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Hostess Gifts to Keep On Hand

Happy Wednesday, loves! 

There is nothing I love more this time of year than the feeling I get when the holidays are here. I can’t explain it, but you know what I mean. It’s a feeling of contentment. Happiness and joy and love and excitement. It’s everywhere, and I’m in love.
One thing I always make sure I have around the holidays is a stash of gifts – just in case. Hostess gifts, last minute gifts, you know the type. When the amazing team at Crabtree & Evelyn reached out and asked if I’d like to try out the Hands Delight Hand Therapy Trio, I was obviously on board with that. Ever since, it’s become one of my very favorite items to have and to give.
Since my husband and I always seem to need a gift quickly, we keep a cabinet in our office filled with perfect hostess gifts we can grab and take with us even when we haven’t any time. That includes our favorite Crabtree & Evelyn gift set.

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Crabtree & Evelyn Lotion Set
This is more than just a little amazing as a gift. First, who doesn’t love Crabtree & Evelyn products? Second, who doesn’t love a gift set with more than one gift in it?! It’s the perfect gift because people actually need it when the weather is cold and their hands are dry – and it smells amazing. Right now, all my readers can use promo code “MASHUP20” for 20% off your entire order – plus free shipping!
Wine/Champagne
Most everyone loves a bottle of something wonderful, so we keep a few of our personal favorites on hand all the time. We love a mixture of price points, too. Everything from a super affordable $25 bottle of red to a bottle of Chandon and Moët that’s pricier, but oftentimes more appropriate.
Candles
During the holidays, I love to keep an array of Bath & Body Works holiday scented candles on hand, but I also love Diptyque candles throughout the year. Why? People love candles! What’s not to love?!
Flowers
The only problem with fresh flowers is that they can’t be kept on hand. If we have time, roses or peonies – depending on the season  – are my favorite go to. If you have time to stop, always go for flowers!
What’s your favorite hostess gift to give or receive? Let me know in the comments!
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Subscription Boxes: The Christmas Gift that Keeps On Giving

Happy Monday, loves!

It is officially December, and that is officially exciting! We’ve been living our best lives over here the past few weeks, and I’ve been a little MIA. Last week was a crazy one. Thanksgiving was the week before last, and it was a beautiful week. Family, friends, food, and so much love. We have so much to be thankful for, and we certainly don’t take that for granted.

Last week was back to normal except not normal. Carter developed a viral infection that turned into a double ear infection that he shared with his twin sister. He was out of school 4.5 days (he left early Monday) and she was out the last two days of the week. It was a hectic week in general, but we made it work.

This week is just as crazy. I’m up even earlier than 5 am all week to get a few hours of work in before I have to be at the girls’ school to do my PTA board member duties with my PTA sister wives at the Gingerbread Shoppe all day, every day, and into the night Friday because of the Winter Festival with Santa. It’s the mom life, and I love it. It totally helps that my PTA sister wives are the most inappropriate, hilarious, completely insane, questionable, fabulous women imaginable – as am I – and we work very, very well together.

Because of that, I worked my behind off last week and over the weekend to get ahead on my deadlines so I don’t stress myself out this week, and I basically killed it. I also killed my second ever 5k this weekend – if you remember that I only began running the last week of April this year. I ran all 3.1 (except it was really 3.33) miles without stopping – in the pouring rain. I did 3 miles in 28:47 and finished overall in 30:58.14 – 99th place out of 206 runners. And I’m really, really proud of myself.

And then I shopped online for things. All the things. Because I love to shop, and I love to give gifts to the people I love, so Christmas is my jam. And while I was shopping online for all the things and my husband was going through his yearly tradition of wondering what kinds of gifts to get me since we buy what we want when we want it, I had a thought.

Subscriptions.

Subscription services are the best thing ever right now. Who doesn’t love to get new things all the time while paying a small fee for it? Boxes that show up on your doorstep filled with things that you love? It’s a win-win for everyone since these are typically the one gift that no one ever has.

That said, I’m going to share a few of the lesser-known subscription boxes that I think will become huge before much longer – and they’re not all boxes; some are just subscriptions – because I love them and have them at home. It literally is the gift that keeps on giving.

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photo from sephora.com

Play! By Sephora

It’s not like it’s a big secret that I’m totally obsessed with Sephora. It’s where I’ve done all my beauty and haircare shopping for the past 15 years of my life, and I was not about to pas sup this box when I saw it a few months ago. The box comes monthly, it’s small, and it has a few fun-size samples and larger sizes in the boxes. Every month is totally different, but you also get to fill out a questionnaire when you sign up for it that allows you to customize your personal needs (is your skin oily or dry? Do you prefer bright colors or muted colors?) so they always send you something you can use.

This box costs a grand total of $10.60 per month, and it’s so much fun. It always comes with 4-5 items all in the trial-size portions. Perfume, lip stick, mascara, moisturizer, and so much more. You even get a gift card that gives you 50 free Beauty Insider points to add to your next purchase if you enter it at check out. This box is my favorite because it allows me to try new things I might not otherwise try, and I can decide for 10 bucks if I love them, hate them, or have no feelings for them whatsoever.

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photo from art of organics 

Art of Organics

This box has become one of my favorites ever since the company reached out to me and asked me if I’d like to try it out. It’s all about clean beauty delivered monthly to your door. This box comes with two to four products every month, and they are beyond amazing. What’s even better – they are full-size products. No sample or trial sizes here, thank you very much.

Every box has a theme. It might be a hair care month. It might be a winter box. It might be a skin care box. It might anything, but it’s always amazing. You can choose to order one box at a time for $41.95 monthly, buy six boxes at a time for $39.95 a box ($239.70 one time payment) or buy a full year of boxes for $455.40 ($37.95 per box).

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photo from cosmobox

CosmoBox

Thank you, Cosmo, for sending this to our lives. It is the best. It’s a box with all of the latest and greatest in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle items. You get to try them out every months for a grand total of $29.99 per month. This box always contains more than $60 in goodies, so it’s a great deal. It is another on that lets you try new things for a great price – which is always a win!

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photo from the bouqs company 

The Bouqs Company

If you’re anything like me, you love fresh flowers. I cannot go without them in my home, and you will never find us without fresh flowers in most rooms. This is a perfect subscription for anyone who loves beautiful flowers. For $32 per month, you get to have a fresh floral arrangement delivered to your front door. It’s always different, always seasonal, and always makes you feel so much happier when you see it arrive. It’s your personal best, and you will love it.

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photo from target

Cat & Jack Outfit Box from Target

So…new moms. Here you go. You’re welcome, and you’re going to love this. If you know a new mom, this will cost you $40 per month. It’s all kinds of adorable Cat & Jack (you know the brand from Target) clothing that is delivered monthly – and they even send the next size up as your baby grows. They keep track of all of it for you, and it might be the best idea since, well, anything else.

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Rent the Runway Update

If you have someone in your life who loves designer clothing and accessories, you want to spend the $80 per month on this shipment. It’s four items that come to your door. You get to keep them for one month. You get to choose what you want so you always have four gorgeous news items in your closet to wear for one month. If they don’t fit, send them back and they will ship you new ones. Hate something? Send it back and you’ll get a new one. You get to choose what you want, how you want it, and you get to have it all sent to your door. It’s hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of designer clothes shipped to you every month.

The best part is that you can customize the shipment every month to meet your needs. Going on vacation? Get all the Lilly Pulitzer. Is it the holiday season? Order all the beautiful red dresses. You can update your wardrobe monthly without any commitment, and that’s what makes this the best box on the market.

Black Friday Shopping Tips

Happy Friday, loves!

I hope you all had the most beautiful and amazing Thanksgiving! Our home was filled with people we love, more food that we could possibly eat, too much fun and laughter, and probably a few too many cocktails. It was everything.

Now that you’re properly stuffed, adequately hating yourself for eating that 3rd helping of dinner, and feeling a little like you cannot do much more than roll out of bed – and we do mean roll – it’s time to talk shop. And by shop, I obviously mean shopping. I love Black Friday – though I don’t go shopping on Black Friday outside of my robe (and on my couch and with my coffee). One, because there is no sale worth the road rage I know I’m going to have today, and two, because today is DÉCOR DAY! Or, as we call it in the Raiford house, the best day ever.

We go buy our beautiful, amazing, insane tree. Every year I try to get one taller than the year before, but it’s really, really hard in Florida to find anything taller than 16-17 feet. My Christmas tree room, however, has 23-foot ceilings and huge windows, so finding the biggest tree ever is always my goal.

Anyway, we go buy the big tree. Then we come home and decorate it and the smaller tree in the family room and the master bedroom. The kids all get 3-4 foot trees for their bedrooms, and we do let them choose new decorations for their trees every year.

Then….we decorate. The Christmas music comes on for the first time all year. The hot chocolate is flowing. There are cookies baking (because the kids love that) and we are all having the best day ever. I cannot even – it’s my favorite.

Because I want you to also have the best day ever, I want to share with you my favorite Black Friday shopping tips.

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Stay Home

No, really. There is nothing better than sleeping in, drinking your coffee in your robe, and doing not a darn thing until you are ready.

Shop the Right Sales

Honestly, I never know where I want to shop the most. It all depends on the year, but I will share with you some of my no-fail Black Friday orders.

  • Nordstrom: You will always find great sales online on Black Friday on anything and everything
  • Bath and Body Works: Would you judge me if I told you I burn a 3-wick candle out in two days? Well, that’s what happens when you work from home. So, this day is a major candle sale day, and I load up since you can stack all those coupons they mail you.
  • Crew: I always find something majorly on sale here.
  • Dillards: I love Dillards on Black Friday because they have the lowest and most ridiculous prices on kid’s Under Armour apparel, and that’s all my son and my nephew wear, so I fill that cart!
  • Old Navy: When you have a 7-year-old who is as hard on her clothes as mine, you buy her stuff here, today.
  • Sephora: Honestly, they just had their 20% off sale twice in the past few weeks, so don’t be surprised if they throw something else out today. They always do well.

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Those are my favorites, but sometimes I find things elsewhere. It just depends on what catches my eye as I peruse my inbox that morning and see all the listed sales.

Don’t Stress

Listen, ladies, there are going to be a million and one more sales this holiday season, and some of them will be better than the last one. You will not miss out if you don’t buy something today. I guarantee you will find it still on sale in a week.

Skip the Hot New Items

You can’t find it, so stop stressing yourself out about it. It’ll be back in full stock at the beginning of January, and you will get it for less. Trust me.

Bake Something

Cinnamon rolls or French toast or something like that. It’s such a nice way to start the day, and you feel so good about life. Just do it. It’s how I like my Black Fridays.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Luxe Edition

Mother’s Day is a little bittersweet in our home. It’s a day when we celebrate our moms, and it’s a day when our kids and my husband celebrate me. It’s also the anniversary of the very first baby we lost. We were expecting our second baby in 2010. I was a few months along when I began experiencing some issues – I knew it immediately. Our sweet Addison was almost 2, and she spent the day with my aunt while we were in the hospital learning that our sweet second baby wasn’t going to live long enough for us to give birth. It was the week of our fifth wedding anniversary, and it was Mother’s Day. Our hearts were nothing short of completely broken.

It was the first of two. Eight year later, we are a week away from celebrating our 13th year of marriage, and we have four beautiful babies who make me a mom. It’s a sweet, sweet day. But we never forget.

I love Mother’s Day. I love the beautiful church service every year. I love the big brunch we host with our own mothers. I love the sweet gifts from the kids (my favorites are the cards they make me and the gifts they actually pick out for me on their own…there’s never any shortage of imagination and a gift or two that might just benefit the giver more than the recipient).

When I was thinking about a Mother’s Day gift guide to share, I struggled. It’s hard for me to put myself in the shoes of others on this day. Part of me wants to keep my family all to myself for the day. The other part of me wants to send them all off somewhere while I spend the day at home doing things I can’t do when they’re home – drinking my coffee uninterrupted on the deck while reading a book, for example.

But at the end of the day, as crazy as they make me, it’s being with them that makes me the happiest. We typically go away for the weekend and come home Sunday morning for church and to host brunch for our moms at our home, but this year our oldest daughter has cheer tryouts the evening before…and we aren’t missing that! So, it’s a weekend at home for us.

But, there’s one thing I know for certain most moms will love – something outside the flowers and candy and beautiful meal you already do. What do moms do?

Oh, you know, everything. But what do they not do? They don’t get to spend nearly as much time pampering themselves as they do everyone else in the household. Between wrangling the kids and their schedules, their own careers, and maintaining a household, not much time is left for mom to indulge herself – which is why I’m sharing some of my favorite at-home indulgences. They’re the perfect gift for the mom in your life because she wants to be able to take a few moments during the day to feel just a little spoiled and a little pampered right at home.

But don’t forget the homemade cards and gifts the bunches of flowers that don’t go together at all, but totally represent each child and their amazing little personalities, the sticky little kisses, and the sweet hugs – those are always the best gifts. These are just a sweet second for all the moms who want to pamper the skin they’re in at home.

la mer

La Mer Lifting and Firming Mask

It’s a little pricey, but you can get a smaller jar here to try out in case you’re not certain mom will love it. However, if you have a mom who loves to take care of her skin, you have a mom who will adore this firming mask. It’s life-changing. I promise. Trust me as a mid-30s mama…tightening and firming your skin is never more important in life as it is right now.

jo malone

Jo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil

Full honesty disclosure here – I don’t take baths…and I’ve never used this. I have an unexplainable, unimaginable, weird-as-hell fear of grout and the corners of tubs pushed up against walls. The idea of sitting in the water and possibly having germs touch me…I shudder. You guys, I wear shoes in my own shower in my own home because I don’t want my feet to touch the grout. I know…I know.

BUT…I know most moms aren’t total paranoid freaks like myself, and they love a good bubble bath (it’s actually physically hurting me to even write about taking a bath…I have issues, I know). And I love Jo Malone soap. So I assume I would also love her bath oil. So there.

cannabliss

Cannabliss Organics

When Cannabliss Organics reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to try their amazing skincare products, I was pumped to try something new – and it did not disappoint. It’s all natural, all organic, all vegan, and it’s really amazing. Basically, the products contain hemp oil and CBD, which works to help our skin grow healthy new cells while also getting rid of the dead ones. You cannot go wrong with the body oil or the moisturizing face lotion. I’m always a fan of a lightweight face lotion, and this one hits the mark.

peter thomas roth

Peter Thomas Roth 24k Gold Hydra-Gel Eye Patches

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you already know I am a huge fan of anything Peter Thoma Roth comes out with. From his cooling cucumber mask to this gorgeous 24k gold hydra-gel eye patch, I’m a fan. #Momlife ruins your eyes. I mean, listen; I have four kids who all slept through the night within a month of birth and only woke up once or twice a night to eat before that. I never went through the whole sleep-deprivation situation, even when the twins were newborns.

But, you guys, I’m always tired. Kids are just exhausting even on 8-9 hours of sleep per night. I’m always moving, always busy, always on. And the bags under my eyes are definitely not designer…at least, not until I discovered this gem. My eyes look brighter, firmer, and less mom-like as a result.

You took your mom’s bright eyes away from her, but the great news is you can gift them back with these sweet eye patches. Do it. She’ll thank you. Also, you probably owe her.

dipytique

Diptyque Candles

If you really want to get mom something that makes her feel all kinds of luxurious and relaxed, try Baies or Vanille from the Diptyque collection. These are my two favorite scents, and you’ll see I always keep one in my master bathroom to make the entire space feel more spa-like and inviting while I’m getting ready in the mornings.

Here’s the deal; Your mom is going to love any and everything you give her for Mother’s Day whether it’s a long weekend getaway or a day at the spa or breakfast in bed and a day of fun in the sun at home. She loves you, and that’s what matters most. However, you can help make her feel a little more luxurious, a little more spoiled, and a little prettier (if it’s even possible for your mom to be any prettier) with one or more of these boujie gifts.

**Bonus points if you throw in a luxe spa robe like this one, this one, or this one 

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Gift: The Gift of Time (and a GIVEAWAY!)

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Time.

Do you have enough time? I never feel that I do. I manage to use every second to my best ability, and I’ve decided that’s just who I am. I’m okay with that, but I’m hyper-sensitive these days to the things taking up my time.

My kids.

My husband.

My business.

Those are the most important things taking up my time, and those are non-negotiable. I can’t don’t want to get rid of the kids and my sweet husband (Happy Birthday, Babe!) or my business. I don’t want to give up volunteering. I don’t want to give up yoga.

There are things I just love so much, and then there are things that are a total waste of my time.

When the amazing team at JORD Watches contacted me to ask if I’d like to work with them on a GIVEAWAY (head over to my Instagram page to check out the details and enter (tiffanyraiford15), I was super excited. Of course, I’d make time for such a fun giveaway for such a cool product.

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And that’s when my new JORD watch taught me the most spectacular lesson.

I might not be able to create more time in the day, but I do have the power to create how much time I waste and how much time I utilize – and my Apple Watch is making that difficult for me.

Sorry, Apple – I do love my watch. It’s great for my workouts. It’s great when I’m working and my phone is charging and I’m getting notifications I might need otherwise. It’s great when I’m driving.

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What’s not great, however, is how obsessed I’ve become with wearing it since my husband gave it to me three Christmases ago. It’s a time suck. I might be doing anything and stop because my watch notified me I have some new emails. Once I see that email come in, I feel the overwhelming need to respond. The same with texts and notifications on social media.

Wearing my JORD watch while we shot the campaign was fun because I wasn’t interrupted – at all. I had no idea if someone was trying to contact me. I wasn’t constantly distracted by notifications and emails and text messages.

Do you know how nice that felt? It’s the first time in a long time I’ve not worn my Apple Watch, and it was such a nice break. My new JORD wood watch is my new go-to for date nights when we’re out and I don’t want the interruption. It’s like I’ve been given the gift of time, and I didn’t even realize it.

If you’re looking for an amazing gift to give someone you love this Valentine’s Day, why not give them the gift of time? The JORD watch is all wood – and it’s gorgeous. It’s delicate while also being strong, and it’s a perfect blend of feminine and masculine. You’re going to love this because it’s the gift that keeps giving.

GIVEAWAY

You can win your very own chance to own a JORD watch by heading over to Instagram today to enter my giveaway with JORD Watches. Just head to tiffanyraiford15 on instagram, find the photo of this watch and follow the instructions to win. The contest lasts two weeks, and the winner gets a $100 code for purchase as well as free sizing and shipping on your new JORD watch!

If you can’t wait that long, you can visit http://www.jordwatches.com and enter coupon code “tiffanyraiford15” at checkout for an instant $25 savings on your new watch. Good luck!

Stocking Stuffers for Him Under $100

I shared a few of my own personal favorite stocking stuffers for the beloved ladies in your life on Monday, but what about the men in your life? Husbands, fathers, boyfriends, best friends, brothers, the mailman…hey, I don’t know what you do in your personal time.

My husband loves when the items in his stocking are useful and enjoyable, and Santa works hard to ensure that happens. He loves when there are new socks in there. He’s obsessed with Lacoste underpants, too – and that’s something he’s going to love me sharing with all of you, I’m sure. Some Hershey kisses, a few lottery tickets he can scratch off, new toothbrushes….maybe even a new beard trimmer. He likes useful, and I like him.

So he’s gone through my Sephora app to find his favorite stocking stuffers for the practical – and amazing-smelling – man in your life. Each one is under $100 to make it easy for you to stuff his stocking. And with free two-day shipping for only $10 a year, you have plenty of time to get it in time for Santa’s arrival.

Givenchy: Gentlemen Only Cologne

This is by far my favorite cologne. It’s masculine and light, but also just so subtle. When he walks by in this, I just want to be close to him….if that’s not incentive, what is?

YSL L’Homme Deodorant

It’s not always easy to find deodorant that works well and smells good, but this one takes it all the way. It’s strong enough to last all day, but light enough it doesn’t leave him feeling as if he has too much on or not enough on.

The Art of Shaving: Shaving Cream 

Sandalwood is so subtle and masculine, and that’s what makes this shaving cream so amazing. My husband doesn’t shave often because he only trims his facial hair but when he does, he uses this and it smells so good.

Peter Thomas Roth Shampoo and Conditioner

If the man in your life doesn’t want to smell like your shampoo and conditioner, try this. It’s very light, and it leaves his hair soft and clean. It’s not frilly, and that’s what makes it perfect for his everyday grooming needs.

{All Photos Courtesy of Sephora.com}

 

Stocking Stuffers from Sephora Every Woman Will Love

One. Week.

And it’s the most wonderful time of the year; I love everything about this time of year, but I have one small complaint.

I despise stockings. Nothing makes me crazier than “stuff,” and it seems everyone just fills stocking with “stuff,” just to fill them.

You won’t find “stuff” in our stockings. You’ll find useful, necessary items everyone loves, needs, and will actually use.

And some Christmas candy. Because sugar.

The kids get DVDs, and new toothbrushes, and underpants, and socks, and headbands and bows, and any little item they’ve been asking for (fidget cubes seem to be super important to our big kids this Christmas).

My husband is a stocking-stuffer genius. There’s always a little blue box, my favorite chocolate, a pretty bottle of perfume, or spa gift cards in my stocking. He’s good – and he always includes things he knows I’ll use and want.

And he’s always sure to pick them up from Sephora. He steals my phone, goes through my app, and he always gets it right. I thought since it’s the season for giving, I might give you a few ideas for the ladies in your life. Wives, moms, daughters, best friends, etc. – all from Sephora and ALL under $100.

Perfume

Who doesn’t love a scent that’s light and subtle, but oh-so elegant? To be 100% honest, I love to wear men’s cologne. I love Victor & Rolf’s Spice Bomb, Givenchy’s Gentleman Only…but I also know my husband isn’t a huge fan of me wearing his cologne and smelling like a man.

I just prefer the way he smells, and it’s so hard for me to find perfume that’s not too feminine and floral. That’s what I looooove about these three. They’re elegant, lovely, and feminine without being girly…and I love finding them in my stocking!

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Moisturizer

Let’s face it – this time of year is hard on our skin. A perfect moisturizer is difficult to find. Until now. You’re welcome.

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Blackhead Removers

Gross; I know. But trust me when I say these will forever change your life. Your face. Your confidence level. Get one for you and one for your favorite friend.

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Face Mask

Masks are so helpful this time of year, especially when they help you find a little of moisture you lose in the cold air.

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Airbrush Makeup

2017 was the year I realized my 34-year old skin no longer looks quite so good in my Bare Escentuals mineral powder. I’ve been using it for over a decade, and my skin no longer responds.

I had to find something new that lasts all day, doesn’t sweat off in the Florida sun, and doesn’t feel so heavy.

Thank you, Sephora. This airbrush makeup is everything. Someone on your list is going to love finding this in her stocking.

Photos from Sephora.com