Yes, I realize we are still almost 2 months away from Christmas.  But in this house we have my Mother-in-law’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Mackenzie’s birthday, and Christmas all within that time period so it’s vital that I stay on track, prepared, and ON BUDGET.

I thought I would share with you my Jumpstart Guide to 2018 holiday season.  This will be a 3- Part Series (Gifts for HER, Gifts for HIM, and GIFTS for THEM).  Yes, there will be a post for the Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Shopping (insert chuckle) and the typical “Black Friday” shopping deal guide….but this year, maybe if we all start a bit earlier it won’t be as stressful.  (Dreams can come true, ya’ll!)

Also – stay tuned for my November Amazon Haul which will come out earlier due to Black Friday.  It will be focused on “holiday” attire and it’s a good one! (Here’s some examples of previous months’ Amazon hauls here and here.)


  1. Make a LIST of the people you are buying for this year and allot a specific amount next to their name.  I know we all want to buy for every single person in our lives, but unless you’re Oprah or Ellen that’s probably NOT a viable option.  Also, remember that it really is the thought that counts.  I know – again, there is a sense of “Keeping Up with the Jones'” mentality around the holidays, but most times the most remembered gifts are those that were gifted from the heart.

Example List (amounts vary per person’s budget and household):

  1. Husband – $200
  2. Each child – $100
  3. Best Friend – $50
  4. Gym Friend – $25
  5. Child’s Teacher – $25
  6. Neighbor who walks the dog – $10

2) Give Yourself a CUT-off date for shopping/shipping/sending out Christmas Cards and write it in your calendar.  Most retailers offer excellent shipping deals in the time leading up to the Christmas Holidays so take advantage of it!  Do not wait until the last minute because it gets so hectic trying to make everything come together and with everything you have going on (decorating, travel, parties, entertaining, cooking, shopping) give yourself a day in between to actually sit down and enjoy everything.

3) EXPERIENCES make the best gifts.  I am highlighting actual material items, but more than anything I believe that experiences are the most magical gift you can give someone.  A spa day with your friend; a concert ticket with your husband to see his favorite band; a family trip to an amusement park or national monument; a weekend trip booked to see your favorite city.  This depends on your schedules and budget, but if you can prepare in advance I personally it’s better than a million little wrapped presents under the tree.


4) Unfollow the SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS that cause you to A) spend too much or B) make you feel bad about your holiday experiences.  Honestly, your holidays with your family are what matters most.  It’s the things that make you happy whether it is by hosting a Friendsgiving with your closest friends; a neighborhood Ugly Sweater Party; a night out with your significant other to see The Transiberian Orchestra; a brunch morning with your girls to see The Nutcracker, or simply baking your favorite holiday cookies to enjoy as a family – YOU DO YOU.  Don’t feel bogged down by what everyone else is doing or isn’t doing.  YOU DO YOU.

O.k…..those are my 4 little advice recommendations – take ’em or leave ’em, but the bottom line is that I want you to ENJOY this holiday season.  Take a deep breath and let’s dive in together!


Now, Part 1 is on GIFTS FOR HER.  “Her” being your mom, your mother-in-law, your girlfriend, sister, cousin, and most importantly – YOURSELF.  (Haha…I mean, come on….I would never leave YOU out – wink, wink) Most of these are affordable, practical, and are things that I believe people actually WANT.

For the FASHIONISTA Friend

Scarf (looks like Madewell, but affordable and versatile) $16.99 GUEST_a4e91a39-c22f-4b1c-8496-3b4b1905dba1

Saddle Handbag (looks like Rebecca Minkoff – but way less!) $49.99392394_001_ss_01

Buffalo Plaid Cardigan (Perfect for the entire winter season – not just holidays!) $26.00GUEST_998e18b5-ca32-4675-bd45-d05609f0548e
These gorgeous minimalist earrings that would literally go with everything!

For the MOM on-the-move!

This fabulous sherpa pullover!  True to size, doesn’t shed, and is fantastic to throw over leggings and look pulled together.


This amazing S’WELL Travel Mug.  I mean, come on – it’s got lips print on it! $24.99GUEST_62a9e9e2-5f04-4c54-9fdd-a5b1e8ef5635


A new Apple Watch band  under $10. You know she has the same shade of pink workout leggings, so now she needs a matching band! With over 13 different colors, you are sure to find one perfect for her. 51IjUlqw2DL._SL1000_



A Dry Shampoo Gift Basket (Various pricing $5-$25) I’m not joking.  I would love it if my girlfriend got me a variety of dry shampoos to try. Put them all in a cute basket/tray and give her the gift that she will absolutely adore.


For the DIY- Joanna Gainesesque Friend

THESE pillow covers!!!  I mean – come ON!  $10.99 (for both!) Perfect for an entryway bench, her favorite armchair, or her special corner of the house. 81o8bCt9cfL._SL1001_

Go one step further and gift her this throw blanket to match! $15.99A1BV-LVooSL._SL1500_


Hands down my absolute favorite mug ($5.99) to enjoy a cup of coffee in on a slower Saturday morning. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe (yes, it is gold paint) and so pretty. It’s also the perfect size! GUEST_7d0a2745-aa6f-4540-a375-989187a3d761



The perfect ‘holiday’ candle $22 4H6A0987_grande


For the BEAUTY Queen

Sorry guys; I hate to break it to you – I am ALL about the Senegence on this post.  (It’s my blog – sooooo……….)  Plus, I’ve tried several other items and brands and always come back to what works!  If you haven’t given this line a try yet – NOW IS THE TIME!  Gift it to everyone you know!

My top favorites to gift:

Glosses $20 SO MANY pretty options!  Hydrating, on trend, and perfect for stocking stuffers! 44359386_10156654538660675_6020218477271318528_n

*NEW VolumeIntense LashSense Mascara $28 (the MOST incredible mascara – EVER!) Must email me/comment below to order!


A Customized TRIO of ShadowSense Colors ($60)


Revlon One-Step Hair dryer/volumizer $54.99 I have only heard (and read) the reviews on this item and it’s actually going on my “wish-list” this year.  I can’t speak for myself, but over 2,000 women have said it’s the best thing ever – so they can’t all be wrong. 618qC6zHIiL._SX522_ (1)

For the Girl Who is Impossible to Buy For

LoopyCase (range from $35 and up – use code GETLOOPY for 15% off!) One of my “must-haves” for my #momlife.

The “Prettiest” Leather Gloves you ever did see ($29.99) I tried these on in store the other day and OMG…..another one of my wish list items.  It’s one of those items that I wouldn’t necessarily buy myself, but if they came from a friend it would be a testament to how well my friend knew me. GUEST_9fed1204-92da-4d48-bfbb-ddd0e17c5ad3 Comes in several shades including a gorgeous green and blush color!


The BEST Loungewear pants – EVER. ($69 – on sale currently for 40% off with code HURRAY)  I didn’t believe that they were worth the price – but I tell ya, the name SWEATPANTS couldn’t be further from the truth.  If I could have a pair of these to wear every single night – I would.  That’s how soft and comfy they are. True to size! 485040_3367



A 4-set of the most beautiful, beloved hardcover books.  I bought this set three years ago to gift two of my favorite books of all time (Little Women and Anne of Green Gables) to my daughter as a keepsake. I gifted the remaining two (Heidi and A Little Princess) to my niece because those were my sisters’ favorite books growing up.  Not only are these books beautiful, but they can be split up and given to 4 different friends OR gifted as a lovely set to one special woman.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide – which comes from my heart and hopes that you share with me any finds that you may think I should include!  I love hearing feedback from you!




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