Hello, I am Allie of ALLIE NYC. Join me on my adventures in this fair city. I hope you like what you see

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City Point Brooklyn and A DAY OUT AND ABOUT WITH ALLIE NYC

Life - alimackin@gmail.com - July 30, 2017

Finally my video is up on City Point in Brooklyn. I wanted to work on this last weekend but I had a bad migraine on both Saturday and Sunday so I didn’t get too much done. I finished up this weekend and I hope you enjoy it. This is the first video I shot on my new Canon G7X and I must say I am quite impressed. The image stabilization is phenomenal and it was this factor alone that won me over and why I purchased the camera.

Again I used the Filmora software from Wondershare. The only difference with this video besides the camera is that instead of uploading directly to You Tube via Filmore, I exported an MP4 to my desk top and then upload to You Tube myself.

Uploading videos yourself gives you a lot more control. I found when I uploaded directly through Filmora the videos looked a little low quality. Not soft, but low resolution. Granted the last video was not shot on the G7X but it was shot on a DSLR with a fairly decent lends.

Export your video as an MP4 and then upload to You Tube

I didn’t check all the video settings when I was shooting on the Rebel T3i, but I still saw a difference from how the video looked straight out of the camera and after I uploaded to YouTube directly from Filmora.

I see a significant difference between the last video I posted and this one. So my advice is if you are going to use the Filmora software, don’t upload directly. Export your video as an MP4 and then upload to You Tube. For more information on this, here is a video on the best way to configure your settings when preparing a video for You Tube and here is a video on how create a more searchable video on You Tube. Also keep in mind when you are editing in Filmora it will look low res, and this is because the files are compressed so you can work faster and your computer will run better.

Let me know what you think. And if you are interested in the G7X here is a helpful video on what that best settings are for shooting cinematic looking videos. Next up? Learning how to man a drone for those eagle eye shots. OK, um it may be a wee bit too soon for that!

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Sunny Skies, Cancelled Flights and another weekend with the Frenchies

Life - alimackin@gmail.com - April 10, 2017

Throwback Monday? Yes. I am missing Florida but the weather here in NY is improving so there is hope.

Throwback Monday? Yes. I am missing Florida but the weather here in NY is improving so there is hope. I just had to share this fun photo from a day at the beach in St Petersburg. Originally I was supposed to go to Florida this past weekend with my stepbrother and niece who are visiting from Paris, but it got very complicated as it was a big spring break weekend and the prices skyrocketed. My brother also wanted to go to Key West which is four hours away from Miami, but I was only going for the weekend and wanted to stay in Miami due to time constraints. In the end I went to Florida last month and went to Tampa instead and stayed with friends. I had my own room with a TV in it and my own bathroom and the whole trip cost me $263. Not bad.

And it was a good thing that I didn’t go with my brother, because I would have never made it to Florida. This evening after work I traveled home as usual, and as I was putting the key in the door I thought I saw my step brother Jerome. But it couldn’t be, he is in Florida, he left this morning. I must be seeing things, this person who looks like my step brother and who is wearing a similar jacket is probably a guest of my neighbor, but then I heard his distinct French accent and then I saw Fanny trailing behind him.

Frustrating for them—but we got to spend another weekend together so there was a silver lining after all.

Yuppers their flight was cancelled, along with dozens of other flights. It was blamed on the bad weather in the middle of the country and in the south and a shortage of pilots due to them being stranded in various parts of the country. And they did not have a flight available until Monday night. They were supposed to be in Florida Friday night. So if I had stuck with the original plans I would have had to scratch the whole trip as I was due to be back at work Tuesday morning. So that would have been that. I would have never made it to Florida. So for me it worked out, although a bit frustrating for them—but we got to spend another weekend together so there was a silver lining after all.

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Happy New Year and Thank you to all my readers may your year be filled with joy and good health

Life - alimackin@gmail.com - December 30, 2016

This weekend is New Year’s Eve with Sunday being the first day of new year. We all have our regrets

This weekend is New Year’s Eve with Sunday being the first day of new year. We all have our regrets—things we wish we had done differently, like not buying those pants that were %50 off, and were %50 off for reason and when glimpsed in a photo of oneself in Paris, one realizes how truly awful they look with their too short inseam and horrible camel toe. Or the coming buyers remorse I think many people are going to be feeling in the coming year…

But it also the time of year when we set goals for ourselves. I have a number of goals that I would like to achieve: learn French, get prints up on Society 6, take a photo class and do more blogger and career girl profiles on my blog. This should keep my busy a long with my full time job. What goals have you set yourselves? Blog more? Less? Change direction with your blog? Start a new career? Take a trip? Get more crafty? Well if that is one of your goals, you must check out this incredibly creative and D.I.Y site from Mary Costa called Studio D.I.Y. So many chic ideas, you will love it!

And thank you to all my readers for supporting me and I wish you health and happiness in the coming year. Thank you!

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Giving Back—how to feel good and do something good when retail therapy isn’t cutting it

Life - alimackin@gmail.com - December 28, 2016

As I wrote in Monday’s post due to world affairs and the current political situation I have been fairly stressed out, and I am not alone in my feelings of unease and fear which can also bring on feelings of futility and depression. And sometimes retail therapy just doesn’t cut it, although the upside is, it keeps people employed, helps the economy and gives one a mommentary feeling of comfort, it is not enough.

Often, it is this time of year that people think of giving back. And I, much like many others, did exactly that. I donated three new toys to a toy drive they were having in the building in which I work. There was a sale on at Duane Reed where you could mix and match three toys for $15.00. I could certainly afford $15.00 so I picked out one for a girl, one for a boy and one toy that could be used by either a girl or a boy. I dropped $5.00 in to The Salvation Army’s red kettle and I donated $50.00 to Mercy Corps to help the people effected by the war in Aleppo.

And not only does this help the children who no longer have to sit on the floor when in school, it also creates jobs for the workers who make the desks

I also wanted to donate to UNICEF’s K.I.N.D project which Lawrence O’ Donnell has been promoting on his show but felt that the situation in Aleppo was more immediate. But I do plan on donating to the K.I.N.D project which raises money to build desks for children in Malawi. And not only does this help the children who no longer have to sit on the floor when in school, it also creates jobs for the workers who make the desks. And you also have an additional choice—if you prefer, you can donate money that goes toward helping girls in Malawi attend school.

I will be donating to this wonderful organization in the spring once I get all my credit card bills paid off.

And for those of you that prefer to donate a little closer to home, there are plenty of causes to donate to from Veteran’s to the environment to animals. So please check out the links below and have a great new year.

Help Veterans with The Wounded Warrior Project

Help the environment and animals with The Good Food Institute 

Help animals with Mercy For Animals

Donate animals to poor people in third world countries which helps them to care for themselves with Heifer.org

And finally there is Doctor’s Without Boaders

Top photo by Cengiz Yar for Mercy Corps

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Don’t Let This Happen to You: Some Travel Tips to make your Next trip abroad easier

Life - alimackin@gmail.com - October 12, 2016

I have not traveled abroad in quite some time, and I thought I did all the researched that I needed to do, but apparently I had not, and I had a few me mishaps along the way. So now without further adieu I would like to share a few travel tips I learned so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

I have not traveled abroad in quite some time, and I thought I did all the researched that I needed to do, but apparently I had not, and I had a few me mishaps along the way. So now without further adieu I would like to share a few travel tips I learned so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

1) When going down the stairs with your luggage, carry it—don’t let it drop down step by step. I did this as I was leaving the house and when I got the third step, one of the wheels broke off and took the plastic boarder along with it. More or less ripping one corner open. I had not even left for the air port yet. I had to drag my luggage while carrying an overnight bag on the train then through Jamaica Queens and on to the air shuttle. Luckily I was able to buy a new suitcase at the air port. This was not fun. And I mentioned my mishap to a couple of people who saw me struggling and they both respond that the same thing had happened to them. So apparently it is common. Don’t let his happen to you. Lift your luggage when going up and down stairs and steep curbs.

 call your bank and inform them that you will be out of the country and the dates you will be traveling. Otherwise they will suspend your card thinking the activity is fraud

2) As we know electrical systems are different abroad then the U.S. So to that end I went out and bought U.S. to Southern Europe adaptors thinking I was set. I was not. First I tried to plug in my curling iron in the bathroom outlet…nothing. Hmmm. The I tried a heating pad at the same outlet…noting. I thought it must be the outlet and then tried the heating pad in another outlet. And as soon as I flipped the on switch there was a loud boom, a flash of white light and the distinct smell of smoke. Then I noticed the TV and gone off. OK, that can’t be good. Turns out the voltage is also higher in Europe then the U.S, so you also need a converter in addition to an adaptor. Hmm good to know. And I found this out when I texted Josephina of  Josephina Collection who was also in Paris for PFW, she informed me she burned out her hot rollers making the same mistake. Luckily the wiring in the hotel was fine, it just tripped the circuit breaker. But my heating pad is toast. So if you plan on bringing multiple electrical devices abroad make sure to also purchase a converter.

3) No one mentions this: but call your bank and inform them that you will be out of the country and the dates you will be traveling. Otherwise they will suspend your card thinking the activity is fraud. I learned this the hard way.

4) And finally—pay attention. One afternoon I stepped in to a Starbucks to use the restroom, the wifi and to get a quick bite. Well when I reached in to my bag and unzipped my wallet— no ATM card. I knew it could not have been stolen as I still had my wallet and it had been zipped shut. I started to freak, but calmed myself and thought when did I last use the card? It was the night before at the Monoprix where I stopped to buy some dinner. I got back on the Metro and went back to the Monoprix and…yes they had my card. I had left it there. Whew! So pay extra attention when traveling and always, always double check you have your ATM card after every transaction.

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The Etiquette of Social Media or lack there of in The Age of The Cult of The Individual

Life - alimackin@gmail.com - May 2, 2016

Yes as bloggers we all love social media, or at least we spend a lot of time using it and interacting with other avid social media users, but when is it too much? When do you put the phone down and actually live life? And what about the etiquette of social media?

Yes as bloggers we all love social media, or at least we spend a lot of time using it and interacting with other avid social media users, but when is it too much? When do you put the phone down and actually live life? And what about the etiquette of social media? I live in New York, which is a crowded fast paced city where everyone is often in a rush. Many people in New York have busy lives and long commutes and we are dependent upon public transportation, so getting from point A to point B quickly is key. So the last thing you want to deal with is a slow walking, absent minded person with their head down, who is going to be in your way. And the reason they are walking slow with their heads down? No, they are not the walking dead victims of the zombie apocalypse, they are just clueless smart phone users.

the last thing you want to deal with is a slow walking, absent minded person with their head down, who is going to be in your way

I am sure you have seen them, walking headlong in to a crowd and not watching where they are going. News flash, it is not my job to watch where you are going, that is your job. What is so important that you can’t walk a few yards without looking at your phone? Or is it that as a society we can not go ten minutes without being entertained. If the zombie apocalypse were to hit, these folks would be the first to be eaten hands down. I friend of mine confided to me that she intentionally bumps in to these people on purpose. And I must admit I have done this myself from time to time. But at least the worst that can happen is that you trip over yourself. But behind the wheel of car? That is whole different matter.

We all know social media has a dark side but it now has a dangerous side as well. This week it was all over the news that Snap Chat is being sued by a victim of a car accident in which this person suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled. The accident was caused by an eighteen year old women who was using Snapchat’s speed filter while she was driving. She was driving with a pregnant coworker in the car and was trying to reach 100 miles per hour so she could post to Snapchat. Um OK I am not sure who the Einstein was that thought the speed filter for a phone app was a good idea, but suffice is to say Snapchat is going to have their day in court.

 it is because of things like this that the generation under thirty are seen as the most self absorbed, self involved, entitled generation ever

This young women then had the gaul to take another selfie in the ambulance with the hashtag “lucky to be alive”. Hmm, how about the hashtag “wakeup you self involved moron.” I think this young woman needs to be held accountable for what she caused, and not just be given a slap on the wrist. I think she needs to do jail time. What kind of young people are we raising? And it is because of things like this that the generation under thirty are seen as the most self absorbed, self involved, entitled generation ever. But are they? Is it them, or the avid availability of social media?

I think the laws around driving and using smart phones and social media need to much more strict—I think they should be just as strict as the laws governing drunk driving. And perhaps this will be the wake up call we need as a society to get out of our own way and realize that maybe, just maybe, there is a world out there that does not revolve around ourselves.

Top image was not taken by the young women while she was driving and this image is NOT a selfie. If you live in the San Diego area in California and need a wedding or lifestyle photographer be sure to check out RececcaMPhotography.com 

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The Luckiest Girl Alive Not What You Might Expect

Life - alimackin@gmail.com - March 23, 2016

I wanted to like this book, I really did. The well designed eye catching cover was the first thing I noticed when I stepped in to a bustling brick and mortar book store in Soho—yes they still exist. I knew little about this book, had no idea it had been on the New York Times best seller list and had read no reviews in relation to it. I briefly read a quick profile about it on a well known bloggers site and I thought it would be right up my alley. It wasn’t.

I wanted to like this book, I really did. The well designed eye catching cover was the first thing I noticed when I stepped in to a bustling brick and mortar book store in Soho—yes they still exist. I knew little about this book, had no idea it had been on the New York Times best seller list and had read no reviews in relation to it. I briefly read a quick profile about it on a well known bloggers site and I thought it would be right up my alley. It wasn’t.

Standing in the store I read the reviews, read the inside flap and the story struck me as a plot twist page turner Gossip Girl meets the Devil Wears Prada with insightful dark under lying themes. This book was anything but that.

The main character works as an editor at magazine but you are only aware of this fact because the character mentions it. She is never in the office and this has nothing to do with working at a magazine. She easily could have worked at a prestiges law firm, financial institution or tech start up. Secondly this book struck me as more of young adult fiction then a book intended for mature adults. But beyond these two misleading aspects, there is so much wrong with this book I am surprised it got published. But it seems today mediocracy and sensationalism are the go to’s when it comes to best selling fiction. This book has been compared to Gone Girl, but really there are no plot twists here and the blatant exploitation of controversial subjects as means to write the next block buster is beyond the pale. There are spoilers ahead so if you plan on reading this book you want to stop reading the rest of this post.

Every time I read a book like this, I think to myself, “I could write a book like this” and maybe I just will, heck I could use the cash

The so called plot twist is that the middle class girl from the wrong side of the tracks who now works as an editor at a glossy magazine and is engaged to wealthy blue blood, experienced sexual assault and date rape as a teenager. And if that is not enough she was also the victim of a mass shooting at her high school. Both of these subjects weigh heavily on the national psyche and neither should be treated as trendy fictional material but that is exactly what the writer does in this book. I am not even sure if this was her intention or it was just a complete lack of insight. Many reviewers on Amazon complained about the main characters snarky attitude and label obsession but this did bother me. I believe this was some what intentional and was done in a tongue and cheek tone. However there far worse elements in this book, and it surprises and saddens me that more people did not pick up on them.

that yes “taking advantage” of a drunk girl is not nice, but it is no where near as bad as being the victim of a school shooter, who of course is gay.

But the school shooter in this story is a gay male— this is a statistical absurdity. There is probably more violent crime committed by women then gay men. But it gets worse, turns out the school shooter does not go on a killing spree because he was bullied but because he was born with psychopathic tendencies and he kills for fun and because he feels he is intellectually superior to those around him. Umm OK. So the writer made the character gay for what reason? And it gets even worse with far more insidious implications.

The writer makes the group of male students who gang raped her the victims of the school shooting— complete with missing limbs, missing shot off faces and painful deaths crying out for their moms. Implying subtly and not so subtly ( the main character more less says this at one point ) that yes “taking advantage” of a drunk girl is not nice, but it is no where near as bad as being the victim of a school shooter, who of course is gay. A gay psychopath who is a highly intelligent liberal…hmmm. And comes from a single home with an absentee father…double hmmm. In the end you have more sympathy for the white male well to do rapists then you do for the bullied gay student.

And the cherry on top? She and her coach have an attraction to each other when she is fourteen, and she even spends time alone with him in his apartment, but “nothing happens” until they reconnect when she is in her twenties. And the point of that relationship? Wow. I guess the writer wanted to cover all her bases and this was her Fifty Shades of Gray moment. Though kudos to her, mission accomplished. This book was on the best seller list and there is talk it may be made in to a movie. Every time I read a book like this, I think to myself, “I could write a book like this” and maybe I just will, heck I could use the cash. Though the cover design gets five stars, good job Christopher Lin. I will keep this book around for the sheer gorgeousness of it.

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Blogging in 2016 — Will It Be a Conference Free Year?

Blogging, Life, Life-Style - alimackin@gmail.com - March 21, 2016

We are now almost three months in to 2016, another three and we will be half way through the year. At start of the new year in this post I looked at where blogging is going in 2016 and why bloggers blog and what blogging means to them. And it seems about this time is when all those resolutions start to fall by the wayside and get overlooked by the stresses and responsibilities of our daily lives

 I was surprised that when I went to inquire further on the workshops and conferences that had been so successful in the past, that many appear to be on hiatus

We are now almost three months in to 2016, another three and we will be half way through the year. At start of the new year in this post I looked at where blogging is going in 2016 and why bloggers blog and what blogging means to them. And it seems this is about the time when all those New Year’s resolutions start to fall by the wayside and get overlooked by the stresses and responsibilities of our daily lives. As I was feeling a bit stuck I decided to take to the internet to see what was out there in terms of classes, workshops and conferences related to blogging. When I first started my blog I signed up for and I attended a number of the Lucky FABB conferences. I felt the conferences were invaluable for inspiration and networking with other bloggers, though I felt the emphasis was not focused enough on actual blogging and in fact the last conference was more about building your own business and being an entrepreneur. Although it was no accident that the focus shifted a bit, this shift was in response to a survey on what attendees wanted to learn more about and it seems that everyone wants to be a self-made “girl boss”. But do you think this sustainable? That everyone can be self-made entrepreneur?

Originally this post was going to be a round up of classes and conferences that could help bloggers take their blog to the next level and grow or even launch a business. But I was surprised that when I went to inquire further on the workshops and conferences that had been so successful in the past, that many appear to be on hiatus. Of course the Lucky FABB conference is no longer held as the magazine itself has been shuttered. The last IFB conference appears to have been in the winter of 2013, and Design Love Fest ended their traveling Blog Shop and now only offer LA based classes on calligraphy with the occasional photo session or meet and greet event. The highly successful Blogcademy has nothing posted in regards to 2016 be it in person or online, the Alt Summit also has nothing posted on their site for 2016, and even the all-online blogging school The Blog Class states registration is currently closed, with no updated information on if or when it will reopen.

What is going on here? What exactly does this mean? Has the novelty worn off? Is this the dot.com implosion revisited? What say you? I am not sure what to think. I was planning on taking or attending at least one conference or workshop this year, but I am afraid I may be out of luck. I will continue to periodically check the status of future classes at The Blogcademy, The Alt Summit and The Blog Class, and hopefully one or all will happen. There is always The Simply Stylist conference, which is not tailored specifically to blogging but could still be a great resource. And if any of you know of any classes or workshops taking place this year please feel free to share.

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Sunnies, Selfies and Self Aggrandizing in the Insta Age of Social Media

Fashion, Life - alimackin@gmail.com - March 2, 2016

Selfies, sunnies and self promotion have we crossed a line? Last week I wrote about attending Fashion Week and how I was struck by how many people were wearing sun glasses indoors at night. And I do not mean one or two people, I actually started to count and there were dozens of people doing this. I just could not for the life of me, wrap my brain around this.

And it seems that fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhol so accurately predicted has now extended to a twenty four hour day, three hundred and sixty five day a year, non-stop Insta life style marathon

Selfies, sunnies and self promotion have we crossed a line? Last week I wrote about attending Fashion Week and how I was struck by how many people were wearing sun glasses indoors at night. And I do not mean one or two people, I actually started to count and there were dozens of people doing this. I just could not for the life of me, wrap my brain around this. Not only was it evening and said event was being held indoors it was also fairly dark, and by fairly dark I mean movie theater dark, and yet there they were sporting sun glasses. What exactly were they shielding their eyes from? And as far as I could tell they were not famous, so it was not like a stampede was going to break out if they removed their shades. Honestly all I could think was “ You are trying waaay to hard”

And then of course there was the to be expected selfies, but even though it was expected, I was still surprised by how many people were taking selfies. Maybe it is just me, but I am not big on selfies. I have taken them, and still do occasionally, but for the most part I find them less then satisfying and when I see people doing this kind of thing at an event like Fashion Week I just think “amateur”. Yes maybe I am being a bit harsh and being a bit of a hater, but really? Do you think this kind of behavior is OK? Do you even care? These days it seems so natural to behave this way, I guess most peopled don’t even notice any more. But still, I have to say I was bit taken a back and surprised by how many people like to act like they are being followed around by the paparazzi when they are most certainly—not. But then again I have a blog, so who am I to judge? I can just imagine when our ancestors will think when they look back at this time in history, and how we will be portrayed.

Though, this self aggrandizing behavior is nothing new, after all Cory Hart wrote his famous “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” in 1984 over thirty years ago, but what has changed are the culprits. When this song was written Cory Hart was more or less calling out celebrities for doing this kind of thing, now it seems it is harder then ever to draw the line between celebrities and wanna be celebs. Well except when it comes to bank accounts, I think the real celebs win that one hands down. And it seems that fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhol so accurately predicted has now extended to a twenty four hour day, three hundred and sixty five day a year, non-stop Insta life style marathon. Yup, this is one phenomena isn’t going any where any time soon. I may buck the trend in not being a daily selfie guru, but I like to look my best just as much as the next person. And if you are like me and want to look photo fabulous at the end your own arm, check out Korean model and internet star Irene Kim and her five makeup tips on how to look stellar in selfies. Really it’s OK, I realize if you are under twenty five you probably stopped reading this, but for everyone else a little help is not a crime, and if it is, were are all, guilty as charged.

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Link Love Express # 3

Life - alimackin@gmail.com - January 20, 2016

Hello all, time for another installment of Link Love Express. You can check out the first one here and the last one I did here. It is a new year so time for a new set of fun links to discover.  As some you may already know this is an on going post series in which I will be sharing my favorite finds in the worlds of fashion, interior design, beauty, food and what ever else  strikes my fancy.

Hello all, time for another installment of Link Love Express. You can check out the first one here and the last one I did here. It is a new year so time for a new set of fun links to discover.  As my regular readers already know, this is an on going post series in which I will be sharing my favorite finds in the worlds of fashion, interior design, beauty, food and what ever else strikes my fancy.  So now with out further audieu here are the latest:

Up and coming Beauty Vlogger Kathleen Lights  now has an eyeshadow collection at ColorPop. Very cool, and be sure to check out her YouTube channel. Via her beauty posts I found out about a fun new product for brightening up dark circles. Which takes me to the next link…

Laura Mercier makes a product called Secret Brightening Powder for the under eye area. As luck would have it, it is currently sold out at LauraMercier.com,  ah, the power of the beauty vlogger. It appears to be available at Sephora. Some have said it is a bit drying, while others love it. I have not tested it out yet, but this so on my must have list as I could certainly use something for the dark circles under my eyes.

Who does’t want to look like they are on the red carpet and not pay an arm and a leg? I recently discovered an online retailer called StyleWe that carries striking and expensive looking dresses at relatively affordable prices. Granted I have not seen them in person, but I love the how they look so high-end, and the styles look very fashion forward while also being unique, which I think is part of what makes them look so Couture.

And for all you that are fans of shows like Younger and SITC, a new TV series  is in the works based on the founders of Juicy Couture and inspired by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor’s book The Glitter Plan. It is going to be called Made In La and will be produced by the same duo that brought you Gossip Girl. Seriously, how cool is this? I can’t wait for this to hit the air!

And finally, I also discovered a new lingerie retailer called Devil May Care. Cool name huh? It was founded by two sisters and they are currently working on a mens section. Oh la la! Sign me up!

Have you discovered any new products, services or retailers? And what kind of lingerie would like your man to wear?

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