Holidays & Special Occasions

How to Plan a Party in 48 Hours

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I'm no stranger to party planning.  Even so, over the past few years, throwing big, elaborate, Pinterest-worthy shindigs (like this Sweet Shop party or this CAKE party or my all time favorite, this Beachy Mermaid party) has become less and less of a priority for me.  Don't get me wrong--I still love having people over, but [...]

15 Awesome Valentine Gift Ideas Under $15

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Valentine's Day is just a few weeks away, which naturally means it is time for the 5th Annual LWSL 15 under $15 gift list!   I am always amazed at what fun things can be found for under $15 when you really start looking!  Of course if you would rather make your V-Day gifts, be sure [...]

How to Start Your New Year on the Right Foot

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I hope you all had a wonderful joy-filled (and drama-free) Christmas with your family and friends! After a very busy Thanksgiving, our Christmas was actually pretty low-key this year, celebrated with just the four of us and a few close friends. We stayed in our pajamas for two whole days, which is just the way I [...]

15 Things to Do with Your Kids Over Christmas Break

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School’s out! For most families, including mine, today is the start of Christmas vacation.  And while not all of us have the luxury of taking a full two weeks off from life, this is a time where most of us are finally able to slow down just a little, especially after the hustle and bustle [...]

How to Save Money on Wrapping Paper

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This is a guest post from Kalyn Brooke of Creative Savings I love picking out and purchasing Christmas gifts for all my friends and family, but hands down, the wrapping of said gifts is my favorite part. In fact, I practically begged my grandparents to let me wrap gifts for all my cousins, aunts, and uncles. What can [...]

8 Ways to Take Better Pictures

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When I first started blogging in 2010, I took terrible pictures.   I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and every image reflected as much.  But I knew if I spent some time learning the basics I could do much better.   Over the years I've read lots of books and tutorials, taken online classes, [...]

My Favorite Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals

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Happy Black Friday!  If you are anything like me you may busily trying trying to avoid the mall and all other retail stores at all costs and instead getting some power shopping done from the comfort of your own computer.  Thus, I thought I'd share a few of the favorite deals I've found so far, and [...]

Handmade Honey Salt Scrub

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I first made this simple honey salt scrub about three years ago during our first ever 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge.  I loved it so much that I ended up making a huge bath and giving it away to all my friends and family that year.  They have been asking for [...]

How to Give a Great Handmade Gift

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 This is a guest post from Kalyn Brooke of Creative Savings  DIY gifts are all the rage these days, no matter where you look -- Pinterest, Facebook, even the cover of a glossy magazine. All proclaim to have the perfect gift that can be made cuter, cheaper, and faster, and everyone, including myself, can't get their hands on [...]

10 Smart Ways to Save on the Holidays

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With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is sometimes easy to get to a point where you simply fling your hands up in the air, throw caution to the wind, whip out the plastic and tell yourself you’ll deal with after New Year’s.  There is seemingly so much to do and [...]

Best-Ever No-Fuss Mashed Potatoes

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At the risk of tooting my own horn, I have to tell you that every single person who has tried these potatoes has declared them the best they've ever had.  I can only assume that the main reason for this is that they are pretty much a heart attack in a bowl.  Seriously, potatoes don't get any unhealthier than [...]

30 Awesome Gifts Under $30

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I don't know about you, but going to the mall this time of year is enough to make me want to skip the holidays altogether and just go straight to January. I think it has something to do with the fact that I worked in retail all through college and once worked a 26-hour shift as [...]

4 Ways to Reduce Stress this Holiday Season

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It's the most wonderful time of the year, but let's be honest--it can also be the most stressful!  Between the added responsibilities and obligations, family drama, emotional overload, financial strain, and the fear that we’re just not doing enough, the months of November and December can quickly become overwhelming.   In fact, if I'm being totally honest with you, one [...]

Easy 5 Ingredient Pumpkin Pie

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Am I the only one already drooling thinking about Thanksgiving dinner?  Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, and I am SUPER excited that this year my big brother Paul and his family will be joining us all the way from Washington State.  It has been years since we've hosted a big family [...]

10 Gifts You Can Make for $10 or Less

10 Gifts You Can Make for $10 or Less

November is here which means the holiday season is upon us, and if you are anything like me you are suddenly thinking, "well crapola, I better start thinking about gifts!"  (And if you are one of those annoyingly perfect proactive people who finished your shopping sometime in July, then I'm not quite sure to do with you. [...]