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!

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.

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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 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