Blogmas Posting Schedule 2016│Blogmas Day 9

It’s very well possible that this list may change, but I thought it would be fun to give you a share what I plan to post for the rest of Blogmas!  I’ve also noticed that the Blogmas Topic List I created last year has been rather popular so far this month so I figured this would also be a great way to share some ideas for anyone lacking topic inspiration!

The last 5 days of Blogmas I’ll also be collaborating with 2 good friends here on the interwebs: Stash Matters and Curly Spring Blossom.  Those post topics are TOP SECRET (read: have not yet been determined), until further notice!

  1. Best and Most Affordable Subscription Services to Gift│click here
  2. Holiday Bucket List│click here
  3. 10 Gifts for Children Under $10│click here
  4. The BEST Non-Cookie Christmas Cookies│click here
  5. Santa Pictures│click here
  6. 10 Gift Ideas for Office Parties│click here
  7. 5 Tips for Weightloss during the Holidays│click here
  8. 5 Things that Make it Feel Like Christmas │click here

  9. Blogmas Posting Schedule
  10. The Ultimate Hot Chocolate
  11. Day to Night Holiday Makeup Tutorial
  12. Building a Gingerbread House with Gabriel
  13. Go Christmas Shopping with Me
  14. The Ultimate Holiday Nail & Lip Combo
  15. Links & Loves
  16. Holiday Crafts for Toddlers
  17. 5 Places to Hide Christmas Gifts
  18. 10 $10 Gifts that don’t Suck
  19. Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers
  20. My Winter TBR
  21. Top Secret Collaboration
  22. Top Secret Collaboration
  23. Top Secret Collaboration
  24. Top Secret Collaboration
  25. Christmas in Florida
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5 Things that Make it Feel Like Christmas│Blogmas Day 8

Christmas doesn’t really ever feel like Christmas in Florida.  We don’t have pine trees, we have palm trees.  As for snow?  That’s hilarious.  More like weather in the 70s and 80s.  And I’m literally typing this up in flip flops and a sweater (because it’s colder in the office than it is outside).

So Floridians tend to surround themselves with Christmas-like things to make up for it.  Here are my top 5:

Cinnamon Pine Cones and/or Candles

I remember my mom burning Cinnamon Apple scented candles during the holidays and sometimes she’d come home with cinnamon pine cones from the grocery store.  I also love pine scented anything!  My favorite candles are the Signature Soy line from Target and they have some AMAZING holiday scents out!

for-the-love-of-lattesStarbucks Holiday Cups

I’m not an avid Starbucks drinker mainly because I’m cheap, but I love seeing the festive red cups everywhere!  My Target also has a Starbucks in it, so when I pop in every 2 weeks or so during November and December I like to pick up one of their holiday themed lattes.

Etsy legit has some of the coolest crocheted holiday themed cozies for your cup too!

Hickory Hearth Candle.jpgFireplace

These are 100% useless here in Florida but I’m still a bit bitter that our starter home doesn’t have one.  I mean, where am I supposed to hang our Christmas stockings!?  WHERE!??

Going back to the Signature Soy candles I love, a favorite of mine this season has been Hickory Hearth, which smells like a bunch of toasty logs.  I love it!

loc-wildest-dreamsRed Lipstick

I know folks where red lipstick year round, but I save if for special occasions (namely Christmas).  There is nothing wrong with wearing it year round, of course!  It’s just too attention grabbing for my taste and really prefer to just blend in.  I’ve mentioned it before, but my favorite red lipstick is this LOC demi-matte one in “Wildest Dreams.”

The Mall

While the rest of the world busies themselves with avoiding the mall during the holidays, I thrive off of it.  Maybe it’s because I spent so many Christmas seasons working in them that I just can’t separate the two?  Or maybe I’m just a few fries short of a happy meal… but I love the energy, the decor, the sales and seeing a red lipstick print on my Starbucks latte lid as I weave through the hustle and bustle.

If you ever get the chance to visit International Mall in Tampa, Fl during December it’s my favorite.

What are some things that you associate with Christmas?

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This post is not sponsored.  Some links may be affiliate links.

 

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5 Tips for Weight-loss During the Holidays│Blogmas Day 7

It almost sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it?  Weight-loss and holidays… hilarious!  But I’m not joking you guys.  It’s not exactly easy, but it is doable.  And it does eventually pay off!

Here are a few things that help keep me motivated and on track.

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1. Be Accountable

My mom told me about this app and I’ve been using it pretty faithfully for about 2 months now.  There is an upgraded version you can purchase for $40 a year, but the FREE version works perfectly for me!

Basically you just enter a few facts about yourself (weight, gender, height, etc.) and the app creates a calorie budget for you each day.  Then you just track all of your calories by typing them in or scanning bar codes with your phone.

Ultimately, it’s just calorie tracking and you could do the same thing with pen and paper but for me I love it because it’s easy to use, I don’t have to do any of the math myself, and I always have it on hand cause it’s on my phone.  It also will show you a projection for what day you should hit your weightless goal if you stay faithful!

All in all?  It’s not revolutionary but it’s fun, easy and keeps me accountable.  And accountability is key.

2. Water, Water, Water

There is a reason everyone tells you to drink lots of water when you’re dieting… it works!  It helps to keep you hydrated which ultimately helps to keep you full.  It also helps your body to flush out any of the junk you may still be eating and it helps you to better digest food as well.

3. Eat Things You Like

Obviously I’m NOT a nutritionist (and I’m not saying that if you have a 1,300 calorie budget you should spend all 1,300 calories eating chocolate cake…), but if you don’t like carrots, what makes you think that just because you’re on a diet that will change?  It won’t.  In fact, if you have nothing but foods you DON’T like on hand you’re a lot more likely to give up and drive to McDonald’s for a cheeseburger (or two).  So focus less on what you should eat and find diet-friendly things you will eat instead.

Some Things I like:

  • Large Banana (approximately 130 calories)
  • Popcorn (typically 100-300 calories a bag)
  • Progresso Soup (Cheesy Enchilada is a personal favorite & 180 calories for the whole can)
  • Healthy Choice Frozen Meal (I love the Salisbury Steak – 240 calories)
  • Fresh Omelette made with 2 eggs, 2 oz of cheese, green bell pepper, onion and a slice of ham (approximately 300 calories)
  • My morning coffee with cream (approximately 35 calories per TBSP of cream)
  • Birdseye Steamable mixed veggies (150 calories per bag)
  • Apple (approximately 60 calories)

Some of these are clearly healthier than others but ultimately they are all better choices than what I’d be eating/making if I were NOT on a diet.  If I were NOT on a diet I’d be eating things like Doritos, candy bars, cookies, cereal, macaroni and cheese, etc. etc. (lots of carbs and virtually no fruit, vegetables or protein).

4. Have Cheat Meals NOT Cheat Days

There will be times where you will mess up.  You’ll have 3 slices of pizza instead of 1… you’ll steal your toddlers cookies… you’ll polish of the Pringles (I did all 3 of these last night).  But just because you mess up and lose it for a meal, that doesn’t mean you need to give up.

Add it to your tracker.  Look at how many calories you just wasted on a binge, and use that as fuel to get back on track.  Which brings me to my next point:

5. Create a Routine

I am soooo much more successful when I eat the same thing every single day.  It sounds boring, but it really helps (especially if you are eating things you enjoy).

But essentially by eating the same thing every day you aren’t even giving yourself the opportunity to THINK about and therefore miss other foods.  You don’t have to think about if you want a bagel for breakfast, because you already know you’re going to have an omelette.  You don’t have to think about if you want to join your co-workers for lunch at your local Chinese buffet because you already know you’re going to have Salisbury steak with potatoes and gravy, green beans and cinnamon apple desert.  You don’t have to think about if you want a cookie Frieda in Finance baked because you know you’re going to have a bag of kettle corn and a banana.

It makes it easier to say no, because you’ve already predestined what you’re going to say yes to.

What are some of your tips for continued weight-loss during the holidays?

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10 Gift Ideas for Office Parties│Blogmas Day 6

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One of my most favorite parts of the holiday season is working in an office!  Why?  Well, one there is all the food (mmm, food).  And two,  there are the holiday party games!  My all time favorite is White Elephant (because I loveee gag-gifts), but Secret Santa is okay too.

Since my office has a party coming up on the 13th, I thought I’d get some brainstorming out the way and share a few of my best ideas along the way!

White Elephant

White Elephant is essentially this: You and your group establish a budget, and then everyone buys and wraps a gift within that budget.  On the day of the party, you put all the gifts in the center of a table with no cards or names.  Next, count up how many participants you have and write out that many numbers on slips of paper.  Allow everyone to draw a numbered paper and you take turns picking and unwrapping a gift based on the number you drew (1 goes first, then 2, then 3, etc. etc.).

But wait… it gets better!  As the game progresses, participants can choose to either steal a gift that has already been unwrapped or pick a mystery gift from the middle.  For examle: Whoever drew 1 picks and unwraps a gift, and then person number 2 can either choose to take person number 1’s gift (forcing person number 1 to pick a new gift) or select and unwrap their own gift from the center of the table!  This means that it’s ideal to be the person who drew the highest number because you can steal any gift!

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Toilet Paper

This was the gift I gave last year and I don’t regret it one bit.  It is a bit embarrasing to whoever has to walk out of the office with it, but you know they’re happy when they get home cause really… who likes spending money on TP anyways!?

So just pick the biggest pack your budget will allow (I found this one at Target for less than $20) and wrap it with your best paper.  Everyone will want whatever is in the HUGE, beautifully wrapped box!  They’ll never see what’s inside coming, hehe.

coin-wrappersYour Budget in Coins

Did I mention that I’m a huge fan of gag-gifts?  With this one, you will literally spend every penny of your budget (hehe).  You can find coin wraps at Target for $3.49 or just fill a cute piggy bank!

sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

If you work in an office, you know hand sanitizer is like gold.  I hide mine in my desk because if you don’t even strangers will walk by and help themselves to it!

Ulta sales some good cruelty free pocket options too!  The one I currently have at my desk is Vanilla Sugar and I love it.

apples-to-applesApples to Apples

Because it’s just the best board-game ever!  I’m always trying to talk co-workers into playing with me when we have spare time and it usually always makes it’s way into our potlucks as well.  It’s also a great game for team building too, and right now it’s just $13.99 at Target!

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Cash/Gift Card

I know this one almost sounds like cheating because it’s as lazy as it gets BUT, you’ve clearly never played White Elephant if you don’t see the fun here.  People will literally go insane trying to be the proud owner of a cash prize and/or gift card.  And it’s quite entertaining to watch!

Personally, I like Starbucks Gift Cards and if you’re running late on picking up a gift, many can be printed!

Secret Santa

Secret Santa is where you and a select number of people all get together and write your names on slips of paper.  You then take turns drawing a slip a name.  Whoever’s name you draw you are responsible for purchasing a gift.  It’s called Secret Santa, though, because they aren’t supposed to find out who gave them the gift!

THIS IS NOT AN EXCUSE TO BE CHEAP!  99% of the time, everyone finds out who their Secret Santa was eventually (I mean it’s an office… everyone knows everyone elses business in an office…) so you gotta make it good!

Coloring Book and Colored Pencil Set

This won’t be the first time I’ve ever mentioned adult coloring books and it won’t be the last.  These are without a doubt part of my work essentials and I think they’re awesome gifts for destressing and staying positive.  Best yet, they’re super affordable.  You can find the coloring book here and the twistable colored pencils here for less than $10 combined!

chameleon-tape

Fun Desk Accessories

Another work essential for me is this super cute tape dispenser!  I got mine from Staples a few years ago and they still have it along with several other styles.  It just makes me happy, which is what a good desk accessory is supposed to do!  To make it even better I use Washi Tape, so you could pair any of these tape dispensers with these Washi tapes for a super awesome and super thoughtful gift :)

Throw & Slippers

Several of the ladies in my office keep personal sized throws on the backs of their chairs.  Some even keep comfy slippers.  These are great for days when managment wants to freeze us into productivity and/or when you’re new shoes are sooo cute and sooooooo uncomfortable.  It’s just a splurge I never make on myself.

Which is why either or both of these would make the perfect gift!  This throw looks really nice and how cute are these slippers!?

thermos

Photo Coffee Thermos

One of my most favorite gifts my husband has ever given me was a coffee mug that he made with Shutterfly.  It has pictures of us when we first started dating, the dogs when they were pups and a few pictures of Gabriel as a baby.  If you have access to your recipient’s Facebook pictures and they are a coffee fan, this would be such a cute and thoughtful gift!

coal-soap

Lump of Coal

Okay, maybe it’s soap… but it’s pretty funny!  And it’s only $10 from a small US company based out of Austin, TX!  Check it out here.

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Visiting Santa│Blogmas Day 5

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Yesterday we took the boys to see Santa at our local mall.  Daniel, as you can see, was not impressed.  But we’d been hyping Gabriel up for a few weeks.  He was a baby in 2013 when he took his first picture with Santa, but by the time 2014 and 2015 rolled around he was NOT having it!

Gabriel did great, though!  As soon as it was our turn to see Santa he walked up to him and gave him a big ol’ hug!

Before we left, Santa gave him his first ever candy canes!

mini-candy-caneBy the time we drove home, his hands were soooo sticky!  So I sent him straight to the sink to wash his hands.  The poor little guy dropped his last candy cane down the sink :(

I was sitting in the living room rocking Daniel in our recliner.  Gabriel dashed out of the bathroom where he’d been washing his hands to tell me what happened.  He said, “my candy cane in the wash your hands,” haha.  I guess because I always tell him to “go wash your hands” he thought that’s what the sink is called.  Too cute!  I told him not to worry because Santa has more and we’ll get some next time.  His response?  “Yeah… Santa fawd away.”

Translation?

“Yeah… because Santa is far away.”  LOL.  I love it.

Shop this post: Gabriel’s Red Sweater & Tan Pants

Daniel’s Top

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Is Scentbird Worth it? + a B1G1 Free Coupon

In a recent post I mentioned that I’ve discovered a new subscription that I absolutely adore.  You’ve probably heard of it already, but it’s called Scentbird and it’s a monthly perfume subscription.

It’s $14.95 a month and basically you just make a list of perfumes you want to try in the order that you want to try them and they send you a new one each month!

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You can see my “perfume queue” on the left, which is basically just the perfumes that I’ve picked to try and the order that they will ship them to me in.

They have over 450 designer perfumes and colognes to choose from (and they carry several cruelty free brands, too).  As you can see in the picture above, they also have tools that you can use to help you identify the types of scents you might like.  They consider things like your mood, the season, if you want something for day or night and also they make suggestions based off perfumes you already know that you like.

Surprisingly, I’ve actually gotten a lot of use out of their tools.  I’m at a weird point in my life right now where I’m realizing my 20s are almost over (I turn 29 in a few months) and I’m going to have to start “adulting” a little bit harder (which means I can’t buy my perfume from stores like Aeropostale anymore… you think I’m joking…).  And it’s hard finding more mature scents that aren’t too mature.  I mean I’m ageing, I’m not ancient.

Anyways, each month Scentbird will ship you a 0.27 ml spray tube of whatever scent you picked.  If you’re normal and don’t know what 0.27 ml looks like, it’s essentially rollerball sized.

Which reminds me, can I just say how much I love that these spray!?  I hate rollerballs so much.  I know you’re not supposed to because they say it damages your clothes, but I like to spray my perfume on my chest over my clothes because it lasts longer soaked into my clothes then it does on my skin.  You can’t do that with a rollerball for obvious reasons.

Image from Nest Fragrances
Image from Nest Fragrances

The subscription is surprisingly a good value too, especially if you really enjoy trying new fragrances but don’t like to and/or can’t afford to (me and me) spend $120 for perfume on a regular basis.

FOR REFERENCE:

dahlia

Dahlia Vines by Nest 0.27 oz – $14.95 from Scentbird

Dahlia Vines by Nest 0.27 oz – $25 from Sephora

stella

Stella by Stella McCartney 0.27 oz – $14.95 from Scentbird

Stella by Stella McCartney 0.25 oz – $25 from Sephora

That’s a 40% savings.

 

Some other things I appreciate about Scentbird are:

  • You pick your own perfume, they don’t pick it for you
  • You get FREE shipping on your subscription
  • You can skip months if you’re like me and don’t need a new perfume every month (I’m thinking 1 per season should be enough to make me happy)
  • If you decide you want to buy the full size of one of the perfumes you order, Scentbird will give you a $15 credit towards that bottle (which is like getting the 0.27 ml spray for free)
  • They are on Ebates!  I got $5 back on my first order :)
  • They have an awesome referral program.  If you want to sign up with my link for example, you’ll pay $14.95 for your first month and then you’ll get your second month for FREE!  I’ll also get a free perfume.  This means that after you sign up, if you refer friends or family you can get free perfumes too!

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WHO SHOULD NOT SIGN UP FOR SCENTBIRD:

Overall I like Scentbird and I think it’s worth it.  I love perfumes and trying new fragrances but I don’t like spending a lot on them.  And the fact that I can skip months is awesome too (because like I said, I just don’t go through perfume that much anymore).

BUT, that’s not to say that a perfume subscription is right for everybody.   If you are what I’ve now dubbed a “big-bottle-shopper” you should probably pass.  “Big bottle shoppers” (according to me) know what they like, have virtually no interest in trying new things or having variety; they simply want the very best bang for their buck so they’ll buy the HUGEST bottle they can find, use it until it’s gone and then run out and replace it with another huge bottle of something else.  And they’ll continue to do that until they either kick the bucket or there is a zombie apocalypse and perfumes don’t matter anymore (whichever comes first).

Also, if you prefer rollerballs to spray nozzles you might not be too fond of the subscription either because all their bottles have spray nozzles.

P.S.

For all of my fellow Cruelty Free shoppers out there, here are the Cruelty Free options that Scentbird offers: Nest, Clean, Tocca, Comptoir Sud Pacifique, Lisa Hoffman, Malin+Goetz, Juliette Has A Gun, Commodity, and Stella McCartney.

TO JOIN SCENTBIRD FOR $14.95 A MONTH AND GET YOUR SECOND MONTH FOR FREE, JUST CLICK HERE!

Samples of this service were gifted to me by Scentbird and Octoly.  However, this post was not sponsored, and my recommendation stems from my genuine liking of the subscription.  I like it so much in fact that  I have purchased a subscription for myself (and for my sister’s Christmas present… shhhh, don’t tell)!

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The BEST Non-Cookie Christmas Cookies│Blogmas Day 4

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In honor of National Cookie Day (which isn’t as good as National Bacon Day, but I digress) I wanted to share with you what I think are the two best non-cookie Christmas cookies!

Both of these treats are super easy, non-bake, and require only 3 ingredients.  This also means they are super affordable.  The best part?  They taste like a million bucks!

So weather you’re looking for an easy DIY gift or for an affordable luxury to share at a holiday party (I’m sure Santa also wouldn’t be mad if you left a few out for him too), this is for you!

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Oreo Truffles

Image Credit and Recipe can be found here at Cooking Classy.

I discovered my all time favorite holiday “cookie” through a co-worker who would make them just about any office related get together.  I guess I associate them with Christmas though because that was the first time I’d ever tried them.

They’re so luxurious and delicious that no one will ever believe you when you share the recipe (and trust me… people WILL ask you for the recipe).  All you need for this easy no make treat is: chocolate, Oreo’s and cream cheese.

They literally taste like little bite sized Oreo cheesecakes.  How could anyone say no!?

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Christmas Bark

Image Credit and Recipe can be found here at Crafty Morning.

Christmas Bark (a rendition of Peppermint Bark) can be made in a plethora of ways and to fit just about any theme you can imagine, but my all time favorite for the holidays comes from Michelle over at Crafty Morning!  They’re festively colored, salty, tangy and sweet… (so they’re basically the best of EVERY world).

But it gets better… all you need for this tasty holiday treat are: pistachios, white chocolate and dried cranberries.  Yum!

This post is not sponsored.  Some links may be affiliate links.

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10 Gifts for Children Under $10│Blogmas Day 3

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Christmas is a very fun, very festive, very expensive and stressful time.  But it doesn’t have to be!  There are tons of really great and fun gifts that you can give for less than $10.

So weather you’re broke and need something that is cheap but doesn’t look cheap, you’re a loved one and have been threatened by the parent of a child to not bring any more toys over, or you’re just looking for creative gift ideas, here are 10 (mostly) non-toy gift ideas under $10!

P.S. The video does have a few that are different if you’re interested in watching.

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My First Story Reader

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GingerBread Cottage Kit

636dc9bc-33d5-43b4-9f18-65739454b1fb_1-5689b43e4da6f211c24ecd572d3d8bad
Troll Bath Set
my-first-crayola-finger-paint-ptru1-23539615dtFinger Paint
crayola-washable-sidewalk-chalk-ptru1-14946295dtSidewalk Chalk
candy-land-game-ptru1-21019382dtCandy Land Board Game

hiho-cherry-o-game-ptru1-16461302dt HiHo! Cherry-O Board Game

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Paw Patrol Watch

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Peppa’s Christmas DVD

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Toy Food Set

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Holiday Bucket List│Blogmas Day 2


I know I kinda just tossed Blogmas Day 1 at you yesterday, but did December 1st sneak up or what!?  I feel like I just blinked and the year is gone!  So to make the most out of the Holiday season, I thought it would be fun to share with you my Holiday Bucket List for 2016!

Daniel, of course, is way too little to fully appreciate Christmas this year but I can’t tell you how excited I am to go all out anyways!  It’s not just that it’s his first Christmas or that it’s Gabriel’s first “more aware” Christmas, but I just feel it down to the depths of my soul that the little family I’ve established with my husband is finally complete, and this will be our first Christmas all together.

51183469I am sooo excited  to build a gingerbread house with Gabriel this year!  I found a really cool one at Target for less than $10.  It comes with some of Gabriel’s favorite candies like Peeps and Mike & Ikes and I though these would be fun to use as well!

Some other holiday treat essentials (at least for me) include:

  • Drinking Eggnog
  • Eating Fruitcake
  • Baking Christmas Cookies
  • and getting a soft baked pretzel at Target with my sister and drowning it in spicy cheese dip!

And then of course I’ll be making Oreo Truffles to give as gifts for co-workers.  I’ll be sharing that during Blogmas as well.

I’m also super excited to watch ALL of the cheesy Halmark Movie Holiday releases with my mom!  Last year she watched them from her home in Texas and me from mine here in Florida and we’d chat about them over the phone.  But she’s here with us this year and we’ve already watched a couple!

Some other holiday movies I cannot live without include:

Gabriel has never sat and watched a full movie with me, but I’m excited to see how he’ll react to the Muppet’s and the Grinch 😀

Also, don’t judge me, but I absolutely have to read one of these super cheesy holiday romance paperbacks from Debbie Macomber.  Have.  To.  Oh, and Harry Potter!

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Nothing like Christmas traditions!

And then of course there is all the obvious stuff like:

  • Hanging the Stockings
  • Santa Pictures
  • Driving around to look at Christmas lights
  • and making a colored paper chain garland

Well, there you have it!  My Holiday Bucket List.  What do you hope to get done before Christmas!?

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The Best, Most Affordable Subscriptions to Gift for Christmas│Blogmas Day 1

I am a huge fan of subscription boxes.  They’re not only a great way to treat someone you love, but they’re also a great way to treat them without breaking the bank.  But just because subscription boxes have great value, that doesn’t mean they have great content.  So to help you find the best (and most affordable) subscription boxes for everyone on your Christmas list I thought I’d share a few of my absolute favorites!

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Birchbox

Birchbox is a super affordable beauty subscription for both men and women that comes in 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions.  Prices also start at just $10 a month ($20 a month for men) which means you could gift a very fun and very generous 3 month subscription for as low as $30.

Best yet?  Boxes are shipped with at least 5 samples from high-end brands, all of which the receiver of the box can review for Birchbox points (or store credit) to spend on full sized items!

For a limited time only you can click this link here to start a subscription and use the code PRECISELY to get a FREE full-size Smith & Cult liquid eyeliner (regularly $26) with a foolproof precision tip.

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Scentbird

Scentbird is another affordable beauty subscription, but not for makeup… it’s for fragrance!  For just $14.95 a month (that’s less than $45 for a 3 month subscription) the recipient will be shipped a 0.27 ml decanted spray fragrance of their choice (there are over 450 designer options to chose from, and over 40 cruelty free options as well).

Not sure what 0.27 ml looks like?  It looks like most rollerballs (only most rollerballs cost $25).

For a limited time only you can click this link here to start a subscription and also get your second month free!  That’s like getting $50 worth of perfume for less than $15!

love-with-food

Love with Food

Love with Food is a natural and organic snack subscription company that I’ve been ordering from for well over 3 years.  Each month the recipient will receive at least 8 snacks to try, and like Birchbox they can review the snacks to earn points (which equals cash to spend in their online store).

My favorite thing about Love with Food though?  It’s not the fact that a 3 month plan comes out to $26.97 ($8.99 a box), or even that you can click this link here to save $10 off your first order… it’s that for each box sold, Love with Food donates a meal to a hungry child.  How awesome is that!?

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 Highlights Magazine

When I said there was something here for everyone I meant EVERYONE!  I personally remember my grandmother gifting my sister and myself the Highlights magazine for Christmas SEVERAL years and we absolutely loved it.

They offer yearly magazine subscription for ages 0-2, 2-6 and 6-12 starting at just $39.96.

I couldn’t find any discounts for you, but if you shop through Ebates you can currently earn 7.5% cashback on however much you spend on the Highlights Magazine website!  Or you can order a year subscription on Groupon by clicking here for just $30 which is what I did.

So what do you think?  Are subscription boxes the new gift card or what!?

FOR MORE BLOGMAS, CLICK HERE!

This post is not sponsored.  Some links may be affiliate links.

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Gabriel’s First Pumpkin

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In mid-October we packed the boys into the car and drove out to a local pumpkin patch.  Daniel slept sweetly in his stroller while we were there, but Gabriel could not soak up enough of everything he saw.  We couldn’t have been there for longer than 15 minutes, and we paid 5x what pumpkins were being sold for at Publix but it was  totally worth it.

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Gabriel, I think, was most amused by the giant pumpkins the farmer had sitting on the back of an antique truck.  Personally, I was surprised to see red and white pumpkins.  I had no clue natural pumpkins could grow in those shades!

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The highlight of our little trip though was what happened when we were leaving.  My husband had propped the larger of the two pumpkins we bought on his shoulder as he walked back to our Jeep.  I walk faster than the both of them so when I took a peak back to see how far behind they were, I did so just in time to see Gabriel walking with his little pumpkin propped up on his shoulder just like his daddy.  I wish so bad I could have been quick enough with the camera to capture it!

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A week or so later Michel (my husband) walked out of Gabriel’s room with tears in his eyes.  While putting Gabriel to bed for the night, Gabriel had said to him, “daddy, you’re my hero.”  It’s funny, because as parents I think we do and say so many things to try and shape and mold our children into good people with happy memories… we do things like driving 30 minutes to and from a pumpkin patch and spending a stupid amount of money on orange vegetables we don’t even eat… but without a single thought or a single penny and with natural effort they manage to shape and mold us too.

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I kept both pumpkins in the house as Fall decor until about two weeks ago.  I let Gabriel coat them in finger paint and then I tossed them once he lost interest.  In all honestly, they were starting to look a little run down and even though I’m not a very sentimental person when it comes to physical items, I was a bit sad to let them go.  It’s okay, though.  Next year will be even better, and I’m looking forward to bringing two little pumpkins home (one for each boy)!

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday Haul

While everyone was preoccupied with getting 20% off during the VIB sale, I was pinching my pennies in anticipation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday! I mean, really… I want the real deals!

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With my 29th birthday quickly approaching, I’ve been a bit more into skincare lately.  And since I was starting to run low on my most favorite natural-ish cleanser of all time (the Michael Todd Honey and Oat Gentle Daily Cleanser $23) I figured visiting their website would be a great place to start.

And at $85, this 5 piece skincare regimen for normal to combination skin was already a great deal.  But at at 40% off it was an absolute no-brainer.  I just got my order yesterday and they even tossed in a full sized bonus product; I can’t wait to dig in!

Is anyone surprised that I picked up the Chocolate Chip?  I mean… it’s Too Faced… it’s all matte… and it’s a rendition of their most loved shades in the original Chocolate Bar.  Duh.

The palette will launch again on December 14th so mark your calendars!  I was pleasantly surprised  to see they have priced it at $26 and not their typical $36 for smaller palettes.  Be warned though… it’s quite tiny.

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An then there was TheBalm who luanched a new palette this past September for $39.50.  It’s called “TheBalm Appetit.”  As always, the puns are hilarious!  Read the shadow names if you don’t believe me. I mean “Mac Enchese!?”  Too cute!

Anyways, I passed on it originally because with all of the holiday launches I just didn’t have the time to test and review another palette, but TheBalm is so generous with their sales (50% off) that I knew it would be now or never.

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Someone recently asked me why I never review luxury beauty products on my channel.  As most of you know, I like to buy beauty products that aren’t tested on animals and unfortunately most luxury brands either do test or they sale their products in countries where testing is required by law, so I don’t shop from them.  But let’s be honest… even if they didn’t, I don’t review luxury beauty because I’m cheap, haha!

Birchbox had the new Interlewd Quad from Smith & Cult $44 for 20% off, though, and with the $10 I had saved up in points I found it a lot less painful to pick it up.

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If you don’t use Ebates, you’re seriously missing out.  I would have stopped shopping here but I was able to get my Ebates rebate in the form of an Ulta gift card + 10% extra of what I’d earned!  So I had nearly $100 of free money to spend!  Here’s what I did with it:

I’ve never tried BareMinerals eyeshadows before so I figured at 50% off their Power Neutrals and Sexy Neutrals 8 pan palettes would be great places to start (regularly $41 each).

And I may not like lipgloss, but I sure has heck like FREE lipgloss!  Ulta was running a special where if you spent $40 or more on BareMinerals products you’d receive two of their new Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss Iridescent Topcoats in the shades “Enchantress” (on the left) and “Illusionist” (on the right).  At $18 each, that’s a $36 value for frizzle.

Yeah, I said it.  It’s been a weird morning.

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This one was a surprise, and my eyes all but bugged out of my head when I saw it.  For just $25 (regularly $42) I was able to scoop up the Lorac Unzipped Gold palette!  I’ve been wanting this one so I can compare it to the original Unzipped palette so I’m pretty excited for it.

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Lastly I picked up the It Cosmetics Eye Lift in a Tube for pretty much the exact same reason I needed all the skincare (I’m getting old).  It’s regularly $29, but it was half off (which seems to be my happy place when it comes to sale prices).  Looking back on it now, I’m feeling a bit duped as this is basically just a concealer… but it’s better to be duped at 50% off than full price!  Am I right, or am I right!?

What are some of your recent purchases!?

FTC: This post is not sponsored. Some links may be affiliate links.

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