VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT GUIDE – HIM, HER, & YOUR GAL PAL

Happy Hump day everybody! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so today I decided to do a small round up of cute and affordable gifts for the loved one’s you may be buying for this year. Whether you are single and deciding to do a girlfriend’s V-Day, or are looking for some inexpensive gifts for that man in your life, I’ve got something for each of you. I also included a gift guide for your sweetheart incase any of you ladies want to drop a hint to your boyfriend/hubby. For your BFF & your Mr, I kept everything under $25. Who says you have to spend a ton of money to get a nice gift!! For you special ladies (or for your special lady if it’s a man reading this), then I upped the price range to less than $60 plus a splurge item.

Hurry up and don’t save your shopping for the last minute!!

Heart Sunglasses / Beach Fan (for those girls beach trips) / Diamond Earrings (because diamonds are a girls best friend)

Makeup Eraser (Hands down Aaamazing) / Drink Markers (for wine nights) / Boosting Eye Mask (give her the best beauty rest)

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Cocktail Kit (for when he travels) / Eye Mask (who says only ladies need beauty rest) / Money Clip (keeping it simple)

Flashlight (Boys & their toys, my guy is always on the hunt for the perfect flashlight)  / Cocktail Kit

Coffee Mug (for that morning sleepyhead)

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Pineapple Beach Ping Pong (Um yes please!! This was my pick just cause I want this to travel with when I go to St. John in June!!)

Flower Bomb (This is amazing and worth the splurge) / Love Necklace (give her the key to your heart)

Lacey PJ’s (lacey and pink…she will be delighted) / Kate Spade Earrings (give her something sparkly and unique like her)

Cozy Pullover (she will love this when she wants to be comfy and drink her wine on the sofa)

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Xoxo, Happy Wednesday!!

GREEN & BLACK FOR WICKED

    So, last week my amazing sweetheart took me to see Wicked, since it was playing in Orlando where we live. It was absolutely amazing!! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and totally was singing along in my head haha. He got us 5th row tickets, so we could see absolutely everything and it was definitely the best gift he has given me. My favorite song is Defying Gravity…have any of you seen this play? Do you have a favorite Wicked song?

I thought it was only appropriate that I wear some green and black to show my love for the wonderful Elphaba, plus I love an excuse to get dressed up. This suit is mix matched, but paired together so wonderfully. My hubs got me this tuxedo blazer as a 2015 Christmas present from H&M (and it’s less than $20 right now!!!) and then I found these tuxedo pants by Halogen on sale at Nordstrom a few months back. The pants are sold out, but I will link some similar ones at the bottom of the post. This green sweater tank was a steal from Forever 21 (gosh I love that store) and my heels I wore for last New Years. How do you like my pull through braid??? Yup first time for this hairstyle and it was actually super easy.

Here is the awesome tutorial by Sweethearts Hair Design that I watched to make the magic happen!! I also used this makeup video by Angela Lanter to get a bit of an idea on how I wanted to do my makeup!! So go check this gorgeous lady out!!

Jacket / Pants / Top Sold Out Similar / Similar Heels

Bracelet Similar / Earrings / Necklace / Choker Similar / Clutch

**Photography by Blake Hall & Gil Sturgis of Bodyscape Photography

FINANCIAL TIP

6 Tips for Saving on Holiday Shopping

  1. Start Early – This one is big which is why I thought I would share these tips with you now at the beginning of the year! Don’t wait to do your holiday shopping, because a lot of times things are sold out, or things aren’t on sale. If you shop for people throughout the year, then you can space out your spending, get bargains, and make sure you are getting each person the right thoughtful gift.
  2. Set a Budget – Make sure you know what you can spend and then budget it out per person, or make a list of the gifts you plan on buying. This way you aren’t overspending at the last minute and you know when you need to say no, or keep shopping around.
  3. Research Products Online – Check product reviews and look on all different sites for items. Many times you can find items cheaper online and with free shipping. Amazon prime is one of my favorite ways to shop.
  4. It Comes in Threes – When you find an item that you want to buy, look for it at two other places as well. This way you know if you are getting the best deal. You don’t want to buy the item at the first place you saw it even if it’s on sale. I have been able to get items for 50% less sometimes just by shopping around.
  5. Keep Track of the Sales – Just because there is a sale doesn’t mean you have to go shopping, but I always like to check out if there are any items I am specifically looking for when sales are going on. I have found a lot of great gifts for people that I stock away for Christmas just by shopping sales throughout the year. One of the big ones is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale every July-August.
  6. Use the Right Card – Now I am never going to tell you to shop via credit card to spend more than you can afford. My suggestion is to not spend more than you can pay off within the following 30 days, but many cards offer cash back on your purchases, and this is a great way to make money back from your spending.

I hope these tips help you with any holiday shopping. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so don’t save your shopping for the last minute people!! You could also be creative and make a beautiful card, cookies, or a love coupon book! Do you have any helpful tips for saving on holiday shopping?

Happy Friday, Xoxo!

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BURGUNDY BELL SLEEVES

Spring is right around the corner y’all, but here in Florida we are stuck somewhere between Fall and Summer. It’s chilly when we wake up in the morning and melting hot by the afternoon. This makes it so hard to pick an appropriate outfit. One thing I love about this dress is that it has long sleeves, but it’s still not a heavy material, so you can really wear it for all seasons depending on how you pair it. I had bought this dress during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in preparation for Fall, but alas it sat in my closet with the tags still on until now. This was a pretty warm day. It started out in the low 60’s and then moved into the 80’s by the afternoon. I paired it with some open toe booties that way my feet were warm in the morning, but had some breathing room for later. I love, love, love, these booties. They look like they would be so expensive, but I think I paid about $30 for them from Charlotte Russe 2 years ago. I linked some similar pairs. Every girl should have a pair of open toe booties in her closet, especially if you live somewhere like I do where you don’t really experience all the seasons.

Dress (less than $25 right now)/ Booties Sold Out Similar / Purse

Hat / Sunglasses / Necklace / Choker

Watch / Bracelet / Similar Earrings

Lipgloss – Hikari in Merlot

FINANCIAL TIP

Spend, or Splurge!? Great ways to spend, or save your tax return.

So Monday was the first official filing day for your 2016 taxes. For many people this is an exciting time because you are either hoping to get money back, or at least break even. Nobody wants to pay more pesky taxes. Now the term refund is what happens when someone gives you back money. This term does not mean that someone is simply giving you money, but giving you money BACK because you over paid, or returned something. Many people don’t like the word refund with taxes, but the government is simply giving you back what you overpaid throughout the year and what taxes you shouldn’t have had to pay if you have children/dependent care. Many people go crazy and spend their tax return as soon as they get it, which I understand, you now have money to splurge. But, perhaps you can be a bit more financially savvy this year and budget your return, or even save some of it in case of any emergencies that may arise throughout the year. These tips are just things that I have done and may not work for everyone’s budget, especially if you were counting on your tax return for something specific already. Also, if your return is your yearly splurge money then that is awesome too, because we do all need to treat ourselves at times.

  1. Take at least half your tax return and put it aside into your savings account. Then you have the rest to spend and treat yourself without feeling too guilty.
  2. Save the whole thing if you don’t need it now, then perhaps you can take a trip later on in the year when you have built up some more vacation time.
  3. Create a budget for your tax return with items that you know you need to buy and things that you didn’t want to splurge on before because you had limited funds. Then see if you have enough left over after you have fulfilled your needs.
  4. Do you have kids? This could be a good time to get some clothes shopping done for them, or even start their savings account/college fund.
  5. Perhaps you are looking into buying your own home. Save your tax return towards your down payment.
  6. Do you have debt that you need to pay off? Put your tax return towards paying off your debt, or at least a portion of it.
  7. If you really enjoy giving back to your community, or a good cause. Perhaps you could make a charitable donation from your tax return.
  8. Start an investment with your tax return by purchasing some stock, adding to your 401k, or opening up an investment account.
  9. Are you trying to build your credit? Get a prepaid credit card with some of your tax return money, so that you can purchase things and pay it off with the rest of your money.
  10. Go on a shopping spree! That’s right if you don’t need to save, or do any of the above items, or simply don’t want to haha…then why not go right out and splurge a bit. You’ve saved all year and deserve it!

This year I won’t be getting much back, but I will be using mine towards my trip to the Virgin Islands in June. Are you a saver, or a spender? How do you plan on using your tax return if you get one?

Happy Friday! Xoxo

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