A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

Christmas Shopping: Holiday Discounts & Tips

Budgeting holiday gifts into the months of November and December can always be a little tricky… I thought I’d share a few fun discount resources that I’ve been taking advantage of in preparation for the season:

Have you heard of Groupon? It’s a great program where local businesses offer a HUGE discount each day for subscribers. I’ve purchased countless gift cards to my favorite restaurants, shops (even big retailers like Nordstrom Rack and Gap) and boutiques (two relaxing maternity massages, to be exact) at 50-80% off the usual price.

It’s a super cost & time-efficient way to knock out the Christmas list and to explore your home town.

Gilt selects a new group of designers daily with crazy discounts off of clothing, shoes and even vacations. I’ve purchased a favorite pair of jeans, several cute dresses and a few baby gifts from the site – and when Kevin and I took our one night Babymoon trip to Palm Springs we had purchased the hotel stay through Gilt at a killer rate.

One Kings Lane offers designer home decor and other gifts at a steal of a price. I wasn’t familiar with Melissa & Doug toys until a friend shared the brand with me (it has a heavy focus on developing fine motor skills and fits that vintage/old school quality toy feel) and now I’m scooping up a handful of these heavily discounted pieces for the new babe (even if they won’t be able to use them for a year or so…).

Ruelala is similar to Gilt it’s a clothing, shoe & home decor online boutique with big discounts. I’ve found a few cute holiday dresses here that I love!

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A few additional money-saving tips from The Knot:

Give the Gift of…You Instead of scouring the (sale) rack for something your sister won’t hate, give friends and family members a coupon good for your time or skills. Maybe your sister and her husband get free babysitting, and your mother-in-law gets lunch (which she’ll probably relish a lot more than another scarf). If you’re an accountant, offer to do your parent’s taxes for free this year. You get the idea….

Time Yourself Newsflash: The longer you linger in a store, the more moola you’ll probably spend. To avoid impulse purchases, set a time limit before you hit up the mall to hunt for gifts.

Score Free Shipping Streamline the gift-giving process this year by shopping online. Most retailers will wrap and ship your presents for you, and they often offer free shipping during the holidays (find a list at FreeShipping.org).

Never Pay Retail Before you start your holiday shopping, check RetailMeNot.com or MyBargainBuddy.com (there are so many out there) to find promotions and deals for a wide variety of retailers, ranging from Best Buy and Pottery Barn to Gap. Found the perfect gift but it’s a little out of your price range? Register it at ShoppingNotes.com, and they’ll email you when it goes on sale. (When shopping online, always be sure to google for a coupon code! Free shipping or 20% off is just a click away.)

Scan a Deal Too busy (or lazy) to comparison shop? Download the ShopSavvy or RedLaser app, and you can scan an item’s bar code to see what it costs at other stores and online. If you find a lower price, just ask the manager at your current locale to match it.

Finally, one of my own favorite secrets: Amazon and Google Shopping generally offer the best deals (or compare stores for you) so don’t forget to search both of those sites with your gift idea before purchasing!

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And there’s a round-up of a few of my favorite tips and online stores to help with gift giving over the next month… gifts are far from the reason for the season but having helpful resources can sure make the task a lot easier. Happy shopping!

Project Nursery: Inspiration Board

Project Nursery is well underway – we have four weeks (if babe decides to come on his/her due date) to button up this space and I’m all too anxious to get it finished.

The gender-neutral color palette is tan, brown and red with splashes of aqua, yellow and other bright, cheery colors. We decided to work with darker furniture since we were planning on incorporating an already owned dresser (Craigslist find) and Expedit bookshelf (Ikea). Here’s a rough idea of what I envision:

Red, Blue, Baby Blue, Green, Pastel, Orange, Terracotta, Burnt Orange, Burgundy, Rust Nursery Inspiration, Expedit, Brown Crib, Jenny Lind Changing Table, fabric decals, wallpaper decals, animals, giraffe, elephant, glider, inspiration board, stripes, yellow lamp, tan, vintage ABC poster, rocking horse, red

Nursery breakdown:

1. We were gifted this very comfy Stork Glider and in order to save that nearly-white fabric (as well as add pattern to the space) I’m hoping to create slip covers in an aqua print. That way I can pull the covers off for a quick wash should spit up or other fun liquids find their way onto the cushions.

2. A fun, bright lamp like this one from Cape Cod Brass would be a great addition.

3. I’m loving these soft pastel prints by Thibaut, Dandi and Serena & Lily – they would look lovely as curtains, bedding, fabric book pouches or as a valence in the room.

4. Back in May I made over an everyday Expedit bookshelf from Ikea by adding fabric to the backdrop, it has now found a new home in the nursery!

Nursery Inspiration, Fabric Bookcase Backdrop, Lining, DIY, handmade

5. Vintage accessories in the form of rocking horses, wood blocks and prints are timeless and full of character – I’d love to weave them into this space.

6. With so many recalls and warnings out there we chose our crib through careful consideration and after much research. This Babyletto is a 3-in-1 (grows with baby), is environmentally sound (sustainably harvested wood) and passes all safety standards (non-toxic finish, lead & phthate safe, JPMA certified and tip proof) plus it’s extra wallet-friendly (considering all of it’s features)!

7. While most of the furniture has a contemporary/clean lines look, I’d like to add this Jenny Lind changing table to mix things up. Maybe with a coat of paint?

8. The biggest dilemma of designing this room? The rug, actually. I really struggled with what pattern of rug to shop for – with our new striped wall a striped rug felt a bit over the top, and without knowing baby’s sex, patterned rugs screamed too feminine or too masculine. When I found this burnt orange/red rug on eBay by Pottery Barn, I fell in love. It was a solid, bright pop of color made of soft wool that was comfy enough to crawl around on and sturdy enough to last years. Then I was outbid of my budgeting range (and the rug is discontinued by PB) so I’m back to square one. Do let me know if you see something similar! We might have to find a more neutral option soon…

9. Animal decals on the walls would really liven up the space, Inke from the Netherlands has the neatest selection of vintage wallpaper options but I think this would be a fun DIY project too! (Thanks to Kelsey, a reader who emailed with the source!)

Animal Wall Decals, Wallpaper, Fabric

10. I love the idea of fabric storage bins to organize toys, blankets and even laundry. These animal-themed bins by 3 Sprouts over at Layla Grayce are adorable! If I can find a neat way to build my own out of canvas bags I just might take this on as a DIY project too…

And there’s the space! Let the shopping/assembling/crafting begin. Here’s a quick link to the other Project Nursery posts: Inspiring Rooms, Striping an Accent Wall and the Before Pictures.

PS Don’t forget to enter the Tiny Prints (for adorable Holiday cards and other invites/announcements) giveaway! Ends tonight!

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