holiday shopping


Black Friday tips and Cyber Monday tips

Black Friday Tips Cyber Monday Tips Shopping Tips

Have you ever wondered how to navigate the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales? Well never fear! My guide on how to survive Black Friday is here; packed with Black Friday tips and Cyber Monday tips!

Black Friday is one of the most popular, and crazy, shopping days of the year. It generates large amounts of revenue for stores both online and offline. This is when merchants make over 25% of their annual sales; if not more. They come out of the red, and into the black; hence the name “Black Friday.”

So many stores offer amazing discounts on Black Friday through sales, limited time discounts, and gifts with purchase. For many, shopping on Black Friday is actually a family tradition! They think it is fun! Personally, I like to avoid the malls on Black Friday altogether. I prefer to shop online, in my fuzzy slippers, with a cup of hot cocoa by my side. I don’t do crowds. No-sir-ree!

That being said, I completely understand why many of you love to head out to the malls and shopping districts on Black Friday. You can get a ton of shopping done, grab some fabulous deals, and feel the Christmas spirit. So, if you are a seasoned Black Friday shopper, then these tips are mere entertainment for you. On the flip side, if you are venturing out on Black  Friday for the first time, I hope these tips will help you stay fresh, focused, and able to find all those great deals!

Black Friday Tips at the mall

  1. Wear a cross body handbag: You are going to be reaching for gifts and juggling bags. The last thing you need to worry about is your purse. Wear a cross body bag. Oh, and I could care less that fanny packs are allegedly back in style. Fanny packs are a cruel joke. Just say no.
  2. Wear your athleisure shoes: This is not a day for prancing around in your new sparkle pumps. Wear your Addidas sneakers, or slip on sneakers. You will be able to outrun the other vultures trying to grab the last TV, and your feet will thank you.
  3. Bring your own reusable shopping totes: You have to pay for bags anyway, why not bring your own? Your shopping bags that you bring to the supermarket have long straps you can wear over your shoulder. Free up those hands! Plus they are more comfortable then the handheld bags you pay a quarter for at the store.
  4. Eat a big breakfast and bring snacks: This isn’t ordinary shopping, this isn’t even cardio, this is intense interval training level shopping! Eat a big, hearty breakfast, and pack some snacks in your purse. Everyone is out, and you will be standing in long lines. Plus, the restaurants will be full and if you don’t have a lunch reservation you might have to wait, and wait, and wait. Is that your tummy growling? Eat big at home before you leave! Your tummy will thank you.
  5. First in, first out: Yes, this is when FIFO comes to life! See, you can use Econ in real life! Arrive before the stores open, and have a master plan. Know where you are going first to shop, second, and so on. This way you can get in, get out, and get on with your life. Let’s face it, the early bird catches the worm! (Bonus points if you count all the  cliches I just used!)

Black Friday Tips: Black Friday online shopping tips

  1. Get comfortable: Put on your fuzzy slippers, have a warm drink, and have your credit card nearby. It is time for some shopping!
  2. Check my Black Friday Sales post: My post will come out on Wednesday, so be sure to check it out for the best sales!
  3. Have a list and check it twice: Make a list with the people you need to shop for, and what you want to buy for them. As you buy each gift, check it off your list!
  4. Take a deep breath, you are not with all the crowds, and it is sooooo relaxing!
  5. Get gift ideas! Check out my Gift Guides online here.
  6. Visit the websites early: If you already know what you want to buy, place it in your shopping cart and wait for the Black Friday Sales to start. Then all you have to do is check out as soon as the deals begin! Easy peasy!

Cyber Monday tips

  1. Get your credit card ready-some of these online deals are better then the ones from Black Friday!
  2. Check out my Cyber Monday deals post, which will go live on Sunday and highlight the hottest deals on the web.
  3. Have a list ready of what you want to buy.
  4. Visit the websites early: If you already know what you want to buy, place it in your shopping cart, and wait for the Cyber Monday Deals to start. Then all you have to do is check out as soon as the deals begin!
  5. Be sure to check out my Gift Guides: They have great gift ideas for the holidays!

There you have it! These are my Black Friday tips and Cyber Monday tips to help you get the most out of all the sales and deals you will find on the biggest two shopping days of the year! Stay tuned for more gift guides this season; and be sure to check out my Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales posts! They will list the best sales and deals for all the brands and stores we love! I will be also be sending this to my subscribers, if you don’t already subscribe, scroll down to my footer and subscribe for my weekly newsletter!

I hope you enjoyed my Black Friday tips and Cyber Monday tips. Have a fabulous Black Friday and a fun Cyber Monday! Happy shopping, and stay fabulous 😉


Holiday Hostess Gifts under $75

holiday hostess gifts under $75 holiday gift guide

Holiday Hostess Gifts under $75 from top left: Holiday Giving Plate / bowls and cutting board / mini bundt cakes / holiday bottle opener set / home fragrance gift / holiday candle gift set / tea gift set

The holiday party season is about to begin! This means we all need to be prepared for those festive invitations to start rolling in. Nothing is worse, or more rude, then showing up to a holiday party empty handed; we need to arrive with creative holiday hostess gifts!

A bottle of wine or a bottle of champagne is the most boring, and expected, holiday hostess gift you can give. Not only does it show you were unprepared, and just grabbed something from your cellar, it can be deemed rude if your hostess does not drink alcohol. Yikes! Talk about a social faux-pas. For shame!

Holiday hostess gifts under $75 can turn out to be the perfect show of appreciation when you arrive at a party this season. The party hostess will appreciate the thought you put into the gift, as well as not being handed yet another bottle of wine; which s/he may not even drink.

There are a few types of holiday hostess gifts I enjoy giving when I arrive at a holiday party. I love to give gourmet food such as this mini bundt cake set or this nuts and dried fruit set. (I always make there aren’t any nut allergies before giving this one!) Candles, home fragrance, and coaster sets also make great hostess gifts for the holidays.

Holiday hostess gifts under $75

Luxurious holiday hostess gifts

I try not to think about trying to impress a party hostess with an expensive gift. If the hostess is a close family member, or one of my best friends, I tend to spend more on the gift simply because the person means a lot to me. For most parties, the perfect holiday hostess gift can be found under $75 and the hostess will love it! Plus, it is less likely the hostess will “price” the gift in his or her mind as she or he would with a bottle of wine. Cheap wine is always detected; especially if the receiver is a wine connoisseur.

What are your favorite holiday hostess gifts to give during the festive, holiday season?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


Jill Milan 4th of July sale

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From top: c/o Jill Milan: Green New Canaan Clutch / Nob Hill Bag / Shoes

Jill Milan, one of my all-time favorite handbag designers, is having a sale for the 4th of July! Starting July 3, 2014 and running through July 5, 2014, Jill Milan is offering an additional 40% off all sale prices with coupon code “BAY” at checkout. This adds up to almost 80% off retail prices on some handbags! How amazing is that!!!

All of Jill Milan’s handbags are handmade by the finest Italian artisans in Italy. The fabrics and materials are 100% vegan; which makes the handbags even more beautiful. Jill Milan’s handbags have been spotted on the red carpet and on the street in the hands of many well-loved celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Poehler, Carrie Underwood, Hailee Steinfeld, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, Bellamy Young, Laura Dern, Katie Lowes, Isla Fisher, Rachel Nichols, Rashida Jones, Stana Katic, Bryce Dallas Howard, Margot Bingham, Elizabeth Hurley, Jaime King, Caity Lotz, Ashley Jones, Nicole Gale Anderson, Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark, Fiona Gubelmann, and Countess Michelle Czernin von Chudenitz.

I am a huge fan of Jill Milan’s handbags and own four of them myself! I have my eyes on the New Canaan clutches and Hollywood Hills crossbody bags from the 4th of July sale. Which handbags from the collection are your favorite? 

Jill Milan’s 4th of July sale can be shopped at JillMilan.com. Please use coupon code “BAY” at checkout to receive an additional 40% off the sale price listed on the website. Happy shopping, and stay fabulous 😉