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?

 

 

 

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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 

 

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

Five Summer Staples Under $100

Summer is HERE! Y’all already know this is my least favorite season, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love certain things about summer. I really love not being 100% pasty. That 5% color I manage to hold onto throughout the summer is everything.

Summer means we’re all spending more time outside (wishing the humidity wasn’t a million percent and the mosquitoes didn’t exist), and I have a few things I just cannot live without this season. We are headed to the Caribbean in two weeks, and you can bet you’ll find all five of these UNDER $100 items in my luggage. They’re my favorite affordable summer staples, and I want to share them with you.

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The Lilly Pulitzer Essie dress is hands-down my favorite style. I have this dress in almost every color/pattern, and I’m in love with it from start to finish. I bought the navy Essie two years ago for our best friends’ Fourth of July party, and I quickly began buying it each time a new style was introduced. The best part – it’s only $98!

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This Peter Thomas Roth moisturizing lotion is my go-to summer lotion. I cannot tell you enough how much I’ve fallen in love with PTR products over the past year, and this is one that I cannot live without! It’s only $52, and it lasts forever.

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I have been a lover of my Yeti cups for years now. I know the company is in the middle of a total political situation right now – but I don’t care. I have my own beliefs that don’t always align with those of the brands I shop, but I also love that living in America means we have freedom of speech. To me, this means we get to believe in what we want to believe in and respectfully disagree when our opinions don’t line up with those of others. So – I love my Yetis. We have like 20 Yeti cups in our house, and my most recent purchase was this coral 20 oz. customized with my name. Did I need another 20 oz. tumbler? No. Did I want the coral color? Yes. Prices vary.

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The Tory Burch Mini Miller Jellies are the BEST flip-flops for beach days and pool days. I can get them as wet as I want, and they wipe right off. I love my regular Millers, but they were not meant to get wet. These jellies can be worn in the rain, the sun, the beach, the pool, on the boat, and anywhere in between. And they’re only $98.

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The Tarte BB cream/primer is a recent favorite for summer. I always wear a primer and a BB cream under my foundation, but I’ve found that this amazing creation does both – and it’s SPF 30. We recently took our parents and our kids away for a long weekend, and I forgot to reapply my own sunblock throughout the day. I ended up super-burnt all over my body – except my face. This Tarte cream was all the magic for me. The best part is it’s only $37!

Weekend Recap and IG Round-Up: The Best Dresses for The Season

Happy Tuesday, loves!

Well, it’s Monday my time – and I’m just sitting here on my deck living my very best life. The Florida sunshine is currently giving me all the happy feelings. It’s cool, breezy, and my back deck is shaded and perfect. I’ve moved out of mine and my husband’s office to sit out here today and work – and I’m thinking it’s been an amazing decision.

April was a crazy month (I say that every month), and May is ramping up to be just as crazy. I’m on the board of two PTAs, and next week is Teacher Appreciation Week (which means work, work, work), it’s the last month of school for the big girls, we have amazing trips the same weekend the next three months to pack for, field day at the twins’ school, PTA meetings, events, and things, last day of school stuff, cheer tryouts, dance recitals, gymnastics, tumbling, date nights, Mother’s Day to host – you name it, we’re doing it.

We planned on spending the weekend at Disney with the littles – because we don’t do Disney in the heat and crowds of the summer, so May is basically it before we skip out until September-ish with our passes – but they actually asked us if we could just not.

I know, right?

They’re tired. We’re tired. We had a fun Friday night with friends at a birthday pool party, and got home late, and the kids were overly tired. They didn’t have one normal night last week because of activities and such, and the late nights got to them (and us). So, we said of course to staying home. And we did. We spent all weekend having fun. The girls and I had a salon day Saturday morning while the boys took a golf cart ride and did boy stuff. And other than church on Sunday morning, all weekend was spent in our swimsuits. Our evenings were spent grilling and enjoying the cool breeze on our deck (this is the BEST time of year for that).

We even had movie night Saturday. The kids couldn’t agree on anything, so Craig and I made the executive decision to watch Beethoven, and they loved it – and now they all want a St. Bernard. Carter-man fell asleep on my lap during the first 5 minutes, and I cannot even begin to describe how sweet it was to spend an hour and-a-half cuddling with my littlest love, my sweet boy, before we carried the twins upstairs for bed when the movie was over. I needed all those sweet snuggles.

Life. Is. Good.

Now it’s back to the hectic weekly life we live, but we are all living it a little better this week because of that time. You guys – if you’re not taking time every so often to be low-key and hang with your kids, you’re so missing out. They’re a lot of fun. And it does wonders for your soul to just be still.

How was your weekend? We’re so excited about all that we have to look forward to in the next few months, but also enjoying the last month or so of pretty weather. Hot days with cool mornings and evenings. A month from now = death by humidity and heat.

I’ve rounded up a few of my most recent IG looks for you – some sold out or no longer available, but – always – something super similar and just as much fun to check out!

{ Dress (I bought it at Nordstrom last year, I think, but I can’t find it anymore so I’ve linked similar here, here, and here) Michael Kors wedges (old) similar here, here, and here, Ray-Ban Sunglasses, BaubleBar Earrings similar here and here }

I wore this fun dress to church Sunday. I love the color blue, and I had to wear it because both my boys were in blue. Sweet Carter asked me if I’d wear blue like him and Daddy, and there’s no saying no to that kind of sweet request!

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{ Dress (I just found this at Marshalls a few weeks ago, and I can’t find the exact one online but I’ve linked some similar maxi dresses in the tee-shirt style here, here, and here) Tory Burch sandals (old, but I love these, these, and these) Hat (sold out at Nordstrom but similar here, here, and here) Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM }

I love this dress. I think I might be all about the tee shirt dress this summer – and for like $20, who isn’t?!

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{ Lilly Pulizter Dress (I can’t find the same print online, but there are great ones here, here, and here) Tory Burch Millers, Ray-Ban Sunglasses, BaubleBar earrings similar here }

I think this Lilly Pulitzer dress is like 2 or 3 years old now? I can’t remember, but it goes down in history as my favorite LP of all time. Anyone who knows me knows this time of year at least 5 of 7 days of the week are spent in one form of Lilly Pulitzer or another, and I really just love all the prints. However, there is something about this simple stripe I just adore. I can’t find it online, but I still see it in stores regularly, so check it out!

Instagram Roundup: What I’ve Been Wearing Lately

Happy Tuesday, lovelies!

The week has gotten off to a stellar start in the Raiford household. My husband and I ran a 5k with our oldest daughter Saturday. It was the first I’ve ever run. We’ve done plenty of 5k’s in the past, but they’ve been obstacle course-type mud runs and such. I’ve only ever walked them, but this was my first time running one. To be honest, it was my first time running more than a mile without stopping – and to be really, really honest, it was only my second time running a mile without stopping.

I run often, but I run like 200 yards and then walk 500 and then run 100 and walk the rest of the way. I hate to run, but I finished 3.1 miles in 35 minutes. I was so super impressed with myself that I’m now obsessed with running and working on challenging myself to go harder, faster, and get stronger. So now my Monday, Wednesday, Friday workout routine has changed a bit – but I’ll never give up my Tuesday/Thursday yoga classes!

I’m behind on my IG roundups, but the weather all over the place is literally all over the place, so I can’t find a real groove in my spring style. So, on that note, here’s what’s been going on in my life lately.

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{ Jeans, Shirt, Blazer, Shoes, Glasses, Earrings }

This is my new favorite tee shirt, and I cannot even tell you how much I love it! Our oldest daughter’s best friend celebrated her 9 3/4 birthday with a complete Harry Potter theme at the local train station – and her mom did the most spectacular job. So I thought I was only appropriate to sport an “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” tee. Right from Amazon. I love prime.

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{ Jeans, Boots, Shirt, Glasses }

I am so far behind that most of the outfits I haven’t shared details about yet are from the Book Fair week we had at the girls’ school last month. I know…It’s been three weeks! But these Tory Burch boots are my favorite riding boots, and this tunic is probably one of my favorites. It’s so soft and so warm!

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{ Leggings, Kicks, Sweater, Glasses }

By the last day of the book fair last month, I was so over wearing real pants. You don’t even understand. I work from home. I’ve worked from home for the past 10 years. I get dressed long enough to take the kids to school and pick them up – and I’m back in my robe the moment I walk through my front door. I mean, honestly. I was so over the wearing pants and being dressed and working what felt like a real ‘job’ needing to be somewhere at a certain time and staying there all day….dressed. So, it was faux leather leggings and oversize Topshop sweater!

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{Dress, Espadrilles, Espadrilles, Glasses}

I love these Christian Louboutin espadrilles more than any shoe I own. I bought these more than 10 years ago (maybe 12?) and love them endlessly. They are actually my very first pair of Louboutins – and the only pair I’ve ever managed to score on sale! They were on sale for $300 and I was positive I needed them in all their polka dot glory, and I was so right. I love them with this little Old Navy swing dress I just picked up a few weeks ago for like $9. I love a good high/low combination.

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{ Boots, Jeans, Sweater, Glasses, Earrings

These pink Hunter Wellingtons are ON SALE right now! I love this adorable blue sweater, but I don’t know where to find it for you. I saw it at TJ Maxx about two months ago and totally fell in love with it. Also, if you’ve never worn Hunter boots before, size way, way, way down. I wear a full size smaller in Wellies than any other shoe – and I think they’re a bit large, too.

Three Closet Staples For Spring

Spring is here.

Or so I hear. It’s just hot in the Sunshine State. The humidity is back. The air is on. My makeup is melting regularly. So, good for you if you have spring. And yes, you do infer a bit of sarcasm in that congratulatory phrase.

Now that spring has allegedly sprung, it’s time for us all to do a little shopping. I’ve been in the mood for some shopping lately, and I’ve picked up a few super fun items. I’m sharing a few of my recent purchases with you, what I love about them, and I’ve broken them down into three must-haves this spring. You can even roll them into summer if you like…

Maxi Dresses

I love a gorgeous maxi dress, and these casual dresses are kind of everything right now. They’re easy to wear, easy to style, and they go with just about anything. From running errands to a casual lunch date, you can get away with a maxi dress casually. Adding some upscale accessories can even take some of these from day to night. I love this one, this one, and this one.

Full Skirts

If there is one thing I”m currently obsessed with this season, it’s a full skirt. This is my Sunday best staple, and I cannot tell you how many compliments I receive when I wear one of mine to church on Sundays. They’re feminine, ladylike, and so elegant. But you can dress them down with a tee shirt, up with a blouse, and in between with the right shoes. Did I mention they are also super flattering? I love this one, this one, and this one.

Casual Shoes 

Spring is all about casual flats this year, and I’m currently obsessing over a few of my own favorites. I love a gorgeous espadrille to make any outfit more fun, a great pair of flip flops – because I’m a Floridian – and this year as casual tenny. I love these, these, and these.

FAQs: Answering a Few of the Most Commonly Asked Questions I Get On Instagram

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Hey, y’all! Happy Wednesday…and happy cooler weather, Floridians! I’m so happy to have this gorgeous 70-degree high situation back in my life. This weekend was spectacular – and in more ways that one. We had a house full of kids and family all weekend, and we got to spend a child-free night being treated like VIPs with 10 of our very best friends all night long. It included a party bus (with a bathroom on board, which is always perfection), a suite at an Orlando Magic Game, and entirely too much fun.

Did you know flossing is more than just what you do after you brush?! #funfact

I don’t know if it’s because I’m trying to use Instagram Stories more often these days or what, but I’m getting so many more questions that I usually get via DM on Insta, and I thought I might take a moment to answer a few of them. When I start to notice a few of the same questions come through over and over, I try to just address them publicly so it’s a little easier than sending dozens of the same replies.

So….here we go.

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  1. Are all four of your kids yours?

