I was looking for a side hustle that I could tie into my blog and that would highlight my natural talent; but first I needed to figure out what my natural talent was?
After a bit of soul searching I found it; it’s shopping!! One of my friends once said; “chu une femme à cadeaux”; which translates to; I am a woman who loves gifts. I too love gifts; getting and giving.
I’ve discovered over the years that a lot of people dread the act of gift buying, because they feel pressure to find that “perfect” gift; and it ruins the whole gifting experience for them. That’s so sad.
Well I am here to help…you’re welcome! Here’s how it works; you email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me who the lucky lady or man is that will be getting a gift. I’ll send you a very none scientific quiz to fill out; don’t worry it’s short, funny and easy. It will give me an insight into who I am buying for, so that we can get them a thoughtful and personal gift. I can also make it the prettiest looking package ever!!
The more lead time the better. The more time will allow me to find the best deals and bang for your bucks.
I’ll be shopping locally, globally and online!
I am officially open for business! The next big event coming our way will be Mother’s Day; I’ll have a few pre-set gift ideas as starting points.
In addition to individual gifts, I can also help with party favors; parties are sort of my jam.
Thanks for reading!! Email me for any shopping questions; email@example.com
As children we’re taught to fear ending up on Santa’s naughty list; sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s the goal.
Why? Because Santa is watching you; so you better watch out, you better not cry and you better not pout! First of all, why is he watching me and how do I get him to stop? And secondly; I like pouting, it’s sort of my thing, lol.
This year, let’s throw caution to the wind and just say, FRIG IT!! But if we’re going to take a walk on the wild naughty side? Let’s be the best naughty version of yourselves as possible.
I’ve created this naughty bucket list as a guide…you’re welcome! Let’s see how many we can hit this holiday season.
You can’t really be naughty without a little booze; let’s face it, all of our best bad life choices started off with some sort of yummy cocktail!
I am certainly no bar tender, but when hosting an event I try to find one signature drink for my party.
I will be hosting a cocktail party in a few weeks and this is what I will be serving. Soooo I renamed this Mimosa to fit my theme; yup, you’re allowed to make shit up, especially if you are being naughty. I am naming this one Elfed Up, because if you drink too many, you will be very Elfed Up!! Lol
These are super easy to make, these are a combo of cranberry juice, orange-pineapple juice and champagne, but feel free to use whatever juice you like. And as per my champagne expert friend, Lynn, it needs to be champagne! Sparkling wine, will not do!!
Fill your champagne flute half way with champagne, then fill to the rim with your juices. Add a few frozen cranberries, they look pretty and will keep your drink cold.
The next drink is my fav on a cold night. I am going to call it Haaaatt Chocolate, in honor of my friend Staci who pronounces hot, as haaaat, lol; she’s also hot stuff so it’s fitting.
The special ingredient that makes this drink so haaaatt is Fireball Whiskey, because chocolate and cinnamon basically belong together. You can use a hot chocolate mix or a pod, then add a shot (2oz) of whiskey per glass and voilà!! Baby, it’s not so cold outside!!
Top with whipped cream or roast a few marshmallows and prepare to be merry!!
For extra naughtiness, serve in a sassy mug!
‘Tis the season for giving, here are some really smart ass gift ideas that Santa may not approve of?
I love this dirty laundry travel bag! Its practical, funny and cute! It’s from the same company that I bought my customized luggage tags, see last weeks post, the company is called Airportag.
Now I usually make my own Christmas cards, but I had to share this one!! I like funny cards and this one makes me laugh!
And since we’re talking balls, these will help you have a Blue Christmas, lol. For a fun activity, get a few friends together and hand paint some balls with naughty messages.
I bet we all have that one naughty friend…ok we know more than one, who would love hanging this stocking by their chimney with care?
So you get the idea, there are lots of funny options for anyone on your naughty list.
Even the naughty have to eat! My family has a cookie baking party every year. I sent this picture, see below, to my mom and told her we were making these. Did she flinch or tell me I was being inappropriate? Nope, she laughed and said ok!! (she is seriously the coolest mom ever!); and she is obviously on Santa’s naughty list.
But if Santa Penis cookies aren’t your thing, just make sure you make the most sinfully delicious decadent cookies ever!! Call over a few friends, drink till you’re a little Elfed Up and bake!!
If you’re bored and want to chuckle, search sexy cookies on Pinterest; karma sutra cookies?? Why???
These are the aprons that we wear to make our cookies each year. Yup, we’re a family of Ho, Ho, Ho’s!! Lol
On our bucket list is getting the maximum number of hugs and kisses possible! Don’t get all “me too” creepy; make certain your affections are welcomed, no one likes a perv!
