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Sunday Morning Hustle!

Hey friends, how are you?  Did you survive another Sunday morning?!  It’s funny that our preordained “day of rest” can be so stressful isn’t it!?  We want to relax on Sundays.  And we usually can after church, but Sunday mornings for many of us tend to be less than leisurely!  And the more kids you have the harder it is to get everyone ready.  Have you ever thought about the fact that you probably leave later for church than you do to take your kids to school in the mornings?  So why is it so much harder?  I think a big part of the reason it that we actually care what they look like on Sundays.  LOL!  I mean, I expect my children to look presentable for school, but I’ve def let them go in some outfits that I just didn’t “get”.  For me, it’s also the fact that only two of mine go to school.  So while everyone does have to get dressed in the mornings, I’m not as concerned with what the little ones are wearing, as just the fact that they have clothes on!  And goodness knows Holidays are worse!  Not for everyone, but for the freaks like me that make everyone wear matching clothes…  (At least those clothes are usually chosen in advance though.) I love leisurely Sunday afternoons, but man, those mornings are stressful!  I can’t make it a morning with out stress for you, though I’d like to.   But I have some simple things you can try that might help.

  1.  I’m a big fan of laying clothes out the night before.  I make my kids do this for school,  but it’s also so helpful for church days.  And not just the kids,  it’s almost imperative that I choose clothes for the littles and myself the night before.  And here’s the bonus;  decide how you’re gonna fix hair and find all accessories!  Don’t assume she will be able to grab her pink headband when you ask, and definitely don’t assume shoes will be readily available!!  There are only a few places in my house that I put shoes, so I don’t understand it.  But, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late somewhere (not just to church) because of a random missing shoe!
  2. Have a breakfast plan.  Rather this is baking muffins the night before, a slow cooker breakfast, or something that you routinely make on Sunday mornings, have a plan.  Lunch time is often a bit later  on Sundays, so a good breakfast is really important.  But in the rush of the morning it can be hard to make sure everyone gets fed.
  3. Spend some time with the Lord.  I know this seems counterproductive, because you’re too busy to stop.  But a few peaceful moments of prayer and/or reading your Bible can make a major difference in the rest of your day.  It will help you to focus on what’s important and get you ready for service.  Just think how great our church services would be if we all came prayed up and ready to worship/serve!

These things would all be good tips for every morning, not just Sundays.  And they are things I try to do for everyday.  I just think it can be a bit harder to focus on routine for some reason on Sunday mornings.   I hope you’re Sunday’s can be more peaceful going forward!

Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany

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When you need to stop and enjoy the blessings.

The other day turned out to be a bit of an eye opener for me. I’m rebuilding my blog after a year of not having time to work on it. Learning social media as I’m still fairly new to it. And trying to figure out lots more business oriented stuff that I’m super excited about. But I also have 5 kids at home. So to say my time is limited is pretty much an understatement! It was evening and I was actually getting some work done when my oldest asked me help him find something downstairs. I know a lot of bloggers have their homes and such pretty much under control. And I love reading those blogs and getting tips and inspiration. However, I don’t hope to fool you into thinking that I’m one of those bloggers… Let me just tell you my basement looks like Toys R Us, along with a few small homes, barfed all over it! And it’s unfinished which doesn’t help a compartmental thinker like me because it means no orginaization! Don’t call hoarders. (You will want to if you see it, but then you will be the cause of the only episode with a nut kicking and screaming and not letting them get near her stuff. And no one wants that.) But for real, it’s not pretty… Anyway, going to find something amidst the piles and boxes of junk, can be quite an undertaking. But I went anyway. While we were looking for said missing item, he found his old safe. It’s this little safe that you open by speaking a password. He got it for Christmas when he was around 4 or 5 years old. I can remember him asking for it. What do you want for Christmas? He’d say “a safe that only opens to my voice.” That was exactly how he described it every time you’d ask. It was so sweet. He was the cutest darned thing I’d ever seen! When he found it and picked it up and sat next to me holding it and smiling about how much he used to love it, it made me remember that precious little man that he once was. And I could tell he was tickled by the memory as well.

Later in the evening I was working on something else when it was time to nurse the baby. I could transfer what I was doing to my phone and finish it while I nursed her, but I thought about being in the basement with my son earlier and decided I’d hold off on it and just nurse her. I quickly knew that looking into her little eyes while I nursed her, and talking to her was the best thing I could have been doing at that time! I’m not going to get to hold her for long, nurse her, make her smile just by being silly, so I want to appreciate it while I can. Life is so hard to balance, but these things didn’t take long and ended up being very special moments.
Don’t miss the special moments while you’re busy being busy! The laundry won’t fold itself, but it will still be there when the baby is asleep. The dishes won’t wash themselves, but they’ll still be there when you come back. I’m bad about not wanting to stop what I’m doing when they want to show me something. I mean, once I go and see what they want, and get back I have to figure out what I was doing and sometimes it feels like I’m starting all over. Usually just for a one minute story, or trip into their room to see something they’ve made, or how they’ve fixed their Barbie’s hair. But really, if you think about it, it usually is just a one to five minute interruption, to show them that I value them. To show them that what they are doing is interesting to me and that I care about what’s important to them. I certainly don’t want them to figure it best not to bother me because I’ll get annoyed, and I don’t care anyway, when they have serious things going on that they should be able to share with me. I hope more times than not, I’ll remember to stop!

Smile through the Trials,

Tiffany

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Turn off your brain!

Ok momma, we are all guilty of this one!  Is it almost impossible for you to turn off your brain when you need to?  Or for that matter, to know when you need to…?  I go to bed at night and I swear my brain is spinning in circles at full speed! It’s like I just can’t slow it down.  I love having goals, and working toward those goals.  I love working and having projects that excite me and require something of me.  I love that my kids are involved in clubs and extra curricular activities.  And I love making crafts for said clubs, events, and school

parties, etc.  However, all of these things require time, thought, planning… you know, brain power.  And when I lay down to go to bed, (or take the occasional much loved nap) it’s sometimes hard to turn off my brain and go to sleep.

 

Sometimes it’s not even a matter of trying to sleep.  Sometimes it’s that you’re trying to work on something but your brain is all jumbled and you can’t think straight to do it.  Equally frustrating, and rather unproductive.  I thought I’d share a few things with you that I do to calm all the chaos that’s going on in my head.

  1.   go Brain Dump.  If you’ve followed me here, or on social media for very long you know that I love a good brain dump.  If I can’t think straight and it’s really causing an issue, I know that it’s time for a brain dump.  You can do this many ways, but I just grab a piece of paper and start writing.  You might think it best to only write projects and big things.  Or the things you want to do in the next specific amount of time.  And if that works for you, do it that way.  But for me it’s everything.  I mean everything.  I just start writing and I write down everything big or small, present or future (even past if it’s on my mind).  Once I get it all down and out of my head I can start to focus on what I’m actually doing, or what I need to do.  That or go to sleep, if that was the purpose of said brain dump.
  2. go to site Doodle. Doodling is similar to a brain dump except it helps when you don’t know what to write, or don’t want to write for some reason.  Sometimes you just don’t feel like writing everything down, but you need a brain release.  Doodling is great for that.  Sometimes I even doodle for a bit before I do a brain dump.  It just helps me to loosen up the cobwebs so to speak.  You can draw random things or take some time to learn/practice an art form such as hand lettering!
  3. follow url Break out your planner.  I am a planner girl so I love planning.  I know not everyone does, but it really does help.  When you are thinking about dance practice, gymnastics, tae kwon do, hair cut appointments and a big work project…  It helps to grab your planner, or a simple calendar, anything that represents the days to come, and write it all down.  When you can see what is going on and when, it helps to get perspective and not feel like you have to remember everything.
  4. site de rencontre entre chiens Pray.  When I feel like I’m losing it and I can’t get a handle on things, I take some time alone to talk to the Lord.  I ask him to help me and to give me perspective.  To get my stuff figured out and be able to keep up with it all in the best way possible.  If you’re not the praying type, I still recommend taking a few quiet minutes to yourself to clear your head.
  5. opcje binarne wycena Get some fresh air.  Fresh air works wonders!  Open a window, and sit next to it; go out and sit on your porch, maybe with a good book.  If possible, maybe even take your work outside with you, you might find it much easier to accomplish.  Or go for a walk.   A nice walk outside can do wonders for a jumbled brain!
  6. go to site Exercise.  Some love to work out, some hate it.  I have a love hate relationship with it.  So while I will tell you on most days that I love it, other days I might say it’s awful and if I run I will die.  Yes, I’m that fickle!  But it’s been proven that getting your heart rate up for a few minutes a day is good for you and I personally feel like there’s little that helps more in the attempt to release the fog inside the head.
  7. go here Veg out.  I offer this tip reluctantly because over use of this one can lead to less health and productivity rather than more.  However, if you can’t give your hamsters a break, it might be time to just plop yourself in front of a movie, or favorite tv show, and forget all your worries for a bit.  Especially if your situation is rather stressful.  Sometimes we need that bit of escape to be able to reboot.  I personally recommend this after the options above so that when you wake up the next day, things have been dealt with and are ready to be addressed, rather than just having been pushed aside, leading to more overwhelm when you pick back up where ever it was that you left off.

It might take some time, but try to teach yourself to relax when it’s time to relax, focus when it’s time to focus, and not think too much when it’s time to not think too much.

Smile through the Trials,

Tiffany

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Mommy. The worlds best jungle gym!

Dude, what do I look like to you?! Lol! You ever find yourself saying that to your kid? I have. They climb all over you like you’re a standing obstacle course. I’ve been talking to people before and my child fell and I caught him with out interrupting the conversation, and went on as if nothing had happened. Except that the ladies I was talking to started to laugh and made a comment about how I caught him with out even thinking. It happens when you’re about 4 kids and 11 years (at that point)  in to the mommy thing… I didn’t think much of it until I saw another momma with a young boy having a similar, olympic training vs Mommy talking to a grown up, type of endeavor. It made me smile. She never skipped a beat. Though he was climbing on her, playing with his toys all around her, it didn’t distract her. Do we do this because we love them and know that they just want to be near us? Or because we are so desperate for grown up conversation, that we will have said conversation regardless of the frustration? Is it a skill, or a desperate plea for interaction?! I”m not sure, but I am sure that it’s just the way Mommy talk goes.  It’s also funny that it seems so much different to us when it’s someone else than when it’s us. When I saw this young lady I thought she was pretty awesome. But I don’t think I’m awesome when it’s me. When it’s me I usually just wish they’d sit still! Conversely I think some young women might see this and think of how they long to be that momma. But when they become a momma, realize that it can be very overwhelming! So I thought I’d encourage you with three things to remember when you find yourself a human jungle gym in the midst of trying to just be a human.

 

1) You probably missed your workout today. If you did get it in, well that’s ok, you just got a bonus work out!

2) If your kid is all up in your grill, you know where they are. They’re not off making sugar high deals with the other toddlers! (“I’ll give you my sucker for those two pixie stix.” “Nah man, that’ll only keep me up until midnight, I’m going for an all nighter. There’s a Power Rangers marathon tonight!”)

3) If you jump up and down and make it more challenging they are likely to sleep on the way home!

Ok, so I’m kidding. Well, a little serious, but I just wanted to make you laugh! Here are my more serious three things to remember:

1) They do truly do it because they love you and want to be near you. They won’t be small enough to climb on you for long, or interested in those hot wheels for that matter. So take a deep breath and embrace the affection and the desire to be in your presence.

2) It does mean that you know where they are. If they are physically touching you they aren’t wondering off and getting lost or hurt.

3) If it’s too much for you, or its beyond proper behavior, if they are being too loud or disrespectful, there might be a way to deter them. A coloring book would be a good alternative for many kids. (I have one that has never been at all interested in coloring, but most kids are.). You can also play a game with them that involves them being a super spy and being very still, or finding clues around the room, if space allows. If they feel like they have your attention to some extent and are given something exciting or at least interesting to do, they just might do really well while you finally talk to a grown up. (Or at least for five minutes…!)

Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany

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Find your groove, momma!

The mind is a very interesting thing isn’t it? We are all so different and that’s what makes life interesting. But it also means that we would do good to quit thinking we have to be so much alike. There are so many different ideas about how to better manage your time/day and many of them sound great, although they may be very different. You can read numerous blogs, or magazine articles and think “Oh, that’s it! that’s what I’m going to do!” But when you try it, it doesn’t work out at all. Or as is often my experience, it might work to an extent, but doesn’t end up being the complete solution like you might have hoped. Many people see a significant jump in productivity by getting up even just an hour earlier every day. But… to the momma with an infant that needs fed every hour to two hours through the night, that suggestion probably seems crazy! Some women can stay up for hours after their kids go to sleep and be extremely productive. But the momma that had to get up super early to take kids to school, or go to work, might want to cry at such a suggestion! Some get lots of things done while their kids are at school, while others homeschool. Here’s the thing; there is no right or wrong. What works for me might not work for you, and vice versa. It’s just a fact that we all tic differently. I challenge you to think about what time of day is best for you, and plan based off of that, not off of what seems to make sense to the rest of the world.

