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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Tips for Wearing Boots/Booties in a Flattering Way

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Booties rocking everywhere.

I made the decision once October hit that I wasn’t going to show off my toes any more because Lord do I hate painting them. Can I get an AMEN. So I’m happy to not be sweating it out in boots anymore now that the weather DECIDED TO COOPERATE.

Since there are so many options when it comes to refreshing your shoe collection this fall, I thought I’d make it even harder with these beauties – Ha! JK. But seriously, it’s not going to be easy deciding which ones not to get.

I do hope the tips I give in the clip will help you decide which shoe is right for your frame.

Couple things I didn’t get to add but wanted to – is to make sure that if you wear a size 10 (like myself) that you try to stay away from pointy-toed boots as best you can. The will make your foot look longer and I’ve never found that to be something I’ve enjoyed – however I did read once that the bigger your foot looks, the smaller your legs looks by comparison. Sooo maybe it’s not such a bad thing to pile on the foot bulk? Haha

Another thing to keep in mind, is if you’re going for tall/flat boots, look for some with minimal hardware. That will help keep everything looking sleek and slim.

Enjoy the rest of these tips and these beautiful boots all found at West Town Mall! See their specific stores below…
Oh and not to mention my fun announcement about Elianna at the end! (PS: this is the first mention of her on TV, Abby just got confused :) – all things I’ll explain to Elianna when she asks why I didn’t save the “other” video)

Shoes from Fiore Boutique…

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Shoes from Francesca’s…

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Shoes from Charlotte Russe…

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Thanks for stopping by! More great content coming next week!

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The Perfect Transitional Top

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Say hi to my dog in the background!

Scallop your way into autumn.

Let’s get right down to it – IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

Truly, this minute right here is my favorite. Fall has begun and we’re on the cusp of all the fun holidays. There is so much to look forward to and in addition to all of that, I’ve got this fabulous top to show you from a great boutique! I mean, the only way to send this over the edge is if I could pop out of your screen and hand you a calorie-free cupcake!

Since it’s going to take the weather a second to realize its supposed to be JACKET SEASON, HELLO! I think this sleeveless burgundy top is the perfect thing to wear right now.

The details are what really make it special – scalloped edges and the laser cut hem give it personality without being too loud. Making it perfect to pair with jeans or black pants and some patterned flats. A comfortable, stylish outfit I (literally) ran around all day in.

I’m such a huge fan of how scallops look against bare skin so while I originally planned to wear this under a blazer (and will probably do so later) I did want that detail to have its moment.

Another detail I’m a big fan of is how high the neckline sits. Its not uncomfortably high, but for a mother who is constantly bending down to talk to a toddler – its not uncomfortably low either. In fact I toyed with doing a necklace because it has that great spacing but I opted for giant earrings instead. Its nice though to have options for later use!

This top was sent to me by a boutique that is quickly becoming my favorite. They have pieces you dont typically see in the boutique carousel and offer them at really fair prices. Which is so refreshing. I get tired of seeing something I like only to realize its over $100.

Im also a huge fan of their accessories! Beautifully sculpted earrings haven’t seen everywhere giving me some fresh, unique picks. Can you tell I like to be original? Haha As someone who shops A LOT Im always excited to come across new options – so Im excited about Modern Maven!

Go check them out!

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A Spiffy Girl

elianna

When I say we’re going to need a bigger closet, I mean it.

elianna

This week we announced news we’ve been relishing in ourselves for almost three months now – we’re having another baby!

I was excited to get all the details out at the same time – the fact that it’s a girl and her name is Elianna (middle name TBD).

The idea that I’ll be dropping “Dude” and Dinosaurs for “her” and bows (also TBD, haha I’m trying to work up a love for bows currently) is still settling in, however, she is truly an answer to prayer and I am resting in the fact that God will equip me to be a mother to this little sweetheart.

I’ve had this name picked out for over 15 years – before I even knew my husband. In Hebrew it means, “God has answered.” And boy, is that spot on! We’ve been believing for another baby and He has answered in the perfect way.

There’s so much more I can say but I’m still in processing mode so it’s not coming out as smoothly as I’d like.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our excitement!

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