A ValentineLESS Valentine’s Day

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Don’t have a Valentine this year? Join the club.  Am I bitter about it like most of the single women of the world are? Not really. I’m used to it (cues sarcastic, but hysterical laughter). This is only like the 80th year in a row that I’ve been in this situation. It’s a cute little holiday, but it’s extremely commercialized as are most holidays America celebrates. We’re a pretty shallow, money hungry,  run by corporations type of country if you really think about it. I digress. That was bitterness talking.

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I’d love to have a secret admirer and get a little card with candy stuck to it like in 2nd grade, but since I probably won’t, I decided to investigate as to why many of us can’t seem to find the “right” person, thus occasionally leaving us ValentineLESS on Valentine’s Day. A while ago I asked Professional Matchmaker & Life Coach, Paul C. Brunson a few questions about dating and here’s how it went.

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Q 1.What is the most common reason people seem to attract the “wrong” people when dating?

A. Because we don’t value what we need over what we want.  Also, on many occasions, out of fear, we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings and therefore trap ourselves.

Q 2. In your opinion,  what is the biggest “don’t do” on a first date?

A. Talking about your ex.

Q 3. How do you determine when the best time/way is to let your dating partner know you want to go from casual dating to exclusive dating?

A. Directly.  We can’t “beat around the bush” with hints and general overtures.  If we can’t communicate directly and openly with our partner,  we can’t have a long-term relationship with them.

Q 4. For a hopeless romantic who never seems to find the right dating prospects,  where would you suggest are the best types of places to go in order to find them?

A. There’s not an exact spot where all the singles congregate. That said, it is important to be proactive and do things differently (that’s the only way we’ll get different results).

Brief and direct, but there ya have it. Hopefully if you’re single for this V-day, the above advice can give you some insight and help you find a new beau. I’m not searching to find love (it is dreadfully tiring), but if love finds me, then so be it!

Happy Valentine’s Day, and don’t be so hard on yourself! Think about it, chocolate will be on sale!!! ;-)

Sincerely,
~with style & love~
Sharontina B.

Santa, I’ve Been A Good Girl This Year!

Christmas

IT’S MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!

The holiday season fills me with joy each and every year because it reminds me of all the things I love. Family, tradition, unity, and sweet endings to prepare for new beginnings. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, more or so when I still believed in Santa, but the fantasy and cozy feeling of Christmas has never faded. As I’ve gotten older, the expectation of receiving gifts has decreased due to my realization of what Christmas is truly about, and the reality that as you get older, people stop giving you gifts (sarcastic laugh…). In any event, every Christmas a small number of people ask me what I’d like to be gifted and I always say, “Oh, I don’t know…”. This year, I’ve been jotting ideas down as they come so that IF asked I will have a running list. Here’s my 2013 Christmas wish list, and I’m easy to please; its the simple things…

 

Christmas Wish List

 

 

1. Mischo Luxury Nail Lacquer

Okay, I just wrote a post about Mischo Beauty’s new luxury nail lacquer line, and I’ve decided that the shade I NEED most is “The Tents”! Reminds me of my love for NYFW, ahhhh…

 

2. Jessica Simpson Fancy Love Perfume

This is my favorite perfume. No, it’s not Gucci or whatever else you fancy gals pride on, but it’s a simple, seductive scent that tickles my fancy.

 

3.  IMAN Cosmetics Luxury Lipsticks- The Lip Affair Continues

The itty bitty IMAN Cosmetics lip affair kit has turned to full-sized lipsticks and I want ALL shades!!! No, really. But one shade will do fine…

 

4. Naeem Khan Signature Caftan

Okay, this is wishful thinking, but on everything I love, he makes the most beautiful caftans I’ve ever laid eyes on. I mean, really? They are like $2K+, but one day I’ll have one. Or two. Or more… fashion Gods, please make this dream come true…

 

5. True Love Waits” Purity Ring- size 7 ;)

I’ve wanted one of these for a while, such a beautiful symbol of God’s word and my promise to him. I will probably buy this for myself, but it definitely makes my wish list!

 

6. Bye Bye Parabens Hair Care

I was introduced to these products recently via an interview on Beauty Talk, created by Hairstylist Tracy Riggs, and all her clients that called in gave a testimonial saying how much they LOVE these products. They are sulfate and paraben free, so it will be a blessing to my natural hair! I can’t wait to try these products.