Did you know that researchers have proven that hugs can help with stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and they can also diminish the risk of heart disease? Well it’s true, they help boost your oxytocin levels! Ok, I don’t actually know what oxytocins are? But you don’t need to know how it works in order to reap the hugging benefits.
And kissing apparently boosts your “happy hormones”; and hey, I am all for happy hormones! So make sure to hug and kiss your loved ones a bit extra this season.
This pic was too cute not to share…again! My friend/coworker and I were getting head shots done and then this happened, lol.
I had one of the designers add some mistletoe to make it Christmassy. I may have plastered her office with a bunch of posters the night before I left the US to come home for Christmas a few years ago? I figured I was probably already on Santa’s naughty list for the Rudolph incident, so what the hell?? What Rudolph incident? Keep reading.
Sometimes being naughty is way more fun than being good. Please keep in mind that there is a big different between being naughty and being mean; don’t be mean! Naughty for me is being a little mischievous and not taking yourself too seriously.
I try hard not to take myself too seriously, exhibit A: my 2017 Christmas Card when I dressed up as Rudolph; actually, I dressed up as all Santa’s reindeer.
You maybe wondering how did that get me on the naughty list? Well…Rudolph kind of got shot in the head on my card, lol.
I thought this was hilarious, there was text on the flip side that explained the image.
If you create your own Christmas cards, don’t be afraid to be silly and show some personality! Apparently my personality is a bit twisted.
Last Christmas, I found these silly reindeer glasses, I brought them to a party and people loved them; hats and games are always fun too. This year my brother has made us a giant Jenga game for Christmas Even, I can’t wait to play. Be silly! You’ll have more fun.
Qui se rassemble se ressemble!
During the holidays, as in life, you need a really solid co-conspirator; someone who will be up for all your crazy shenanigans, even if it gets them on the naughty list. When you find them, hold on to tight, they’re keepers!!
I am very fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family who are up for pretty much anything! Yes, some need a bit of coaxing, but once they commit, they are all in! Does everything always work out according to plan? Nope, but we always have fun!
I am hosting a small cocktail party in a few weeks and I have a special something planned. I will need a bit of help, so I recruited my nephew. I told him what I was planning and asked him if he was in? He said of course!! I will share the dets after the party, I don’t want to ruin the surprise. When you have a crazy idea, just go with it and see what happens.
Be a true bad ass!!
If you want to be a true bad ass this holiday season, volunteer at your local soup kitchen, pick up an extra toy when you’re doing your Christmas shopping; sign up to deliver food boxes or donate blood, hey, the blood donor clinics have free snacks!! We promise, your secret will be safe with us! We wouldn’t want to ruin your naughty reputation!
The underlying message of this post is that nothing and no one is perfect; so let it go and embrace the imperfect, half done projects and general hot mess that is life. If that gets you on anyone’s naughty list, so be it! I guess I will see you there, lol.
Stuff Your Stockings! Great stocking stuffer ideas from Santa’s helper.
Growing up, one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning was diving into my stocking to see what Santa had left me. About ten years ago “Santa” asked if she…I mean he, still needed to fill my stocking? Duh! YES!!
The truth is you’re never too old for gifts in your stocking; and it turns out, that I enjoy buying stocking stuffers almost as much as I like getting them…almost.
So here are my top 5 stocking stuffing ideas for this Christmas.
Tag Your Bags!
I travel a lot for work, as do many of my friends. The other day I was waiting patiently…ok maybe not so patiently, for my hot pink Samsonite bag at the baggage carousel. I finally spotted it coming down towards me. I got into my best baggage pick up stance, just as another woman darted in front of me and grabbed it! Turns out we had the exact same pink bag. This is exactly why I don’t have a generic black suitcase, but apparently I now need to add something unique to my hot pink bag so it stands out…more.
This was the inspiration for my first stocking stuffer idea, customized luggage tags.
I got these on Amazon, they are called: My Personal Memories and were $14.99 each.
I bought some for my staff, of course I had to get one for myself too! They come in a variety of colors. I got black, but now wishing I had gotten one of the bright colorful ones.
I went a bit rogue on customizing my tags. I did the first letter of the last names, as shown in the example, but then I wrote out the first name.
They are called Face Luggage Tags and were a bit more at $19.90. I think these are sooo cute. I’m so tempted to show you all of the ones I ordered, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise, as a few of my friends are loyal blog readers; those who aren’t loyal readers aren’t getting anything for Christmas!! Kidding, sort of. So, sadly, I can only show you the one above, it’s my friends dog.
What’s nice about these is that you have the option of printing the names and address on the back side.
You can’t stuff a stocking without a stocking!
Ok, maybe I should have starting my post with this one? If your loved ones don’t have cool stockings with their names on them, well, not to be judgy, but I am secretly judging you, and so is Santa!! Lol
But seriously, I noticed one year that my stocking was getting raggedy, the red fur was shedding all over the place, so I upgraded. My cousin, Nicole, and I now have matching stockings that we stuff for each other.
If you live in the Moncton area, check out: Made By Monique, on Facebook. She can create matching, monogrammed stockings for everyone on your list. Just hurry, Christmas is fast approaching!
So a fancy, smancy new stocking can be part of your stocking stuffing gift; just don’t forget to stuff it. Do not give anyone an empty stocking!!
My secret stocking stuffer location is Staples, yes the office supply store. When I am having a hard time thinking of what to get someone, I go to Staples and it never disappoints!
If you want to change the life of your Millennial or Gen Xer, get them a super long phone charging cord, like 10’ long. It will seriously improve their quality of life, lol.
Think about it, you’re laying in bed, watching something on YouTube or browsing on your phone and it’s charging at the same time! And you don’t have to be at the edge of your bed, because your cord is too short. You can be in the middle!!
Here are a few cord options, I would go for the pink one, obvs. These are 6’, but I highly recommend the 10 footers. They also have phone pad chargers and a bunch of other cool stuff that you need, but never think to buy for yourself. I think you will find tones of stocking stuffers for everyone on your list at Staples.
Make Christmas Memories!
This is a great ideas for everyone, but especially for men for their partner, mother or sister…
Start a new tradition of buying a new tree ornament every year and put it in their stocking. It’s thoughtful and sentimental. I try to find a funky Santa or snowman every year. This year I bought three of these jolly guys, one for me and two for gifts. If you find something you like, buy more than one. Omg he is so cute!!
My stocking stuffing strategy is to have one or two, substantial gifts, don’t fill it up with cheap crap! So one or two nice things and then, go ahead and load it up with cheap crap! Lol
If you’re giving socks and underwear, wrap it and sock it!! Socks in a sock, why not?
If you have a university student home for the holidays, get toothpaste, Mr. Noodle, deodorant…the key is to wrap each item.
For ladies…or men, pick up a few silicone gel eye patches, bath bombs and wrap em up!
All my stuffing ideas are items that I would like to receive myself; this last idea, I love giving and receiving!
If you want to test the waters with your subject before buying ask them one question; do you shop at Sephora? If the answer is yes, you are cruising down easy street!
During the holidays they offer a variety of gift packs; this one below is a Lashstach. It’s a package of a bunch of different brand together, these are a bunch of different mascaras. Sometimes they are a little smaller than regular size, but bigger than sample size.
Why is this so cool?? Because you get to try a bunch of different brands to see which you like best. Usually when you run out of mascara or other, you don’t want to gamble on another brand, just in case it’s not as good as your current fav. This gift pack let’s you try them all.
Here is another great one! This brand sells lipsticks, they go on very glossy so don’t worry if you aren’t sure if these shades will be flattering. They are glossy with a hint of color, so will be flattering on everyone. Again, it’s a great way to try a bunch of different shades.
A few years ago I gifted my bff with a black liquid liner gift set and she loved it!!! This year I bought a Benefits gift set for a coworker, we do a gift exchange; it includes a bronzer, a full size mascara and an eyebrow shadow.
If you are unsure find a sales person and tell them the coloring of the person you are buying for; fair, blonde hair, blue eyes, or olive skin with brown hair and brown eyes.
I hope one of these ideas will be helpful to you! My two key take aways are: make sure you have at least one nice gift, the others can be useful fillers. And two, wrap everything that goes in the stocking, half the fun is unwrapping and it will make the morning gifting last longer.
My next Christmas post will focus on Santa’s naughty list! Hey, sometimes being naughty is just way more fun!!
One of my many talents is shopping, lol. I can seriously shop anywhere; it’s hereditary, I come from a long line of great shoppers!
I’ve never admitted this publicly before, but I love airport shopping. And not the cute designer boutiques, no, I like the touristy shops. Hudson News and similar stores are my jam!
Is my love for tacky touristy shops due to the fact that I spend far too much time in airports? Perhaps? But I’ve found some seriously cool things over the years.
