Te Mando Saludos de Puerto Rico: Recuerdas a Reir (Remember to Laugh) with @KevinHart4Real #ihartholidays

Happy Monday! Can you believe that the holidays are only a week away? Daniel and I have been picking out Christmas gifts for ourselves in the outlet shops of Old San Juan. Today we visited one of the small islands off of San Juan called Culebra Island. It is said to have one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you have stopped by the My Pocketful of Thoughts Facebook Page today you’ll agree after you see the picture. For today’s tip I am reminding you to laugh during your vacation.

Tip 5: Remember to laugh. In our lives we will be thrown curveballs, whether its getting on the nerves of your travel companions or getting sad news. The first thing to ask yourself: Is there anything I can do? If there is, do it. If there isn’t, do not beat yourself up. Remember to laugh. It alleviates some of the anxiety and tension that resulted from receiving the news. A few minutes of laughing and you will begin to feel better to move forward and continue to do what is needed to be done.

Since Daniel and I have gotten here to Puerto Rico we’ve received word of such sad news. The life threatening illness of Daniel’s grandfather got to us first. He passed away a few days ago. His family gathered together, while we were here, feeling a little helpless. Friday afternoon, on one of the most beautiful beaches in San Juan, a person from our tour informed us of the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, CT. Newtown is where my bosses children attend school and is also the next town over from where Daniel’s brother lives. By days end we learned of the lives take away way too early.

It’s difficult to receive news like this when you are on vacation. Our loved ones have told us to not worry about home for right now and try to enjoy the vacation. It has been easier said than done. In Mass yesterday, local children were the featured choir, which made me think of the children lost in Newtown. The beautiful green eyed little boy who sat in the pew in front of us, brought tears to my eyes. Sadness and anger, reflected in my tears. We lit candles and said prayers for Daniel’s grandfather and for the souls taken from this earth on Friday. I believe in the power of prayer and I ask that you join me now.

Dear God, 
I do not know why so many lives were taken to heaven on Friday but I know you always have good reason. I ask that you console the families and friends of those taken. I ask that you step in and help us find solutions to stop this from happening again. No more bloodshed Lord. No mas (No more).

In the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit.
Amen.

Daniel’s brother reminded us to laugh. I remind you again, today to live, laugh, and love. Hold your loved ones, tell them you love them often, live your life to the fullest and laugh til it hurts. Do not wait until tragedy strikes to start.

I leave you with another hilarious Kevin Hart holiday video to add back some laughter after a hard weekend and to put you back momentarily in a shopping mood.

Until then,

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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Spending Money for Christmas…maybe! #ihartholidays with @kevinhart4real

Hellllllllllllllo!  It’s Money Monday here on My Pocketful Of Thoughts!  We’re carrying on the theme of what to get for the people on your list this Holiday Season.  Last week I told you about how Daniel and I are giving each other the gift of time and memories in, Vacation, Take two of these and Call me in the morning.  My goal, in suggesting us to take a vacation as our Christmas gift this year was so I would not have to spend extra money.  I would pay for myself and he would pay for himself and voilà that’s our gift.  Last year I did go a bit overboard on the spending and did NOT want a repeat of that this year.

A few weeks ago, Daniel “claimed” that I reminded me that I had mentioned in passing that, if I did not have another Christmas gift for Christmas day from him, there would be hell to pay.  I do not recall stating this but then again it could be altogether possible.  I like opening something on Christmas Day and he gives the best gifts.  So Black Friday weekend, he calls me up to tell me The Samsung Galaxy S III was on sale at a few locations.  Next thing I know we’re racing down to a store in Norwalk in hopes that they’ll still have one phone left by the time we get there.  An hour and a half after getting there, I walked out with my Christmas present.  Normally I would huff and puff because I now have nothing to open on Christmas Day.  HOWEVER, because I am absolutely in love with this phone and my new carrier, Verizon Wireless, I am not complaining.  He knew because of the price, I would not buy it for myself.  Today’s tip: Buy your loved one something that they would not buy themselves because of the price tag.  If your budget does not allow it, look for alternatives in your price range.

Do you remember when you bought your car? Do you remember how every time you looked around while driving, someone was driving the same model, maybe in a different color or the exact same shade you fell in love with?  Well now that I am on Verizon, I am in tune with all things Verizon-like.  Yesterday I saw this hilarious commercial by Kevn Hart about his family wanting a real Christmas tree.  I cannot even remember if my family ever had a real Christmas tree.  Can you?

In case you need a laugh, I’ll leave you with the commercial, of course, its on Youtube! Find out what kind of tree comedian Kevin Hart prefers!

Until then,

PS. What should I get Daniel for Christmas?!

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