Life Preloved http://www.lifepreloved.com Blogging sustainability and preloved finds in all things home to fashion Mon, 01 Jan 2018 22:13:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.8 124267566 The Art of Slow – Intuition http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/12/18/the-art-of-slow-intuition/ http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/12/18/the-art-of-slow-intuition/#respond Tue, 19 Dec 2017 03:04:24 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1467 This year oracle and tarot cards came into my life. It was always something I was somewhat interested in but didn’t know how to pursue or relate to them more for daily guidance. Somehow I started following a tarot reader on my Facebook feed and deeply aligned with what she said at the perfect time that I was needing to hear the lessons. It was there where I followed her and a couple others throughout the year. A friend gifted me her oracle deck that I use on a regular basis and it has been one of my most treasured gifts. Oracle decks are different because they are not the traditional tarot, they can be a word with an image and often come with a book to read the meaning of the card with. The oracle deck I work with is the Earthbound Oracle deck, I love it’s imaging, small cards that are easy to shuffle and the fact that it doesn’t come with a book, it’s up to our own interpretation. A few of these cards show up regularly for me and many cards, I have never seen. The right cards always show up at the right time. I will often pull a card when I am questioning something and it always makes sense.

The card I pulled tonight (new moon in Sagittarius) is ‘Intuition’. It is a card that shows up for me from time to time and always as a reminder when I’m feeling something pretty strong, to follow that feeling, even when that means saying no to something that sounds promising. There is a gut feeling that gives me the feeling of a wrong step or direction, uneasiness – we’ve all felt that. And instead of focusing on the negative things that intuition tells us and what we see in the memes and graphics on social media, I wanted to think about this card in a new way… what else can it teach me. Intuition can also teach you and lead you in positive directions and when I thought about that in depth, I realized that we don’t follow the positive side of our intuition enough. We have the nudge that we should reach out and talk to that person or follow that dream or goal that we’ve always had but we don’t follow it as easily as we are afraid of failure instead trusting what our intuition is reminding us. May we fail or be rejected, yes of course but perhaps there is a lesson or direction in that, that will lead us to what is truly meant for us. And what if we finally follow the thing that we’ve always wanted to do, what if we finally reach out to that person we’re crushing on or that connection that needs to be made for our personal and professional goals. Perhaps we would be living a life more out of intention of what we truly want to be doing instead of helping others reach their goals, or moving in circles through the same rat race day after day.

Earthbound Oracle Deck, Oracle Deck, Intution

What do you need to say yes to that is continually coming up for you or what you’ve always thought and wondered about? A personal goal, dream, trip, love interest, career… whatever it may be, follow your intuition. And when we second guess ourselves, that the timing isn’t right, we don’t have the resources yet, we don’t have our life together yet, put that aside and just follow your gut. Don’t miss out on another opportunity. Take that risk, if it is right for you, it will work itself out. No. Matter. What.

Jennifer.

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Thrift Haul – October 2017 http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/10/31/thrift-haul-october-2017/ Wed, 01 Nov 2017 03:17:30 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1362 Ahh October, I’m glad the month is over thrift-wise as it’s my least favourite time for the thrift shops being so packed with non-thrifters looking for their Halloween costumes. I have been frequenting other locations for thrifting rather than my usual location so it’s been nice to branch out from the regular. If you are in Edmonton, my new favorite location is the Value Village near NAIT. I thought this one would not be good but perhaps we should never judge a book by it’s cover, the shoe section has been especially generous to me over the summer months and I find their prices can be better than the very popular Gateway location. Word to the wise, always keep an open mind!

On to the thrifts, here’s what I spotted:

Endlessly finding Starbucks mugs!

Probably the nicest suitcase I’ve ever seen thrifting.

Great little boho vibe side table/stool $4. Not sure why I didn’t get this.

Great mirror, if I was still in my phase of building a mirror wall. Really cool design and would look great in another colour!

Kicking myself for not getting this vintage brass mirror at $25. It’s a great vanity or hall table size and amazing resale potential. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m thinking and am very stubborn with my finds.

Finding items from your childhood is the best and I often wonder if it is the exact one, I once had! This is a sprinkler, the water shoots up from Mickey’s umbrella.

Anna Sui wallet – I have spotted Anna Sui on one prior occasion but this wallet seemed like a knock-off to me.

Matt & Nat wallet with just a light bit of wear.

Club Monaco pony hair coin purse, considered this one for awhile but in the end, I left it behind since I don’t think it would be something I would get much use out of. Club Monaco is a brand that is very expensive to buy new, this was likely around the $60-$90 mark but doesn’t often retain it’s value when reselling.

Fossil red leather purse $8. This had wear but was still in incredible condition for the amount of wear it showed both inside and outside. I think overall, it just needed some cleaning TLC. Would have been over $200 brand new.

I loved these Kenneth Cole pumps but they were just a bit too big. Will be a style I look for on eBay, which is another great reason to thrift – you can find styles you like and if the size doesn’t work for you, then you know what to search for on eBay!

Here’s another ‘I’m not sure what I was thinking/why didn’t I buy’ item – great low price for Miz Mooz as it can often be priced around the $20 mark and they have great resale potential for price and easy sales.

A very fashion forward/current style of shoe with some light wear!

Coach ballet flats, $20.

Tory Burch $12. Tempting for resale, but I left these behind, they were a little dusty and I wasn’t in the mood to think about the clean up I would give these.

Brand new Dr. Martens but overpriced at $60 for thrift.

Pony Hair Dr. Marten booties $27 – these were amazing and I wish they were in my size! They didn’t have enough resale value for me though unfortunately.

Definitely considered these Stan Smith’s but they would need a clean up and this style didn’t have enough resale value for my liking.

Beautiful ballerina style cardigan.

Anthropology cardigan/sweater. Photographs beautifully but in person, I didn’t love it.

Cynthia Rowley cardigan, her designs are always a favourite but I left this one behind.

Custo is one of my all time favourite brands and I still like spotting it thrift, so I can see all the different designs.

Massimo Dutti $8. When I researched this brand, it had a high resale value but I thought this style looked somewhat plain and could be a hard sell on eBay.

French Connection dress $20 – my colours but didn’t love it for the price.

This was by a Canadian designer Melissa Nepton and made in Canada but the fit was too big for me.

Nanette Lepore dress $18.

Decent price for Lululemon jacket at $20 and likely a good item for resale as well, I just wasn’t in the mood to buy this one. Sometimes I like to leave my finds for others to score! That’s good thrift karma!

North Face puffer jacket $25, spreading my good thrift karma around for someone else to score!

Soia & Kyo coat $23 – good resale potential for this hooded coat but I had a similar one still for sale for awhile in my eBay shop.

I found this Soia & Kyo fall coat at $19 to have more resale potential than the other but I just wasn’t in the mood and I had more exciting things to buy.

Such as… here’s what came home with me:

Starbucks mug $2 and ‘swimmer’ plates, also $2.

I like the feel of this mug, so I may be keeping it for myself.

A few days after doing research on the most profitable Starbucks mugs, I spotted one from the list! This one has a fast selling rate of about $20-$25, it is from 2001 which is what likely adds to it’s value.

Prada flats $18, these are my size but just slightly big. I’ll give these a nice clean up for listing!

Miu Miu $4! Amazing score to find Miu Miu at an unbelievable price! I decided to take these out for a spin but have found them to be slightly tight on my foot so I will be reselling.

Salvatore Ferragamo ballet flats – these do have some wear but it also shows what a good shoe maker actually is.

Dune sneakers $12, this is a very popular brand from the UK, Frye open toe heels $15 and a leather wallet made in Afghanistan for $8.
Coach wristlet $9, bought this for the price and resale potential. It was also in great condition!

Really cool liquid mesh purse from BCBG for $5. It has one small snag but I barely noticed it. Can’t wait to use this one!

Matt & Nat purse $25. It’s fairly common to spot Matt & Nat at Value Village but for the most part, it’s very over priced. I found this somewhat recent style in the beautiful shimmery white colour and had to have it! This is one I could make money off of, should I choose to sell it.

Marc Jacobs cardigan – $5. Five dollars! I’m sure there was an Old Navy cardigan priced at $8 somewhere in the store.

Princess by Vera Wang cardigan $10 – this doesn’t have a lot of resale value but is adorable. The bottom is lace. Keeping for myself.

Pretty light pink RW & Co sweater.

Kelly green is my favourite colour and there needs to be more things in the world in this shade because it looks amazing on! I can’t wait to wear this sweater!

Les Copains dress $18.

Rachel Roy dress $14 – I really liked this dress as soon as I saw it but when I tried it on, the fit was perfect! The bottom has two zippers on either side between the two patterns for extra detail.

I realized I’m missing a picture of the amazing slim Club Monaco black pants with leather details I also scored for $4. I have gotten so much use out of those pants in the short month that I’ve had them! Makes me think twice about the items I don’t wear as much in my closet!

Thanks for reading! Happy thrifting!

Jennifer.

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The Art of Slow – Life Pause and Reset http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/08/31/the-art-of-slow-life-pause-and-reset/ http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/08/31/the-art-of-slow-life-pause-and-reset/#comments Thu, 31 Aug 2017 13:31:26 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1352 I recently started blogging again after a long hiatus. In fact I had a bunch of blog posts in the works and just hit publish on a couple of them with their original date being mid February, it’s now August.

My year started out so strong and inspiring, I was blogging up a storm and connecting. I even started writing more truthfully with this segment ‘The Art of Slow’, which was a very deep and personal theme of some new directions I wanted to start playing with in my blogging. At first I was a bit worried about what my readers might think of the first Art of Slow piece, it was slightly risqué but 100% me. Vulnerable and a risk but I felt comforted by the new year and Chinese year of the Rooster approaching. Like magic, it was my most engaging post and the feedback received from my readers was the same inspiration and gratitude that I was writing from for them.

Then a storm in my heart and mind collided, a storm that had been brewing for a long time. My partner and I of six years mutually agreed to end our relationship, for the simple yet beautiful reason that everything has a birth and a death, this is the circle of life and we had reached ours. We did not fight, in fact everyone always thought we were the picture perfect couple and in many ways we were. We had a cutesy name that we referred to each other as and were known by as a couple, it marked my personal Instagram and Twitter handles and we somewhat ‘branded’ this cutesy name that I made up one day, it was like our team name or our last name representing both of us. We were content but lacking passion and perhaps had even slowly fallen out of love without even realizing it.

It was a good ending as I am of the mindset that other life changes such as selling a house or changing jobs are always seen as good things and new directions so why can’t a relationship be the same? It doesn’t have to be drama filled, however our ending has been very slow as we get accustomed to this new normal. This year, I’ve had all of life’s changes in a few short months – changed jobs, ended a relationship and moved. Hence, why I haven’t officially sat down to write a blog post, my life has been very consumed.

I had contemplated writing this post as I somewhat wanted to explain my absence and I feel very supported by my blogging community, it’s an odd feeling to feel a little more ‘safe’ sharing this with strangers – and I haven’t really revealed where my life has been to the majority of my friends. I didn’t want to answer their questions, if I want to share with them, then it’s on me as to what I want to share, to whom and when I want to share. I lead a very personal and private life but also am a bit of a free spirit. Through this blog, I have started to let my guard down a bit. Previously, I would never share face photos and now I do only when I feel completely comfortable and doing that one small step has actually been very rewarding to me. It’s an interesting give and take life, this blogging life!

So why am I sharing this all with you now, this very deep and personal part of my life and putting it out there for the whole world to read and even to announce it to those that know me personally? Well, because I am human and do not lead the picture perfect social media life by any means. My blogging community has been one that I’ve felt a lot of support from and I too enjoy engaging with others that I follow and give them my love and support through the screen. Writing has always been a deep love affair for me, something that just comes naturally to me – so I may not want to talk about this in person, but the words are a safe place for me where I feel healed and at peace. In my past life, I most certainly was a rug dealer (if you follow my deep love affair for rugs from far away lands and times past) or a writer of some sort (when I am deep into my writing and everything just flows as it is now, I feel like I’m in another world long, long ago and writing through all my stories that I’ve carried with me). And finally, I wanted to write this piece because my friend Timmie, shared a similar piece on her blogging absence and I resonated with her story and reasons for wanting to share but also not to share. She gave me the inspiration and support needed to give this post a try and here we are, 838 words and counting.

To take us back to the Art of Slow, sometimes our life just needs a pause and a reset and these should never been seen as bad, gossipy or an explanation needed to others. We know what’s good for us and if one chooses to share it, please honour their vulnerability and if they don’t that is their choosing and not yours. Ouch, that sounds a bit harsh but that is my strong willed Taurus coming out and the absolute truth and authenticity. I’ve never wanted this blog to be a fluffy little blog anyways, so here we are. I’ve been laying really low, spending my days in the park or out for quiet walks, not my typical summer lifestyle by any means, but it’s what I’ve been needing.

It has been a couple of hard months for my former partner and I, and we might just be in for the toughest days yet as we really make the big changes. Our break up has been a bit slow in respect to one another and because of the good relationship we did have but we have acknowledged that we were in a bit of a limbo land as I haven’t fully moved out, we still spent time enjoying our weekend brunches together and have personal accounts tied together. I realized this wasn’t fair to either of us, to keep the band-aid on and also to those we wish to start new relationships with. So here we go, after the month of August, which in many tarot and astrological readings provided the guidance for rest, as September arrives, we are ready to make those big changes and everything official.

We’ve both acknowledged what we have learned from one another and what purpose each of us fulfilled in the other. We both acknowledge each other as the best relationship we’ve ever had and who ever takes my place will be treated like a queen or ‘vida’ as he sometimes referred to me as – ‘life’ in Spanish.

Whew, so there it is. And if you made it this far, thank you for reading. I hope I have given you inspiration to lead your most authentic life and that sometimes vulnerability is a beautiful thing. As are endings.

Jennifer.

Photo by Mika Haykowsky (us at a Latitude 53 party, I’ve always had a thing with feet pictures and seeing the world through another perspective).

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Thrift Haul – August 2017 http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/08/28/thrift-haul-august-2017/ http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/08/28/thrift-haul-august-2017/#comments Mon, 28 Aug 2017 23:16:40 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1312 It was a great month for thrifting and making some great thrift connections either online or in person! Value Village featured the feature image of mine of the white hobnail vase and flowers on National Thrift Shop Day, I won a $25 gift certificate and gained many new followers – welcome, glad we could connect! I love thriftshoping for both housewares and clothing!

I’ve been checking out a few different locations lately than my regular Value Village on Whyte Ave location, just for variety but my normal location will always be the home base. I ran into a friend while thrifting and they asked me ‘any good scores lately’? Everything I’ve found recently flashed rapidly though my brain like an operating system update, and I responded ‘I always find good scores’. And then two minutes later I found some great Salvatore Ferragamo’s!

Here’s what I spotted this month:

Kinda regret not getting these Japanese ceramic bowls for leftovers! So cute!

These fox mugs were adorable!!! But a bit highly priced, I’ve never seen mugs priced over $5!

New Balance sneakers – definitely my colours, were just a bit too big.

Perfect condition Coach sandals, $8.

Tory Burch – these were just a little too warn for me to consider for reselling as I personally like to sell items in very good condition.

Hispanitas – these were beautiful but for the price, the resale wasn’t that good surprisingly. I hope these found a good home.

Fly Girl – this was my first time spotting Fly Girl and the price was quite high which didn’t provide a good enough return for me for reselling.

A week later, I found another set of Fly Girl booties, I definitely considered these for resale since the price was much lower than the previous sighting.

These Kenneth Cole Reaction wedge sandals were so fun!

First time spotting L.A.M.B. shoes at Value Village. I have seen a few clothing pieces in my adventures but it’s a very rare brand to find.

Coach bag – very good condition.

Someone was cleaning out their Coach bag collection!

This was my first time spotting Micheal Stars and I totally would have bought this except I was in a ‘I just don’t feel like buying stuff today, if I don’t absolutely LOVE it’ mood. Maybe that was a good mood to have for sustainable fashion.

Absolutely stunning Miss Sixty coat that was unfortunately too big.

French Connection coat, I love coats in general!

Here’s what came home with me this month:

These Salvatore Ferragamo ballet flats were probably my best find of the month! It’s not totally uncommon to spot Ferragamo’s but it is uncommon to spot ones this versatile! The same pair in grey, recently sold on eBay for $130!

I don’t normally buy something priced this high for sourcing unless I know it will sell high and well. I definitely debated about these but gave it a try. Wish me luck, they are for sale in my eBay shop.

This leather and wood purse was one of the coolest vintage purses, I’ve ever seen! When I posted it on Instagram, one of my followers commented that they were the person who donated it! I’ve always wanted to meet the people who donate what I buy and the story behind the item! Stay tuned for more!

Kenneth Cole leather bag – also a great find!

Daughters of the Liberation, an Anthropologie brand pant, which likely retailed for $100 or more, purchased for $4 and fit perfectly.

Thug Kitchen cookbook $5 – I’ve wanted this cookbook forever as I’ve likely been following Thug Kitchen from the very beginning. Swearing and vegetarian cooking are a match made in heaven.

Vintage mirror $12 – Surprisingly, I don’t often find cool mirrors or even vintage mirrors when thrifting, this was a great score that has already made a great addition at my home!

Value Village is now all set up for the Halloween and then Christmas season, all the racks and stores become a little more crowded to make room. It always becomes my least favourite seasons to thrift but is also my most lucrative, I can’t wait to see what will be found next month! Thanks for reading!

Jennifer.

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What I’ve Thrifted in 2017 So Far http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/08/05/what-ive-thrifted-in-2017-so-far/ Sat, 05 Aug 2017 21:31:49 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1274 Even though I haven’t been blogging officially for majority of the year, I’ve still been doing lots of thrifting for myself and sourcing for my eBay shop. Most of these have been captured on my Instagram but let’s have a look back and put them together into one pretty post!

H&M rug $11 – I think I was a rug dealer in a previous life.

Brass elephant bank $5 – cute little guy!

Starbucks mugs are what I always look for though I find them so often now that I’m more and more conscious about which one’s I bring home with me to keep or to sell. The Bangkok one was only $2 and I am keeping that one as I have been to Bangkok and it’s from the original series.

Although these Miz Mooz shoes are in my size, I bought them to source. The price was abnormally low for the brand which I usually spot priced quite high at Value Village and I knew I could sell them pretty easy – and I did!

These Camper shoes are one’s that I wish were in my size, purchased these to source as Camper retails for around the $150 mark.

These Cole Haan flats are one’s that I’ve gotten a lot of use out of and they were in pristine condition.

I found these Jeffery Campbell flats at a location that I don’t normally go to but ended up liking. It was also the first time that I have spotted Jeffery Campbell though I hope to spot the brand again as these sold very easy for me.

Dolce & Gabbana flats – this was my first time spotting the brand and these flats were in perfect condition. I ended up selling these to a friend after she spotted them on my feed. Basically, I’ve become a personal (thrift) shopper now.

Geox flats – I realized I needed a navy shoe in my wardrobe and then these showed up! I don’t love them but they are brand new, comfy, leather and will do the trick until I find something else.

Cydwoq heels $7 – I’ve spotted this brand before but never in this good of condition or low price. Considering these retail for over $300, are made in USA and seem to sell well on eBay, these were an obvious choice for sourcing – wish me luck!

Plakton sandal $18 – a bit higher of a price but I loved these and will get a lot of use out of them. They are made in Spain with a cork sole that is slightly wedge and look great with almost everything.

Tory Burch cardigan $9 – perfect condition, I bought this to source but it’s still for sale in my eBay shop.

Plenty by Tracy Reese coat $25 – This is a very expensive coat from Anthropologie, though I haven’t quite decided yet if I will be keeping it for the winter season or to sell. As a side note, coral is a colour that works on every skin tone!

Calvin Klein dress $14 – funky pattern and fit like a glove but I’ve since lost a lot of weight so this may be available on my eBay shop in the feature.

Ted Baker peplum dress $18 – Sometimes I wonder why certain garments are donated and this dress is one of them. It was stunning, though too small for me, I was able to sell it very easily on eBay.

French Connection blazer $8 – I love this blazer and have gotten a lot of use out of it.

Benetton trench coat – beautiful coat but it’s still sitting in my to be dry cleaned pile!

Vintage dress – I’ll save this one for something special and fun!

Whistles dress $18 – this dress is incredibly stunning but is a bit hard to photograph all the details, one day I’ll have better pictures of it! Whistles is a brand from the UK and their dresses are around 300 British Pounds… so convert that!

J Crew blouse $8 – this is a recent purchase that I’ve gotten a few uses out of already.

Old Navy dress $14 – love this shade of green but I haven’t worn it just yet!

Viktor & Rolf dress – this is my latest score, unsure if I will keep or sell this one just yet. I didn’t even try it on, I knew that I wanted it and it does fit me. Stay tuned!

That about sums up some of the finds I purchased so far this year, if you follow me on Instagram, I regularly post stories of my thrifts including some of the things I leave behind. I look forward to sharing with you what else I find this year! I always feel so inspired when I thrift, it’s a feeling I can’t put into words just yet. Maybe one day…

Thanks for reading!

Jennifer.

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EBay Tips From My First Year http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/02/17/ebay-tips-from-my-first-year/ Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:55:03 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1258 I’ve always been into reselling in various forms from consignment store to shop closet events and online forums such as Kijiji and the now obsolete Trend Trunk. But I always stayed away from eBay as it seemed very complex and scared me. It wasn’t until some of the accounts I follow on Instagram shared more of their sales and tips, that I realized it was a very supportive community of resellers and I decided to give eBay a try. Once I did, I was questioning myself as to why I didn’t try it sooner as it has been by far the least time consuming and most lucrative of all the sources I have used for reselling.

I constantly post items I find at thrift stores but don’t always bring home with me on my Instagram or through my thrifthaul blog posts, by sourcing for eBay it allows me to make these finds a little more accessible to all my readers and turn the time I spend in a thrift shop into a source of income.

EBay is like anything else in life, you are constantly learning and evolving, I’m sure I will have further things I learn and tips I can share overtime as well as opening myself up to new ways of selling as I gain more and more confidence with the platform.

1. Do what works for you – this is the first tip I learned from watching a few eBay seller videos on YouTube and I’d have to say I agree fully with this. This is perhaps why eBay scared me for so long as there are so many different options and scenarios one could choose. But you really have to make it to be what works for you and try different strategies and policies.

2. Have searchable titles – the title is how you will find most of your buyers so although it will look messy, put as many descriptive words as possible in your titles, even slightly repedative words such as ‘vintage’ and ‘vtg’. I’ll sometimes go back and edit my titles if I find similar words that I can be using.

3. Constantly post – this is how you will keep your store from getting stale and will attract new views and buyers. Some swear by only posting at night or on Sunday’s when most people are shopping online but I’m on the fence about that. I’ve personally purchased and have had items sold at all hours of the day, so again this might go back to doing what works for you. In any case, all sellers will agree with constantly posting. I take all my pictures and write my posts each weekend as this is the most time consuming part and then I schedule my posts daily.

4. Be fluid – Even if you find what works for you, you will still have items that don’t sell or that take longer to sell. Be fluid and open into always learning new tips and tools. Maybe it’s what you are selling, maybe it’s how you have set up the post that is making it difficult to sell. Regardless, there is a lesson in everything.

5. Raise your prices – This is a strategy I have played around with a few times. When an item has a lot of watchers but no buyers, I’ve tried lowering the price and still no buyers! Instead raise the price a bit or remove the open to offers option and you should have a buyer shortly. I’ve also used this strategy when relisting an item that didn’t sell, perhaps I had my price too low that viewers weren’t taking the item seriously even if I wanted to offer a good deal, the buyers on eBay are willing to pay!

6. Do your research – To help strategize what to sell and how much, I use a tool called Wuanto.com and keep it easily accessible on my phone when I’m out thrifting. This will help me see exactly how much an item sold for and if it is worth my while purchasing an item to resell as it will tell me how much the buyer paid, how long ago and what exactly is selling. I will also use Wuanto to help me strategize my prices as I’ll look up what similar items are listed for on eBay and then what they actually sell for. I use ‘open to offers’ for most of my items and will price my items a bit higher so that offers will be more inline with the amount I am ideally aiming for.

7. Give it the time and attention it deserves – when I first started, I didn’t care about my pictures too much, I had the impression that it would sell regardless. And just like everything else on social media, it’s all about the feeling. This is something I was experiencing when I would find other shops that had great pictures and backgrounds – I wanted to buy from them and I was also inspired to have my shop have a similar feel. I thought I didn’t have the space in my house to create good pictures but while acknowledging that taking pictures in natural light is better, I then got creative about where to take my pictures. I found a spot outside by my back door that has a nice brick background and natural light. I then updated my shop with pictures in that location for consistency and better pictures overall. Doing this drastically improved my sales though it also could have been a few factors at the time such as steaming all my items, retaking the pictures, fixing my titles and listing regularly.

8. Be both a seller and a buyer – this is how I started to build my ratings and first learn how eBay worked. I was a buyer at first to learn the ropes of what I liked as well as to get a good rating so that buyers could be a bit more comfortable buying from me when I was just starting out. I also feel its good karma and business practice to know and understand both sides.

All of these tips and strategies all go back to the very first one – do what works for you. There is so much to learn that it can be a bit of an abyss. You just have to do it through your own trial and error and you’ll eventually find your rhythm.

What are some of your favourite tips?

Shop my ebay: HERE

Thank you for reading!

Jennifer.

 

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The Art of Slow – Zapato Sanchez http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/02/16/the-art-of-slow-zapato-sanchez/ Thu, 16 Feb 2017 21:46:02 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1219 Our shoes are perhaps the most important item of our wardrobe if we consider how much we rely on them for support and for getting us through our day from work to nightlife or even for travel. Our outfits can be dressed to the nines and our shoes could equally be as complimentary but if they are not comfortable then our whole mindset is off.

And when we consider shoes, we think they are made in some factory far away… and sadly, they typically are. Shoe making is perhaps one of the oldest crafts and true shoemakers can still be found today, they can even be found more locally than we realize.

Enter Zapato Sanchez from my city of Edmonton, Alberta designed and made by Rodrigo Sanchez and his father Julio. What began as a shoe repair store that opened in 1985 at West Edmonton Mall, owned by Julio and his wife Estrella, was where Rodrigo and his sister Romina would spend much of their time at the family business. Shoe making was in his blood passed on from many generations in Chile and Spain and it wasn’t until he was laid off from his job that Rodrigo had a chance meeting that changed his career from working in the Alberta oil sands to pursuing shoe design.

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LP: What did you do before Zapato Sanchez?

ZS: I worked in oil and gas for five years before I was laid off. I had never really considered shoe making before. My mom had a family friend visiting who was a pattern maker in Santiago for over 50 years. I fell in love with what he was showing me but it was my mom who planted the seed to study it. I then enrolled in a six month institute in Milan, Italy in 2014.

LP: What made you want to become a shoe designer versus carrying on the family shoe repair business?

ZS: I just knew that I wanted to do design and my dad has now said that he has been training his whole life for these moments. We are now using all sides of shoe making process equally because we need each others skills to contribute to each piece.

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LP: What is the best piece of advice from the Institute that you still use today?

ZS: Consistency and always put your soul into it. There is so much to learn, so if I’m struggling with an issue, I put it down for the day and go back to it the next day where it works itself out.

LP: How has your work transpired through the evolution of Zapato Sanchez?

ZS: I’ve welcomed better infrastructure such as new molds and new leather. My prototype from Milan was with a zipper and I was really into zippers at the time. Currently I am designing a classic men’s style and eventually I would like to work with a sneaker next.

LP: Where in the world has the best inspiration/resources for shoemakers?

ZS: Italy.

LP: Who do you admire in the shoe making world?

ZS: My father and the professors I had in Milan.

LP: What is the best compliment you’ve received?

ZS: ‘These are the most beautiful and comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned in my life.’

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LP: What is your best tip for maintaining the life cycle of shoes?

ZS: Moisturize the leather with polish. Our environment is a factor where in our dry climate we should be polishing at least twice a week, no matter the season.

LP: What should we look for when buying a quality shoe?

ZS: Where it’s made. Countries that have been making shoes for generations don’t change the machinery and are still using the same type of machines from centuries ago. The new countries that are making shoes are all about speed versus process.

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LP: What is a fun shoe fact?

ZS: Most people don’t know how to tie their shoe laces. I learned in Italy that you have to go under the bow when most people go over. By going under, the bow becomes straight, won’t come undone and displays properly.

LP: How do you evoke the art of slow?

ZS: I make sure to make personal connections with friends, spend limited time on social media and I still use the phone to communicate.

LP: What do you want people to know about your work?

ZS: I want people to know how much work goes into shoes, why buying quality shoes is important and I want them to know what they are buying.

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Rodrigo can attest to the quality of his shoes, that are each named after a friend or family member, he works in them all day while at the shop, making shoes and helping clients. He then wears them out at night for a drink with friends after a long day. This is due to the leather that he sources himself and the support of the shoe through quality workmanship – some clients even prefer to wear their shoes barefoot. No matter where life takes him, he can be sure to always be supported through his work by establishing a solid grounding base in his handcrafted shoes.

Zapato Sanchez can be found at West Ed Shoe Repair in West Edmonton Mall, Phase I upper level.

Jennifer.

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The Lost Art of Slow – A Sensual Practice http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/02/08/the-lost-art-of-slow-a-sensual-practice/ http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/02/08/the-lost-art-of-slow-a-sensual-practice/#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2017 01:24:48 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1193 The lost art of slow is a theme I’ve been thinking about exploring and bringing into light for awhile. The inspiration for this post came to me from a few sources but also because I began to realize a few ways in which I incorporate slow living into my lifestyle and ways in which I wanted to evoke it even more.

To me, slow living means giving appreciation to old traditions, customs, ways of life. Bathing with bar soap versus body wash, letter writing through cursive writing, having your clothes made for you or taking the time to properly care for and wash your garments, cooking with locally sourced products and getting to know the farmers. There are many ways one could do this and I will begin to explore them through this practice where we will also become a little more conscious of the items, energies and stories we bring into our lives. For this installment I want to start bold, Year of the Fire Rooster is running through my veins so let’s dive into the more sensual ways we can evoke the lost art of slow.

Bar Soap

Soap is actually where the inspiration for this post came from. My love affair with bar soap began through cleansing during my routine marathon baths. I began keeping a collection of soaps in a large apothecary jar which looked beautiful on display but also began to tell a story. I would pick up soaps from different makers and in my travels, when friends traveled I would ask them to bring me soap from their adventures. I’ve had soaps from Canada, USA, Chile, Portugal, Germany, Egypt, UAE, Lebanon and Kenya. And picking out which new soap to use from my jar is always an appreciative moment for me as I contemplate which to use next. It was through using a new bar soap of nectarine scent from Chile that I realized my deep appreciation for the craft of soap making and how body wash has unfortunately become more popular as we rush through our lives. Comparing something from a bottle versus something you can hold in your hand is quite powerful for me and I deeply appreciate the history and craft of soap making. I would hate for it to become a thing of the past.

For my soap brands, I don’t necessarily have a favourite as I have enjoyed brands from all over the world though one that particularly comes to mind is Filthy Farmgirl from Maui. The names of their soaps are catchy and risqué but once you open the package, their scents are strong, I have enjoyed Rose Butter scent the most. I always look for this brand when I’m in Hawaii. I also loved the soap company Product of Science and Art which I originally found at my farmers market before the creator moved away. They know their stuff when it comes to soap making, perfecting both the science behind the ingredients and formulations that it felt like I was in the presence of distinguished scholars.

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Fragrance

Another source of inspiration for this post came from the words and photos that I often find myself lost in from Libertine Fragrance which creates unisex scents. I’ve been into the art of perfumery first from My Daughter Fragrance and now from Libertine, both happen to be made in my city on the prairies of western Canada. The perfumes we buy at the department store are so chemically induced and mass produced that they are in the foldouts of every magazine. That is not the sensuality or the emotions I want to evoke in what I put on my skin or the inspiration that I want to bring into my life. I want to know that someone studied each and every scent mixed in and did so with my good intentions in mind and even if we’re strangers I want the product to be sold to me like it was made exclusively for me. When I wear the product, I want to stop people in their tracks – which has happened to me before and always made me feel like a mystical being, that’s what perfume should be.

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Undergarments

Through the discovery of slow, what has also transpired for me has been the art of ensuring our undergarments receive the same care and attention as what we put over them. Even if we don’t necessarily show our undergarments, we must ensure that all areas of our dressing are well taken care of. You can’t have one without the other. These are the littlest pieces, the most delicate of fabrics that make the most difference and perhaps lace and silk are the most powerful of fabrics after all. This applies to men as well as women, our under dressings cross all borders, when you begin to care about them, they change your whole aura – you feel better, your clothes fit better. I also recommend going through your current collection regularly, letting go of anything that is warn out, torn or from our past selves – these fabrics actually hold a lot of energy and you instantly feel a cleansing release when you let them go. This practice also allows you more freedom to go shopping for new undergarments which sometimes can be a rare practice but much needed when we do it.

Lately, I’ve been into discovering some smaller, locally sourced, ethically and eco friendly lingerie companies such as Year of the Ram, Sokoloff Lingerie and Mary Young or curator Azura Bay. Like everything else we cultivate through the art of slow, nothing is more conflicting than mass factory produced lingerie from big name companies. Plus, I like how in the marketing of smaller brands, they don’t use models of one standard size. Embracing the beauty of all our body types exactly as they are.

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Keeping soap, perfumery and undergarments in mind, there are still many more ways we can bring the art of slow into our lives. The world is a busy place but if we take a moment to stop, appreciate and cultivate the little things, our lives will be much grander for it. How do you evoke the art of slow?

Jennifer.

 

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Favourite Preloved Finds 2016 http://www.lifepreloved.com/2017/01/04/favourite-preloved-finds-2016/ Thu, 05 Jan 2017 01:56:03 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1015 Another successful year of thrifting is in the books and I’m reflecting on the finds of 2016 and anticipating where this next year will take me. I’m still feeling the magic of the new year or perhaps it’s just my year of the Rooster energy brewing! I have no particular number or order of my favourites, just the ones that are memorable and stand out to me. It is too hard to narrow it down to a top five or ten – you can’t do that to an avid thrifter!

In perspective, I think I find more value and appreciation for the things I find secondhand vs what I buy new in the store! Every item is that much more curated and I tend to remember the feeling of first seeing the item and trying it on. I also love putting it in my laundry basket when I get home and looking forward to washing and wearing the item.

*** Apologies if you are reading this post on desktop, some of the photos are showing sideways for some readers which I have fixed and re-fixed a few times. The mystical occurances of technology we will never understand.

Favourite Items I Wish I Thrifted:

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I was just doing a quick errand in the store and had other errands on foot to do after but I wish I had made my way back to pick up this vintage but current painting, very Custo Barcelona style! Such a beauty!

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I actually mumbled in amazement to myself when I saw these Dr. Marten flat patent leather boots. I’ve very, very rarely seen Doc’s and never in a cool style or my size. I didn’t get these because one of them was missing the tongue which I thought was a lost cause. However, I have a friend who is a shoe maker who reminded me that this is fixable! Who knew?! Reminder, always have an open mind and a good Cobbler in your life!

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Ted Baker dress, I’m not quite sure what I was thinking here but I didn’t even try this one on.

Favourite Items I Thrifted For Sourcing:

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I found both of these at a Value Village location I never liked going to which again reminds me to always keep an open mind (and a good Cobbler to help me clean these up). The Manolo Blahnik’s are the shoes that Carrie has stolen at a party in a Sex and the City episode. They are actually the second SATC item I found this year… keep reading.

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I finally achieved my long standing thrifting goal this year, to find a vintage Club Monaco sweatshirt and I was paid my overdue payment with two of them in the same thrifthaul! Unfortunately, they are a bit too oversized for my petite frame and I do have a smaller one that a friend gave me (as seen in my profile pic) so I’ve shared the love and offered these to friends. I feel there could be more to be found in my future.

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The Kate Spade post was by far my most popular post of the year. I haven’t cleaned up this bag yet to try it out for myself but it could end up in my eBay shop once I do as I know many of you loved it!

Favourite Items I Thrifted For Me:

Some of the items I loved and took home with me this year are still sitting in my ‘to be dry-cleaned’ pile and some I haven’t worn as much as I had anticipated. But some are regular favourites of mine as you’ll see below.

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Halston black velvet dress $10, which thanks to Pinterest I just discovered that this dress was also a Carrie Bradshaw item (in white jersey). Never worn John Fluevog heels in Rose Gold $30, I adore these. I would never have picked them out in real retail life and that’s what I love about thrifting, the low price point allows you to be more playful in your dressing. Together, these two items were probably my favourite outfit of the year.

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Club Monaco Floral dress (with pockets!!!) $18 and Söfft black heels $12. In my 20’s, I lived in heels and walked 40 minutes in them to and from work everyday which of course eventually took its toll on my knees and back, now I barely ever wear heels and if I do I need them to have a rubber sole for anti-slip. Finding these pretty shoes that are perfect for work was much needed to my wardrobe.

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Pink Tartan silk dress $9. This was my favourite dress to wear in summer for both work or casual. Although it’s silk and dry clean only, I wash it on my washer’s delicate setting and hang to try. Plus I can get a couple wears out of it before I actually have to wash it as it’s surprisingly very wrinkle resistant.

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Club Monaco cardigan $6. I love this because it goes with everything and can look elegant or casual depending on how you pair it. Plus when I found it, I remember seeing it and loving it just a few weeks prior in Club Monaco!

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Sisley navy trench coat $14. The perfect light coat that doesn’t look over powering on my petite frame as I’ve typically find many trench coats drown me in shape and colour.

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Gap leather jacket $10. Thank you to whoever priced this way lower than their typical leather jacket price. This taupe jacket is one I regularly wore either to work or to spice up my casual outfit. I eventually found on Pinterest that it originally had a removable black fur collar.

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Lululemon blouse, BNWT $35. Anything Lululemon with tags on is unheard of in the thrifting world and eBay gold. But this was my size and the perfect business casual that I adore so it was a keeper for me. Plus, I had a stamp card at the time so I didn’t pay full price on this.

 

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Cynthia Rowley long sweater with high slits $15. In the three weeks that I’ve had this sweater, I’ve worn this every weekend, either dressed up to Christmas parties at friends houses or casual around the house with leggings. It’s so cozy yet sexy and fashionable.

Favourite Preloved Items Not Found At A Thrift Store:

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Rugs from Kijiji $300. I’ve always loved rugs, even as I child, I couldn’t wait for the day when I could furnish my house with multitudes of them – can you tell I’m an old soul? These beauties are vibrant and well kept.

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Michael Kors sweater dress $75, from Mine & Yours in Vancouver. I love checking out the local consignment stores when I’m vacationing and I’m actually surprised I don’t have many pictures of this dress, I live it in during the winter months.

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Lululemon capris $5, swapped. I got these at the fashion swap I hosted at Lucid Lifestyle in the summer. Although I knew then and still know now that the colour is wrong for me and it makes me look like I have no pants on, I really like the style and am currently searching for another pair on eBay.

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Rebecca Taylor leopard tshirt, from Vespucci. Simple but elegant.

There are so many great preloved and second hand items that I purchased last year that I really could go on as to why I love them all. But these are the ones I make use of the most. Which I think is an important factor when thrift shopping is not too get caught up in the low price points and to buy more intentionally. If there is something purchased thrift that is taking up valuable real estate in your life then it’s always best to pass along to someone else through donation, swap or reselling.

Thanks for reading, what was your favourite item you found second hand last year?

Jennifer.

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Value Village – December 2016 Part III http://www.lifepreloved.com/2016/12/27/value-village-december-2016-part-iii/ http://www.lifepreloved.com/2016/12/27/value-village-december-2016-part-iii/#comments Wed, 28 Dec 2016 03:56:38 +0000 http://www.lifepreloved.com/?p=1060 Thrifting post Christmas is a pleasant experience, I had never seen the store so clean and some sections were almost bare! But fret not, the staff were bringing out many items as I was there so it could be a good time to go, to get the fresh picks! Once the Christmas season is done, the thrift stores will all return to normal until August when they start preparing for Halloween season and then Christmas again. I always find the rows a little cramped with the seasonal items which makes me look forward to the coming months.

As much as I don’t particularly love thrifting during the holiday seasons, it has continually been when I score big. I also had a 30% off coupon to use up – if you have a full card, these can be used until December 31, this is your reminder to use them!

Here’s what I spotted:

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Matt & Nat purse $15. If you’ve been following along, I’ve seen a tonne of Matt & Nat items my last few times. This one is from the most recent collections and had some light scuffs that could likely be cleaned, it was my favourite style seen so far and a decent price.

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Sam Eldeman ballet flats $18.

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J Crew skirt $8. I considered this one for either myself, though I’m not really a skirt person or for sourcing. In the end, I left it behind as there were other treasures to be found.

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Kimchi Blue tunic $15.

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Max Studio dress $15, my favourite shade of green with a sweet bird pattern.

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I LOVED this BCBG colour block dress in yellow/blue but was too small. I really hope one of my readers pick this up!

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Office appropriate Banana Republic dress $20.

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Unfortunately the pocket details of this Ellen Tracey dress $18 did not photograph well, another classy office appropriate dress.

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Babaton coat $15. I know I’m probably insane for leaving this one behind, especially with its retail value on eBay but this is where you thank me for writing about these thrift hauls so you can rush out and get this great fashion forward jacket! To set the record straight, I’m a bit of a hippy and don’t own a car, it’s why I always shop at the Whyte Ave location – this coat was a bit too heavy for my stroll home. Now, go get it!

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Hudsons Bay Company Canada Olympic jacket definitely crossed my mind for sourcing!

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Soïa & Kyo jacket $18, I see this brand frequently when I thrift.

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These long style vests are quite fashion forward currently but I didn’t love this one on me.

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Everything about this blazer was beautiful, unfortunately it was a bit too big. The brand, Circle of Gentlemen has a high price point on eBay for its men’s shirts but there was nothing to be found for women or blazers. Hope this one goes to a great home, it’s beautiful!

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Michael Kors blazer $8, tempting.

Here’s what came home with me:

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Lovely details on this Banana Republic blazer and it fit like a glove.

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Maison Scotch little black dress. This one is body con but the material is also like wearing Spanx so I should be able to get some wear out of it. If not, Maison Scotch sells well for me online.

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I had already looked through the purse section and was just checking my phone, when all of a sudden I glanced over and saw the Kate Spade logo! Admittedly, I didn’t pay much attention to the brown tone purses but the way the logo was just glaring at me, it was calling out to me! This one is a classic design and not too girly for my liking so I may end up keeping it after a good cleaning. It’s not in the best condition but not terrible either and this is the first time I’ve thrifted a Kate Spade bag or even spotted one!

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I was just about to leave when I spotted these Manitobah Mukluks in the men’s section, these are in perfect condition and though I was worried the size 11 would be difficult to sell, a quick Wuanto.com search (the website I use for seeing what price items actually sell at), proved my worries away. These sell for $270 brand new and retain their resale value!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and I look forward to what the thrifting Gods will send my way next year! On a personal note, I am planning for some changes to come in the new year and although these changes may be stressful, I am feeling that it will actually be a step in a better direction for me. Maybe I’m feeling the hope of what a new year will bring or the energy of the impending year of the Rooster, my Chinese zodiac sign but I do plan for it to be a successful year ahead regardless of change. After all, how do we grow and become better versions of ourselves without change?!

PS. I have a Pinterest page that I’ve recently updated, follow me there for more thrifting tips, DIY’s and thrifting finds! I’m also pinning informative and inspirational messages on sustainability.

Thanks for reading, until the next thrift!

Jennifer.

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