Shop and Support – This Thursday

Shop and Support – This Thursday



March was Brain Injury Awareness Month, but I want to bring attention to it in April. Why? Because when someone suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI) it doesn’t go away, ever. Month after month, year after year, the sufferer may look healed, or may look like nothing ever happened. But just because they look okay doesn’t mean they feel okay, which is a very tough thing to explain to other people who can’t see what is happening inside their brain. They can’t put band aids on their brains and it wouldn’t work anyway because the boo-boo will always remain under the band aid. In an ideal world, TBI sufferers would have little caution signs on them that would say things like:

I don’t like loud or sudden noises.

Sometimes I can’t remember things.

I can’t always be friendly because my brain is using all its energy on thinking versus feeling.

I may be feeling anxious, annoyed and/or angry but I don’t know why.

New people and situations are hard for me.

Imagine feeling all those things but no one else knows that. They expect you to look and act like everyone else, to remember their name and to be friendly and social. Everyday is a challenge.


This is exactly why awareness is so important. One of the most critical times for a pediatric TBI patient is during the initial recovery. There is a fight to want to be “normal” but “normal” activities don’t work the same. The Maddi’s Bag foundation  was created by one of my best friends, Jenny Raimondo, in the hopes of helping other children who have suffered a traumatic injury to the brain. Jenny and her family know all too well how important it is to have some comforting items to pass the time while in the hospital for recovery. Their daughter Maddi Raimondo suffers from TBI and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after she miraculously survived a fall from a building while on a family trip to Mexico. Jenni and her family collect everyday items to put into bags that they give to pediatric hospital patients in the TBI unit. The items in these bags help both the patient and the family to spend time together and provide some comforts from home.


Want to show your support? This Thursday, April 6th, from 10am – 8pm, is Spring Girls Shopping Day in Kennett Square. Ashley Austin, Houppette, No. 109 and Chantilly Blue will all have sales and specials for you to kick off your Spring wardrobe. Chantilly Blue has graciously partnered with Maddi’s Bag to show their support by requesting you bring in any item off of the list below.


Besides knowing you are helping an amazing cause, for every item donated from the list,  you will receive 20% off one full priced item. Bring one, bring ten… No Limit!

That’s 20% off of premium denim, and not just any premium denim but denim fit to YOUR body by the denim doctor herself, Lisa Baldwin of Chantilly Blue. Lisa and her staff take the confusion out of the fit challenges so many of us encounter when shopping for denim. They know our bodies and they know their brands, so you don’t have to spend hours in the fitting room or going through the racks wondering what a slim, skinny or straight leg is and which one will look best on you. There are lots of colors, lots of shades and, as always, lots of sizes.

They also have gorgeous pieces in for Spring that will take you into Summer and beyond. Need help on how to put it all together? I’ll be popping in to give you ideas of how you can pair your new buys with your existing wardrobe. I am all about putting versatility into the wardrobes of my clients and Chantilly Blue nails it when it comes to easy pieces that can be used to dress outfits up or down. I stopped by the other day and put together these  few outfits in just a few minutes, all paired with the latest and greatest jewelry from Power Beads by Jen.  I had so many more ideas but I was limited on time so I can’t wait to go back and put together more!


*Insider Tip – Avoid Shoefusion (when you don’t know what shoe goes with what pant).

The question I hear the most when I am putting together outfits for a client is ” What shoes should I wear with that?”  Many of my clients buy their denim and take it right down to Ashley Austin to find the perfect shoe. I’ve also had clients fall in love with a shoe at Ashley Austin and head right over to Chantilly Blue to make sure they find the perfect pair of denim to show off their new shoe. Denim can be tricky, especially with all of the various lengths, cuffs and hems. Here are some ideas to help. All shoes from Ashley Austin. 

  1. Cropped and frayed denim?  Wear a heel to lengthen the legs and elongate the ankle and show off this season’s most popular look.  And try to wipe the drool off your face after you look at these beauties below.

2.  Flared hem? You need a pointed toe and or a platform to lift the jeans off the floor and show off the cut. Open toe works too just make sure they is enough of a platform to keep the hem from dragging on the ground.


3. Skinny to the ankle? Try a pointed style flat or a classic stiletto. You want to the look to be clean at the bottom, avoid any ankle detail so you don’t have to worry about the hem getting in the way.


4. Cuffed hem? Ankle boots, platform sneakers or a chunkier block heel work well, just make sure to show a little skin between the bottom of the cuff and the top of the heel.

A good rule of thumb is that the chunkier/heavier the hem, then the chunkier and heavier the shoe. The tighter to the ankle, the taller and more delicate you can go with the shoe.

Need more help? Schedule a Spring Styling Session with me – 610.517.2983.

And don’t forget to please treat other people with kindness, patience, and respect. After all, you never know who is wearing an invisible crown.

Thanks for reading!


Your Closet Called…it asked for Fall!

Your Closet Called…it asked for Fall!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days because it is the annual Girls Shopping Day in Kennett Square, PA.  You can get everything you need for fall, literally from head to toe at Ashely Austin, Chantilly Blue, Houpette and No.109.

Oh and want some help from a personal shopper and stylist? Come find me! I’ll be starting my day at Chantilly Blue and I will up and down the block until the early afternoon. I’m back to mom duty in the evening but if you can stop in for a cocktail they are open till 8pm!

Can’t make it in? Live far away? Call or text me, or any of the stores. We can send you pics and hold aside for you or even mail for you if you are not local. There are too many great things to miss this!

Chantilly Blue…

So I stopped in here yesterday and started screaming. I think this is Lisa’s best fall picks yet! Lots of color! And pieces to give you that polished casual that you can wear every single day.Rocco is Lisa’s rescued love bug and he is adorable. After falling in love with him Lisa wanted to give back to other rescue pups and shelters. Below is a list of some items they need. Oh and for every item you bring in? 20% off an item in the store! Premium denim, made in the USA, fitted on you by the denim whisperer herself and her amazing staff – on sale!!!

Gift card from Wawa, Walmart, Target, or PetSmart. Also, New or gently used dog harnesses (no collars, please ), dog leash, new dog toys, Dog bowls, dog crates, dog beds. Must be either new or in excellent shape. ATTT does the unbelievable by rescuing and rehabilitating dogs who have nothing good to associate with humans. Vet bills are staggering. They astonish. Beginning Thursday, any one item donated get you 20% off any full priced item. Bring one, bring ten, no limit to the donation and the savings.


This suede finish dress below? I’m in love.


Ashley Austin….

Booties and Bags and Baubles!! So. Much. Good. Stuff. If you buy just one type of shoe for fall make sure you have an ankle boot to wear with cuffed denim or with a dress or skirt. It is the essential fall transition shoe! And if you buy suede don’t forget to spray and protect your shoes from the elements so you can keep them looking brand new. Need advice on fit and what flatters? These lovely girls at Ashley Austin know their stock. Let them help you find your perfect pair!




I am kind of obsessed with the Kevyn Aucoin lipsticks…they are amazing! Not sure of the color? No worries – they have experts on hand to make sure you get the color that works for you.


And No. 109….

Leather (faux) leggings? They are for every age and every body – they add an insta cool factor to a fun top or a cozy oversize winter sweater. Definitely my top pick! Craving some fun color or prints? Heather always  makes sure there are plenty of bright options, no matter what season it is!



*Insider Tip – Just Jenny From The Block

If J.Lo should ever find herself in Kennett Square she would be thrilled that she wouldn’t have to wear out her stilletos looking to check off everything on her list. From lockets to lattes, you can find everything you need up and down the same 2 blocks. So park your car and do some shopping. Then drop your bags back at your car and grab some caffeine. Then do some more shopping. Okay now that you have tried on all the clothes you can eat!

These places are small business owned, unique and amazing. Make sure to check them out. In case you can’t tell I really love our small town, and the best part is the amazing people in it. 🙂


After you get over obsessing how perfect the wall color and the wall art is, make sure to enjoy what a truly amazing fresh brew really tastes like.Prepare to be spoiled.


Green Eyed Lady

You know how it would be so cool to raid the jewelry stash of you eccentric and well traveled Great Aunt Linda? Or craving something unique that no one else will have? All of my favorite cuff bracelets are from here. Their laid back vibe makes it the perfect place to peruse. Looking for something very specific? Ask Colleen and she will let you know if they have it or can find it for you.

Photo of Green Eyed Lady - West Chester, PA, United States


Talulah’s Table

You have probably heard of this place…and yes, it’s as good as everyone says. Try their grab and go takeout or sit with a scone and people watch outside. It’s so peaceful you may not want to leave.



Shop Mamie

A new additon to Kennett Square just in the last couple of months, this sweet boutique with a Delaware flagship store is located just around the corner from Talulahs. This is the perfect place for both mothers and daughters to find something fun for fall. Also check out their collection of Scout accessories and some super adorable toddler size clothes to match mom…think matching faux fur vests…Christmas pic card…DONE.


Thank you so much for reading! Make sure to keep our money in our community…shop small and shop local!







How To Choose Outfits For A Family Photo Session

How To Choose Outfits For A Family Photo Session

Awkward Family Photos:

Have you ever done a family photo shoot? My kids are now 11 and 9 and I’m ashamed to say that this is our very first time doing a photo session. Usually I only have to worry about getting myself dressed but this time I was styling my whole family. There are so many ways that the clothes can go so wrong (see above!) but I promise you I can make it go right. Make sure to click the link below to Beth Erisman Photography’s Blog, where I am guest posting. I’ll tell you how I can simplify the clothing selection process and make it stress free. Beth will take care of making sure you and your family aren’t straddling  a tree..

Suzie Gaffney Post on Beth Erisman Photography

Source: Introducing Suzie Gaffney… |


Thanks for reading!


Summer Shoes

Summer Shoes

Here are the top 5 summer shoe style you need to have in your closet!



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1. The Neutral Wedge


Can be dressed up or down and goes with everything from shorts and t-shirt to a sundress. Wear everywhere from a backyard barbecue, to a wedding on the beach.

My pick:


Isola Orenda

The Nassau Wedge , available at  Ashley Austin Boutique. I have these in the sand color. I went back and got them in black. I LOVE them AND they are comfortable!


 2. The Flip Flop

I know these are not very supportive for your feet but everyone needs a go to summer flip-flop that you can throw on for the pool, beach or just anytime you wish you really could be barefoot. Consider this like the sweatpants of shoes. They don’t always make your feet or your legs look good but they are so comfortable you know you are going to wear them.

My Pick:

Yoga Joy Metallic

The Sanuk line of sandals. They are made from yoga mats and feel very zen on your feet.

3. The Casual Shoe

Baseball games, amusement parks and fairs are all summertime staples. A casual classic sneaker (think Keds, Converse or even the Sperry Top Sider for the beach) is your go to when you want to be able to hop on bicycle and go.

My pick: 

J.Crew - Sperry Top-Sider® for J.Crew Authentic Original 2-eye metallic boat shoes

The Sperry Top-Sider boat shoe. It’s a classic and it is super comfortable. I recently picked up a pair of a client who wasn’t sure if she would keep them. One month later and she said she is living in them because they go with everything.

 4. The Summer Flat

Let’s face it. Our pedi isn’t always pretty. Sometimes there is just no time and you still need to feel pulled together at work or for an event. A dressy pointy toe flat is the perfect answer to hide a bad toe day.

My pick:

Fish Kid Flat

This two-toned two-textured pointy toe flat, available at Ashley Austin Boutique. The front is a gray scale skin and the back is white patent. I have these and I want to wear them even when my toes are suitable for show.



5. The Statement Shoe

This is the fun shoe. The one you break out for nights out with the girls or to spruce up a date night jeans and t. This is the one you know you aren’t walking around for miles in but you want everyone to see it when you do. It could be a sexy stiletto or a sparkled sandal, as long as it screams “Fabulous!”

My pick (s):

Steve Madden Maiden | Piperlime

It’s bright. It’s blue. It’s bold. It’s perfect. From Steve Madden.




Diamant Sandals -

So delicate. So pretty. Your girlfriends will swoon. By Jeffrey Campbell.


*Insider Tip – Bins for the Basics

Don’t waste space on trying to organize flimsy or thin thong sandals and flip-flops. Corral them into a bin to stay organized. I actually keep one of these upstairs and one of these downstairs for the whole family to throw flip-flops and our “throw own” type shoes. Perfect for running out the door when the whole family decides to go grab ice cream.

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*Insider Tip – Love the shoes but hate the hassle of shopping?

Contact me and I will do the shopping for you. Simply tell me what styles you like and what size you are and I will bring selections to you at your home at your convenience!

Thanks for reading! 





On the Naughty List

These gifts are banned…from giving and receiving. 

It’s easy to pick up any magazine or watch any show featuring top gift picks. I’m gonna go a different way. Here’s what NOT TO BUY FOR THOSE ON YOUR LIST .

For your kids:

1.The Doggie Doo game.

This “game”  says on the front of the box “Feed and walk your little pup. When he makes a mess you clean it up!” Defecation is not fun people!  My 7-year-old son is already obsessed with the words butt and poo. He doesn’t need any more encouragement to bring out his inner Beavis and/or Butthead. He can follow our real dog around the yard if he really thinks this is fun.

2. The iPotty.

That’s right. Let’s start those boys young on taking hours to go the bathroom.  I thought it was bad enough I had to bribe my daughter with candy. I shouldn’t judge a parent in the desperate throes of potty training. The whole process stinks, literally. I just think this could lead to future issues.

2. The Gooey Louie.


Gooey Louie Game

Really? Really? This is a game? And someone out there is making money out it? I am desperately trying to get my kids to keep their fingers out of their own noses, let along something or someone else’s nose.  This is the description on Amazon:

  • “Pick” a winner with Gooey Louie
  • Put your finger up his nose and try to pick a winner
  • Watch out, if you pick the wrong gooey Louie’s eyes will pop, he’ll flip his lid and his brain will fly out

No, I didn’t make that up.

For your mom/sister/friend:

1. Anything with a numbered size.

Vintage Check Boyfriend Blazer Oversized Street Style fashion

I have not so fond memories of a certain Christmas where my father ventured out on his own to buy my mom a jacket to wear to work. He picked it out because he “like the pattern.” He failed to read THE SIZE. The size he chose was about 6 up from what my mother usually wears. This didn’t go over well. After several hand gestures, choice words and tears my father learned to not by anything with a number as its size. Did I mention it is also the same Christmas we decided to record us opening our gifts. It’s like watching a dark comedy.  Women are offended by a poorly chosen size. And men, most men, are clueless about a women’s size. So just don’t go there.

2. Bacon scented cologne.

bacon classic fragrance from fargginay

Friends don’t let loved ones smell like bacon. At least they shouldn’t. So not right. Unless your friend/sister has a biological clock that is ticking like a time bomb this is gross. Even then there is no telling just who or what they could attract. They may be followed home a pack of wild dogs, who will be very angry to find there is no actual bacon.

For your husband/brother/father:

1. The Ostrich pillow.

Do you like this person? At all? Even if they are a dog tired constant traveler no good can come out of this “nap-on-the-go” head contraption. There is a good case they will be detained at the airport for insanity. This gift basically just says “I want others to make fun of you.”

2. Keeping up with the Kardashians complete box set. 

Want to give the man in your life a lobotomy? Here is your non-surgical answer.  This is just cruel. Women can handle it. Kind of. Men are not equipped for this kind of stuff.

So are you done your shopping? I am not. I am close but the mission is not yet completed. I am spending too much time rewriting Beastie Boys songs. (See last week’s blog post if you missed it)  I’ve also been busy obsessively editing all the stuff we already have in the house to make room for more stuff. My organizational tendencies tend to go into a panic mode this time of year. Plus I want to work on a petition to keep Christmas lights out all year long. It makes me so happy to see them when I am out and about.

*Insider Tip – Go to the source.

Stuck on a gift for someone? Sleuth out where they like to shop. Many stores, especially smaller businesses, know their customers and what they have been eyeing up. Some stores are so organized they have wish lists that people can fill out. Locally Ashley Austin, Chantilly Blue, DeChic Boutique and Elizabeth Maar Boutiques all provide the opportunity for customers to fill out wish lists. Does it eliminate some of the mystery? Yep. But it also eliminates some of the misery. It really sucks to spend tons of time searching for that special something only to settle on anything, not even knowing if the person really wanted or needed the gift.

And don’t forget, a wardrobe consult from Suzie Gaffney Wardrobe Consulting can include any range of services including, but not limited to:

Trip Packing

Virtual Shopping Packages

Closet Clean Outs

Personal Styling

Private Shopping Outings

Personal Shopping delivered right to your door

Gift certificates can be mailed or hand delivered!


As always, thanks for reading!