Mushroom Growing Kits

 

INTRODUCTION

Beginner Mushroom Enthusiasts Start Here

Mushroom Growing Kits are the safest and simplest way to begin your mushroom journey. For these reasons, it is essential to start with profession proven expertise. For example, I suggest the ease and expertise of a mushroom growing kit company like North Spore.

mushroom growing kits
Northspore Mushroom Growing Kits.
More About North Spore
In addition, I find it helpful to view the following videos. Along with a superior product, one wants both verbal and visual instructions for the best use. Because the following videos give detailed information about using their products, I recommend viewing them in addition to reading the written instructions.

To sum things up, I suggest that beginners start right here. Specifically, with a North Spore mushroom growing kit. Then carefully follow the directions provided in the box. Equally as important is to view the videos below.


Growing Kits | Part One
North Spore Spray & Grow Mushroom Kits | Setting-up and Maintaining Your Kit | FAQ Part 1
North Spore’s Spray & Grow mushroom kits are a great introduction to the wonders of edible mushroom cultivation. This video is Part 1 of a two video frequently asked questions series going through the process of starting your kit, harvesting your mushrooms, and tips and techniques for cooking them.

In this video, Mary, from North Spore will start each of the North Spore kits and talk about how to keep them healthy!

Video Sections

00:00:07 Introduction
00:01:02 What’s Inside
00:01:44 Starting your Kit
00:03:33 Kit Upkeep and Care


Growing Kits | Part Two
North Spore Spray & Grow Mushroom Kits | Harvesting and Cooking Your Mushrooms | FAQ Part 2
This is the second part of a two part FAQ series on North Spore’s Spray & Grow edible mushroom kits for growing mushrooms on your kitchen counter.

In this video, Lou goes over how to harvest your mushrooms and some tips and techniques for cooking them.

Video Sections

00:02:00 Harvesting your Mushrooms
00:02:50 Tips for Cooking your Harvest
00:03:30 Fat is your Friend
00:03:42 Don’t Crowd the Pan
00:04:01 Cook Your Mushrooms Longer
00:05:45 Tip for Cooking Lion’s Mane


mushroom growing kits
Mushroom Growing Kits from Northspore

CONCLUSION

Even though other brands may have wider selections, I still recommend this brand of kit to start with. That is because this kit has the simplest approach for beginners. In other words, there is no mess, no extra products are needed, the cost is fair.

So far, North Spore is the best mushroom growing kit I have discovered to date. That is because it requires no extra equipment and is reasonably priced at $28/kit. For an extra bonus, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you may be able to get them at an even better price.

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Mushrooms Cultivation on Logs

 

INTRODUCTION

Mushroom cultivation on logs is an option for growing mushrooms. As mentioned in an earlier blog post, it is not suggested for beginners. But it is the topic of this blog post. Here is a quote from the Fungi Ally Newsletter about it.

mushroom cultivation on logs

“Mushroom cultivation on logs has a long history. It’s also a great way to grow mushrooms over periods of time because the logs can produce for years. Sawdust spawn and plug spawn are great for inoculating logs, and there are a variety of mushroom species that you can grow on logs and stumps. What mushrooms are you most interested in currently? We have lots of audience members who love growing lion’s mane.

“Popular species to grow on logs include shiitake and oysters. Regardless of your preference, we hope to help you get growing this late summer into fall! ​​​​​​​It’s also a good time to start growing mushrooms indoors as well. The easiest way of doing this is by using our mushrooms kits that come ready-to-fruit. ​​​​​​Until next time, get down with some mycelium and stay tuned for the next newsletter.​​​​​​​”

mushroom cultivation on logs
Mushroom cultivation on logs. Image from the Fungi Ally Newsletter.
Mushroom cultivation on logs is just one option for growing mushrooms at home. It is an outdoor technique and not one for the beginner.

As mentioned earlier, growing mushrooms indoors from a kit is ideal since it is simple and safe. Many companies, including Fungi Ally, carry excellent kits for beginners.

 

CONCLUSION

There are various ways to obtain mushrooms:
•purchase them retail in stores or online
•grown them from a kit
•cultivate them (more to come about cultivation techniques)

Cultivating mushrooms on logs is on one of these options. Others will be presented in this series of blog posts about cultivating mushrooms.

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Growing Mushrooms at Home

 

INTRODUCTION

MUSHROOM GROWING KITS To start, mushroom growing kits are the safest and simplest way for a beginner enthusiast to grow their own mushrooms. To make things the safest and easier, there are many beginner kits available. Therefore this post will be a synopsis some of them.

Although this method can be expensive, I believe it is the best way to begin. Most likely, an ardent beginner will probably want to move on to more advanced ways of participating in this activity. That’s not a problem as long as a beginner has moved on in training and experience. Just For now, I suggest to start with a choice from one of the many mushroom growing kits.

GROW, GROW, GROW
As mentioned above, purchasing a kit can be an expense. But is the best way to begin growing mushrooms. You can grow them right in your own kitchen. Here are several kits to choose from. Just follow the directions to begin your journey to growing mushrooms at home.

Gourmet Mushroom Growing Kits

mushroom growing kits
Samples of products from Gourmet Mushroom Kits

Fungi Ally

mushroom growing kits
Fungi Ally offers mushroom growing kits as well as other mushroom products

Northspore

mushroom growing kits
North Spore Mushroom Growing Kits

Midwest Grow Kits

mushroom growing kits
Midwest Mushroom Growing Kits

A video from Fungi Ally about growing mushrooms at home from a mushroom growing kit.

Additional posts about Mushrooms
My Past Professions, Present Passions and Possible Future Explorations Mirror the World of Mushrooms
Reading Material About Mushrooms
Mushroom Growing Kits
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My Past Professions, Present Passions and Possible Future Explorations Mirror the World of Mushrooms

 

INTRODUCTION

It is amazing how mushrooms mirror past professions. In other words, my past professions, my current passionate pursuits, my hobbies and possible future explorations, all mirror the world of mushrooms. This is illustrated by the diagram below.
mushrooms-mirror-past-professions
My past professions mirror the qualities of mushrooms and their most important conclusion, consciousness.

 

FIRST PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY: DECORATIVE ART & DESIGN
Their design is the first category where mushrooms mirror past professions. The intricacies of the designs of these fungi are unique while displaying a myriad of potential conversions into human structures. Enjoy this YouTube video showing the splendid morphology of mushroom. One wonders how much indigenous architecture is instinctively based on structure in the world of mushrooms.


This is a video clip from Fantastic Fungi directed by Louie Schwartzberg.

 

DESIGN
Their structural wonder is also clearly shown by the anatomy of a mushroom illustration below from the group, NY Mushroom Hunters.
mushrooms-mirror-past-professions
An illustration of the anatomy of a mushroom

 

SECOND PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY: FOOD | BEVERAGES | INDOOR FARMING
FOOD
The category that practically screams how mushrooms mirror past professions is next. This is because of my involvement with these qualities. We love to eat them. An art of cooking and eating them abounds in all its culinary splendor.
mushrooms-mirror-past-professions
A Virtual Cookbook as part of Fantastic Fungi

 

INDOOR FARMING aka GROW AT HOME
There are numerous companies and a myriad of mushrooms to choose from to grow your own mushrooms at home. In fact, this is the safest and simplest way for beginners to grow their own mushrooms.
mushrooms-mirror-past-professions
These mushrooms were grown with a kit from AwakenMyco.com. It includes spore impregnated growing medium tightly packed in plastic. Cut holes in it, water and watch them grow.

 

THIRD PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY: FINANCE & SURVIVAL

In the movie, Fantastic Fungi, it is made clear that we could not exist, even that the earth could not exist without fungi. In fact, the processes of destruction and creation are intrinsic to the world of mushrooms and to our existence.

 

FOURTH PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY: HEALTH & HEALING

Mushrooms that are safe to eat are filled with vitamin D3. It has been said that they are essential for vegetarians and vegans. Two mushrooms a day are said to be healthful. In addition, there is research documenting how certain mushroom can be healing physically and mentally. The above video goes into some detail about these qualities of mushrooms.

 

FIFTH PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY: FUN & EDUCATION
As long as we stay open to the flow of intelligence available in the universe, we will learn, grow and enjoy the fruits of this labor.

 

SIXTH PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY: DIGITAL WORLD
The digital world is a reflection of the network of mycelia that connect under the earth. Mycelia are like the roots that bear fruit. Mushrooms are that fruit that appear above ground. As nature, the universes brain creates connection, man’s brain has created the internet.

 

SEVENTH EXPLORATORY CATEGORY: CONSCIOUSNESS
One can not help wondering about the intelligence that flowed through my past professions as they mirrored the qualities of mushrooms. Was it a coincidence or the level of consciousness that flows through us as we connect with nature’s nature. Continued study and exploration will reveal more about how mushrooms mirror past professions as well as future explorations.
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Starting a New Project

 

FANTASTIC FUNGI: INTRODUCTION

Fantastic Fungi is an amazing Netflix documentary featuring Paul Stamets. In fact, it is the best documentary I’ve ever seen. I’ve watched it many times, already. As a result, it has become the start of my new project, mushrooms.
fantastic fungi
A picture of Paul Stamets holding an example of a fantastic fungus.
Paul Stamets is a former logger turned mycologist. He is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable people there is when it comes to fantastic fungi.

As much as I wanted to create a single facebook page about mushrooms, my new project, I decided to add this topic to several of my existing facebook pages, instead. That is because fantastic fungi do not fit into just one category. They fit into several. In fact, they dovetail with every single one of my past professional categories, continued passions and hobbies.

For example, there are many kinds of fantastic fungi that are used in cooking. Actually, their use here can have delicious consequences. Therefore fascinating fungi will be included in ‘Alison’s Exotic Healthy Food Kitchen‘.

In addition, there are mushrooms that have medicinal purposes. Thus, this topic will be included in ‘Natural Healing Resources by Alison‘.

Without fantastic fungi, the planet could not survive and neither could we. Of course, fantastic fungi will be included in ‘Survival Comes First‘.

Much to my delight, I realized I had an Indoor Gardening Facebook page that I could convert from Microgreens to Mushrooms, Mushroom Mama formerly Seed Mama. It will feature a variety of mushroom data.
fantastic fungi
The banner from the Facebook Mushroom Growers Group.
Even though I do not have a specific Facebook page where a crucial component of mushrooms fit, the worlds of science and consciousness, information will be included in some of the above mentioned Facebook pages.

WHERE TO BEGIN: RESEARCH

READ
In the past when I have begun a new project, much of my material has been inspired. From that initial spark, I will then research and study it in depth. But this project is unique. Because fantastic fungi can be poisonous, I have to start with research and guidance rather than experimentation at home.

Although I am not much of a reader, the purchase of a book or two might be a good idea. I have found two on Amazon that interest me.
fantastic-fungi
Two books available on Amazon about mushrooms.

WATCH

VIDEO AND STREAMING TV


The introduction to Fascinating Fungi, the video.

This is the video that lured me into the world of fantastic fungi. I don’t know where my journey will lead me or how long this project will last. But in this case, it requires a specific path due the the potential danger of engagement and consumption.

 

ONLINE CONNECTIONS
So far I have not found any groups or mentors for in person training. Therefore I have joined several facebook groups to help guide me.
1. Mushroom Growing For Beginners & Experts
2. Mushroom Identification
3. Medicinal Mushrooms

 

fantastic-fungi
A picture of a turkey tail mushroom from the Facebook group, Medicinal Mushrooms.

 

NETWORK IN PERSON
This step involves contacting people I know and talking about mushrooms with everyone I meet.
fantastic fungi
The header from the Facebook group, ‘Grow Mushrooms at Home’.

 

BUY A MUSHROOM GROWING KIT
Purchasing a kit is the safest And simplest way to begin growing mushrooms at home. Here are several to choose from. Just follow the directions to be on your way to growing mushrooms at home.
Fungi Ally
Northspore
Midwest Grow Kits

A video from Fungi Ally about growing mushrooms at home from a mushroom growing kit.

 

THE END OF THE BEGINNING
Here are a few things you will need to start you on your way to growing mushrooms at home:
1. a growing kit with the growing medium with the spores injected into it for the mushroom you desire
2. a large plastic tote to house the kit in
3. a mister/water sprayer
4. videos to follow along
5. reading material to learn more

 

Additional Blog Posts About This Topic
Continuing My New Project
My Past Professions, Present Passions and Possible Future Explorations Mirror the World of Mushrooms
Growing Mushrooms at Home
Reading Material About Mushrooms
Mushroom Growing Kits
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Dance to the Polka Dots Pattern

 

polka-dots-pattern
A border of polka dots patterns colors from a Yahoo search for polka dots

INTRODUCTION

As much as I love plaid and check patterns, polka dots patterns will always bring great joy to my heart. For example, I will smile or even laugh whenever I see them or think about them. Therefore when I see clothes or home decor in polka dots, I find it irresistible to buy them.
polka-dots-pattern
Marilyn Monroe in a polka dots pattern two piece bathing suit

 

APPEAL

I was very curious to learn about the history of my beloved pattern since the only thing I knew about polka was a dance named the polka.

As a matter of fact, I wondered if there was any correlation between the two, the dance and the pattern.

Therefore, an online search should answer my question. But even before an answer to its history, I got side tracked.

It is undeniable that it has been very popular. Although one critic insisted that the pattern was childish, polka dots clearly have a much wider appeal than just to children.

The pose of Marilyn Monroe above in a two piece polka dots pattern bathing suit attests to the most outstanding quality of this pattern. That is its appeal to adults not just children. Similar to it is the appeal of the photo below of Victoria Silvstedt. Even more so, her polka dots bikini barely covers her.

MORE (OR LESS)

polka dot
Strutting her stuff: Victoria Silvstedt, who has worked with top designers including Chanel, Christian Dior and Valentino, looked incredible in the bandeau bikini which did little to contain her assets.
“Strutting her stuff: Victoria Silvstedt, who has worked with top designers including Chanel, Christian Dior and Valentino, looked incredible in the bandeau bikini which did little to contain her assets.”

Quote from The Daily Mail

 

MUSIC


Let’s Have A Party Polka – Walter Ostanek, Brian Sklar and Western Senators – Polkarama! from Youtube.

 

HISTORY OF THE POLKA DOT PATTERN

polka-dots-history
The woman festooning polka dot hair scarves resembles ‘Rosie the Riveter. Is this a call for all women to wear polka dots?

polka-dots-history
A History Pt. 1
polk-dots-history
History Pt. 2
history
History Pt. 3
history pt. 4
History Pt. 4
history pt. 5
History Pt. 5
history Pt. 6
History Pt. 6

From PBS NewsHour: “At the Hirshhorn Museum, visitors are lining up to experience Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s world of whimsy, color, shapes and a peek into the beyond. Jeffrey Brown tells us why this new exhibit is currently the toughest ticket in Washington, D.C.”

 

CONCLUSION

polka dots pattern
A Simple polka dot pattern of yellow and Red from Wiki
Designs with Polka dots range from the most simple like a pattern of dots to the sublime and complex such as Yayoi Kusama – Obsessed with Polka Dots | Tate

“The nine decades of artist Yayoi Kusama’s life have taken her from rural Japan to the New York art scene to contemporary Tokyo, in a career in which she has continuously innovated and re-invented her style.” YouTube

 

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Art and Life in Africa – An exhibit at the U of IOWA
SEEING SPOTS: From lepers to paranoia: The twisted history of the polka dot from Slate.
Busty Victoria Silvstedt shows off her ample cleavage and pert derrière in polka-dot bikini as she makes a splash in St Barts

Where did the polka dots get their name and why: a brief history from legit.ng
History of polka Dots from Suzy Quilts

The Polka Dot History from South Sound Magazine

The history of the Polka dot from 425 Magazine

Polka Dot History from Cosmopolitan

Yayoi Kusama – Obsessed with Polka Dots | Tate

Priestess of Polka Dots – Yayoi Kusama

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Buffalo Check Is a Mate for Plaid

 

Buffalo Check which is also known as Lumberjack Plaid is a mate to tartan plaid. Similar to the Royal Stewart tartan plaid, the former is equally as popular. Just about anything that looks good in Royal Stewart looks great in this pattern, too.
black-red-plaid
Whichever you call it, it is one of my favorites and a very popular pattern. Getty image.

HISTORY

Historically, this pattern could include clothing, then bedding, now handbags and other items. Here’s a great story from Tartan Authority describing its history.

Buffalo Check - history 1
It’s Origin Part 1
history 2
History Part 2
history 3
History Part 3
buffalo-plaid
Bee & Willow sheets available at Bed Bath & Beyond

MORE OF THIS PATTERN

Continuing on from its Indian blanket trading history, it became a pattern for a man’s shirt. This design has been popularized on many items. Here is a sampling of its use in bedding above and then in a woman’s handbag below.

Coach gingham
Coach Chaise ‘gingham’ in Black/Red buffalo check

 

 

 

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Bee & Willow™ Home Buffalo Plaid Flannel Full Sheet Set in Red/Black

Online Fabric Store-Black/Red Buffalo Check Fabric

Here are the results of a search for buffalo plaid

The Origin of Buffalo Check of Lumberjack Plaid

Buffalo Plaid – It’s Origins

 

 

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A Passion for Plaid

 

model in tartan outfit
Royal Stewart Plaid Kilt from the Scottish Kilt Shop
12538 Basque Pl Woodbridge VA 22192 USA

INTRODUCTION

My plaid passion began sometime in my youth although I can’t say exactly when. But plaid has been a favorite pattern of mine as far back as I can remember.

My earliest memory may have just been the pattern itself. But there is no question that I soon developed a taste for anything with it.

I had clothes, a jacket and tartan plaid sheets and towels. My mother even had a plaid bathrobe.

But it was not until I was an adult that I learned about the Scottish plaids that represented the clans. They proudly wore the tartan and it was not just for decoration.

I later learned that there are many different tartan plaids as well as plaids that are unrelated to Scottish clans.

 

plaid passion
The Vermont Country Store is where you can get all kinds of plaid sheets and other bedding to your heart’s content

There are two types of plaid that I love. They are tartans plaid and lumberjack plaid aka buffalo check. The former come from the clans that wove this fabric and made their garments from these ancestral patterns.

plaid-passion
This toddler’s dress is in the Royal Stewart Dress plaid. It is by George and available on Poshmark.

Their history is described here in this post. In addition, images above focuses on bedding and clothes in the Royal Stewart tartan plaid while images for lumberjack plaid aka buffalo check are on the next blog post.

 

CONTINUE

My plaid passion has never worn out. In fact to this day, I have found a new object for my love of plaid, handbags. I don’t think I ever owned a plaid one. But that is about to change. Searching online, I have discovered an abundance of plaid handbags. This actually includes those made out of wool and cotton. Then there are my outstanding favorites, patent leather plaid.

patent leather plaid
This is an outstanding example of a patent leather plaid handbag found on poshmark.
Although the above handbag is not in a traditional plaid, it is still beautiful. Here is a tote that is in a traditional Stewart plaid.

 

stewart plaid
This tote was found on Etsy and is decorated in Stewart plaid.

CONCLUSION

In the next blog post, Buffalo Check Is a Mate for Plaid, I will present another of my favorite patterns.

 

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Yarn-Dyed Plaid Portuguese Flannel Cotton Sheet set

Toddlers holiday dress by George 24m

Burnside Yarn-Dyed Long Sleeve Flannel Shirt, M, Red/Black Buffalo, M

Royal Patron for The Scottish Tartans Authority

Scottish Clans and Tartans

Scottish Kilt shop 12538 Basque Pl, Woodbridge VA 22192 USA 1(800)999-0100

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Affordable Handbags Inspired by Extraordinary Luxury Purses

 

INTRODUCTION

It is a well known fact in the fashion industry that haute couture can only be afforded by the very wealthy. Thanks to the world of ‘knock-off’ fashion, the extraordinary becomes affordable. Therefore, this blog post provides some really surprising financial examples of this in the handbag industry.

extraordinary becomes affordable
Anne Hathaway’s famous blue sweater that Meryl Streep lectures her about in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’
As Meryl Streep deliberately explains to Ann Hathaway in, ‘The Devil Wears Prada‘, the extraordinary births the ordinary. Meryl Streep describes the origins of a shabby blue sweater that Anne Hathaway is wearing. Its history is from glamorous haute cuttiere. Anne Hathaway is totally oblivious to this. At this stage in the movie, Anne has no idea that the the ordinary is inspired by the extraordinary.

 

WILD ABOUT HANDBAGS

Although I am not devotee of high fashion clothing, I am wild about handbags. Therefore I have been studying the world of glamour in this industry. One of my favorite companies is Rebag. I have been introduced to luxury handbags through their social media and website. This adds to the knowledge I already have to what I consider affordable quality handbags including Coach, Dooney and Bourke, and Kate Spade.

extraordinary becomes affordable
Luxury Gingham bag on left and two less expensive bags to its right

 

HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS

Since I have only been able to encounter handbags in the hundreds in person, I can only surmise the difference in the cost of those in the thousands.

My favorite Coach vintage bag is called the Willis bag. Because it is a classic, variations of it have been made over many decades. A recent version, in green, and two original designs are pictured below.

They are all high quality Coach products but their age can impact the price by several hundred dollars. Due to its rarity, the vintage Willis is about twice the cost of the new one.

extraordinary becomes affordable
Three Coach Willis bags are pictured here. The green one is the latest version. Photo from Coach. The two on the right are classic version. Photos from Etsy.

 

THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS

I had no idea that there were handbags that were more expensive than new automobile or even a house. Even those designer bags have imitators or want-to-be handbags. The designer bags include the Hermes Birkin bags which are six and seven figures. Their inspired versions cost a few hundred retail like the totes from Coach and Kate Spade.

extraordinary inspires affordable
Three pink totes ranging from nearly a $1 million Hermes Birkin Bag, a five figure Prada bag to a Coach tote on sale for about $100.

 

WHIMSICAL

Both very expensive and less expensive handbag companies make whimsical purses. Great whimsy inspires affordability. The most famous of this is Judith Leiber handbags. They are very whimsical as well as expensive. In similar fashion, Kate Spade came out with its frog bag. The former retails for a few hundred dollars. The latter goes for between about $5,000.

whimsey for all
A Kate Spade Wicker Frog Bag next to A Judith Leiber Frozen Marguerita Clutch. The Judith Leiber is over 10 times as expensive as the Kate Spade bag.

 

ALMOST TWINS

These two totes are so similar. In fact, I took a double take when I discovered the Burberry Remington tote. It’s hard to believe that it can cost up to five times as much as the Kate Spade on the right when this designer ‘knock’ goes on sale.

almost twins
Two bags that look so similar. The Burberry on the left can be five times as expensive as the Kate Spade on the right when it goes on sale.

 

GUESS WHICH BRAND THIS ONE IS

Sometimes the affordable bags are so well made that one can’t tell the difference between luxury, ‘working girl designer’ (like Coach and Kate Spade) or a total ‘knock off’. This example is from the best knock off company I have found. If you’re curious, the answer is in the Sources and Resources section.

guess which brand
Guess which brand this is. The answer is in Sources & Resources.

 

CONCLUSION

As a handbag collector and flea market stalker, I am always on the prowl for that special but accessible bag that the seller is practically giving away. Wouldn’t it be great if someone was selling an extraordinary purse for next to nothing. That is my dream. So I continue to search and collect in the hope my dream comes true.

 

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Anne Hathaway’s Cerulean Blue sweater in The Devil Wears Prada

Coach Gingham Purse

Mansur Gavriel Gingham purse on Rebag

Judith Leiber on Rebag

The 8 Most Expensive Birkin Bags Ever Sold

Coach Pink Mollie Tote

Dasein – Affordable Fashion Design Handbags

Kate Spade River Large Bucket Bag

Coach Leatherware

Coach Black Willis

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