Modern Holiday Fashion with Crazy 8

Happy Tuesday, loves!

I am exhausted!

We had such a busy, fun-filled weekend, and I’m tired. Even though it was a long weekend, I didn’t get a lot of rest yesterday during the holiday. I mean, the kids were all home from school, so that’s basically the sum of all things unproductive. It wasn’t a holiday for Craig, so that meant it was up to me to keep the kids quiet so that Craig could work. They are really, really good kids 90 percent of the time, but they can quickly forget what an inside voice sounds like, and that drives me insane when Craig is in the office working. But, they get it with a few reminders.

Actually, we weren’t home long. I took the kids to see the Grinch (super cute) with one of my besties and her two littles, my mom and mother-in-law, and my niece and nephew, so we were gone most of the afternoon. And, randomly, I slept in, took a four-hour middle of the day hiatus to see a movie, and still got as much accomplished before 5 pm as I do on a normal day prior to 3 pm. I was impressed with myself – but, then again, if I tell a client I’ll have something done for them on a certain day, it’s done early. My business motto is always to maintain my excellent reputation by providing stellar work in the timeframe I quote. I cannot stand when a business owner doesn’t keep their word, especially since I’ve spent 10 years keeping mine without incident. (Off my soap box now).

We had the best day Saturday. Craig managed to score four tickets to the Gator Game in the Bull Gator Suites, and it was SO much fun. We’ve been so spoiled this year with all of our major sporting events being in the suites, and I cannot go back to sitting anywhere else. I’m okay with that. It’s who I am as a person. We took our best friends with us, and it was a 12-hour day, and it was fantastic – but exhausting! Sunday we slept in and we celebrated our nephew’s 9th birthday by going bowling, which our kids love so much.

All in all, it was such a sweet weekend, and I’m good. Not restful after our whirlwind 48 hours in Tampa and Texas the weekend before, but it was still too much fun to care. Which, on the other hand, still leaves me exhausted!

Now that we are done with the weekend recap, I’m sharing one of my new favorite situations – with Crazy 8. When the company reached out to me to see if I was interested in shooting a campaign with them with my 10-year-old daughter, I was all for it. We love their clothing, and it makes all of us happy. I cannot stand when little girls don’t look like little girls – they already grow up too fast – but I also understand that our daughter is at an age where she wants to be a little more fashionable. She is a dream when it comes to choosing her clothes, and Crazy 8 makes it so easy for us to shop. She can find things she loves that are still appropriate and stylish that we are all okay with.

If you haven’t shopped their line yet, we highly recommend it. You can find Addison’s black shift dress and mules here and here. Her Lilly Pulitzer sunglasses are here. Did I mention it is beyond affordable, too? Her entire outfit was less than $50 – and both items are currently on sale, which means you can buy the entire outfit for less than $30!  How can you beat that?!

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The Best Fall Closet Staple: The Basic Tee

Happy Halloween, loves!

I love Halloween so much! It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Let’s face it, I just love this time of year so much. It’s cool and beautiful outdoors. Well, as cool as can be in Florida. It’s still in the mid-80s all day, but the humidity level is low and the evenings and mornings are perfectly cool. I’ve been running at home instead of at the gym because it’s so gorgeous to run outside this time of year. I seriously cannot get enough of it!

We get to party hard with the twins at their school today, trick or treat with friends tonight, and hopefully not have a late night. I’ve already been practicing eating all the Halloween candy – and I’m doing a good job of it.

So, we’ve already established this time of year is my favorite (I mean, how can it not be when I get to move my office outside to the lanai or the deck or the front porch every day? I don’t work inside these days). And now I’m going to share with you another favorite – a staple.

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{Michael Kors Booties, Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM, 7FAM ankle jeans, Givenchy Sunglasses, TJ Maxx tee, necklace from Tiffany & Co. Bracelets from Tiffany & Co. and David Yurman}

{Sidenote: I have the funniest story about these booties. I wore them to a Halloween party this weekend as part of my costume (we were Chip and Joanna Gaines) and I melted the bottom right off when I had my feet up on the stones surrounding the firepit! My sweet niece told me about it a second before my foot started to burn, and then my sweet husband almost died because I’m not known for my ‘affordable’ shoes…he thought I’d burned the bottom of a pair of Louboutins or Manolos or somethings. He was BEYOND thankful that it was a pair of inexpensive shoes! Be careful around the fire when you have your feet up!}

If you’ve been following along with me for a while, you might already know my style is classic. I love basics, and I totally have a uniform. I tend to gravitate toward classic pieces. Think Lilly Pulitzer all summer and basic tees with skinny jeans and blazers all winter. I like to dress things up with my accessories.

This year, I’m all about a plain pocket tee. I love it because I can throw it on with my Millers and my Neverfull and run out the door when I’m late. I can come home, throw on a blazer and my favorite Gucci belt, a clutch, and some fun heels for the evening. I can wear it with a long sweater and booties. I can wear it with my Hunters on a rainy day. I can pair it with anything to create any look I want in a moment.

If you look in my closet, you’ll see I have something like 30 basic black tees – my go to. I’m trying to be a little different this year, and I hit the jackpot the other day at – of all places – TJ Maxx. I found a beautiful Bordeaux, a basic dark grey, a light gray, a navy, a black, and a white tee. All the same. All for $5.99. And all of them with short sleeves and long. So, naturally, I bought them all. (I usually advocate for investing some money into your staples, but you don’t need to worry about your tees. For this price, you can wear them three times and come out a winner).

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{ Faux leather leggings, Manolo Blahnik pumps are old, Blazer, Prada Saffiano bag, Givenchy Sunglasses, Necklace from Tiffany & Co. }

Pair it With Anything

A basic tee shirt can go with anything you want it to go with. A blazer and skinny jeans. A pair of camo pants. A skirt. A pair of wide leg jeans. A pair of shorts. A sweater. Flip flops. High heels. Boots. Anything. It can be dressed up or down. That’s what makes it the best.

Look For Quality

I’ll be honest and say I don’t believe the shirts I bought at TJ Maxx are high-quality. I’ve never heard of the brand, and they were only $5.99. However, that’s so cheap that it doesn’t matter if they don’t last a lifetime. You only want them to last if you’re spending some money on them. These are cheap enough that I won’t care if I only get a few wears.

What I do recommend looking for with anything you buy is at least a good quality. These are soft, and they are not see-through. They don’t seem to pull, and the seams look good. If you find a shirt without those qualities, it’s not even worth your $5.

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{ 7FAM jeans, Tory Burch Espadrilles sold out similar here, Black tee from TJ Maxx, similar here , SugarFix by Bauble Bar Earrings from Target, Givenchy Sunglasses, bracelets by Tiffany & Co. and David Yurman } 

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Bold

Basic colors are fun, but bold colors are also fun. Fall is a beautiful time of year to try some darker colors such as this great Bordeaux. You should also be excited to try them with new prints, and don’t be afraid about being too casual. I love a good mix of high and low. For example, I have a date night outfit planned that includes a pair of $9 camo jeggings and a $6 black tee shirt (both TJ Maxx) and a pair of Christian Louboutin So Kate pumps. Talk about high and low. Don’t be afraid to be bold.

What’s your favorite basic this time of year? Drop a comment to let me know!

Weekend Recap & Great Hair Days with Sexy Hair’s New Control Me Thermal Heat Protection Formula

Happy Monday, loves!

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for the beginning of a new week. I feel so refreshed and relaxed after such a great weekend with my loves. Friday night was all about relaxing and unwinding at home. We were all tired after a busy weekend before and a beyond crazy week, so we put the kids to bed early (at their request) and Craig and I sat down together to watch a movie (Ocean’s Eight, and it was great!).

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Saturday we woke up to Florida Fall weather. It was 64 degrees, and you know our doors and windows were open! We drank our coffee on the lanai and it rained a little. We took the kids to the Pickin Patch with family, our oldest went home with her cousin for the day, and we partied all night at the annual Boo Bash. We all wore costumes and had so much fun. It was a long day, but Sunday was a much more relaxing situation.

We missed church because we overslept by accident. I think we needed it, though, so I don’t feel bad about it. Craig spent the day outside with Carter – that boy would live outside if we allowed it – and I took sweet Charlotte shopping for the day. The big girls requested that they not do anything, and we were fine that they wanted to spend the day in their bedrooms savoring their time alone, their books, and their tablets.

It was such a sweet weekend. I know I say that a lot, but I believe in appreciating how much good we have in our lives. We are blessed to have lives filled with wonderful friends, family, and good fortune, and we don’t take that for granted.

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And, I just have to say that part of my great weekend had everything to do with my hair.

Seriously.

No, really.

I had the best hair weekend, and it’s all because of Sexy Hair.

Sexy Hair sent me their brand new “Control Me” thermal protection working hairspray, and it’s beyond amazing. Now, I will say that I am a hairspray snob. I either straighten or curl my hair every day, and I live in the Florida humidity (and on the Gulf Coast, so that means that gorgeous breeze is ever-present). My hair needs the spray, but it also needs a little protection from all the heat.

This is amazing.

Not only does it smell SO much better than hairspray, the Control Me hairspray gave me the most fantastic hold, even though it’s a medium hold. My straight hair was perfect until I curled it, and then my curls stayed put the rest of the weekend – even in the sunshine, the wind, and the rain!

Sexy Hair’s Control Me hairspray defends the cuticle up to 450-degrees, and it gives the most natural hold. My hair wasn’t stiff nor did it feel gross at all – and it does that for 72 hours. I love knowing that I can heat style my hair while still protecting it and keeping it amazing simultaneously.

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Because I love the product so much, I’m partnering with Sexy Hair to offer all my readers a 15% discount on your purchase at sexyhair.com using promo code ‘SEXYHAIRCONTROLME’. I promise you will love it, so go buy it!

And don’t forget to have the best week ever. I know I will.

Trvl Porter is Changing the Travel Game: No More Packing, No More Overweight Luggage Fees

Packing. 

It’s my least favorite thing in the world to do. Ironic, considering how much we travel. This month alone we’ve already been gone two weeks out of three and we still have one more trip to take. We love to travel, whether it’s to Disney for the weekend with the kids or we are hopping on a quick flight somewhere to spend the weekend in one of our favorite cities (hey, NYC) or across the country to spend a long weekend on our favorite coast (Orange County, anyone?).

But I hate packing. It takes me an entire day to pack for a trip, even if it’s just my husband and me going. When we bring all four kids – well, it takes an entire day and evening. I’m precise. I keep our toiletry bag packed all the time, replenished when we get home from any trip with the items I keep in our basket of extras in the bathroom. Extra loofahs, travel shampoo and conditioner, travel body and face wash, deodorant, hairspray, dry shampoo, you name it, I have it in my basket of extras.

But the clothes packing situation is my biggest nightmare.

Thankfully, Trvl Porter just changed the game for me. When Stefanie, the founder of Trvl Porter, reached out to me a few weeks ago to see if I would like to try their brand-new, groundbreaking service, I was all in. My husband had already planned a surprise weekend getaway for my 35th birthday, and I was game.

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{ Dress Halston Heritage via Trvl Porter. Shoes Christian Louboutin}

What is Trvl Porter? 

It’s a game-changer, that’s what. Seriously, imagine packing for any and every trip you take without actually packing anything. You bring your shoes, your undergarments, makeup, and your favorite accessories. That’s all.

You pack nothing else.

Trvl Porter packs the rest for you. No more packing or unpacking. No more overweight baggage fees at the airport (y’all don’t even want to know how much my husband and I pay for that small problem every flight we take). No more taking time out of your already jam-packed schedule to pack for your business trip, vacation, weekend getaway.

How Does it Work?

You create an account online with Trvl Porter. You input your trip details (where, when, what, how, why, whatever). You tell your personal style concierge what you’re doing and where you’re going, along with your sizes. They’ll create a custom wardrobe for you to approve, and they’ll email it to you a week before your trip.

Once you approve or change your designer wardrobe choices, your stylish ships your order to your hotel. You pick up your items upon check in. They’ll be with the concierge. When you check out, you give the items back to the concierge in the pre-addressed, pre-paid envelope provided, and the concierge mails your items back for you.

It’s that simple.

What Do I Wear? 

Anything and everything. You tell your stylist what you need and where you are going. From casual vacation clothing to upscale business attire, you pick. Designers such as Diane von Furstenberg, Halston Heritage, and more provide designer clothing for you to wear – and none of it is your responsibility to pack, unpack, or even launder.

Does it get any better than that?

It does not.

My experience with Trvl Porter was spectacular.

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{Hotel Bathrobe – Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando}

In fact, when there was a small mistake in the shipping process for my items, Stefanie Nissen, the found of Trvl Porter called me herself – from her cell phone – to ask me what she could do to make it right. I still got my clothing in time, and she was amazing. I fell instantly in love with the dress I chose, and I received compliments on in all night long.

The process was simple, streamlined, and easy.

And a total game changer.

Even though I don’t mind unpacking. Honestly, I don’t. I always have our entire family unpacked, laundry going, and everything organized within half an hour of getting home from any trip. It makes life so much easier.

If you want to try Trvl Porter, do it. All of my followers and fans get a special discount for signing up if you enter HEART-TRVL at checkout it. You’ll get your first item free of charge, which is a $200+ value. Try it. You will not regret it!

Living Life and Enjoying Every Second

Hey, loves!

I know, I know. It’s been a minute. But, I have a good excuse for not blogging in a second.

I was enjoying my life. I’ve been a little social media MIA off and on, too. It’s been nice. Life is busy for this mom of four/wife/person who does it all. This season (fall) is always so busy in our house, and sometimes we need a break.

Literally, though, it’s so hot that I just want to go into some sort of hibernation, or maybe I want to pack and move anywhere with something like real seasons. It’s almost 100 degrees here during the day, and a frigid 85 at night. Can you see my eyes rolling? No, you cannot. They’re dripping in sweat and half closed as a result.

But, back to my situation.

I’m just letting y’all know that I have a ton of new content coming in the next few weeks. I’ve been working on a lot of campaigns recently, but those take second place to my clients and their needs (and boy do they have a big need this time of year, not that I’m complaining since that’s what I love the most) and the kids and their needs.

Anyway, I’ve been mom-ing. Wife-ing. Traveling. PTA-ing. Safety Patrol-ing. Writing. Writing. Writing some more. Running. Yoga-ing. Traveling. Traveling some more. Living. It’s been fun, overwhelming, stressful, hilarious, and all the things in between. I just wanted to tell you guys I didn’t just turn 35 and forget all about you, so stay tuned next week. The content is coming, and it’s going to make you all wish I’d go back to my silence….or not. Because I like to think I keep you all entertained with my stories. No? Is that just me? Am I that much of my own biggest fan?

I’m okay with that, too, you know.

Xoxo,

Tiffany

35 Things On My 35th Birthday

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Happy Friday, loves!

I am SO excited about this weekend!

It’s my BIRTHDAY!

Well, Sunday is my birthday, but you get the point. I’m turning 35, and I’m so excited. I’m excited about all of my birthdays. It’s my favorite day of the year because it’s all about me and myself. With four kids, a husband, a business, all the boards on which I sit…I just don’t have a lot of me time. I’m fine with that since I prefer to be around my family.

Ironically, I’m a little bit of an introvert, but I have extrovert tendencies from time to time. I prefer to spend the bulk of my time at home with the people I love the most, but sometimes I love to be social. Too much socializing, however, turns me into a monster.

I’m complicated. And I’m okay with that.

Back to this weekend. We are Disney annual passholders (is it possible not to be one when you live an hour and 15 minutes from the park and have four kids 10 and under?!) and we always take my birthday weekend to leave the kids home and head to the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. They detest Epcot, but we love it. So, they’re not invited.

All I know is that we are doing that this weekend. I have no other idea what is going on, what the plan is, or anything. My husband has been super secretive, but I can say with certainty that I definitely suspect something since I’ve caught him having more than one secretive conversation with the people we love. Very hush, hush. And I am so on to him.

I’m excited (and it better be fancy, Raiford. I’m a fancy girl, and there’s not enough fanciness where we live)!

I love my birthday because I love reflecting on the past year. I love to see how I’ve grown and changed over the year. I love to get older and wiser, and I really love to see how I’ve progressed and bettered myself. I’m always looking to be a better person than the one I was yesterday. I’m in constant competition with myself to be better and stronger.

Thirty-four has been such a fun year! We took the big girls to NYC with us for the first time to see the city for three days. They ask every time we go to join us, and we decided they were ready – and they had the best time! We spent my 34th birthday in the city enjoying date night at our favorite restaurant (Il Tinello) after brunch at our favorite place (The Boathouse) after spending the day before at Epcot for the Food and Wine Fest.

We spent a long weekend in SoCal visiting all of our favorite places (The Montage and the Surf and Sand, the Ritz-Carlton, Javiers in Crystal Cove, The Balboa Bay Club…). We cruised to the Bahamas with our four favorite couples. I did yoga in the beach in the Bahamas. We flew with the kids to Texas to spend a long weekend at my grandmother’s farm. We rented a vacation house in Orlando with family and had the best time just hanging out and having all the fun.

We took the kids to Palm Beach for a long weekend with friends. We saw Kenny Chesney and Thomas Rhett in concert. We let our 10-year-old spend her birthday at the Taylor Swift concert with her bestie. We spent most of our Sundays after church at our best friend’s River House kayaking and paddleboarding and grilling and having all the laid-back fun. We had fun. So. Much. Fun.

We spent more weekends than we can count watching Gator Football and going to Disney and enjoying date nights. We got back to basics and we’ve been enjoying all the simplicity of life as a result.

That brings me to the point of this blog post. I’m sharing 35 things about me as I turn 35. That’s right, friends. I’m officially turning the corner in which 50 is closer than 20. And I’ve literally never felt better.

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  1. I’m a bad ass motherfucker. I’m just saying. I am. And I’m not ashamed of that. I’ve spent the past year challenging myself to do things that are just beyond my comfort zone (becoming a runner, for instance), and I’m killing it. And to quote the bestie – and nearly every conversation we have this year – I’m a bad ass motherfucker. And I’m not even sorry for the language.
  2. I’m really organized. Like, super-duper, crazy organized. It’s how I get so much done.
  3. I go through one to two laptops every year because I type so much. I type anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 words per day for my clients five days a week (and sometimes on the weekends depending on the project). That’s something like 3.9 to 5.2 million words per year on my laptop – and that doesn’t count things like my blog posts, my emails, and any correspondence or other items I type. That’s literally just for my clients. The letters start to disappear off my keys within a few months of having my computers.
  4. I love to bake. I really love to bake, but only during the holiday season. Fall and Christmas – let me bake all the things. It makes me feel at ‘home’ and like the holidays.
  5. I have become really good at saying no over the past few years. If it doesn’t interest me, I don’t have time, or I’m tired, I’ll say no. Sometimes I just don’t want to do something, but other times I’m just saying no because I know my body and how it responds to stress, and when I’m too busy for too long, I know it’s time to pass.

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  1. I don’t care what people think of me. I know I come across as a little bit much. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of coffee or whatever, and I’m okay with that. I like me (a lot) and therefore, I don’t care what anyone else thinks of me. So long as this girl is happy, I’m good.
  2. Getting back to basics was one of the very best things we ever did in our house. No longer planning every weekend months in advance, and just learning to enjoy the simple things has been the best. It all came about over a long and hilariously fab dinner date that lasted almost 5 hours one night (December 22, 2017 anyone?) when we realized that we just all missed the way things used to be. The simplicity of an impromptu Sunday afternoon get-together. The enjoyment of spur-of-the-moment plans. Regularly scheduled date nights and bang bang shrimp…it’s been really, really good.
  3. My faith is so important to me. I begin and end each day in prayer. I spend my first few minutes with my daily devotional. I am a firm believer, and I’ve personally witnessed the grace and the beauty of God in every success, in every failure, and in every challenge.
  4. I wonder why we had kids like 8 times a day. Honestly. I do. Then I remember. It’s a cycle.
  5. I am so focused on my health and the health of my family. I love food, but I love good, healthy food. I can take any recipe and definitely not cook it because I suck at that, but I can take it and make it healthy. I want my kids to see my husband and I as a good example that a healthy lifestyle is all it takes. I don’t want them to be uncomfortable in their own skin, and I never want them to be come a statistic or obsessed with fad diets and unhealthy ways of life. You only get one life, and I want theirs to be long and healthy. Thanks, Grandma, for that lesson.

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  1. I am terrified of snakes. I can’t even leave my garage door open longer than the time it takes to drive out. I’m terrified of them getting into the garage and then getting into the house.
  2. I love red lipstick. It makes me feel powerful and put together when I’m not feeling it.
  3. I have a black thumb. Brown one? Whatever color that kills things immediately. Someone once told me to purchase succulents because they cannot be killed. I killed them.
  4. If you come to my house unannounced, you will find two things. It’s spotless, and there are fresh flowers on the kitchen island, the dining room table, the breakfast nook table, the fireplace, the sitting room coffee table, and on the entryway table (well, most of the year on the entryway table. I have some fabulous fake flowers for fall that go on the entryway table from September through November.
  5. I don’t like to sweat. I take something like three to four showers per day. As soon as I wake up, after I go to the gym, before bed, and at least one other time per day if I sweat outside or go shopping or something.

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  1. I think my body looks better at (almost) 35 than it ever has. I think I’ve been skinny fat for a long time, but the past year I’ve been really serious about my workouts. I have abs, muscles, and I’m pretty toned, and I really love it.
  2. I like good people. Plain and simple. I like people who are confident in themselves, who don’t live to please others, who don’t care what anyone thinks of them. I love people who don’t care what other people are doing in their lives. Those are my people. I like good people, and I’m so fulfilled with the goodness we have in the people we surround ourselves with. Which leads me to number 18.
  3. Our Wednesday night dinner tradition is one of my favorite things in life. It’s been 10 and a half years and counting, and it’s so much fun. We began having dinner ever Wednesday with our best friends before kids by going out. By baby number two or three, we were eating at home, switching homes every other week. Seven kids later, it’s hectic and crazy, but it’s my favorite tradition. We have the best time, the most inappropriate conversations, and entirely too much laughter.
  4. We have a friend who tells the best stories sometimes. You always know when it’s going to be a good one when he’s laughing before he even starts talking, and he cannot get it out. I have no idea how half his stories begin or end because he cannot stop laughing, but I’m sure they must be hilarious. And that is hands down my favorite thing about him. Other than his spectacular head of hair.
  5. Yoga and running have become two of my favorite things to do in the world.
  1. I’m a little obsessed with Bath & Body Works candles. Maybe a lot. Especially this time of year. Since September began, I’ve noticed I’ve had 7 packages filled with candles delivered. I cannot stop. It’s a sickness. And I’m fine with it.
  2. Ask me for A-1. I promise you I have a bottle in my handbag. Just ask me. There have been too many near disasters, and we must be prepared.
  3. Giving is what makes me happy.
  4. If there’s a committee, I’m on it. Well, kind of. I’m on the PTA board at my girls’ school and the twins’ school, and I’m co-running Safety Patrol for our fifth grader. I like to be present in their lives, so sign me up. But, really, don’t sign me up. There’s nothing left to go around!
  5. I tend to overreact a bit, but give me a day to calm down.

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  1. I’m paranoid. About everything. I worry incessantly about things happening to us and our kids. I worry about the worst case all the time. I’m perpetually paranoid, and I’m not ashamed of that.
  2. I am the most routine-oriented person on the planet. I have to be. It’s called organized chaos, and I need it in my life. I need my routine. It’s how I get anything done.
  3. I hate wearing flats. Hate them. I love high heels. I wish I could wear them all day every single day, but that mom life doesn’t always allow it.
  4. I put a lot of value and importance on date night and time away from the kids. We try hard to have a date night at least every other week. We are so busy and we have four kids – and our nephew for two hours before school in the mornings and at least an hour after school in the afternoons – and we need that time. It’s good for our souls and our marriage.
  5. I’m not the girls trip type. I did it once, and I prefer to spend the time with my husband. I love my girlfriends, but I’m looking to be sharing my bed with my husband at the end of the day. That’s all.

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  1. I hate the beach. HATE the beach. I hate sand. I hate salt water. I love to look at the beach. But I prefer to look at it from a gorgeous restaurant or hotel bar.
  2. I’ve grown so much in the past year, and I’m really proud of that. I’ve opened myself up to a lot of new experiences, new people, new things, new places – and I’ve learned from all of it.
  3. I give up trying to explain to people what I do. They think when I say, “I’m a writer,” that I’m J.K. Rowling and have a New York Times Bestseller. They don’t understand what a web content creator is. They don’t understand what I write or why I don’t use my name often in what I write. They don’t get how my business works. If I’m not an author of books, I must be a blogger. And while I do blog right here, this is just for me. This is not my job. This is for me to have a creative outlet for some of the very fun and creative things my job perks allow.
  4. I think raising a little boy is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. We have three girls and a boy, and our boy is our ‘youngest’. He’s one of the twins, but he’s our baby B. He was born five minutes after his twin sister. He’s difficult. Boys are loud, rambunctious, dirty. He wants to be outside all the time, but I’m not a big nature fan. He cannot spend time playing on his own. He needs someone to play with him all the time. The girls are the exact opposite. They are quiet. They all play well independently (and together when they want), and they’re so clean and tidy. Carter? He’s a hot mess. Boys are hard. Our sweet best friends were ‘boy parents’ until a year and a half ago when they had their third child (and first girl) and they told us a million times that boys are, well, boys. We didn’t listen to them.
  5. I’ve really come to appreciate grace in the past year. I’ve learned to give myself grace. I’m not perfect, though I try so hard to be the very best at anything I accomplish.

So, there you go. Thirty-five very random facts about me and who I am to kickstart my 35th birthday. It’s been a beautiful year with all kinds of great moments and not-so-great moments, and I cannot wait to see what 35 has to bring my way! Cheers to the freakin’ weekend, loves!

Fun and Flirtatious Date Night Look

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{ Greylin Red Artemis Jumpsuit $30 Rent the Runway – I’m wearing an XS and it fits perfectly }

{ Christian Louboutin So Kate Pumps }

{ Kate Spade Bow Clutch – old but I like this one, too }

{ Givenchy Sunglasses }

 

Happy Thursday, loves!

Friday is just around the corner, and I thought this might be an appropriate time to share my new favorite date night ensemble from Rent the Runway. Since it’s my birthday month, RTR sent over a $30 gift card to use on any rental this month. I decided I was going to step outside of my usual comfort zone of timeless classics and find something a little more flirty and fun for date night.

This week has been all things hectic. I have been volunteering all day, every day at our girls’ school at the Book Fair (all our board members spend the entire week at the school working the book fair like this because #teamwork) taking our kids to and from cheer and tumbling, hosting extra kiddos at home, and dealing with Safety Patrol meetings and such. It’s my #momlife situation all the time.

The jeans and tee shirt mom life is definitely one I enjoy, but at the very core of my being I just need all things fancy and fabulous (hey, I didn’t earn the nickname Fancy Pants for nothin’). Last Friday night we had date night/birthday dinner with our best friends. Every time we have one of these nights, it consists of too much food, too much wine, and hours and hours at a table laughing hysterically at just about everything.

Basically, it means I take all form-fitting ensembles off the table. Literally, because I will eat everything in front of me. As I was thinking of what I’d wear on date night, I thought I’d try something different. That’s what I love so much about Rent the Runway. I can try new things, new styles, and new looks that I’m not sure are really me – and if I hate it, I can send it right back and get something else or simply take a credit. Since I had my birthday credit, I figured I’d really try something new. That’s when I decided I’d go for this amazing red jumpsuit.

Typically, I’m a DVF wrap dress and stilettos kind of gal, and jumpsuits don’t find their way into my closet. I’m petite, so length is always an issue. This one, however, was so much fun. With the fun cut-outs in the front, back, and on the sides, I felt just a little bit daring. The bold red is my favorite, and I cannot tell you how many compliments I received that night. Everyone and their mother loved it (even my mom liked it – which almost made me change my clothes before we left!). If you’re looking for something fun and flirty, this is it.

Quick, Healthy Pizza With CauliPower!

Happy Friday, loves!

This week flew by! Perhaps it was being gone all last weekend, or maybe it was our daughter’s Safety Patrol Induction ceremony and all that went into planning that (hey, surprise! I’m on the Safety Patrol committee….because what committee am I *not* on? Oh, none, that’s the one I’m not on), or perhaps it’s just because it was a four-day week. I don’t know, but it flew by!

Last week I was fortunate enough to do a campaign with CauliPower, which is an amazing cauliflower pizza crust. We love pizza in our house, but we are huge fans of taking our favorite foods and turning them into healthier options. When the amazing people from CauliPower reached out to me, I was all in to try their amazing crust and shoot this campaign (which is a hilariously funny story I’ll get to in a moment).

Craig and I are big fans of food. We like to consider ourselves foodies. We love to try the most amazing restaurants in the most amazing cities, and we love to cook. I’m not great at it, but he is – and we’re an amazing team. Because we are very health conscious (because metabolism and good genes alone aren’t enough once you hit those mid-30s my friends), we always find a way to make our favorite meals healthier. Since we love pizza, we always look for a cauliflower crust, and we always choose healthy toppings.

This campaign was fun. I received the product on Monday night, the campaign was due Thursday morning, but I wasn’t home Tuesday because of a PTA meeting and a Safety Patrol meeting. We didn’t have time to shoot until Wednesday night – a night all the kids are home, we had guests, and it was POURING rain. The sky was black. Like the night.

Our house is usually amazing for shooting my campaigns because we have so much natural light. We like to say our house is made of glass, and it kind of is. It’s amazing how much beautiful light we have, and we like our furniture and décor to be light and bright, too. Except that it was dark. It was so dark because it was pouring. The rain was insane. The thunder and lighting were insane. Our power went out several times while we tried to shoot. It was so dark, and it made our light, bright kitchen look like a dark, closed off kitchen.

The recessed lights didn’t do any justice. I set the fire alarm off cooking chicken sausage. The kids were terrified of the smoke and the storm. My gorgeous lifestyle shot was not gorgeous. And I drank all the wine.

The pizza, though, was spectacular.

So, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

WHAT YOU NEED

1 cauliflower pizza crust

1 red onion

Fresh mozzarella cheese

Arugula

1 red bell pepper

Salt and pepper

EVOO

3 pieces chicken sausage

 

All you need to do is cook your sausage completely and cut it into small bites. Next, cover your pizza crust with arugula. Slice your bell pepper and add slices to the pepper, add mozzarella cheese, sliced red onion, and then top it with your sausage, and sprinkle a little bit of EVOO on top before adding salt and pepper (I totally borrowed this recipe from my friend, Veronyca Poupard, follow her here on Instagram for more health and fitness tips). Bake it for approximately 10 minutes at 425 degrees, and then enjoy.

I like to pair this healthy pizza with a glass of dry red wine – and you might, too.

Enjoy!

Fall Favorites for the Home

Happy fall, y’all!

I know, I know. It’s not officially fall until September 22 (right?), but it’s officially official in my house effective September 1. If there’s college football on television, it’s fall. I mean, it’s never actually fall in Florida, but there are faux pumpkins on my mantel, so it’s fall.

I can justify just about anything in my life, for real. It’s amazing how I can magically believe that any day now  – as of September 1 – I can look at my weather app and the 15-day forecast and expect that at any not fall, and that’s what the weather says for the next 15 days every single day that I check it. But, really, any day now. I just know it.

It’s officially September, which is the first official month of the most exciting and wonderful time of the year for me. This is the time of year I live for, and I cannot even hide my excitement. There’s so much excitement in our house this time of year, and I love it. It’s my birthday month (hey, 35). It’s college football (Go Gators). It’s fall (I know, I know). It’s everything I love the most about the year.

We just spent the weekend on a little vacation to a place we’ve never been. We’ve been Floridians our entire lives, but we always prefer to spend our vacation time out of the state seeing the world rather than traveling our own state, but we tried West Palm Beach for the weekend. Let me tell you about the love I have for Palm Beach right now. The moment we drove over the bridge onto Palm Beach Island, I fell in love. The amazingly gorgeous homes with so much character and all the flowers growing up the walls. The beautiful Breakers resort. Worth Avenue. I felt right at home driving along the coast without any touristy stuff blocking our view of the ocean or high-rise buildings in the way of the gorgeous landscape. And all my favorite stores on one street is one way to put a smile on my face.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Palm Beach, and we’re already thinking about another trip – because I am dying to stay at the Brazilian Court Hotel now – but the entire time we were there spending the weekend with our littles, I was kind of sad about missing my annual fall decorating on September 1. Putting it off until the third made me a little sad. Like, I lost two whole days of fall.

Thankfully, the time passed, we came home, and my house now looks like fall. I’m just waiting on my weather app to get with the program.

On that note, I want to share my fall must-haves with you. There are certain things I cannot go without every year in my home, and I know you’ll love them as much as I do.

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Fall Scents

I love Bath & Body Works candles. I am a sucker for their fall fragrances. The one, this one, and this one are my favorites. I prefer the single-wick candles for smaller rooms such as bathrooms and hallways, and the 3-wick versions for the kitchen and living areas of the house. There is a good reason for this; the single-wick candles don’t put off nearly as much scent as the 3-wick candles, and our main area needs a 3-wick or we just don’t smell it. The space is too large for one small candle, so I highly recommend you get the 3-wicks if you have a large space to freshen.

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Fall Soaps

Okay, I know – but I really don’t love the soaps in any of our bathrooms or our kitchen to smell like the wrong time of year. I change out the soaps every season, and I always use the B&BW foaming hand soap. It’s my favorite, and these are our favorite scents here, here, and here.

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Flameless Glitter Candles

These flameless candles are my favorite. I haven’t bought them in silver yet, but I think I’m going to for Christmas this year. I bought gold ones and green ones years ago, and I love them this time of year. They really do make a statement that’s still elegant enough to not feel tacky during the fall season. They make great accents on the table where you might not want an open flame because of little hands or the passing of plates.

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White Pumpkins

Over the past four years, I’ve gradually found myself falling more and more in love with all things white. Perhaps it’s this house. It’s so farmhouse-like, and I love how white, bright, and open it is. It’s a dream, and I recently realized that I’ve removed all the colored pumpkins and other décor from my life in favor of white pumpkins. These are some of my favorite, and I know you’ll love them. They’re sophisticated and fun, but they’re still seasonally appropriate.

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Thankful Wood Sign

This is probably my favorite piece. I have it on the mantel in our family room. It’s where we spend the most time in our house since it’s right off the kitchen, and it’s where we have the most beautiful natural light come through from all the doors and windows. It’s my favorite room in the house, and I love that we have this constant reminder to be thankful. To quote Pinterest, “There are so many beautiful reasons to be grateful,” and I cannot agree more. We live a life filled with abundance; we have the most spectacularly beautiful people in our lives, a house filled with laughter (and some yelling…but a lot more laughter), and happy hearts. We are thankful for this life we lead with our God leading the way for us, and we love the reminder.

Midi Madness – The Perfect Midi Dress for Under $22

{ Dress from Amazon, Michael Kors Wedges (sold out) similar here and here, Sunglasses by Givenchy }

Happy Tuesday, Loves!

It’s such a beautiful day in the Sunshine State today! It’s also the second day of school, and the mood in the Raiford house is a good one.

There is nothing like the feeling of taking happy, excited, enthusiastic kids to school on a Tuesday morning. Fostering a love of education is one of the most important things imaginable in mine and my husband’s opinion. So far, so good. Our kids were brimming with excitement when I picked them up from their first day yesterday, and nothing makes my heart smile bigger.

They love their teachers, their classrooms, their friends, their syllabus…Addison loves her Safety Patrol job of holding the front doors of the school opening every morning and afternoon. Ava loved that she got to hold those same doors open herself for a few moments in the morning while I was outside directing parents to the front office for visitor tags, tagging their kids with stickers stating how they’re getting home, and my husband was upstairs in the library handing out Safety Patrol belts to the new class of Safeties. She couldn’t yet go to class because it was too early, so she and some of the other PTA kids got to hold the doors. It was, in Ava’s words, the coolest day ever.

The twins were full of excitement (after they cried when I picked them up) about writing their names and their new seats and their new classmates in VPK. It was a good day. Addison’s excitement is boiling over because she’s headed to the Taylor Swift concert tonight with her best friend and her family, and Ava’s excited that she’s the ‘big kid’ for the night at home.

Meanwhile, I’m finally feeling better. Today, I’d say 80%. My sinuses are still crazy, and I’m exhausted, but I’m SO excited my husband and I finally have a quiet house, no one is in our office all day asking for snacks, and we’re actually productive. Well, I am. He never loses productivity or his work, but I do all summer, and I’m glad to have my scheduled time in my office again. I love spending summer with the kids, but I don’t love an unstructured work schedule each day. it’s not who I am.

We get our lunch dates, our gym dates, and our lives back for six solid hours a day again. It’s good. And….I get to go to yoga today. I haven’t worked out in five days now because I haven’t felt well, and I hate that feeling. But, I also know that overdoing it doesn’t allow me to heal properly. Today, I’m back, and my yoga class is an intense heartrate, fast-paced, crazy class. I cannot wait.

In the meantime, however, I’m sharing today’s look with you. It’s probably my new favorite for several reasons. For one, I’m beyond in love with my new Givenchy sunglasses. Get used to them, because you’re about to see a lot of them! Second, this dress is my new favorite. And, are you ready for this? It was $21 on Amazon! Yes, Amazon! I saw a similar one over the summer at Nordstrom, but they were out of my size. I waited. And waited. And waited, and I could never get the color I wanted in my size. So, I googled it, found this one, and figured for $21, it doesn’t matter if it’s awful. What’s amazing is that it’s not! It’s not thin or cheap looking at all! And, it comes in like a million colors and patterns, so you can probably expect to see this dress on repeat in other patterns and colors.