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Posts Tagged ‘holidays

I know the holidays can be a very stressful time. With the buying of all the gifts, organizing travel arrangements, planning the holiday menu, and let’s not forget about the Christmas parties! With all this going on, plus working, adds quite a bit of pressure. This is not good. You can end up causing yourself to get stress wrinkles, lose your hair, or even break-out. Here are my holiday gifting tricks I use every year to keep me hassle free so I may enjoy myself. It only comes around once a year you know!

• Set a budget per person

So many people think that how much money you spend shows someone how much they mean to you. This is false. You show your love through actions, not by material things. If you know you can’t afford that 40’ flat screen for your parents because your hours got cut at work, don’t go and get into credit card debt trying to buy something you can’t afford.

Set a budget for your Christmas gifts. Let’s say its $200. Then narrow your list to a key number of members of your family that you want to buy gifts for, like your mother, father, partner or spouse, and your best friend. Then divide the $200 among these people depending on who is most important to you. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, make it an even split, $50 each. After you establish your budget, YOU MUST STICK TO IT.

• Get creative with gift ideas

Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you really put some thought into. You want to give that special someone a gift that matches their interests and hobbies. What is out in mass market will not give you this option. Let’s say you know your mother loves to write in journals, and your best friend is really into African art. Sure you could find them something mass produced at Target or Burlington, but who wants that? Plus you might end up paying more.

A great hidden gem is Etsy. This is a great site where artists and jewelers from all over the world sell their handmade wares online. You can find anything from handmade leather journals, works of art, wall decals, clothing, and even vintage pieces. What’s really great is since you are buying directly from the artist, they are super open to do customizations on your purchase, or a complete made to order item. You can’t get that kind of customer service at the department store. Plus the site is completely reliable and safe.

• Use online outlet stores for designer deals.

Ok, let’s say you really want to give your friend something from Dolce and Gabbana because you know that is her favorite designer. A $1500 pair of sunglasses is not in the cards right now. What can you do? Check out online outlet stores like Nordstrom’s Off the Rack and Beyond the Rack.

With Nordstrom’s Off the Rack, you get the same designer clothes and accessories as the full priced store, but at discount prices because they are off season styles! You can get up to 60% sticker price.

Another great online store is Beyond the Rack. This company has become very popular. This site is for members only, so you may need to request an invitation from the homepage. The great thing is, they never turn someone down. You may not even have to request an invitation anymore. The beauty of this site, is they carry hundreds of designer names from Miu Miu to Marc by Marc Jacobs and smaller names as well. They offer site deals that only last about a couple of days or less on a particular brand, so you must act quickly. That is how they are able to give you deals like 75% off.

• Give gifts via Facebook

One of the easiest ways to give gifts this year is to shop on Facebook. No not the ads on the right hand side, but real stores like Starbucks and Levi. If you go onto eGiftSocial or Payvment, they will give you a list of all the stores that sell their merchandise or gift cards on Facebook. You then log into your Facebook account, and begin shopping. Use your friends “Favorites” list on their page to get an idea on what to buy them.

You can select items and purchase right through the company Facebook page and pay with Paypal. They will prompt you to say which friend on Facebook you are giving the gift to. When you put in your friend’s name and click send, the will get a message in their inbox stated that you bought them a gift. They will get a link in the message to the company website where they can redeem their gift and have it shipped to them.

Utilize Amazon

I know everyone under the sun uses Amazon, but have you really utilized it? Do you notice the two smaller prices in highlighted text underneath the Amazon price? These items are sold either brand new or used by other sellers on Amazon. A lot of the products are sold brand new through these other Amazon sellers and are loads cheaper. Read each user’s customer feedback to gauge who has the best positive results and order from them. The order is still fulfilled by Amazon so if there is any discrepancies, Amazon will take care of it. The shipment might take two more days than it would if purchased from Amazon the seller, but who cares! Just make sure you start your holiday shopping in plenty of time before December 24th.

Consider making your own gift baskets

Gift baskets in the most common gift I can think of. They are given year round for every occasion. Why not shake things up a bit and make your own gift basket. Grab a bottle of low priced wine, like the $2 bottles from Trader Joes, print a unique label and past it over so people never know how much you spent. Add some homemade Christmas cookies, you don’t need to eat all those anyway, or, small $1 and $3 items from Bath and Body Works. Sephora sometimes has great small treasures you can find by the register for about $5. By making your own gift baskets gives a great personal touch without breaking the bank.

Well I hope all these suggestions were helpful. Don’t let the holidays get you down. Stay sexy, flirty, and financial fit. Happy Shopping!

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1. Do not starve yourself all day in preparation for pigging out later


Lots of us do this every year. We anticipate all that good food that we are going to eat later, so we want to make room in our stomachs. What do we do, basically starve ourselves so we can have a major binge come dinner time. NOT GOOD. This is a sure fire way to blow all your exercise and eating right hard work right out the window. Without thinking, you can consume over 3000 calories in one meal!
Eat as you regularly do up until dinner time. That way, you can still enjoy dinner without being famished and you will eat reasonable sized portions.

 
 2. Say no to the appetizers


If you know that you really want those mashed potatoes, dressing, and ham for dinner, forgoes the appetizers. You do not need those empty calories. Too many apps can add up to the same caloric and fat amount as a meal, and then you go eat dinner.
You know that the power player foods come at dinner, so just hold out. If your a little hungry thou, eat an apple or banana. They are full of fiber so will keep you satisfied long enough until Grace is said and you can chow down.

 
 3. Eat your fill on one plate, no seconds


I know this goes against everything Thanksgiving is about, but try to resist going back for seconds. Instead, try to fit everything you like on one dinner plate.

 
 4. Always make room for cranberry sauce.


Cranberries are known to be a power fruit. It is filled with vitamin C and antioxidants. Even though cranberry sauce is higher in calories than just plain cranberries, you still get the health benefits. In a ½ cup serving of cranberry sauce, you get 1 gram of fiber. A diet rich in fiber relieves constipation, lowers cholesterol, and reduces the risk of heart disease.

 
 5. Go easy on the gravy


Who doesn’t love gravy, right? But what does it really do for you, but add tons of extra fat onto your already indulgent meal. I’m not saying don’t have any at all, but consider having a light hand. Think of rain: You want a light drizzle instead of a heavy down pour.

 
 6. One serving spoon full of a dish is a proper serving. (Do not overflow i.e. heaping spoon full)


When it comes to serving yourself, try to avoid doing a heaping serving spoon full of your favorite starchy dish. I am not referring to a dinner or soup spoon, but a large serving utensil. A huge spoon full could be the same portion of a cup or more. This is 300 plus calories of one item you just put on your plate, and you haven’t even gotten to the turkey yet.
Just try for the spoon full without the mound. You could cut your serving and calories in half. It’s all about making room on the plate people.

 
 7. Try to add in some exercise today. Maybe a walk with the family or gather around the Wii and play Dance Central!

I know. The last thing you want to do on Thanksgiving is exercise right? I mean the holiday itself is about giving into your laziness and gluttony. I’m not saying go run six miles before dinner, but how about you and the family go for a walk. If you’re lucky, there is no snow on the ground yet and people have started putting up their Christmas lights. Look at the houses you admire most and get some decorating ideas.

Another idea which is my favorite to do with my cousins is play Dance Central on Kinect or Wii. You can really work up a sweat dancing your heart out to Usher and Katy Perry, plus it a whole lot of fun! You could spend hours doing this and not even notice. Before you know if, you burned off half of dinner!

 

8. Do put some veggies on the plate


I know this is a no brainer, but I must remind you. Please do not forget to put veggies on your plate. You need the fiber and vitamins that they provide. Do not mistake foods such as green bean casserole as your veggie. THIS DOES NOT COUNT. With the calories you consume in a serving of that, you could have had a slice of cake! Opted for veggies without all the sauce and butter like a side salad, lightly sauced green beans and broccoli.

 
 9. Do have turkey!


Turkey is one of the leanest forms of meat out there. It’s better than chicken, beef, duck, and lamb. Don’t forget, protein makes you feel fuller faster and longer; that’s why it’s great to pair with fiber. Go for the turkey first!

 
 10. For dessert, choose a slice of sweet potato or pumpkin pie over the apple pie


Of all the holiday desserts, sweet potato and pumpkin pie stack up better than all the rest. Their calorie content comes in about 320 calories or less a slice! Both are good carbs, loaded with fiber and naturally sweet.
 Apple pie: 411 calories
Pecan pie: 503 calories
Cherry pie: 486 calories


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