Saturday, November 22, 2014

4 Ways to Save on Holiday Gifts

Like most basic chicks, I loveee the holidays in an obnoxious already-have-a-christmas-tree-listening-to-christmas-music-non-stop kind of way. I love family traditions, giving gifts to the people I love, and obvi seasonally appropriate beverages.

Between holiday travel, impulses scented candle buys at Target, and my very large list of people I holiday shop for, budgeting during the holidays is extremely important to me. Today, I’m sharing four ways to save for the holidays.

11)   Make a list and check it twice: Too cheesy? Sorry. I find it so helpful to make a list of everyone I hope to buy gifts for, write an estimation of how much I will spend next to their name, and add it all up. I try to do this about a month or two beforehand so I can start saving up accordingly.

22)   Ebates or Swagbucks (affiliated link programs): Not sure how much y’all know about using Ebates or Swagbucks when buying items online but they are AWESOME.  Basically you create an account at either website, go to their site and then click whatever online store you want to go to. Once you purchase something you get either cash back sent to you as a check with ebates or “swagbucks’, which are basically points that you can redeem for paypal cash or gift cards. I use both for different things, and it rocks. It definitely doesn’t add up to too much, but hey, any little bit helps J. Full Disclosure: if you click either link and sign up, I get a referral bonus. If ya don't want to do that you can just go to either site, ebates.com or swagbucks.com. 

33)   Shopkick: This app gives you ‘kicks’ for walking into certain partner stores. You can redeem those kicks for gift cards and prizes. It definitely takes a while to get enough kicks for any rewards, but it’s free money for shopping, so what the heck. Full disclosure, I’m actually not too, too impressed with this app, but I did just get enough kicks for a $25 Sephora card, so I can’t complain. (same deal with the referral link) 

44)   Rewards programs: This can mean a variety of things so lets break it down. There are rewards programs like Sephora or Ulta: not linked to a credit or debit card, but just a store program that rewards you as you spend. Then there are store credit/debit cards like at Target, Macy’s or Nordstrom. This one requires some research because generally getting a department store credit card is a very bad idea, but I personally have a Nordstrom card just linked to my debit card, so I don’t have to worry about any crazy interest rates or anything. Finally, there is just the straight up rewards program that your bank/debit/credit card might offer. Once you have these three distinct types of rewards programs in mind you can do your research for which will reward you the best and/or combine rewards programs. For instance, let’s say you have a credit card that gives you cash back on everything you spend and you have an ulta rewards card. You could use your credit card with your ulta rewards card for double savings. For extra smart savings, buy online and use an affiliate link on top of all those savings!

Whew, sorry that last one was so long. I hope this helps you out during the holidays, happy shopping!!

p.s. Bonus suggestion: try bing rewards and you can earn gift cards just for searching things online…takes forever though, just fyi! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to Shop for a Baby Shower

There are a lot of things you have to suddenly learn how to do in your early twenties—manage your money, ask for a raise, cook and grocery shop for yourself—the list could go on and on. Speaking of lists or listicles, if you will (love that word), there seem to be absolutely no shortage of  “10 things to know how to do before you turn 23” or “10 things you should have down by age 25”…I hate to add one more thing to these lists because I know this is, like, a lot to take in, but here it is
11) How to buy a baby shower gift

If we’re being honest, the idea of buying a gift for an occasion that seems so removed from anything I’m close to experiencing was very intimidating to me, initially.  Not only do I not really know what expecting parents want or need, but also people can be, rightfully so, very picky about what kind of products they want their baby to have.

I put together a couple of dos and don’ts that I hope will help you if you find yourself lost and wandering the target baby section (aka me like three weeks ago)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Heart Haters Playlist

It feels like I always forget somethinggg when I go to the gym--whether it's my water bottle, my sneakers (seriously), a sports bra, or a hair tie, it always sucks. But the absolute worst thing to forget, in my opinion, is my headphones. I seriously struggle to even complete a fifteen minute work out if I can't crank up the volume on some sick beatz (in the words of t. swift). 

I've found that the music that really gets me going on my work-outs is music that I've classified as "hater music". What I mean by that is, the theme to my favorite work out songs is someone telling their haters what's up. It just makes me run a little bit faster if I'm pretending I'm proving myself to people who doubted me. 

Though I don't really have any "haters" it's easy to pretend I do when I listen to the playlist below. This playlist runs for over a half hour--plenty of time to break a sweat and send your haters (real or imaginary) packing. 

Anyone else a fan of "hater music" at the gym? What's your favorite song to work out to? 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Not Eczactly a Great idea

I thought about simply glossing over the fact that I haven’t blogged in a week because I’m pretty embarrassed by my explanation, but I figure what could be more embarrassing than this, so here we go…

Something I haven’t discussed on this blog is that I have pretty severe eczema, which is a chronic skin condition that gives me itchy rashes all over my body periodically and randomly.  These rashes can be worsened by food allergies, environmental allergies, sweat, and pretty much just existing on this planet. It’s SO fun.

 I have tried practically everything to alleviate the symptoms—cutting foods out of my diet, cold showers only, no fragrances, only wearing cotton—and still I get these uglyyy splotches just about every month. I recently read on the internet about a method I surprisingly hadn’t tried where you wash your infected areas with Tar Shampoo.  Of course, even on the unreliable internet, there were many warnings about first asking a doctor before attempting this method. I’ll give you one guess whether I heeded that warning…