What She *Really* Wants For A Gift (You might Be Surprised)!

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: In exchange for the roses of my dreams, I agreed to bring you this fun and handy post! Also, if you get blessed with roses from one of these specific links, I get a weensy bit of the money from that sale!

Tis the season for gift giving! This year I decided to do a little “independent research ” so I asked around to find out what women REALLY want for gifts from the most important people in their life for those big occasions, you know–Christmas, but also those other “biggies” like Valentine’s Day, Anniversaries, Birthdays, really anytime someone might want to treat them!

What they answered might surprise you, and for the “classic” gifts that were mentioned, they had a twist!

If you’re a frequent reader of mine, chances are good you’re a woman yourself! This is a great post for you to get inspired to ask what you *really* want for this year, or, if you’d like to be a bit more subtle, feel free to send this link to the special people in your life with a *hint hint*.

Maid Service

I mentioned before that when I asked what 1 luxury service women would choose if they had the money for it, the overwhelming majority said maid service. While that was not surprising, just how MUCH they want it really is! In fact, a huge number would love to receive even just a few visits from a maid service as a gift!

Create Memories

Another top winner was being gifted something that would create memories, or as I like to call them Experience Gifts. Many ladies would love a night or weekend away with their spouse, others wished for a getaway just them. Some wanted to go to a concert or an event with the gift giver. Time together while doing something fun was very popular.

Get Pampered

The next request on the list was to get pampered! Whether it’s a mani/pedi or a full spa day getting the chance to get away, relax, and be pampered is something many women crave.

Something Unique, That Shows You *Really* Know Her

This includes *everything* above and all the other items on the list that people came up with. There was an overall theme in or behind each item mentioned. They wanted a unique, gift that showed that the gift giver really knew and cared about them. To help you out with this, and to give you something that you can physically gift if you’d like to include one of the others as well, I’m excited to introduce you to VIVAROSES today!

When it comes to unique presents, this one tops the charts! Roses are a classic gift to give someone to show that you love them. And VIVAROSES has a bunch of classic beauties to choose from as well!

But, remember, I mentioned that most of the women aren’t necessarily *looking* for a classic gift. They want something that shows how much you know them.

For me? That would be blue roses.

I’ve had an obsession love with the color blue since the time I was a young teen. (Maybe my hair color of the past clued you into that?) So when I was planning out my wedding, I told the florist that I wanted blue roses. It was before ordering on the internet was much of a thing, but I had done searches and found photos of blue roses, but nowhere that actually sold them. She laughed at me and told me that those photos were photoshopped, and my gorgeous blue flowers didn’t exist. And so my dream died.

Until VIVAROSES. As I was browsing their site–THERE THEY WERE!!!! Gorgeous Blue Farm-Fresh Roses

and on top of that–the prices were crazy amazing. Starting at $70 for 24 roses, you can up the game and receive 100 Blue Farm-Fresh Roses!

Finally, I really did have the roses of my dreams. I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing and stunning present!

But maybe you or your lady is not *gasp*  that into blue? They actually carry a crazy amazing variety of roses from Black, to Orange, to Lavender, to Rainbow, to mixed bouquets! You would absolutely wow the lady in your life when you deliver a bouquet in her very favorite color! I would gush about how amazingly gorgeous these are, but I’ll just let the pictures in this post say a thousand words!

Go browse all the gorgeous roses on the VIVAROSES website!

Were you surprised that all of these ideas are “consumable”? Part of me was, but really I think that these days we so often want memories, experience, relaxation, and beauty–not more clutter! I also love how you can see how the different love languages and personalities weave their way through these gifts. It would be easy to see an Acts of Service really wish for Maid Service, while a Quality Time person would prefer the tickets to a concert. If you’re a Words of Affection person these gorgeous roses with a heartfelt letter would make your day!  Hopefully, this list inspires you to ask for whatever version of that is uniquely you, or inspire you to gift that to the lovely lady in your life!

Ladies, do you see the idea that you really want on this list? Leave me a comment and let me know which one it is, or if it’s not here let me know what YOU really want.

5 Ways to Make the Most of Fall with Your Family

#advertisement I received compensation from Dr. Scholl’s® to write this post. All opinions are entirely my own. #CustomFitRelief #DrScholls

Is it just me or is fall the BEST season of the year? The air is crisp, the leaves are turning gorgeous colors, and the holidays are just around the corner. Something about this time of year just makes me want to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather all the time. Maybe it’s because we’ve just come out of months of heat here in Texas, but autumn somehow makes me feel energetic and ready for anything. There are so many opportunities to get outside and enjoy the season, but most of them involve being on my feet for long periods of time.  Sadly this can be a real problem for people like me who often suffer from aching feet or pain in the lower back and knees, both of which can originate in the feet.

I have a really hard time finding shoes that offer the right amount of support for my feet so I pretty much gave up on finding shoes that would work for my feet and decided to just live with the pain. But then I found Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts.  Oh my goodness!  Who knew a cushiony little insert could make such a difference?  These things have four different layers, each serving a different purpose in supporting your feet to relieve the stress that can cause foot, knee, and lower back pain.

Dr. Scholl’s® experts in biomechanics have developed an incredible Footmapping®  Technology that evaluates arch type, pressure points, and foot length using over 2,000 pressure sensors, which then recommends the inserts that are right for you.   All I had to do was find the Custom Fit® Kiosk in my local Walmart and follow a few simple instructions to get my personalized recommendation.

Here’s how easy it is.

Step 1: Remove your shoes.

Step 2: Step on the mat.

Step 3: Touch the screen to begin.  Follow the prompts on the screen and in under 2 minutes you’ll know exactly which Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts are right for your feet.  I had no idea I had high arches, and it was great to have a custom recommendation just for my feet!

Thanks to these inserts I can truly enjoy my favorite season!  If you experience pain in your feet, knees, or back from being on your feet for long periods, give Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts a try and start moving around comfortably!  To find a Custom Fit® Kiosk near you click here.  And right now you can even get a $10 rebate at the Custom Fit® Online Rebate Center right here!

The season has so much to offer and I don’t want to miss out on any of it.  Here are some of the beautifully simple ways I like to make the most of fall with my family.

  • Take a nature walk.  This can be as simple as a trip to a local park or even a walk around the block.  No matter where you live, a new season always brings with it changes in nature that your family can enjoy together.   Slow down and really enjoy the beauty of the season.  Stop and look up at the trees and the clouds.  Keep your eyes open for acorns, pine cones, pretty leaves, or any other signs of Fall.  Gather special finds in a basket and make simple crafts out of them, or simply display them at home for a free seasonal decoration.  Need a way to get the kids interested?  Make up an age-appropriate scavenger hunt using local plants and animals and see how many you can spot.  You might even make a habit of taking an evening walk together because it’s such a pleasant way to end the day. Just being outside in the fresh air is a great way to slow down and reconnect with your family!

  • Have a family work day outside.  Outdoor chores have to be done anyway, so why not make it a fun family experience?  Turn on some music and get to work raking, gardening, pulling weeds, organizing the shed…whatever needs to be done to make your outdoor space enjoyable for the season.  Just remember to keep it fun! Let the kids rake up a big pile of leaves and jump in it (and then rake it up again, of course :).)  See who can pull the most weeds.  Make a leaf maze or obstacle course.   Keep some cups and a thermos of apple cider outside for breaks.  Snap some photos of everyone working hard and having fun!

  • Dine al-fresco.  Enjoy the results of all your hard work by eating outside.   Bundle up and enjoy a steaming bowl of soup out on the patio while the sun sets, or take your morning coffee outside and listen to the birds singing.  Here in Texas we can be outside most of the day in the fall, but if you live somewhere that’s much colder make the most of the sunshine in the middle of the day by enjoying a picnic lunch.  Having a meal outside somehow makes it feel special and memorable, so make a habit of dining outside as a family once in awhile during the pleasant autumn months before winter sets in.

  • Take advantage of local seasonal activities.  Most cities have certain activities that are only open for a few weeks every fall.  Pumpkin patches, apple-picking, hayrides, corn-mazes…these won’t be available for very long, but the memories can last a lifetime,  so check to see what’s available near you during this season.   We’ve gone to a local pumpkin patch for the last few years and my kids always look forward to spending the day running around, climbing on hay bales, and having a picnic there. And don’t forget your Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts so foot, knee, or lower back pain won’t cut your experience short.  Get clinically-proven all-day relief so you can keep moving and make the most of the season!

  • Hunt for treasures at flea markets and yard sales.  I love finding unique things that people are getting rid of and giving them a new home.  Autumn is the perfect time to spend a day at the flea market or checking out garage sales.  You might even find some perfect Christmas gifts for people who are difficult to shop for.  I have a friend whose family decided one year that they would only give each other gifts from flea markets or yard sales.  They all had so much fun Christmas shopping, and there were some unforgettable gifts that year!  My kids often want to buy gifts for people at Christmas with their own money, but they don’t usually have much money to spend.  So I love helping them find just the right thing at a garage sale that hardly costs anything.  This way they’re learning smart spending while we shop together!

What are some things you do with your family in the fall?  Share your ideas with us for making the most of the season.  Don’t let foot, knee, or lower back pain keep you from enjoying everything this beautiful time of year has to offer.  Try Custom Fit® Orthotics risk-free, with the Dr. Scholl’s® Money Back Guarantee and experience all the fun of the season pain-free!

Ways To Track and Save During the Holidays

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SaveWithHopster #CollectiveBias

The holidays should be full of joy, happiness, time with family and friends, and the creation of precious memories.

Often, though, the busyness and strain from added expenses and to-dos turn them into anything but the most wonderful time of the year. Recently I shared a post with you on how important it is to step back and realign with what really matters during this busy season.

Today I’m tackling the other half of the problem by sharing how to track and save! Once you get your holiday budget under control it’s a lot easier to enjoy the season.

First off, let’s start with the saving–because once you get a good handle on that you’ll have more money to put back into that gift budget you’re tracking!

For savings I’m sharing a great app with you that you might not already know about! It’s Hopster Mobile Rebates! One of the best ways to get more money for holiday fun is by saving on the items you already buy. You can download it here and start saving because it’s super simple to use! You just follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose your rebates from a large selection of brands

You’ll find rebates for your favorite groceries, beauty essentials, pet supplies, plus new products you’ll want to try.

Step 2: Shop at your favorite store — most of the rebates you can redeem from *any store* or you can pick from a list of your favorite retailers!

Step 3: Take a picture of your receipt showing the items you purchased–it walks you through exactly how to do it!

Step 4. Rebates will be redeemed and the cash credited to your PayPal account as soon as the redemption is validated. That means you don’t have to wait to reach a certain number or value of redeemed offers!

You can see for yourself how simple and great this is for saving! As you make your shopping list it’s so easy to hop on, scan for items you can take advantage of rebates on, and then scan in the receipt right after you put the items away! All those rebates can add up to a nice little chunk of change to roll into your holiday budget. Which brings us to the tracking part!

The best ways to track your holidays and helpful tips before you dive in!

I’ve mentioned this to you before, but it really is such a lifesaver each year! This year I’ll also cover a few things you’ll want to do in case you’ve been using this or a different system before!

Set A Budget

I know, I know, but trust me, knowing how much you *can* spend actually frees you up to enjoy it and not stress out. Sit down with whoever else is involved in the money situation in your house and come up with a budget to stick to.

(Tip: Start using Hopster and also think outside the box for ways to save on normal things during the holiday months. Maybe you can cut back on a service or plan. Take your extra savings and put it right into your holiday budget!)

Make A List & Check It Twice

Growing up and getting married and all having babies is super-ly amazing and fabulous!!! It does make for a long, long, long  Christmas list after just a few years, though! And things can get awkward when you keep buying presents, and they stop, or vice versa. This year have a pow-wow with your extended family. Often you might find that they’d prefer one family gift they all can enjoy, they just want gifts for the kids, or you might discover it actually blesses everyone the most if you no longer exchange gifts. Just like the budgeting thing, it’s far better to clarify in advance, then to be disappointed when reality strikes.

Make & Track Using a Spreadsheet

As you can see I’ve been using this system for over 5 years now because it’s that awesome! I put in everyone on my list, put in ideas for gifts before I buy them and then fill in the prices when I actually purchase them, and fill in the slots so I know what has been purchased, wrapped, and shipped for our out of state family. At the bottom I have formulas that automatically add up the totals for each column, and also show my savings.

This is super easy-peasy to create for yourself–but I’m making it even easier for you!! Here is a blank gift tracking sheet just for you!

So, to use this you’ll want to go up to where it says File at the top menu bar. Click on it then go down to “Make a Copy”  here you can name it, and save it to your drive. Then it is private to you and you can customize it for your own personal holiday tracking! If you have any questions about how to tweak it further just drop me a comment and ask!

By putting these simple steps into practice this year you’ll save money and sanity this holiday season! Don’t forget to get started by downloading the Hopster App here!