Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, loves!

Look at me sliding in here on the last day of the week with a quick post because I made you a promise last week to be here at least once a week the rest of the year.

Well, I didn’t fail this week, so go me!

This week has flown by! Of course, everything this time of year flies by. Now that we are in November, we are officially into the part of the year where we have an event or thing every weekend until after the New Year, which means very little free time, but a lot of fun in the books. These events and traditions ae among our favorites of the year, and we look forward to them all year.

Because I’m short on time due to having zero time, I did want to throw a quick Friday Favorites at you. Just a few of the things I’m loving most right now. I love to share those with you guys because who doesn’t love things that they love, and who doesn’t want to share the love?!

That said, here you go!

Gratitude

This week’s Friday fave is not a material possession or even a tangible possession. It’s just something that I’m loving right now. It’s easy to forget to be so thankful and filled with gratitude sometimes, but nothing is better than remembering that no matter how many negatives, bad days, difficult people, difficult moments, stressful situations, etc. you might be dealing with right now, you always have so much to be grateful for. I know that I’m blessed with such abundance, and I’m so appreciative of that even when I’m annoyed or irritated. You guys…gratitude costs you nothing, but gives you so much.

The Best Running Shoes Ever

I love to run, and the weather is finally nice enough I can run outside a few times a week without choking on the humidity (Florida problems). However, when I run on the pavement, I’m prone to shin splints. The treadmill isn’t so bad, but the outdoor situation is bad for my legs. I’ve gone through about 3 million pair of running shoes looking for the best ones, and hands down my very favorite are my APLs (that’s Athletic Propulsion Labs). I love them because they are not only the most comfortable shoes EVER and they’ve completely eliminated my shin splint issues, but because they are beyond cute, too. They’re so cute, in fact, that even my 1-year-old daughter has a few pair now. Our favorites are the Women’s Techloom ($225) and the Techloom Bliss ($200) (and in all the colors).

SPANX Faux Leather Leggings

But, really, though; I detest pants. I dislike them in every capacity imaginable. I prefer dresses, but sometimes you have to put on some pants and call it a day. These are the ones because they don’t feel like pants, but they do make you feel instantly slimmer and amazing. If you don’t have a pair (um, or 9…but I really love them, okay???), get them now. They are only $98 and they are the best non-pants pants ever.

Clinique’s All About Eyes Rich Eye Cream

If you’re struggling with puffy eyes (and girl, you know you are), this is for you. I’ve been using this cream for a few weeks now, and even my husband has noticed how much brighter my eyes look. The puff is gone – even when he and I got a collective 2 hours of sleep one night last week while our sweet Charlotte was up all night vomiting everywhere (he has bedroom cleaning duty and laundry duty when that happens, I have shower and shampoo duty…followed by hair blow dry duty because our kids are high maintenance little assholes sometimes…they might get that from me, but no comment). Seriously, though, get this. It’s magic, and it’s only $54.

Date Night

If you aren’t regularly dating your spouse – and I’m talking at least once every two weeks – it’s time to make some changes. You need that time to connect. You need that time to focus on one another, to look one another in the eyes and to carry on conversations that aren’t interrupted by tiny humans, to just be young and in love without distraction. I love date night, and it is a Friday favorite. Tonight’s date night includes some of our favorite couples, our favorite brewery our friends just opened, and the knowledge that we will wake up tomorrow with cheeks sore from laughing. Best life, you guys.

 

What are some of your Friday favorites this week?

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Life Lately

Happy Friday, Loves!

It’s been too long, and I know that. This year is one that has gotten entirely away from me, and I’m almost positive it’s my own fault. Unfortunately, my blog is my creative outlet – and it has nothing to do with my business, so it’s been pushed to the backburner more often than not this year. That makes me a sad, because I love the creativity that comes from this space. However, it also means that my client list has grown, my time has gotten more precious, and I’m over-committed.

Not to worry – this year is almost over and 2020 is the year of no. If, “Yes, that’s amazing!” isn’t my first reaction to something, my immediate answer is no. I’ve given up too much of my time, and I’m ready to take that back. I’m losing my work/life balance a bit this year, and that’s my own fault (and let’s face it, finding a balance is hard enough when your office is 50 feet from your family room, right?) but I’m committing myself to blocking time for this every week – even if it’s just one blog post a week.

Aside from my everyday obligations, this fall has so much fun. Of course, it always is, and of course I’m always shocked how much more fun is actually possible when you think you’ve peaked, but it’s been fun. From four days in my favorite city and home away from home with my very handsome husband and our sweet friends to ring in 36 to family fun days to time spent laughing with those we love the most, it’s been sweet.

I have been so awful about updating everyone on things via social media when I receive questions, and I’m sorry. I try to answer them as quickly as I can, but I usually turn my phone off during the day while I’m in my office. It’s become a ‘phone-free zone’ and I don’t use social media on my computer or iPad. So, my phone is on Do Not Disturb until I make the decision to look at it myself – which I only allow myself to do when I walk out of the office. That means I have some questions I haven’t answered, and I’m sharing some things I got a lot of questions about!

Specifically, some of the things I wore when I was in NYC last month.

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This look was my favorite all weekend. So simple, yet so chic.

Let me preface this by saying I had the most difficult time packing for NYC this year. It was unseasonably warm that weekend (in the 80s) and I struggled. We spend my birthday in NYC every year, and it’s always freezing! I wasn’t thrilled about the heat (even if it is so much cooler there in the 80s than it is here in Florida, but I am so over heat and sweat and hot weather…yuck).

I actually had nothing packed, hated everything I owned, and panicked until the morning of our trip. Our flight left at 8:30 pm, and I went shopping as soon as I took the kids to school that morning hoping I’d find something I liked (because, let’s face it, my closet is 75% Lilly Pulitzer, which is not fall in NYC appropriate in Tiffany-land). I was shocked that I did not find anything at any of my favorite stores, but that I did find things in the places I went out of desperation.

Case in point – this dress is from Old Navy, and it’s currently one of my favorite things to wear! Unfortunately, I cannot find it online right now, but I did find several that are quite similar and can be styled the same way here, here, and here. (wearing size XS for reference).

Belt (mine is the 85) – Gucci

Tory Burch Millers in “Makeup”

My hat is old and from Norsdstrom

Bracelets are Tiffany & Co. and David Yurman

Phone case and wristlet strap are Bandolier

I wore this outfit on our first full day in the city. We spent the day shopping on 5th Avenue, we had brunch at the Boathouse in Central Park, cocktails at the Plaza, the rooftop at the Le Meridien, the rooftop at the Peninsula, and more. This dress was perfect for the day!

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I received so many compliments on this outfit the third day of our trip! I wanted something comfortable and fun since we were showing our friends around the city for their first (ever!) visit, and it was the day we headed downtown to the financial district to visit the 9/11 memorial, to see the Statue of Liberty, and to take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Lots of walking. Lots of fun.

Corduroy skirt (runs really big! I’m wearing a small and had to pull it up all day and rely on my belt to keep it where it needed to be) – Forever 21 

Black Shirt (love this shirt and have it in every color!) – Nordstrom 

Same Gucci Belt as above

Adidas Superstars

Givenchy Sunglasses are from last year, and they appear to be sold out everywhere, but these are similar. 

Friday Favorites: Recent Lilly Pulitzer Purchases

Happy Friday, loves!

What a week! May is the busiest year in the world for all people with kids – and when you have four kids, it’s four times as busy. This is the month we basically give up any dreams of rest, relaxation, down time (and work, for me) and give our lives to our kids.

I haven’t been home one day this week. Every single day has been kid-related from pediatrician appointments to competitive cheer stuff to lunch with one of my favorite mom friends to yoga to tumble classes to dinner with new friends, to everything in between. It’s been a busy week. Yet I still managed to get everything written and done, and I feel super accomplished going into the weekend.

It was a fun week, but I’m ready for the weekend!

And, since it is weekend, and it’s going to be a gorgeous one here in the Sunshine State, I’m sharing a few of my favorite recent Lilly Pulitzer purchases. Anyone who knows me knows that I live in Lilly from March to September (and usually beyond that).

There’s just something so refreshing about the fun colors, the bold prints, and the quality is always perfect. Fun fact: I have enough Lilly to wear a different dress or pair of shorts or romper or jumpsuit every single day of the summer and not wear the same piece twice. But…we all know that when you love a piece so much, you wear it twice. Or three times. Or more. Whatever. There’s no shame in my repeat game when it’s this good.

Of everything I wear, I get more compliments on my Lilly dresses than anything else )other than my fuchsia and gold Manolo Blahniks….those get more compliments than anything I’ve ever encountered in my life). Everyone asks about my Lilly dresses whether they want to know where I buy all my beautiful dresses or they want to know how I find such fun mommy and me dresses for my girls, or they want to me to know that they love seeing me all the time because I’m always so bright and colorful and it lifts them up.

In the past month or two, I’ve picked up some amazing pieces for spring and summer, and they might be my favorites, so I want to share them with you (and one romper that isn’t LP, but I love it too much to care).

Jumpsuit – $198 (far left)

Dress (center)(borrowed from my sweet friend and cannot find online, but this one is amazingly similar and will probably end up in my closet before much longer) – $138

Romper – $178 (far right)

Bell Sleeve Dress (top left) – $198

Dress (top right) – $98

Maxi Dress – $228 (but it’s currently at Nordstrom for only $124 on sale!)

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Cover-up no longer available online but this one is the same one in a different pattern – $118

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My Dress – $98

Girls Dresses – $58

Craig’s Shirt, Carter’s Shirt

I have all three of these, but I haven’t taken a photo in the first dress, and I’ve yet to wear the other two

Dress (far left) – $98

Maxi – $248

Dress (far right) – $218

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Show Me Your Mumu romper – $144

*this romper runs very large. I’m wearing an XS here and I had to tighten the straps as far as they would go and keep pulling it up throughout the afternoon.

 

Notes

  • All of my LP dresses are size XS for reference
  • Our youngest daughter’s dress is a size 2-3, middle daughter is 7-8, oldest is 10-12 (kids sizes run very small)
  • Cognac wedges I’m wearing in most photos are old (2015 Michael Kors from Nordstrom)
  • Tory Burch Millers I’m wearing with other dresses are Bleach and Makeup colors
  • White Pumps are Manolo Blahnik
  • Sunglasses pictured with Maxi dress are Ray Ban
  • All other sunglasses are Givenchy
  • crossbody handbag is Prada Saffiano
  • All earrings are BaubleBar for Target

Buy This, Not That: How to Make Your Outfits Look More Expensive

Happy Friday, loves!

Is it just me, or is this month basically flying by without any real slow down? I cannot believe we are already more than halfway through the first month of the new year, but I guess I should considering how much faster time goes by with four kids than it did before.

I’m loving it, though. This is an exciting year for me and my family with all that we have going on, and it’s so much fun to live through it a day at a time – even if it feels like those days fly by. Since it’s Friday, I’m going to keep this short and sweet and basically to the point.

Y’all know that I love high-end fashion. I love designer shoes, bags, and sunglasses – I’ve been collecting Louis Vuitton handbags since I was 20 (though I’m super guilty of rarely carrying anything other than my Neverfull GM the past two or three years). I have more Louboutins and Manolo Blahniks than most people have clothes. I loooove high-end designer fashion.

Mostly accessories – though I tend to always spend more for designer basics. Jeans, dresses, and coats (that I really only need for our twice-yearly winter trips to NYC). Other than that, I’m good buying the budget-friendly version of most things. If it’s trendy or it’s easily replaceable, I won’t spend much on it. It’s those classic pieces I cannot live with if they’re poor quality.

Because I like to mix a lot of high-end fashion with low-end items, I get a lot of questions about making cheaper pieces look expensive. The truth is that it’s so much easier than you imagine. You don’t need to have designer items to make your outfit look expensive if you’re on a budget. You just need to know how to shop for pieces that don’t look cheap – and how to mix and match.

red coat

Buy A Long Coat, Not A Short One

If you buy a long coat with a classic cut, you can make any winter ensemble look more expensive. Just be sure you’re not buying your long coats from the trendy shops you see on Pinterest or Facebook. You can get a good quality long coat with an affordable pricetag at Nordstrom, Macys, Dillards, and even H&M.

Try this one, this one or this one.

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Find a Tailor, Don’t Settle

Do not settle for pieces that don’t fit well. It doesn’t matter if you spend $500 on a dress or you spend $15 on it. If it doesn’t fit you well, it looks cheap. Find a tailor. Become her best friend. Have your clothes hemmed and fitted to your body type.

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Know What You Can Pull Off, And Don’t Be A Victim

So many women look gorgeous in those high-waist, wide-leg culottes. I, my friends, am not one of them. As much as I love them, you won’t find me in them because I know that I cannot pull them off. Know what your body can handle, and don’t deviate from that path. You cannot pull off every trend that comes your way. Know thyself.

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Wear Pointed Toes, Not Round Toes

I just don’t love a round toe when it comes to a classic heel. If you’re going to look high-end, the first thing you should do is throw on a pair of great shoes, but make sure those pumps have a pointed toe. They’re instantly more flattering because they help elongate your legs rather than making them appear squatty. They just don’t work – and they never look upscale.

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Think Basics, Not Basic

If you want to look expensive, try the basics. Think wrap dresses, fitted jeans and high-quality tee shirts with a blazer. Add classic pumps to an outfit, or get a few fitted oxford shirts. Keep your jewelry simple and sophisticated. Add a pair of oversized sunglasses. Get a structured bag. Stick to basic colors, and take off that last layer of whatever. Less is always more.

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Show Off One Body Part, Not All of Them

The quickest way to look cheap is to put every body part you have on display. Keep it classy by keeping everything else modest and only showing off one asset at a time. If your hemline is short, make sure your neckline is high. Show off those gorgeous legs, but keep everything else under wraps. If your neckline is plunging, make sure the length of your dress or skirt is at or below the knee. For example, a plunging neckline in a fitted sheath that hits just below your knees is one of the sexiest yet most sophisticated looks imaginable.

My gorgeous grandmother always told me that you attract what you put out there. If you want to be treated like a lady with class and elegance and attract people of the same nature, dress like one. If you want to attract low-quality people who treat you as such, dress like one. It’s that simple.

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Remember That You Attract What You Put Out There

Here’s the deal – your personal style choices are just that. Personal. Don’t let me dictate what you wear. However, always remember that you do attract a very certain type of attention when you walk out the door based on how you dress. Keep that in mind, and you’ll always be a step ahead of the game.

Instagram Roundup

Happy Thursday, loves!

I love that this new year is already off to such a great start. It’s been a few days, and it’s already been one of those weeks when you just sit back and embrace life to the fullest. I basically took the past month off work. Almost entirely other than the two weeks before the kids were out of school where I played catch up and work ahead. Other than that, I’m only doing some contract work for one client until the second full week of the year. The kids are home. I like to be with them. I like to spend time organizing, getting things prepared for a great new year, going to the dentist and the doctor and all those things.

Mostly, I’m just enjoying the laidback mornings. Sleeping a little later. Enjoying a little more. Being fully present. Those are things I value and love, and this year is off to a great start already. And on that note, I’m sharing with you a quick Instagram round-up since it has been a while since I’ve done that!

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I love, love, love this Likely dress so much it actually hurts. I picked this up a few months ago and knew it would be my Christmas Eve dress, and it received so many compliments! It’s elegant and classic – and it’s perfect. Paired with my favorite Manolos, and I was the happiest mom around.

(I cannot find this exact dress anymore at Saks; they have the shorter one available. I found some similar dresses here and here. My Manolo Blahniks are a few years old, but I love this red pair. Givenchy large sunglasses are sold out everywhere, but I did find these online.)

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This Topshop sweater is one I picked up a few weekends ago when my husband and I had a date weekend in Tampa for his company’s Christmas party. I can’t go to Tampa without making a stop at Nordstrom and bringing home all the things, and this sweatshirt is one thing I’m glad I took home…in every color. I sized up to a US 4 because I wanted it loose.

Topshop Sweatshirt, Tinsel jeans (my new favorites), Michael Kors booties (old but similar here, Givenchy Sunglasses linked above).

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This jumpsuit is every single thing. I mean, I cannot even begin to tell you how much my husband loves and adores this jumpsuit. I originally rented it for Thanksgiving from Rent the Runway, and I ended up ordering it to have after I sent it back because he loves it so much. I mean, so, so, so, so much. He cannot keep his hands off me when I put this on, and since he typically can’t keep them off me anyway, this was even better! And these fun little kitten heels are actually like 13-year-old Jimmy Choos that I picked up. Aren’t they fabulous?

 

 

 

Life Lately & An Instagram Roundup

Happy Tuesday, loves!

What about this week is so magical?! I love Thanksgiving. I love opening my home to the people we love, hosting a beautiful dinner, spending the day in the kitchen with my husband. I love so much about it. I’m not even that bothered by the kids being home this week because the weather is so beautiful that they just want to be outdoors, and we are able to work with the doors and windows open. It’s just…pretty. I love it.

Life has just been good lately. I know I say that a lot, and I know my enthusiasm for life probably invites a few eye rolls here and there, but I don’t care. Anyone who has any interaction with me on a daily basis knows there are a few things that Make. Me. Crazy. (safety patrol parents. my sweet little nephew. Science fair projects. Just to name a few). But really, I have no complaints and most of those I do have are pretty simple, so that’s something to be happy about.

This weekend was a good one. It was one of those weekends we didn’t have anything planned – and we needed that. We’ve not been home the past month or so on the weekends, and we were just tired. Every night last week was late…we were just tired.

Thursday night last week was a late one. I went with some of my girlfriends to the United Way’s Little Black Dress fundraiser at a local winery, followed by dinner with some of my girlfriends I ran into at the event. It was fun, but it was also 11 pm before I got home! Friday night was family date night, but the kids asked if we could just stay home for once. We were all about that, so we just picked up Olive Garden to go and relaxed at home for the evening.

We also decided to host an impromptu Gator Game Day party at our house. It was very casual with a sub bar and quick snacks, and somehow our luncheon/game day party turned into an all-day event, but it was easily one of the most fun days ever. Like, the kind of fun that leaves everyone saying over and over “This was the best day!” It really was, and I loved every second of it. Sunday ended with another impromptu plan when we went to a local brewery to judge our friend’s entry and turned it into a date night. He’s opening a brewery of his own in a few months, and we loved supporting him with our best friends…and a great dinner! I don’t care for dark beer at all, but he makes the least disgusting dark beer (but if you do love a dark beer, you’d have been in heaven).

Now it’s Monday. The kids are home, the day is beautiful. I’m cramming a full week worth of work into today, tomorrow, and a few hours Wednesday morning, and I’m kind of banging it out like a Rockstar. And that was with a two-mile run this morning, so I’m feeling pretty good. Which brings me to the point of today’s post – an Insta-Roundup.

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7Fam Raw Hem Ankle Jeans, Tory Burch flats sold out similar here, cardigan, tee shirt $5.99 from TJ Maxx, Givenchy Large Square Sunglasses sold out smaller version here 

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7FAM jeans here, Manolo Blahnik pumps, BlankNYC vegan leather jacket, black tee $5.99 at TJ Maxx, Givenchy sunglasses linked in first photo 

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Nordstrom faux leather leggings here, OTK boots here, cowl neck sweater here, Givenchy sunglasses linked in first photo 

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Dress the Population sequin dress (also available on Rent the Runway), Christian Louboutin bow front slingbacks are old, but my second favorites here 

 

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?!

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.

Rompers and Jumpsuits in the Caribbean

Happy Wednesday, loves!

It was The. Most. Fun. Weekend. It was all fun in the sun with our amazing people, and I’m exhausted to a point I can’t even describe. We spent the weekend with our four favorite couples on a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas, and we laughed for four straight days. Oh, the memories!

I can only say that I am truly grateful that we have such an amazing tribe, and that in the decade we’ve been so close, we’ve done some of the most amazing things together, been to the most amazing places together, and created some of the most seriously amazing memories. Our kids have been best friends since birth, we’ve been all over the world together, and the dynamic is the best.

It’s not easy to plan a trip for five couples with a grand total of 12 kids between them. You have seven sets of grandparents who have the be available at the same time, on the same weekend, and it’s a lot of planning. But, shout out to those grandparents for taking the best care of our littles so we can make memories.

The first night of the cruise was the night I was finally able to wear one of my favorite purchases from last year, and I love it. My gorgeous friend Corinna and I have been planning our outfits for a while, and we wanted to grab a quick pic together before dinner in my romper and her jumpsuit – and we had a ton of compliments!

I want to take a moment to point out that you’re looking at mid-30s mamas with a total of seven kids between the two of us. We’ve both always been active and good about working out and eating well, but we made a commitment a few months ago – along with our husbands – to really focus on good health, building muscle and toning, and just live our best lives. And we, along with our husbands, have been killing it. I’m so proud of us.

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{My outfits details: Lilly Pulitzer Tiki Wrap Romper (I bought it last year, and I cannot find it in this color anymore, but there is a new version of it in new colors I linked for you) Christian Louboutin So Kate Pumps, SugarFix by BaubleBar Earrings}

{Corinna’s outfit details: By&By Jumpsuit, similar shoes here and here}

It was a rompers and jumpsuits kind of night for us, and we both received a ton of compliments on our choices. I asked Corinna if I could share her outfits along with mine because of that, and she was totally fine with it. And I will never, ever look at this picture of us without visualizing knives, Tito, and BJ being a married man while dying of laughter. #insidejokes

Mixing High and Low on Vacation

Happy Monday, loves!

It’s an exciting week in the Raiford house. Addison, our oldest, has her favorite week of summer – cheer camp. She’s been going since she was 5, and she’s been with the same group of girls since. This means my schedule is crazy, but she loves it, and her performance at the end of the week is always so much fun! It’s also Father’s Day, and we have so much to celebrate with Craig. He’s the best dad in the world -and we all know it.

It’s also a week for the books, because, you guys…I’ve started packing for our Caribbean vacation. Which isn’t until next week! Anyone who knows me knows I’m in panic mode the night before we leave on vacation because I’ve packed nothing. This time, however, I’ve started packing. Perhaps it’s because my husband and I spent time Saturday coordinating our dinner outfits, or perhaps it’s because things we’ve ordered for vacay have started to arrive, or perhaps it was the post-dinner parking lot fashion show Friday night. Whatever it is, I’ve started packing – and it feels really good to have things crossed off my checklist already (you guys, I’ve created my vacay checklist already, too!).

Caribbean packing is easy for me. Swimsuits, coverups, and dinner attire. And 78 other outfits I don’t need, of course.

My style has always been a good mixture of low and high-end pieces. I prefer certain items high-end (shoes, bags, glasses, jeans, dresses etc.) and some items I don’t care as much about. If they’re trendy and on-style for the current season, they aren’t investment pieces for me. I’m sharing how I mix high and low pieces for a tropical vacay by sharing a few of my favorite new purchases for vacation.

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Shoe Obsession

I’ve been on the fence about a great pair of white pumps for a few months now. I’ve been weighing the idea of white shoes with four kids who love to step on my toes, the rainy Florida weather, and whether I’ll actually wear them. Last week, I decided I’d been thinking about them so much, I needed to have them to wear with the gorgeous gown I ordered for dinner one night. My favorite shoes are always, always, always Manolo Blahnik, so I went with these. They arrived Thursday – and I’ve already worn them to date night Friday night and church on Sunday. Oh, the compliments! I also like to pretend they make my pasty legs look tan. A girl can dream, right?

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Swim Suits

I typically don’t splurge on swimwear. However, I’m very particular about my bottoms. Cheap, trendy bottoms tend to snag and look bad after one or two wears, so I always buy Victoria’s Secret bottoms. I’ve learned they are the ones that last a long time and hold up quite well no matter what I sit on (the dock, the boat, the pool deck, etc.). Tops, however, I don’t care about. I mix and match my tops and bottoms, anyway. These VS cheekie ruffle bottoms are my favorite – I have them in every color ever made over the years, and I wear them season after season after season.

I also recently bought this scalloped suit for a trip we took earlier this month. To be very honest, I hate the bottoms. The scallops don’t hold up, so they end up needing adjustments every 30 seconds. I skipped out wearing them, but I love the top. You can go with this one or this much more affordable version.

I also bought this pink top from Express. Full disclosure – it hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m super excited about it! For only $20, it doesn’t matter too much if I don’t love it.

Swim Coverups

This has been the worst year – ever – for swim coverups. I haven’t found anything I love, anywhere. I always love a good Lilly Pulitzer coverup, but the one I bought is no longer on the website, so I’m linking this one since it’s the same style just a different design. Furthermore, I just ordered a few coverups from….wait for it…Amazon! I found them on Pinterest (looooove Pinterest) and was dying when I realized they were only $16-$17 on Amazon. Naturally, I ordered multiple colors, and I really like them! You can find them here.

I’m not done shopping, yet. But I’m proud of myself for already ordering all my dinner attire, swimwear, and shoes. Now I just need a new beach bag and earrings. We’re going to shop this weekend, so hopefully, I find everything I still need. Because next week, we’re out!