Tag Archives: gifts

Shake The Holiday Time Stress – Plan Ahead!

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Shake The Holiday Time Stress – Plan Ahead!

Hi! While the holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the most stressful. All you have to do is visit a store in October to know that the countdown to the holidays are fast approaching because Christmas decorations have taken over. Some people may thrive on leaving holiday preparations to the last minute and that is okay! But it is so not me and if that doesn’t work for you, either, try the tips below to sail smoothly into the holiday season:

Start Shopping Now:

One of the best ways to shake the holiday stress is, of course, starting your shopping early. In fact, I know some people who start shopping for the next Christmas with the end of season sales in January! You don’t need to be this extreme but shopping a few months in advance is a must. This will eliminate any anxiety about if your packages will arrive before your celebrated holiday. It also provides for extra time to return damaged or not as good as you thought presents.

Shopping in advance doesn’t just ensure that all of your prezzies will get to their designated giftee in a timely manner – it is better on your wallet too. Breaking up your buying between several months will also get rid of the stress of a huge credit card bill come January first!

Sort Out The Spread:

Maybe your holiday stress stems from having to prepare a big meal for the family and your guests. Although you can’t buy your food way in advance, there are some things that you can do now. How about sending invites to your holiday dinner that people have to RSVP to? Don’t forget to ask about any allergies! This way, you will know who all will be in attendance so you don’t end up cooking way too much or too little.

Once you have a firm idea of who is joining your holiday dinner and their food preferences, you can plan out your spread accordingly. It might not hurt to have some back up recipes in place just in case you can’t get your hands on a ham or turkey at the grocery store.

Know When To Excuse Yourself:

If you have a strained relationship with a family member or guest at your Christmas gathering, this can be a HUGE stressor. Develop a plan now for what you can do to protect your mental health if this is the case for you and practice it. This could be sticking with the cool cousins for the gathering, arriving after a triggering person has left, or simply knowing when to step away to compose yourself. You have every right to an enjoyable time and having a plan thought out prior to the big day will add a sense of security since you won’t have to wing responses or reactions on the spot.

The holiday season is a joyous time but can it be stressful? Big time. Plan ahead now to eliminate the mad dash feel. Then, when everything is in place: Sit back and relax – you have earned it! ❤

What are your holiday season stressors? How do you prepare for a family gathering? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

*Super* Early Christmas Present

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*Super* Early Christmas Present

Hi! When it comes to gift giving occasions, I simply cannot wait for the day of and ask my giftees if I can give them their presents as soon as they arrive in the mail. My sweet Johnny knows this firsthand because I don’t think we have ever waited until the day of a birthday, anniversary, or holiday to open gifts! This year, Christmas came especially early for us as we already gave each other presents last weekend lol. Take a look at the best give ever from my husband:

I like to do all of my present shopping way ahead of time so, of course, I had Johnny’s Christmas gift ready to go since the beginning of September. I guess I inspired him to shop early because he let me know that he had my gift too!

Knowing that each of us had our prezzies already was going to make it impossible to wait until Christmas. We decided to give each other a hint and if we guessed right, then we would tell each other. Johnny’s hint to me was “it is something that you have wanted for forever but never want to pay for”.

Right off the bat, I was stumped because there’s a million things that I would love to have but don’t want to pay for – mainly clothes related. Then, it clicked. My favorite comic book series, Sandman, by Neil Gaiman will have its own Netflix show which will be releasing soon. Johnny isn’t familiar with it, so I have been talking about it constantly and every time it gets brought up, I mention how much I would like to have the Sandman Omnibuses so I can have the complete collection.

As you can see, I guessed correctly because that is, indeed, what Johnny got for me for Christmas. It is, hands down, one of the best gifts I have ever received and I cannot wait to reread my favorite series in its entirety for the millionth time – no trip to the library required! 😀

One of my many favorite things about Johnny is how incredibly thoughtful he is. This gift is the ultimate testament of how he listens to me when I’m talking, even if I’m rambling about something for the hundredth time. That is the best gift of all – no matter how freaking cool the Omnibuses are! ❤

Who else is excited for the Sandman series on Netflix? 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

 

Better Early Than Never!

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Better Early Than Never!

Hello!!! Question: How early is too early to be thinking about Christmas?! If the answer is the first week of September, then WHOOPS because I have already started my Christmas shopping lol. With over fifteen people that I need to buy prezzies for, I always like to get a jump on my shopping so I am not stuck with one huge bill come December. It is also so nice to be done with holiday shopping early because then I can just sit back and enjoy the season. 🙂

Are you looking to get a head start on your holiday shopping too? Then follow these tips:

Make A List:

I always suggest this but it is so true! I would be nowhere without my “to buy” list and have a Word document that I consult while I online shop. On my list, I name off everyone to shop for with multiple gift ideas per person. Once I have bought the presents for someone on my list, I simply delete their space and there is nothing more satisfying than that! Not only does my list keep me organized but it also assists me with budgeting to help me stay in my comfort zone.

Better Early Than Never:

This is probably the earliest I have ever began my shopping and I’m glad for it. Due to the pandemic, there is no telling how long certain items will take to ship and I like knowing that I will have everything ready to go come Christmas day. There is nothing worse than the anxiety of if something will show up before the holiday and early shopping helps nip that fear in the bud.

If you are planning a customized or commissioned present for someone, I can’t recommend consulting with the business now enough. Local artists and Etsy shops are going to be slammed during the holiday season and they might not have the time to create your gift if you wait too long.

Get Inspired:

When I lack inspiration for gift ideas, I like to think back to what hobbies the person has and what they might need to enjoy it even more. For example, one of my giftees is a grill master so I purchased a wood smoking kit for him to experiment with. Do you know someone with a green thumb? A raised planter box is a great idea so they have even more space to garden with. Is there a coffee enthusiast in your life? How about a customized mug?

I love giving hobby specific gifts because I know that my giftee is going to be able to use it. Once you start thinking in terms of what they like to do in their free time, the present possibilities are endless!

Plan Accordingly:

Getting your holiday shopping done early is great. However, it is smart to look into the return and exchange policies of where you are buying from. If your giftee happens to not like their present, you might not be able to do anything about it once the holiday is over. If the website you’re purchasing from has a return policy that won’t work a couple of months away, try finding the item in store instead. Create a back up plan too in case you can’t find it in store and it gets sold out online.

Also, don’t forget to keep your receipts and gift receipts in a safe space and especially don’t forget where you put them! 😀

It’s not even close to Halloween yet but that doesn’t mean that you can’t think a couple of holidays ahead! Follow the tips above to get an awesome head start on your holiday shopping. 🙂

Are you an early or last minute holiday shopper? What is your favorite holiday? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

LANEIGE Birthday Gift From Sephora

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LANEIGE Birthday Gift From Sephora

Hello! I celebrated my 27th birthday on June 7th, got married on June 4th, and celebrated my husband’s birthday on June 1st. Needless to say, it was a whirlwind of a month! So much so, that I completely forgot about cashing in on birthday freebies from various stores and rewards programs. Thankfully, I remembered my Sephora birthday gift right in the nick of time and was really impressed by their different gift options. In my opinion, the choices were much better than last year! 

If you are a member of the Beauty Insider program at Sephora, you could select from a LANEIGE skin care set, a lip balm and bronzer by NARS, hair care from MOROCCANOIL, or two Rare Beauty lipsticks by Selena Gomez. For my freebie, I picked the LANEIGE skin care set because I have always wanted to try their products. TJMaxx usually has their skin care in store and online but I can never justify the fifteen dollar price tag for something that I might not like. Sephora’s birthday gift will allow me to test them out free of charge! Check it out:

While I love a good sleeping mask and moisturizer as much as the next person, I am most excited to try the Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry. While I haven’t used it yet, it smells amazing and has the prettiest ballet slipper pink hue. I am a member of a lot of rewards programs and Sephora definitely takes the cake for the best birthday gift. I also like that Sephora offers a freebie option for each beauty category: makeup, skin care, hair care, and occasionally perfume. And, of course, it’s nice that you don’t have to make a purchase to receive your gift.

I have discovered many a favorite product thanks to Sephora freebies and I have a feeling that I am going to fall in love with my goodies by LANEIGE!

Which birthday gift from Sephora did you select? What are your thoughts on LANEIGE products if you have used them before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Sephora Haul

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Sephora Haul

Hi! During my birth month of June, I love taking advantage of all of the free birthday gifts from the various rewards programs that I am signed up for. Between mine and Johnny’s double birthdays and our wedding this past month, I had all but forgotten about getting my freebie on until it was almost too late. While I missed out on the day of my birthday freebies, I placed an order with Sephora just in time to receive my gift from them.

I was in desperate need of more Better Than Sex mascara and I also bought two eyeshadow palettes to play around with. The palettes are absolutely fabulous so be on the look out for swatches soon! Equally as fabulous, is the fact that I also got five free items with this order. 😀 Check out my Sephora Haul:

The Haul:

  • 2 Better Than Sex mascaras by Too Faced
  • Le Macaron palette by Violet Voss
  • Rare Beauty palette by Selena Gomez
  • LANEIGE birthday gift set (FREE!)
  • Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask (FREE!)
  • GlamGlow BrightMud exfoliating treatment (FREE!)
  • Volition Snow Mushroom Water Serum sample (FREE!)
  • Korres Pomegranate Resurfacing Mask sample (FREE!)

It took me a while to get hip to Sephora and I could never justify buying anything from there while shopping in store because they never have any promotions. Online shopping, however, is a totally different story! Sephora offers free shipping with purchases over fifty dollars, two free samples per order, and promotional freebies with purchases over twenty-five dollars. I don’t order with Sephora very often but I make the most of it whenever I do, as you can see!

Multiple free items per order make me feel like I am getting way more bang for my buck and I cannot wait to pamper myself with all of my new face masks. I am also very excited to test out my new palettes. After getting my makeup done professionally for my wedding, it inspired me to be more adventurous with my makeup. It will be fun to try colors that are way different than the three that I alternate between (lol) and I know my sister will be proud because she always makes fun of me for that. 😀

Tomorrow, we are going to take a closer look at the LANEIGE birthday gift with three test size products. Then, it will be onto Face Mask Festivities and eyeshadow swatches galore! Keep it posted. ❤

Which store offers the best online promotions or rewards programs? What are your thoughts on any of the products above if you have used them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

3 Best Dog Gift Ideas You May Have Not Considered

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3 Best Dog Gift Ideas You May Have Not Considered

A dog is a man’s best friend; its loyalty and intelligence when interacting with humans are pretty advanced. Caring for a dog is one of the most straightforward yet complex tasks every owner has to go through. You need to identify how you can train your dog to respond to your commands and requests to ease your worries.

It takes time to mesh your personalities together and trust each other in the do-owner relationship. However, once you are in sync with each other, there are many activities which you can enjoy with your dog. Notably, these pet relationships usually have many health benefits to the owner. The mental, physical, and emotional health significantly improves due to the dog and the owner’s numerous activities.

If you are thinking of gifting your dog, here are three ideas to consider:

Personalized Collars:

Even though collars are usually the first thought on every dog owner’s mind, you can personalize and make them unique for your pet. Look into the design and print or emboss your favorite memory with your dog; it can be a picture or a place that you both enjoy. Most people usually prefer having their dog’s name for identification and their signature style. However, you can diversify and have numerous symbolic writings or drawings to make it more memorable.

Some people have also taken a step further by getting waterproof shock collars which are electronic but can still function properly while underwater. These collars also come in handy while training the dogs or, at worst, restraining the dog in extreme situations. It is a good gift as it provides identification, connection, and enhances communication with you.

Dog Sofa:

Getting a dog sofa or a dog bed is a brilliant idea. Many types of dog beds and sofas enhance the comfort of the dog while resting or relaxing. Some bed designs can heat the mattress to provide more warmth for the dog during cold days or nights. It is a thoughtful gift as you will ease the dog’s worries during these periods. You can also purchase a matching blanket for the sofa or the bed.

A Trip to Their Favorite Park/Place:

Dogs always yearn to connect with their owners through spending time and doing their favorite activities. Doing what makes your dog happy can be a simple but expensive gift you will give your dog – the gift of time. It will be a special moment with your dog. It will mean a lot to them because of the understanding and connection that you have with each other. You can also include activities like playing games while giving them their favorite treats.

Gifting your dog can seem like a waste of time for all who cannot understand and perceive your connection with your pet. However, you have to gift according to your love and understanding of the dog. Be keen on the dog’s likes and preferences, and you will hit the jackpot with these three ideas.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Mean Muggin: Very Nice Edition

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Mean Muggin: Very Nice Edition

Hi! We interrupt lifewithlilred’s summer wardrobe refresh with a new edition of Mean Muggin. Your regularly scheduled programming will return tomorrow. 🙂

For my twenty-seventh birthday, I was showered with love and gifts from my family and friends and just when I thought my celebrations were over, a late gift from my sister, Kristen, showed up in the mail. Check it out:

I have quite a collection of coffee mugs and, despite having enough to use for a week and a half, I still love to receive them as gifts. Coffee mug presents are fun because they tend to be customized or have an image on it that reminded the gifter of their giftee. Kristen’s birthday present to me falls under the second category and it only makes sense considering I quote Borat at least fifteen times a day! I also may or may not constantly be sending Borat quote text messages to her, lol.

As soon as I opened my new mug, I started laughing and there will be no better way to start my morning than with a cup of coffee and Borat wishing me GREAT SUCCESS. A coffee mug may seem like a small, simple gift but they are so much more than that to me because of the thought that goes into it. From minions and a customized me to Borat and hand decorated, I love my coffee mug collection and my Borat mug is a fine addition to it. VERY NICE!

Do you have a favorite coffee mug? What is your favorite thing to gift people with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

27th Birthday Haul

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27th Birthday Haul

Hello! My twenty-seventh birthday was on June seventh and was also three days after I got married! Needless to say, it was an amazing few days and I thought I’d share a bit of my birthday haul today while I wait for more wedding pictures from the photographer. The anticipation is seriously killing me and I just want to see all of them!! There are still a plethora of wedding posts to come so keep it posted for the inside scoop on my big day. Now, check these prezzies out:

You can’t go wrong with gifting me gift cards for special occasions and I was so thankful to receive an astounding amount of Taco Bell and TJMaxx gift cards. Those who know me best know that those are my two favorite places in the world so I am looking forward to lots of shopping and spicy potato tacos in my future. While gift cards always go over well with me, it’s fun to have presents to open too and I love my gifts from my in laws and bestie, Kate.

Johnny’s parents gave me the bath and body care goodies, which is one of my favorite kinds of presents. There’s nothing better than adding to the ol’ stock pile and I also didn’t even know shower gel pouches existed so that’s pretty cool! The mini wine bottle and hilarious decor came from my darling BFF Kate of Live In The Nautical and, as per ushe, she knocked it out of the park.

Kate is one of my absolute favorite people in the world and her friendship means so much to me. She is also a fellow June birthday girl and blogger so be sure to check out her page and give her some belated b-day love!! And thank you again to everyone who made my birthday so special. ❤

What is in your beauty stock pile? What is one of your favorite presents that you have received? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Cool Customized Wedding Gift

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Super Cool Customized Wedding Gift

Hello! Johnny and I have been so thankful for the generosity of our friends and loved ones for our recent nuptials. One of the gifts that I am particularly fond of is a customized Connect Four board from my brother and his family. Check it out:

From board and video games to cards and word games, Johnny and I love it all and our biggest wish is to have a game room when we eventually move. As soon as I opened the personalized tabletop game, I had a feeling it would become the crown jewel of our game room and I can’t wait for that dream to become a reality. I can already picture the layout now with a nice big TV, our air hockey table, and a space for board games and puzzles. Not to mention plenty of music themed decor for Johnny and knick knacks galore because we sure have a lot of them!

Customized gifts are always incredibly special to me because of how thoughtful they are. I didn’t even know something like what my brother got for me and Johnny existed and it really made for a perfect wedding gift. Because my brother and his family live out of state, we have not been able to see them as much as we would like due to the pandemic. This gift shows that they think about us just as much as we about them and both Johnny and I can’t wait to see my brother, his wife, and son now that we are all fully vaccinated. ❤

Have you ever received a customized gift before? What was it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Some Wedding Prezzies

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Some Wedding Prezzies

Hello!! Johnny and I have been simply blown away by the generosity of our friends and family for our nuptials and are so thankful to all of them! I do have a couple of ultimate presents that I just had to share on lifewithlilred from two of the people who know me best – my older sister, Kristen, and my BFF, Lea. Both Lea and Kristen gifted me with the most thoughtful prezzies I think I have ever received and will forever be cherished by me. Take a look at some wedding and present pics and let’s discuss:

It is no secret that one of my all time favorite TV shows is My 600 Lb. Life and Doctor Nowzaradan is my hero and best friend in my head. I have literally been obsessed with that show since the very beginning and enjoy seeing the success of the patients. My sister, Kristen, knows this better than anyone and I was in complete stitches when I opened the Dr. Now key chain from her. Not only is the sentiment touching but it’s absolutely hilarious too and I am thrilled to get to see it every day on my car keys when I go to work. 😀

Another gift that really moved me was from my bestie of thirteen plus years, Lea. For my wedding/birthday gift, Lea got me a customized hanger for my wedding dress and I almost cried when I opened it! I didn’t even know that something like what she got me existed and am tickled to have the perfect hanger that I didn’t know I needed for my perfect dress. She also knew that nothing is complete without a touch of red from the ribbon!

I am so thankful to have been able to spend my wedding day with both of my ride or dies and those memories as well as my presents will always be treasured. ❤

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