Las Vegas, Terminal 3’s Hudson News rocks!! Where else can you find Elton John’s new book, alien t-shirts that are so tacky they’re actually cool; super cute keychains, vinyl records, yes you heard me, records! Gummy bears, funky artsy greeting cards, water for your flight and a cheese & crackers??? Where??? Nowhere!
Some may be thinking, who needs a glow in the dark Area 51 alien t-shirt? It’s silly and frivolous; yup, that’s true? But I am going to buy it for my 17 year old nephew on my return trip. I’ll add it to a new pair of jeans and new Converse sneakers and bam!! I can cross him off my Christmas list!! Nerdy, quirky t-shirts are in at the moment, BTW.
You see, I think my airport shopping is really a great demonstration of my ability to multi-task and it also shows off my awesome time management skills!
The average person sees something interesting and thinks, oh cute, and walks away. But an expert shopper thinks, oh that would be a cool stocking stuffer or that would be perfect for so and so’s birthday…. in 11 months.
Now do I usually end up buying myself one of everything that I buy for others? Like last Easter when I bought my mother and cousin the softest pajamas ever made? Well yes, I do, but in my defense, I think it would have been unfair for them to have cute new matching PJs and for me to be forced to wear older, none matching, ones.
What I love about buying fun, odd things, throughout the year is that my Christmas shopping gets done early and the cost is spread out over several months. So far, I’ve avoided being that person; you know that person who ends up racking their brain trying to think of what to buy everyone on their list.
If you’re thinking of adopting my airport/touristy shopping gift strategy, here’s some advice on how to avoid a big rookie mistake. In your excitement, you will be tempted to hand out gifts to loved ones upon your arrival back home. But resist and put them away, save them for Christmas!
Think about it, what if a few weeks before Christmas, you take inventory of what you have hidden away and you realize that all your kids stocking stuffers are bought. Hmm, my love for airport shopping might not seem so silly then??
My great find today were super hero keychains. Are they silly? Yes, but they are fun, unique and are actually great quality; don’t buy anything that looks cheap or flimsy.
I bought them for a few of my girlfriends. Any girl who grew up watching Linda Carter wanted to be Wonder Women (Linda Carter played Wonder Woman on TV in the 70’s and she was fabulous!!). I’ll add them to their Christmas gifts. (Update, on my way back home, my carry on was searched and the Calgary security lady freaked out when she saw these! She wanted to know where I got them, I think she wanted me to give her one.)
I picked this moon night light up in the San Francisco airport; I think it’s super pretty! I had a two hour layover there on my way back from this last trip, just enough time to explore the shops!
Here are a few Airport Shopping Tips…from a professional.
– as mentioned above, don’t buy anything that looks cheaply made. And skip the snow globes and magnets, unless you know someone who collects them.
– airport shops have great greeting cards and honestly, when in your busy life do you have time to pleasantly browse through greeting cards? It’s amazing how easy it is to find that perfect one when you aren’t pressed for time. Like when you’re at the card store rushing through the racks for a nice engagement card, because you’re already 30 min late for the party. I buy in bulk, I think of who’s birthday coming up.
– look for items that have that “strange” factor; either it’s a strange item, in general, or it’s strange that, said item, is being sold in an airport, next to the chips. Lol, Maybe unique would be a better word? Life can be hard and at times depressing; if you find something that no one actually needs, but is fun and makes you smile, buy it!
– don’t limit yourself to airport gift shops, check out hotel and casino gift shops too, you will find the most uniquely quirky items. I was recently on a road trip and we stopped at the biggest touristy shop I’ve ever seen. It was on an Indian reservation and they had everything! My friends and I browsed around, they didn’t buy anything, but I bought the oddest thing ever. It’s a large bullet casing that’s been turned into a bottle opener. It was $6 and no tax (reservations don’t charge tax). My brother will think it’s cool! It’s a perfect stocking stuffer. This is also the sort of quirky gift that makes an awesome and memorable host or hostess gift. Buy a six pack of beer or anything that requires a bottle opener, add the bullet bottle opener and I guarantee that your host will be super excited he invited you to his party!!!
– don’t forget about your sports fan! Airports have so many team branded items to choose from; socks, hats and underwear are perfect stocking stuffers!
– To Duty Free or not Duty Free? Sooo, I have to say that besides booze, I haven’t seen any great deals at duty free. Yes, you’re saving on the tax, but items are usually at full price. I am not a fan.
Thanks for reading!! My next posts will be all about that holidays!!! Then in January, I will be sharing the results of my weight loss challenge. I started the last week in June, my goal was to lose 30 pounds by Christmas! I am soooo close to my goal and it’s only first week of November!!