 

So, this is my Christmas wish list! I hope Santa stops by my house on his trek across the world, I’ve been so good this year!

 

Sincerely,

~with style~

Sharontina B.

Style on Capitol Hill: The Obama’s Inauguration Day Fancy

Michelle, Sasha, Malia Inauguration 2013

Good evening, folks!

This is a quickie because my 1st day of school is tomorrow and I have homework already, but I just HAD to write this post NOW while all my style excitement is flowwiinnggggg!

Okay, so today was a very special day as the 57th inauguration took place to swear in President Barack Obama for his 2nd term, and as history was made yet again, millions watched on to be a part of it. Today we also celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and I personally feel that his dream for equality has become more true today than it ever has before. I am humbled to be able to have witnessed such history TWICE in my lifetime, and it’s something I will remember forever and ever!

Okay, enough with the mushy stuff, let’s get to the point of my post. The styyyylllleeeeee! It’s the one thing everyone drools over, especially when it comes to the beautiful First Lady! At the private swearing-in ceremony this morning, Michelle Obama chose a blue Reed Krakoff dress with a sweater to compliment the look of simplistic sophistication. It seems that the family followed suit with the sea of blue, except for the spunky Sasha that is. Malia is wearing a dress from H&M, my kind of girl!

Inauguration 2013 swearing-in ceremony

Fast forward to the main inaugural ceremonies, and Michelle Obama dazzled in her grace in a subdued and beautifully navy structured coat by Thom Browne, which kept her warm over a dress by Thom Browne as well. Her statement belt, that she is known for wearing for a little pop, is by J.Crew and so are her shoes. The girls were super posh in their hued coats, Malia’s by J.Crew, and Sasha adorned in Kate Spade.

Michelle, Sasha, Malia Inauguration 2013

 

Michelle Obama Reed Krakoff 2013

 

Michelle Obama in Thom Browne Inauguration 2013

 

Sasha and Malia style Inauguration 2013

And last but not least, the inaugural ball! The WORLD really just wanted to know which designer Michelle Obama would choose. Many predicted that she’d choose a newer designer, or one that may not necessarily be considered a household name, but to everyone’s surprise she went with Jason Wu, again! Jason Wu designed her 2009 inaugural gown, and he sure didn’t disappoint this time either. Within minutes, phone calls were being made to figure out who designed her amazing red gown, and Jason Wu gets the credit!

Michelle Obama Jason Wu Inauguration dress 2013

 

Minutes after revealing Jason Wu as the designer of this red masterpiece, an original sketch from Jason Wu’s headquarters was released and it gave us an even more intimate look at the design details and specifics behind this lucky dress.

 

Jason Wo sketch Michelle Obama inagural dress

This gown definitely lived up to its original design details, constructed out of a mix of fluid chiffon and luxurious velvet; making use of the duchess satin belt that is reminiscent of the First Lady’s style signature. The diamond studded hand-made ring at the close of the halter was made by Kimberly McDonald and she’s wearing Jimmy Choo shoes. Stunning.

I LOVE the first family. They represent me in so many ways and I’m able to see a mirror reflection of my family in them. The Obamas have a love for one another that is contagious, warm, and sincere and so many aspire to be just like them. I can’t leave this post without a nod to my main man’s style. Obama had SO MUCH SWAG today, that I had to look away! He showed so much confidence today, as he should, and I simply loved his choice of a white bow tie at tonight’s inaugural ball as he did 4 years ago at his first inauguration. He did thaaaaaat!

Obama inauguration 2013

 

I thank God that I’m alive to see history continuously being made, spoken from our forefathers and brought to life by today’s dreamers.

