Special Occasions

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. [...]

Holiday Planner 2014

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Happy November! Is it just me or has this year seemed to fly by?  I am having a hard time believing that it is already time to start planning & preparing for the holiday season once again. As my girls get older and begin participating in more activities, my husband and I are finding it [...]

Summer Cheese Ball with Mixed Berries

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When it comes to entertaining, I try to keep things as stress-free as possible.  I discovered long ago that few appetizers beat the simplicity, versatility, and sheer deliciousness of a simple cheese ball paired with Triscuits.  Thus, when the folks over at Martha Stewart asked if I'd be interested in entering a little summer recipe challenge they were [...]

12 Simple Ways to Celebrate Freedom

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For most of us here in the USA, the Fourth of July means barbecues, fireworks, and a long, relaxing weekend of fun in the summer sun.  And while there is nothing wrong with enjoying ourselves, it is also important to remember that our freedom wasn’t free.  Instead, it was hard fought through blood, sweat, and [...]

7 Secrets to Throwing a Fabulous Party on a Budget

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This weekend my youngest daughter will turn five.  While part of me is mourning the fact that my baby will be five, another part of me is sad that this year, for the first time, we will not be throwing a big party to celebrate her birthday.  You see, little Annie was born on Memorial [...]

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