Thursday, November 29, 2018

How I Balance It All

Sharing this post now seems funny because I am at one of those points where I don’t necessarily feel like I am doing the best job of balancing it all. While I’m not going to discount that I’m able to juggle various responsibilities well, I definitely could be doing a better job with some things currently. For instance, instead of planning out all the text for blog posts in advance, this week I’ve been waking up early so that I can finish (and in some cases start) a post so that I have something to go live.

The short answer to “how can I balance it all?” is that you can’t. Inevitably one area (if not more) is going to be sacrificed, and part of juggling multiple responsibilities is learning when it is ok to do less. This is something I’ve only just recently figured out. 

In college, I stayed busy. From taking on leadership roles in my sorority and constantly bopping from meeting to meeting with that and spending hours away from campus each week getting student teaching hours at schools in the area to finding time to get my school work done, hang out with friends, and attempt to run a blog I had a lot going on. Post-grad wasn’t much difference with a full-time teaching job, taking master’s courses at night, and still trying to remain consistent on Prep In Your Step. Now, with less on my plate (albeit a full-time job, adjusting to a new city/making friends, and blogging) I finally understand that through all of those experiences juggling so many different things something was always sacrificed (usually my sleep). The balance I’ve found in Birmingham has been much better than it was in college and even in my first-year post-grad but I’m better about knowing that I can’t do it all. I wouldn’t change the sense of busy I had in college and am thankful that through those experiences I learned some important time management tips to help me better balance all that needed to be done. Now if only I could be better about putting these into practice after I get home from work and working out instead of wanting to curl up and watch Christmas movies on the couch. 

Make To-Do Lists and Prioritize

The drawer full of notebooks I stockpiled when I was younger makes a lot of sense now due to my love of making to-do list. It’s rare that I don’t have some sort of piece of paper or list going in my planner with all of the things I need to do in a day. Like a normal person I put down the big ones, but I also put down basic daily things like showering or responding to emails in an attempt to feel like I’ve accomplished more during the day and give me momentum to keep tackling the other items on the list. My friends make fun of it for me when they actually see my lists, but it works! 

Beyond just making the lists, I prioritize them as well. When writing down my to-do list in my planner, I try to treat the list as non-negotiable tasks that need to be done on a specific day. If something can wait a day or two, then that task will be written on that particular day. Within my to-do list on especially busy days sometimes I’ll number the tasks in the order it makes sense for me to accomplish them. I try to start with a couple of easy/fast tasks that I can cross off and then move onto the bigger more time-consuming to-dos. Doing this allows me to stay on track with what I want to get done meaning I am more likely to balance the different things I’m attempting to juggle.

Figure Out When (and Where) You Work Best
No matter your age the sooner you figure this out, the better. I can pretty much guarantee that your bed first thing in the morning is not the time or place where you’re going to be most productive as sad as that may be. In college, there was a particular cubicle upstairs and downstairs that. I relied on when I really need to crank things out. I even went to that downstairs library cube when I had a timed edit test for an interview stage of the job I currently work. There was something about that space that told my brain it was time to get down to business. 

As for time, I know that I am so much more productive in the morning. Because of that, I would much rather set my alarm earlier to be able to get most of my big tasks done before lunchtime and my 3:00 slump occurs. While I have learned how to force myself to work at various times and in different settings, I know that if I really need to work on something, I should plan to do it in a spot outside of my home (usually a coffee shop) in the morning. 

Get Ahead When You Can
This is where I’ve fallen behind lately. Last year out of necessity I would try to get all of my blog posts done over the weekend since I knew there would be no way I’d want to come home from a long day of teaching to sit down and write a post when all I wanted to do was shut my brain off. While I’ve done this on some weekends, lately weekends have been spent hanging out with friends, exploring Birmingham, and relaxing instead. 

I tend to feel like my life is much more together when I am working ahead (even if it’s just a day or two) so I’m hoping that I can get back in the routine of getting ahead so that I can better balance and make time for last minute things that come up. 

In college, I know this can be tricky since you constantly have things that need to be done for various classes, but even allotting yourself 20 minutes a day to get ahead when making a study guide or studying for a test can make all the difference the night before. 

Learn to Say No
Hi, my name is Dorothy, and I’m a people pleaser. Because of that, learning to say no is a CHALLENGE. I never want to disappoint anyone, and will often times go out of my way to make things easier for someone else. This often leads to me sacrificing my time and energy in unnecessary ways. Prioritize what makes you happy and say yes to those things. I promise you’ll still be invited to different things even when you’ve said “no” once. If you don’t have time, saying “yes” is only going to stress you out so avoid that reality by unapologetically saying “no” when you need to.

Set Goals
Balancing a lot of things can be overwhelming and feel like it is not worthwhile at times, especially when you’re stressed. Take time to occasionally set goals when it comes to the different things you’re doing to remind yourself that the activities you choose all have a purpose. Don’t neglect to set goals for simple things like sleeping or seeing friends as well since those things can make a difference too!
My near future goals with blogging include finishing gift guides, planning out holiday content in advance, and spending time creating new styled photos for Instagram and upcoming blog posts. All of these goals are very do-able if I set my mind to it. 

dress (wearing M, also comes in burnt orange) // green bag // hoops // watch // bracelets ( 1 & 2 ) // gold bracelet (similar)

I’d love to know what other tips y’all may have when it comes to balancing various different tasks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Gifts To Give Your Mom (or any lady on your list)

Are y’all shopped out yet? Hopefully not since I’ve only just begun with my holiday gift guides. I am doing my best to get these up in plenty of time for you to get the products shipped to you, wrapped, and sitting under the tree before the holiday rolls around. With the guides so far, I have been posting them based on the number of people who have requested them so if you are looking for a specific guide be sure to comment on this post or my Instagram!

Today’s guide is perfect for any lady on your list. Whether you’re shopping for your grandmother, in-law, aunts, or mom I am certain there is something anyone could enjoy. My mom was intrigued as to how I put together gift guides while we were together over Thanksgiving and actually watched me as I made this one. The entire time she was commenting about how much she loved each product and what a fun idea certain items were. Confirmation straight from the source that these are gifts worth giving. The only downside of that is that now I have too many ideas for her and am struggling to narrow down what I want to purchase. I am sure many of y’all have seen the meme that went around close to Mother’s Day that said “it’s hard when your mom deserves an island but you can only afford a candle.” With that in mind, I tried to include items of varying price points that show thought and are useful so that this guide is practical for any budget. 

Shopping the items is easy, just drag your mouse over the item you’re interested in and click to be taken directly to where to purchase the gift! 

What's the best gift you've given your mom? I'd love more ideas! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Step Into My Week

Coming back after a holiday is always hard especially when trying to keep track of what day it is and messing up my schedule and posting my Step Into My Week post on Tuesday instead of Monday isn’t helping with that either. However, since there were so many sales happening and I knew I needed to get my own Christmas list up before they ended it was worth the confusion to switch things around. 

Last week was really nice since I had a short week at work and was definitely excited to head out of town (for the first time aside from one night away in Auburn back in August) for the Thanksgiving holiday. I don’t know about y’all, but I love the couple of days before a trip when you’re so excited to head out of town, and you get excited about being able to pack and prepare. 

Our office was so quiet last week since most people took the full week off. I stayed put through our half day on Wednesday, and I think I was only one of four or so who did. I spent my time in the office preparing social media posts for while I would be out of the office and attempting to get ahead on what I could. Come Wednesday we were all (aka the 4 of us actually in the office) looking for something to fill our time. It was nice to be able to work uninterrupted and in a slower pace than it seems like we have been working the past few weeks. I expect another rush of busy before Christmas, but now that I have a very established routine, I’m not too worried. 

After work on Monday and Tuesday, I went to the Y and then on Tuesday night packed up so that I could leave straight from work. I also had a goal of getting all of my blog posts for the week done before heading out of town so that I wouldn’t have to work on them while I was with my family but that didn’t entirely happen (although I did make good progress). I put everything in my car Wednesday morning and decided to have my typical Starbucks Friday then since it was serving as my Friday. At noon I was out of the office and on my way to my grandparent’s house about 3 hours South of Birmingham. 

I was the first to arrive at their house and was able to eat dinner with them before the rest of my family arrived. My mom got in with Scout in tow around 6:30 and then my dad who picked up my brother and his fiancé from the airport got in a short while later. 

Thursday morning we got up, had breakfast, and hung out around my grandparent’s house before our big Thanksgiving meal. My brother and I were even able to knock out our Christmas card photo (with Scout of course) before indulging in lots of turkey and sides. After lunch, everyone took a nap while I tried to finalize some blog posts for the rest of the week/weekend. That afternoon a family friend stopped by with his family, and the festivities continued. My dad did want me to note that he and I played cornhole against my brother and his fiancé, Shannon, and we won, but at this point, I can’t even remember if that was Thursday of Friday.

Friday it was overcast, but we had plans to explore some new property of my grandparents and ended up finding the waterfall on the land. According to my grandfather we definitely didn’t take the most direct route and I’m sure there were moments when Shannon found it weird for us to be tromping through the woods wearing orange vests and hats in case there were any hunters around (she also probably thought that was a joke but any of y’all from the South know it’s not). Most of Friday afternoon was spent watching football and eating which was pretty characteristic of our break as a whole. 


Saturday my mom and I decided to go into town to see if any shops were open and wandered around a bit before coming back to the house. The main event on Saturday was the Iron Bowl which fortunately worked out in Alabama’s favor. My aunt, uncle, and cousin came over for that, and we ended our night by eating an appetizer type dinner outside on the patio before turning in for the night. 

Sunday morning, I woke up and packed my stuff in my car so that I could head back to Birmingham. I got back into town before lunch time and was able to go on a long run before heading to Trader Joes to stock up for the week. I was back from the store, showered, and in pajamas around 4:00 to start decorating our house for Christmas. Unfortunately, only one strand of lights made its way into the Christmas decoration box my mom brought me so as of right now only the bottom portion of our tree has lights. I’m planning to go to Target this week to get a few more boxes and see what other Christmas decorations catch my eye, but I’m ready for our house to look festive for the holiday season. 

I hope that y’all had a great holiday spent with family and friends!

Monday, November 26, 2018

My Christmas (and birthday) Wish List

I'm excited to clue y'all in on a little secret, Santa reads my blog. My Santa does at least. And my Santa even told me that my Christmas list was due today. I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that so many websites are having great sales today (see my favorite sale finds in this post). 

I am sure I wasn't alone when it came to having family members ask you what you want for Christmas while at home for Thanksgiving. My parents certainly kept asking for a list which can be a challenge for me since I have to come up with items to fill a Christmas and birthday list. While there are always plenty of things I want, it can be hard to figure out what to ask for during the holiday season. As I've gotten older, my lists have definitely gotten smaller, but the items on the list seem to only increase in price. For the most part, this year's list sticks to that trend. I've even given those shopping my list some choices for items which will hopefully mean there is still a sense of surprise come Christmas morning.

Recipe Box and Extra Cards
You know you’re growing up when you want a place to organize your favorite recipes. I don’t know about y’all but when I am cooking, I don’t necessarily want my computer on the kitchen counter to try to read the recipe from. I am definitely a physical copy type of person but know that a hodge podge of printed recipes would drive me crazy. A pretty, organized recipe box seems like the perfect solution. The box comes with some cards and organizers, but I know that having an extra set on hand would be convenient as I discover more meals that I enjoy making. 

Tangled Up In Blue Ring // Size 7
We all know by now that I am a big fan of any shade of blue. I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for unique rings to wear everyday and finally came across one I adore. Enter Croghan Jeweler’s Gold Bug Collection. Although they are based in Charleston and the bugs on their jewelry are representative of that area, I think this ring would be a sweet everyday piece to remind me of my time in South Carolina. What is particularly unique about this ring is that it can also be worn as a necklace by adding a chain and moving the band. Two pieces in one sounds like a win to me. 

Mark and Graham Carry on Luggage Navy // Monogram in Diamond Shape in White // 25% off + Free Shipping today with code FRIENDS
Last year I received the checked version of this suitcase and it has already served me well. With more travel on the horizon this year for friend’s weddings the carry on version seems like a practical wish list item. Although there are a number of different colors offered, I’d want mine to match which means Navy with a diamond monogram in white would be ideal. 

BHM Hat in Pink or Navy // 40% off today with code CYBERSALE40
Birmingham has definitely begun to feel like my home base and because of that I’ve loved discovering brands local to the area. Aviate is the brand that puts airport codes on hats and shirts and is based out of Birmingham. I’d love one of their hats in either navy or pink (I don’t really have a preference) to support this local brand while also adding to my seemingly non-existent hat collection.

Skinny Taste One and Done Cookbook
Here we are with the kitchen supplies again. In the same vain of the recipe box, I think a cookbook is hard to beat. I’ve tried some of the recipes from the Skinnytaste blog and really enjoyed them and immediately added this cookbook to my list when I realized it only requires one pot or pan. I can be a bit lazy when it comes to making food on weeknights and am all for being able to only dirty up one item making this cookbook seem like the perfect companion for my cooking needs. 

Ember Heat Control Mug
I specifically told my brother I wanted one of these a while back to which he responded that he was going to get his fiancé one. That definitely left me feeling a bit slighted but hopefully the subtle reminders over Thanksgiving worked and I’ll be able to keep my coffee warm without having to chug it thanks to this mug. This would be a great gift to give that person on your list that may seem to have everything since it is unique but still useful for any coffee lover. 

My first choice would be J.Crew's Chateau Parka in Italian Stadium-Cloth Wool (size 4) in Heather French Purple (on sale today for $183 with code CYBER) but if that one remains sold out I also would love to have J.Crew Factory's City Coat (size 4) in deep emerald (on sale today for $98). While I definitely have a collection of jackets in my closet, I don’t really have a fun everyday coat that I can wear. I have a plain black one but that doesn’t do much for an outfit and in the winter when it is already grey outside, I tend to want something brighter. Both of these options are adorable but I particularly love the purple and green colors of these coats (how fun is the fur on the purple one that can be removed and added back on for a different look?). If you’re in the same boat as me in noticing that the cute purple one is sold out of your size now may be a good time to remind Santa that you can call the company and they can track them down in store too ;).

Origins Feel Good Hug Bedtime Body Wrap
It’s no secret that I love my new job but the only downside is that I am on the computer at my desk a lot which leaves my shoulders and neck tense at the end of some days. This has been a good reminder to me personally to pay better attention to my posture but even that sometimes doesn’t help. When I saw this origins feel good hug bedtime body wrap I figured that could do just the trick in helping to relax my muscles at the end of the day. What I really like about this one is that it can be microwaved, it has a relaxing scent and its not shaped like your neck meaning that it could be used for other things as well. I’m thinking it would be a great, cheaper option than a massage!

And in case Santa needs a few other ideas for me, I'd love more food storage containers, a new book  I've been wanting to read, eyelash serum, a new five-minute journal, or air pods.

If you're planning to do some shopping today, then be sure to check out the other gift-related posts I've shared below!

What to get any Guy for Christmas
Favorite Big-Ticket/Investment Pieces I Own
What to Ask for for Christmas 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

What to Ask for for Christmas When You Have No Idea

I'm sure I'm not alone in having family members ask me what I want for Christmas since coming home for the Thanksgiving holiday. As I've gotten older, coming up with a Christmas list has definitely become more difficult and it seems like the price point on items I'm interested in has only increased. While I plan to share my Christmas and birthday (since it's the day after) wish list with y'all at the beginning of the week, I thought it would be fun to give you some ideas of items to put on yours first. 

Many of these items tend to fall in the practical and a little bit pricier category but I tried to get creative with what I chose to include. With so many of these products currently on sale, hopefully, this gift guide will not only help you to decide what to put on your list but also help you to shop for the people on your list. And if you're looking for gift ideas for guys, my black Friday favorites, or the best investment items I own or have been gifted I shared posts with all of those details earlier this week! 

Remember you can click directly on the items in the graphic or in the text beneath it to shop!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Best of Nordstrom's Black Friday Sale

Anyone else hanging out inside shopping some sales today? It's misty here so that is what my afternoon has looked like. Before moving on to making y'all some more great gift guides (hopefully you saw my first one for guys here) I wanted to share some of the great deals currently available on Nordstrom's site. From pieces I already own to items that could quickly become clasics this is another great sale to add to the list (and favorite items) I shared on Thursday.

If you have anything specific you're shopping for be sure to let me know! 

Favorite Big-Ticket/Investment Items I Own

Now that it’s officially Black Friday, I hope that you all are enjoying the discounted prices that so many retailers are offering currently. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably caught my stories earlier this week discussing how I’m not the biggest fan of cyber week becoming a cyber month. Since it is officially Black Friday, I am more ok with it and will definitely be shopping some of the sales I shared yesterday. And as mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m excited to have put together today’s post that features some of my favorite bigger ticket (investment) items that I’ve received either as a gift or have purchased that may be included in many of those sales.

 When it comes to master's ticket items, I tend to think long and hard about whether or not I think that they are worth the investment. For all of the items below, they definitely have been and will continue to be. If I were to break down the cost per wear of some of these items, I think we would all be shocked at how well they’ve withstood the test of time meaning that they have definitely been worthwhile items to own. Since many sales often exclude these higher priced items, I figured I would share a bit more about each piece and why I love it in case retailers decide to be extra generous and include these items. If you’re looking to build your Christmas list and are hoping to add in a few things that you could use for years that will become closet staples any of these items would be just the thing! And if you’re still not sure, I’ll be including other fun ideas for what to include on your wish list this holiday season in tomorrow’s post. 

Click directly on this items shown in the graphic to shop, or read more about why I chose each one as well as deals I've found on the item below the graphic.

20% off with the code FRIENDS

As I’ve gotten older, my Christmas list has become more and more practical. Fortunately, I get just as excited unwrapping these practical gifts as I did those top of the list items from when I’m little since I know they will receive a ton of use. I had never had suitcase type luggage of my own and always relied on our family stash in our upstairs attic at home. This was fine until I needed a suitcase to come home for a holiday and realized that because the luggage wasn’t mine it was at home. With some plans to travel last year and more plans to do so this year, my Mark and Graham Terminal Spinner suitcase has been perfect to have on hand. I love that it’s a bit more unique than a typical black suitcase and always get compliments when I travel with it. The best part may be that the inside of the suitcase is not only roomy but also lined with navy and white stripes! I’ve been eyeing the carry on  (or you can buy the set together here) version of the suitcase as well and may have to put it on my wishlist eventually so that I have a matching set. 

I found two different watch faces (here and here) similar to mine for 40% off and a strap like mine here also 40% off.

One of the most unbelievable collaborations I’ve gotten to do through my blog was the one I did around the time of my college graduation with Michele Watches. I didn’t fully expect the collaboration to be a reality until this watch showed up in the mail. I remember a few friends were with me when I picked up the package, and they made me unwrap it in front of them so they could see it too. At first, I thought I would only wear it on occasion, but since receiving it well over a year and a half ago, I’ve worn it almost every day. The square face is modern yet still classic, and the ability to change the bands has been an unexpected feature that I’ve adored since it makes it feel like I have more options to choose from. A watch had never really been on my wishlist and now I can’t imagine not having it on me at all times. 

David Yurman Bracelets
I have this one and this one.

Sticking with the jewelry trend, my David Yurman bracelets, like my Michele watch, are items I reach for daily. My first David Yurman was actually a gift to myself my sophomore of high school. I had seen them and loved the simplistic style and combination of metals and eventually saved up enough money to purchase my own. I have since added to my collection and love the layered look and variety of bracelets made by the brand. As such a timeless piece, I could see many girls categorizing a David Yurman bracelet as one of the best gifts they have received as well. 

My exact jacket available here and here. Same style as mine but a different color is 20% off here. Similar up to 50% off here and 25% off here.

While there is definitely a bit of sticker shock when you see the price of a waxed Barbour jacket for the first time, I can assure you it is worth EVERY penny. This is without a doubt one of the most worn items in my closet. I received mine for Christmas my freshman year of college (meaning I’ve had it for 5 years) and wear it constantly for almost 3 full seasons of the year. I have the Barbour Beadnell jacket in the color Sage in a US 6 and have since invested in a hood and liner for the jacket. Even with those additions, I think that if I had a quarter for every time I wear it I would be on the verge of being able to buy another one. I am actually attempting to re-wax mine for the first time myself this weekend (I meant to send it to the company since they can do repairs and rewax the jacket for $50 but don’t want to part with it currently since it is such a staple). If you’re considering purchasing a Barbour jacket, I have shared a whole guide on the brand and their jackets in this post from last year. 

Truegrit Pullover
This lookalike version is currently 35% off. Men's version for 40% off here and 20% off here.

Growing in popularity in the last few years, this was a bit of a wild card item for me to own when I first got it my junior year of college. Since then you see people in Truegrit (and Truegrit lookalike) jackets everywhere. I’ll be the first to admit it isn’t the most fashionable jacket ever, but boy is it comfy. It feels like a blanket and is the perfect thing to throw on with leggings and slippers when you feel like lounging. These come in a number of colors and styles that both girls and guys alike would live in this winter if gifted one. I have the mens version and no one can tell the difference! 

Sometimes a gift to yourself can’t be beat since you know exactly what you want. That’s how I feel about this Patagonia Puffer Jacket that I got for myself during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale this year. I have a white North Face puffer jacket that I got before my 8thgrade class trip to Washington D.C. (it’s as shocking to me as it probably is to y’all that this jacket still fits and appears to be white) and decided it was finally time for an upgrade. I chose this jacket in particular because it would be easy to put on over other jackets and can be packed up into a very tiny size. I’ve already worn it a bunch and know that I will continue to do so.

25% off here.

We may need to take a quick moment of silence for this next item since I think mine have officially bit the dust. I have quite literally worn my Frye Melissa Riding Boots into the ground (more than once too since I’ve had them re-soled). I have had my eyes peeled for a cute pair of riding boots to replace these with but can not seem to find something as classic as these and plan to replace my boots with the exact same pair. From November until March I wear these boots constantly with dresses or jeans. I’ll probably get the pair I currently have re-soled in rubber so that I can continue to wear them (even when it rains) since I love them that much. The quality of Frye’s boots is unparalleled, and I’ve been impressed by how good these boots still look despite the countless treks across campus I’ve put them through. 

Currently 35% off here.

Speaking of rain, Hunter Rain Boots and a must have for any college girl having to walk to class in the rain. Over the years I’ve come to realize that once your feet stop growing, investing in footwear that works for the weather you’re faced with and your style is a worthwhile purchase. I adore Hunter rain boots and actually have two pairs. I’ve had my taller pair (currently 33% off) since middle school and don’t wear them as often as the short, grey high-gloss pair I got in college. I am so thankful for these boots on rainy days and would highly recommend adding them to your list if you find yourself confused with which shoes to wear on especially rainy days. 

Currently up to 20% off.

I love tote bags and am under the impression that you can never really have too many. That’s a good mindset to have when trying to narrow down which Barrington Gifts St. Anne Tote print to purchase. Thanks to my indecision I now have 4 different prints of this tote. The durability and functionality of it is what keeps me coming back to it time and time again. Whether I’m carrying my laptop, magazines, and other work supplies or textbooks in college these totes only get better with age. Thanks to the customized nature I also love that you can create exactly what you want to fit your style when making this purchase! 

I warned you that I love tote bags! I received my very first Longchamp bag in eighth grade and have been a huge fan of the brand ever since. While I’ve outgrown that first medium-sized chocolate brown one I received years ago, my navy, large Le Pliage tote is the perfect bag to tote to the gym or pack in when heading out of town. The material is so durable, and the style is simplistic enough to easily be used as an accessory or luggage! 

Currently $200 off here.

I spent more time with this computer than I did with my family while in college. If that’s not a scary realization, I’m not sure what is but it’s reality. I was lucky enough to replace that first MacBook Pro I received in high school and used so much that it had to have its hard drive replaced with a newer one for my master's graduation that I hope will have an equally lengthy lifetime. From college applications, starting a blog, four years of college coursework, teaching lesson plans, graduate coursework, and the occasional Netflix binge I’ve spent a lot of time behind the screen of a Macbook and can certainly say it is worth the investment. 

If you were to make this list with items you own, what would you put on it? I’d love your ideas as I begin to form my own holiday wishlist. 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Best of Black Friday Sale Roundup

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m so glad that you chose to spend part of your day on my blog and am so thankful for your support over the years. Today I’m spending time with family at my grandparents’ house before sitting down for our big meal this afternoon. Since everyone seems to gather at different times, I figured there was no time like the present to go ahead and share a roundup of all the cyber week sales happening now as well as my favorite items from a variety of retailers. 

Since you would be scrolling for days if I picked pieces from every store offering a discount, I narrowed down sharing my top picks from the places I shop most often. If you see something, you like you can click directly on the picture in the graphic to shop. Hopefully, nothing sells out too quickly, and you’re able to snag pieces for yourself and loved ones in the midst of the sale excitement. 

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some of my favorite bigger ticket items that I’ve been gifted or purchased over the years and why I love them in case you’re on the fence about making a purchase. Now is a great time to stock up on these items in particular since discount codes tend to go further on bigger ticket items. I hope you’ll check back to see those tomorrow once you’ve recovered from your Thanksgiving meal and any shopping you may be doing tomorrow. 

Included in the graphic: 

J.Crew // Get 40% off your purchase with code TOGETHER

Loft // 40% off your purchase with code BESTWEEK

J.Crew Factory // 40-50% off with code ADD2CART

Lou and Grey // 40% off with code BESTWEEK

Barrington Gifts // Up to 20% off your purchase and frees hipping on all orders with code THANKFUL

Old Navy // 40% off your entire purchase

Other Sales Worth Shopping:

Abercrombie & Fitch // 50% off entire site + free shipping (like my favorite pullover)

Anthropologie // Extra 25% off sale items

Amazon // Special Black Friday deals of the day (like an echo dot for $20!)

ASOS // 25% off everything

Banana Republic // 50% off regularly priced items 

Bloomingdales // Save 30% on select styles + $25 off every $200 you spend

Draper James // 25% off everything with code GATHERROUND

Kate Spade // 30% off everything with code GIVECHEER

Kendra Scott // Up to 30% off everything

Mark & Graham // 20% off everything including sale plus free shipping with code FRIENDS (like my suitcase)

Moon & Lola // 30% off everything with code TGIBF

Tory Burch // 30% off $250+ with code THANKS

Waiting on Martha // 10% off any purchase with code SHOPSMALL10. 15% off any purchase of $100+ with code SHOPSMALL15. All the way to 30% off any purchase of $300 with code SHOPSMALL30.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

What To Get Any Guy For Christmas

I’m in a bit of disbelief that it is already time for holiday gift guides to start going live. I vividly remember working on my gift guide for guys last year on a Friday night in Starbucks last year that it just seems too soon. Based on y’alls responses to my Instagram posts a few weeks ago you were all very eager to start seeing gift guides as soon as possible. Personally, that kind of stressed me out since it takes me forever to do each one. It’s fun work, but it is definitely work. My goal with gift guides is always to provide you with fun ideas to inspire your shopping. In each guide, I try to include gifts that I could see myself actually giving to people on my list at a variety of different price points. 

I will confess that giving gifts is definitely one of my love languages. I adore shopping for the perfect thing to give someone that will take them by surprise, be something they genuinely enjoy and will show I put thought into it. That may explain why these take me so long! Since I do want to be transparent with y’all, as much as I love that these help you, shopping blogger’s gift guides also helps them. That means if you see something on a gift guide that I’ve posted and click on it and purchase the product I’ll receive a small commission on the item. While blogging isn’t my full-time job, having y’all shop these guides makes the time that goes into making them worthwhile. 

It seemed like the person that most people were struggling with when it came to shopping for gifts was guys which comes as no surprise to me. It makes me laugh when y’all want my input in this category though since the guys I shop for are most typically my dad, brother, and grandfather. When perusing tons of different sites to put together this first gift guide of 2018, I found tons of unique products that would be perfect for those guys but also friends, father or brother laws and more. Whether you’re shopping for someone outdoorsy, a grill master, or a child at heart, I think you’ll find gifts that go beyond what may first come to mind. 

One thing I’ve come to realize with guys though is that a lot of times practicality serves as the perfect present. My brother is totally okay with a new pair of socks, a pullover, or even a watch he can wear to work (all things I’ve given him in the past). Shockingly he was the first person I had something for this year, and while I need to add to it a bit, I honestly feel like the past few years I’ve nailed his gift meaning that hopefully, this gift guide will help you to feel that way about the guys you’re shopping for too!

I've tried to make it easy by making it so that you can click directly on the item in the image to shop. I've also included links and prices below as well as some great gifts I've given guys and my favorites from this roundup as well. 

loafers ($109) // sunglasses ($150) // cards against humanity ($25) // French press ($30)
air pods ($140) // rapid drink chiller ($30) // Barbour jacket ($400) // yeti cooler ($250)
breakfast sandwhich maker ($38) // vest ($90) // indoor golf mat ($70)  // dog breed art ($185)
leather wallet ($80) // yeti cup ($43) // fancy scrabble ($40) // bean boots ($155)
dopp kit ($55) // grey shirt ($40) // camera ($122) // nintendo ($60)
go pro ($174) // hat ($35) // true grit pullover ($135) // duffle ($95) // drone with camera ($65)
slippers ($47) // bottle opener ($22) // wireless speaker ($100)
tabletop skee ball ($29) // hugger/koozie ($30) // socks ($24) // navy and tan pullover ($89)

Last year's top gifts for guys were:
College Football Diagram // Truegrit Pullover // Drone with Camera // Daniel Wellington Watch // Yeti Cup

My top picks from this year's guide:

College Football Diagram: I think that this gift will remain one of my top picks for guys for years to come since it is personal and unique a combo that can be hard to find when shopping for guys. While it's on the pricier side, it's a piece that your guy will have forever and may give you an excuse to skip watching a game or two with him next season. If the guy you're shopping for isn't into college football, I also found the cutest dog breed version that would be a great gift too.

Stainless Steel French Press: For any coffee lover this is by far the most beautiful French Press I think I've ever seen. At $30 it's affordable and would be a practical gift that could be used time and time again. If you're looking to make it a bit nicer, gift it with an Ember Coffee Mug. If you haven't heard of these mugs before the SparkNotes version is that you can control the temperature of the coffee inside by using an app on your phone. While definitely not a necessity (I've heard microwaves do this wonderfully too) it's definitely a cool gadget to have on hand.

Wireless Headphones: At $70 these noise canceling, Bluetooth headphones sound nearly too good to be true. Fortunately, with plenty of positive reviews to back them, they seem like a very solid gift. If you're shopping for someone who is studying, traveling, or listening to music often, I think this would be a great buy.

Snoop Dog's Cookbook: From Crook to Cook: Honestly including this because I personally would like to hire Snoop Dog's creative team based on how stinking clever this is. Reading the title and synopsis of this book had me laughing so hard that I may have to purchase more than one of these for gifts. Anyone with a sense of humor would definitely find this to be a fun gift.

Tile Keychain: I'm sure that most of y'all wouldn't have to think too long before coming up with a guy who may be a little disorganized and in turn misplace his things. A Tile keychain (or three or four) would definitely help to ease his and maybe even your frustration when something is seemingly lost. This particular Tile is on sale currently and would even be a great add-on to another gift or stocking stuffer!

Best places to shop for guys:

To all of you trying to tackle the guys on your list, best of luck. I think my dad put it best when he said that everyone likes to have something they can play with on Christmas so if you're struggling to come up with something, maybe that advice helps! 

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