Styling Tips for Christmas Party Attire

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I could get dressed for a Christmas party every day of the week.

Plotting out my Christmas season outfits is high on the list of my favorite things to do this time of year. Mainly because I could dress like I’m going to a Christmas party every day. Sparkle, velvet and sequins aren’t just right up my alley, they’re what my alley is made of.

So let’s dive in with some styling tips…

1. Choose one area to highlight with sequins.

The nice thing about buying something that’s sparkly is you can let it be the star of the show! Whether it’s a blazer, pants, a dress or a top, let that one piece be the focus and leave everything else simple.

The only exception to this rule is if the piece isn’t fully made of sequins or sparkles. Especially if it’s, for example, a top with sequin sleeves, you can bring in more sparkle troops if that’s the case because it’s not an over abundance.

2. Balance out the fancy with the not so fancy.

One of the funnest things about this time of year is taking a piece and changing it from fancy to not so fancy with a few tweaks here and there.

For example, if you’ve got a very fancy blazer, wear it with some jeans and a funny Christmas graphic tee! Or take a cocktail dress and tone it down with a blazer and some booties. So many possibilities!

3. When it comes to jewelry, less is more.

If you’ve already got a lot going on with your outfit, do yourself a favor and leave the house without a lot of jewels. It’s just more comfortable that way.

The exception to this rule would be you’re wearing all black velvet jumpsuit or really anything velvety because I can’t help but add some major bling to that smooth mammer jammer. But even still, if you’re going with sparkly earrings, don’t do a necklace and visa versa.

It’s rare that I say don’t do a bracelet unless your arm often catches on fire. Otherwise go for it.

If you’ll notice in the above picture, it’s the only piece of jewelry I’m sporting because the dress is so sparkly!!

PS: that dress came from Garage in West Town Mall

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The Importance of a Good Handbag

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I was seconds away from including “nice” in the title but I didn’t want anyone to think I meant for them to put down the grocery list and go buy an expensive handbag.

Really, nice can mean all kinds of things. What I’m intending it to mean is sturdy, clean, attractive (all words that have once been used to describe me, ironically ;)

Whether we realize it or not, handbags are part of our style language to the world. Make sure you are saying what you want to say with yours.

Sometimes we can get snow blind with the things we use everyday and not really give it a good looking at. Is your current bag clean looking? Is it sturdy and not ripped? Is it attractive to you? I say “to you” because you are the one who is going to be carrying it around the most so you need to be happy with it.

Now to make a quick case for budgeting a little more for a name-brand bag…

Much like beauty products that cost more than what you can get at Target, a higher end handbag is going to last you longer. So if you consider cost-per-wear when you find one you like, you’re making a good investment and will get you your money’s worth.

The thing I love about carrying a great handbag is it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, if I’ve got a beautiful one on my arm people know the sweats beneath it are just my cleaning clothes. But if I’ve got a ratty handbag over my sweat shirt-ed arm, people will wonder if I’m living in a van down by the river.

The good news is between sales, consignment shops, TJ Maxx, ebay and Facebook Marketplace, it’s easy to find something that is both quality and pretty. So don’t settle for something you’re only okay with – hunt down something you absolutely love.

Regardless of how much you drop on a purse, take good care of it. Send the message to the world that you’ve got it all together, even when you don’t feel like you do.

I try my hardest to keep my receipts in one pocket or in a smaller bag so it doesn’t sound like a trash can when I go rifling through my purse. And wipe away any stains you see quickly so they don’t linger past the point where you don’t even notice them anymore. Even get a good protect-ant spray if it’s a high quality material. I know it’s THE most boring thing to buy – but if you really love your bag, it will help it look better longer.

Coming up this week I’ll post the purse options I’ve fallen in love with from Vera Bradley and Coach in West Town Mall, so stay tuned for inspiration!

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How to Style Your Fall Family Pictures

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If you think that I’m exaggerating when I say, I squeal and dance a little bit every time I see a pumpkin or hear a fall reference, you are wrong.

In fact, “squeal” and “a little bit” are under exaggerations.

In the long list of delicious autumn-related things we get to breathe in, eat up, see, wear and do in the coming months, taking family fall pictures is one of them.

I want to help you style your fall family photo shoot my letting you in on my thought process as I put our look together.

Start with one piece.

Minimize the daunting feeling of making multiple people look good, by starting with just one thing. Sometimes it’s what I want Jackson to wear, or it’s something I want to wear.

Either way, having that one piece to build off of really helps lay the ground work for all of the looks.

For our Christmas card picture from last year, I wanted Jackson in that red jacket. So I built out from there – adding texture and pattern with mine and Dayton’s looks.

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Build so that your looks are like Lego’s – they interlock.

Notice in all of these pictures each of our outfits share an element the other one has.

Above – Jackson, Dayton and I all have an element of black and white (mine in the bracelet). Jackson also has a pop of color (which you can’t see on the tongue of his shoes) but it’s one that corresponds with my orange.

Below – Dayton has a chambray shirt that goes with the stripe in Jackson’s shirt. Jackson has on white which goes with my white. Dayton’s black shorts corresponds with my black stripes and Jackson’s khakis are a nice neutral addition that still flows while adding variation. (Bonus – his shoes are stripes to echo the pattern).

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Throw in patterns.

This is my biggest tip of all. Looking back on our family pictures, my favorite thing about our looks are the patterns and how good they look on camera.

Anyone else ever notice that game show contestants are always wearing solid colors? Unless you’re immediately leaving your family portrait to appear on Family Feud, leave the solids at home.

Patterns look great on camera and give your look more depth and visual interest.

Also, a photographer friend once told me that white is a no no, and all black gets lost in the shadows.

Go for patterns.

I hope this helps take the stress out of your family pictures! Feel free to email me if you have any questions! elizabeth@thespiff.com

Need a good family photographer? Check out this girl! She’s talented and fun and will do a great job of capturing your family in photos you’ll love forever – I mean it!

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Why I Brag About Myself (and not just because it’s my birthday)

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Let’s chat about loving ourselves.

If you have followed any of my content for any amount of time, you know that I’m not afraid to brag about myself. It’s done in a joking manner and the thought behind that is you don’t find many people who brag about themselves. Most often people are putting themselves down (especially women) – something I noticed a long time ago and wanted to change about myself.

You may think it’s funny, you may think it’s annoying, but I want to share the main reason behind why I do it…

I love getting to be who God created me to be. When I look in the mirror, I’m happy with what I see and thankful for the way God made me.

My first thought in writing that is how cocky it makes me sound (at first I wasn’t comfortable putting it in bold letters but I want it to grab your attention). Trust me, I can list off my flaws faster than you can say shoe sale. I didn’t get to being thankful for who I am overnight. It’s something I’ve worked at, studied scriptures on and pressed into for a good chunk of my life. And it pays off!

No the journey is not over. There are still days where I have to work at changing my thoughts about myself. But because the foundation of God’s word has been sewn into my spirit with verses such as, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) or “God is the health of my countenance” (Psalm 42:5), it’s easier to shoot down those darts of self depreciation.

So I’m sharing this because I want to encourage you.

A birthday doesn’t have to be a dreaded thing – “He renews your youth like the eagles” (Psalm 103:5). It’s another year that you get to be you. The person that God uniquely created to reflect an aspect of His Being. Someone with particular attributes He wanted to show off in the form of YOU. Since we’re all created in His image and we’re all so different it only makes sense that He uses people to show off different aspects of Himself. So celebrate what He put together in you!

Don’t fear or dread growing older, but look forward to the wisdom and experience of another year that you bring to the table.

And if for no other reason – enjoy being you because of this verse. This particular verse The Spiff is founded on because helping women love who God created them to be is the passion that drives my efforts…

Luke 14:11, “…if you are content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself,”

I want to be more than myself because that means I’m tapping into the supernatural “me” God had in mind all along. Let’s do it together!

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Fun Makeup Looks for an Easy Costume

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Dress up your face.

It’s ironic that every year I provide these ideas, but I rarely dress up myself. Once I ran out of brunette TV characters I enjoyed watching, EO out!

But that doesn’t mean I won’t still provide YOU with some fun easy costume ideas.

I love these makeup looks because they’re easy and cost effective – in fact you can spend as much as you want on them! So here’s the deal..

Go to Dillard’s at West Town Mall and find The Edge, which is the beauty counter next to Clinique where they have a bunch of different brands. Ask for Marissa and schedule an appointment with her. When she does your makeup all you have to do is buy 2 or 3 products. And the great thing is they have a wide range of price options AND a wide range of things you need. I mean come on, what woman has a hard time finding something to buy at a makeup/skincare counter? Not this one I can tell you that.

I think having your face done up for a costume is a great way to go because you can keep the rest of your look pretty simple. You already look elaborate, so why stress over your clothes?

Here are the looks she gave me…

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And these are one’s I showed her from pictures on the internet so your options are endless!

She is so talented and super nice, not to mention knows how to do regular makeup as well – so schedule an appointment with her today!

What are you waiting for?!

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