Avoid a Black-Eye Friday

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My hope is that you stayed at home for Thanksgiving and enjoyed family time and turkey.

Now that it’s Black Friday is upon us, loosen those eating pants, strap on the coupons and get your shopping done!

In order to help you with this full on frenzy of a day, I’ve put together some links that will help you with everything. And I do mean ev-er-y-thing…

The best outfit for staying comfortable, stylish and stealth while shopping sales (along with a hilarious SNL video).

How to put together the perfect Christmas list for yourself and others.

A whole slew of tips from how to protect yourself during shopping season, to what the big sales are, as well as store maps and who’s open when!!

Remember, West Town Mall is a great place to get everything you need and you don’t have to keep parking the car! (Also, two words: Auntie Anne’s)

Full of Thanks

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If you haven’t caught the drift of what it is I’m thankful for this year, then you’ve been doing too much laundry and not enough reading of The Spiff!

So guess what? I’m thankful for little cool cat Jackson.

The process of watching him grow and change is so fascinating, exciting and so wild…and my goodness he’s only 3 months old! What will I do when he starts walking/talking/DRIVING?! *Smacks forehead.

What he’s reminded me of, though, is how much God loves us.

I think I love this baby a lot, but God loves us even more. I think I went through a list of trials and heartaches to get him into this world, but that’s nothing compared to what God did to save us.

The other thing Jackson reminds me of is how, on occasion, we’ll think our needs aren’t being met. It will be about our feeding time and we’ll cry and cry thinking God has forgotten us and why doesn’t He feed us anymore and oh my goodness things just look so bleak…never mind, there’s the bottle. We just had to wait a minute while He prepared it.

I’m thankful for this little boy in so many ways, but the biggest appreciation I have is for how he’s shed new light on my relationship with God.

Hey, go and have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends. And know that I’m thankful for you too!! :)

Give Yourself a Mini Spa Treatment

I may have to fight for it, loose a little sleep because of it and in desperate times pay for someone else to do it, but by golly I’m going to have nice nails.

I was told that after having a baby I was going to have to quit paying attention to myself. I would have to, “Let myself go.” Now that I’ve experienced life with a baby, I don’t let anything go…I simply adjust my grip.

Doing my nails is a Saturday night ritual. With a baby around, it’s meant I’ve had to adjust when I get it done. Most of the time that means doing them in stages. File and clean up my cuticles before I go to bed; paint the base coat after feeding/changing the baby in the morning; paint the first layer of color before walking out the door; paint the final coat at my desk.

Some weeks it’s a crazy spread-out process like that, other weeks I can get it all done in one sitting. My goal is to never give up!

This week I returned to applying a face-mask while working on my nails. It’s the perfect time to let something soak into your skin while you’re giving yourself a manicure. Afterwards, I felt like a whole new woman (and after a rough week, I looked like one too).

I’m a much happier person when my nails are nice, and I just don’t think you have to forsake yourself entirely just because you’ve had a baby. Women have been having babies and keeping up their appearance for centuries. I’d like to join the list.

Here are the products I use and love for an at-home “me time” –

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One: Nugg Face Mask

I have a whole box full of face mask samples that I’m determined to pick through each week. This one was super hydrating and left my skin feeling baby-butt soft. Which is a review you can trust as I have a direct way to compare the two ;)

Two: Zoya Satin polish in Sage

Ok, so maybe Zoya doesn’t employ the most creative imaginations when it comes to naming their polish. But I do love the soft color and how it drys with a matte-like finish. And it drys fast, which is great when someone needs their paci reinserted, completely hypothetical of course. (Ps: I would name this one “So, what do you Sage?!”

Three: Crystal Nail File

My weekly manicure used to include time spent hunting down a fresh nail file. It took at least 15 minutes to find one that had that good clean spot. Thankfully someone invented the crystal nail file – it never ever wears down. All it requires is a quick rinse and it’s ready to go. God bless that person. You can pick up your own at Mori’s Luggage and Gifts in West Town Mall (they have multiple sizes too!)

Four: Essie Fill the Gap Base Coat

Prepping your nail is the most important step for polish longevity. I don’t have time for a top coat, but I refuse to skip the base coat, and my polish lasts all week chip-free because of it.

Five: Sally Hansen 18K Gold Cuticle Eraser

I live such the life of luxury that I’m slathering gold on my cuticles. And that’s no lie. This cuticle pen has bits of gold in it! Sure you can’t SEE them, but it really gets into your cuticles leaving you with fresh nails – which is a luxury in and of itself!

Press Pause with Me

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Today I wanted to provide a moment. A moment to pause.

Next week (if not already) the holiday rush will begin. I’ve already thought several times about everything I want to get done before Thanksgiving. But right after that thought starts the panic that I’m not enjoying the last week of fall.

So I needed a moment to pause, and I figured you did too.

This is a picture I took in my favorite place to walk. I love going on walks because they force you to just slow down, enjoy the moment and think. If you don’t have time for a walk, enjoy this picture for a second.

Notice all the pretty leaves, especially that gorgeous red tree in the background. Think of the fun things you’ve done in the past month, your favorite moments, things you’re thankful for. Go ahead, I’ll wait.



One thing I’ve tried to do since giving birth (and especially in this, my favorite time of year) is take moments to just think about how much I’m enjoying everything. And it helps! I can look back on all those times I’ve paused and it feels as if time isn’t flying by me as much.

Listen, my goal with this blog isn’t just to help you put outfits together. My hope is that you always walk away with a little more swagger in your step because TheSpiff has made you feel happier, more uplifted. And yes, in my mind you finish the blog then immediately walk away from your computer.

I hope that today I’ve handed you the chance to enjoy the season! The holidays are about to begin and they’re going to be wonderful, you’ll get everything done. Just enjoy yourself.

The Puffy Jacket

My little nephew came into the world over the weekend, so we’ve been a little busy around here (Jackson has been picking out toys to share and bugs for him to touch ;) Meanwhile, please enjoy this post from last fall…

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Puffy has a bad rap. You never really hear it in a positive sense…”You look puffy today” No.

How about, “There’s not enough puff!” Never heard it.

Even “the puffy shirt” was a bad thing.

Let’s give puff its dignity back by applying it to a jacket (but just between you and me, we’re going to try and keep the puff to a minimum). I was searching for a good puffy jacket last month because they’re so warm, and it’s the perfect kind of jacket to wear with everyday clothes. It’s not too dressy, not too casual.

The options right now are pretty vast, so you definitely want to go into the search with some criteria. Mine was as follows…

1. It couldn’t make me look too puffy (case and point).

2. I didn’t want it to cover my bum (I’m all about that bass).

3. I didn’t want to look like I came from the future and/or was getting ready to travel into space.

I did a little internet shopping before hitting the actual store, and found that Dillard’s had the best selection of coats that fit my requirements.
That’s always something I enjoy doing since clicking around to stores uses up zero gas and very little energy. It’s a great way to narrow down the field.

Dillard’s seemed to have a lot of options that fit my requirements so I headed over there.

The jacket I’m wearing is made by Columbia. Look how the “puffies” get slimmer right at my waistline…that’s a great touch and makes the jacket seem less bulky overall. The great thing about Dillard’s is even though they didn’t have my size that day, I was able to order it through them and get free shipping directly to my house. That’s awesome.

This coat is SUPER warm (it’s got down feathers in it) and not too puffy plus it’s water proof. To see more of what Dillard’s has to offer click here. For a different price range of puffy jackets click here.

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Earrings that Suit Your Face Shape

I took one of those personality tests recently. This was the kind that pin points your work, learning and communication style. One aspect of my being that I’m completely aware of and that the test so preciously pointed out, was the fact that I take a long time making decisions.

Just the other day, it took me all afternoon to decide how to structure my night after I left work.

This is why when I walk into a store like Charming Charlie, the options don’t so much excite me as they do overwhelm me. Even in an area like jewelry where I pretty much know what it is I want, seeing all that’s available to me causes the small decisive corner of my brain to drop the mic and walk out.

Thus I look for information to help me make small decisions easier. Information such as what earrings will best suit my face shape – something we can all benefit from and use to make shopping a little less stressful.

If you don’t already know the shape of your face, this article will help you determine it.

If you do, know that you’re not limited to only these shapes but that these could just be your go-to style. All of these, you should know, can be found at West Town Mall!

Earrings for a Square-Shaped Face

The angles of your face would really benefit from round earrings. Hoops and circles will help soften your face.

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The Limited

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Altar’d State

Earrings for an Oval Face

Since your face is so symmetrical, you can stick with studs or teardrop shapes to simply frame your face.

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The Limited

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Earrings for a Round Face

You get to rock a long chandelier style because it helps to make your face look a little leaner.

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Charming Charlie



Earrings for a Heart-Shaped Face

Because the shape of your face starts to curve in towards your chin, take advantage of that spot and fill it with earrings that sit on or very close to your lobe.

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Altar’d State

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Charming Charlie

How to Wear a Voluminous Sweater

Enjoy this post from last winter, when it was just me and Zack around to “cute” up the photos. Little Baby J was just a nugget in my stomach at this point…too much information? Yeah, I sensed that. Don’t let that stop you from reading this great post on how to style a big sweater…

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I’ll tell you what helps motivate you to get out of a comfortable warm bed in the morning – a big cozy sweater that’s actually cute.

But when you’re going with something that’s got a lot of volume, you’ve got to balance it out with something that’s not so voluminous. Like a black skirt and tights!

This combination is especially perfect if you’re rounder in the middle. The volume of the sweater will drape over your mid-section and help draw all the attention to the smaller spaces on your body.

I picked up this sweater at the fantasy factory that is the Dillard’s outlet in Asheville, NC. That place is a shoppers paradise. Well, let me rephrase that – it’s a deal-hunters paradise. If you don’t like picking through rack after rack in a sea of sale clothing then it’s not for you. Party pooper.

And since I can’t provide a link to that, there are two similarly shaped sweaters…here and here.

A black skirt like this is invaluable in the winter. I picked this one up at Forever21 years and years ago. I’ve yet to find a substitute, but I’m going to need to fast as I’ve really worn this one out. One like this is great with black tights which I will never stop wearing no matter how old I get. They make your legs look so skinny!!

Think about the balance of volume with the next outfit you put together and see how great it makes you look!

Shopping My Closet

Planning Your Christmas List

Don’t hate me, start a social media campaign against me, black list me or boycott me because I’m talking about Christmas before the turkey’s even in the oven. In order to plan for anything you’ve got to start early. So that’s what we’re doing.

My husband already has the list of what he wants for Christmas ready to go. Me? Well it typically takes weeks of thought, reading reviews, tracking down the cheapest option, looking at it in the store, consulting four other people and then I put out a list, after which I fret over whether or not I’ve asked for everything I need.

And when it comes to buying gifts for people? It usually ends up being something we cram into one day. And each and every year I think it’s going to be some magical experience where my husband and I hold hands and skip through store isles, when really it’s more like a cranky, mad-house mess where we’re silent 90% of the time because someone pissed the other off.

Let’s avoid all of that, shall we?

Every year I make tweaks to my process to try and make it easier on myself for both making a list and buying for others. So here’s my list of tweaks…

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1. Start early.

Write down the list of people you have to buy for, and just make a point to get something for someone every time you’re at a store starting this week. That will give you a good chance of getting almost everything on sale, because if you spread the buying out you won’t be forced into a corner and have to pay full price because you’re out of time.

Then make another list on your phone of things you realize you need/want but don’t want to buy yourself. That way you’ll avoid that blank emptiness that fills your brain the second you sit down to make a list.

2. Go for variety.

If you’ve got people on your list you don’t know very well, I say buy a little basket and get them a little variety of things they could use in their house, on their face. Places like Bath and Body are always running sales on multiple soaps – which are always good to have on hand for last minute gifts as well. And Sephora starts putting out great Christmas gift collections right now that you could always buy and break up into multiple gifts.

As for yourself, make it so that your list covers a range of things you need. If you only put makeup on there, chances are the guys that are buying for you aren’t going to want to step foot in a makeup store, so maybe add some house items as well.

3. There’s an App for it. Of course.

Gifster is a great app for gift-giving. It allows you to add links, share with others and even “reserve” a gift so that the other people using it know that gift is being purchased. The person who made the list can’t see something’s reserved, though so don’t be like my husband and try to figure it all out before Christmas.

And finally, always keep an eye on TheSpiff.com because I’ll be featuring great gift ideas for both men and women all throughout the coming months.

Do you have any gift giving/list making ideas that you use every year? If you do, share them below because I’m always looking for ways to tweak my process!!

I Got Lucky for 15 Years

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If you’re thinking of throwing something out, you’re probably not going to want to read the rest of this.

Because I’m experiencing chuckers remorse. It’s a name that’s been around for, oh, at least 30 seconds. I made it up while I was typing.

Over the summer as I was cleaning out the room that would be our nursery, I realized something was going to have to be done with my piles and piles of magazines.

I have been getting Lucky Magazine since 2005 or so, and being the lover of great fashion and clever writing that I am, hardly an issue made it to the garbage. This speaks to two things: the greatness of Lucky Magazine, and the fact that given the right circumstances I could be a hoarder.

Lucky was a magazine about shopping, catering to the kind of woman that has a TJMaxx wallet full of coupons, loyalty cards and receipts from the grocery store. Which is what made it so great. It was stuff you could actually buy, modeled by women you could actually pass on the street.

I drew many an outfit inspiration from their pages. Anytime I was stumped, I would flip through Lucky’s pages like I was striking a match, waiting for the flame of an idea to spark. Each and every time, I walked away with fire.

Then there’s Jean Godfrey-June. The woman is my hero (I told her that on Instgram one time and she responded, which pretty much made my year). You could hand her dish soap and she would churn out an article that had you wanting to slather it all over your being.

Whenever asked for a review of Lucky, I would always write something along the lines of this… “It’s like having several well-informed girlfriends give you all their secrets once a month.” Because that’s exactly what it felt like. In my consumer opinion, no other publication can touch what this little magazine was able to accomplish.

For getting to be a part of their journey and for having the wherewithal to hold onto several of my favorite issues, I count myself VERY Lucky. (It was either that, or “I count myself Lucky, indeed.” I mean you had to know that was coming.

Leaves, Layers and a New Bag

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Top: Loft / Ring & Jeans: Old Navy / Necklaces: Forever21 / Bag: Vera


The thing about writing a blog about beauty/fashion is people can sometimes see that you’re not taking your own advice and hold you to it.

All of the examples that immediately came to mind to prove my point are pretty lame. Although there was that one time I left the house wearing leggings and my top didn’t cover my butt.*

*That’s a joke. That never has nor ever will happen. I’m not an animal.

I take a big gulp of my own advice when it comes to carrying a bag I’m proud of and am confident in to translate my style to the world. Not to mention it was my birthday this past week, sooooo ;)
If you need a little more convincing that it’s time to update your rotation of bags read here, or watch the video below for some really gorgeous fall options.

Shopping My Closet