Yes! I don’t really know why I get this question so many times, but I’ve had a few “you look too young to have four kids,” “do you have a blended family,” and even once or twice, “it’s just so uncommon to see a couple with four kids who all belong to the same two parents,” in the DMs lately. Yes, all four kids belong to me and to my husband – together. We will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary in two months, and we will have a 10-year-old as of July. Our Ava turns 7 this month, and our twins turn 4 this month. They’re all ours.

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  1. What would you say is your personal style definition?

Lazy chic. Honestly. I’m lazy. I have four kids. I have a business to run. I have a husband and a house and the kids have about 7679377 extracurricular activities, and I still like sleep. So I like to go for lazy, but I’ll call it classic simplicity. I love fashion, but I like to spend as little time in the morning as possible figuring out what to wear. I’m a uniform kind of girl. Give me a Lilly Pulitzer shift and a pair of Tory Burch sandals and I’m dressed for the summer. Give me skinny jeans and a tunic with a pair of heels, and I’m dressed the rest of the year. I have a uniform – and I’m okay with that.

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  1. A lot of what you link is really expensive. How do you decide what to splurge on and what to save on?

Style is very personal, and that’s what makes it so amazing. I like a good mixture of high and low-end pieces. I’m not a very trendy person – and that’s all right – but I do love classics. I spend a lot on the basics: jeans, LBDs, shoes, and handbags – and sunglasses. Anything not designed to last a lifetime, I don’t spend a lot on. Maxi dresses, rompers, tee shirts, tunics, and things like that don’t get much of my money.

I do spend a lot on certain pieces, but they are pieces that last a lifetime. Much of what I wear are things I’ve had 3, 5, 10, 12 years and still wear/carry like it’s brand-new because quality is ALWAYS better than quantity. I don’t consider the staples or classics a waste. It’s personal.

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  1. What’s your workout routine?

Simple – I move my body. I belong to my local YMCA, and I stop by three mornings a week after I drop the kids off at school. Those days I do a mixture of cardio and weights. I prefer machines like the elliptical or treadmill, and I always look up different challenging 30-minute routines on Pinterest to make each work out different and challenging.

Two days a week I go home for a few hours to work and then I head back to the Y for an hour-long yoga class. I love and adore my yoga classes – they are amazing. I feel so good, so strong, and so amazing afterward! If I can’t make it to the gym one day, I just run a mile through our neighborhood. I hate to run, so that’s always my motivation to get to the gym when I don’t feel like it!

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  1. How are you so thin even though you have four kids?

Honestly, I think it’s a combination of good genes and my diet. I don’t ‘diet’ per say. I just like to eat healthy. I have an occasional sweet tooth I don’t deny, but 90% of the time we just eat healthy. We like our meals very simple, very filled with fresh ingredients, and very healthy. We season and bake those small chicken breast cutlets (maybe tenders? Publix, what do you call them?) we buy in the meat department and then roast some broccoli and add a salad or something for most meals. We do different variations of things like that most nights.

During the day, I love Greek yogurt with a lot of fruit and a little granola, oranges are my go-to snack (Well, cuties…I can’t eat an entire orange because it’s too big!) and I will have a spoonful of peanut butter with a few little chocolate chips on them if I need some energy or just want something sweet. We don’t eat a lot of red meat – just filet – and I can probably count on one hand how many times a year we have a starch or bread side with dinner at home. We double up on our veggies.

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  1. What size are you and how tall are you?

I am *almost* 5’3, but that really surprises people. I wear heels 90% of the time, so I always seem taller to people until they see me in flats for the first time – and then they’re shocked. My size depends on what I wear as well as the designer.

  • I wear size 25 jeans
  • I wear an XS top
  • I wear size 37.5 or 38 shoe (it depends heavily on the designer and the style)
  • Dresses are either size 2 or XS

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  1. Are your kids active?

Yes! Well, Addison is. She keeps us busy. Ava tried some sports, didn’t like any of them, and prefers to read and write and create art. Charlotte and Carter aren’t four yet (next week!) so we’ve missed being able to sign them up for anything, though they will start playing tee ball in the fall. Addison, however, needs to be active all the time.

She’s in running club two mornings a week before school. She takes a gymnastics class, two advanced tumbling classes, three dance classes (lyrical, hip hop, and ballet), and she’s a competitive cheerleader. Her gym closed last year when the season was over, but a new gym is beginning a competitive squad this summer, so she’ll take that back up in a few months.

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  1. You’re always saying your husband is super hands-on, but is he really?

Yes! I always say he’s the best mom I know! He is SUPER hands-on, and I kind of hate to even call it that. He does 99% of the laundry, he packs the kids’ lunches, he makes their breakfast and gets them dressed for school, and he cleans up any messes along the way throughout the day. He cooks, he cleans, he gives baths, he does homework. He just does whatever needs doing when it needs doing. He’s a dream, and we make a really good team!

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  1. You have a lot of date nights. How do you get away with that?

We have my parents and my mother-in-law all very close to us, and we just ask. They love the kids, and they know having four kids is a handful, so they’re always happy to help. If they’re not free, they’ll offer an alternative night instead. It’s a great situation, the kids get to spend time with their grandparents all the time, and everyone is super happy. We try for date night every other week, and we mostly succeed.

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  1. How do you travel with your kids?

It takes about a day of packing to pack for a family of 6 and get it all right – and that’s the worst part. We’ve never not traveled with them. They’ve been flying, staying in hotels, and traveling since they were all born, so they just know how it’s done. They are well-behaved, too. They might have their moments at home or whatever, but they know the expectation in public, and they know how to behave at dinner, on a plane, in the airport, whatever. I think it’s just so second-nature to them. We also make sure they have plenty of snacks, coloring books, books, and other activities to keep them occupied in their own carry-ons so they’re never bored.

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  1. You don’t share a lot of photos of your kids on IG. Why not?

I use Instagram primarily for business purposes. It’s where I post collaborations, outfit of the day photos, and where I share my blog. I share pictures of the kids on occasion, but it’s a very public platform so you won’t see much about them. I use Facebook for my family. It’s private, and it’s where I share stories and pictures of the kids. Although, I’m a little bad about that because I don’t really use Facebook unless I remember I have some photos I want to share with my family or I’m with friends and everyone is tagging me in photos – then I remember!

  1. Where do you shop?

Online. Believe it or not, I don’t love shopping in person. I really don’t have much time to shop in a store, and most of the stores I like aren’t anywhere near me. I also find I become easily annoyed going navigating the layout in any store when I could literally just filter my search online and have all of exactly what I’m looking for in under 3 seconds – and without needing to put on pants or a bra.

As for where I shop, I’m simple. It’s either from Lily Pulizter, or it’s from Nordstrom. I rarely shop elsewhere, mostly because I don’t know how things will fit, or I’ve had to return one too many things because it’s just not what I wanted when it arrived. Nordstrom and Lily keep my game strong, though I do love Bloomingdales and Saks, too.

Classic LBD: The Perfect Date Night Look

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My husband and I are big fans of date night. While we can’t quite squeeze one in every week with our hectic schedules, we do manage to sneak out at least every other week. The rule in the Raiford house is never to allow more than two weeks without a date. We are more than 16 years into our relationship, and we like to credit regular date nights for keeping the spark alive and the romance in our marriage.

We love date night!

With four small kids and more extracurricular activities you even want to hear about, it’s imperative we have a small break to focus on our marriage and just enjoying one another’s company. I like to dress up on date night, and one of my favorite go-to date night ensembles is a classic little black dress. I’m always a fan of the classics, and an LBD tops my list.

The single best thing about any LBD is the classic nature of this dress. The key to finding LBDs that last is to choose a classic cut and fit that never goes out of style. I believe in spending a little money on your LBD since it’s a timeless staple.

{ DvF dress is old, shoes are Christian Louboutin “So Kate” }

The one I’m wearing in this photo is 12-years-old, and I still love it more than most of the dresses hanging in my closet. It’s a classic black Diane von Furstenberg I bought in California in 2006. It’s a timeless wrap dress made just a little more fun with the slightly masculine collar and the pockets.

Give me all the dresses with pockets.

With spring in the air, many people forgo black in favor of brighter colors, pastels, and light and bright. While I’m always a big believer in dressing for the seasons, nothing quite competes with an LBD, and I’m sharing a few of my favorites – all entirely worth the splurge as you’ll wear them forever.

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Diane von Furstenberg – $398

This DvF is the epitome of a classic wrap dress. It’s flattering on every body type, and it’s beyond timeless. This is the one dress that will never, ever go out of style or make you feel anything less than spectacular in it.

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Adrianna Papell – $130 

This Adrianna Papell sheath is a classic silhouette, and it’s so affordable! If you want to save a little money on an LBD but you’re worried about quality, Adrianna Papell is a brand you needn’t worry about.

DSquared

DSquared2 – $384 – $576

It’s just the perfect fit, and style, and that’s what makes this LBD such a timeless investment.

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Diane von Furstenberg – $428

Sometimes the best way to wear your LBD is with a little color and a pop of fun – and this DvF is all of the above.

tadashi

Tadashi – $245 (marked down from $408!)

A little lace goes a long way, and this Tadashi is on major sale!

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Diane von Furstenberg – $256 (marked down from $428!)

This fitted beauty is the epitome of elegance – and look at that price! This is one that will sell out quickly, so hurry up!

PS – If you check Nordstrom Rack, they sometimes have DvF dresses on MAJOR sale. If you find them at the right time, you can really pick up some amazing deals. 

 

Instagram Roundup: Winter (in Florida) Wear

Happy Wednesday!

This week has been one of those weeks I adore! Things are getting done, my productivity level is insane, and we have a super fun weekend ahead…all things I love! I haven’t done an IG roundup in a while, and I’m not entirely great at linking my OOTD pieces, so I’m bringing up a few for you here and now. A lot of what I’ve been wearing the past week or so – which is winter wear because we had a week of winter in the Sunshine State – is on major sale, which is a huge plus!

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{Jeans: 7FAM | Black Tee | Blazer | Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM | Sunglasses: RayBan | Wedges: Michael Kors |Earrings: SugarFix by BaubleBar | Watch: Apple | Charm Bracelet & Charms: Tiffany & Co. | David Yurman Bracelet }

I wore this earlier this week when the temps warmed up just a bit. It was such a nice day in the 60s, but still not cool enough not to throw on a blazer (though I did cheat the system with some open-toe spring shoes). I am a huge fan of these jeans with their raw hem, and I’m also a huge fan of black in the cold weather. A blazer just dresses up basic jeans and tee outfits.

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{Jeans: 7FAM |Sweater | Hat | Sunglasses: Yves Saint Laurent | Lipstick: MAC D for Danger  | Watch | Suede Heels: Manolo Blahnik }

You know it’s cold when a Floridian puts on a sweater with a cowl neck. And I told you I love these jeans so much.

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{ Jeans: 7FAM | Sweater | Scarf (gift, but similar here)| Watch | Sunglasses: RayBan | OTK Boots, sold out similar here | Earrings: SugarFix by BaubleBar }

I didn’t even know I owned a turtleneck sweater, my face says it’s cold, and my husband picked up this scarf for me last year and I never thought I’d be able to wear it!

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{Jeans: 7FAM | Ballet Flats: Tory Burch | Plaid Shirt (sold out, similar here) | Sunglasses: YSL | Minnie Ears: Disney World | Lipstick: Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood }

This is the time of year I am happiest we are annual passholders, and it’s also the time we use them the most. The weather is gorgeous, we don’t die of heat, and everyone is in such a good mood. The parks are less crowded. It’s good stuff. And this was a sweet, sweet family day.

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{Faux Leather Leggings | Sweater: Michael Kors (old, similar here) | Suede Heels: Manolo Blahnik | Necklace: Old, similar here and here | Sunglasses: YSL (sold out, similar here)| Kate Spade Bow Clutch | Lipstick: Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood }

Date. Night. My husband is the best date night-planner. We do a lot of date nights I plan, but his are the best because he asks me out after he secures a sitter to come over and take care of the kids, he makes the reservations, and he never chooses a restaurant that doesn’t have one of my favorite bottles of wine on the menu (hint: it needs to be a sangiovese). And he always makes it so much fun.