New Year’s Decorations

New Year’s is such a fun time of year.. I really do enjoy this holiday. Who doesn’t love to have a few drinks, get a kiss, and watch the ball drop? I have some of the greatest memories and really enjoy them. What are some of your favorite memories?

newyears

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Holiday Gifts For Kids Under $30

I like to get practical and fun gifts for kids. I have always been a fan of just practical gifts where kids can learn and explore. I put together practical gifts for you at frugal prices. I hope you can enjoy these great gift ideas.

Here are holiday gifts for kids under $30.

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Sweet Manners Tea Set 
Pinkies up! Tea time is extra sweet with the Laugh & Learn Sweet Manners Tea Set and its magical, light-up teapot. As toddlers “pour” out their tea, the spout lights up and plays fun songs, sounds, and more! Press the tea bag button for even more fun songs and lights! And with two tea cups, a sugar bowl, and a tray full of puzzle-play “treats”, this adorable tea set is perfect for sharing a spot of play with a friend—introducing your tiny diner to manners. Plus, the tea set includes three Smart Stages levels with different songs, sounds and phrases, so the learning fun can keep going as your child keeps growing!

PJ Masks Deluxe Figure Set  This PJ Masks action figure will provide children aged 3 years and up with endless entertainment.

LEGO DUPLO Disney Minnie Mouse’s Birthday Party 10873 Little Disney fans will love to help Minnie Mouse celebrate in style with LEGO DUPLO 10873 Minnie’s Birthday Party! Play with them as they drive Minnie in her cute pink car to the party venue, where Figaro the cat is waiting to get the party started. This LEGO DUPLO set is perfect for endless role-play with a birthday celebration theme, and comes with a giant buildable birthday cake plus 2 bricks decorated as presents. Includes a LEGO DUPLO figure: Minnie Mouse, plus a cat figure.
VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Press and Race Monster Truck Rally Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! It’s time for the monster truck rally show with the Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Press & Race™ Monster Truck Rally™ by VTech®. Race and jump with Mark, the Press & Race™ monster truck, around the rally tracks and off the launch pads while listening to him play fun phrases, sounds and melodies. Then, have a jump competition by launching off the stunt ramp to encourage creative play and discover cause and effect.

Kinetic Sand – Beach Sand Kingdom Playset with 3lbs of Beach Sand, Build amazing sandcastles anywhere with the Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom! The Beach Sand Kingdom playset includes 3lbs of Kinetic Beach Sand and everything you need to build real sandcastles! Different from the smooth feel of classic Kinetic Sand, Kinetic Beach Sand is made with larger grains of natural sand and feels just like wet beach sand!

My Little Pony Styling Head –  Pinkie Sea Caution is recommended when purchasing this styling head because it includes small parts
Clean this styling head with a damp cloth when dirty
Great for ages 3 years and up
Practice makes perfect and with this styling head from My Little Pony, hairdressers aged 3 years and up can master new techniques.
VTech KidiBeats Drum Set  Your child can rock out and learn with the VTech KidiBeats Drum Set! This drum set for kids comes with a pair of drumsticks that can be used to tap the four different electronic learning drums. Your child can drum freestyle or play along to nine pre-set melodies in a variety of musical styles. Or for more structured play, they can follow the lights on the drums as they learn about letters and numbers. With four ways to play and a variety of fun sounds, your child will love learning to the music with this educational toy!

LeapFrog Tad’s Fridge Phonics Help your baby learn the alphabet and develop word skills with the LeapFrog Tad’s Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set. Plug letters into the base to read out letters or change levels to teach phonics and word skills. These colorful magnets will catch your little one’s attention and as they play and learn, developing their fine motor skills as they learn to fit the letters into the slot in the base.

Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Light-up Learning Vacuum  Clean up time has never been more fun! When your toddler pushes the vacuum along, bright lights and learning songs and phrases will introduce colors, counting, and more. Flip the “power” switch up and actual vacuum sounds let your tiny helper really get into the role play fun!

Melissa & Doug® Match and Roll Shape Sorter – Classic Wooden Toy  This brightly colored wooden shape sorter is an exciting update on a classic toy! Toddlers can drop the dozen-plus vibrant wooden shapes–including a triangle, octagon, star, rectangle, square, trapezoid, hexagon–through the color-matched holes, then roll the drum along, open the lid, and start all over again. An early-learning powerhouse that encourages color and shape recognition, manual dexterity, and more!

Disney Princess Cinderella 14″ Doll For every girl who dreams big, there’s a Princess to show her it’s possible.
In a spectacular story inspired gown and tiara from her Fairy Godmother, Disney Princess Cinderella wishes to go to the ball. Join the story as she dashes home before midnight!

B. toys Beautifloor Alphabet Foam Tiles – 26pc  Brighten up any room in your home and make it more comfortable for wobbly little ones with the Beautifloor Alphabet Floor Mat from B. toys. Interlocking tiles are nice and thick, making even hardwood floors more comfortable if your little one happens to fall as they’re learning to walk. For even more fun, each letter pops out for plenty of learning adventures. A comfy place for all your pals, including A, B and C.

frugalgifts

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Men’s Holiday Fashion

If you are anything like me.. you probably need to go shopping for your significant other, aka husband. He won’t go shopping and is super picky.. SO it’s up to me to find something nice to wear for the holidays (because if it was up to him he would wear white t-shirts with jeans!). I love dressing up for the holidays and love love when my family can dress up with me too.

Here are some of our favorite picks for men’s holiday fashion:

Van Heusen Flex Ottoman 1/4 (Quarter) Zip Pullover- Big and Tall

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The Foundry Big & Tall Supply Co. Long Sleeve Flannel Shirt-Big and Tall

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St. John’s Bay Long Sleeve Henley Shirt

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Van Heusen Long Sleeve Windowpane Knit Polo Shirt- Big and Tall

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 Dockers Mock Neck Long Sleeve Acrylic Pullover Sweater

mensfashion

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Stocking Gifts For Her Under $15

Fellas, or ladies, if you need gifts for “her” you will want to add these items to your shopping cart. Trust me, these are such great gift! (I want them all take note). If you are a stocking stuffer lover, then you will absolutely want to jump on these deals.

Here are the best stocking gifts for her under $15

stockingforher

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Tips to Help Your Autistic Child Survive the Holidays

Parties are always a hard time for an autistic child. I know my son gets overwhelmed for festivities or in large groups. He will start to stim and be “in his world.” Plus, he will not interact with anyone, and people wonder what is wrong with him or why he doesn’t say “hi” to them.

I wanted others to understand that it is okay, and here are some great tips to cope.

  1. Prepare Your Child: Keep your child updated. Let them know months before and the time leading up to the party. Reiterate to them weeks and days prior so that they understand and can ready themselves for the celebrations. I let my son use his ‘calendar planner.’
  2. Choose a Familiar Venue: This step might be tough, but try to make it as easy as possible. We live out of town, but still visit grandma and grandpa’s home often. Let your child know if they need to travel (like we do), how long it will take to get there, and where it will be taking place. Help them prepare by stating “remember when we went here.”  I let my son play on his ipad.
  3. Limit the Number of Guests: This point may also be difficult to do, but know that you need to have a list and let your family/friends know that if they can limit the number of attendees, it might benefit your child better. Help your child be ready for the guests by saying, “remember your cousin, Billy.”
  4. Stick to Your Party End Time: Keep festivities short and sweet. Too much party time can cause your child overstimulation or aggression. I always tell my son we have x minutes, and we will be going home at x time. This acknowledgment allows him to enjoy himself before we leave. Reassuring any child with autism is always the best measure so that they can cope before the action happens.
  5. Maintain Your Schedule: Having a schedule at a celebration can happen. Try to keep eating on track. Bring some snacks or a meal so that your child doesn’t get upset if necessary.

All of these factors might be hard to accomplish, but try to prepare your child as much as you can. Sticking to this checklist can improve and brace them mentally.

austim holidays

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Stocking Stuffers For Her Under $20

Finding the right gift for people can be tough. I like to find practical gifts, but also like to fun some fun and creative gifts as well. I love shopping for stocking stuffers they are so fun!

I put together a list of my favorite items for her under $20, go get your shopping on.

  1. Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray 4 oz Bottle, Original Citrus Scent 
  2. Bath Bomb Gift Set USA – 6 Vegan Essential Oil Natural Lush Fizzies Spa Kit. Organic Shea/Cocoa Soothe Dry Skin. 
  3. Arctic (2 Pack) Thick Heat Trapping Thermal Neck Warmers Gaiters Fleece Unisex
  4. Pure Body Naturals Dead Sea Mud Mask for Face and Body, Purifying Face Mask for Acne, Blackheads, and Oily Skin 
  5. The One-Minute Gratitude Journal 
  6. Majestic Pure Himalayan Salt Body Scrub with Lychee Essential Oil, All Natural Scrub to Exfoliate & Moisturize Skin
  7. Embroidex Sewing Kit for Home, Travel & Emergencies – Filled with Quality Notions Scissor & Thread – Great Gift
  8. Sponge Set Of 3 Exfoliating Facial Sponges-Natural Cleaning Sponge-White-Activated Bamboo Charcoal-Green-Vegan-Better Than Loofah For Cleansing Face From Xfacio Labs 
  9. Lip Scrub, Berry Flavor – Organic Exfoliating Sugar Scrubs, Exfoliator for Chapped Dry Lips, Moisturizes With Fresh, Lush Natural Ingredients; 

 

stuffingher

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Shop Smart This Holiday Season

How much money do you spend over the holidays? A LOT, right? I know we all try to be frugal, and yet we want to give good gifts. But there are many considerations to prevent you from breaking your bank. Trust me on this.

Here are my top things for frugal holiday shopping.

  1. Make a List

You need a list that has the person’s name with gift ideas and how much you want to spend. Stick to your list and shop around.

  1. Set a Budget

This step is one of the first items that I do. I create a budget per person, and then keep up with what that person wants so that I can look out for any sales or deals within a specific cost constraint.

  1. Research Online Deals

Use online resources to your advantage. Retailer websites, apps, and social media contacts, along with sites that track deals give you plenty of avenues to find great bargains. Search in the comfort of your own home without having to brave the winter weather (or a few thousand of your fellow consumers).

  1. Consider Homemade Presents

This element is something fun as long as you have the time and energy to follow through. Sometimes something as simple as a crocheted gift can be great, or even hand-crafted jewelry.

  1. Buy Previous Models of Electronics

You do not need the newest item. Save your money and purchase last year’s model. Retailers are always offering deals on the previous version to clear space for the new generations. Will your gift recipient really care if they receive the previous model? Think about it before you go ahead.

  1. Wait for Post-Holiday Clearance Sales

One of the biggest steps that I take! I stock up at the end of the holiday season with small stocking stuffers for Christmas and wait for the post-holiday steals! You don’t even need to be picky here.

  1. Start Earlier

I am a huge believer for getting ahead of the game. I always shop when I can. People always want items, but sometimes it’s nice to get something fun and different. I pick up gifts throughout the year so that I don’t have to worry about doing it all at once.

Have a great time and save money where you can. It is possible, and you can enjoy yourself despite spending this holiday season.
Shop Smart This Holiday Season

 

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Frugal Holiday Activities

It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is upon us. In just a little over a week, people will begin taking time off from work to spend it with friends and family. It’s the time of the year to enjoy yourself and those around you.

There is a myth that you need to spend lots of money to have fun. This false expectation is especially the case when it comes to the holidays. The good news is that there are plenty of frugal options to bring a little bit more joy into the season.

Here are some awesome, low-cost activities and gift ideas that you can enjoy:

 

  1. White Elephant Gift Exchange: If you have a large family or group of friends who like to exchange gifts, consider doing a White Elephant exchange. As a group, set a reasonable price limit that allows everyone involved to get a gift without the obligation to spend more; it’s super easy and fun.
  2. Judge Christmas Lights: Who doesn’t enjoy looking at Christmas lights? Add a twist to this by going to different areas around you, and picking a winner while viewing the lights. As a family, you can select different categories and judge the displays, for fun of course.
  3. Make Your Ornament: If your community has craft fairs, you can get some ornament ideas just by attending. Then, go to a craft store to get the supplies you need. If you’re crafty, this can be a nice way to create something nice yourself without spending as much.
  4. Host a Cook-off: Parties and get-togethers are popular this time of the year. Add a fun little spin by hosting a cook-off. The competition can be on anything you want: best soup, best chili, best apple cider and so on.

The holidays can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean they have to be. With a little creativity, you can enjoy time together with friends and family without breaking the bank.

Frugal Holiday Activities

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