime moisturizer. I used to have a ton of nail polish too but I have scaled it down to one cosmetic bag worth of polish which is good considering I used to have a wall nail polish rack full. For makeup I can change it up at random but my go-tos that really don’t change are Bobbi Brown Pale Pink blush, Bobbi Brown corrector, Maybelline Define-a-Brow, MAC dip down gel liner, MUFE Full Cover Concealer (only if I have a blemish) and MAC studio fix powder foundation. I’ll use any eyeshadow, mascara, lipstick/gloss, etc.

  24. kristi on October 29, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Fun post and have loved reading the responses! I wear an amber white oil that I order from this little Bitty shop in Charleston, SC (I live in MI)… not all oils are made equally! I also have to have my Aveda dual foundation, Moroccan oil and Dr. Pepper chapstick (old school!)! 🙂

  25. Jessica on October 29, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Love this post! My makeup hoarding has finally led me to have some favorites…the Nars orgasm blush, Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Bobbi Brown mascara, and the best concealer I have found for undereye circles – MakeUpForever’s Full Cover concealer…life-changing!

  26. OntarioGirl on October 29, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I love seeing what others use for make-up and beauty products! We have similar taste in perfume. I have Lacoste Pink (last summer) and I JUST bought D&G Light Blue this past weekend and I LOVE it as well! I’m so glad it doesn’t smell like pepper on me 😉 I needed something less fruity for Winter so it was the winner.
    I also have Hot Couture by Givenchy and it smells really nice. I used the whole bottle which rarely happens with me and perfume haha

  27. Hillary on October 29, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I have the same makeup bag—but mine is orange and blue!

    I cannot go a day without wearing under eye concealer. Not so much for me, but more so other people don’t think I have two black eyes (yes, they’re that bad. Sexy).

  28. Alycia on October 29, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I’m so weird, but I just love the posts where people show whats in their makeup bag, gym bag etc! I think its a great way to learn about new products!

    My 2 scents of choice are Clinique Happy and VS Vixen. Both are pretty expensive, so I always have to hope I get them as a gift!

  29. Sarah on October 29, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I’m definitely a makeup junkie and have a really serious Sephora.com addiction. 🙂

    For fragrances, I love Chanel Allure and Coco Chanel for winter/fancy occasions. I tend to change scents with life changes, not purposely, but it always seems to happen that way, and it’s kind of cool. So whenever I smell Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers, I’m immediately transported back to 12 year old Sarah, just like The Body Shop’s Tobacco Flower takes me directly to high School (I don’t even think they make it anymore!)

    Also love some of the fragrances by Tocca.

  30. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf on October 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    This is going to sound a little funny, but my absolute favorite toiletry in my possession is honey. It’s my face wash. Just good old-fashioned honey. It works better when it’s crystallized, so sometimes I mix it with flour or sugar when it’s all liquid. My skin has gotten SO much better since I stopped using store-bought cleansers on my face! And for the record, I have extremely oily, acne-prone skin (thanks, PCOS). I’m 23. I tried all the salicylic acid-containing stuff for years thinking it would improve my skin, but I realized a year ago that it was only making my skin worse!

    I don’t use a moisturizer right now, since honey does a great job of not stripping too many natural oils from my skin, but if it gets dry this winter, I may try coconut or jojoba oil as a moisturizer. As for sunscreen, it exists in small amounts in the makeup I use (Bare Minerals line), so I’m not too worried about it right now, though I’d love to find a dedicated sunblock. My problem is that the more stuff I had to my skin, the more it hates m. Ugh.

  31. Bianca on October 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I would love an update on the clarisonic and dry brushing. I have been dying to try both, and would love to hear a little bit more about their experience.

  32. Paige on October 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I think that random spray may be from Bath & Body Works- the bottle looks familiar 🙂 fun post and love the blog as always!

  33. Amanda B. on October 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I love this post! I’ve moved a lot as a student, and it definitely had the same effect as me. Nothin’ makes you want to purge like realizing you have THREE boxes of cosmetics to move.

    I need to go through my stuff soon. But I just bought a bottle of Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum and it’s my new lover. I have THICK hair that likes to hold onto water, and it cuts my drying time a little plus makes me less likely to look like Chewbacca when I walk out the door.

  34. Kate Z. on October 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Couldn’t live without: Bare Minerals foundation and bronzer, my Shu Uemura eyelash curler, Fusion Beauty plumping lipgloss, Great Lash mascara… And my scalp itching and flaking COMPLETELY disappeared when I switched to natural sulfate-free products for my hair- I love John Masters Organics shampoo and conditioner. Not much of a fragrance person but sometimes I wear Coco Mademoiselle.

  35. Jill on October 30, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Love this post btw, My must have are face wipes (for when I am feeling lazy or just need to refresh, also they are great for the gym, I use these kirkland signature ones from costco: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11659645&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|589|90378|51643&N=4045842&Mo=54&pos=3&No=49&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=51643&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC39917-Cat90378&topnav=
    Also I am very picky about lotion, and have found this Korres one to be my fav: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P238221&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=5715 I highly recommend it!
    And this is the Michael Kors fragrance I am currently in love with: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P9008&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=5357

  36. Rachel on October 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    If you like D&G’s Light Blue but it doesn’t smell right on you, try Jo Malone’s Nectarine Blossom & Honey cologne. It’s what I’m currently using now and I love it – they both have similar fresh, citrusy tones.

  37. Natalie on October 31, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I currently use Aqualina ‘Pink Sugar.’ It is very sweet and girly. I like it year round. I get compliments once a week on it. I could not live without my Benefit Bad Gal Mascara, Victorias Secret bronzer, and Moroccan Oil. I am in desperate need of a good moisturizer, especially being from ND where it gets to be very dry and freezing cold! Otherwise, its funny because I have used a lot of expensive products, and the face wash I can’t live without is 4$ Neutrogena from Target- go figure!

  38. Jessica on October 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Oooh, what a fun post! I generally love “clean” scents, so D&G Light Blue is my absolute favorite, but I also like Warm Vanilla Sugar from Bath & Body Works (wearing that a lot lately because it helps me feel cozy and ready for the holidays). I always try before I buy! I love Sephora and department stores for being so generous with the samples. My most recent samples was of one of the Chanel Chance scents- I’m very glad I tried it because it’s way too strong for me to want to splurge on a whole bottle. Also, I’m the same way as you about lotion before bed- I will have to try your recommendation!

  39. Christin@purplebirdblog on October 31, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    My favorite fragrances are crisp, clean, citrusy scents. Or anything that smells like clean laundry. 😉

  40. Sarah @ The Dirt Road Dreamer on November 1, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I’ve worn Victoria’s Secret Pink for YEARS!!! But I have just recently switched to Micheal by Micheal Kors and I am in love, it smells like Honeysuckle and reminds me of home 🙂

  41. claire! on November 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Where do you get your coconut oil from? I’m considering buying some, but wasn’t sure where to look (Whole Foods?) – do you use it on your face? Thanks!!!!

  42. anaiah on November 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I know I am late reading this….but…I just wanted to say I know exactly what you meant about being a fragrance “model”. I did that for years. It payed very well per hour, and I am SO spoiled from it that I can never live without nice fragrances now. Problem is….now I have to pay for them! 🙁
    Also….D&G Light Blue is my favorite as well…it just makes me happy smelling it. My husband usually buys me a replacement bottle when he knows I am out. He is trained well….lol.
    I am still trying to find an alternate fragrance but can’t seem to find one I love like that. I do like Victoria Secret’s Very Sexy for going out though.
    I love your posts and look forward to reading more!

  43. kyla on November 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I love, love, love perfume. My favorites are Juicy Couture and Ralph Lauren Romance. Mmmmm!
    Euphoria by Calvin Klein is delicious smelling though and Burberry Brit is warm and yummy.

  44. Jennie (in Wonderland) on November 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    The first perfume I ever wore was actually men’s cologne – Versace Blue Jeans, and OMG guys used to think it smelled so sexy. haha. It made me laugh.

    I switched to Ralph Lauren Romance for a week, but it was so floral that it gave me and everyone else around me a headache. Definitely a case of not ‘working’ with my skin type, because it can smell amazing on other people. I still have a huge bottle of it. Sad.

    Now (for the past four years or so) I’ve worn Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker. I adore it.

    Tip for the guys – Eau de Tabac by Miller Harris. It’s hard to find, but it is luscious. My fiance wears it, and just… wow.

    • Fitnessista on November 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      lovely by sjp is gorgeous! i used to have a bottle and wore it sometimes- it just smells classy to me 🙂
      i’ll definitely be on the lookout for that cologne!

  45. whitney on November 11, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    FAV fragrance for me would have to be DKNYs be delicous(Green one). Smells fantastic to me, I love all the notes in there and esp the smell of it once its been on me for a while.

    Makeup drawer must have ( I have a few) but I really love my mac studio fix powder foundation and mac vegas volt lipstick! Love seeing people post on their fave beauty products, so fun!

  46. Ashley Hamilton on March 24, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I need my mascara! I feel like if I can only wear one bit of makeup that’s what helps me look nice and awake and I fell pretty.

    I also love moving to de-clutter, also! I used to be such a pack rat but I’ve moved so many times recently that now everything is so much more tidy and I feel better having less junk.

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