SOL: How to Conquer Shopping for H0lidays Sanely!

I love the holidays and I love Christmas time, but I seriously do not like shopping during the holiday times.

And you know what is even worse, is when you ask people what they want as a gift, they always give you the run around, or don’t even answer and then you have to guess. And let me tell you, my guessing, is usually not what they want. It’s usually what I think they want and I am always off!

So instead of being a crazy person during the holiday shopping season, and looking/feeling like this:

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I need to have a few guidelines, so why not share them with you, so you don’t have to look and feel like the picture above!

  1. Make a list – a legitimate list. Find out what people want and then search for the best deals online for them.
  2. Create a budget – how much are you going to spend on each person and then how much do you have to live off of your paycheck the rest of the month after you buy all of the gifts.
  3. Determine where is a better price to buy the gifts -Online or in the store.
  4. Do you need them shipped or are you buying and bringing? – For me, it almost makes no sense to buy most of my gifts online since I have to ship most of them across the country, instead of trying to buy them and bring them in my suitcase!
  5. If you have no budget, what can you do? – DIY gifts, which I cannot do at all, but some of you like my best friend are lucky enough to be artistic!
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Using a gift tracking app is an amazing – I used it in order to keep my gifts under control and know what I bought/who I was buying for. I use an app for everything else, I figured why wouldn’t I use one to track my shopping?
I always realize, that even though I have made a budget, I  never, ever, ever stick to it. It is like nearly impossible to do. Then I saw this picture and realized that I must spend like double or triple the amount I should spend for my salary!!!
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I pretty much used Amazon Prime this year because it helped me with my shopping. I was able to get everything sent and they pretty much had everything I needed on there and with two day free shipping. I mean literally everything was free shipping and that is where it can really kill you in cost! Another reason for my online shopping is my daughter coming with me would add like $200 to my purchases because I would have to buy everything we saw that she liked, hence my post about online shopping!
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I can tell you one holiday secret we used – we booked our tickets back to New York in September. That way while we were holiday shopping, I didn’t have to worry about the prices for plane tickets at the same exact time. We also booked it on a Tuesday night which really helped. How weird that it can matter the day in which you buy tickets, but there is definitely a difference. Kayak is always my go to for plane tickets.
There’s also a financial app that is super helpful for this time of year.
You can use it to track all of your accounts in one place so it’s great to use through the app when you’re out shopping. I know when I am shopping, I have no clue what I am buying because I see things and add it to my already long list, so this can help me keep track!
Although even with wonderful prices, nothing can change what happens when the date really actually comes and you get stuck in the airport because of weather. 😦
And lastly, do some yoga and exercising during this time. All the time, effort and money spent on other people and not thinking about yourself during this time, there still needs to be some time for you. Otherwise you will get sick and look and feel like crap when it’s a time of the year when you need to feel rested and happy.
So, that being said, please have a wonderful holiday and be happy, healthy and safe!
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Confessions from a Fitbit-aholic 

Hi my name is Jen and I have a problem. 
I am obsessed with my Fitbit. I can’t stop. Everything I do needs to be recorded by the Fitbit. 

My friend at work gave me her extra one and I am seriously obsessed. Like how did I live life prior to this ?!?!?

It gives everyday a whole new meaning. I feel like I accomplish more. It makes me want to move. 


I almost feel like I can’t be walking without it on because every step counts! 

And I literally got it last week. 

I guess it’s a healthy obsession…. because it forces me to want to work out and go run on the treadmill when I normally wouldn’t. 

Anyone else share this obsession ?!

Trick or Treating- with or without Costumes?


As parents we decided to dress up. When we walked around, there were very few parents dressed up. 

That made me wonder. Why were people not dressed up? Were we not cool to be dressing up since we’re parents ? When is the limit of dressing up appropriate ?

There were a few people dressed up at their houses but we were one of the few walking around that had costumes on. 

Maybe it was because it was cold. But then I wonder if it was because as adults we should only dress up in a situation where we are going to a party without our kids?! 

Who is to ask about this?! Who is the controller of this type of information?! 

Did anyone else dress up and walk around with their kids ?!

SOL: Farewell Favorite Season 


Goodbye summer. 

We had a wonderful time. 

We learned a lot. 

We shared it with good friends and family. 

We made some new friends. 

We traveled to new places. 

We traveled to old places. 

We relaxed. 

We read. 

We rode bikes. 

We watched movies. 

We prepared. 

We moved. 

We packed and unpacked. 

We experienced life. 

We slept in the woods. 

We laid on the beach. 

We went to the fair. 

We exercised. 

We loved. 

Farewell until next year. 

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SOL: Sibling Vacation to Europe

 

Not always in life will you get the chance to go away on vacation to Europe. Not always in life will you get to go on a vacation with your siblings in Europe and travel around to different countries. And not always will you get to spend time in life together with your siblings on vacation.

Life happens to fast and its hard to keep up.

4 years ago I was able to plan a vacation with my brother to go to Europe and it was the first time we ever went on vacation together just the two of us.

Our plan was to start in Dublin, Ireland, then fly to Barcelona, Spain and end in Amsterdam. It was quite the extensive travel plan but I worked it out so that it was actually less expensive to plane hop through different countries than just to round trip it to one country to New York. It is a pain to do what we did though and its a lot of travel time, so you have to keep it to the quickest locations and plan it out by day in order to have enough time in one place in other to feel like you actually visited before you have to dash off to the next country.

I can’t tell you which country I liked best. I mean Dublin and Amsterdam are a hands down. Ireland is so beautiful, coast to coast, and I would go back in a heart beat. Amsterdam….well… it was a seriously crazy experience. We stayed in a hostel called the Flying Pig and it was like a time warp. Like nothing I have ever experienced before and I don’t know if I would ever go again because the partying was serious! But if I had no kids with me…. then maybe!

Barcelona was my least favorite, but I will tell you why. I have been to Spain before and I went to Costa Del Sol, Malaga, and that in my mind was what I pictured Spain as, and then I went to Barcelona and it was really just NYC in Spanish… but more history and way prettier…I found myself wanting to go to Malaga, because it was so amazing.

My brother and I had a great experience and a great bonding time. I hope in the future we could go back with my sister without added family, but like I said, not always will you get that chance because then people get married and have kids and you know, life gets in the way.

If you ever get that chance to do a bonding vacation with you siblings.. jump on that opportunity and a country hopping Euro trip is the perfect way!

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Gardening for Newbies


We moved into our house and it was already equipped with an irrigation system for their garden, which they left all for us. There are tons of tomato, pepper, leeks, and more. 

Now, being that I have just this year been able to keep my outdoor plants alive more than one month, this is a serious step!! 

I have been researching what I will need to do with it all in the fall/winter and I am stressed. 

  • Remove or cover plants
  • Turnoff water
  • Put away hoses

Who would have known how much you have to do to keep up with a garden?

I am still in search can of what I need to do with the potted veggies in the fall/winter because it’s coming soon. 

This is adulting at its finest.