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October 10, 2011

The Game Plan: New Tools to Get You Through the Holidays

I just figured out 10 days in that it’s already October. I’ve been a little busy so the fall décor in the house consists of two pumpkins (there’s nothing done to them), changing out the summer Scentsy smells for cinnamon and pumpkin and a poorly baked pumpkin bread recipe I got from Pinterest (I’m sure it’s actually good, but maybe had something to do with it.) Strangely enough, as I put up my one other decoration for Halloween, I’ve decided to skip my normal favorite time of house decorating, so I can enjoy it and mentally decorating for Christmas.

Maybe this is because I decided since I was in the closet getting out the Halloween stuff that I went ahead and opened up the Christmas boxes. Maybe it’s because I’m excited to put my kiddos in matching attire for the family photo (yep, the stores have already enticed me to take up on those early sales and get their outfits!) Maybe it’s because if I started this month, I’d actually get it all up by December. Either way, I’ve done a warp through the holidays over this weekend – including my birthday plans and a few others that come somewhere in between the two. For this purpose, I feel like I need to share a few things that have become my top three best new friends/tools for this holiday season.

1.        Loved the Amazon Wish List Toolbar.

Hopefully you already know about this one, but it is one of my favorites (literally, you can find it on my Internet browser in my “favorites” folder.) Anyhow, this is the only way I think everyone should do their shopping.  Basically once you download the “Universal Button” you can save anything you find online to your personal wish list. That list is shareable to others so they can see what you want and where to get it and vice-versa (my husband and I share ours and I also make one for the kids for the grandparents.) It’s a great way to share with your spouse your wants without taking the spoil out of buying it for yourself, putting it under the tree and then putting his name on it. It’s a must.


2.        Hooked on the beloved Pinterest.

Once you’ve been on it for five seconds, you will undertand why I think I love this site/app better than Facebook. All I can tell you is if you haven’t been on it, I don’t know if you should – first, because it’s a huge drain on time because it somehow feesl like you are doing something useful when you aren’t and two – because sometimes the site is so overloaded that you can’t get on (“No pins available” is the phrase you will see in high traffic times.) Now from my description you are really confused I’m sure, but in a nutshell, this site is the momma of all good ideas. Back in the day you may have kept a folder or your email a photo or link when you found something you like (a recipe, an outfit or a DIY idea), but never to go back again. With Pinterest, you get the best ideas in one organized place and with the flick of your finger, you can save them and share them. And then the fun begins. Trust me, you will love it, just make sure to keep a timer around to remind you that you can't spend the whole day pinning – we’ll at least you shouldn’t. Come follow me at arredmon!


3.        Spent way too much money at T-Hee Greetings.  

        I’m an online shopper. I rarely get out to shop not because I don’t like to, but it’s quicker and easier to do when you have little ones. However, it’s good to check out things in person and when you don’t know what to get someone, then it’s really hard to Google “What to get my my son’s pre-school teacher for the holidays.” So the other day I was invited by a friend to check out the store for a quick moment out of the house, I took her up on it. When I got to the store (there’s actually two in Dallas), I went crazy. The store had so many cute things), there was tons of beautiful stationery (including Vera Wang!) and best of all, most anything could be monogrammed! So of course, I got tons of ideas for gifts from everyone from my girlfriend, my co-workers and I even bought something for my husband. I also got my eyes on these adorable personalized loafers for my daughter which I’m sure will be “her” present for Christmas! Like I said, it’s nice to press “enter” to have things shipped to the house, but wait they do that too. Check out a few of my favorites! In the words of Rachel Zoe: AHHH-MAZING.


·         Personalized IPhone Cover



·         Personalized Pendant


·         Personalized Burpee (see photo)!   ·         Personalized Loafers (see photo)!

·         Vera Wang stationery - can be personalized (see photo)!


Unfortuntely, I’m still looking for my favorite gift app to keep track of all my holiday giving this year. I had one last year, but it seems to have “dissipated” from my screen, so I’m taking recommendations for any app you have used that keeps a list, your budget and photos. I’d really love to find that one that sent me alerts when you find it on sale or special discount. Now that would be amazing.

What’s your favorite holiday tool?

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