Tag Archives: christmas

Early Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

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Early Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

Hello! While Halloween is always at the forefront of my mind, it is never too early to think about Christmas! In fact, I have already began crossing a few people off of my shopping list and it is a necessary feat – I have a lot of giftees. Beginning the process of holiday shopping early prevents you from having a huge bill come December. These money saving tips and other clever hints will also help the cause:

Make the most of seasonal sales:

If you are looking for seasonal deals, then right now is the perfect time to do some shopping – especially if your giftee is a fan of summer. To ring in the changing season, summer clothing, outdoor activities, pool floats, and gardening/grilling gear will all be discounted. Why pay more later when you can just pay less right now? Similarly, if you have a lover of fall in the family, November is a great time to shop for them as fall items will be discounted to welcome the winter.

Stockpile points:

I buy everything exclusively with my Amazon credit card and each purchase gives me money to spend online. Rather than use my points for every random Amazon order, I have began stockpiling points and I can’t believe I haven’t done this sooner. I got a gift for my husband and best friend completely free of charge. There is nothing better than checking an item off of your list and getting it for free to boot!

Sales are your friend:

This should go without saying but it needs repeating. If you see something on sale that a giftee would love, then go for it. If you hold off, then chances are that the item will be sold out or you will have to buy it at full price later. I saved over one hundred dollars by shopping a sale at Old Navy to get some Halloween themed pajamas for Johnny. If you are concerned that the sale price will drop lower, talk to a store employee. Many stores offer a grace period after your purchase to do an adjustment if the price drops again.

Shop local:

If you have grown bored of shopping at local chain stores, then try your hand at shopping locally or through Etsy. You will walk away with a one of a kind piece and you will be sure that your giftee doesn’t have it already. For example, my best friend and I have been celebrating fourteen years of birthdays and Christmases. We have gone through every common gift option possible and I decided to break that cycle by buying her some art from Falcon Grove Studios for her birthday. The paintings were beautiful, supported a local artist, and she absolutely loved them.

Become a rewards member:

While the constant emails from stores that you have a rewards membership through are annoying, they can be very helpful. Lots of stores offer perks for their rewards customers including additional discounts, free shipping, double point days, and free product. As already stated, sales are your friend and if you can get even more of a discount, then why not? I have a stockpile of free Bath & Body Works products that I use as add on gifts simply because I’m a rewards member!

Store your gifts safely:

Getting a head start on holiday shopping means that you are going to have to hang on to your purchases for a while. To avoid clutter, clear out a designated space at home to store your gifts. The place you choose should be safe from prying eyes, pets, and areas that could be prone to water damage or pests. It would be a shame for your gift to get ruined before you even have a chance to give it!

It might be September, but I have already been bit by the Christmas bug and that is fine by me. Come December, I will be sipping hot chocolate and watching Elf with zero pressure of last minute gifts!

Are you an early or last minute gift buyer? When do you usually start your holiday shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

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The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and loved ones to come together and celebrate. It’s a time for happiness, joy, and good cheer. But it’s also a time for reflection. A time to look back on the year that has passed and think about all that has happened. It’s a time to think about the future and what lies ahead. And what better way to reflect on the past year and plan for the future than by spending time with those you love most?

There are many benefits to spending time with family during the holidays. Although we’re nowhere near Christmastime yet, we are very close to Christmas In July so you can experience them early! This article will explore just a few of them and how you can make the most of this special time with your loved ones:

Strengthens relationships:

The holiday season is a special time when families come together to celebrate their traditions and strengthen their relationships. Spending time together fosters communication and bonding, two essential ingredients for any strong relationship. The holidays are also a time when families can relax and enjoy each other’s company, free from the demands of work and school.

In today’s busy world, finding quality time to spend with our loved ones can be difficult. But the holidays offer a perfect opportunity to slow down, relax, and focus on what truly matters – family. By making the most of our time together, we can create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Increases morale:

For some, the holidays can be a stressful time. There’s the pressure to buy the perfect gifts, cook the perfect meal, and create the perfect holiday experience. This stress can take a toll on our physical and mental health. But spending time with our families during the holidays can reduce stress and increase our morale.

Family togetherness helps us to relax and enjoy. We can laugh and have fun together. We can reminisce about past holidays and create new traditions. And we can show our loved ones how much we care about them. So if you’re feeling stressed this holiday season, take some time to spend with your family. It will do wonders for your morale.

Allows for reflection on the past year:

The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends. They offer a chance to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming year. For many people, the holidays are also a time to express their gratitude for what they have.

One of the best ways to show your loved ones how much you care is to spend quality time together. This doesn’t mean that you have to be together every minute of the day; simply being in each other’s company can be a great way to show your love and appreciation.

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Many activities can help promote family togetherness during the holidays. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Watching Christmas movies together:

Christmas movies are a staple of the holiday season. They offer a chance to escape the world’s reality and enjoy some good old fashioned family fun. So why not gather the family around the television and enjoy a few of your favorites? You can even make it a tradition to watch the same movies yearly.

Baking holiday cookies:

One of the best things about the holidays is the delicious food. Baking holiday cookies is an awesome activity for the whole family. You teach your children how to bake and they get to eat the cookies when they’re done. It’s a chance to spend time together and create yummy treats that everyone will enjoy.

Get professional pictures together:

Getting photographs together is a fantastic method to preserve the Christmas holidays memories. Hiring professional photographers can be expensive but might be nice to do every few years. Hiring a professional photo editor to edit pictures of your kids and family members might also be a good idea. This will ensure that the pictures are high quality and capture the spirit of the holidays.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. Make the most of your time together and enjoy all of the benefits of it!

Happy Haulidays: Parents Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Parents Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to the last edition of my holiday haul compliments of my parents! The one thing that I asked for for Christmas was a new set of pots and pans and they definitely delivered. I can’t wait to use the beautiful set that they got me and it will be nice to not have to do dishes immediately after cooking dinner as I originally only had a handful of pots and pans before! Check it out:

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Thanks to my husband’s family graciously giving us a new air fryer for Christmas and the new cookware from mine, we have everything that we need in our kitchen now. I am so happy! I try to cook an “actual” dinner instead of air fried foods several times per week so these pots and pans will certainly come in handy. My old cookware is also, admittedly, not the best so using quality cookware for the first time is something that I’m really looking forward to.

While some might consider cooking to be a chore, it is one of my favorite things to do. Serving food for someone is an act of love, and I always enjoy whipping up mine and Johnny’s favorite meals. Our middle class fancy conversation after dinner usually is something along these lines…

Me: I love cooking you dinner.

Johnny: And I love eating it!

Lol, there is nothing more satisfying than that to me!

After a much needed curbside grocery order, I have a feeling that I will be cooking up a storm. Thanks to my parents, I have all of the tools I need to make my time spent cooking an even more joyful experience. ❀

What are some of your favorite vegetarian recipes? How do you show love to someone? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bouquet Beauty

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Bouquet Beauty

Hello! My dad is an excellent gardener and for as long as I can remember, there is always a wildflower bouquet on the kitchen table for my mom in the summertime. It’s pretty much the sweetest thing ever and his flower arrangements are beautiful every time. My grandma also had a green thumb so, between her and my dad, the majesty of flowers is something that I have enjoyed from a young age.

I love receiving flowers as gifts and I even still have the dried roses from mine and Johnny’s “one week anniversary” of dating and an arrangement from a Valentine’s Day together. In my opinion, dried flowers are just as pretty as fresh ones and I have endless bowls on my knick knack shelf filled with dried petals.

A couple of weeks ago, Johnny’s mom surprised me with a lovely Christmas bouquet. While it looks like it has seen better days now, I still love it just the same:

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Flowers are such an amazing any time gift and they are always special to receive. It shows such thoughtfulness on behalf of the bouquet giver and I was so appreciative to Johnny’s mom for this gift. Although I am constantly cleaning off dried petals from the floor, I just can’t part with the arrangement. It also makes a fine centerpiece on my coffee table with my other vases of dried flowers. Plus, how pretty are those Lil Red blooms?! πŸ˜€

Dried or fresh, flowers are the best and I smile every time I look at mine. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! ❀

What is your favorite flower? Who else has a green thumb? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Seventies Chic OOTD Bonus Pictures

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Seventies Chic OOTD Bonus Pictures

Hi everyone and welcome to some bonus pictures from my Seventies Chic OOTD! These pictures were taken at our lodge at Oglebay where my family enjoyed a holiday weekend together. It was the best! In just one short day and a half, we did so many activities around the property and it was absolute Christmas magic – even if it was a few weeks late! Check out some more OOTD pics and let’s discuss:

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For holiday fun, Oglebay is definitely the place to be. The property boasts six miles of holiday light displays to drive through, a laser light show, zoo, and an outdoor light show set to a remixed tune of Christmas music and Led Zeppelin. Not to mention the abundance of deer wandering around that are so friendly that you can feed them out of the palm of your hand. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for pics of that because it was incredible!

From opening presents and experiencing the spectacular light displays, it was a weekend that I will never forget. In fact, my family is already in talks of doing it again next year. My favorite part of our little getaway had to be the outdoor light show that had a rocking soundtrack. The snow was falling and Johnny and I even had an impromptu snowball fight. It might have resulted in me accidentally hitting him in the face when I was aiming for his arm but he walked it off like a champ… Whoops. πŸ™‚

Every Christmas spent with my family is an amazing time but our Oglebay adventure holds a very special place in my heart. Barely two days didn’t feel long enough and I already can’t wait for next Christmas! ❀

How did you celebrate the holidays this year? What are some of your favorite holiday memories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

Hello! This past Wednesday, my best friend of fourteen years, Lea, and I had our holiday gift exchange. It may have been a bit late but it still felt like Christmas magic to me. As soon as she walked in the door, we immediately began opening presents and spent the evening girl talking away. I am so in love with what my best girl gifted me with and my new flower pressed coasters she got me from Etsy already have a very special place on my coffee table:

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Lea and I both know the value of receiving bath and body care during gift exchanges so I was very excited for some eos brand goodies to add to my beauty hoard. I have only ever used their lip balms before, which are fabulous, so I can’t wait to test out the lotion and hand cream. Eos is a brand that I have always been interested in, but would never buy for myself so it was a perfect present.

Of course, the piece de resistance were the handmade coasters that she purchased off of Etsy. We both share an affinity for shopping on Etsy and my gifts from her were actually ordered on there too. I have never owned coasters before so it definitely felt like moving up in the adult world. And, what an amazing place to start because they are beautiful! πŸ˜€

For over fourteen years, Lea and I have participated in gift exchanges and it will never get old. It is so special to share holidays and birthdays with her and, oh yeah, half of our lives too. She is the best friend a gal could ask for and I love her so much! ❀

How do you celebrate holidays with your bestie? Do you have a favorite Etsy shop? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

Hello! Due to the high rates of COVID in Ohio, Johnny and I have had to have late Christmas celebrations with our families. This is why you haven’t seen any OOTDs or Hauliday posts recently but keep your eyes peeled because they are still going to happen! This past week, we celebrated with Johnny’s family and one of his aunts who is just wonderful and it was such a great time.

Living during a pandemic is insanely difficult but especially during the holidays as Johnny and I want to protect our vulnerable populations as much as we can. We haven’t seen his family as much as we would like so it was so nice to be able to share a meal, catch up, and open presents. Johnny’s family so generously gifted me with the following:

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Hanging out with Johnny’s family after so much time apart was the best gift of all, of course, but I am so appreciative of everything that they treated us to. I love my cobweb earrings the best of all and I am tickled by the gift from Johnny’s dad of the flashlight/screw driver/whistle/everything else lol. It is such a dad gift and I am obsessed – even if I don’t quite know how to use it. πŸ˜€

I am also very touched by the ornament from his mom made for caregivers, although we all had a laugh about how we couldn’t read the sweet sentiments that were on it. Johnny and I have been diligently working through our holiday chocolate – my favorite being the chocolate covered chips. I have never tried one before and it is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I could seriously eat twenty bags of them!

The piece de resistance of our holiday haul had to be the new air fryer for the both of us. We meant to buy a new one after we got married as ours was on the fritz but we just never got around to it. It finally went kaput a few months ago so we were thrilled with the new appliance. We have been air frying literally everything and have missed it so much. The novelty of air fried food never wears off. πŸ™‚

Although we didn’t keep up with our Miller family tradition of watching Christmas Vacation together, it was still an amazing celebration. I am so thankful to have two beautiful families to join in the holidays with and have my fingers crossed that we can celebrate next Christmas on time altogether! ❀

How did you celebrate the holidays this year? What is your favorite gift in your holiday haul? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas! To those who celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful day filled with joy, good company, and holiday cheer. For those who don’t celebrate – I hope the same for you! I will keep this post short and sweet so everyone can get prepared for their festivities but I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all of you. ❀

With the pandemic, everything feels crazy and scary. Writing on my blog every day brings a much needed touch of normalcy to my life and I hope that everyone tuning in feels that way too. My audience has turned into such dear friends and I love you all. I love your insights, your kindness, and the happiness I feel to have you in my life – even if it is from the computer screen.

For Christmas and every holiday celebrated, I encourage all of you to take proper safety precautions to keep things merry and bright for everyone. I can’t wait to hear how all of you spend your day and thank you for being you!

Merry Christmas!

Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Up To?

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What Have I Been Up To?

Hello!! It has been a busy time for yours truly between work, the blog, skating practice, and holiday preparations but I think that things are finally slowing down. I am pleased to report that almost all of my presents are wrapped and I am very much looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my family! ❀

Johnny and I haven’t been up to anything too exciting lately other than the fact that we are almost done watching Criminal Minds in its entirety. This is very bittersweet for the both of us because we are fricken obsessed with that show lol. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up rewatching it once we’re done because we will miss Matthew Gray Gubler way too much – he’s our favorite/best friend in our heads. πŸ˜€

When we aren’t binging on our programs, I have been playing Animal Crossing every chance I can get. I am still loving the new update so much and am really enjoying Happy Home Paradise – it’s so fun! I will admit that the game can be tedious at times but my days don’t feel complete without playing it… Sometimes I even get up extra early for work to get some playing time in and watch an episode of Black Clover before I leave. And, eventually, I will get to digging up all of the overgrown flowers on my island. The key word being eventually, of course!

According to my calculations, there are nine days left until Christmas and I am hoping that they pass by quickly. To be honest, I’m even getting annoyed with myself constantly asking if I can tell all of my giftees what I got them! Until then, Johnny and I will be filling our time with our favorite shows, weekend game nights, and laughing at how I look when I use a sheet face mask. πŸ™‚

What has everyone been up to lately? Anything exciting? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Should You Decorate With Real Or Fake Garlands This Christmas?

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Should You Decorate With Real Or Fake Garlands This Christmas?

From Christmas trees to mistletoe, there are many different types of traditional decorations that adorn homes all over the world come the festive period, and a Christmas garland is another one of these. There is no doubt that you will have a huge assortment of Christmas garlands to choose from. However, before you can decide on the style that appeals to you the most, your main decision is whether to go for a real or artificial Christmas garland. In this post, we will reveal the reasons why the latter is the best option:

Disadvantages of Real Christmas Garlands:

A lot of people mistakenly believe that the only way to benefit from beautiful Christmas garlands is to purchase fresh versions. However, this is certainly not the case. While it is easy to understand the initial appeal of real Christmas garlands – their smell and their appearance – once purchased, people quickly realize that there are many more disadvantages associated with real garland decorations than meets the eye.

Firstly, you are going to need to replace your garlands every year, and, unfortunately, for some people their garlands do not even make it until Christmas Day. And, if they do, they are assured to have lost a considerable amount of their beauty by then. This is because real flowers deteriorate quite quickly. If you are someone that likes to have their Christmas decorations up for a while before and after the 25th of December, then this is going to be a big problem. The fact that you do not get a lot of use out of your real Christmas garlands shows that this is an expensive route to go down.

Not only are fresh flowers costly to begin with, but they are going to need replacing. You then need to consider the upkeep of these garlands. You are going to have to look after them if you are going to protect their longevity. The needles can go brown and they can drop, and the weather is assured to wreck havoc with your outdoor decorations, especially if you use screws or another type of fixture to hang them.

Advantages of Artificial Christmas Garlands:

On the other hand, you do not need to worry about any maintenance when it comes to an artificial Christmas garland. Instead, you will get many years of use out of them and all they will require is a little bit of dusting when you get them out of the box each Christmas. You will get a better value for money as your purchase is going to last you for a considerable period of time. Moreover, artificial flowers tend to be cheaper than real flowers in many cases.

Of course, the main worry for a lot of people when it comes to artificial Christmas garlands is that they are going to miss out in terms of beauty. While there is no denying that there are some companies that sell cheap artificial flowers, which are obviously fake, there are some great retailers nowadays that craft stunning artificial garlands – so much so that you won’t be able to tell the difference.

If you want to give a modern twist to an old tradition, then artificial garlands are ideal. You will get more bang for your buck and still have a beautifully decorated home for the holidays!

Featured Image By: Unsplash