Category Archives: Holidays

Holiday Gifts That Always Win

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Holiday Gifts That Always Win

Howdy! The holiday season is here, and there is no doubt about it. And, with this festive season, comes family gatherings, lots of food, and holiday shopping. I, personally, love holiday shopping. But, then again, I love any kind of shopping! And, if you’re like me, then you will want to complete your purchases nice and early this month. Or, perhaps, you like to wait until the last minute and hit the stores on Christmas Eve! No matter how you do it, the present ideas below are always sure to please:

Comfort Items:

Male or female, every person loves comfort gifts. Whether it’s a huge cozy blanket, slippers, or new flannel pajamas, you really can’t go wrong with this option. If you’re shopping for a man’s man, grab a fleece throw with his favorite sports team on it. Or get your best girlfriends a pajama set and a bottle of wine for your next movie night in. These types of gifts are also a great choice, because they are something that your giftee will actually use and they will be sure to think about you every time!

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Ingredient Jars:

A gift idea that I love but, have actually never made, are ingredient jars. You know, the mason or cookie jars that are filled with the fixings to make a delicious pot of soup or tray of sugar cookies. These are fun gifts, because they are activity based but, the giftee really doesn’t have to do anything other than follow the instructions on how to make the recipe. You can go all out and decorate the jar into a reusable masterpiece, too! Or, you can get a set of holiday mugs filled with the goods to make a perfect cup of hot chocolate – a definite hit around the office.

Hobby Based Gifts:

The bread and butter of my holiday shopping are hobby based gifts. When you are preparing your shopping list, think long and hard about the interests of your giftees and plan accordingly. Is she an amateur photographer? Sweet, because Polaroid cameras are making a total comeback. Does he love to garden? Some packets of seeds and some new gear for around the yard will do just fine. Gifts that tend to the person’s hobbies are a great way to go, because you know that they will be well used and they will help to take the giftee’s passions further, which is a gift all in itself.

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Smell Goods:

Alright, let’s be honest here. Lotion, candles, body wash and all of that jazz are the most basic but effective gifts that you can give to someone. Girls love it and, hey, guys love to be pampered, too! But, just because this gift is given constantly, doesn’t mean that it has to be the same old same old. Create a gift basket for a bath time delight with bath bombs from Lush, bath salts, body butter, and bubble bath for the ultimate package for relaxation. Or, gift your guy with a fancy shmancy shaving kit to spruce his self care routine up. And, if you are unsure if which scents to go for, always go with something neutral like Shea or Cocoa butter, which is sure to be well liked by anyone.

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Home Decor:

The option of home decor is a really nice one to go with, because it’s going to be used year round or every year during the holiday season. Pick up some beautiful picture frames with some of your favorite photos of you and the giftee. Or, you could even craft a holiday wreath to hang on the door. Ornaments for the tree are also a hit, too! From centerpieces and vases to knick knacks and outdoor decor (Solar lanterns or wind chimes, perhaps?), decorative gifts are a crowd pleaser, because it’s something that the giftee might not necessarily buy for themselves. I love those types of presents!

Hopefully these gift ideas will put you on the right path to some successful holiday shopping. And, if you’re still having trouble, always remember that homemade gifts are an excellent and well received way to go, too!

What is your favorite type of gift to give? Who is the most difficult person on your list to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Early Holiday Shopping Tips & Tricks

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Early Holiday Shopping Tips & Tricks

Hiiii everyone! If you’re like me, then you like to get your holiday shopping done nice and early. I’ll tell you what, there is nothing better than clearing off your Christmas shopping list in November so that you can relax and be merry all December long. I recently began my shopping for my friends and family and even buying for just a few people has let me breathe a huge sigh of relief.

But, sometimes, holiday shopping can seem like a bit much – especially if you have a large family or group of friends to buy for. And, believe me, I get it. I have a pretty substantial list of people to shop for and that’s why I ball on a budget more than ever during the holiday season with the following tips:

Make A List/Budget:

The very first thing that I do when I prep for holiday shopping is the obvious starter of making a list. I go through everyone in my head that I need to buy for from family to significant others of the family to my boyfriend, BFFs, and colleagues and then write them down accordingly. Then, I include some basic ideas of what to get for each person by their names.

Once I have a good idea of who I need to shop for and what I would like to purchase for them, I set a budget. Normally, I have a pretty set in stone price range that I would like to stay in that applies for everyone. But, there could be certain people that you might want to shell out more or less from depending on the situation. Are you surprising your parents with a holiday gift basket? Awesome, ball out. Do you have a white elephant gift to buy for the office party? Spend a little less. That way your budget will still end up balancing out in the end.

Shopping lists and budgets provide a great guideline for completing your present purchasing in a (Somewhat!) stress-free manner. But, don’t let the price points that you set make you go too crazy! Going over budget is fine if the item is worth splurging on and you know that the giftee will love it. Like I said, there are always deals and hacks to utilize to bring yourself back within your spending limit. Like the following:

Steals, Deals, & Freebies:

My number one rule of shopping is to always get something extra out of your purchases. Whether that be points on a credit card, a free gift, or a BOGO style deal in store, always always shop smart. Do your research on the promotions that your favorite stores are running in store or online. Is a huge Black Friday sale happening? Maybe wait on that big screen TV, then. Is the deal that you can get online even better than what you could get in store? Then you better grab it before it goes out of stock.

Being aware of what promotions that the stores are running is just half of the trick. A good way to go about whether to wait for Black Friday deals or to purchase now is to think about what sales the store ran last year. I worked four Black Fridays in a row and the stores that I worked at ran the same promotions every year and they still do now. So, if those deals are worth waiting for, hold off until Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If not, and a good sale is running already, buying it now is just fine.

The next thing that you should be concerned with, are the deals that you can get with your credit or store rewards cards. Sometimes, it’s worth applying for a credit card just to do your holiday shopping on it. For example, if you apply for an Amazon credit card and get approved, you get a free fifty dollar gift card to spend on the site. Other credit cards will reward you with points or store credit when you use them. Can your cash do that?

And, finally, always compare in store and online prices before you purchase! Some stores will price match if it is cheaper online. And, other stores, like Sephora offer deals that you could never get in store. I spent fifty dollars on their website and got free shipping, two free samples, and two free really nice gifts for spending a certain amount of money. You should try to get the most bang for your buck whenever you’re shopping and free gifts for yourself never hurts!

Ready, Set, Gift Sets:

Gift sets are the bread and butter of my holiday shopping. They are a crowd and wallet pleaser and they are so fun to assemble. Some stores offer stellar pre-made sets that have a lot of product for not as big of a price tag, and those are great, too. If a family member or friend has a more eclectic taste, gift sets are an excellent way to go, because you can give them an assortment of odds and ends that will speak more to their uniqueness than a gift card. Or, if you’re shopping for nieces or nephews, hit up a Five Below and create a goody bag on a dime. And, always remember, that a nice basket or container is part of the gift so pick something nice that can be used again. 🙂

What are your tips and tricks for holiday shopping? Who has their holiday shopping finished already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Dollar Tree Deals

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Dollar Tree Deals

Hi! We all know that Lil Red loves to shop but, the trick is, is that I am all about the discount stores to save copious amounts of cash while I partake in my favorite hobby. In today’s post, it’s all about the Washingtons, because I began my Christmas shopping early at the Dollar Tree and got six fairly decent sized candles for a dollar apiece. Check it out:

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The beauty of discount stores, aside from the immense amount of savings from shopping there, is that no one is the wiser when they receive their presents. I plan on attaching sets of three of the above candles with a festive bow as part of gifts for friends and family and, for all they know, I could have gotten them at Target. Not only is the size of the candles relatively big for a dollar deal but, they smell amazing, too! The Pineapple Upside Down Cake is my favorite and I know that it will be a hit for my giftees. 🙂

What is your favorite discount store? Who has started their holiday shopping already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Gephardt Daily

Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween!

Greetings everyone and a very Happy Halloween to all of you! I hope that all of you who celebrate enjoy a day of tricks and treats and, to those of you who don’t partake in the festivities, have a great normal day! Here is a friendly reminder of my angry dog in her minion costume last year wishing everyone a wonderful day:

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Gem says…

Happy Halloween!!

ModCloth Haul: Heart Balloon Kit

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ModCloth Haul: Heart Balloon Kit

Yooooo. The next item in my ModCloth Haul was one that I got on sale and am very happy with! I scored a heart balloon kit that was originally twenty dollars for seven bucks, which I thought was a steal. These darling balloons will be perfect for a Valentine’s Day photo shoot on lifewithlilred and I am totally okay with having them on backstock until then, as opposed to paying a more expensive price once V-Day rolls around. Check it out:

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The kit includes:

  • Six balloons
  • String
  • Three different colors of streamers (White, pink, and red)

Like I said, seven dollars for all of that seemed like such a bargain! I absolutely love cute balloon related photo shoots and, I suppose that I could use these at any time, but it doesn’t get much sweeter than a bouquet of pink heart balloons on Valentine’s Day. This purchase made me feel proud, because planning an article that is four months away means that lifewithlilred will still be alive and kicking until then. I consider each day of writing for my page a success and, although the photo shoot is a ways away, it’s one less thing that I have to worry about. And that, my friends, is the power of planning ahead!

What is your favorite holiday to style looks for? Have you ever done a balloon photo shoot? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Celebrating Mabon

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Celebrating Mabon

Hello! Today, we are going to hear a little something from my darling friend, Carlie, over at Bombshell on Celebrating Mabon. As you will read in this post, Mabon is a Pagan nature holiday that gives thanks to all things fall and it’s something that Carlie enjoys participating in. Carlie will also be back later on this month with more fall and Halloween fun so definitely keep it posted, because she’s awesome! ❤

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Autumn is my favorite time of year for many reasons. The weather starts to get cooler, I love seeing the leaves changing beautiful colors, Halloween aka Samhain, and celebrating “Mabon”. Like Samhain, Mabon is a Pagan nature based holiday that represents the beginning of the Autumnal Equinox. It also signifies the second harvest of the calendar and promotes equality and balance. It’s a very positive time of the year where a lot of people celebrate the changing of the seasons, create their own little traditions, and enjoy nature of course. I hope you all are looking forward to the beginning of Autumn/Mabon as much as I am. This year the Autumn Equinox begins Friday, September 21st. And, if you want to celebrate Mabon in any way, it goes from September 21st to Saturday, September 29th!

How do you welcome the fall season? What is your favorite fall tradition? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy 24th Birthday To Me!!

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Happy 24th Birthday To Me!!

Hello!!! Today is a wonderful day for planet Earth, because it’s my 24th birthday! Although I’m not too keen on getting older, birthdays are still a time for celebration – and I do love celebrating myself. 😀 These past few years have been a royal shit show for yours truly so, even though going into a new year is scary, I am looking forward to things *hopefully* going up from here!

Thanks again to all of my wonderful readers for all of the love and I hope you guys have an amazing day – I’m sure going to try to!

Happy birthday to meeeeee!!!!!!!!