Tag Archives: holiday season

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

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Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

Hiiii! There are less than ten days left until Christmas and that means that it is crunch time for all of the late holiday shoppers. If you haven’t finished your shopping yet, the anxiety definitely might be setting in, considering that most stores are well picked over by now and the shipping dates with online orders will be cutting it close. But, that doesn’t mean that you should throw in the towel just yet and hand over a card with cash to your giftee (Unless that’s what they really want!). So, here are some last minute gift ideas to help with your holiday shopping:

A Framed Photo:

Nothing is more sentimental and sweet than some of your favorite pictures of you and the giftee set in a beautiful frame. Purchase a photo collage frame or even make your own and give your loved one a reminder of your friendship and happy memories. This gift is well thought out, it’s easy to buy as most stores have frames to purchase and ways to print your photos, and it will surely be treasured by your giftee.

Add To Their Hobby:

So you’re in a bind to finish your shopping and your giftee has a hobby that they absolutely love. This is probably the best situation to be in, because that will make for a really simple purchase. Do they have a record player? Buy a few new records for them to jam to. How about a Polaroid camera? Get them some more film. Or maybe they love acting on stage? Grab them a few plays from the book store so they can discover a new monologue. Buying according to the hobby is a great way to go and it will always be well received because it’s so useful to the giftee.

The Basics:

We all know the standard Christmas gifts well. Booze, candles, fuzzy socks, knitwear, etc. But, they are staple prezzies for a reason, and are a fine way to go when you just need to finish up your shopping already. As an avid wine lover, there are some gorgeous bottles around this time of year with holiday sentiment on it, which will make for a lovely gift to enjoy during Christmas dinner. Throw in a few candles to light on the table and you’re done!

Family Fun:

Spending Christmas day with your family can seem like a daunting task for some, so maybe you can buy a gift that will spice things up a bit. Buy some fun classic or modern board games and have a tournament with your fam. Or maybe get some adult coloring books or art supplies and have a crafting contest. These gifts are wholesome and perfect for a day spent with your family – unless someone likes to cheat at Monopoly!

Sigh… Gift Cards:

Okay. You’ve been to every store and there is nothing left to purchase that’s even remotely close to what your giftee would want. You check all of the online sites and all of the shipping dates can only make it to your home in 2019. This is bleak, and it means that you might have to go for the gift card route. If you must use this option, make it a little adventure for the giftee. If you give them a card to their favorite clothing store, for example, tell them that you’ll come with and treat them to a coffee date beforehand for some pre-shopping fuel. Gift cards often lack any warm fuzzies behind them so add a little something something to make it a bit more special. 🙂

Christmas will be here ASAFP, so use the ideas above and, for the love of god, get your shopping done!

When did you finish your holiday shopping? How early into the year do you start your purchasing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Gifts For Your Mom This Christmas

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Gifts For Your Mom This Christmas

What do you buy the woman who brought you into this world? Most people will want to stay away from clichĂ©d gifts, such as chocolates. These are somewhat predictable and just don’t seem enough for the wonder woman that is your mom. Yet, we don’t have a money tree in our garden allowing us to buy anything we lay our eyes on. So, what’s the solution? The following gift suggestions are sure to impress:

A watch:

When purchasing an accessory you want to go for something that is special, looks spectacular, and is going to get a lot of use. A watch ticks all of these boxes. You can find some great watches at abbottlyon.com. Look for a classic design and something that will go with any outfit your mom is wearing. Of course, you will need to consider her taste and her personality, as well.

An experience:

Instead of buying your mom an actual Christmas present, why not enjoy an experience together, instead? Is there a show your mom would like to see at the theater? Is there a restaurant she has been dying to try out? Or perhaps you think your mom could do with some pampering at a local spa? Experiences often mean more, because they give you the chance to spend some quality time with your mom. You are creating memories that can be cherished forever.

A box of treasures:

Another suggestion is to buy a box and fill it with treasures – AKA all of her favorite things. This could incorporate films, magazines, chocolate, wine, a pamper set, scented candles – anything that is going to provide your mom with a fun and relaxing evening. She is assured to love this gift as it shows that you have put in a lot of effort and really thought about her likes and dislikes.

A gadget:

Last but not least, why not introduce your mom to the wonderful world of technology? There are so many different gadgets available nowadays. A tablet is always a popular choice. She will be able to check her Facebook, play games, send emails, and read her favorite romance novels. Or, what about a Kindle? This is the perfect gift for anyone who loves to read. You could even buy her a machine so that she can make her own crafts. Head over to vinylcuttingmachineguide.com for some assistance with this. Aside from this, you may want to consider something music-related, such as an iPod. The options are endless.

If you select one of the suggestions mentioned in this blog post, you are assured to put a big smile on your mom’s face this Christmas Day. Make this Christmas one to remember for your mom, because a little bit of thought can go a long, long way!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

BFF Christmas Haul

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BFF Christmas Haul

Hiii everyone! I know it’s a bit early for some present posts but, my BFF and I did our gift exchange early this year because of our super different schedules. Lea and I have been best friends for over ten years now and on Sunday, she came over while I was recovering from my wisdom teeth surgery for some hang outs and holiday cheer. And, in all of the #bestfriendgoals, Lea and I are so alike that we each gifted each other with wine, chocolate, and candles as part of each other’s gift! So cute. Take a look and let’s discuss:

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During gift giving occasions, Lea takes a hint from the Lil Red Gift Guide, because she is all about the gift sets – which I love! Not only does she fill the package with lots of goodies, but the basket or box itself is always super cute, which is great because I never can have enough extra storage for all of my knickknacks. Lea gave me all of the fixings for a relaxing spa session with a bottle of wine that literally says “relax” right on it, a bath bomb, a huge Bath & Body Works Candle, and some chocolate for a soothing time in on a cold winter night. Love it! Thanks, best friend! ❤

What do you like to get your BFF for the holidays? Is your bestie hard or easy to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Traditions It’s Okay To Break During Christmas

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Traditions It’s Okay To Break During Christmas

Hi everyone! Today’s post is guest written by my sweet friend, Ester. Her blog is excellent and chock full of gorgeous photos, travel, and well written passages. So, do be sure to check out her page and give it some love! Please enjoy this lovely guest post and if you are interested in sharing your work on lifewithlilred, shoot me an email at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com !

Dear World,

A week or so ago, I was talking to my boss about sales at Christmas time and how that’s having an impact on how we exchange presents now compared to previous years. This conversation then made me think about all of the little traditions I’ve been changing and adapting every year and how I now live the Christmas period today. It is very interesting how we all try to follow the traditions because that’s what makes us human (that is, culture) but we also want to adapt them to our modern world.

I’m personally very okay with breaking the rules, I’ve been doing that my whole life. I like traditions with a twist. On the one hand, I love how comfortable and homey it feels following a ritual, but I also want to change my lifestyle for the best. Moreover, spending the Christmas holidays in other countries and being exposed to other cultures had an impact on how I now spend my time in December. So without further ado, here are the traditions that I am okay breaking this Christmas:

Ordering your Christmas dinner online:

Last year I spent hours cooking what I really wanted to be an absolute wonder of a meal. I slow-cooked the lamb and I tried my best to make a chestnut puree. It took me a whole afternoon of grocery shopping and a whole morning spent in the kitchen to go through all of that. The result, though, was a disaster. I think I put so much pressure on myself because I really wanted to somehow cook this Masterchef dinner that I screwed it all up. The meat was not tender and the puree was just uneatable. Somehow, I managed to finish it out of compassion and pity.

This year. I’m not going to repeat that experience or decide that I’ll magically become a chef in no time. That’s why my Christmas dinner will be kindly and lovingly prepared by Waitrose and Partners. I’m sure it will be much better than what I could ever cook myself. We will eat it at our place, next to the Christmas tree while drinking a good bottle of Prosecco. I’ll have the morning to relax and call all of my family and friends in Italy and I won’t be panicking in the kitchen. I, too, deserve to enjoy my Christmas morning.

ester

Exchanging gifts after Christmas:

This is actually the topic that led me to write this post in the first place. Here in London families are now embracing a new tradition: instead of exchanging presents on Christmas day, they organise a shopping trip to the mall on Boxing Day (or the week after Christmas) to buy each other what they really want at a cheaper price. If you think about it, that’s a win-win situation: everyone will receive what they want and the cost will be heavily reduced by the sales.

I know, I agree that is very nice and special to open your presents on Christmas day but, hey, you could have one gift under the tree and the rest at the Boxing Day sales. I, myself, have decided to wait a bit longer to buy my own Christmas present this year (I always treat myself to something special) because, by waiting a week or two I can buy my gift at half price. So, why not?

ester6If you’re in London for Christmas, try and find Harry Potter’s magic wand!

Eating way too much:

My relationship with food used to be quite complicated. I’m now fine but, if I eat too much, my stomach hurts badly. To be fair, I suppose it’s quite normal. If we eat too much, we don’t feel great at all. That’s why I always need to make sure I don’t cross that line at Christmas. I really hate feeling nauseated with stomach pain and a heavy head during the holidays. Also, I don’t want to ruin all of the hard work that I’ve been doing for the past few weeks.

This means, that I’ll do my best to go running once a week. But, I will also make sure that I won’t have three slices of Panettone in one day. I’m sure you know your limits, as well.

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Wrapping paper:

I’m not very good at leading an environmentally-friendly lifestyle but, after living in London for almost two years, I understand the importance and urgency to do so. Here in the city, everything is wrapped in plastic or paper. Every single lunch has some plastic in it and we all abuse the use of plastic bottles. It was a friend of mine who made me notice it and it’s very true, so I’m now trying to be more sensitive to that matter.

For this reason, I’m also considering what to do with wrapping paper. Not all wrapping paper can be recycled. Foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot be recycled and the same goes if there’s sticky tape or decorations on it. My suggestion here would be to make sure you buy wrapping paper that can be recycled easily – even better if that’s made with recycled paper.

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Of course, I understand the huge importance of traditions in our life and I, myself, love gathering together with my family to spend a wonderful Christmas together. However, traditions can be adapted to lifestyle and personal preferences. At the end of the day, what really counts is that we all spend a memorable day surrounded by the people we love the most because that’s what will make us happy.

What do you think? Are there any traditions that you are going to break or bend this Christmas? Let me know what your plans are for the holidays!

Best,

Ester Piubeni

My website: esterpiubeni.com

My Instagram account: ester_piubeni

Thank you again to Ester for her guest post on lifewithlilred! Happy holidays! Much love. -Sarah

Oh, Christmas Tree

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Oh, Christmas Tree

Hiiii! With the holidays right around the corner, I thought that I would share with all of you what my family Christmas tree looks like. Fortunately for me, I get to see it year round, because we never take our tree down. In fact, my family has gotten into the habit of putting other holiday themed decor on it like Easter eggs and Happy Harvest gear for fall. So, don’t be surprised if you see some ornaments that don’t quite belong! Haha, take a look:

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As you can see, we have a very large collection of ornaments on the Mushenheim family tree! My dad loves travel themed ornaments and I always try and get him one on every vacation we go on or any trips that I take by myself. Most of my siblings have followed suit on that tradition, so my dad has ornaments from all of our travels. So fun!

Other than the vacation ornaments, many of the ones that are on our tree date back to decor from both sets of my grandparents and from when my siblings and I were little. I think that, despite it being a little quirky, all of us like having the tree up at home, because it’s just one of our “things”. And, it’s nice to feel some holiday cheer no matter what the season is. 🙂

Do you have any travel themed ornaments on your tree? Do you have a favorite ornament in your collection? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Your Home Feel Christmasy On A Budget

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Making Your Home Feel Christmasy On A Budget

Christmas is just around the corner so it’s about that time where we begin to decorate our homes in a manner that St. Nick would be proud of. Unfortunately, we all know that Christmas decorations can be a bit pricey, which might make you want to say “bah humbug” and promise to decorate next year. But, instead of throwing in the towel, you should get creative and find new ways to still make your home feel like it’s worthy of having Santa Claus and his reindeer park on your roof. Decorating your home can be done on a budget and it doesn’t have to feel tacky or last minute. As long as you stick to the fundamentals, you’ll always find some kind of deal and items that will suit the occasion:

Sparkling light:


What are the most recognized colors of Christmas? Looking at any Christmas tree that is in the center of any notable major city you will see red and green along with gold or yellow. But there’s one hidden color that can make all the difference in the world, and that’s silver. Silver is the unsung hero of Christmas dĂ©cor, because it tends to blend in and, rather than just look pretty on it’s own, it helps all the other colors come to life; especially red. So consider buying a silver candle holder which you can use to create an effect of sparkling light. It’s cheap, but it’s very eloquent in the way that it spreads natural and manmade light around.

Something for leisure:

Infusing Christmas into otherwise un-Christmasy items can also be a fun way to go when it comes to decorating. Using the ibotta app, you can go onto Etsy and choose a personalized Christmas cushion that has your family name written in the middle of an artistic wreath. If you do, you can stand to get a 6% cash back coupon which can be used as extra pocket money or towards another purchase. It helps to keep informed about these things so that you’re not spending more than you have to.

A tartan home:

Thinking of Christmas clothing, one of the key items we tend to look over is the tartan ribbon. The tartan pattern and style are used in many kids’ clothing such as coats, mittens, socks and scarves around this time of year as well as for adults. Get some tartan ribbons and tie them in a bow all around your home such as around the stairs, around the door handle of the front door or hanging off the kitchen cupboard door.

If you’re on a budget this year for Christmas, then consider style over accessories. Then, use a little imagination, and you’ll have a house decked out for the holidays!

Making A little Extra: Give Your Bank Balance A Boost For Christmas

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Making A little Extra: Give Your Bank Balance A Boost For Christmas

It’s the festive season, and there seems to be a lot of extra things to spend your cash on. With so much distrust and uncertainty surrounding the banks in America, many people are looking elsewhere to invest their hard-earned cash. Making wise money decisions can be challenging. However, putting some aside will allow many to invest their income in places other than their bank account. There are also an array of ways, other than investment, to earn a little extra right now and for the foreseeable future. Easing the cost of Christmas will feel great in the new year, so it’s worth looking into. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for those seeking new ways to top-up their bank balance:

Have You Thought About The Market?

It can take people some time to get their head around investing in stocks and shares, and it might not have been something you’ve considered regarding your cash. However, once people get the hang of it; it can be a fun and lucrative decision. It’s an option that can suit many budgets; it’s worth putting a little cash into something first so that you can get to grips with the process, and what’s likely to happen.

Reading and researching everything from what a fast stochastic is to why options trading might be perfect for you is a must. This will help to break down stocks and their ratings for you to better understand what certain companies and corporations are doing, and how, when, and why you might want to get involved. There is no guarantee that you’ll make a great deal in shares, but those who make wise decisions in the market can grow their cash steadily and sell at the best time to release a lump sum to be used for whatever they wish.

Do You have An Opinion To Give?

If you’re able to take some time during the day to answer questions and provide your opinion on things, then paid surveys could be the option for you. Set yourself up with a dedicated email that you can use to sign up to the array of websites that are out there. Depending on how many you sign up for; there is an unlimited amount of surveys and questionnaires out there, ready for you to fill in.

The role will be flexible, as there’ll always be options in your inbox; so when you’re at home with a festive latte, you can take an hour or so and fill in as many online surveys as you can manage. Each questionnaire will pay a set amount, and, if you stick with a particular website; they usually add up what you’ve completed to a certain amount before you can withdraw any cash into your account, or redeem “points” towards shopping vouchers. You can sit and earn a little extra while you wait for the kids to change after football practice, and there’s no deadlines or pressure to complete things if you don’t have the time. It could be a great extra income for you, especially if you’re not quite ready for stocks and shares.

Making a little extra coin during the holidays is always a good thing to look into – those presents don’t pay themselves!

Featured Image By: Kaboom Pics