Tag Archives: family

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

Hats Off: Peter Grimm Edition

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Hats Off: Peter Grimm Edition

Yo! Aside from shoes, which we all know are one of Lil Red’s major vices, I am definitely a hat girl. This gene was single handedly passed down from my grandma (my mom’s mom), who owned over one hundred hats. I began my own collection when I was fifteen or so with a deep purple cloche number, and it has expanded from there. In fact, quite a few of the hats in my collection are from my beloved grandma, so I know that she’s happy up in heaven that this love for her favorite accessory was passed down to one of her granddaughters. So, I’m positive that she’ll be pleased with my latest headwear purchase – I know I am! Take a look:

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I scored this Peter Grimm beauty from TJMaxx for seventeen bucks and, when I looked on the website for Peter Grimm, it was sixty! It was a total steal for such a cool hat, especially since I don’t own any in the camel coloring. I don’t know why I used to associate tan with being boring, because the color of this hat made my red locks POP. So, major shout out to Mister Peter Grimm for helping me to adjust that major character flaw.

What I love about this hat, is that it’s safari inspired with the faux suede rope and adjustable toggle, but it looks so damn chic because it’s attached to a somewhat bowler style hat instead of a traditional safari one. I can picture this Peter Grimm number with a cargo jumpsuit or romper, obviously. But, because it’s so neutral, it can be worn with literally anything to add some unexpected spice to an outfit. For example, I can totally see myself pairing it with my Fervour skeleton jumpsuit just because for a look that’s quirky cool – my specialty!

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

NC Photography

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NC Photography

Howdy and welcome to the weekend! Thank you all so much for letting me dish about my family vacation to Hendersonville, North Carolina this past week. It has been so nice to relive such wonderful memories, even though they just happened, and I am already itching to travel off to somewhere new! Ah yes, the travel bug is strong since I took two trips this month but, for now, all I can do is reminisce with some final photos from vacation taken by my father who planned the entire trip! Take a look:

 

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For as long as I can remember, my dad has always found joy in planning family vacations. From Florida and Vermont to New Hampshire and North Carolina, my dad loves conducting research and will spend at least a year planning for a big summer or fall trip. It is simply the best and we are so thankful that he spends such extensive time making sure that our vacation is perfect. And, it really is a win win, because my dad enjoys it so much and we just get to sit back and experience the spoils. This year’s vacation was one of the best that we have had in a long time and I am so appreciative to my dad and family for making it all possible!

Where was your last family vaca? Where is your dream travel destination? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Carl Sandburg Home

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Carl Sandburg Home

Hi! During my family vacation, we visited the incomparable Carl Sandburg Home. Although we didn’t go inside the house itself, exploring the gorgeous property and playing with goats (Yes, goats!) was more than good enough for us! During our time at the Carl Sandburg estate, we learned a lot about the great American poet and, even though I wasn’t familiar with his work before, this might have been my favorite part of our trip. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

 

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So, how did I get up close and personal enough with a field full of goats to be able to take a selfie with one of them, you might ask? Well, these goats are direct descendants from the ones that Carl’s wife, Lilian, raised until her passing. All of the goats are handled by humans as soon as they’re born, so they’re incredibly friendly and love having visitors. Each goat has his or her own name, which you can see on their collars, and they are all so tame that you can approach and handle them without any fuss. It. Was. AMAZING!

And, of course, the property was spectacular, too. The foliage was beautiful, the walking trail was pleasant to stroll through, and all of the homes on the estate for Sandburg’s family looked so quaint and charming. We spent a good few hours at the Carl Sandburg Home and I honestly would have been happy spending an entire day there! The scenery and especially the goats stole the show and I would love to go back. 12/10 Would recommend visiting if you are in the area.

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

Sky Top Apple Orchard

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Sky Top Apple Orchard

Howdy! When my family vacations in North Carolina, we always go apple picking. This time around, we visited Sky Top orchard. And an appropriate name it is, indeed, because it’s at the very top of a mountain! Unfortunately, we came at a bad time, because a huge school field trip was just finishing up, so the trees were pretty much picked clean. But, we still managed to get a basket full of delicious Pink Lady, Cameo, Honey Crisp, and Fuji apples. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

 

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Although I had a lot of fun at the orchard with my family and the caterpillar friend I made along the way, I preferred other orchards that we visited over Sky Top. Because of the mountainous terrain, exploring the massive property was anything but pleasant. The hills were incredibly steep and the orchard didn’t seem to be very well maintained. Along every row of apple trees, the ground was completely littered with rotten fruit and flies, bees, and ants were swarming all over. I absolutely understand that an orchard isn’t going to be totally pristine, but you literally couldn’t step anywhere without a rotten apple squishing beneath your feet and bugs flying on and around you. Gross.

Having said all of that, their market area was really cute and clean. And, an entire bucket of apples to pick was only twenty dollars, which was a great value. It was nice to visit a different orchard in North Carolina but, next time that we go, I hope that we stick to Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard, which was scenic (without being mountainous) and well maintained outdoors and in their market.

Who else loves going apple picking in the fall? What is your favorite type of apple? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah