Why can’t Women wear Maternity Brands when they are not pregnant?

I guess the question for most women would be “Why would women wear such brands when they are not?”

Well, I unashamedly have bought maternity wear and yes it is because I have put on a lot of weight but also well, I like some of the clothing and that’s really the most important thing.  What do you thin?

HK based (though they do world wide shipping) maternity wear brand Mayarya have actually been a favourite of mine since I met the founder Reika Shetty.  When she was pregnant in HK, she realised there simply were not many options that were either a) affordable b) decent quality and c) were clothes you WOULD want to wear.  Hence she solved the problem and Mayarya was born.  The concept is that the pieces can be worn before, during pregnancy and after you give birth.  Originally, they imported a lot from elsewhere but now they have an in house styling team.

So what are some of the reasons that I like Mayarya?  I’e found that first of all – I like the clothes.  Then, well because it is maternity and I am a curvy girl (I have a big bust), the cutting is better for me.  For example, tops seem to be a bit longer and if you are a busty girl, well you know those few extra inches can prevent you from flashing your tummy or your backend.  Personally, that would and is not my favourite look.

Let me show you some of my current favourite pieces from Mayarya (still available so have added links)…

  1. Bow Sleeved Off the Shoulder Top – HK$630

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I have always wanted to wear off the shoulder however, most styles though lovely are either cropped or tied at the waist and therefore (on a good day) would make me look like some serving wench at Oktoberfest.  This one does not, it is longer an more of a tunic style but also the bow sleeve detail on the sleeves is super cute (tip:double knot) and also the shorter sleeve length is very flattering and highlights the slimmer part of your arms.  I have had people ask where to get this top and also people mentioning they wished it also came in black (yes please!) and my personal request – a navy version too.

2.  Fluted Sleeve Maternity & Nursing Dress  – HK$880

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This comes in navy and black.  I just found the sleeves a fun little detail.  Dress is extremely lightweight ad comfortable to wear.  The nursing zip access is barely noticeable so for ladies like me, it does not look out of place (such easy access could damage a girl’s reputation don’t you know?  Ha! Ha!)

3.  Ponte Dress in Orange – HK$870

 

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HOW can you not smile at the colour of this dress?  An A-line cut means it is flattering on most figures and well the colour really is the great point of this dress.  Also the material is super comfortable.

So there you go – don’t be put off by a label “maternity wear” also for soon to be moms, do check out Mayarya.  They’ve got a pretty good following of fashionista moms!

P.S.  This is NOT a sponsored post, I just happen to love supporting local brands when I can, I also simply love the pieces I chose to write about above.

 

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Wedding Guest Outfits…

As you get to a certain stage in your life; the people you went to school and university with, work with, socialise with and your family; well they all start getting married.  Obviously, I am happy for them but there is a sinking feeling in that petty little piece of me that says “Oh gosh…what will I wear?”  Also, if you are one of the lucky ones and receive a lot of wedding invites then the next question is “How many outfits do I need?”

Be like HRH Duchess of Cambridge and recycle your wardrobe.  That dress that you bought for one special occasion can be worn to another celebration.  All you need and this sounds so simple – rework the accessories that you wear with it.  This includes jewellery, shoes, handbags and how you style your hair and make up.  You can get plenty of wear out of that core investment piece.

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HRH Duchess of Cambridge shows how it is done

I had a recent opportunity to work with a HK based brand called The House of Folklore and one of the pieces that they had was a clutch that came in two different colours.  We thought as wedding season was coming, why not do a piece about how simply changing a clutch could change up an outfit.

In this case, I chose one of my go to dresses for pretty much any occasion (from first dates to working at PR events)  which in this case would be a wedding reception of a colleague.  These, I tend to go a bit more low key so the navy wrap dress from HK label WhattheFrock?.  Navy is a great alternative to black.  The cap sleeves makes sure you are covered and also for me, the wrap dress means that with fluctuating body sizes, the dress can still be worn.

Hair in this case was left simple and loose however, though we did not have time in this shoot, I would look at even just putting my hair up in a pony tail or a chignon.  If it was an outdoor wedding especially with the clear version of the clutch I would even look at wearing a fascinator.

Here is the look with the pink version of the Flutter Clutch.

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And here is a shot of the same outfit with the clear version of the clutch:

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Outfit Post: A simple black and white dress…

If you know me…you know I LOVE colour.  So this post is a bit of a different one for me as I am showcasing basically a black and white dress.  It is also a more feminine look than I really go for with a high neckline and an A-line skirt.  The dress was from Marks & Spencer and was paired with a pair of mules also from Marks.  I was lucky that the lovely Sabrina Sikora pushed me into wearing mules (I always looked at them with an eye brow raised) and well they were peep toe too which makes me go EEK even more (I have to keep a decent pedicure on those tootsies).  However, they ARE super comfortable and pretty much went with every outfit I had during the summer of 2015.  Also a heel that you can walk around in in HK?  SOLD.  Thankfully Marks & Spencer have reproduced them this Spring 2016.  They obviously know a good thing when they see it.  Shame though that they did not reproduce the navy version (gutted I didn’t get those last year).  For other options on the mule shape…check out Australian brand SENSO (they ship to HK!) from closed toe, open toe to various shades of animal print (cue heart emojis at this point).

 

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Senso Mules…

The dress I am wearing in this outfit post is from Summer 2015 for Marks & Spencer.  However the shape is classic and super flattering for most silhouettes.  For curvy girls like me, a nipped in waist helps give you a nice shape and though sleeveless, it is easy to cover up your bingo wings with a little cardigan (or just own the said bingo wings like I do).  I have found local brand WHAT THE FROCK?  to be a great affordable option.  No pattern but coming in a multitude of colours which adds personality to your outfit!

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What the Frock ‘French’ Dress in Pink

I have heard from a professional matchmaker that such a dress like this is perfect for a first date.  It is feminine, fashionable (without being too fashion aka scary) and has scope via the colour and the accessories you add to it to make it your own personal style.

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So there you go…dresses that do not have crazy prints can be a good thing…

Thanks as always to Bryant for making me look semi decent in photos, that boy is a miracle worker and super talented.

 

Homage to Christian Wijnants and Pajamas Dressing

So this set of photos are long overdue to be posted as they were from LAST YEAR.  However, it seemed timely since Christian Wijnants was in town recently to celebrate a stand alone store to unearth these pictures that were taken by the talented Bryant (www.bryantlives.com).  This was the first time we shot in a store (as there were only limited numbers of the Christian Wijnants pieces in the EQ:IQ stocks).  Usually, the natural lighting in IFC with Bryant’s camera creates some magical glow that makes me look relatively decent (shocking huh?)

 

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First Time Shooting in a Store with Bryant (the sales thought I was crazy lady)

When I saw the press preview of this Christian Wijnants 2015 collection, I fell in love with this print.  I am not usually a fan of dark green but the blue and pink of the print makes it fresh, playful and feminine.  The collection had been based on African farmers and the way they used what was available around them to create their clothing…this meant interesting use of print, textures and being inspired even by what we would normally consider to be rubbish.  The matchy matchy feel of this top and trousers with the silky feel reminds me of pajamas too.  So comfortable.

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Feeling so Comfortable…

I was lucky enough that I was lent some amazing jewelry by Amaara Jewelry who make amazing one-off pieces that consist of vintage beads.  This really helped to set off the original theme of the Christian Wijnants pieces.

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Amazing Accessories

The one thing I learnt about pajamas style dressing is that unlike in magazines or street style, you can rarely do scruffy otherwise it does look like you LITERALLY have just rolled out of bed.  Make up, accessories of course help but the essential is a pair of heels.  Your safest choice is to grab a great pair of stilettos.  Instantly makes the look go from scruffy to dressy.

I do not listen to my own advice and had only with me a pair of black boots but thankfully they were very high heeled and Gucci so though I could not run around HK with them, they did smarten up my look.

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All About Heels…

 

 

(OUTFIT POST) The Girl with the Blue Manolos

Am actually extremely nervous about posting this as for those who know me, I DO NOT DO outfit posts.  I just cannot seem to do it right.  A camera is put in front of me and I became the klutz, with the facial spasms.  Also to be honest, I have always been concerned about how fat I looked on pictures.  However 2015 is a new year and I need to break out of my comfort zone.  I was lucky enough to have scored the talents of Bryant (@bryantlives – check this boo out since going to the London College of Fashion, he is going from strength to strength and I am incredibly fortunate and proud to call him friend.)  Fingers crossed for this current shoot as the last shoot he tried with me, apparently I looked HORRIBLE that he could not edit any to give me some.  I had a horrid expression on ALL the pictures.  (I hung my head in shame….was I really THAT MEAN looking?).  It brings back painful Facehunter memories too.

Anyway, Bryant gave me confidence that he would get some pics for me and assured me with his new camera and his newly learnt skills, I would have some usable pics.  I took my mother and Edowan  as distraction.  Not sure how wise that decision was as the old adage “To not work with children or animals.”

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Edowan – the cliche of not working with animals.

I chose as one of the outfits to shoot my favourite trend currently: culottes.  As I wrote in a previous post, they are not the hideous monstrosities that were in the 80s/90s.  Though with my being a print addict, I might buy some of the originals!!

The current version of the culotte provides an easy alternative to skirts and smart trousers.  I chose for this outfit post, a pair of grey woollen flared culottes from Carin Wester.  I paired with a classic blue silk shirt from the HK success story of 2015 GRANA.  And because of the vivd blue of my shirt, I had an excuse to bring out my MANOLOS.  They are bright blue and not very practical but I love them and they add a bit of fun to the outfit.  Wear flats to make it more work/day appropriate.  Dress up even more by adding accessories.

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Edowan decided not to coopertate

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I love the pop of colour the shoes and shirt makes to the neutral culottes.

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Eodwan on guard…

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Need to Practice the Walking Business

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This shot shows how two simple things such as a bright blouse and heels can really make the outfit pop but not be inappropriate for work attire.

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Edowan and I need to work on our poses

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“Come of Edowan!”

I kept the accessories simple, I chose some dark metal rings from RebekkaRebekka and Maria Black jewellery and the pouch is from Baum und Pferdgarten which were kindly lent to me by Vein.

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Yes it was my sneak peak pic but I love the contrast between the clay colour wall and my outfit.

Finally….some detail shots of THOSE SHOES…and Edowan of course.

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Eodwan was not impressed by the Manolos

LESSONS LEARNT ABOUT WEARING THESE CULOTTES:

I love these Carin Wester culottes but if you are not careful they can make you look very large in the waist and bum area.  Make sure they fit right and keep the clothing simple. Make sure the hem line for the culottes are above the ankle and show the ankle off.  It was considered scandalous a few centuries ago!  As a larger woman, avoid pairing with the culottes with a baggy jumper or a neoprene big sweatshirt which are popular at the moment.  Trust me, you will look like a blimp with a triangle on your bottom!  If you have the stomach for it, a simple crisp cropped top would look fab with these culottes.

Oh and excuse the make up, I did it myself.  For those who want to know, I wore “Heroine” by Mac Cosmetics.  They just launched a new version which is matt and limited edition matching lipliner are currently available.  So go get some now.

A BIG THANK YOU to Bryant for being patient and taking my pics… check out his amazing work http://www.bryantlives.com.  And thank you Vein as always for lending me accessories and support.

So where to buy?

Everything apart from my Manolos and my Shirt are from:

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address:2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

My Manolos were bought second hand but you can join the GRANA movement but buying a shirt from them at:

Grana: (www.grana.com)

Culottes Are Still Here…And They Are Cooler Than The First Time Round…

Culottes were the go to “IT” item for girls to wear in the 80s, 90s.  Generally above the knee in loose flower material (usually in a very bright pattern).

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Culottes were short in those days…

A classic teenage girl ensemble would include some ill-fitting culottes and the ubiquitous hat.  Do  you remember the TV show “Blossom”  well, her wardrobe probably contained a few pairs of culottes.

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Young Blossom from the then hit TV was a Culottes Princess

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Interesting floral or graphic prints were commonly accompanied by a vast colour wheel of colour!

Culottes NOW…

This version of the culotte is surprisingly easy to wear.  Here are some quick tips:

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  1. Keep things neutral.

Go for simple silhouettes and neutrals such as black, navy, white or grey.  Keeping it simple helps to keep it easy to wear with your tops but also gives versatility meaning that you can dress it up for more formal occasions or dress them down for casual outings.  Neutrals also means that you can make it work appropriate and have it as an alternative to suit trousers or skirts.  Wear with heels and a smart shirt or even a jacket.  Wearing it with open toed sandals or sneakers and a slouchy sweatshirt or sweater keeps it casual.

Heels makes this office appropriate or even as an evening outfit option.

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Culottes – A trend that is versatile.

2. Material Choice is Key

Unless you are a model or tall and with slender physique, culottes made in fabrics such as stiff satin or leather can be hard to wear.  Though providing a very strong statement look, it is not an easy look to pull off.

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Materials such as leather though striking can be hard to pull off.

Materials such as jersey, cotton mix, silk, wool or even denim are great options for the culotte.  For the culottes which are less wide legged, suiting materials are great and makes it a very suitable work alternative.

For summer months, go for lighter fabrics or even pleats if you are brave enough.

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Add a cropped top for the perfect summer look.

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Cropped tops, light fabrics and colours makes the culottes a perfect summer staple.

4. Proportions are Important

To keep the culottes modern and not an 80s/90s throwback, keep them below the knee.  Ankle to mid-calf are super flattering.

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Below the Knee is the optimum length.

MY PICKS:

I have found some great affordable culottes in a variety of styles.  Check out sites such as ASOS and Zalora.  Also Monki have a great denim pair which will not break the bank at under 300HKD.

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However if you want to spend some extra money, check out some of the Scandinavian brands such as Dagmar or Carin Wester which you can get from a store in Vein (one of my favourite stores in HK)

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Carin Wester

Where to Shop:

ASOS (www.asos.com)

Zalora (www.zalora.com.hk)

Monki (address: Shop L1/29-31, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mongkok, Hong Kong telephone: 3585-8026

website: www.monki.com/; www.facebook.com/monki.hk)

Vein (address: Shop 301-302, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong telephone:2528-4988)

Vein on the Yard (address:2 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai, Hong Kong telephone 2804-1038)

website: http://www.bvein.com

And here is a sneak peak of how I wear the new version of culottes…outfit post to be out soon!354A6577

And Then We Became Four…Or how my Chihuahua has more Instagram Fans than Me…

I know how ironic for me to start working on my blog again by writing about the newest addition to my dysfunctional family (remember my labels recognising two cats – a previous post?)  Before you all wish me congratulations that I have joined into the current trend of fashionistas (wait I actually termed myself as a fashionista?) of having beautiful babies (Sabrina, Jasmine Smith from Dress Me and Christing C), I have to say “STOP”.  No I have not found some poor man to inseminate me but I have adopted a dog…a CHIHUAHUA!!!

Now I am ashamed to admit I was one of those people who were not chihuahua lovers.  However, I am a sucker for a sob story.  I have been volunteering for doggy adoption days at a local charity called Kirsten’s Zoo and one day one of my friends from the association who helps foster especially emergency cases came to the adoption day with a big reusable shopping bag.  In it contained a very angry (read petrified) chihuahua called Edowan.   My friend had previously fostered him before he had been found a supposed permanent home and had found him delightful.  When she went to receive  the dog from that said supposed permanent home (which lets just say did not work out for the dog), Edowan had a total character change.  From a seemingly friendly adoptable cute (albeit fat); he had turned into a slightly slimmer aggressive at other dogs and was aggressive to people.  He had infected feet (they were bright pink from licking due to stress and not drying out) and overgrown claws nearly the size of his actual feet (dogs tend to if walked enough keep their claws filed down naturally and only need occasional clipping unlike cats).  Have you noticed that I sound relatively knowledgeable?   Anyway, we all now faced a problem, this little angry Chihuahua needed a foster home or he would have to go to kennels.  He could not go to a foster with children or dogs.  It slowly dawned on me and (looking back it felt a bit like an out of body experience) that I was probably the only one who could come to the rescue (yes SUCKER is probably tattooed on my forehead).  I feebly mumbled I had two cats but I could separate them from the dog by having the dog in my room.  The dog was handed over to me and then I realised I HAD TO BUY DOG STUFF NOW!!!  AND OMG, I have an angry scared chihuahua to deal with.  Panic instilled as I made my way home.

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A fairly accurate representation of me meeting the chihuahua.  (Apart from either the dazed and panic expression on my face.)

At this point, I must say that the usual fosterers of Kirsten’s Zoo came to my rescue with words of advice and more importantly reaching out with their phone numbers so I could contact them any time.

So off home…we go…  Mads and Odette were curious by the noisy and angry bundle as I hustled into my room after setting up pee pads and a little bed and food bowls filled with designer dog chow and released the little bundle.  Actually for a chihuahua,  Edowan (yes his name is EDOWAN – I do not understand the provenance of the name.)  First of all he growled and yelped at me, bit me when I tried to hold him or pick him up but did finally calm down.  Though pick him up in the wrong way and yes another bite mark to my growing collection.  He also loved barking at the door to my room as he knew there were cats on the other side.

Problem one…Edowan is not toilet trained and so cue frantic clorox and then scrubbing and wipes.  Edowan needed to go to the vets and get his feet sorted out as he was needing to be carried everywhere and also the pain was making him even more annoyed.  However, he looked like a cute dog….let’s just say there was potential in this spunky little old man.

Edowan is 8 years old, spent nearly 7 years on a Chinese fisherman’s boat where he spent the last two years sharing with a younger, larger golden retriever and hence was a bit bullied.  His owner went out one night and disappeared.  It is assumed he drowned.  For a whole month, Edowan and his doggy companion were unnoticed and survived on cigarette butts.  Also Edowan was dragged by the ear by the larger dog (he now has a bias again retrievers or large dogs – little dog syndrome maybe?)  My foster friend took him in and said he was quite friendly and was learning to go to the toilet outside.  And then he was adopted.  As the adopter had kept on avoiding signing the papers, legally the dog was still the adoption agency.  Kirsten is very protective of her charges as so much time and money is invested into making sure perfectly good dogs do not get euthanised when they can be adopted.  So an intervention happened, the sorry state of the dog was realised and then I entered the story.

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Edowan when he was first adopted…

After a bit of time with Edowan, I found out he was actually just desperate for cuddles and love…which I was happy to give.  He was not happy to go to the vets but we needed his feet sorted out so I could get him out walking again as I strongly believe that unless necessary, a dog should be walking…for the first few weeks, the catchphrase was “No bag Eddie, you walk!”  As any parent….Edowan was used only when expressing disapproval.  Edowan responded to Eddie.

A few days isolated in my bedroom meant lots of cuddles from me but I also wanted to see if all the pets could live in sweet harmony.  I introduced Eddie on a leash to the cats.  The cats were not bothered, Eddie was not either.  And it  pretty much has been like that since apart from the odd “Get out of my way!” from Eddie.  However, apart from the cats, Eddie was not a sociable little dog.  Imagine coming out of solitary for 6 months and then being inundated with noise, new smells, people and NOISE.  Eddie out and about on walks was a nightmare.  He was aggressive when he saw dogs, people especially CHILDREN and wheelchairs.  And it was not just a little bark, it was a complete fit which I termed PSYCHO EDDIE.  However, I found out that Eddie loves walking up stairs and so my 7th floor walk up is a blessing.

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First Few Snuggles with Eddie

Bromance between Mads and Eddie slowly developed with the odd interaction with Odette but it was more a Mexican stand off

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The Cutie at Home

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Psycho Eddie

I at that stage in fostering Eddie was working at the Hive and I managed to sneak him in.  It was such a great place for him and he began to be less psycho and engaged with people.  It does help that he is pretty adorable looking.  There are random pictures of him on people’s Instagram…random dog in the office today but do not care.  Adoption days on the other hand were not great for Eddie.  There are a lot of people and dogs, all hoping to make that match between man and dog.  He was nervous and completely Psycho Eddie.  He was also stressed after.  However when taken away from the crowds or sitting on my lap, we did manage to get some cute shots for the adoption promotion.  (I was still denying I was attached to the grumpy old man).

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Edowan posing a storm for pictures

After seeing these pictures (thanks to amazing volunteers), I realised Eddie was very photogenic. Hence the onslaught of my placing Eddie in fashion posts on Instagram (with earrings from Jennifer Loiselle, wearing a fashion bow tie, browsing through a Jack Wills brochure, wearing a fetching novelty hat and posing with MAC make up).

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Or PRODUCT PLACEMENT…Eddie has now graced the official Instagram of JaxCoCo and Plug PR for Nexpresso.

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With regards to socialising Eddie so that he is a happier and relaxed dog amongst people and hopefully dogs and children, it is an ongoing basis but he has such character that I believe we can do it.  He is a lady charmer

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He is also incredible with his expressions for photos.  As a fashion blogger, I am a failure and cannot take decent pictures of myself.  I somehow need to get some tips from my dog (yes dear readers I adopted him…)

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