Give the Gift of Indulgence

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One of my favorite memories with my mom happened when I was still small enough to be hoisted in the air.

She had been working hard for a couple of hours while I played quietly in the living room (being the angel child that I was *wink). After she finished working, she came out, scooped me up and asked me what I wanted to do. Did I want a snack? Did I want to go somewhere and play? It was entirely up to me.

I don’t remember what I chose, but I still remember the surge of excitement in my little brain that I could have a treat of my choosing. She was going to indulge me! That moment has stuck with me throughout adulthood (even kept me out of the bar scene as a teenager. Just kidding….not really).

The truth is, everyone wants one of those moments. Whether they’re asked while being hoisted in the air or with feet firmly planted on the ground, the feeling that someone wants to indulge you is one of the strongest pleasures in life.

Mother’s day is coming up. Why not indulge your mom for an evening of fun and fashion inspiration?

Thursday night (May 7th) it’s going to be easy to indulge her at West Town Mall as there will be fashion shows, demonstrations, prizes, drinks and light appetizers.

Stop by for any of those great treats from 6-8 then take her shopping! If you’ll spend a total of $50 that night you’ll get a free gift at guest services.

You’ll get to see me, as I’ll be the emcee for the evening and you’ll just generally bring mom pleasure as you’ll be spending quality time together.

Sounds like you may be forming a lasting memory in her brain that she’ll cherish for years to come. And who better to give that gift to than mom!

Watch the video below to find out more about the theme of each fashion show and how it can all benefit mom!

See you Thursday night!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide – Because She Birthed You

Being on the cusp of full on motherhood, I’m excited to bring you this gift guide so we can all celebrate our mom’s together! And on a completely unrelated subject (and if my husband’s reading this) growing the child in your belly counts as being a mom so gifts are totally acceptable at this point in time ;)

If you’re stuck on what to get your mom and she hasn’t given you any hints, I like to take the, “what would make her feel pampered?” approach. Which is the question I used as inspiration to bring you these items.

Bring on a happy Mother’s Day with any of these great gifts all found at West Town Mall…

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1. Godiva Chocolate: I don’t think this needs much explanation. It’s delicious.

2. Ugg Slippers from Dillard’s: If wearing these comfort clouds around the house isn’t enough of a luxury, thinking about going home and relaxing in them will help get her through a busy day.

3. Vera Bradley Travel Cosmetic Bag: Travel bags fall under the category of things you really need but don’t want to purchase for yourself. Give her this gorgeous one that’s lined inside so even if her makeup breaks it won’t be ruined.

4. Urban Decay Naked Eye Shadow: Pamper her with these gorgeous shades from Sephora (and throw one in the bag for yourself…I won’t tell).

5. Boscia Cleansing Kit: Giver her the gift of flawless skin with this Japanese cleansing system. It’s the least you can do to make up for that rebellious phase.

6. Chico’s Jewelry: I just couldn’t take my eyes off these tortoise shell pieces from Chico’s – they’re gorgeous! They’ll go with so many things, but especially pair well with your loving card :)

Also, be sure to bring her to West Town Mall Thursday night May 7th for a night of indulgence! I’ll be there giving away prizes and there will be a fashion show, but I figured I could stop with “I’ll be there.” ;)

A Light Spring Makeup Routine

A giant eye shadow pallet is enough to make me want to create a new eye shadow look every. single. day.

Which is kind of what I’ve been doing for the past year, ever since I got Sephora’s giant eye shadow collection for Christmas.

One day it dawned on me how much time creating a new look adds to my morning routine, plus my day time look  was heavier than it needed to be. Not to mention the fact that I had almost used up all the good shades when I could have been saving them for special use.

Enter: my resolve to pair down my every day eye makeup routine. Spring especially is a great time to do this because everything gets lighter and we’re outside more, so we want to make sure our face is conveying our natural beauty and not a strong sparkly purple shadow.

Here are the three products I used to lighten up my look and my routine…

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1. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden: I’ve been using the primer on my lids for years, but when I went in to get some more, the girl suggested using it under my eyes as well. Whoa girl – it does an amazing job of not only brightening that area but keeping my concealer in tact (sometimes I’ll even skip concealer…shhh). This shade is perfect for pulling double duty if need be because it’s light and matte.

2. Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in “Bad to the Bronze”: I’ve written and talked about this product so much, it would take me half an hour to track down all of the other blogs I’ve mentioned it in. This shade is light, it’s shimmery but not over powering. It gives you a nice natural sheen that lasts for hours. And the fact that I can apply it simply with my finger means it goes on in seconds.

3. Hikari Blush in Tango: For over five years now I’ve been slapping on the same old boring blush thinking I was doing just fine. Then when I got this full size product in my Ipsy bag, it was as if someone turned off the black and white in my world. It’s bright, vibrant color translates perfectly on my cheeks making me look as if I just DANCED the tango and am now lit from within. A great blush, truly goes a long way to waking up your look.

Time to take a look at your everyday beauty routine – what can you improve?!

Pack Like a Pro

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t-shirt // patterned top // black dress //  white blazer // jean jacket // floral pumps // black flats // nike’s // dark skinnies // boyfriend jeans // patterned pants // pink piko top // blue top

Four and a half years ago I started a job that required some travel. In those 4 1/2 years I’ve been schooled on how to pack well.

Last week when packing for a business trip to Indianapolis, I thought it might be a challenge since I’m still learning how to dress with a baby bump. But by making and following these tried and true rules, everything I packed was precisely what I needed…

1. Check the freakin’ weather.

I am amazed by the number of people I go on trips with who don’t check the weather of the city they’re traveling to. You can’t assume they’re having the same weather you are, and it really makes a difference in your comfort level while there. I checked and saw that Indianapolis was going to be waaaay cooler than it was here, so I was sure to pack jackets and a sweater for night time activities. And boy did it pay off – between the cooler temps and the craaaazy wind it was freezing. Check the freakin’ weather.

2. Go through your itinerary to know what you’ll need.

On most trips (even vacation-centered one’s) you have an idea of what you’ll be doing. Business trips especially are pretty planned out. So go through each event and decide what it is you’ll need to wear. If you’re not sure what the level of dress will be, shoot for somewhere in the middle of dressy and casual. This means packing items like blazers and dark jeans. That combination goes well in almost any situation. Something that also goes well is a little black dress. Pack your most versatile LBD (like the one pictured) so that you can wear it with pumps at night, then change to flats and a jean jacket for some sight seeing.

3. Pack items that will pull double duty.

For my trip to Indianapolis I had to dress for a nice reception and meetings during the day. For this I packed one pair of heels (I wear a size 10 so my shoes take up a good bit of room). And sure, the safest bet is to go with your black pumps, but I decided to go with a little more flair and packed my patterned pumps. They really jazzed up my striped dress in the evening and added great personality to my black and white pants (like the ones pictured) for meetings during the day (plus they’re some of my most comfortable heels). All of the other shoes I packed were both nice looking and comfortable so I could easily switch them around to different outfits (and comfortably meander downtown).

4. Remember to pack for down time.

One thing I’ve been working on for the past couple of trips is packing for down time. Simple, casual outfits you can wear after hours that are comfortable and appropriate for public viewing really come in handy and are sometimes easily forgotten. A t-shirt like the one pictured (which ironically says, “Nothing to Wear”) is a great way to go. So is the snakeskin patterned shirt that can also pull double duty under the white blazer.

5. Stick with simple colors or patterns for easy mixing.

Notice the only animal print I have up there is in the black and white blouse from Express. Every other pattern is something different. This makes it so that everything can be easily mixed and matched. At a quick glance, I counted 11 outfits that could be made out of the items above. Keep this in mind when packing, and be sure to lay everything out on your bed before packing it. This will allow you to see the big picture and be certain that you can pull multiple outfits together.

Also, try everything on before you pack it away. I know this adds to your to-do list, but it’s better to know that everything fits and looks well while you can still change it instead of in the hotel room when you’re stuck with what you’ve brought.

I hope this helps you with all your spring/summer trips. Conveniently, everything pictured (except the Nike’s) can be found at West Town Mall!

If you need more packing advice, I’ve given plenty. Click here, here, here, here or here (oh and here).


Shopping My Closet

How to Dress for the Weather

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The funny thing about the weather here in Tennessee? It’s one big surprise party.

This past Saturday they called for 90% chance of rain and guess what…we didn’t get a drop. Not during the day at least. And I was all prepared for a good rainy Saturday (pssst: the fact that it didn’t rain didn’t stop me from binge watching Gilmore Girls #lazyday).

But with the onslaught of outdoor events on the schedule this time of year combined with the mixed bag of weather possibilities, it helps to know just how to dress so that you’re cute AND weather appropriate.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting ready to attend outdoor events this spring/summer…

Start your outfit planning by checking the weather.

This time of year especially it can be cool, hot, rainy, windy – you just never really know. Begin putting your outfit together by realizing what weather you need to dress for and go from there. I always always want to be both comfortable and weather appropriate (wearing sandals in the middle of a cold spell draws the wrong kind of attention to my outfit…especially if my toes start to turn blue ;)

If you see the weather doesn’t coincide with what you had planned to wear, immediately start coming up with alternates. By working on your outfit in advance, you save yourself from running around like a headless chicken the day of. The alternative can be as simple as adding a cute little jacket to your maxi dress, too!

Now I know there are millions of life factors that get in the way of doing these things sometimes, so even if you do end up wearing a sun dress in 55 degree weather, or sinking in the mud in your favorite heels – be sure to press those shoulders back and keep a smile on your face the whole time.

Complaining through a frown doesn’t make anyone look good.

Comfort is the New Chic

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Typically I’m against using lines like, “blank is the new blank” because it usually involves something dethroning black. And we all know, black isn’t going anywhere. Nice try though. #blackjusthappened

But in this case, I really feel as if comfort is the new sheik. Just take a quick perusal of instagram and you’ll see a lot of #00td shots with some kind of cute sneaker. Whether it be Keds, Vans, Converse or really fancy Nike’s, it’s evident we’re getting cuter with our comfortable clothing.

In the back of my mind I’ve been wanting some fancier kicks, but I didn’t want to spend a lot on them. However, a recent visit to the Nike Factory made all my dreams come true. Except for that one dream where I’m carried around the store on a magic carpet…

I scored these puppies for $25. It’s amazing how much they elevate the look of a t-shirt and jeans. They’re the kind of shoes you can wear into a high end store and not leave feeling like you’re Julia Roberts in street corner attire. They’re also great for a little sight seeing, which is what I was doing here in Indianapolis this past week. It’s clear why they call it the “windy city” (just kidding, I know they really call it the “windy apple”). ;)

When shopping for this kind of shoe, what you’re looking for is something that doesn’t look like a work out shoe – so ZERO neon, mesh or pumps on the souls that look like rocket boosters.

I did a little research and tried to score you some similar shoes. Check out gray ones here, black and white ones here, and New Balance’s version here.

The Jacket You Need for Right Now

When I say that a white jacket is going to carry you through this awkward spring/winter transition and how you should really get one, I mean it.

The perfect white leather jacket
How to style a floral shirt

I’ve been shopping around for a white leather jacket to add to some ensembles I had in mind, and I finally found the perfect one.

White, floral and gold

The funny thing is, I tried this same jacket on in a medium and thought it was ok. It wasn’t until I went back and tried the small size on (only because the medium one was gone) that I really fell in love with it.

What you have to watch out for with shorter jackets like these, is you don’t want the sleeves to feel too big. Because the back of the jacket is so short, I like to make sure that the sleeves don’t go all the way down to my wrists so that it has a shrunken look overall.

If not, it just looks to me like you have gigantor arms, and no one wants to look like they have gigantor arms, right?

I’m just so happy to have found this as it was the perfect dose of edge to add to this floral pattern shirt and pink skirt.

I hope you enjoyed this post from last spring! Here is a white leather jacket that’s similar to the one I’m wearing. And even though I wrote this a year ago, I’ve been on a business trip this week where I packed this same jacket. Which means it’s lasted long and still works when I’m pregnant.

It’s definitely worth it!

Beauty Box Showdown

Delivery isn’t just for pizza any more. The other night I made a meal made entirely of fresh ingredients that came shipped in a box to my house. But as I’ve talked about before, it doesn’t stop at food here in the 21st century.

Now we can have beauty products delivered to us. And if you think it’s a waste of $10, I think you’re wrong. I haven’t purchased blush, dry shampoo and a number of other products in…well quite some time because they’re often getting delivered to my house. And I would have spent that $10 on just one of those products.

I’m bringing this subject up again because I recently made the switch from Birchbox to Ipsy. The funny thing is I had one more Birchbox left so my last Birchbox and first Ipsy bag both came at the same time.

This allowed me to do a direct comparison of both subscriptions…

 Birchbox:

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You know how your hair always looks fantastic two days before your hair appointment? (How does it know to do that?) That’s the thing that popped into my head when I opened my last Birchbox.

I decided to stop after almost 2 years of getting boxes from them. They were sending me too many little packets of things – the kind of samples they hand out for free at the beauty counter. And sometimes they’d throw in food that would just create more clutter.

Well, Birchbox, I’ll have to give you this one – you really stepped up your game. I got a full size lipstick, a nice size eye shadow pallet and a travel size shampoo and conditioner. Where were these “deluxe size samples” for the past six months?!

Another thing they’ve started doing which is nice, is they’ve started giving you a little more power of choice as to what kind of box you’ll get. If you’re a constant email checker, then this would work out perfectly for you because you have to jump on it quickly before they sell out of an option.
One more pro about Birchbox (I might have myself talked back into using them), they include a card that lists each sample and how much the full size product is worth. So for this box the full-size contents would be worth over $250.

Again, my biggest complaint is that they sent me too many little packets of samples. I’ve got a drawer needing to be cleaned out because of it, so thanks for all the memories Birchbox but let’s just be friends.

Ipsy:

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The first noticeable difference with this subscription is that everything comes in a bag. I think I’m going to welcome this change. For one, I’ve got plenty of little boxes to last me a lifetime (they really come in handy wrapping presents or organizing drawers), but it will be nice to make the switch to bags. Every month all of your beauty samples come in a bag you can keep.
That to me makes the $10 a little more worth it.

And speaking of things that make it worth it…check out that blush! That’s a full size product right there, friends! The blush is worth $15 if you were to buy it out right, so that makes up for your cost automatically.

From what I’m told, receiving a full-size product isn’t an uncommon occurrence with Ipsey, which is reason number 1-10 I decided to make the switch.

If you’re hesitant to shell out the $10 a month, think of it as a really well informed girlfriend sending you the latest and greatest beauty products that are worth way more than what you’re paying.
Ipsy does have a long waiting list so just know that even if you decide you want to do it you’re not going to be signed up right away. They won’t charge your card until you get off the list. For me it was about 3 months.

Think about it! It’s fun to get a box or a bag of calorie-free goodies delivered to you every month!

Cute Babies and Clean Makeup Drawers

A lesson I’ve learned this week, is babies will come into the world when they’re good and ready.!

This little beauty (my niece from my husband’s sister) surprised us a few days early which threw off our week (in the best way possible). Her name is Delaney! I can already see where she’ll be fun to shop with, and be able handle her little boy cousin who will join her in a few months!

d grace

I gave you a cute baby to look at so that you’ll overlook the fact that this post is going to be short and sweet.

Please enjoy my segment from a couple weeks ago when I talked about cleaning out your make up drawer. It’s such a necessity since we’re putting these things on our FACE. And it’s going to completely revolutionize how you get ready in the morning.

I know that’s a strong statement, but cleaning out your makeup and only having what you’re actually going to use AND seeing it organized will send you out the door feeling like super woman.

 

Discount Shopping is Like Kale for Your Soul (But Tastier)

Shopping is good for you. And I can back that statement up, girlfriend, so just wait for it…

You’re walking around (exercise), you’re doing the math with discounts (left brain), and you’re creating outfits in your head (right brain). It’s a total mind and body work out. Which completely warrants shopping over squats (maybe not, but close enough).

Let me give you one big reason to work that mind and body…Fiore! This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about this store, or the second time…it’s the third because I’m such a big fan.

They’ve got a great selection of really cute and unique home items as well as gorgeous jewelry and clothes. Not to mention a really great selection of piko tops, which automatically gets me in there multiple times a week.

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Look at all the Piko colors they’ve got!! :-D

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Can you guess which shirt I’d be a big fan of? ;)

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And remember how I talked about discount shopping being good for your brain? Well, then this little tid bit will be like burpees for your brain cells…use the code “thespiff” to get 10% off their stuff!

Here’s the website, or visit them across from Charming Charlie in West Town Mall and get to exercising!