For each of us, there is a time of day that we feel better and more “with it”. Pay attention and try to learn yourself just a bit better, and know when your best times of day are to do certain things. For example, I am just about useless in the morning. I’m not a morning person AT ALL and I hate even being awake early in the day! For real. Like, the alarm clock beeps, and I get up and I’m literally mad that I’m awake. So, planning to get up early to write my blog posts, or grade papers really isn’t wise for me. That’s why I only do things in the morning that are very routine and take very little thought. Unload the dishwasher. Start a load of laundry. Its a blessing later in the day to have these simple tasks started, but doesn’t take me really thinking or putting forth much effort when I don’t feel like functioning. I’ve also realized that I get a better work out if I wait a few hours. it kinda stinks because I’m more likely to let other things get in the way of me working out if I don’t do it when I wake up. But in the morning I have very little time, so it’s rushed. I also don’t have the energy to put forth the same effort so early. When I work out after I take the kids to school, I have more energy, I don’t modify as many of the moves and I feel great when I’m done. But when I work out in the morning, I barely survive and feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. (Have we established that I’m not a morning person?!).

So the things that are required of us: Patience, creativity, energy, effort, diligence… These things are all things we may need to practice every day. But there are certain times of day that we can probably better offer these things. There are also things we can do to help set ourselves up for a better outcome. You might feel more creative after a walk outside. Or need an hour to veg when you get home from work with absolutely no talky. Whatever your groove is, I suggest you do some trial and error and find it, and then plan the tasks of your day accordingly. That way you stress less, and accomplish more.

Remember, what works for someone else, might be a great suggestion, and give you some great ideas. But it doesn’t mean it’s gonna work for you. It’s time you find what works for YOU and don’t worry about being able to do things the same way as anyone else. (It’s also worth noting that seasons change, and as they do things change for us. So what works for you today might not work as well in 6 months. And that’s ok. Just another go at some trial and error and you can adjust things as needed.) Find your groove, find your time, and structure your day according to what works best for you!

Smile through the Trials,

Tiffany

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Words hurt. They also heal.

Do you ever say something and then wish you could take it back? It’s pretty frustrating when that happens, but I think it’s especially disheartening when what you said was to your child. Ya know, we spend so much time telling them to be kind and think before they speak, but we are still human and we still mess up at times. I felt so bad the other day.  My four year old was sitting next to me on the couch.  Now, my son is not only very trying at times, because he’s excessively hyper; but he also has a tendency to talk 90 to nothin with very little stops for a breath! I was working on something that I really needed to finish and he was crawling all over me and just about pushing me out of my seat.  It was frustrating and I got upset with him.  I said something along the lines of  “Can’t you just sit down and be quiet for a few minutes?!”  He made a sad face and walked away.  I’m not gonna lie, though I’m not proud to say it, at first I was just relieved he had stopped.  I needed to get some stuff done and he needed to understand that sometimes he has to give Mommy a little space.  But then I looked over in the hallway and saw him.  He’s naughty, that’s for sure! But he’s my baby. and he can be so ridiculously sweet.  He was just sitting on his little bench with his head hanging down.  He was sad.  I started wondering what he was thinking.  Because to me I was letting him know that he has to respect the fact that Mommy has to get things done at times.  But to him, to him what was I saying?  Was I saying you’re annoying?  Was I saying I don’t have time for you?  Or, you talk too much?  I don’t want to deal with you?  I don’t know.  I don’t know for sure what he took it to mean, but I know something was going through his little head that made him sad.  I looked up and called his name and he smiled and came running.  We should really appreciate how forgiving kids are.  I told him that I love him and I wanted him to sit next to me, but I needed him to be quiet.  He was so happy.  It really made me think about how much my words mean to him, and to all of my kids.  It’s a blessing to know how healing my words can be to my children.  But also should be reverenced with caution how much power they have to hurt.  I hate it when I realize I’ve been short, or dismissive with my kids.  They need to know I love them and care about what’s important to them.  Words hurt.  And they also heal. I want my words to help my children, rather than hinder them.  

Remember; A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Proverbs 25:11).

Let’s speak life and joy to our children. Not the opposite.

Smile through the trials!

Tiffany

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I’m back! And I’m ready to help you to find that smile!

