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Decorating for Less with Savers for the Holidays!

If you are like me, you absolutely love to deck the halls but despise spending hundreds of dollars doing so. I love coming home to a festive scene, but am always amazed at how much holiday decorations cost! This year, I headed to Savers to see what surprises they had in store- I couldn't WAIT to get home and see where my finds might fit! The Mantle

I went to the local nursery in my town to price out garland this year and almost passed out. It was, however, a great place to gather inspiration and re-create the look during my Savers shopping spree! I found this incredibly high quality, real-looking garland at Savers for $5.99 for a 15 foot strand. I added in a few trinkets that I picked up as well for a mantle that would make Martha Stewart proud!

Lantern with Accents from Savers

I purchased these white lanterns on sale last year (and yes, I have seen similar ones at Savers) and they work for every occasion. I found the silver votive holders that you see inside at Savers for next to nothing, and added an electric votive. You can also put trimmings from your Christmas tree in the bottom of the lantern, cranberries, or fake snow with an electric votive nestled inside to create a gorgeous glow!

Holiday Mantle for Less at Savers

I placed the stockings that my late grandmother knitted for each member of my family on stocking hangers that I inherited from my mom. Traditions are incredibly important to my family, and I love blending new finds with memorable pieces.

Snowman Decoration from Savers

I also found these fun gold-trimmed snowmen at Savers- the perfect addition to my white and gold color scheme! My kids love these little guys (so much so that they definitely needed to be high up on the mantle- I found Bryson trying to put Cabbage Patch clothes on one of them). I added these gold tinsel trees and mini hurricanes of matte and shiny gold ornaments to complete the look.

The Staircase

Lighted Garland and Ornaments from Savers

The look of lighted garland wrapped around a bannister evokes such a sense of nostalgia for me- my mom did this every year at my childhood home. I wanted to carry on this decorative accent, but couldn't find affordable and realistic lighted garland anywhere. Luckily, Savers had the perfect strand for my railing for a steal! I also found these oversize gold ornaments to line the stairway, all packaged together at Savers for less than $5.

Gold Ornament Accents from Savers

I hope you enjoy decorating your home for the holidays, whatever your traditions may be! Make sure to head to Savers to spend less on festive fun for the season.

 Disclosure: I was provided with gift certificates to Savers to purchase items for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own.

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Holiday Family Tradition & a $100 Amex Gift Card Giveaway!

This post and giveaway are sponsored by XFINITY.

One the things I look forward to every holiday season is watching my favorite Christmas movies with the kids. We try to make  fun Christmas treats a couple of nights a week and spend time together watching our favorite holiday shows. We couldn't wait to share Polar Express with Dylan this year. He is 5 years old and the perfect age. My husband and I love Polar Express and it was fun to share it with him.

 

We are big fans of the movie "Elf" and of course we love Buddy! The kids could not wait to watch Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas that made its debut last night. After dinner we took a drive to look at lights in a nearby neighborhood. This mom forgot to record Buddy the Elf! I ran to the tv and hit my XFINITY OnDemand button and there it was ready for us to watch it! XFINITY saved the night!

The kids love watching Christmas shows and movies any chance they can get. Luckily for us classic movies like A Christmas Story, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation and many more can be found on  OnDemand at the touch of a button. Both my kids can work the XFINITY remote better than I can!  Just in time for the holidays, XFINITY is loading tons of episodes of TV’s most popular shows onto the OnDemand system so you can catch up before winter finales. Our family loves to stay in our pajama's the day after Christmas, the kids play with their new toys and I think this year I might be binge watching a few shows. There is nothing better than a fire in the fireplace and a good Holiday movie on the tv on a Friday night.

We want to give you one last giveaway before the holiday's! We are giving away one $100 Amex Gift Card to a lucky winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: XFINITY partnered with bloggers such as me for their Fast Life program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. XFINITY believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. XFINITY’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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Get Her What She Wants with #RossGifts

"Give her what she wants. Not always what she needs." That is my motto for a successful gift giving season for the lady in your life! Sure, you might need a new washing machine, but please don't pass that off as the gift of her dreams. You can spend a small amount of money to put a big smile on her face- it is all about knowing her style and the element of surprise. Here are some hints on how to shop for your honey:

Check out her Pinterest page.

There is probably a "For Me" section on her page, although it might be hidden. For example, all of the pins I add to my Fashion and Frosting pages (frosting= jewelry in my world...remember the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? Frost yourself!) are items that I would love to have. You can generally tell if she likes dainty necklaces or statement pieces, gold vs. silver, and the pieces she is lusting after. Here is the necklace I picked out from Ross that was inspired by a pin from my "Frosting" board! Such a bargain I had to keep it for myself:

Statement necklace for less from Ross #RossGifts

Pick up a magazine.

Gift guides in my favorite magazines, such as Redbook or Elle, are awesome. I usually circle, add a sticker, or otherwise mark items that catch my eye, whether for myself or others I am planning to give a gift to. I probably won't buy the item in question because, hey, it is the season for giving, but it caught my eye for a reason! You can get it for less at Ross- jewelry, decor, home goods, you name it. Oversize pearls are big right now, and I spied something very similar to this necklace in my favorite magazine! I picked this up at Ross for a lot less than I would have spent at a department store.

Pearl and gold chain necklace from Ross #RossGifts

What is she buying others?

We usually tend to buy friends and family gifts that we like as well, unless we have been specifically told what to purchase or we see a novelty item that involves a hobby or collection. For example, I adore statement earrings and often buy these for my friends because I think they are the next big thing. Want to wow me? Grab me something that I love to give others; I definitely approve! How about these art deco stunners from Ross?

Statement Art Deco Earrings from Ross #RossGifts

Make her feel special.

When you choose a piece, you can write a little note and include it with the gift, such as: "I chose this for you because I know how much you love the pearls your grandma always wore." It lets her know that you put thought into the present regardless of the price tag. Ross has gorgeous gifts at great prices- many of the necklaces I found were under $20, but look like a million! My grandma loved to wear costume jewelry and the necklace below reminds me of her style. I also adore the jewelry tree that I purchased to display it- I could afford to buy all three pieces because the prices are so amazing at Ross!

Necklace, earrings and jewelry tree from Ross #RossGifts

Create a memory.

I love having something sparkly and new to wear, but I love even more having somewhere to wear it to. Get her a gorgeous necklace, and pair it with tickets to a musical of her choice. How about a stunning pair of earrings with a dinner reservation? This way, she can always remember the amazing evening you had when she looks at the beautiful bauble you bought for her.

Make sure to enter the #RossGifts gift card giveaway! Check out their Facebook page for this week's challenge, or post your favorite holiday deals on your Instagram account and use the hashtag #RossGifts.

Disclosure: I was provided with Ross gift cards in order to shop for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

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Entertaining? Pick Up Some #RossGifts!

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Entertaining? Pick Up Some #RossGifts!

Does holiday entertaining stress you out? On occasion, I feel the pressure to host the perfect party, bring the most unique and exquisite hostess gift, and entertain my kids in a picture-perfect Norman Rockwell manner. I usually run around from store to store, trying to grab festive finds at a price that won't leave me with a credit card bill as long as Santa's naughty list. This year, I headed to Ross instead and found everything I needed, all in one store, at a price that was INCREDIBLY nice! If you adore entertaining as much as I do, you will LOVE some of the items I found that are ideal for holiday gatherings. The only question is- do you buy them for those on your list, or keep them for yourself?

I think interactive parties around this time are one of the best ways to keep your guests engaged, especially if those in attendance are pint-sized. Some of the most memorable from my childhood are the cookie decorating parties! I purchased a cookie press from Ross for our party this year- it eliminates the huge mess that dough rolling can make and allows your little ones to swap out disks with different cookie shapes- candy canes, Christmas trees, wreaths and snowmen came out of the press in seconds! I bought one to use and one to give as a gift. Bundle it with a jelly roll mat and dessert decorator- it makes a perfect present that the whole family can enjoy! I would give this to family friends so we can use it every year during our annual cookie decorating festivities.

Entertaining ideas- purchase a cookie press #RossGifts

After our perfect cookies came out of the oven and cooled, we needed to frost and decorate them. Luckily Ross had a gadget that would help out with this task- a dessert decorator with different tips for frosting cookies. We were able to add stripes to our candy canes, holly to our wreaths and snow to our snowmen. My son wanted to give boxes of cookies to his teachers- Ross had these adorable gift boxes that made wrapping them up a snap!

Want to bake a cookie that will be HUGE (and I mean huge) hit? How about this Giant Cookie Pan in the shape of a gingerbread man! Imagine making one of these for each attendee at your party, and letting them decorate with frosting and candies. Obviously my little guy loved it...

Cookie exchange idea- bake giant gingerbread men! #RossGifts

ENTERTAINING SECRET #1: Create multiple levels of appetizers and desserts to create a visually stunning display! A table with tiers and tiers of treats is so much more exciting than paper plates. Ross has a huge selection of display items. I found this three tier server for under $15- perfect for our three types of cookies we made.

Entertaining Secrets- Use a decorative placemat under your cookie tier #RossGifts

ENTERTAINING SECRET #2: Purchase serving pieces with different patterns, shapes and designs but all in the same color family. All of my platters and dishes are white, silver or glass and I pick up intriguing extras like this gorgeous platter (under $20 at Ross- can you believe it!). This would make a stunning gift for a friend who loves having people over- imagine all the possibilities a piece like this can provide. You can add color and holiday accents in different ways, like with these festive kitchen towels I found at Ross- $4.99 for a set of three. I usually wrap one of these around a loaf of spice bread for a great gift.

Entertaining Tips- Holiday Towels for Pops of Color #RossGifts

ENTERTAINING SECRET #3: Don't use real candles if you have kids over! I am always terrified that someone will catch their sleeve (or hair, eek!) on fire. I bought a classic set of LED pillars with timers for under $15. Pair these with a glass mosaic hurricane and you just set the mood for a magical night!

ENTERTAINING SECRET #4: Add candles to a metallic platter to create a big glow. The platter will reflect the light and enhance the effect! Check out this gorgeous platter ($14.99 at Ross!!) that I paired with my new LED candle set.

Entertaining Secrets with #RossGifts

ENTERTAINING SECRET #5: Purchase single decorative place mats to put under platters or tiered dessert towers to make them pop. Again, adding different textures and designs in the same color scheme truly ties everything together.

Still looking for the perfect entertaining gifts? Take a peek at what I found on the shelves at Ross:

Gifts for Entertaining #RossGifts

Ross is giving away a $200 gift card on their Facebook page- wouldn't you LOVE to snag some of the items in this post with that? To find out the details, check out the Ross Dress for Less Facebook page and find this week's promotion! You can also enter via Instagram- upload your own bargain hunting photos to your Instagram account and use the hashtag #RossGifts. For more details, check out the official rules link on their Facebook page. Happy shopping!

Disclosure: I was provided with a Ross Gift Card in order to facilitate this shopping post. All opinions are honest and my own. 

 

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Elf On The Shelf Printables

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Elf On The Shelf Printables

  ****UPDATED December 2014**** Elf On The Shelf Free Printables: The Kindness Edition can be found here.****

 

It is that time of year, when I wake up in cold sweats at 3:00 a.m. realizing I have NOT moved the Elf on the Shelf from the day before! I lay there exhausted. I know if  I don't get out of bed and move the Elf, I will have two very upset kids with a lot of questions in the morning.

I am hoping I am not alone. Has this happened to you?

I am not an over achiever when it comes to our Elf on the shelf. I do it for our kids. The love waking up to look for their little Elf and it gives them so much joy, that I don't want to disappoint them. I wanted to make things easier on myself this year and try to plan out some ideas for our Elf On The Shelf. I am lucky to have a talented blog partner and she created some fun Elf on the Shelf Printables to use with your Elf!

Free Elf on the Shelf Printables

Elf on the Shelf Printables

Elf on the Shelf Printables

Elf on the Shelf Printables

Want to make your own Official Elf Notices? Click the image below, print on your home computer and cut. Easy!

elf on the shelf printables

 

Looking for more fun Elf On The Shelf ideas? Check out 13  favorite Elf On The Shelf ideas and our Pinterest Board! 2014 free kindness printables can be found here.

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