This chef wife’s interview was an emotional roller coaster! I smiled, wept, laughed, all in the span of twenty minutes. Allow me to introduce, Nicole Speigel, a chef wife, budget fashionista and self-proclaimed “exercise enthusiast”. Find this wife working out most days of the week, shopping to her hearts content, or being an angel on earth with her charity work. Her sous chef husband thinks she’s the “bee’s knees” and we must agree! Read on as Nicole reveals her life’s worst pain, why she’s all natural, and why her style is dependent on no one.
CWC: Hello Nicole and welcome to ChefWifeChic.com! I see that you are into fitness. Are you an aspiring professional personal trainer or currently practicing? If you do have a practice, tell us a little about the services you offer.
NS: I am a Mad Dog certified spinning instructor and teach spin classes at 2 gyms in New Jersey. Several times per year I run a spinning race day, where we raise money for various charities including the American Heart Association and Autism. I like to call myself an “exercise enthusiast”, meaning that I run and lift weights 6 days per week, often known as a “gym rat”.
CWC: 6 days a week? More like 6 days a year for me! Sounds like if your chef gets out of line, you can whip him back in to shape. HaHa! Speaking of the hubby, tell us a little bit about your chef.
NS: My husband, Thomas Speigel, is a Sous Chef at Iron Hill Brewery, which has several locations in DE, NJ, and PA. He attended Atlantic Cape Culinary College. We are especially proud of the promotions he has received. My husband had a very difficult and challenging childhood, so to see his accomplishments is very rewarding in my opinion. He is at work for an average of 12 hours per day, 5 days per week. During one of his days off, he does the scheduling from home. I have never once heard him complain about work!
CWC: Congrats to the chef and his proud wife! How do you manage being a wife to a professional chef while juggling your own career and handling the majority of the household and family tasks on your own?
NS: Our life situation might be a little more complicated then the other chef wives. Not only am I a chef wife but I am also infertile as well. I have a history of miscarriage. This has been extremely difficult for us to handle, especially because Tom is gone for 12 hours a day and I am unable to reach him by phone (unless its a life/death emergency). This means that we struggle financially due to the fact that infertility is not covered by our health insurance. Furthermore, I attend Doctors appointments and have procedures done alone. I am often left feeling very sad and like there’s a piece of my life missing (a baby), and I do not have that extra support that I need from Tom.
Managing my professional career as a Masters Level Social Worker for the State of NJ is stressful. Sometimes when I want to come home and vent to my husband, and he’s not available is hard! At that point is when I clean the house. Stressed and the house to myself = time to clean and do chores!
CWC: Aww honey! I can share your pain as my chef and I have struggled for years to conceive a child of our own. (We have custody of his 2 sons from a previous relationship.) My heart breaks for you. I will keep you in my prayers. This is very off subject but would you call yourself a stylish person?
NS: One time when my husband and I went into his restaurant to eat on his day off, one of the waitresses the following day said to him “Is your wife high maintenance?” I do consider myself stylish. I enjoy getting my hair done, nails done, and of course the spray tans (I’m from NJ- it’s what we do!). Right now my favorite look is the florescent colors and spiked pumps. My husband and I are covered in tattoos as well.
CWC: How would you describe your daily style?
NS: I do have to take into consideration that I work with the disabled population and have to remain professional and “covered up”. In the morning I’m in my gym attire with a matching bandana, and to work I wear black pants, a cute top, and boots. Don’t forget the long blonde curly hair, which is what makes me stand out!
CWC: Would you say fashion and style are important to you?
NS: Yes, but so is budgeting. When I was younger I would spend my paycheck at Express. Now that I’m married and a homeowner, I go to TJ Max weekly and find brand name clothing. This way I can buy more for my money. I will still splurge on my Dooney and Bourke bags, and Sam Edelman shoes! When I go to Express now it’s with a coupon.
CWC: TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are definite spots I shop at for the family as well. Great deals! Do you think fashion and style would be more of a focus if your husband was in a different career?
NS: No. I am who I am and would still be myself no matter what career he was in. I actually think I’ve toned down my style a bit due to him being “old fashioned”.
CWC: Uh oh! Sounds like the hubby is a bit lost on what’s hot in the fashion world. How does your role as the wife of a man with a professional career affect your clothing choices? How has your husband’s success in his career changed your wardrobe?
NS: It doesn’t. No.
CWC: A woman who can hold her own … I love it! Do you attend many professional events with your significant other? If so, what type are the most frequent and how do you dress for them?
NS: When we go out to dinner together we get rather dressed up. I wear a dress and he wears a shirt and tie, no matter where we go. We really enjoy looking nice for one another, since we don’t get to see each other as often as others do. The most frequent outing is going out to dinner on his night off. I go to most weddings alone.
CWC: Speaking of weddings, describe your wedding?
NS: Our wedding was OUT OF THIS WORLD! Never in my life did I dream I would have such a wedding. It was a true dream! We got married in Cape May, NJ on the beach. My gown was strapless, lace-up backing, A-line, with beading detail. A little plain for me, as I wanted a full beaded mermaid style gown (my mom talked me out of it). My bridesmaids dresses were a bright pink/orange iridescent taffeta. Really really different and worked awesome with the turquoise reception room. The flowers included bright pinks, oranges, and lime green. Honestly my blinged out shoes made my outfit! :):)
CWC: OMG! It all sounds beautiful! How would you describe your husband’s style?
NS: My husband and I are complete opposites. He has a relaxed style. He is a Beatles t-shirt type of guy, and I prefer leopard print. If he isn’t wearing chef pants and a chef coat, he wears a t shirt and shorts at home and a shirt/tie if we are out.
CWC: Do you do the shopping for his wardrobe?
CWC: Do you ever pick out his outfits?
NS: I try to. But he puts it back into the closet and picks something else to make me mad.
CWC: HaHa! He sounds like a fun guy! What is your favorite go-to attire for the rare date night with the hubby?
NS: Always a dress. I have many to chose from! Leopard, Zebra, or…..leopard. Ha!
CWC: I must say, I love some animal print as well. Do you find that you dress better when you know your significant other is going to be home?
NS: No. I will keep my makeup on if I know he is coming home though. If I am dressed when he comes home he says “Where you goin?”.
CWC: HaHa! Must be a ‘man’ thing because my hubby says the same. Is there a particular type of clothing that he likes to see you in?
NS: Low cut dress. Typical!
CWC: Too funny! Your husband sounds like Kerilyn’s and his love for “The Girls”! Do you have any styling tips or beauty secrets to share with your fellow Chef Wives?
NS: Natural is beautiful. I used to hate my curly hair and straighten it all the time. Now that I wear it naturally, people ask me everyday “Oh my god, is your hair real?” In my opinion, men prefer natural beauty too. Stay away from the plastic surgery and inch thick makeup. Be yourself.
CWC: I can agree with you on that, natural is the way to go! In closing, tell us what being “Chef Wife Chic” means to you.
NS: Being a Chef Wife Chic means staying in shape, being healthy, having fun, and staying young at heart! We love our food! I’m happy to be a part of such a great, unique group of ladies.
CWC: Enough said! Thank you, Nicole, for such a fun interview! We at ChefWifeChic.com wish you and your husband all the success in the world.
NS: Thank you!
CWC: You are so welcome, Nicole!
For more of Nicole, follow her on twitter @NSpeigs