 

Sincerely,

with style and humility,

 

 

 

Saying Farewell to A Queen

Violet Sutton
Violet Sutton
My Mom Mom, Violet Sutton, was one of the livliest, lovely, and fashionable great grandmothers a girl could have. At 88 years of age, she could honestly get around probably better than you and I, and had not ONE ailment. On Dec 6, 2012, the lord chose her to be on his side as she peacefully transitioned from our world to his kingdom in her sleep. The whole family was rocked silent, because as she was in perfect health and showed no signs of slowing down, to us Mom Mom was supposed to live forever. At least that’s how we saw it.
Those that knew her can truly say that she’d make light of every situation, and make you laugh even when you thought you could find no happiness within yourself. She would say whatever came to mind, regardless of your opinions or anticipated reaction, and would laugh it off to remind us how we need to enjoy life instead of worrying about the small stuff. She was proud to tell people that in her 80′s she could touch the floor without bending her knees like a pro gymnast, and did Wendy William’s rendition of “How youuu doinnn?!” better than anybody I know. My grandmother told me that when they were children, Mom mom Vi made all of their clothes by hand. Y’all know I love sewing, so this intrigued me, and in my younger years Mom Mom showed me how she made skirts and pants from scratch! Pattern whaaa?!. When I was like 8, I used to go over Mom mom’s house to have sleepovers with her, and we’d stay up all night (she was a night owl) and talk and eat Almond Joys in bed…lol. I didn’t even like Almond Joys, but being able to eat candy in bed was fun and Mom Mom let me do it! Most recently, when I’d go see Mom mom, she’d always make me leave with a bag of vintage dresses and shoes she didn’t want anymore, and as a vintage junkie she knew that it made me so excited. She’d sit in her chair and smile and laugh as she made me try things on and saw how hyper I got over a dress she bought 40+ years ago. When I asked ‘Omg, where did you get thissssss?!” she’d look at me and say “Chile, that thing is older than you about 3 times!” haha. I have had some good times with Mom mom, and those memories will last forever.
 On any given day, you could find her sauntering around the neighborhod running errands in her incognito shades, epic strawberry blond-ish fro, and cheetah print on at least one item of clothing. She was full of so much wisdom, and old-school remedies you’d never even know or think of, was a puzzle pro– no, seriously…she LOVED to do puzzled, and she’d glue them afterward and hang them on the walls like paintings– and she loved to talk and talk and talk just about anything, she just loved being in good company and in good spirits. Her faith was strong, and I can say that she loved the lord more than anything. She would always say that she thanked God for letting her live such a long and healthy life, and that when it was her time, it was her time. She had no fears, because she knew where she was headed. Not only did she have loving family members that preceeded her in death, but she knew the God she was going home to. Our family will miss the woman who started it all, who is responsible for the 4 generations she left behind, and who ALWAYS got the party started because she loved to dance. We will miss the woman who would let us stay up alllllllll night as kids, and only sent us to bed if we started falling asleep in the chair. We will miss the woman who makes the BEST potatoe salad on the planet and will tell you about yours if it didn’t taste right. We will miss the woman who would tell someone she was “sexy and she knows it” at 88 with sass and confidence. We will miss the woman who……… Mom Mom Vi, we will miss you. Whenever you left her house, she’d say “So long”, and said never say goodbye because you will see me again, and in this instance, that still stands true because this isn’t a goodbye, we will see you in heaven one day.
Violet Sutton

Mom mom in her Dream Girl days, circa 1960s

Love,
Tina
* We hope that you may find it in your heart, if you are able, to help us lay my grandmother to rest. She had no insurance, so her funeral costs have to be funded by the family, and in tough financial times, that would be hard for anyone. We appreciate every penny, from the smallest donations to the largest, it does not matter to us. Her funeral date is Friday, 12/14, and we are only nearing half of the $6,000 we need, but we have faith that we will get there because each day we get closer. Although this situation isn’t the best, I think she’s trying to teach our family a lesson. A lesson with the basic principle of coming together and making it work.  We thank you all so much for your generous contributions and PLEASE believe that we appreciate you so very much. If you’d like to donate, you can do so at this link http://VioletSutton.chipin.com, or on the widget below…

Thank you so much,

with love~ Sharontina B.

My Awesome Summer and My NYFW Woes, Take a Number…

Sharontina at the beach

Hey you!

How goes it? I hope you’re well wherever you are in the world, long time no chat! Yeah, it’s my fault, but I think I have a few good reasons. First, my summer was AWESOME. Here’s a little note about me, when I’m really excited and in the moment, I can’t even verbalize the awesomery that’s happening, I have to let it marinate a little bit. If I sat here right now and told detail for detail about just how awesome my summer was, we’d be here all day, so I’ll quickly tell my summer’s story in pictures so we can move on to more important stuff, like my NYFW woes and what not. Ok, ready?

Blogging While brown

Summer started with the Blogging While Brown Conference, it was AMAZING.

 

FELA! The musical

Saw FELA! the musical, and took a pic with the star of the show, “Fela”!

Sharontina at the beach

…of course I fit a beach trip in there, it’s not summer if you don’t visit the beach at least once!

 

sharontina in baltimore

I hit up Baltimore, and hung out with big sis Janice, Funnn!

 

Rachelle Ferrell Spirit Cruises

I FINALLY saw Rachelle Ferrell live in concert, best show of LIFE. The end.

 

Sharontina meets Giniwine

I met and got serenaded (well, I’m exaggerating it a little, but hey) by Ginuwine….I melted!

(I worked a LOT in between all of this)

ANTM College Edition party

In bed with Tyra Banks, Rob Evans, and Kelly Cutrone! Who would’ve ever thought?! LOL! at the ANTM College Edition premiere party, NYC

 

ANTM premiere google + hangout

I was invited to Tyra Banks’ ANTM premiere party on Google+ hangout, it was a pajama party! FUN!

 

Y’all see what I was talking about?! My summer was THE BEST! Like…the best one I’ve had since I can remember.

Ok, enough about summer, fall is now making its way in and I can further justify that by letting you know that I am wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt today. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, I get to layer, which means I still wear my spring/summer clothes and just pair pieces with other pieces, or funky tights, and blazers (I get excited talking about blazers). Plainly put, I love the season that brings forth pretty leaves and a brisk breeze, along with the trends and fads alike that grace magazine pages and these Philly streets. Although in the fall season of NYFW, spring and summer collections of next year are being debuted, it’s also my favorite season to attend. It’s just the vibe, the feeling, the coolness of it all that I like most, and sadly, I won’t really feel it this season (insert big, warm tear sliding down my cheek).

I was so “in” last season. But you know how it goes in fashion, “One day you’re in, next day you’re out”, LOL!

Let’s lay it all down so maybe I won’t feel so sour at the end of this post.

1. I’m a full-time student, in my last year of undergrad *throws cap in the air before it’s even ordered* and I can’t afford to miss classes for a whole week–even if it’s for the most fabulous and anticipated shows of the fashion industry *cries again*.

2. I applied for press credentials for the 1st time ever, and I didn’t get denied…but I didn’t get approved either… *burst into nervous/actually hilarious bout of laughter*. Since I was waiting to get a decision *looks at watch*, I just waited, big mistake… and I should have known better.

3. Since I’m in school, that means I’d be commuting every day and trying to crash at this and that person’s house, and spending lots of money that a broke college student kind of doesn’t have.

4. Luckily, I have awesome Blogger friends who can’t attend things and allow me to cover for them, so I still get my NYFW fix. This is actually how I’ve went to any NYFW show I’ve ever attended, so I was trying to take a stab at applying myself…that didn’t work out well, ha!

5. For the February season, I’m creating a master plan to get invited to all the shows I’ve ever wanted to attend and I’m skipping class all that week, disregard points 1-4, lol! They are just all the things I’m telling myself to justify my not being in the total mix of all things fabulous NYFW…le sigh.

My NYFW woes run a little deep this go-around, but don’t think I won’t be in the mix, whaaaaat?! Imagine that! You might not see me front row at the shows–or standing room for that matter– but I sure will show my face outside the Lincoln Center at the let-out! :D. That’s where all the magic happens anyway.  Can’t wait to see all of my in-the-fashion-know folks in NYC, here’s what I have planned so far, hope to catch you around here or there!

Wednesday 9/5: Independent Fashion Blogger’s Conference day 2 (woot woot!)

Thursday 9/6: FNO (I’ll be everywhere!) Tweet, FB, text me…it’s going to be fun!

Friday 9/7: I’ll be in the city for an exclusive event, so excited!!!

Saturday 9/8: Cocktails & Couture Fashion Week Mixer

Sunday 9/10: TBA

As my plans detail themselves, or not, I’ll keep y’all posted, would love to meet or reconnect with some of you! Cheers to NYFW!

Sincerely,

with style~ Sharontina B.

How I Found My Personal Style in a Conforming Society

Sharontina's personal style

Hey Ladies and Gents,

I’m coming to you today with a serious issue that is plaguing the fashion sense of millions, for real. I am such an advocate for personal style and expression because I believe it truly sets you free, like telling the truth! My absolute favorite part of the day isn’t defined by a timely meal, or seeing my lovely family members’ smiles (although they matter a lil’ bit), it’s in getting dressed each day! I know it sounds kind of  ‘damnnnn, that’s colllddddd’ , but like I said, the truth shall set you free. Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a very unique sense of style, that I’m confident in it, and will encourage others to try something outside of their closet comfort zone in a heart beat. Proof…

 

Church hats

Church-hats off to my little ladies who aren’t afraid to be BOLD

 

I try to think back to when I started to define my personal style, and it brings me to a characteristic of myself that has nothing to do with style, clothes, or fashion. In school, and at home, I was the ‘goody two-shoes’ who actually liked school, and LOVED the attention that I got for being different in that aspect. Getting good grades was important to me, and when I realized that everyone wasn’t pulling it off, I was like “Oh yes, this is MY thing!” (nerd much?). Since then, I’ve always liked having those little this-is-my-thing moments wherever they manifested, and that’s when my personal style in dress took on that ideology. I couldn’t fathom why everyone wanted (and still wants to) look alike, why is that fun? Eww. I can’t front though, I remember being a kid and wanting the high top Reeboks that all the other kids were wearing, but that’s different to some extent. I’ve found that teenagers especially conform to the “fashion elite” of their generation, who dictate what’s hot (even when it’s really not), and they feel that they have to have these things in order to fit in. My thing was, and still is, if I can’t wear what I REALLY want to wear and not fit in, then that’s not the space I should be trying to squeeze into. Maybe everyone doesn’t think the same way I do, obviously.

Sharontina baby pic

I’ve had my fair share of trying to fit in!

 

I started to watch my personal style define itself when I was about 16. I moved in with my dad and stepmom, and Mom is the epitome of a fashionista! No, her closet will make you green with envy! I loved watching her process of searching through her OCD-like closet, with everything neatly and precisely in a special place, finding potential ensembles to try on, and then like trial and error on a hard math problem, POW! She’d have the answer, the perfect outfit, all unique in her own way, topped with a pile of confidence and a cherry of sass. I loved that, I wanted to feel like that when I got dressed. As I stated before, I always liked having my own thing going on, but it was very present in other aspects of my life and not yet in the fashion department. I was still all ‘overly fitted butterfly rhinestone encrusted jeans with a striped shirt’, mad corny. I studied Momma’s style, and I began to develop my own. She encouraged me, let me “shop” in her closet, and she is the reason I have solo impromptu ‘photoshoots’ for Fabebook -_-. It was fun, and I got to watch my style grow over time. By the time I was in 11th grade, my classmates would anticipate what wacky-cute outfit I’d be wearing to school, and ask if my stepmom helped me pick it out since I bragged about her constantly. The whole thing was just too cute.

Sharontina and Mom

Me, all of 17, with my style maven of a Momma

Sharontina and mom

Me and Mom being cute in Miami with our belted frocks

 I sort of feel like it’s my mission to help those stuck in the bubble of style conformity, to get out! I also have realized that it all comes down to confidence and conviction, and if you don’t have either of them then the road to betraying the copy-cat style cults won’t be easy. It’s still not easy for me although it may look that way. People in my family STILL make comments like, “Why can’t you just dress normal for one day?”, “Why do you dress so weird?”, “What kind of craziness do you have on today?”, but it is counteracted by my ‘I like it and don’t give a damn what you think’ attitude and the compliments from other style blessed folks who “get me”, especially my funky-hip New Yorkers! (I heart you!). I ALSO find that those same people who say I ‘dress weird’ wish there was love button on my Facebook pics, and make comments like “I love that you’re so daring with your style”, “Where did you get that dress from?”. Interesting, right? When those moments come, I realize that they may be in the group that really wants to be unique unto themselves, but feel they won’t be accepted if they don’t fit the style profile that’s in popular demand at the time. I let them know how free I feel, how NO ONE else will put an outfit together like I can, whether they have the same dress or not, and how it’s all about saying “I’m going to wear what I feel expresses me the best”, that’s it. Yeah I’m on a soap box right now, but I feel like the issue needs some attention, along with the people who are scared to NOT look like everyone else.

Am I the only one who sees the style conformity thing still plaguing closets worldwide? Tell me it’s not just me! I’d love to know how you define your personal style, and who helped you discover yours. Were you/are you a victim of #TeamEverybodyHasToLookAlike, but escaped? I’d love to hear your point of view…

Thanks Mom, for showing me that all I needed was confidence to bring my personal style to life!

Sharontina's personal style

Don’t be afraid to go against the ‘norm’.

Sincerely,with style ~ Sharontina B.

A Love lost, Well… Misplaced, and Found Again…

*waves frantically*

Don’t get me guys, I know I’m wrong for being ghost for darn near 2 weeks. Charge it to my head, not my heart… deal? Lots has happened in the two weeks I decided to take a blogcation, yep. For starters, I turned 22 on the 22nd… how ironic?!

Sharontina on her 22nd birthday

Look who's 22 and giving major 'birthday girl' face!

 

I decided to bring in my birthday at the Wendy Williams Show, y’all know she can throw a good party on any given day! I had toooooo much fun, and then fled back to Philly to have some “I’m grown!” fun with my girls. It was definitely one to remember. My birthday came and went as it does each year, and I found myself in the next week pondering on an whether or not to take steps forward with a project I’d been wanting to begin FOREVER, or if I should just wait until the time was right (when would that be?). I decided to go for it, and so launched my new site Her Brand DNA, a resource for women in college looking to define, create, and cultivate their personal brands. I started Her Brand DNA because I wanted a way to help other young women just like myself, from my experiences building a personal brand, in hopes that those experiences could lend a helping hand to another. Building a brand in any capacity is no easy task, and it is never-ending, but I’ve learned that it helps when you are able to be guided or advised by someone who’s been through and has turned out positive results.

Her Brand DNA logo: Educated Women, Powerful Brands!

Her Brand DNA

In addition to giving personal branding advice, my goal is to give the real deal of college life; including but not limited to the fun FUN fun that SHOULD be had, the downfalls of losing focus, and the consequences thereof. I look at college like a little bubble that floats pretty freely in the reality of  the real world (go figure), and it seems that many students, specifically women, continuously try to pop that protective bubble by way of actions that either get them in trouble, tarnish their reputation, or both. My goal is to be a guiding light, and am looking forward to helping my fellow college women do just that.

In other awesome news, this past weekend I attended the Blogging While Brown Conference here in Philly, and let me just say……….. it was the BEST conference I’ve ever attended! I don’t even know where to begin, but just know that this conference is getting its own post, I have to give you a detailed story about how great it was and how I’m never missing one in years to come. Yes, so look out for it!

Dr. Goddess giving her closing remarks at Blogging While Brown 2012

Dr. Goddess giving the last word at Blogging While Brown 2012

Again, I apologize for staying away from you for so long my loves! Forgive me? ;) Do you have any new projects going on that you’d like to share? I’m just as excited about yours as I am mine! Share in the comments…I’ll be listening!

 

Sincerely,

with style~ Sharontina B.

How Did I Forget This?! Co-Hosting w/ Tyra Banks!

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How ON EARTH…*long pause*…..did I forget to post about the AMAZING opportunity I got to co-host a live chat with Tyra Banks?! I really can’t remember how or why I never wrote a post about it, I must have been too hyped up on fan juice..tehe. In any event, back in November I got chosen to co-host a LIVE Google+ hangout chat with THE Tyra banks– my “big sister”, role model, etc etc etc…etc– about her new novel, Modelland. It’s a long story of how I got chosen to participate, stemming back to being a long time supporter and a guest on her talk show back in 2010. When I found out that I’d be having the opportunity to actually like…….talk to Tyra Banks and have real, down to earth convo (unlike on TV…they control everything..hmph!), I was flabbergasted! I could go on and on and on about how excited I was and how much fun I had participating, but I’ll just let you see for yourself. It was amazing! Modelland was an uplifting, fun, and humorous novel that’s great for teen girls!

 

Sincerely,

with style~ Sharontina B.