Tag Archives: holiday shopping

Early Christmas Shopping

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Early Christmas Shopping

Hello!! I know a ton of you are reading this title with a slight eye roll because Christmas is far away but yes… I did start shopping already. I promise it’s for good reason too because I have a ton of people to shop for. Not only do I have all of my family but I also have Johnny, his parents, my clients, and a new niece and nephew to share in the holiday spirit with.

I decided that I would like to knock out at least a couple of people on my list per month so that I am not stuck with a giant bill come December. I also feel a huge sense of relief when I am that much closer to purchasing all of the gifts I plan to put under the tree.

This past month, I decided to spoil my little niece rotten and I am so stoked about one of the items I ordered. Those with small children to shop for might be interested in this ultra fun and creative gift too:

Several months ago, I saw this inflatable, washable easel for finger painting advertised on Facebook and I thought it was such a fabulous idea. I could picture my sister and brother in law setting it up for my niece in their backyard on a nice summer day and having a ball with it. My niece will be older than two by the time it gets warm enough to use it and I can’t wait to see the masterpieces that she comes up with.

I figured that my niece is pretty well stocked for activities that she can use now – you should see her playroom! So, I wanted to purchase gifts that would be fun for her to use as she gets older. Her inflatable easel is what I am particularly excited for but I know Johnny is most looking forward to the tiny guitar he plans on getting her. It’s never too early to start lessons with her uncle! ❤

When do you normally start holiday shopping? Do you have a lot of people to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Blue? Get In The Christmas Spirit Early!

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Feeling Blue? Get In The Christmas Spirit Early!

Christmas will be here before we know it. It’s scary how quick this whole year has gone and everything that has happened. But with recent events it is understandable that many of our minds just naturally wander to Christmas and some of the brighter times we have in the future. Chase the Christmas spirit by getting organized early. You won’t believe how less stressful Christmas time can be when you don’t leave things to the last minute. With that in mind, here are some top tips to get ready for the festive season ahead:

Create lists:

Writing up a list can save you a lot of hassle and time. It’s a way of downloading all those ideas you have in your mind and having them safe somewhere for you to refer back to. List what you need to do, who you need to buy for, gift ideas, and budgets. Check things off as you go along and you’ll be holiday season ready in no time.

What about the Christmas budget?

The sooner you start thinking about Christmas might be the moment you start to panic about the financial side of things. Many people save up throughout the year, but others may find that that they need some extra help around the holiday season. This is when looking at ways to finance the Christmas period could be useful. Many then use the following months to start planning and paying things back off.

Get those holiday cards written:

With all of the writing and sending off of Christmas cards in time for the actual day, it might be best to get them out of the way now. The same can be said for if you decide to throw a Christmas party or gathering. One of the biggest jobs is getting those party invitations sent out to your guests. Again, give yourself plenty of time to do this and consider having them printed to save on time.

Start bulk buying the food:

We know that Christmas is a time of eating and drinking with friends and family. While you can’t stock up on the fresh stuff, you can begin to buy in the food and drink that will last. This helps spread the cost of Christmas over a few weeks instead of feeling the pinch in one big food bill.

Buy gifts when you see them:

If you are out shopping and you are suddenly inspired for a gift idea, get it there and then. You will either forget it or regret it if you don’t purchase it. Buying gifts early can not only help spread the cost but it also gets you super organized. You may want to look at the gifts for the day and also any stocking fillers, things such as Christmas sweaters and shirts could be a good option to buy now and websites like UglyChristmasSweater.com have a great selection.

Start wrapping early:

Finally, when you buy a gift wrap it up and put it away. The last thing you want is a huge pile of gifts to wrap all at once. You will feel so much better knowing this job is done and you are prepared for the big day ahead.

Let’s hope these top tips will assist in getting you organized for the Christmas season and help improve your current 2020 blahs!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Perfect Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Boyfriend

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Perfect Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Boyfriend

Hello! Yesterday, we went over some perfect Valentine’s Day gifts for the special ladies in your life and, now, it’s on to the fellas. I, myself, find Valentine’s Day particularly difficult to shop for when I’m in a relationship. I definitely don’t want to go overboard with presents, as we just finished the holiday season. But, I don’t want to purchase too little, either! It’s a fine balance and today we are going to look over a bunch of different gifts for your man for every budget. Let’s get to it:

The Classics:

Who says guys can’t get chocolate, too?! The classics for the girlfriend is often chocolate, flowers, and a bottle of wine. Give these ideas a masculine twist like a six pack of his favorite beer, chocolate with pieces of bacon in it, and beef jerky bouquets… Yes, they are a thing. Or, you could always go to Five Below and grab one of these hunky chocolate bars that I got for my beau:

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^^^ Lololol.

Dapper Dudes:

Does your man candy enjoy dressing up or have a unique personal style? Go with this and treat him to a new pair of shoes or a goofy T-shirt. Help him accessorize with tie clips, pocket squares, and cuff links for a suave touch to his OOTDs. Any apparel based gifts will make him think of you every time he wears it, which is the whole point! But, if you gift him with a hoodie it is partially yours, of course. 😉

Sports Fan:

If you’re in a relationship with a sports fan, an ultimate gift would be tickets to the next big game. Ballin on a budget? That’s okay! Plan a night in when the next game he’s interested in is on TV. Provide Super Bowl level snacks, cold drinks, and a positive attitude in case his team is losing!

Memorabilia:

My boyfriend is a music connoisseur and we both have an affliction for movies. So, this is always a safe route to go if your partner is the same way. Snag him a cool new band T-shirt, get a coffee mug with his favorite Star Wars character on it, your options are limitless! And remember, nothing beats a good old fashioned night at the movies, which would be a great choice if a flick he’s dying to see is playing.

From The Heart:

Guys appreciate heartfelt gifts just as much as girls and just might be better at not showing it. Frame some of your favorite pictures together, write a poem, or take him to dinner at the restaurant where you had your first date. There is nothing wrong with going the more romantic route and it could be his favorite gift to date.

Experiences:

Experience gifts often go very well for guys and you could go as big or as small as you wish. How about a weekend getaway in a cozy cabin? A winter hike with thermoses of warm spiced cider? Or maybe a trip to a local museum for your history buff? Either way, you will be sharing in a day together and that is the most special part about Valentine’s Day! ❤

And who says guys are hard to shop for with the tips above?!

What do you like to gift your guy for Valentine’s Day? How do you plan on celebrating this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Gorgeous Gifts For The Girls In Your Life

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Gorgeous Gifts For The Girls In Your Life

Gift giving is an excellent way to show love and appreciation to those that are important in your life, especially at Christmas time. Of course, for the genuinely special loved ones such as the female friends in your life, pre-bought gift sets just aren’t going to cut it! Instead, you will want something more thoughtful and personal. Fortunately, we’ve given this matter some thought and came up with some suggestions. The best of which you can read below:

Flowers:

Flowers aren’t just for romantic couples. In fact, they have traditionally been given as a token of affection of friendship for hundreds of years. Something that makes them an excellent choice for a gift that shows the girls in your life how much you care. There are several options to consider when gifting flowers too, like having an elaborate display delivered to a friend’s work or bringing a single bloom when you visit their home.

You may even wish to get deeper into the language of flowers if you’d like to convey even more meaning. For example, as you can see from the post at thelanguageofflowers.com a bouquet of yellow roses is a way to express friendship, while sunflowers demonstrate loyalty and longevity.

Jewelry:

Another popular gift for the ladies is jewelry. Of course, you do not have to spend a fortune to find a piece that your friends will love. In fact, you will find that there are numerous sites online that provide personalized pieces of jewelry at a reasonable price. You can then use a guide like the one at rogersandhollands.com to select a birthstone or engraving that can be customized to your choice. Thus giving you the perfect opportunity not just to get something beautiful, but to get a gift that is meaningful and lasting, as well.

Something personalized to their interests:

One of the best ways you can show your friends how much you care for them is to choose them a gift that is based on their own interests and passions. The good news here, is that if you know what their hobbies or interests are, you can use the gift guides at sites like allthestuff.com to find a present that suits them down to a T.

Something customized:

Finally, if you are looking for a gift that is a lot more personal than something you can buy off the shelf, why not go for a custom item? There is a vast range of products to choose from that can be monogrammed or customized, including clothes, ornaments, purses, and even photo books and calendars.

That is not the only way to customize items, either. Actually, there are now some makers that specialize in creating art that includes images and words representing the recipient’s most favorite things. This being an option that means the person you gift it to will get a great decoration for their home. While at the same time will be shown how well you know them and how much their friendship means to you.

Show all of your favorite ladies how much you value their presence with the gifts above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

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

Outstanding Ornaments

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Outstanding Ornaments

Howdy! An obvious but always effective Christmas gift is presenting some ornaments for your giftee’s tree. I usually use ornaments as an add on gift but they are also super handy when you just need a little something for your work colleagues or a Secret Santa. For my client’s families this year, I went with a chocolate assortment and some darling ornaments that I snagged from Target and Amazon. Check it out:

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I got the Bicycle Santa ornaments from Target and the felt Christmas characters from Amazon and I’m really happy with all of them! The felt ornaments came in a pack of eight with two of each little friend, which is perfect for mix and matching. With a pretty hefty list of people to shop for, I always am looking for cost effective but quality pieces and you can never go wrong with some holiday decor. What’s more, it will make your giftee think of you every time they hang your ornament on the tree. 🙂

How do you get the most bang for your buck with your holiday shopping? What are your favorite add on gifts? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Wrapping Paper Palooza

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Wrapping Paper Palooza

Hello, all! I absolutely love Christmas shopping but wrapping presents? Eh… Not so much. Let me start off by saying that I start out strong for the first few gifts and then it all goes downward in a tragic spiral pretty quickly. HOWEVER, I did purchase some wrapping paper recently from the Dollar Tree that has made the process a lot easier. It doesn’t take much to blow my mind and this simple trick on the paper did. Check it out:

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The super cool thing about this wrapping paper is that on the inside of it are lines that you can cut on to make sure you’re making an even slice! This may seem like a little thing but for someone who got a poor score on their scissor skills in kindergarten, it’s a big deal! I was so tickled by this discovery and it seriously did make wrapping my presents go a lot more smoothly.

The Dollar Tree literally never ceases to amaze me because I got five tubes of really nice wrapping paper for five whole dollars. The images are cute, the paper is thick, and it offered a handy hack for the scissor challenged people in society. Like I said, little thing: big, BIG difference!

What are some of your present wrapping pro tips? How far along are you in the holiday shopping process? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Gifts That Always Go Over Well

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Holiday Gifts That Always Go Over Well

Hi everyone! The countdown to Christmas has officially begun, which means it is definitely time to start finishing up your holiday shopping. I, for one, have been done since mid November. Just the mere thought of last minute shopping gives me anxiety! I also love Christmas shopping (And any kind of shopping!) so I was eager to get going.

As much fun as gift giving is, however, it can still be stressful. Maybe you have someone really hard to shop for in the family. Or you have a giftee on your list who has it all already. Regardless of the case, there are certain gifts that always go over well, including some of the following:

Candles/Bath & Body Care:

I used to think that candles and bath and body care was a total cop out gift. Then, I realized that I love being gifted with those goodies so that means other people do, too… At least, I think so! Treat your giftee to some pampering. How about a gift card to their favorite nail or hair salon? Or maybe all of the fixings for a perfect bubble bath with supplies from Lush.

The candle and bath and body care route it always a good one to go with because they are something that your giftee might not necessarily buy for themselves. So, I feel incredibly spoiled whenever those gifts are under my tree.

Concert Tickets/An Experience:

You can literally never go wrong with an experience related gift. My sister and I often gift each other with concert tickets and I love that because you get to share in a memory with them. Is your giftee’s favorite band coming to town? Boom. You’re done. Did a new ride open up at their favorite amusement park? Nailed it. What about a sporting event with your brother or dad? Easy as pie.

Experience gifts are an exciting option to go with and this is one of my favorite types of presents to receive. So, in case you were wondering, I wear a size Marilyn Manson concert tickets, please!

Date Night Supplies:

If you are shopping for a couple, you could provide them with all of the necessities for a night on the town. I usually opt for a gift card to a restaurant and then a movie theater for your classic dinner and a movie date night. And, if you really want to go the full nine yards, you could gift a bottle of wine or champagne for their nightcap.

A fully funded night out will always be much appreciated by any couple and I really like this idea for the favorite love birds in my life.

Food, Glorious Food:

You can never go wrong with a food related gift because everyone eats! I love the idea of the adorable mason jars filled with the ingredients to make a pot of soup or a tray of holiday cookies. Delicious and simple, these gifts are thoughtful and won’t break your bank if you’re ballin on a budget.

If you want to get a bit fancier, you could supply a basket filled with the necessities for a full on dinner. Maybe a homemade pizza night with a lovely bottle of vino? Or an Indian food extravaganza filled with all of the necessary spices for the meal. Regardless of what you choose, everyone (Me, especially!) loves food. 😀

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be so stressful with the pro tips above. Customize them to suit your giftee and you’re all set. Happy shopping!

What is something that you love to gift for people? What is your status on completing your holiday shopping? 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.

Dollar Tree Haul

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Dollar Tree Haul

Hello everyone! If there’s one thing that Lil Red doesn’t believe in, it’s paying full price for just about anything. So, it’s pretty shocking that I really didn’t get into shopping at the Dollar Tree until this past year. One of my clients loves that store and I always end up there at least one time a week. It wasn’t until I took a closer look around until I realized that the Dollar Tree is friggen awesome and I have had much success shopping there, especially since moving into my apartment. Don’t believe me? Check out this big ol’ haul for yourself:

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For twenty items I paid twenty dollars altogether and I am confident that if I purchased all of this at a normal grocery store it would easily be over fifty dollars. The Dollar Tree pulled through in the clutch for me at just the right time because after all of my holiday shopping this month, my credit card bill is going to be huge. BUT, I also have no food in my apartment. This will definitely tide me over until my bill turns over in December and I can do a bigger grocery shopping trip.

Also, can we please talk about the potato gnocchi and Arizona nacho trays?! They are both SO freaking good and the only thing that isn’t pictured is the nachos that I already ate, lol. They are a perfect snack for when I get home from work and I was so stoked that the Dollar Tree that I was at had them that I just had to get six, lol! The gnocchi is also a quick, easy, and delicious meal that my boyfriend and I both love and will be a perfect, simple dinner after we’ve both had a long day.

I have never quite understood the people that considered themselves above discount shopping but I, for one, will never be. Compliments of shopping at TJMaxx and Marc’s (a discount grocery store in my neck of the woods), I am sure that I’ve saved over thousands throughout the years and that ballin on a budget train isn’t going to end any time soon!

What is your favorite discount store? How do you ball on a budget for your grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah