Tag Archives: holiday haul

TJMaxx Haul

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TJMaxx Haul

Hello! My last holiday shopping to accomplish was for my boyfriend’s parents so I hit up TJMaxx during my free time to find something for them. I ended up with a lovely Starbucks gift set for them as well as a little something something for my cousin and some skin care for myself. Check it out:

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There is nothing better than a nice, warm cup of hot chocolate during the winter and when I saw the gift set above I thought it was the perfect present to surprise the rents with. Along with a delicious combo of peppermint and double chocolate hot chocolate, the gift set included two Starbucks logo mugs which will be ideal for their morning coffee as well as the hot cocoa. I don’t know my boyfriend’s parents too well yet but you can’t go wrong with a holiday themed box set so hopefully they like it!

I also gifted my Boston Terrier crazy cousin with a dog shaped cookie jar filled with holiday cookies. He looks oh so dapper in his shades and tie! My cousin, Laura, in Pittsburgh is my go to for microblading and she always does so much for me when I come to visit so it was the least I can do for the next time I pop up. I know her and her boyfriend and their two precious Boston Terriers will love it and TJMaxx always has the cutest themed decor for that specific breed for those interested.

And, finally, I needed a new moisturizer and serum in my life so I went with the SkinLab lift and firm serum and moisturizer combo to keep my mug looking young, fresh, and hydrated all winter long!

My holiday shopping is officially complete and now it’s time to wrap up my presents, get them to their respective owners, and enjoy the rest of my holiday season!

Are you all done holiday shopping? Do you finish your shopping early or last minute? 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

Happy Haulidays: Sister Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Sister Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to the last post of the Haulidays! Today, we will be looking at what my sister, Kristen, gifted me with. Kristen is an amazing gift giver and always seems to pick out the perfect presents, even if it’s never necessarily what I ask for! But, that’s just what sisters do, I guess. 🙂 Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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The Haul:

  • Lush Jelly Bomb in Turtle
  • Lush Bath Bomb in World’s Smallest Disco
  • Huda Beauty palette in Emerald Obsessions
  • Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels bra

Quite the haul, right?! Like some of my other friends, Kristen knows to gift me with Lush products for holidays and birthdays. I love every single item from Lush, but they are treats that I rarely buy for myself, so it always makes for the best gift. And, let’s be honest, what girl doesn’t need a new bra? I only wear the Dream Angels collection from Victoria’s Secret and will opt for black lingerie nine times out of ten, so the bra Kristen picked for me is definitely one that I would buy for myself!

Finally, the Huda Beauty palette in Emerald Obsessions. Long story short, it is GORGEOUS! We will look at it in more detail tomorrow so be prepared for a palette filled with the most stunning metallic golds and greens that you’ve ever seen. Both of which are my favorite eye makeup colors to wear. Each gift that Kristen got for me was a home run, and her thoughtfulness and generosity truly makes her the best sister that a gal could ask for. :*)

What did you get for your holiday haul? What do you like to gift for your siblings? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Brother & Sister In Law Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Brother & Sister In Law Edition

Howdy! For a few days until Christmas Eve, my brother and sister in law flew up from Atlanta, Georgia to be with my family. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend as much time with Peter and Megan as I would have liked, because of complications with my wisdom teeth surgery. But, I was still so happy to see them and celebrate all the same! Here’s a look at what they brought Lil Red for the haulidays:

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The Haul:

  • Flat top hat
  • Black lace parasol

Peter and Megan really pulled through on their purchases, because I wanted a parasol BAD this Christmas. It has been an accessory that I’ve felt suits Lil Red for a long time and this black lace one is just perfect. It’s edgy, cool, and going to be oh so extra when shading my pasty pale skin from the sun! And, of course, you can never go wrong with a hat for me, because I love hats of all shapes and sizes. I don’t own any completely flat top styles in my collection, so this new one is a great addition to my hat hoard. Love it!

Did you have family from out of state visiting this holiday? Does a lot of your family live close to you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Mom & Dad Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Mom & Dad Edition

Hi! In today’s Haulidays post we will be looking at some polar opposite prezzies from my mom and dad. This year, things were a little bit different becauuuuuuse *drum roll please* my dad actually picked a present out for me! Haha, my dad is notorious for the ol’ presents “from mom and dad” trick and I think that he’s always just as surprised to see what my mom picked out as we are. So, it was an extra special touch that I got the perfect daily calendar from my beloved dad! Take a look:

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The Haul:

  • Daily True Crime calendar
  • Betsey Johnson gemstone snake wrap around necklace

My dad knows me all too well, because I couldn’t have asked for a better day by day calendar if I tried. He knows that I am an absolute horror junkie so I guess when he saw these daily factoids about crazy killers, it spoke to him. And, I don’t see why it wouldn’t, with a caption like “wife cannot recall cutting off his penis” on the front! My dad seemed very pleased with his purchase and, as morbid as it is, I’m flattered that this made him think of me. 😀

And, from my mom, came a gorgeous Betsey Johnson snake necklace that I’ve had my eye on from TJMaxx. I have a pretty sizeable collection of snake themed jewelry and I am so happy to be able to add this necklace to it because I freaking love it. It’s just beautiful! The dazzling colors and the slithering surprise of what the necklace actually is shaped as is so me and I cannot wait to break this baby out!

How do your parents buy your Christmas presents? What is one of the most thoughtful gifts you received this hauliday? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah