Tag Archives: christmas

Holiday Gifts That Always Go Over Well

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Holiday Gifts That Always Go Over Well

Hi everyone! The countdown to Christmas has officially begun, which means it is definitely time to start finishing up your holiday shopping. I, for one, have been done since mid November. Just the mere thought of last minute shopping gives me anxiety! I also love Christmas shopping (And any kind of shopping!) so I was eager to get going.

As much fun as gift giving is, however, it can still be stressful. Maybe you have someone really hard to shop for in the family. Or you have a giftee on your list who has it all already. Regardless of the case, there are certain gifts that always go over well, including some of the following:

Candles/Bath & Body Care:

I used to think that candles and bath and body care was a total cop out gift. Then, I realized that I love being gifted with those goodies so that means other people do, too… At least, I think so! Treat your giftee to some pampering. How about a gift card to their favorite nail or hair salon? Or maybe all of the fixings for a perfect bubble bath with supplies from Lush.

The candle and bath and body care route it always a good one to go with because they are something that your giftee might not necessarily buy for themselves. So, I feel incredibly spoiled whenever those gifts are under my tree.

Concert Tickets/An Experience:

You can literally never go wrong with an experience related gift. My sister and I often gift each other with concert tickets and I love that because you get to share in a memory with them. Is your giftee’s favorite band coming to town? Boom. You’re done. Did a new ride open up at their favorite amusement park? Nailed it. What about a sporting event with your brother or dad? Easy as pie.

Experience gifts are an exciting option to go with and this is one of my favorite types of presents to receive. So, in case you were wondering, I wear a size Marilyn Manson concert tickets, please!

Date Night Supplies:

If you are shopping for a couple, you could provide them with all of the necessities for a night on the town. I usually opt for a gift card to a restaurant and then a movie theater for your classic dinner and a movie date night. And, if you really want to go the full nine yards, you could gift a bottle of wine or champagne for their nightcap.

A fully funded night out will always be much appreciated by any couple and I really like this idea for the favorite love birds in my life.

Food, Glorious Food:

You can never go wrong with a food related gift because everyone eats! I love the idea of the adorable mason jars filled with the ingredients to make a pot of soup or a tray of holiday cookies. Delicious and simple, these gifts are thoughtful and won’t break your bank if you’re ballin on a budget.

If you want to get a bit fancier, you could supply a basket filled with the necessities for a full on dinner. Maybe a homemade pizza night with a lovely bottle of vino? Or an Indian food extravaganza filled with all of the necessary spices for the meal. Regardless of what you choose, everyone (Me, especially!) loves food. 😀

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be so stressful with the pro tips above. Customize them to suit your giftee and you’re all set. Happy shopping!

What is something that you love to gift for people? What is your status on completing your holiday shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Gifting Do’s & Don’ts, Backed By Research

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Gifting Do’s & Don’ts, Backed By Research

Did you know that gift-giving can strengthen relationships? I know it sounds like a silly question and most of us probably have that in mind already when we buy gifts. But there was a study that measured which kinds of gifts are better at strengthening relationships between the giver and recipient.

The findings are so cool and timely so I’m going to share some do’s and don’ts of gift-giving based on the surprising insights I got from that paper. The paper was published by the Journal of Consumer Research and here are the do’s:

Gift something experiential:

The paper has one major discovery and it’s clearly stated as its title: Experiential Gifts Foster Stronger Social Relationships Than Material Gifts. By “stronger social relationships,” the paper was referring to a combination of things like feelings of closeness and satisfaction with the relationship.

Experiential gifts, as you may have guessed, can come in the form of a concert ticket, a trip to the beach, a spa treat, or passes to Disneyland. Or if you’re like someone I know, it can be a stress-free home makeover. Hey friend, you know who you are!

Anyhow, according to the study, because the emotions evoked by an experiential gift is stronger than emotions evoked when a material thing is received, it tends to bring people closer to their relationship goals. Are you starting to wonder now what experiential gift you can give to the special people in your life?

Give an explicit request:

Yes, it may take the surprise out of gifting, which is kind of sad. But based on a related study, gift recipients do like to get what they had wished or asked for. For example, cash gifts (or GC’s) are always cool! I know there’s nothing romantic about cash gifts unless it’s a million dollars but I guess, in some instances, this can be great for kids or for adults who receive them from their parents. You may not want to give something like this to someone you’re romantically involved with, though!

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And now for the don’ts…

DON’T rely on expensive gifts:

Beware of being lured into buying expensive gifts that the recipient may not appreciate at all. Research tells us that people can appreciate both costly and budget-friendly gifts. The monetary value they assign to a gift is usually lower than how much it costs. Ouch.

That said, unless you’re sure that a particularly expensive item will make your loved one jump for joy, don’t be afraid to look for a more affordable alternative.

DON’T make it a surprise:

As I mentioned before, people love receiving what they asked for. So, unless your friend asked you for a surprise, don’t be afraid to give them something that’s on their wish list.

DON’T overthink it:

Here’s the one that hit me the most: The study revealed that sometimes, thoughtfulness can lead to a gift that the recipient likes less. I think this is especially true when in our attempt to make a gift special, we end up with something we like rather than what the person likes.

This is not to say that being thoughtful is overrated. If thoughtful results in something meaningful like having an old, sentimental photo restored and framed, then it’s okay. Otherwise, it’s better to get a little sneaky in finding what a person likes.

There’s another article that says, the world’s best gifts are time, experiences, meaningful and sentimental gifts, and gifts that the person likes. That sure makes a lot of sense! Use the tips above and make your holiday gifting a success.

Bath & Body Works Holiday Haul

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Bath & Body Works Holiday Haul

Hello! Some of my favorite go to gifts to give are candles and bath and body care. These are things that your friends and family might not splurge on for themselves so they are always sure to please. And, who doesn’t like a little pampering?! To get some of the presents that I needed to purchase for the holidays out of the way, I hit up Bath & Body Works and got some delicious smelling stocking stuffers for all of my favorite lady friends. Check it out:

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It is always exciting to see all of the holiday themed decor and scents available in store. Bath & Body Works is completely filled with wall to wall holiday scented goodies, which made coming to a decision a difficult task. But, I am really happy with the products that I purchased.

I am not too wild about the super sweet holiday scents like snickerdoodle and hot chocolate and I despise the spicy fragrances like cinnamon and nutmeg. The Frosted Cranberry candles, Winter Candy Apple hand soap, and Fresh Sparkling Snow lotions and shower gel all smell appropriate for the holidays without being overpowering. They are also scents that you could get away with using after December 25th, which made them the perfect candidates to purchase.

Some might say that the candle and bath and body care route is an overdone one. BUT I SAY DIFFERENT! Probably because I would love to receive these gifts, myself. I know for a fact that all of the products above will go over well and, although B&BW can be a bit pricey, they were worth every penny. I am slowly but surely checking all of my giftees off the list and am eager to be completely done hopefully come December! 😀

How far along are you in your holiday shopping? What is your favorite holiday scent? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

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Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

Helloooo! There are some who holiday shop in the summer, there are those who wait until the last minute, and there might be a group of you who is getting their shopping done now, like myself. No matter what your shopping style, purchasing gifts for your loved ones can be a big task. No one wants to give a dud of a gift and this can be a huge stresser if you have someone on your list who’s difficult to shop for.

Lucky for all of you, Lil Red is an absolute pro at holiday shopping and I’m here to break down some of my favorite tips to make your experience much easier. Check it out:

Listen Up:

When trying to get inspired with gift ideas, I make an extra effort to put my listening ears on. For example, I purchased a gift for my mom this year because she flat out said in conversation that she would like this specific thing. Done. If you’re struggling for ideas, spark up a chat with the person you’re shopping for, because the answer might come a lot easier than you think. Discuss favorite things, favorite previous gifts or experiences, and the like and you should have a firm idea of what to purchase by the end of it.

Make A List:

I know that I put this suggestion in my shopping tips every year but that’s because it’s important. Keeping organized while completing your shopping is key because a jumbled mess just means extra stress. Write down everyone who you need to buy for, list some ideas of what you would like to gift them, and cross them off once the task is complete. This will also help you when you are making your rounds in store and online because it will give you a better idea of where to purchase what and you won’t end up back at the same place a million more times.

There’s No Shame In Gift Cards:

I always used to think that gift cards were a cop out but I have grown quite fond of purchasing them for gift giving occasions. Whether it be a ten dollar Starbucks gift card along with other goodies or treating the giftee to a night out for dinner and a movie – gift cards can go a long way. Gift cards are a great add on or full gift and it makes your shopping experience a lot easier if you are coming up short for ideas.

Give An Experience:

What do you give to the person who has it all? How about an experience! Take your favorite sports nut to a game. What about a spa day for your mom? Or take your favorite body modified blogger to the tattoo shop for the afternoon! Haha, either way, gifting experiences is a sure fire way to please even the most difficult person to shop for and you will both have happy memories to cherish afterwards.

And Remember…

Yes, holiday shopping can be stressful. But, it should be fun too! Being able to treat your loved ones to something special is a beautiful thing. Remember that, and your shopping experience will start feeling a whole lot better.

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

Easy Ways To Make Extra Holiday Money

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Easy Ways To Make Extra Holiday Money

Christmas can be a stressful time of the year financially, especially if your budget is already stretched. If decreasing your spending won’t cut it, then starting to look at options for making more money can be the way to get through the holiday season. Many people take on second jobs at this time of year, but could there be an easier way to boost your savings? Get ready to grow your income with these ways to make extra money in the lead up to Christmas:

Use your skills:

Do you work in a job where you could use your skills on a freelance basis? It could be easier than you think. From copywriting to bookkeeping, there are all kinds of jobs you can do part-time or freelance to help you boost your income. It’s worth checking out the types of roles that are available online through websites like Upwork and People Per Hour.

Many people turn side hustles into full-time roles, giving you the perfect excuse to make a switch to a career you’re passionate about and interested in. Remember to only work the hours you can afford to spare, you don’t want your side hustle to have an effect on your day job.

Become a tutor:

Becoming a tutor can be another excellent way to put your skills and knowledge to good use. Whether you can speak another language or you were great with math at school, you could help a student improve their skills and help them succeed. You can find tutoring opportunities listed with local schools or colleges, and a shout-out on Facebook could be another way for you to find your first gig. Becoming a tutor can be very rewarding, helping you remember your enthusiasm and interest in a subject you might not get to use very often.

Offer babysitting services:

Many people need babysitters at this time of year. People get very busy during the holiday season, so if you love kids – why not offer up your services? You could ask friends and family to begin with and to help you build up some experience. From there, you can find babysitting jobs online in your local area. Babysitting can be a lot of fun, and great practice if you’re thinking of starting your own family soon!

Become a dog walker:

If taking care of kids isn’t your thing, perhaps you could take care of animals, instead? Dog walkers are in high demand, and you can make some great additional income as a walker. Not only will you get the chance to interact and play with some fantastic dogs, but it can also help you stay fit too. Getting out and about during the winter is tough when the nights are dark and the weather is cold, but a four-legged friend who’s happy to see you should be more than enough motivation to get outside!

Sell unwanted goods on eBay:

With the holidays around the corner, it’s a good idea to clear out some of the clutter in your home before a new intake of gifts arrives. This helps you to keep your home neat, as well as making sure you haven’t got items sitting there going to waste.

Selling your unwanted items on eBay is easier than you might think, and you can do it all from your phone. Of course, not everything is going to sell so if you find yourself with items you can’t make money from, you always have the option of donating or recycling them.

Take advantage of cashback:

There are a lot of ways you can earn money online, some of which involve nothing more than carrying out your regular activities! Cashback websites are great for helping you get money back on your purchases, with no catch. Most top retailers can be found on cashback websites. Not only that, but many cashback retailers can also help you find discount codes online – helping you save even more money on your purchases.

Spending your free time making some extra money can be an easy way to build up your Christmas fund. Not only that, but it could lead to something more permanent that could help you increase your savings in the New Year!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Mini Zen Garden

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Mini Zen Garden

Howdy! This past Christmas, one of the things that I gifted for my dad was a mini zen garden that I found at Five Below – of all places! My dad loves zen inspired decor and I truly think that he is in his happy place when he tends to his beautiful garden. So, I figured a little zen garden to cultivate would be a perfect add on gift for him. And, because I try to find my inner peace through meditation, I have enjoyed caring for our tiny garden, too. Check it out:

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The zen garden from Five Below came with all of the tokens seen above to create your own scene of peace and I thought that it was an amazing find. I don’t change the layout of the garden too often – maybe once a week. But, I always love when I see the location of the figurines moved because that means my dad has been enjoying it, too. He keeps the zen garden by his Laughing Buddha statue that he got in Thailand and all of it ties in with his super chill personality.

I was so happy with how much my dad liked his gift when he opened it on Christmas and I am even more thrilled that we can both use it and make a little peace together. ❤

What is your favorite discount store find? How do you try and get into a zen state of mind? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Cheery Christmas Edition

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Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Cheery Christmas Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a new edition of Bath Bomb Blitz! Thanks to an early evening at work, I got to enjoy using the Cheery Christmas bath bomb from Lush. Yes, I did get it as a Christmas present. But, hey, it’s better using it late than never! And, I happened to use this bath bomb the night before Valentine’s Day so the pink color was pretty and appropriate! Take a look and let’s discuss:

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When it comes to the show that Cheery Christmas put on, I was fairly underwhelmed. I really like the bath bombs that completely change the color of the water. And, with a pink bath bomb you never know what you’re going to get. In my experience, they normally tend to change the water to this light pinky/purple shade, which is nice, but definitely not my cup of tea.

However, I did enjoy the snowflake motif that was evident in the water. The bubbles that branched out took on this transparent, snowflake style shape and that was cool. I also liked that halfway through the bath bomb fizzing, a baby blue core was revealed. Despite being smaller than the usual bath bombs from Lush, Cheery Christmas took a LONG time to fizz out completely, which I liked and I didn’t. I like when a bath bomb takes a while to dissolve when a fun show is put on. But, sadly, this bath bomb didn’t really do much so all it did was turn my bath water tepid by the time it was over. Whomp whomp. -__-

Overall, I would give Cheery Christmas a five out of ten. It makes for a good gift because of the cold weather theme. But, it was not my favorite because I like really dark bath bombs that make the water a totally different color. I don’t recommend this bath bomb, but I don’t not recommend it, either!

What is your favorite color of bath bomb to use? What is your favorite Lush product to use? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah