Tag Archives: holiday shopping

Top Gift Ideas For The Whole Family

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Top Gift Ideas For The Whole Family

If you want to find a gift that the whole family can enjoy, then you are not alone. Every single year, people try and find gifts for a group of people rather than buying gifts for them individually and this can cause real problems. This is especially the case if the family members in question don’t share many common interests. Thankfully, there are plenty of ideas out there for you to choose from and you’d be surprised at how easy it is to find something that matches your family perfectly!

Family Mugs: A lot of people feel a relentless sense of anger when they find someone else using their mug. We all have a favorite mug, one that we use to get us through those cold winter nights and even those long nights after work. If you want to put an end to those mug-wars then why not consider buying a family mug set? You could personalize each one with the name of the person and even a cartoon picture of them, as well. You can also create one for any guests that come to your home, so there will be no more arguing or bloodshed when the time to make coffee approaches.

Ice Cream Machine: An ice-cream machine is a must-have in the summer months. The best thing about having an ice-cream machine is that they are very easy to use and they are also good for the kids to use, as well. All you have to do is add the mixture to the machine and turn it on. The machine will then chill the ice-cream over time and when it’s ready, you can scoop it right out of the machine. This is way better when compared to making it yourself because you don’t have to worry about putting it in the freezer or even blending it properly. You can then add your own flavors if you’re feeling adventurous!

fam12

YUM.

Family Bucket List: We all have things that we want to do before we kick the bucket, so a family bucket list is really fitting if you know that everyone has a mental list of what they want to do. It’s actually possible for you to buy kits that give you the chance to do this, and each one comes with a container and a list of slips for you to write what you want to do on there. Everyone can see the list going down as feats are accomplished, and it’s ideal for those who have adventurous family members!

Games Consoles: A gaming console is a brilliant way for you to get the whole family involved. You can buy quiz games and you can also buy family-fun games as well. If you have a family of console-lovers or even mobile app gamers, then games such as Final Fantasy 15 are great for this. You can even buy in-game extras and this can include currency and so much more, so it’s ideal if you want to give them a head-start.

Family Charades: Charades is quite possibly the game that causes the most arguments in a family. It is incredibly fast-paced and it is also very fun. When you do play charades, you will be given something to act out. It could be a movie, an actor, or anything else. You can get the kids involved with this and it is a great way for you to make sure that everyone is included. These sets don’t cost much, either, so if you want to have something that the kids can play then this is a good option for you.

Sweets Basket: Who doesn’t like sweets? Sweets baskets are the easiest way for you to get something for everyone without breaking the bank. They show that you thought about the recipients and you can put tags on the individual sweets, too. On top of this, you can add extra goodies to the gift basket. This could be a mug or it could be a selection of coffee. You can make something for each family member or you can make a joint one. Either way, this is ultimately the easiest way for you to appeal to everyone and you can do the whole thing yourself with bows, ribbon and more!

fam13

 YUM again!

Finding the whole family a gift is relatively easy and there are plenty of ideas above to get you started. Happy holidays!

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A Former Retail Worker’s Black Friday Lament

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A Former Retail Worker’s Black Friday Lament

Hellooo everyone and happy Black Friday! Boy, I’ve got to tell you – it never gets old not having to work on Black Friday any more. After over four years of working retail, the mall madness is the last place that I want to be, whether it be to work or to shop! It’s so crazy to think that as this post is being published, I would be stuck at work running around like a madwoman – if we were living in 2010 to 2014, of course. #blessed

Some retail workers live for Black Friday and that’s cool, but I was never one of them. I detested Black Friday like a fly buzzing in your ear, the common cold, or the relative that you can’t stand at family gatherings. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I was always very bitter that I never got to fully enjoy it for four years in a row. Of course, I’m thankful for those jobs but my sixteen to twenty year old self didn’t know how to separate the two so that I could still have fun on the holiday, despite dreading going into work in T-minus twelve hours.

As much as I enjoy a fast paced lifestyle, working for over twelve hours straight while on your feet the whole time and rushing to and fro between customers is for the birds. I genuinely don’t know how I did it, especially when I was working two jobs – hello, twenty hour day. And for this reason, among many others, I respect the hell out of retail workers during this time of the year.

It’s funny, because you would think that during the holiday season, people would be full of good cheer and might be even overly kind. Sadly, this is not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I have memories of delightful customers during the holidays, but those are trumped by people who have almost made me cry because the line was too long, I didn’t have the shirt that they wanted, etc. And for what? The shirt isn’t going to magically appear. The line isn’t going to move in double time. And the craziest thing, is that it was always adults that were speaking in raised voices and being out of line to me and my fellow retail workers. Just SHAMEFUL.

So, having said that, PLEASE be sure to be kind to all of the workers that you interact with today, throughout the holiday season, and always. Working retail is a choice and a responsibility – but how many employees really want to cut their family time short to work a long Black Friday shift? Slim to none. Enjoy yourselves during your Black Friday shopping, but be sure to give all of the employees who made your outing possible a little credit! I promise you that they will appreciate it far more than you know.

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? Do you have any crazy Black Friday stories? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: AskIdeas

Black Friday Shopping Do’s And Don’ts

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Black Friday Shopping Do’s And Don’ts

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday! I can’t say that I’ve ever gone Black Friday shopping before and have no real desire to, either. BUT, after working retail for four years, I’ve grown savvy to some pro tips that will get you through the madness with some great deals and your personal safety/sanity still intact. Take a look:

DO:

Know your sales: Most stores do the same Black Friday sales every year. PacSun does, The Body Shop does, Claire’s does, Piercing Pagoda does (All stores that I’ve worked at.). Investigate the sales from year’s past and see if you notice a pattern. That way, you can determine if it’s even worth it to go out and hit the shops. Most stores won’t give you their Black Friday sales info before the day – but it doesn’t hurt to ask, either!

Know your sales Pt. 2: Normally, Black Friday sales don’t end on Black Friday. At PacSun and The Body Shop, their sales didn’t end for a solid month. If you don’t get to the stores on the actual day, I wouldn’t sweat it too much – especially because Cyber Monday is still a thing.

Cyber Monday Savvy: And speaking of Cyber Monday, get hip to it. In some cases, Cyber Monday sales are even better than Black Friday deals, especially if the stores you prefer to shop at have a stronger online presence. Do your research of sales from the past as mentioned in the above sections and make your decision on which day to shop. Or throw caution to the wind and shop on both!

Get there early: If there’s something that you really want, I’d recommend staking out at that specific store front at least an hour before opening. That way, you can get in, grab the item, and get out. It also doesn’t hurt to see if you can put items on hold prior to the Black Friday date so that you can purchase them with the sales and you don’t have to run into the store like a madwoman to get it.

Let it go: If you find yourself in a stand off for the last of something, just let it go. People are literally crazy and I’d rather leave the store in one piece than get the last of something that I’m sure you can buy at a later date.

DON’T:

Be that person: Black Friday is, by definition, a crazy time. Please have some respect. At the mall that I worked in, the store manager of Victoria’s Secret got punched in the face THREE YEARS IN A ROW. That’s pure insanity. You are all better than that. Don’t be that person.

Go in willy nilly: It’s essential to have a game plan during Black Friday. What items do you want? What stores are a must to go into? Can you and whomever you’re going shopping with divide and conquer to get everything on your lists? Devise a plan and stick to it so that you can make the most out of your Black Friday shopping extravaganza.

Buy in excess: Yes, it’s great to get a good deal. BUT do you really need everything that you’re buying? It’s nice to see all of the money that you saved, but don’t buy stuff just for the sake of buying it on Black Friday. As I mentioned before, check the deals. Some stores already have their sales going on now. Think of what is really necessary to purchase and try and do it beforehand, if you can. Being involved in all of the Black Friday hubbub can make you feel inclined to overspend so DON’T FALL FOR IT!!

Black Friday is not everyone’s cup of tea. It certainly isn’t mine! But that doesn’t mean that I don’t know a thing or two about how to shop during it. Use my pro tips and have the best Black Friday shopping experience yet! What are some of your Black Friday do’s and don’ts? What are some of the best Black Friday deals that you have scored? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Perfect Gifts For Your Photographer Friend

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Perfect Gifts For Your Photographer Friend

Due to how Christmas has developed over the years, the holiday has become more about giving presents than anything else. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing – you can easily show how much someone means to you with a thoughtful and meaningful gift. You don’t have to spend millions; a smaller budget can actually make you think more about the meaning behind the gift that you’re giving.

It’s also a great opportunity to slyly slip forward your wish list for gifts that you hope will turn into reality. And for people with slightly more expensive hobbies, like photography, it can be a rare chance to get something you really really really want. Like some of the following:

Lens:

A lens can cost anywhere between fifty and five hundred dollars easily. And it really depends on the camera you have, the quality of the lens you want, and the type of lens you’re after. If you ask for a lens, maybe ask for a case for one, too. You wouldn’t want any breaks to happen immediately after you get your gift!

Cases:

Speaking of cases, a new case could really change the game for you. You might need a waterproof one, and that might just be for the camera while in use or for storage. You can get a branded case, which is designed to fit your particular camera or a generic one which is designed to house a range of sizes.

Tripods:

Ranging from large and traditional to small and versatile, a tripod is a great way to take your photography to the next level. Plus, they aren’t that expensive. Most tripods can fit a bunch of different cameras, so you don’t have to get the branded one. If you’re going to be shooting off in the wild, you might want to look a bit deeper into the specs before choosing.

Camera:

And then, there’s an actual camera. We all know how costly a good camera can be, and it’s likely that you’ve been saving for a while so you can get one yourself. Rather than asking one person to get you one this Christmas, why not ask it of multiple people? It will spread the cost, and it’ll be more likely that you can get the one you’d really like. Or you can always offer to go halfsies.

When looking for the camera you’d like, don’t just go for the flashiest model. Think about what you actually want the camera to do. Are you shooting outside or in? Will you be using a tripod more than going free hand? Do you need the best low light camera or the best portrait camera? Or even one that’s decent at doing both? There are many things to consider, and if you’re just starting out, it’s worth getting one that covers a lot of different options. As your skills develop, you’ll know exactly what kind you need when you get around to upgrading. Maybe next Christmas?

Featured Image By: Pexels

Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

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Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

Howdy! I have been asked a lot recently for advice on holiday shopping, since I finished my present purchasing way ahead of the game last week. I take holiday shopping and birthday present buying very seriously, because I love to spoil my family and friends. Of course, random prezzies throughout the year are nice, but it’s fun to go hard on the major gift giving occasions. Now, I’m going to walk you through a step by step guide on my holiday shopping process to help you finish your purchasing with December to spare:

Make a list: I know that I say this all of the time, but it’s true. Type or write out all of the people that you need to shop for and then start narrowing down the best gift for him or her. What are their hobbies? What is their favorite food or type of music? What is something that they would like to have but would never buy for themselves? These are all excellent places to start.

More on gift selecting: Still stuck? Let’s talk about some of my go to present selections:

  • Alcohol is always a good choice if you’re buying for one of your girlfriends or brothers. Who wouldn’t want a six pack of Christmas ale or a bottle of vino?
  • If you’re buying for a couple, how about treating them to a date night? Gift cards for restaurants and movie theaters are a great place to start.
  • Groupon vouchers can also be a nice surprise. I received two vouchers for a Paint Nite event at a bar one year and my guest and I had an absolute ball.
  • Lotions, candles, and other bath and body care treats are also a fool proof selection if you are buying for a sister, your mom, or a girlfriend. Customize a gift set for them filled with smell goods, fuzzy socks, and a sleeping mask for the ultimate pampering party.
  • Buying a subscription is another really good option. Popping for a few months of a Netflix, Hulu, Ipsy, or Birch Box subscription is the gift that keeps on giving and they are not overly expensive.

Purchasing time: After you’ve made your list and checked it twice, it is time to move on to the actual purchasing of the presents. I prefer to do every possible bit of my shopping online, and then buy the rest of my presents in store as needed. I am a faithful member of Amazon and a majority of my shopping was done on there this year. I then went to the shops on a week day afternoon to do the rest of my buying and eliminated all of my holiday purchasing in one huge swoop.

Online shopping tips: If, like me, you prefer to shop online, then there are some steps that you can take to ensure that you are always getting the best deal. Such as:

  1. Signing up for emails or rewards programs. Most websites will give you an extra incentive to sign up for their email updates, like ten percent off a purchase or free shipping. Every little bit helps!
  2. Using websites like Retail Me Not or Honey to find coupon codes for different websites. Note that some websites rarely have promotion codes like Amazon, TJMaxx, and Zara.
  3. Do your research. Read reviews of the products that you are going to buy and Google them, as well. You can’t physically touch and look at what you’re thinking of purchasing so this is the online equivalent.
  4. Check out multiple different websites to ensure that you are getting the best deal.

In store shopping tips: I avoid shopping in store during the holidays like the plague. However, it has to be done sometimes and this is how I avoid the hustle and bustle of hitting the shops:

  1. Go shopping during non peak traffic times. A week day afternoon is ideal, but if your schedule doesn’t allow for that, then try going late in the evening or early in the morning. The less people around while you’re shopping, the better.
  2. It’s also important to make a game plan while shopping in store. Know exactly who you’re shopping for and where each item that you need is located in the store. Wandering aimlessly can be stressful and ain’t nobody got time for that.
  3. Use coupons, in store sales, and apps. Plenty of stores now use apps and rewards programs to give their customers great deals. Find them, use them, and love them. Every little bit helps!

And finally, make sure that you double check all of your items that you purchased in store or online for any defects in the products. The sooner you find a problem and correct it, the less you have to stress about it – especially if you have to ship back the item and rebuy it.

So there you have it, Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips! Was this guide helpful to you? What are some of your tips to holiday shopping that I didn’t cover? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

All Done Holiday Shopping!!

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All Done Holiday Shopping!!

HURRAY HURRAY! As of this week, I am officially all done holiday shopping and I seriously could not be happier. Being finished with gift buying less than halfway through November might seem obscenely early to some but, for me, it is just right. For as long as I can remember, I have never been one that enjoys last minute shopping or even going to the shops as Christmas draws closer. Don’t get me wrong, I love holiday set ups in stores and magnificent window displays just as much as the next person but, my god, the stress can be unbearable.

What if I can’t find just the right present in store? What if the gift arrives broken or the shipment gets delayed? What if the present is out of stock by the time I get to buying it? What if, what if, what if. AHHH! Just typing this out gives me anxiety!! I am far from the home stretch, just because Amazon packages still have to arrive, but the fact that I’m ninety-nine percent done makes me breathe easier.

Not only the aforementioned, but I’m happy to get one big bill out of the way now, rather than have it broken up into December when I’ll be trying to save moolah again. Hello, holiday cash! This is the earliest that I’ve ever completed my holiday shopping before, and I find myself wondering why I haven’t done it like this every year. The major stress of the season is gone and now I can sit back, relax, and sip my hot chocolate while the rest of my family and friends do the December Dash to get all of their shopping done in time! But that’s none of my business. 😉 😉 😉

Who else is all done holiday shopping? Who is a last minute gift buyer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Early Holiday Shopping Edition

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Monday Update: Early Holiday Shopping Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a fabulous weekend. One thing that Lil Red loves almost as much as shopping for herself, is shopping for other people. I live for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas so that I can spoil my friends and family rotten with well thought out presents. I revel in making my holiday shopping list, mulling over the hobbies and favorite things of my loved ones, and coming up with the perfect presents under the tree for each of them.

Even though it is a bit early to start holiday shopping, I am pretty happy to have knocked out a solid chunk of gift buying this month. It was admittedly hard to spend the extra dough, especially because of my New York trip, BUT I was going to be buying the presents anyways so I figured that I would start getting it over with now. And since my preferred method for present shopping is doing it online, the earlier the better, in case any of the gifts are broken, take long to ship, etc.

Amazon has always been a godsend when it comes to gift giving occasions for me. What I usually do is buy a majority of my presents from there and then go to the mall (Yikes!), TJMaxx, or Target for the rest of the random odds and ends. Quite a few of my purchases have already arrived to chez moi, and I have to say that Amazon has really stepped up their shipping game. All of my packages arrived in about three days and all of the contents seemed to be handled and packed really well. When I opened the boxes and saw a solid amount of packing foam, I was confident that all of the items were going to be in one piece and ready to be given as a gift. And they were.

I’ve only had a handful of bad experiences while shopping on Amazon in the years that I’ve been a customer of theirs. But the success of my recent early bout of holiday shopping has made me feel safe in my decision to leave a majority of my purchasing in Amazon’s hands, once again. I’m glad to have gotten a head start on my Christmas shopping and am looking forward to checking off the rest of my list in November!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Early Holiday Shopping Edition! Who is done with their Christmas shopping already? Who is a last minute gift buyer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah