Elegance Underneath (Feat. PPZ Lingerie)

As I am sure all my readers know, one of the many things I love to do is dress up, I mean I am a fashion blogger after all. However, though I have always loved clothes and fashion since I was a little girl playing dress up in my mum and grandmother's clothes, and have gone on to build this blog from my love of clothing. However, I feel there is one reason why I love dressing up so much that is often overlooked. That reason would be that fashion and the way I choose to style my clothing is also a form of self-expression to me, as I am sure it is a form of expression for many of my fellow bloggers as well. I think we can all agree and all forms of fashion can be considered artwork in their own light.

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Speaking of things being often overlooked, I think something that many of us generally do not think about after we get our clothes on, is what we are wearing underneath that little black dress or killer crop top and jeans combo, and that would our lingerie. However, I find this to be interesting because if you are anything like me, you probably spend tons of time shopping for the perfectly matching bra and panties set, or just the bra that fits divinely. So, with this in mind, when I was approached recently by my newest sponsor PPZ Lingerie to work with them on this project I was absolutely thrilled for the opportunity! Because I don't know about you, but I feel what I wear underneath my clothes is every bit as important as the garments that I style everyday.

PPZ Lingerie

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Before I dive into the review and styling of this lovely bralette and pantie set, I'm sure you would like to know a bit about the company that I received this dynamic duo from, and that would my newest sponsor PPZ Lingerie. If you have never heard of PPZ Lingerie, here are some highlights that you should know:

Firstly, PPZ is a fashion lingerie brand that was established in Michigan, USA, back in 2001. PPZ specializes in gorgeous lingerie but also sells a wide selection of women's underwear (I have to say they have some super cute bras and panties!) shapewear, and even yoga pants. So basically, PPZ has you covered for all your undergarment (and some activewear) needs. Another great thing about PPZ is that they live up to their tagline which is "The Most Comfortable Bras, Shapewear, and Panties", which I will be honest, I was skeptical of at first however, I was very pleasantly surprised, which I will tell you all about later. 

But the last thing that sold me on the company PPZ is besides their contemporary, fashionable, and comfortable lingerie, much like my sponsors SheIn, Modcloth, and Swim Classy, PPZ embraces body positivity, and encourages girls and woman to practice self-love. Which if you recall an earlier post of mine from this year, you know that this topic is something I am very passionate about, and think that it is an absolutely outstanding movement towards empowerment. 

Underneath It All

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As I stated earlier, PPZ is a huge supporter of body positivity and practicing self-love, and that really hits home for me because that is something that I still strive to do but also still struggle with doing. As I stated in a post early this year, I opened up to you all about how that I myself struggled with severe anorexia in the past and though I initially went into rehab four years ago, it still continues to be a constant struggle for me, though I am still working hard everyday to overcome my negative self perception. With that being said, aside from personally loving lingerie, I also love it because it makes me feel confident and sexy when wearing it, either by itself or under my favorite outfits. Which is why I decided to take the plunge and model this absolutely gorgeous set from PPZ here on Stark Raving Chic!

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So, since I'm sure this is what you all have came here for, so without any further to do, let's get to the review of this lovely set! Firstly, as I mentioned earlier, PPZ really lives up to it's tagline because this bralette and pantie set is definitely so comfy, and to top it off both pieces are true to size and fit absolutely perfectly. I also liked that the bralette, unlike some of the other bralettes I own, has four hook and eye enclosures which makes this piece much easier to take on and off and these also make the bralette fit much more comfortably. 

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Along with the hook and eye enclosures being a plus, another thing I loved about this bralette is though that it is a push-up, the cups are perfectly sized and held my breasts perfectly, so the bralette did its job without making me feel like I was going to bust out of it. I also liked that the panties are bikini style, but with a cheeky fit, giving them a more playful and sexy feel. And finally, the reason why I love this set as a whole is because I love the lace design of each of these pieces, to me its just so romantic and feminine, but with a bit more sultry touch due to the lush navy color and turquoise bow accents on both the bralette and panties.   

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Lastly, though this isn't an "Outfit Of The Day" post, I did want to talk a bit about how I chose to style this pretty lingerie set. Though this was a lifestyle shoot, due to the fashionable nature of this set and PPZ's focus on body positivity, I thought that it was only natural for me to model and style it opposed to simply shooting some flat lays and using the site's model images. So to style this bralette and pantie set, I chose to wear it under my silk robe from Nordstrom that I received ages ago from my mum as a Christmas present, some simple jewelry, and light makeup from bareMinerals.

One Last Look

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So, have you ever shopped with PPZ and love them as much as I do, and what are your feelings on lingerie? Do you like it as much as I do or is it not as important to your styling routine? Let's chat in the comments below or you can tweet me about it at @StarkRavingChic. And don't forget, to keep caught up on my latest posts and to have my looks sent straight to your inbox, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @StarkRavingChic and sign up for LIKEtoKNOW.it. Later, babes!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Psssssst! In case you haven't heard, I am now a proud member of the rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it family! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

#BLOGMAS: Gift Guide 2017

Whew! I don't know about all of you, but this holiday season has approached rather rapidly for me this year. From me being sick with pneumonia, my mum getting a hip replacement, and this semester at school winding down (Only one more exam left after today, yay!) I have most definitely been slacking on my holiday preparations this year, one of which is holiday shopping! So, while I was brainstorming gift ideas for my own Christmas shopping list, I decided so share some of my fool proof gift ideas, just in case some of my readers are late to the gift shopping game too. And to boot, I've managed to find some major steals through my sponsors as well, so not only can you nab some awesome gifts, you won't break the bank by doing so!

For Him

Let's face it: Though I'm sure we all love shopping for the fellows in our lives, sometimes it can be incredibly frustrating. This is due to the fact we are never quite sure what to buy them or in cases like mine, they end up buying something for themselves that we planned on getting them. So, I've compiled these following items that are sure to be a hit even if you're guy has everything he could possibly need.

Watches

Though I'm sure most men already own a watch, in my opinion they are one thing a guys can't have too many of (kind of like how I couldn't possibly ever have too many shoes). The reason being is due to giving their wardrobe versatility. For instance, on a more casual day out, he may want to go with a more modern or laid back watch than the dress watch he wears everyday to the office. 

Items Left to Right: Citzen Eco Drive, Movado Bold, JORD Sawyer Koa & Bronze, Bulova Stainless Steel Automatic, Michael Kors Chronograph

Accessories & Jewelry

Though not every guy is much for jewelry, some of these simple and understated pieces above could be the perfect gift for the man who like to accessorize. But there are also some more classic choices that may be better suited (and practical) for the more classic guy, such as cuff links, scarves, and ties.

Items Left to Right: Tiffany & Co. Paloma's Groove Bead Pendant, Burberry Cuff Links, Lacoste Logo Scarf, Tiffany & Co. Paloma Picasso's Knot Single Braid Bracelet, Tiffany & Co. Engine Turned Cuff Links, Ralph Lauren Bumble Bee Silk Tie.

Extras & Such

Last but not least, I decided to through in some practical options because one thing for sure is, I love to give useful gifts. So I figured I would throw some of these nifty options out their because I am sure any man would love them. 

Items Left to Right: Master Dynamic Ear Buds, Kiehl Men's Grooming Kit, Fendi Logo Wallet, Chanel Bleu Cologne

For Her

And since I know many of us ladies find it hard to shop for the men in our lives, I can only imagine that many guys have the same problem shopping for the women in their lives! So, if you happen to stumble upon this page (Hey, I don't only post fashion, so maybe you'll find something you like!) here are some great gift ideas for her if you're needing inspiration. 

Makeup & Skincare

Though I personally hardly ever wear makeup on a daily basis (not for lack of not liking too mind you, it mostly boils down to laziness on my part), I know there are many women who do and above are some of my top picks for makeup kits and brushes. There are also some killer skin care routines because who wouldn't want to give the gift of pampering and good skin?

Items Left to Right: Rouge Dior Bijou Lipstick SetYSL Dazzling Lights Palette, Burt's Bees Four Piece Face Essentials, Clarins 24 Piece Advent Calendar, 32 Piece Makeup Brush Set.

Jewelry & Accessories

If the gals in your life are anything like me, that means you can never go wrong with jewelry or warm and snugly accessories. From watches to bracelets, and from scarves and hats, these gift ideas are sure to please this holiday season. 

 Items Left to Right: Plaid Blanket Scarf, Grey Scarf and Pom Pom Beanie Set, Lira Coins Charm Bracelet, Givenchy Rose Gold Choker, Movado Two Tone Watch, Movado Bold in Rose Gold, Animal Pattern Socks.

Extras & Such

Much like for the guys, of course there is always room for practical gifts for us girls too. So, here is a broad selection of some very useful gifts that I'm sure any lady would adore. 

Items Left to Right: Heart and Lock Key Chain, Mermaid Tail Blanket (I have one, and I love it! It's soooo warm!), Workout Phone Case, Geometric Phone Case, Chanel No. 5 Perfume, Calvin Klein Cross Body Bag.

For All

Last but certainly not least, I decided I wanted to cover "gifts for all" in this post. Mainly because though it can be hard to shop for our loved ones, it's even harder to shop for people who we do not know that well. Whether it be for a work Chinese auction or even for an extended family member of your beau in their family grab bag, all of the following gifts are universal and are sure to thrill whoever may receive them!

Home Goods

The best thing about giving the gift of home goods is you really can't go wrong with them! People are always looking for nick-knacks, decor, candles, and anything to set their home apart and make it their own. The other great thing about home goods is many of them can be practical and useful too, making them a major hit.

Items Left to Right: Tea Kettle, Nest Fragrances, Crossley Record Player, Bar Set, Yankee Candles.

Gift Baskets

Gift basket, in my opinion, are best for holiday work parties that require a grab bag or Chinese auction. The reason being is you can find a gift basket filled with just about thing! From spa treatments, to chocolates, to wines, and even meats and cheeses, there is definitely something for everybody when it comes to gift baskets.

 Items Left to Right: Spa Gift Basket, Ghirardelli Gift Basket, Tea and Coffee Gift Basket, Wine Gift Basket, Hickory Farms Perfect Picnic Basket.

Subscription Gifts 

And lastly, if you are feeling extra generous, you can give the gift of a year of a subscription service! These are great because many of them are geared towards practicality, healthy living, and some are even for our furry friends!

 Items Left to Right: Amazon Prime, Graze, Bark Box, Bourbon of the Month

What are some of the gifts you will be giving this holiday season? I'd love to hear about how you will be spreading cheer, so let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Later, babes, and happy shopping!

Xx, Bree

P.S. Psssssst! Love the flat lay I posted earlier on Instagram today but not sure where to get the goods? Well, no fear! I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!

JORD Wood Watches: Fall Campaign + GIVEAWAY

Hello everyone, and happy fall! Firstly, let me apologize for my recent absence, after returning from my vacation down in New Orleans (which, due to time constraints, I am skipping a travel post about The Big Easy until next year when I return there for another vacation--though I did have a blast in my favorite place in the United States!), I immediately started my classes at Point Park University and I have just been getting back into the swing of student life! But now that I am back on a schedule, you will once again be hearing from me more frequently. 

So, as my long time readers know my absolute favorite season is officially upon us, even though it may not feel that way recently here in the 'Burgh. But with my favorite season here and in full swing, I was absolutely thrilled to get news from my long time sponsor and affiliate JORD Wood Watches, that we would be paring up again for yet another awesome collaboration! And if you've been following me since last year, you know that means that there is a giveaway involved for all my darling readers! So let's get to the info shall we?

JORD Wooden Watches

Before I get into the details about the campaign and giveaway, I'd first like to take a minute to tell you a bit about the company JORD in case you did not participate in the giveaway last year or if you are a new reader. I would also like to take another minute to showcase the second beautiful watch that their representative Emily sent me to review and keep free of charge! 

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Firstly, JORD is a watch company based in St. Louis, Missouri specializing in luxury, handmade, wooden watches. Their watches are beautifully crafted and are made of the finest materials including a vast selection of different woods, several different skeletons, and lastly the faces of the JORD watches are made of sapphire glass, along with custom engraving services. JORD also has a year long warranty for any repairs that you may need and also offers repair services after a year. And lastly, though JORD is based here in the USA, they ship internationally so my international readers can get in on the goods too!

My JORD Watch: The Hyde Series

As I stated earlier, JORD representative Emily, was kind enough to reach out to me to collaborate with JORD for this campaign. And in order for me to fully participate, they once again sent me an absolutely gorgeous watch, only this time I chose one from their new Hyde Series

 Photo compliments of  JORD ,  Hyde Kosso & Gray

Photo compliments of JORD, Hyde Kosso & Gray

Much like last year, the first thing I noticed when I unboxed my JORD watch was not only was the watch itself beautiful, but the box that it came in was remarkably crafted as well! The watch box was quite heavy and had a beautiful JORD stamp on the top of it. The watch was clearly packed with extraordinary care and was securely placed in the box with an extra touch of packing foam to guarantee its safety while traveling. 

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Then when I carefully began to inspect my newest timepiece, I was not surprised to find that the quality of this watch was impeccable, just like my Frankie from last years campaign. My new Hyde watch fit like a glove and has quickly become my favorite watch, simply because of its cool colors and sleek design, it goes with just about everything! And though I love my Frankie watch, the Hyde has a bit of a smaller face giving it a more feminine feel.  

 Wanna see more of what I'm up too while I'm on the go? Be sure to follow me on Instagram at  @StarkRavingChic !

Wanna see more of what I'm up too while I'm on the go? Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @StarkRavingChic!

The face of the watch is a gorgeous gun metal grey, which looks absolutely stunning against the kosso wood body and it gives this timepiece a very lovely contrast. I also love the electric blue accent the second hand gives this piece, though it is subtle, it just adds the perfect pop of color to this classic watch.

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Though my next outfit of the day post featuring this gorgeous watch won't be live 'til later this week, I'll give you a hint and let you know that I styled my Hyde watch with a nice, classic back to school look. Though in that upcoming post, the details of the watch may be over looked so in this post, I've decided to include a few outtakes of the close up photos just so you can see for yourself how lovely the watch is. And of course as I'm sure my readers know, that when I fall in love with a piece it will most definitely be popping up in my #OOTD posts all campaign (and season!) long. 

Shopping Guide 

Considering this campaign is geared towards the back to school and fall shopping seasons, I thought that I would give you some tips on what kind of watches would be good for every person in your life. Also, it's a nice perk that JORD has so much variety, considering anyone can find something they like! And with that being said, especially with the giveaway JORD is hosting (the details are below I promise!), why bother going out during the back to school and pre-holiday mayhem, when you can just shop from the comfort of your own bed at home? 

Women's Watches  

The three watches below are my top picks out of JORD's women's watches this fall. The reason I chose these three specifically are because I thought they were the most unique and each are perfectly geared towards three main styles I feel the the typical female student purchasing them would fit into and those are: bold, innovative, and classic.

Bold Femininity:

The Cora model is prefect for the shamelessly feminine woman in your life. This traditional feminine design with the added accents and rose coloring of the face and koa wood gives this piece the perfect balance of style and business. 

The Perfect Student:

This Reese timepiece is perfect for the girl who has always been fiercely dedicated to achieving her goals. This piece has a very innovative design along with a gorgeous pattern on its face. But it is also classically colored since you know the girl who's wearing most definitely means business.

Causal Chic: 

I'm sure we all know that one woman who is always as amazingly laid back as she is stylish, even under the pressure of midterms and finals. This Frankie 35 timepiece is definitely the watch for her considering though it is subtle, it is absolutely beautiful just like the girl who would be wearing it and also mirrors her laid back nature.

Men's Watches

Much like when choosing my top picks for the women's watches, my choices for men were also the most unique but still geared to the most popular style niches for shoppers. These in my opinion were the modern, the minimalist, and the professional.

The Modern Man: 

This Dover Series watch is definitely a timepiece for the man who likes to make a statement. It's trendy, gorgeous, and incredibly modern. So it is perfect for the man who want's to stand out in a crowd. 

The Minimal Fashionisto: 

This Hyde watch is perfect for the guy with an understated but cool style. With it's stacked sandalwood body, ivory face, and gold accents this watch is sure to be quite the conversation piece.

The Strictly Business: 

This Conway timepiece is perfect for the man who is a polished professional. This watch is perfect for the professional man due to its classic style as well as its bold colors. It's the perfect blend of stylish and classic. 

GIVEAWAY

FINALLY the part of this post I am sure you have all been waiting for: THE GIVEAWAY INFORMATION! 

First, this giveaway starts today (Sunday, September 24, 2017) and is running through Sunday, October 15, 2017, so everybody has a little over three weeks to enter the giveaway. And just to be clear, the date's this giveaway is running are as follows:

Starts: Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ends: Sunday, October 15, 2017

Now that you have the dates, you should also know that JORD ships internationally so ALL of my readers can participate! So what will you get from this giveaway? Well, compliments of JORD everyone who enters will win a $25 e-gift code (this code is valid until 11/30/2017) after the contest has ended, and one lucky winner out of all the participating bloggers will win a $100 e-gift code (this code is valid until 11/30/2017) that they can use to shop from JORD. To sign up for this part of the giveaway, just click the photo below and it will take you to JORD's sign up page:

WAIT THERE IS MORE...

Now, though I will still be giving away a JORD watch, this part of the giveaway is strictly on me considering I always try and personally host a  giveaway for my readers because I love you all! This being said the reason I am pairing my personal giveaway with JORD's is simply because I was so impressed with my JORD watch that I thought my readers would love one too, so here is what I am awarding one lucky reader:

Since I adore both my Frankie and my Hyde series watches so much, I will send ONE lucky reader a Frankie Series (including the Frankie 35s!) or Hyde series watch of their choice. There are seven "Frankie" to choose from and you can find them HERE. And there are four "Frankie 35" to choose from which can be found HERE. And lastly there are three from the "Hyde" you can choose from which you can find HERE.

My giveaway will be running for the same dates as the JORD sponsored giveaway, and to enter this part of my  giveaway all you need to do is comment below with your name, email, and which Frankie Series watch or Hyde Series watch you would like to try and win. Then bright and early on October 15, 2017 after everyone has had a chance to enter, I will announce the winner in the comments and promptly email them to get the necessary information to place their order (e.g. Wrist size, which I will send you a PDF so you can take your measurement, and of course I will need your mailing address so I can send you your gift!) and ship their watch to them, which I will also be shipping internationally as well. 

Final Notes: 

To all of my readers, I would like to wish you all good luck and I can't wait to see who wins! Also, to those of you who also enter the JORD sponsored part of this giveaway (which you all should because they're a great company and you get $25 towards ANY watch of your choice plus the chance to win a $100 e-gift code!) I cannot wait to see what you purchase and how you style it!

And lastly, I just want to say THANK YOU to all my readers, from the long-timers who have been with me from the beginning to the newbies who might have only came here for this post. All of you though are wonderful and I would not have this success or be able to work with such great companies like JORD without you. So thank you so much for your support, and again good luck!!

Xx, Bree

New Orleans Travel Essentials

Though traveling is a blast, sometimes packing for big trips can be a bit nerve wracking. And as I'm sure many of you guessed by my post earlier this week, I'm heading down to New Orleans for one kick ass summer vacation before I head back to class at Point Park University! So, in light of getting ready for my vacation and packing (though I'm totally doing it at the last minute due to my crazy work schedule lately--yikes!) I figured I'd share all my travel essentials for my eight day trip with all of you. So let's pack our bags and get to exploring!

First Things First: What You Need at the Airport & For On Your Flight

Though most of these items are common sense, I personally am always a bit over prepared and always keep a check list of the important things I absolutely need to have handy when I arrive at the airport. So, think of this as your "traveling basics" check list, and make sure you definitely have ALL of these items before leaving your house!!

Checklist before departing:

-Plane ticket (duh, but you'd be surprised how many times I've had to turn around to grab my phone because I forgot it at my house)

-Liscense, I.D., or Passport

-Medical card (just in case!)

-Phone

-iPad, tablet, laptop, and other electronics

-Chargers for all electronics

-Camera & battery charger (yeah, this could go under electronics, but I'm a photographer let me have this one)

-Glasses or contacts (for those of you who are like me and are blind without them!)

-Sunglasses

-Reading material

No, I Didn't Wake Up Like This: Beauty Travel Essentials  

Let's be honest, not even Beyoncé wakes up flawless . And for many of us (myself included) the stress of traveling increases when we start to think: "Oh my god, they don't have my hair care routine in travel size, or my face wash, or--wait, no, they don't even have any brands I like in travel size!" Well, don't fret, (because if you're anything like me you didn't just think of picking up travel size containers to pack your essentials--thanks mum.) because next up is the complete list of anything you could possibly need for beauty and personal care while on vacation!

Beauty & Personal Hygiene Checklist:

-Travel sized bottles (found at Walmart)

-Travel sized mouth wash

-Travel sized toothpaste

-Toothbrush

-Face wash

-Any other face care products (in my case, I use Differin Gel)

-Face Moisturizer

-Chapstick

-Travel sized deodorant

-Travel sized sunscreen

-Travel sized body wash

-Shaving razor

-Travel sized body lotion

-Small bottle of perfume

-Pads, panty liners, and/or tampons

-Any medications (birth control, allergy medicine, etcetera)

-Hair dryer

-Hair straightener

-Brush

-Hair ties

-Foundation (My go to is bareMinerals original)

-Versatile eye shadow palette (My go to is Maybelline's City Minis Palette

-Mascara (My go to is CoverGirl Plumpify

-Eye liner (My go to is Revlon's basic black eyeliner pencil) 

-Blush (My go to is "My Rose" by Dior)

-Blending sponge (check out this one from RealTechniques, I love mine!) need link to article + product

-1-3 different shades of lipstick

-Travel kit of makeup brushes (check out this one from RealTechniques, it is my go too!) 

 Last But Not Least: Clothes For Vacation 

Even though I pretty much covered my top favorite outfits for vacation in my last Style Guide post, I figured I would throw in a few extra suggestions along with the ones I already made Monday! And I mean, this is a style blog after all, so what would this post be with out some fashion essentials?

Clothes & Accessories:

-8 pairs of bras and underwear (two strapless bras included in this!)

-2 sets of pajamas

-2 sets of workout clothes (sports bra, tank, and shorts sets)

-2 tee shirts

-2 camis

-4 pairs of shorts

-2-3 nice dresses (e.g. For a date night or a girls night out)

-1 maxi dress

-4 pairs of socks

-2 pairs of sandals

-1 pair of versatile comfy shoes

-1 pair of heels

-1 pair of sneakers (in my case running shoes)

-Large purse to travel (for on the plane-- need one? Check out my go to travel bag here!) 

-Small clutch or bag for evenings out or out exploring the city you are visiting (Need one? This one is my favorite from my sponsor SheIn

-SmartWatch, Apple Watch, Fitbit, or other fitness tracker (Need one? This is the one I have, and though it was a cheap buy, it works great and I love it! You can get others like it here.) 

-1 Dress watch

-1-3 different pairs of earrings

-1-3 different bracelets

-1-3 different necklaces

So, what are some of your main travel essentials when packing for a big trip? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me at @StarkRavingChic! Want updates on my vacation in The Big Easy? Be sure to follow me and check my story on Instagram at @StarkRavingChic. Later babes, see you on the 27th with an outfit of the day once I'm back from vacation!

Xx, Bree

P.S. I am now a proud member of rewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it! Meaning you can shop straight from my Instagram feed when you click here or here. Don't know what LIKEtoKNOW.it is all about? Learn more, here!