Holiday Gift Guide: the In-Laws

In-LawsOnto my second instalment of the Spiffykerms Holiday Gift Guide 2015! My gift guides will be coming out fast and furious the next few weeks. I have a lot of ideas to share. Today, we’re talking ‘n thinking about gifts for your in-laws.

I actually find it quite easy to shop for my in-laws, since they all have similar taste to me, or so we tell one another when we all go shopping together. I grew up with one older brother, so I never had much girl-time with any female siblings…because duh I was the only female! Lol.

I lucked into having three sister-in-laws upon marriages happening. My brother is married to an Irish woman, and my husband has two sisters. I honestly feel like they could all be my sisters. I love hanging out with each of them one-on-one and having that special bond with the three of them.

My parents-in-laws are awesome too. My Mother-In-Law bakes like no other. Her cheesecakes are to die for, I always said they were like “restaurant quality” and could definitely open up her own bake-shop if she wanted. I am craving a chocolate cheesecake from her now! Good thing we are heading home for Christmas.

My Father-in-law (FIL) and I share a general interest in rocks together. I grew up with a neighbour who was a geologist, and that neighbour and I always chatted about rocks. I even thought about going into geology! Obviously I don’t know as much as my FIL about geology (he has a large collection of incredible pieces and takes good care of them all), but I love having that similar interest with him. Did you guys know I used to have a rock collection? Like a legitimate one – rocks from all over the world. I ended up gifting it to my nephew when he turned 7 or 8, because he too, shows an interest in it. Even had this homemade box to keep them all labelled separately and in their own little cube so to speak.

Alright, let’s get into those holiday gift ideas! (Some items in this post were sent for review. Opinions are my own!) 


PIL-gift2For the parents-in-laws
Yes! Two photos for the parents-in-laws. Luckily my husbands parents are fairly easy to buy for, come Christmas time. Last time I was in Newfoundland, I ended up giving my Mother-In-Law Dior + Bioderma products and she seemed to really enjoy it! Plus, I usually like to think that whatever I like, in general — a lot of other people would too, no? I mean, who doesn’t want to try out Love With Food (an organic + all natural snacking monthly subscription box) to arrive on their door step each month? And another unique gift idea I love is to incorporate their pets (or Alfie, their grand-pet in this case, hee hee!) and have a CaseApp sticker on their ipad? Don’t forget about liquid resistant placemats for the pets at home too, that one’s from JC Penny. Or cute festive Owl pillows (how cute is the one with the Santa hat?!) I also love giving luxury skincare items that people may or may not have heard of before, both Aesop and Antipodes are fantastic brands.

Products shown in first photo for parents-in-laws: 

Products shown in second photo for parents-in-laws: 

BIL-HolidayFor your brother-in-laws:
Because I feel like a lot of guys don’t necessarily take care of their hair until someone steps in. For instance, I had no idea my husband didn’t use conditioner until I asked him about it! Sheesh, take care of your boys here ladies and gents. The scent of the kelp & mint duo is unreal, kind of reminds me of something from Aveda,if you know that scent. Mmm-mmm, music to my ears. The hand wash is also gorgeous smelling and I feel like it would look really great in a bachelor’s kitchen, or bathroom to fancy and pretty things up a bit. Plus I feel like foaming hand washes last a lot longer than the regular ones. Anyone else feel that way? And tell me more about those iHome headphones I’m hearing you say! They’re wireless. They’re bluetooth. They’ll love you forever for getting that for them, and thinking you spent a lot more than you actually did.

That box of Boardwalk Food Company Craft Beer Snack Mix (shown: pretzel in rosemary sea salt) is such an awesome idea. And so easy to make for a dude’s party. I guarantee they’ve never seen something like this before. You can make them in 30 minutes… WITH BEER. Gah! Genius.

You guys know I love that Juniper Ridge brand, which I included in my previous gift guide, heehee! And let’s talk about practcal gifts here. Those pillow protectors. I know, I know. You’re thinking its’ a strange gift. It kinda is, I agree, but aren’t a lot of guys super practical? I know for sure my husband, brother and father are. They want something they know they will use. And who KNOWS how old their pillows are. Eeeehhhhw.

Products shown for brother-in-laws: 

Delsey-LuggageIf you’re feeling extra generous or happen to have a bigger wallet than I, you could always give the gift of a luxury suitcase. This one is from Delsey, and it’s the 19″ Chatelet carry-on spinner trolly. I’ll be talking more about it in depth in a future blog post, so stay tuned for that too!


For the sister-in-laws:
Although three of them are quite different from one another, I can guarantee that my three sister-in-law’s would love any (or multiple) gifts of the above shown, especially something by bareMinerals because I took my SIL there a few weeks ago (see!!). I would have loved to include these adorable bunny slippers from ardene, or even a clothing piece. One of my sister-in-laws cycles as much as her brother/my husband does. So keep in mind what their interests are, and branch out from there.

Products shown for sister-in-laws: 

The three gift guides shown above (sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, and parents-in-laws) are all somewhat gender neutral and could be used/given to either male or females. I mean, man-buns…hello? They need hair ties and hair spray. Some dude’s are totally into nail polish too you know. And I know the Sephora male employees know how to contour better than I ever will. Plus, this is to give you some ideas and what brands to keep an eye out for while shopping this Christmas (or which ever holiday you celebrate).


Weekend vibes + dirty diapers

Comin’ atcha for a weekend recap, on a Tuesday.

So, this morning I ended up putting on a pair of jeans, socks, a long sleeved top, and then my new Superdry hoody overtop. My husband looks over at me and says “all those layers?!“. Clearly I’ve become accustomed to the weather here in California and I hate that! I cant get over the fact that I am putting on two layers of long sleeves at 18°C (64°F – I had to google that one, because I’m forever thinking in Celcius and probably always will). So yes, I am wearing a lot of layers and can you believe I have downfilled slippers on and my fingers are cold?

Here’s the sight of me right now, as  you read this, what I am wearing right now. Ridiculous! This weather is like St. John’s summertime. Am I right?slippers-and-hoody

Getting back to the weekend recap, I wanted to tell you another funny story about babysitting. You guys probably already know that my neighbour and I, with our two small dogs, and her little-big baby, walk around our housing complex almost every night, and sometimes multiple times per day when she was on maternity leave. I filmed a YouTube video telling you about that time I was changing his diaper when he was just weeks old. The little feller was – not even kidding you – laughing at ME, changing HIS diaper. Because I could tell he had no idea what I was doing.

Well folks, I looked after (the now 7 month old) baby once again. This time, it was for a couple of hours and the little guy was at my house. Baby and I chilled out for the entire day as my neighbours … guess what?…. MOVED OUT of their apartment. Shame on them for not being my neighbour any more, haha. I gotta give them credit, they picked a house 3 miles from ours, so at least we can still visit one another without technically driving to a completely different city. I’m still sad about it though.

baby legThe little guy is more interactive and fun to be around now, because he can sit up, clap, laugh… and boy oh boy even though he can’t crawl yet he can still move around the room! Guess that’s why you can never leave babies unattended. I’m happy my neighbour although my husband and I not being parents yet, still trust us to leave their baby with us. A humble brag, but I think it’s because I have a lot of patience, plus I’ve been around the lil’ fart since my neighbour announced her pregnancy to me.

When she dropped off her baby, she told me he already had a dirty diaper cleaned once already. Awesome — no dirty diapers while he’s over at my house.



During that same hour she dropped him off, he had a stinky surprise. In my head I ask myself: How long do I let him toot for? How do I know he’s “done”? Oh, trust me you guys— you will know. And forewarning, open the windows before changing the diaper. And because he is a boy, you need to be careful while changing him: pee can launch far. I had to text my neighbour after everything was done, apologizing for the amount of wet wipes I used.

I think the baby does this on purpose, because he knows I don’t know what I’m at. He knows he’ll get a kick out of me. He laughed the entire time too, silly fella. Preparing me for motherhood, I swear. Luckily the hours flew by, as I fed him three times, with a nap (for him) in between the gigs and the reels.

By the time my neighbours had finished moving their everything’s into their new spot, it was only mid-afternoon and like I stated the time flew, but it crawled at the same time. I was ready to crack out the wine and cheese as soon as he left haha! wine-glass-cheersI’ve been waiting to use my fancy new cheeseboard (it’s the Lyna Marble and Wood Cheese Dome from, and Sunday night was it. It was a wine and cheese for two — so the multiple wine bottles in the background were just for props to make the cheeseboard look nice. Hey, bloggers gotta blog.



I had saved two macaron’s from an event I went to earlier last week and the cheese was from The Cheese Shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, when we went the weekend prior, on a spontaneous trip to Monterey + Carmel + Big Sur. Blog post for that coming soon too by the way.

Cheeseboard-from-OverstockIsn’t it the fanciest cheeseboard you laid your eyes on lately? I kinda want to put apples or lemons in it for the time being when I’m not using it for its purpose. I keep it out on the kitchen island at all times. I also think it’d be fantastic for doing flat-lays for beauty product shots with some sprigs of pine surrounding it. Right?!

What did you guys get up to this past weekend?

Sensitive Skin + Hives = A Beauty Update

So this whole hive-situation has been ongoing since July 16. Right down to the very day — I track it because I cannot wait for the day for them to completely disappear and get the heck out of my system. Some days are worse than others, where I feel self-concious and not wanting to leave the house. Other days I’m all “eff this, hives. I’m going out whether or not I have hive-face!“And some other days I embrace it, especially on the days where my lips swell a little and I kinda look like I have really well done lip injections. I’m now on a three month waiting-list for getting a monthly injection. I’m not sure how I feel about the injection, I’m going to have to do a lot more research before I agree to having it.

I thought about uploading a picture of me with my hives, but I’m still not comfortable showing them. Especially after showing a few friends and seeing their reaction to the pictures I showed them, they say almost disgusted-like (in a not-so bad way haha) “Oh God! I didn’t think it was that bad!” Well it sure is! Lol.

But today I wanted to talk about some sensitive skin issues, and what I use when I want to be incredibly cautious of what I put on my skin, on those days that my hives are really noticeable, or are raised up (especially on my face/neck area). On most days they tend to flare up around different parts of my body where it’s easy to disguise with long sleeved tops and jeans, but on occasion they’re on the outskirts of my face/forehead and neck (and why does it always seem to happen on days I need to be somewhere in particular?!).

Here are my holy grail sensitive skin products that I have been reaching for, to gently soothe my skin, yet remove all the makeup from the day, or… cover it up.

Bioderma-productsBioderma has always been a front runner product for me. It’s hypo-allergenic, and basically feels like water applied to the skin. Although Bioderma is hard to come by, here in the USA (I think the only reputable company that sells it here in the USA is Beautylish), though it’s readily available at almost all the drug stores in Canada. The mini bottle of pink Bioderma Sensibo off to the left of the picture is one that I refill (and now has just a drop of product left) over and over, because I like having mini’s in my medicine cabinet instead of huge bottles. The bioderma makeup remover wipes in the pink resealable package is my second pack of the wipes — I keep them mainly by my bedside in case I get lazy and don’t want to wash the makeup off my face at the end of the night. As for the three facial creams, they’re incredibly hydrating and gentle enough to use on my sensitive, hive-prone face. So these have become a real staple in my routine lately.

dior-real-techniquesHere are the three main makeup brushes I use to apply my makeup whenever I want to wear it (to cover up the hives). They are all by Real Techniques and from the Canadian online store called Farley Co Beauty. The purple brush in the middle is a new-to-me one, where I use to apply and chisel out my cheekbones with bronzer. They don’t scratch or irritate my face, nor do the brush ‘shed’ having me to use my hands to touch my face and remove the hairs. It’s the brush brand I recommend to both beginners at makeup, and people who have been using makeup for years. The makeup case off to the side is also from FarleyCo Beauty (buy it here!).

Bourjois-baremineralsWhile I was in Newfoundland I discovered Bourjouis healthy mix foundation, loved it so much I ended up buying two shades of it to suit my skintone at all times. It’s almost a dupe for my Dior HydraLife BB cream, but pretty much costs the same (Dior comes in a 1.7oz for $60-something, and Bourjois is $30-something for 1oz).

bareMinerals bareskin concealer is excellent for covering up my hives, especially when they look like big clusters of raised pinky-red hives on my neck and face. Set it with a bit of setting powder and you’re set for the day.

If all else fails, skip the makeup for a week or so, and paint your nails; which is what I tend to do. Then paint them a different colour each day, because you’re allowing the skin on your face to breathe and have a chance to heal. Here are some of the new Dior polishes for Fall.

Dior-Be-DiorBe Dior 892 — I’m surprised at the colour outcome of this product, it was more of a berry on my nails, and more purple in the bottle. I still love it.

Dior-TribaleTribale 588 — is a gorgeous browny nude, that is now applied to both of my hands and will be wearing this all week!

Dior-SmileSmile 552 — A little out of my comfort zone, and feels a bit Halloween-y, it’s still a fun colour. Perhaps I’ll reserve this colour for my toes.

Have you ever had hives? I mean, I’m shocked at how long this whole situation has been going on for. It’s not even weeks now, it’s months slowly turning into years. I hope that one day I’ll just wake up and they’ll be rid of. I guess only time will tell. I’m so sick of taking hive pills every morning and night though. I mean, the multiple Doctors have been telling me it’s safe for the long-run, but I don’t want to be taking all kinds of pills for a “long run”. I rarely take pills for headaches, for heaven sakes.

Anyway! Hopefully you enjoyed my unique post about what I really use on my face when I have hives, or what I use for my skin to actually breathe. What are some of your favourite beauty products lately?