A Fun Girls Collection From GAP

There are a few things I’d like to go back to childhood for. A designated nap time is one of them, eating anything I want and also guilt-free lazy Saturdays.

Probably the number on thing I’d like to recapture from childhood is being able to pull off some really snazzy outfits with no abandon (I unashamedly rocked a Nancy Kerrigan-esque leotard on ice skates as a kid. Jealous much?). I want back not just the ability to pull off fun clothes, but also the attitude, the childlike innocence that says, “Yeah, this is what I’m wearing booger breath, deal with it.”

GAP has teamed up with Ellen Degeneres to create a collection for girls that turns up the volume on that child-like boldness. It’s filled with cute pieces that cultivate that care-free attitude while leaving the door wide open for creativity and customization (see the great patch collection that can be used to stick on any of the pieces).

gap, girls clothes, ellen degeneres, back to school clothes, girl outfits, girl fashion, west town mall

And true to the GAP brand, everything can be mixed and matched to create layers upon layers of outfit possibilities. So stop by GAP Kids in West Town Mall to snatch up some of the fun!

For more great GAP outfits for kids, click here!

How to be Punctual & Beautiful

Reading through this blog that I wrote last year at this time, I found that everything still holds up. Each one of the points I make are especially important now that I have a baby.

I’m thankful for outings with him where I have to dress up a little (but not necessarily be punctual) because it allows me to get a few “run throughs” under my belt. Just this past weekend I got ready for an event where I didn’t try on what I was wearing before-hand and it cost me some time.

So I know I will be sure to amp up these three steps (and even do them for Jackson) so that I can continue to be on time, look cute, and arrive places stress-free! Enjoy!

Toes are tapping and people are shaking their heads, giving each other the look like, “She’s late again.” That’s the scene in my head anytime I’m running late.

I desperately try to avoid it, although sometimes there are unforeseen husband and dog factors that pop up slowing things down (like the dog puke I stepped in this past Sunday morning).

Combine that with the fact that I’m very anal detail oriented when it comes to my look, and if I’m not happy with something it’s going to put me in a foul mood a kink in how I present myself. So after many years of showing up extremely late yet feeling beautiful, or on time and frustrated, I developed a system to change that…

how to show up on time looking good

1. Plan as much as possible.

If I haven’t preselected what I’m wearing out the door (down to my accessories), it slows down the whole process. So I have learned to devote some thought to what I’m wearing everyday (I take it a step further and try it on the night before just to make sure everything will work in real life the way it does in my head). Because the days I wake up for work deciding to “wing it” are, without fail, the most frustrating. You may not function the same way I do, but if you find that outfit selection is what slows you down, do your best to plan ahead.

2. Be very aware of the time.

People who are often late, usually don’t have a realistic concept of how long things take. Change that by timing yourself. I know that it generally takes me 10 minutes to put on my make up, and that if I hurry I can wash my in an hour from start to finish. Once I realized how long it took to do those things, I was able to better plan when to start getting ready (to which I often add an extra 15 minutes for eyeliner/hair/clothing emergencies).

3. Keep a clock nearby while you’re getting ready.

It’s truly amazing how fast five minutes can go when you’re tweaking things about your hair (why can’t they go that fast when waiting on the oven timer?) Because of this I always keep my phone within reach so that I don’t let the minutes slip away (it’s often coated in hair spray because of it).

The goal is to be punctual AND beautiful!

Do you have any tricks for getting out the door faster?

3 Steps to a Clean Makeup Drawer

Everyday after having a baby is an adventure. Some days you feel as if you can conquer the world and after doing so, typically the next day you feel as if the world has conquered you. While I’m still finding my stride, enjoy this post from last year about how to clean out your makeup drawer.

Because if your makeup drawer is anything like mine, it finds a way to get disorganized from time to time. And that’s purely the fault of the makeup drawer. You have nothing to do with that ;)

A strong advantage to writing a blog about cleaning out your makeup drawer, is that you have to actually clean out the makeup drawer. There’s no excuse.

Good news is it took less than 20 minutes. So whether you have a makeup drawer, bag, box, or crate, it can be easily cleaned in three steps.

makeup drawerStart by pulling out everything. This will help you see what all you’ve got hiding in the corners. In doing this I found bronzers I haven’t touched in over a year, a primer I was hanging onto even though it made me break out, and an unmarked jar of something…I still don’t know what it is.

makeup drawerNow that you’ve got everything out, go ahead and arrange it all into categories (i.e.: eyes, lips, face). This will help you see what you need, what you have duplicates of, and what’s really been so used up it needs to go.

makeup drawerYou may not have a makeup drawer, you may have a makeup bag. Whatever you store it all in clean out that container. If you’re like me and you use a silverware divider wash it with soap and water. I found this to be much more effective over a spray cleaner because the water loosens the dirt more easily. If it’s a bag, run it through the washer. Either way, don’t skip this step because it’s going to make everything look/feel/be so fresh afterwards.

makeup drawerIt’s time to put your makeup back in your clean container! Now that you’ve cleared out the clutter, streamlined your categories and cleaned out your container, you can put it all back together to make one good looking makeup drawer (I even like to wipe everything down before I put it back).

It’s a quick easy clean that’s going to have you feeling very good about yourself tomorrow morning!

Back to School Outfit From 1998

Before you see this picture, just know that my outfit for the first day of high school was actually awesome. I wore a floral skirt with a sheer black overlay (which later became known as the “cursed skirt” because I always tripped and fell or spilled something all over myself whenever I wore it).

Pictured below is what I wore when I entered 10th grade.

I remember specifically choosing this dress because I felt as if it really complimented my figure. And obviously comfort played a strong factor, why else would I choose to pair it with 100 pound white old-lady sneakers?

So maybe I didn’t get proportions right, or maybe later on in high school I got the Jennifer Aniston hair-cut that ended up looking like untamed helmet hair. Regardless, I had the right thought process down.

Here are the three things to keep in mind when dressing for a big day…

first day of school ootd

1. Pick something that makes you feel like the best version of you.

I wore this lavender dress because I knew I had some pretty awesome curves to show off, and that made me feel good about myself whenever I wore it. That allowed me to walk through the halls confidently that day.

2. Make comfort a priority.

Whether it’s the first day of school, or the first day of a new job, there’s a plenty of uncertainty to go around. The last thing you want to do is be uncomfortable. Be sure to wear something you won’t have to tug on or readjust, and always go with a pair of shoes you can walk confidently in – as long as those shoes don’t look like the chunkers I’m wearing ;)

3. Don’t do anything to your hair that’s going to have you second guessing yourself all day

I.E.: do I need more hairspray? Are my curls still there? Go with your easiest style, saving the more complicated ones for after you’ve settled in.

You have a lot to offer this world, set yourself up to present you most confidently!

 

Flawless Radiance Brush

Honestly, I really enjoyed being pregnant in the summertime. I don’t sweat very easily and am not often hot, so the 90 degree temps never really bothered me. Not to mention the fact that my husband is quite the opposite so I was finally comfortable in our 60 degree home.

What I enjoyed the most was not having to worry about my tan. I felt as if I could get away with being super white since I was pregnant (you can’t judge me I’m pregnant).

The one thing I didn’t give up (and don’t regardless of the season) was putting bronzer on my face. After applying foundation, I always contour my face with some bronzer to add color and dimension back in (I make an “E” starting at my forehead, hitting my cheek bones and finishing along my jaw line). This brush is one I reviewed last year, but it’s still doing an amazing job at applying just the right amount of color…

bronzer brush

Boy, does Bare Minerals know how to name their brushes or what? Who can say no to “flawless radiance“? On top of that, I’m going to go ahead and skip to the even better part, it’s only $22.

Now that I’ve got your wallet and your face considering it, let me tell you why it’s so great…

I’ve always been a big advocate for buying good brushes. Because I truly believe a good makeup brush takes your look from “homemade” to “professional” faster than anything else. This is true with any brush you would use on your face, but most recently I learned just how true it is when it comes to a bronzer brush.

I’ve been practicing what I preach by having great eye shadow brushes for years now. But I was getting a failing grade in the bronzer and blush brush category. “Oh any old thing will do,” is what I thought to myself as I picked up my old foundation brush to wipe the bronzer all over my face. Then I would get frustrated with the bronzer for not looking right…and the cycle would continue.

Then I went to Bare Minerals one day to talk about their new foundation. The girl applied it and some bronzer on my face (the very same bronzer I’d been failing with) and it looked fantastic! The difference? The brush.

You can believe I bought up that brush then and there! Gal pals, it makes such a huge difference. I mean HUGE difference in how the bronzer looks on my face. I’m loving how it blends and even how the bristles feel on my skin – it’s become my favorite part of the makeup process for sure.

Don’t waste any more time being frustrated with bad bronzer – get a new brush!!

Will you consider using bronzer all year?

Basic Shirts for Less Than a Footlong

For the past couple of weeks I’ve taken a break from the blog to recover from birthing a life into the world (I think that warrants a break, don’t you?) and to get in the swing of motherhood. It’s all been amazing and I’ll share the story in a later blog.

I will say that my love capacity has increased beyond what I thought possible, and I never thought I could stare at any one human face for so long without getting tired of it. I just moved my laptop over so that his little handsome baby face is in my line of vision so I could look from him to the screen without much effort. Let’s just say it’s going to take a while to get this blog typed out ;)

Now that I’m starting to get around and out more often, I’ve been focusing on items that I can wear comfortably and will make a quick, cute outfit. I’m certain these will be my goals for a large part of my motherhood and not just during the recovery period, so it’s a good thing I start thinking in this mode now.

I’m always up for a good clothing challenge, so this only excites me!

What I’ve found really helps are cheap t-shirts. I bought three at $5 each recently and they’ve been great for throwing together outfits that I can be comfortable in and yet feel put together.

post pardum style, how to look cute on a budget, cheap tshirts, forever21, post maternity style, mom style, five dollar tshirts, tshirts, each cheap style

These pictured are from Forever21 and ring in a little over $5 at $5.90, but it’s still cheaper than a footlong at Subway now as I think they’ve reached a full $6. So cheaper than lunch!

In fact, Forever21 has a great collection of basics for cheapity-cheap. Get in there and see what you can find. Even if you wear it twice, it’s a great cost-per-wear deal.

You can wear these with your complete jean collection and pair them with fancy sandals or cute sneakers. Add a long gold necklace to any of them or go with a multi-colored statement necklace to help make them look different. They’re perfect for running around in.

And if they stretch out too much, get sauce on them from your Subway footlong or become an emergency burp cloth, you’re only out $5! Or, $5.90. Close enough ;)

 

Styling Track Pants

I’m taking a little time off from the blog to enjoy being a mom. But that doesn’t mean the blog will go dark!

Enjoy this post (and these pants) from last summer. I’m still getting use out of them this summer, even while I was pregnant!

DSC_0596

DSC_0598

track pants

The technical name for them is “track pants,” but I like to call them, “the most comfortable thing I’ll slip my legs into all summer.”

With a fun pattern and a silky texture, these pants are exactly what you’ve been looking to add to your summer-wear.

Most of the time they have an elastic waist, making them the perfect “eatin’ pants” for meals where you plan to throw down a lot (I don’t know about you, but I really needed a pair of eating pants that look as sophisticated as these do).

The only downfall to these pants is that they can be tricky to style. With the wrong kind of styling it can look like you forgot to put your real pants on when you woke up this morning.

Heels help these pants look less slouchy and more out-in-public appropriate. And while most of the time in styling, it’s best to pair opposites together (i.e.: slouchy pants, structured top) these pants can handle a little less balance. So a slouchy top like this blue blouse from Forever21 (back in the day) works with the pants because it’s made out of dressier fabric.

If I were to wear these with a white t-shirt, I would probably tuck the front of it into the waist so that my outfit wouldn’t translate, “slouch bucket.”

A long dangly necklace is fun because it adds to the careless feel. I nabbed these pants at JCP, by the way, so if you want to go get your own try them with these styling tips and you’ll be looking so fly (and feeling so comfortable).

Lovely Loungewear

Welcome to TheSpiff.com! I’ve had a baby recently and am taking a little break from the blog.

I do hope you enjoy this post from August 2014 and stay tuned for baby updates! (Get fresh ones by following me on all my social media links there on the right).

loungewear

So your eyes hit the title of this post, and already you’re thinking, “leave my lounge-wear alone! It’s not supposed to be lovely!”

Yes, I realize we’re not living on a movie set where we hand around our house in gorgeous clothing (anyone else notice that people on TV are always hanging out in their house with their shoes on?) But that doesn’t mean we can’t have an “alternate” collection of loungewear that we wear to make other people think that’s how we hang in our house.

I’m going to shatter your illusion of me, and tell you right now that the above picture is not how I look when I hang around my house. I know, you just blast spit your coffee all over the screen, but it’s true. As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m doing so sans makeup, with every single strand of hair pinned up and away from my face.

It’s important to have moments of complete uninhibited (and probably real unattractive) comfort. In doing so, you give yourself a break from making an effort. You need that every once in a while.

But the only people who should ever see you in that state of being are the people with whom you share a home. Because the moment you step out the door looking like that, you will see someone you know. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of which corner will they turn. That’s why for those instances, it’s best to have lovely loungewear.

Take this stud adorned sweater from Forever21, for example. It’s not just a comfortable gray sweatshirt, it’s got an added detail that makes you look a little more polished. I paid $5 for this puppy because I found it on clearance, which is where you can often find great loungewear pieces like this. So keep your eyes out. (Here’s a great example from Old Navy).

Happy lovely lounging, Ladies!

Humidity Can Suck It, Have a Good Hair Day

This post may be from summer 2014, but humidity is with us every summer ;)

So please enjoy this post while I enjoy getting to be a new mom! And follow my on social media (links on the right) for updates on our cutie little boy!

fighting humidity

As I type this, I’m sitting outside enjoying a 75 degree day, completely humidity free.

That’s something I never could have done in the middle of a Floridian July (I am wearing my Jacksonville t-shirt, just so you know I haven’t completely lost allegiance ;) But I did want to point out that my humidity fighting resume includes battling it in Florida where the air sweats for you.

I’m certain our fight with humidity here in Tennessee isn’t over yet (in fact, two days later it’s in full swing again), so I wanted to pass on a few tips on how to help you fight the humidity battle…and win.

The very first step to fighting frizz and humidity, is to suck all of the moisture from your strands.

This means you’ve got to spend extra time under the blow dryer, but it’s worth it. Because when you don’t dry your hair completely, the moisture that’s left in it reacts to the moisture that’s in the air, and that’s what helps to bring about the frizzies.

Next, find a hair spray that has the words, “all day humidity resistance,” on it. This one from TRESemme has worked really well for me all summer. Spray over hair that you’ve styled or even just spritz it on a day when you’re wearing your hair straight for an extra layer of defense.

You could always lean into the humidity and allow it to work for you by going with some sea salt spray. I talk about this stuff a lot this time of year because it works so well. Unlike mousse it’s not going to harden your hair and make it crunchy. No, instead it’s going to give it a soft, matte texture. Even if you don’t have any wave to your hair, spray this stuff in and let it air dry for that tousled/bedhead/I’m a model off duty look.

And of course, you can always revert to throwing it up in a pretty bun, then taming your flyway’s with a cutie little hair tie like this one. It’s fabric that surrounds wire, so it stays put and doesn’t hurt your head, stopping humidity right in its tracks because it’s too busy saying, “Dang girl! You’re looking good!”

Salute to Shorts

This post is from last August, but I can guarantee you I’ll be rehashing this outfit again this year.

So please enjoy while I continue on my short maternity leave from the blog :)

gap shorts

Any 80’s kids remember that show, “Salute Your Shorts”? Today I’m going to help you get your shorts so dressy they just might get saluted. Probably not. But maybe.

This outfit was one of those downtown ensembles that I love to put together. I don’t know about your downtown, but ours has that artsy vibe. So I always like to break out of my box a bit whenever I’m going down there for dinner.

The box out of which I broke with this outfit was my “I don’t like to wear shorts” box. I’m not a fan of how they feel, and most of the time they look all bunched and wrinkly so they don’t often make it into my rotation. However, with it being a bit cooler out at night (and with a solid tan going on my legs) I thought it would be good to at least take these boys out once this summer (the shorts that is, not my legs).

Even though I’m not a big fan of shorts, this army green pair I got from Gap are pretty awesome. I love the length – not too mom, not too hooch – and the fact that they cuff and in doing so make my legs look smaller makes them ok in my book.

I balanced out the shorts with a patterned sweater and anchored the whole thing with gladiator wedges. Shorts get 1,000 times more flattering when you wear them in heels, FYI.

It’s a pretty simple outfit, in fact I’m sure you have some of these same pieces in your closet. So give it a try this weekend and see what you think!