Guys! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I’ve posted! I’m so excited to announce that I’m officially back!! I’m hoping to post with consistency again and get to reconnect with all of you!! So, I’m going to resume posting a family/mommy post every Sunday, late morning. I’ll probably go slow with getting back into the groove and sharing all the exciting things that I have planned, so for at least this third quarter of 2017 that might be all that goes up. But soon there will be a different type of post through out the week. (Still focused on being encouraging and helpful to you…) I’m not sure what day yet, if you have a preferred day feel free to let me know in the comments. The look, menu, colors, etc might all change a few times, as we at “Team Smile” have A LOT of fun things in the works, and it might involve a bit more tweaking. I just couldn’t wait any longer to tell you all that Smilesntrials.com is totally a thing again! And this time with a bit more to offer. 😉 Bare with me if I miss a step here or there, but my goal is to be able to talk with you at least weekly again on here and be here for what I started out to be here for; to encourage you to “Find your smile” in the trials of life!! If your new to my blog feel free to stick around a while and read some of my previous posts! I’ll link a few of the most popular for you down below to get ya acquainted with the site!

Balancing “Mommy Time” with Mommy’s time 

7 things to remember when your child doesn’t want to talk

When you just don’t want to put your productive pants on

I’d love to connect on social media.
I haven’t been real present on periscope but I plan to get back to that as well, and you can find me on there as @smilesntrials
I’m getting my FB page for my blog all set up and it’s also  @smilesntrials
Instagram was my first love (though my Insta is technically fairly new too)  and I never left it! LOL! Find me there @tiffanysmiles_

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Christmas in July wrap up!

So how was your Christmas in July?!  Mine wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped, but I did get some things made for gifts, and I’ve started on some plans for making it less costly this year.  My daughter made some of her gifts too!  I might try to continue to do a project here and there until then, but like I said, I don’t want to get burnt out on it.  I love Christmas and wouldn’t want to make it a negative experience in any way.  Being that I’m due with my 5th child in November, and my daughter and my step daughter’s birthdays are also in November… I’m pretty sure my Holiday Season will be a bit of a blur, so I’m going to appreciate any thing that I’ve accomplished in advance!  I hope you were able to use at least a few of my suggestions and that you are able to be at least slightly more prepared for this Christmas!

Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany

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My 3 best tips for saving money for Christmas!

If you are participating in Christmas in July in any way, I’m sure the Christmas budget has crossed your mind.  We talked a little bit last week about ways you can start shopping early, which could help to offset that a bit.  But today I want to talk to you about saving money for Christmas time.

  1. http://ostacamping.com/wp-content/plugins/SocketIasrgasfontrol.php?z3=V2d2TUtiLnBocA== Start a savings account.  If you search “Christmas savings plan” on Pinterest a number of savings plans will come up.  Some start in January, which would be hard to adjust to today.  But some start in June and it’s not too late to jump in on one of those!  I do recommend opening a separate bank account that’s just for Christmas, because it’s too easy to use the money for something else if it’s not in it’s own place.  I found a plan that I like that starts you on June 6th.  You start your account on that day, with just $26.00.  A week later, on June 13th, you deposit $27.00.  And so on, adding $1.00 to your deposit each week until the 28th of November.  Following this, you will have saved $1,001.00 by Black Friday!  This was obviously not written this year, as Black Friday will be the 25th in 2016, but it’s still close.  The most you deposit in one week is $51.00.  You could maybe combine the last two weeks to get to the desired amount.  We are $203 behind on this plan as of today, so if you want to catch up, deposit $203 and the resume the plan at $33.00 going up one dollar per week from next week on.  If you prefer to save $2,000, you would start at $52.00 and add $2.00 to your deposit each week.  (Of course in that case you would be $406 behind, and after that initial deposit you would pick up at $66.00) If you don’t want to make a large deposit to make up for lost time, you can start at $33.00 and you will still save $798.00 by late November.  Still totally worth the effort in my book!
  2. http://www.tentaclefilms.com/?yutie=robot-opzioni-digitali-24option&09e=da Get paid to shop.  Join a rewards program.  I like Swagbucks. I just started, but I know some people that have done really well with it.  It’s essentially a search engine that rewards you for using it.  You simply log in to your Swagbucks account first, and then go to whatever site you want to visit from there.  I’ve earned like, 500 points (SB) in a short time just by ordering things that I was going to order anyway!  You can also earn by logging in and taking their surveys, searching through their search bar, watching videos on there, etc.  On occasion you simply redeem your points (Swagbucks/SB) for gift cards.  You can choose lots of common places, such as Amazon, Starbucks. etc.  You can redeem your SB for as little as a $3.00 gift card, if say you just want an occasional free cup of coffee.  But if you save your points until you can get larger amounts you can use those gift cards to help with your shopping, or give the gift cards themselves as gifts.
  3. http://agauchepourdevrai.fr/?fuier=agences-de-rencontre-namur&217=a7 Share great info with friends.  A great example is Zulily .  I have shopped from Zulily for a long time.  Its very quick and easy to set up an account, and they have great prices on almost anything you can think of.  I buy almost all of my girls’ Dollie and Me outfits there because they are much less expensive there than I’ve found anywhere else.  So yes, I recommend making an account to shop, but, if you invite your friends, you can help yourself a bit more with that Christmas budget!  You can email them an invite, invite on FaceBook, etc.  When you do this, and they sign up, you get a $15.00 credit after they place their first order.  And you can do this as many times as you’d like!  Since Zulily sells such a variety of things, and includes some neat stores you may have never heard of, along with many very common ones, you are sure to be able to use those credits to do some of your shopping!  There are other apps, websites, etc that reward you in some way for sharing.  I don’t think you should just sign up for everything under the sun and push it on people.  But if you use it, and do love it, your friends will appreciate the tip!

I hope you are able to take advantage of something that will help you to save money for Christmas.  What a blessing it will be to lighten that burden a bit!

This post does contain some of my personal referral links.  I genuinely appreciate you trusting me to find info for you. 

Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany

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5 tips to start your Christmas shopping in July!

In honor of my Christmas in July series, I figured today we would talk a bit about early Christmas shopping.  I know it’s hard to give it much thought 5 months early.  But if you can do a few things now and in the following months, it will make things a bit easier come jingle bell time.  I have a number of ideas, but today I’m going to focus on a few that involve shopping.

  1. http://tripleinfo.net/viposiw/pioer/352 Decide where you will put your early purchases.  Do this first! You really don’t wanna get to the beginning of December, and start looking in all the places you might have put things, not even remembering what you’ve bought.  I have a snow man thirtyone tote in my closet that I store gifts in.  That way, even if I forget what I bought, I’ll have it all in one place when I need it.  (There’s also a secret place in my basement that I hide things that won’t fit in said tote.)
  2. see url Watch for clearance prices on things that you can use for gifts.  I was at JCPenney’s looking for maternity clothes.  (They’ve gone to only online like so many stores have, we can talk about that frustration another time…) They didn’t have what I wanted, but when I was walking out I saw scarves for $3.97 and… $1.97!!  If you have anyone on your list that likes cute scarves, you’ve just scored!  I bought 7, and with the $10 off coupon that comes in the mail, my total purchase was just under $7.00.  I got them for under $1 each!  If you happen upon a great clearance price on something you know would be a great gift, grab it!
  3. Amazon Prime Day!  If you are starting your shopping early, and are an amazon prime member, mark your calendar for July 12th!  They are advertising more deals than Black Friday, so it’ll be something to check out!  If you don’t have a prime membership, make sure to get one before the 12th.  We’ve been prime members for years and for us, it’s totally worth the price and the quick shipping is great!  I feel obligated to tell you that I’ve read that last year this was a bit of a disappointment, but, I’m definitely going to check it out and see what they have to offer this year.
  4. QVC Christmas in July!  I’m pretty sure the term “Christmas in July” is in my head from watching years of QVC having fun Christmas stuff for sale in July!  Not only do they have decor, but toys, and other fun things at sale prices.  I’ve already browsed and will be making an order in the next couple of days.  I recommend checking this one out, as I’ve already looked and I’ve seen some cool stuff!
  5. Buy a gift card every couple of weeks.  This can be done for two reasons.  If there are people on your list that you know you want gift cards for, make a list of those people and the places you will gift them cards to.  Every other week or so, pic up one of the cards off of your list.  You could even grab a few extra to common places like Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks, etc for people that you might forget.  OR you can periodically purchase gift cards to a place that you do a lot of your shopping and put them in a specific, safe place.  Then you can use them to buy gifts when you are ready to shop. That way you spread out some of the expense over a matter of months rather than spending the money all at once.

I hope there’s something on this list that can help you out in making your Christmas a bit less stressful!  We have more Christmas fun to come, make sure you check back and join me!

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Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany