The Twelve Days of Christmas…my true love’s last Christmas! with @KevinHart4Real #ihartholidays

Happy Monday!  Did you get a lot of shopping done this weekend?  As I was running my normal errands on Sunday, I happened to stop in my local T.J.Maxx to look for some stocking stuffer ideas. It’s one of the few places to stop for gifts for everyone on your list. What is even better is the savings you get from not having to drive around to all the many labels they carry and the prices are always a huge percentage off what you would have paid had you gone to that particular store. I picked up some great ideas for my friends, family and myself.

Since there is still time, I wanted to tell you what I did for my boyfriend last year. Since I was on a tight budget in 2011, I told him I was not buying gifts for all the different occasions throughout the year…valentine’s day, birthday, anniversary, and just because. I got the idea early on in the year, that I would do 12 Days of Christmas for him. I know, I know. If I wasn’t going to buy gifts for him throughout the year, how could I pull off doing 12 Days of Christmas?!

I printed out a calendar for the month of December, a regular blank calendar print out. I started on December 14th and I wrote in possible ideas. I searched for deals. I searched for things he might like. I shopped around like my life depended on it. I did go a tiny bit over budget but it was worth it. 

Day 1 – A watch .. Ideeli is a great site for watches at reasonable prices
Day 2 – A book on photographing children full of great tips purchased from Amazon.com
Day 3 – A Coat – a wool coat from Kenneth Cole, found at a great deal on Overstock.com
Day 4 – A package of combs …purchased at Walmart … this was a gag gift, he had cut his hair really short and claimed that he didn’t own a comb and I felt every man should own a comb hair or no.
Day 5 – A package of socks purchased at Kohls
Day 6 – A watch … he really loves watches and I wanted to build up his collection… Beyond the Rack is another great site for watches and luxury items
Day 7 – A credit card scanner for his Iphone purchased for free from the company I looked into. So he could accept credit as a form of payment for his Photography clients.
Day 8 – Took him to get a massage purchased on Groupon
Day 9 – Boxers, because one can never have enough underwear purchased at Target
Day 10 – A wooden watch display case – purchased on Amazon.com
Day 11 – A watch purchased on Ideeli
Day 12 – A photography session with Sunday’s In New York; Location Grand Central purchased on a Daily Candy deal for NY.

I picked items that I knew he loved, wanted to pursue and what he needed. I threw gag gifts in to offset the cost. I picked some of my favorite sites to find RIDICULOUS deals on higher end merchandise, or else I would not be able to afford buying him all the watches. I listened to him when he spoke or showed enthusiasm about a topic and jotted the notes right on the calendar. For this type of gift giving it is smarter to start this months in advance. Starting it today can cost you more than you’re willing to spend unless you find items that fall under your budget. It does give you a jump start on next year!

It’s important that you keep the person in mind when making your lists of gifts to buy. It requires research. You cannot be like my Titi L, God knows I love her, who raids the dollar store and throws “interesting” items in a gift bag. Gag gifts should mean something. You have an aunt like that to? Have you ever gotten a gift from someone who you love but you wonder what they were thinking? Kevin Hart has an aunt like that to … hmm I wonder if my nieces and nephews react like he does when they open my gifts.

I leave you with some laughter to start your work week off and to put you in a shopping mood.

Until then,
PS: To get into some of the exclusive sites listed above just visit the Discount Shopping tab for your invite.

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Vacation, Take two of these and Call me in the morning.

photo credit: Emilio Santacoloma via photopin cc

It’s Therapeutic Thursday here on My Pocketful of Thoughts today!  Therapeutic Thursdays are reserved for all things that give you a sense of well being potential Holiday gift ideas.  Today I’m sharing with you what my boyfriend, Daniel, and I are doing for this holiday season.  Perhaps it will inspire you to think of a potential Holiday Gift for someone on YOUR list.

Throughout the year we can get extremely busy.  It’s like the saying, “If it’s not one thing it is another.”  It is great to be super busy, whether its work, pursing dreams, playing bowling, and volunteering at our church.  Sometimes I think having all these spinning plates though can be hazardous to our health.  It is important to know your body’s limit.  Daniel and myself are still learning and pushing the body’s limits to just help one more person.  It’s our gift and our curse. 

The time we do spend together is precious.  Which is why this holiday season we are giving the gift of doing absolutely nothing in a beautiful destinationIf I were a doctor I would prescribe to most of my patients a VACATION;  Take two of these and call me in the morning.  While we do need to keep moving to STAY active, we also need to drop everything regularly to make sure that the body can heal itself properly and rest.  If our cell phone is about to die, we do not try to make just one more call, right?  Ok…maybe I do but only because it guarantees a short phone call. :)   Our mind automatically starts looking for the charger as soon as the light starts flashing red.  So why not treat our bodies like we do our cell phones.  We can get a replacement if the cell stops working but we can’t trade-in for a new body if our batteries die.

What better gift is there to get, than spending quality time with our loved ones, right?  Cue in the music … why spend the money on gifts when you could spend the money on a trip that will build memories to last a lifetime. You can avoid the rush at the mall and save time from having to track down the item that seems to be on everyone’s list?  In the past, that has been my favorite gift, the gift of an activity.  We have built some great memories over the past years with those kind of gifts.  I always look back on them with love in my heart. 

One year Daniel surprised me with Broadway tickets to In the Heights during our stay in NYC.  The play was amazing, a definitely must see.  This January we used one of his Christmas gifts from me, a photography shoot class in Grand Central Station with Sundays in NY, read all about it when you’re finished here.  This year we both know what we’re getting, as we planned it early on, a vacation to Puerto Rico.  We will be doing a combination of absolutely nothing, eating, lying on the beach, sipping yummy drinks, sightseeing, and eating some more.  We owe it to our bodies to just have a time out, heal and rest.  Time outs are not just for kids you know!  If this sounds great for one of the people on your list check out the Travel Discount Page in the menu above, its full of my favorite sites on where to get deals from activities to traveling.
If you’ve done something similar in the past, drop a line in the comments section, I’m always looking for inspiration on my next gift.

Until then,
PS Wednesdays on the My Pocketful Of Thoughts Facebook Page is Where Are We Going Wednesday, the entire day shares posts full of great travel tips and things to know.  Stop by today and check out what great things you missed yesterday.

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Today’s GIVEAWAY for Cyber Tuesday!


It’s Take Charge Cyber Tuesday here on My Pocketful of Thoughts.  What?  You’ve never heard of Cyber Tuesday?  It is possible I just made it up, however, nowadays the retail industry seems to make up their own rules when it comes to holiday shopping.  Black Friday started at dinner time at some stores this year claiming that they are trying to save lives.  So in the spirit of the holiday season, I have looked for a deal to make today special!


Earlier in the month I had the pleasure of announcing the Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway that took place on their Facebook Page.  It was twenty opportunities for you to snag one of their great products for FREE!  The Rattle Rumble Push Toy was their last giveaway item this past Sunday.  Did you win?  

If you were NOT able to snag one of their twenty favorites, today is YOUR lucky day!  Today on My Pocketful of Thoughts we are teaming up with Melissa & Doug and giving ONE AWAY to a LUCKY reader!  YAY  Here’s your opportunity to cross another person off your holiday shopping list.

Just complete the steps in the rafflecopter. A winner will be announced on the My Pocketful of Thoughts FB Page and here on the blog next Tuesday.  Come back DAILY to tweet for more entries!  GOOD LUCK!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mobile User? Click here to add your entry!
The winner of this giveaway will be chosen by random.org. The prize should arrive within 15 days after the end of the contest and mailing information has been received. This is a sponsored post, but the opinions are my own! 

Until then,

PS if you’re looking where to start check out Ghost of Holiday Shopping for everything you need.

If you like what you’ve read, warm my heart and follow the blog!  Likes are great for those who don’t want to comment.    Just go to right side panel, look for FOLLOWERS and click Join This Site!      
       
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Happy Valentine’s Day Week!

It’s that time of year again, where we embrace the commercialized holiday of St. Valentine.  While February 14th is no longer recognized as the day to remember Saint Valentine, the martyred saint; his name is kept alive year after year.  We fall in love with the idea of love.  We hope that on this day, the love we give away is returned.  We look forward to the gifts, the dinner, the cards and the sudden decrease of money in our wallets. We do this all with smiles on our faces! This year let’s give this ‘Valentine’s Day Industry’ a message and not buy the flowers, chocolate, jewelry and fancy dinners.  Let’s make cards out of construction paper, and bake cookies instead!  Let’s celebrate in March and tell this money-making industry ‘WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET THIS RIDICULOUS PRICE GOUGING FIASCO CONTINUE!’

Who am I kidding?  I sent my boyfriend an email with my wishlist of potential gifts on Friday; to which he laughed.  I think that gifts should come from the heart.  However, this month I have been trying to stick to not spending any cash towards items that are not absolute needs (#NoUnnecessarySpendingFebruary).  Of course, the best sales are going on, now that the winter months are almost over, so I see so many cute things and I’m like adding things to shopping carts and then abandoning them last minute.  It really is hard.  Anyways, my whole point was to give an idea on this Soulful Sunday.  Normally I would post sales going on and places to find awesome deals despite the price hikes that Valentine’s Day brings.  However I thought back to Christmas time, and the things I got or gave and I have to say that giving the gift of making memories was at the top of my list of favorites.  Last month, my boyfriend and I used one of the Christmas gift’s I got him, A Two-Hour Photography Workshop at Grand Central (NYC) with Judith from Sundays in New York.  
                               We took the train into the city and had brunch at Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Grand Central Station.  I tried my first Bloody Mary (didn’t like it). 
We got to visit the nooks and crannies of Grand Central.  We laughed with the rest of the class as people tried to avoid the cameras.  We learned things, together.  It was an experience, a memory made to last in our book of memories.  Isn’t that what we really want anyways?  Memories to keep us warm when we’re bored in the nursing home at 93?
Simply Vera Platform Heels, Vera Wang for Kohls
Maybe I’m wrong, though :)  Comment below and let me know what you’re looking to get for Valentine’s Day, what your favorite Valentine’s gift has been thus far OR let my boyfriend know how great I look in these shoes!  
Until then,
djRelat7

Where to Shop…Parte Dos!

With all the deal sites out there, we no longer have to be strapped down to a particular day like Cyber Monday to find the right gift for the holidays.  My only tip to you is that if you see something you like or that screams ‘buy it for danny’ (fill in a name), then get it RIGHT AWAY.  Do not wait and think about it.  I have done that on a couple of deals and then I decide let’s do it, and then its SOLD OUT.  Check out my PS in The Giving Season is Upon Us…where to shop for your holiday gifts for you and for everyone on your list! for how to handle seeing a lower price after you’ve made your purchase.  Keeping that in mind I give you another batch of sites to find the deals!
Ideeli – I have purchased quite a few things over the last few years from this site.  It is by far one of my favorites!  Here you can find clothes for women, men and children.  Shoes, jewelry, outerwear, high designer items, new designer items, travel, houseware, experiences and they are always adding more things.  YOUR INVITATION  
Ruelala – This is a site I recently discovered.  This covers items for men, women, kids, clothes, accessories, footwear, home, wine, gourmet food, local services, travel and special fixes :)  This site has a nice feature 9.95 covers shipping for a month.  YOUR INVITATION 
Groupon –   This site offers tons of great things that are in your neck of the woods.  Support your local businesses in your area while making memories to boot and not hurting your wallet.  YOUR INVITATION
LivingSocial – This is another great site for getting to know your local businesses and if you buy a deal, refer it and 3 friends also get it, yours is free!  How awesome is that!
Vacations To Go –  Get daily deals to vacations of all price ranges, including river cruises, hotels and resorts, escorted tours, and African Safaris.  Feel free to email Alan any inquiries, he’s emailed me back on numerous occasions.
Until then, Happy Shopping,
PS: Look for the Discount Shopping Page!

The Giving Season is Upon Us…where to shop for your holiday gifts for you and for everyone on your list!

While Cyber Monday has come and gone, fear not there are plenty of sites to get daily deals for the best gifts for your friends and family. Some deals are so good you might just want to get it for yourself!

Daily Candy –  Here you will get an email of articles of things to read that come from their site. Topics range from fashion, beauty, food & drink, home & garden, travel, culture, gift ideas and deals. I am signed up on their New York version but many of the major cities are represented; just pick the closest to you!  The nicer feature is the deals that you get from different vendors in the area that you live in. Be creative and pick up some deals to create memories with various experiences around town. I have actually picked up quite a few deals on here, including Christmas gifts!

Gilt.com – Invitation only website that has a few categories to choose from…clothes, accessories, jewelry, shoes, luggage, beauty products, men women and children …all higher end goods at deep discount prices, don’t have an invitation? But of course you do :) YOUR INVITATION

Gilt Taste – Get the goods on meats, seafood, cheeses, prepared goods, pantry items, sweets, produce, beverages, wine and equipment…

Gilt City – Another great website that gives you deals for your city…choose your local and enjoy exclusive dining experience, sold-out show tickets, luxury salons, spas, cool shops…etc YOUR INVITATION

PARK & BOND – A site for the fellas; clothing, accessories, footwear, designers, vintage watches :)

JETSetter – Luxury Travel Deals – YOUR INVITATION

Portero Luxury – Premium Pre-Owned Prized Bags, Totes, Scarves, Wristwatches, wallets, cluthes and other things including vintage. You can also sell items on this site. Does not require an invitation.

Lot 18 – An invitation only Wine Store that has recently added gourmet items and experiences.  YOUR INVITATION

Snique Away – An invitation only Discount Travel Site YOUR INVITATION

Open Sky – Tailored Shopping by creating a team of celebrities that recommend their favorite things and how to get it at a discount. YOUR INVITATION

This is just the tip of the iceberg!  Stay tuned to more places to shop for yourself and others this holiday season and into the next year.
Until then, Happy Shopping!

PS  If you happened to notice that Cyber Monday seemed to extend for the entire week and you feel like you should wait for a better price, don’t.  I have made several holiday gift buys over the last few weeks only to find it at a lower price the next day.  Check out the return policy of where you purchased the item.  Some places will give back a price difference after a certain amount of days, typically seven.  However some vendors have strict no price difference policies.  If you run across the latter, simply contact their customer service.  Let them know you just purchased an item that has appeared at a lower price than what you purchased it at.  Ask them what is the best way to go about getting the price difference.  Be clear and let them know that you are aware that they do not issue price difference refunds for items purchased when the price drops but that you were wondering if there was an easier way than returning and repurchasing.  You would be surprised how accommodating vendors can be.  If they happen to be a stickler for their policies than re-buy at the sale price and return the one at the higher price.Good Luck and feel free to share your story!

The Perfect Gift for Him OR Her!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, its that MEN enjoy the SPA as much as the ladies do!  Why wouldn’t they?  A massage is a great way to loosen a body hurting from tension.  It has health and mental benefits.  Add to the list all the range of services spas provide and you are a step closer to heaven;  Even if it only lasts a few hours.


SpaFinder is a site to find deals on your local spas and give a lucky recipient a gift certificate!  Remember to add yourself to the list :)

Until then
djrelat7