All Done Holiday Shopping!!

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All Done Holiday Shopping!!

Hey everyone and happy Thursday! This past week I completely finished all of my holiday shopping – gifts wrapped and all and let me tell you, I could not be happier! If there’s one thing that rings true about my style of holiday shopping, it’s that it is all done online, as my featured image says. You can call me the Queen of the Amazon because Amazon.com is always my go to website for gift purchasing.

In my family, I have five people to shop for as well as my boyfriend and best friend, so figuring out the perfect gifts for seven people proved to be a bit difficult. But fear not! I am going to share with you guys my techniques to getting your holiday shopping done as efficiently as possible:

  1. Set a Price Limit: The first thing that I do when the holiday season rolls around is set a price limit for how much I am comfortable spending. Whether that be in total or for each individual person, I make a budget and try very hard to stick to it. Once you know what price range you’re working with, is when you can narrow down the type of presents that you will be giving.
  2. Create Your Gifting Style: What are your go to’s when it comes to gift giving? My method of choice is giving presents that are compatible with a person’s favorite hobby. Do they like gardening or working outdoors? Pick out a sweet bird feeder and some seed packets! How about baking? Snag some must have ingredients in a cook’s arsenal like flour, sugar, and some cute cookie cutters. Once you know your style of gift giving, it should be easy to come up with some great ideas for everyone you need to shop for.
  3. Make a List: And check it twice! After you establish your gift giving style, create a list that can be subject to change for your shopping that needs done. I composed an email to myself for all of my shopping that included who I was buying for and gift ideas for each person. As I completed different purchases, I went back to the email and edited it with a big “DONE!” next to each thing that I could check off. This helped keep me organized and it kept me on target for what I wanted which helped me avoid senseless purchasing that strayed from my list.
  4. Scour the Deals: If you’re shopping at the local mall or from the comfort of home, it is important to make sure that you are getting the best deals for your purchases. Sign up for email updates for the stores that you plan on hitting up to receive notifications of upcoming promotions and discounts. If you are a fan of shopping online, like myself, then I cannot recommend downloading Honey enough! They will hook you up with all of the best promotions for the site that you’re shopping on without having to search for promo codes or discounts. So handy!
  5. Keep Organized: As you finish up your shopping and begin receiving the parcels that you ordered make sure that you keep everything nice and organized. Set aside space in your closet for your present stockpile and continue to reference your list in regards to your purchases and budget. Then, once all of your shopping is done, pencil in an hour or two to wrap up your presents to avoid prying eyes in the home!

Holiday shopping can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be! If you keep chipping away at your list a bit at a time, soon you will have a present stockpile just begging to be wrapped! Believe me, the sigh of relief you can breathe once you’re all done will make it all worth it!

What is your gift giving style? What is your favorite gift that you have ever received? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Good This Winter! How To Stay In Shape

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Over the winter, it’s tough to find the motivation to stay in shape. Not only is it dark and miserable outside, but it’s easy to swathe yourself in big cozy sweaters and forget about the body underneath. Here are some tips to help you stay in shape this winter:

Do a Cleanse: Cleanses are sometimes criticized by the media but the truth is that they can often really help you by helping you cut rubbish food out of your diet for a while. A lot of the time at the end of a cleanse you’ll feel great, with glossy hair, clear skin, and strong nails – and a few pounds down, of course! There are many cleanse programs out there, like Isagenix – and how does Isagenix work for weight loss, I hear you ask? It can reverse months of bad habits and make you feel far more healthy. Make sure that you don’t do a cleanse too often, because that lifestyle isn’t sustainable. Rather, start exercising more frequently and eat cleaner. Make your own recipes from scratch, along with your own dressings and sauces. Make sure that you eat a good breakfast like oatmeal with berries or an egg white omelette every morning and drink plenty of water throughout the day. (The water part is easier said than done – especially if, like me, you have to go to the bathroom CONSTANTLY to begin with!)

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 Yum!!

Go Hiking: You might think that hiking doesn’t sound like much fun in the winter – but on the contrary, you might just have a fantastic time if you wrap up warm and encourage your partner or some friends to come along. Put on a hat with ear flaps, mittens, and a warm thick scarf to keep yourself cozy along with some stout boots and your warmest coat, and go out to appreciate the frosty winter scenery. Go out for some lunch afterwards like a hearty soup along with crusty bread to celebrate your achievement. (Cafes with a fireplace are also a plus!)

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 DOG!!!!

Join a Fitness Class: There are a lot of fitness classes that you could join over the winter time. Even if you visit your local gym regularly, it’s hard to force yourself out of the door in the evenings to just go and work out on the machines by yourself. Going to a fitness class means that you have to go out at a certain time and it’s also more motivating to be encouraged by an instructor. Chances are, you might just make friends with some classmates and that will also encourage you to keep going! There is such a wide range of fitness classes that are available now. If you want something more active, try a cardio class. If you love dancing and you have some rhythm, go for Zumba. If you want to strengthen your core, try out pilates.

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Get a Fitness Buddy: It’s so much easier to motivate yourself when you have someone to be motivated with. Whether you have a gym buddy who can spot you and encourage you or whether you’ve met some new pals through the above-mentioned exercise classes, it’s great to have someone to get fit with. Encourage your partner to do Couch To 5K with you. You could also do some fitness videos like Yoga With Adriene! Even if you aren’t very good, you’ll laugh a lot together and make some fun new memories.

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Brush Away The Winter Blues With These Spring-Ready Sprucing Tips

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Brush Away The Winter Blues With These Spring-Ready Sprucing Tips

On the run-up to Christmas, we all love winter. The colder days and snowed in occasions can be bearable, because we’re so full of festive cheer. But, as Christmas winds down, the winter blues can start to kick in. When that happens, all we can think about is the promise of spring, milder days, and the beautiful blooms that go with it.

So, this winter, do things differently. Instead of letting the winter blues set in, beat them away. Think about some of the jobs that you’d usually do in spring and incorporate them into your winter revamp. It’s time to bring the spirit of spring into your home and spruce those winter blues away.

Begin With Basics: There are so many simple home improvements that you can do around the home that make such a difference to the overall look and feel of the place. By adding in a fresh lick of paint or giving everything a good old scrub, it could make your home feel like it’s had a complete renovation. It might seem like a big job at first, but as soon as you get started, you’ll begin to get excited about the result. When winter starts to feel a little stale, a quick clean or redecoration could make you feel so much more ready for spring!

Dress And Showcase: Next up on your home spruce, you’re going to want to show off what you can and work on the rest. Maybe changing up the accessories you have around the home is all it will take to add that little something that you’ve been looking for. Change the accent colors you have in each room or even add more accessories to create a look you’ve had in mind. If you’ve done all you can with the details, you might need to think big. If your furniture is starting to look a little shabby, why not upcycle it? Get a few ideas from Pinterest or on Youtube and sand, paint, and style away until it looks like something you’re proud to show off.

Replace Or Repair: Winter can make you think about the appearance of your home and forget about the functionality. You want it to look great, but glaze over the practical parts. But, if you prioritize them now, you’ll be grateful come spring. It’s so important to stay on top of the functional areas of the home, like your garbage disposal, oven, and even A/C systems. You might just need to give them a clean or routine service or they could need much more. If you require any repairs that need doing or need new appliances installed, now is the time. Ahead of spring, you can iron out all the kinks in your home to make it feel brand new.

Get Outside: It’s common for a lot of yard work to be saved for spring. By why not do it now and get a head start? There are so many garden jobs that you can get done in the winter. In fact, it’s the best time of year to do some things. And, you’ll even give yourself a break come spring as there will be less to do all at once. Then, you’ll have a clean and spruced up home that’s functioning fine and a gorgeous garden to go with it. And how could that not beat away those dreaded winter blues?

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Time For A Refresh! Simple Improvements To Make Your Home Feel Brand-New Again

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After a few years in your home, it’s easy for things to start looking a bit tattered – wear and tear can easily occur in any home. But rather than jumping ship, try making some simple changes in your home instead. Small but effective touch ups will make it feel like you have just moved in. So when it’s time for a refresh, here are some simple improvements to make your home feel brand-new again.

Give Your Home a Good Clean: You will be surprised how different your home will look if you give it a good clean. In fact, you might end up falling in love with it again. Try going through each room and get rid of any items that you don’t need anymore. And for items that you want to keep, make sure they are put safely away in new places. That way, it will stop your rooms from looking totally cluttered and unorganized. You also need to hoover every room and don’t forget to wipe down the doors. And to finish off the rooms, make sure you give the windows a good clean. They are likely to pick up dust over the winter season. You will be surprised how fresh your home looks after a thorough cleaning sesh!

Give the Rooms a Lick of Paint: A lot of the time the rooms in your home can start to look old and blah due to the paint. To ensure your home looks brand-new again, you should consider repainting the rooms. You will be surprised how fantastic they can look with a lick of paint. Head to the store and find a color that will suit your room. You might want to go for something bright in the main rooms such as the bedroom and lounge. A bright color can affect your mood. If you are not so good at painting, you could always hunt down painting contractors. That way, you can rest assured a professional will do a brilliant job with painting your interior! (My family has repainted a few rooms in our home and they seriously look brand new now! Love.)

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 I would LOVE to paint my room black!

Move the Furniture Around: Okay, with Christmas around the corner, you might not have the funds to buy new furniture for your home. But if you are bored of where the current pieces are situated, you can give your home a refresh by rearranging the furniture. For example, by putting the sofa in a different place in your living room, you might create a lot more space and it can look like an entirely new room. Do this throughout the house to make it look brand-new again!

Buy Some New Accessories: It doesn’t always have to be the big things you change to make a big impact in the room. You can just add some new accents such as quirky candles or an eye catching area rug to make a big difference to your home. Hit up the local home goods stores and buy some accessories to put around the house to make it look fantastic. Even some plants would be ideal for enhancing your home. As we said before, they not only will give your home more oxygen, but they look appealing too!

And don’t forget to upgrade your lighting in your home to make it look bright and welcoming. Some beautiful new light shades can make a world of difference to your property.

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Get Ahead On Life With These Practical Pieces Of Home Technology

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Spend a day counting up all the different pieces of technology you see and use and you will realise just how much we live in a technological age. A lot of people are concerned about just how much we rely on it – and this can certainly be true when it comes to bringing up children. It’s very important that we spend time in the real world, rather than just on social media or playing video games, as this can rub off on our kids.

But at the same time, there are many amazing pieces of technology that have now been invented to make our lives easier. If you haven’t already invested, you may not be getting the most out of what this constantly developing sector has to offer. Technology that’s cool and helps you out day to day? What’s not to love? Take a look at these tops picks below for technology that can have a real impact on your life.

Smart Home Heating: Hands up who wants to save money on their heating bills? That will be most of us, then. Many people think that the only way to heat their home economically is to layer up and switch off the central heating. But, this isn’t much fun, especially throughout the cold winter months. Thankfully, new technology allows us to keep our homes warm still saving us money and being kinder to the environment. We are, of course, talking about the best wifi thermostat. These amazing high-tech thermostats can be controlled from your cell phone, allowing you to dictate when your heating comes on and off even when you’re not at home. Many of them also come with motion sensors, so they can determine when you need heat and when they can switch themselves off.

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Forever Freezing!!

Slow cooking: Time is something all of us could do with more of – but it’s so hard to find! Working long hours, trying to have a social life, and looking after children (if you are a parent) all means that when it comes to cooking, most of us would just rather order takeout. But as well as being bad for your health, this can also become quite an expensive habit! Investing in a slow cooker, however, can help to solve this issue. Slow cookers, or crock pots as they are also known as, have quickly become a staple of every savvy chef’s kitchen. Simply put all your ingredients in there in the morning, set to ‘low’ for a few hours and then when you come home you will have a bubbling meal ready to eat straight away.

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Yummmm

Motion Sensor LED Lights: It comes as no secret to most of us that LED lighting is much more economical than regular lighting. They consume far less electricity and are also much safer, due to the fact that they are cooler and more resistant to breakage. If you are already considering installing LED lights in your home, why not go a step further and go for a motion- sensor option? These lights switch on and off when someone enters a room, so you’ll never waste money due to leaving lights on again.

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Knowing What To Do When Things Go Wrong Is Key To Getting Through Disaster

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Knowing What To Do When Things Go Wrong Is Key To Getting Through Disaster

It can sometimes feel as though disaster is waiting around the corner – there are so many things that can go wrong. Don’t let that stop you living life to the fullest, though! The trick to dealing with disaster is knowing what to do when it strikes. Considering what could go wrong and what to do if it happens will allow you to breathe easy. Planning will enable you to know that you can cope, no matter what happens. We’re going to look at a few things that could go wrong and how to deal with them!

Home Disasters: When things go wrong in the home, it can seem like a huge setback. We spend so much time getting our homes perfect, and when things go wrong, it comes as a massive blow. Get to grips with the kinds of problems you could face and how to deal with them. The faster you can get your home back to normal, the quicker you’ll be able to move on.

Plumbing problems are one of the more pressing household issues. Knowing your local plumbers and what their numbers are will save you hassle should anything happen. Plumbers, such as http://www.plumberannandale.com.au, will normally come out on the same day. There’s no need to panic if you know the problem can be fixed straight away. You’ll also have to deal with electrical problems and external damage disasters. Find a number for every eventuality and keep the emergency list in a safe place, just in case you need it one day.

Health Disasters: Our health can go wrong, as well as our homes. Health emergencies are never nice, but finding yourself unprepared will make matters worse. You don’t need a list of emergency numbers here, though it might be worth writing down the number for your doctor’s office. Some medical emergencies aren’t so pressing as to need an ambulance. If there are no appointments at your doctor’s, sites like www.findadoctor.com can help you find an alternative. If the emergency does warrant an ambulance, don’t hesitate to dial 911. Placing your health insurance details somewhere close at hand can save time in an emergency. You don’t want to have to rummage around for them if there’s a health problem taking place!

Financial Loss: Financial loss is yet another emergency many of us have to face through our lives. This can come about for a variety of reasons, but it’s never pleasant. Theft or sudden loss of a job can leave you feeling as though there’s no hope for the future. But the trick when it comes to financial loss is looking to the future. This is the only way to move forward. You can protect yourself from theft by taking security measures and taking out insurance. Getting an insurance payout doesn’t undo the damage, but it will help ease any financial burden caused. If you’ve lost your job, focus on finding another one. It’s also always worth setting money aside so you have a rainy day fund of sorts.

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Featured Image By: Pixabay

Pampering Party (Wahhh!)

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Pampering Party (Wahhh!)

Hi everyone and happy Monday! This past week has been not the best at Chez Red because I have literally been sick for seven days straight. I have had an absolutely miserable cold complete with cough, body aches, headaches, sore throat, the chills, and night sweats. On top of feeling like DEATH, it is now finals week at school which is super stressful which seems to just make me sicker!

I am feeling very bitter about this bug because it completely ruined the pampering that happened last week which I was so looking forward to. I was scheduled to dye my hair, get my nails filled, and get a haircut. These are all things that I freaking love to do and unfortunately, I felt miserable to the point that I couldn’t enjoy any of it during each pampering activity.

My hair dying sesh resulted in a bloody nose and massive chills. Thanks to frequent nose blowing and an accidental stab from my talon acrylics, I was left with a bloody nose worthy of sticking a tampon in. Then, the cold water shower which was a necessity to washing out the dye and maintaining a lustrous shade of red left me in shivers in my skivvies for days. In hindsight, dying my hair and doing a cold water hair wash while sick was just plain asinine but damnit, my hair needed it real bad!!!

Later on in the week, I needed to get my nails filled so that they could be perfect for my graduation ceremony next week. Probably not the best idea either. The strong nail polish smells at the salon went straight to my head and not even my beloved nail tech, Vinny, could help me feel better. The worst, though, was when my nails were put in front of a fan to start the drying process. I instantly began to sweat and get clammy and I like to think of myself as a not sweaty person. I left the salon a big blubbering ball of phlegm and damp clothing but my nails looked fabulous, darling.

And finally, this weekend it was time for a haircut. I was so looking forward to getting my hair styled for my big day and wanted nothing more than to sit comfortably in the chair and let my stylist work her magic. Naturally, this didn’t happen. My week long nightmare left me feeling so achy and irritable that everything made me want to scream, or cry, or BOTH. So best believe when those little bitty microscopic hairs got snipped from my head and wound up down my shirt I was about to have an emotional breakdown. I’m telling you guys, it’s hard out there for a pimp.

Now that I am feeling about eighty percent better, I can finally fully admire the work that was done on me. My hair looks gorgeous and my nails are fierce. But at the time, nothing made me feel happy or attractive which is surprising considering I tried to surround myself with all things pretty! A Pampering Party did happen but it was not fun or relaxing in the slightest. I can only hope that the next time I need to throw some paint on the old barn that I am feeling in tip top physical condition!

Who is suffering from a winter cold or flu right now? What are your go to remedies for easing the yucks and aches? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah