Archive for 2012

Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

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I must admit- I got a little lazy this year with the tree decorating. This season has been so busy and I just had no time to pick a real theme for my tree and dedicate some time to finding all the ornaments to fit it. So I basically just stuck to the classics and strung on some lights, garland, and all the old ornaments we had in our closet. But for all of you that are feeling more motivated than me, I have put together this handy "idea page" of different Christmas Trees that will be sure to inspire you. Happy decorating!

Note: For safety reasons, please do not use real candles but rather candle-inspired lights like the ones you can find by following the link above.

Black Friday Online Deals!

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This year I've decided to avoid the Black Friday crowds and shop from the comfort of my home! Who's with me? I will be adding to the list throughout the day as I find more deals. Feel free to share any deals you find in the comments or let me know of any issues with the ones that are posted. Happy shopping!

Kohl's- $15 Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent. 500 early bird specials good until 3 p.m. CST

Old Navy- Outerwear up to 50% off, jeans from $15, and nearly every other item on sale.

Gap- Entire store up to 60% off, extra 20% off with code GAPGIFT

New York & Company- Peacoats for $39, sweaters for $15, gift sets for $6 and 50-70% off of everything else. Plus free shipping on all purchases.

Victoria's Secret- Buy one get one 50% off all bras with code DOUBLEUP and $25 Pink hoodies. Free tote with $65 purchase with code FRIDAY65 and free shipping on any $50 purchase with code FREE50.

Charlotte Russe- $5 off any purchase and free shipping with $40 purchase. 20-50% off entire store.

e.l.f. Cosmetics- Buy one get one 50% off sitewide and free shipping with code BLKFRI

Express- Everything is 50% off until 12 p.m. local time

Modcloth- 50% off new items and free shipping with $50 purchase

Juicy Couture- 40% off and free shipping on all orders

Macy's- Special prices on almost every item and an extra 15% off with code TURKEY

Vera Bradley- "Bright Friday" deals and free shipping with $75 purchase

Disney Store- 20% off everything and free shipping with code THANKS

Sephora- $10 gifts valued up to $69 regular price

Ulta- Free shipping on $25 purchase with code HOLIDAY 2012. Ultra Chi for $74.96 with code 86769.

The Children's Place- 30% off site wide and free shipping no minimum purchase

Aeropostale- Everything 60% off and free shipping with $75 purchase

Nine West- 20% off site wide and free shipping on any purchase

Too Faced Cosmetics- Extra 50% off all sale items with code BLACK2012

Forever 21- Up to 50% off and free shipping over $50

Piperlime- 20% off site wide

DIY Ornaments

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Another one of my favorite Christmas traditions in my family is making a new ornament to add to the tree each year. But after awhile, everyone starts to run out of ideas and I end up on Google searching for some new DIY projects. So I've rounded up the best that I have found and made right here. As always, I would love feedback from anyone who tries out any of these projects!

"Like" The Holiday Helper? Join our brand new Facebook page!

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The Holiday Helper Facebook page has officially launched! "Like" the page to keep up to date on new posts, special holiday deals, and much more! I have some really exciting stuff planned as Christmas draws near, so don't miss out! Here is the link to the page:

Free Holiday Gift Tags

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I just wanted to start this post by letting all of you know how grateful I am for all of my loyal visitors who give me such awesome feedback. It's crazy to think I started the Holiday Helper about a month ago now, and I've already had over 130,000 friends stop by! But anyways, on to the good stuff. Due to the popularity of my Free Christmas Card Printables post, I have gotten a ton of requests to do a follow-up with free holiday gift tag printables. So here they are, enjoy!

P.S.- Make sure you download the tags from the pages I link to, not directly from here. These images are a shrunken-down size and would print out in terrible quality.

All Sorts

Living Locurto

A fun update to the blog!

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Hello! Hope everyone is having a great November so far! I promise a new post will be up within the next couple of days. To tide you over until then, I have brought some musical cheer to the Holiday Helper's page! If haven't noticed, at the top of the right hand column there is now a Spotify box with a "Play" button on it. When you press that, whatever song I have cued up at the time (right now it's Holly Jolly Christmas) will play while you browse the page! I just found out you could do this and I thought it was a pretty fun idea, so I would love some feedback to let me know if it's working properly and you all like having it there. I am not sure if you need Spotify installed to use it, since I have Spotify it definitely works fine for me. But Spotify is free and really awesome so I would recommend it anyways. I plan to change the song every few days, so check back often for new Christmas tunes!

Stocking Stuffer Ideas!

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The Holiday Helper is back! I apologize for the lack of new posts lately, work has been a bit hectic! But to make up for it, I've decided to make your lives a little less hectic with a list of stocking stuffer ideas. This list comes from years of personal experience and a little research I did online and with family and friends- so it's chock full of awesome ideas that I will be using as well. The list is sorted by adults, children, and general to keep things orderly. Enjoy!

- Candy
- $5 gift card to favorite restaurant or store
- Magazines
- Flower or plant seeds
- Slipper socks
- Puzzle books (Crossword, Sudoku, etc.)
- Rubix cube
- Scarf, mittens, hat, other winter accessories
- Bookmarks
- CD's
- DVD's
- Tickets to a concert, museum, or other show
- Pajamas
- Umbrella
- Books you recommend

- Piggy bank with "starter" penny
- Stickers
- Play dough
- Stuffed animal
- Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
- Paint set
- Ready-to-make craft sets
- Barbie dolls
- Coloring book
- Silly Bandz
- Hair clips/headbands
- Bubbles
- Pez dispenser
- Crayons or markers
- Pencils with cute designs

- Stationary
- Phone case/skin
- Nail polish
- Chapstick
- Wine stopper
- Lottery tickets
- Scented candles
- Mini tool set
- Address book
- Cookie cutters
- Magnets
- Hot chocolate or coffee in fun packaging
- Coffee mug
- Perfume
- Make-up brush set
- Reusable grocery bags
- Ear buds/headphones
- Body lotion
- Mini sewing kit
- Golf balls

Save Money on Gifts!

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I'm about to let you guys in on one of my best-kept shopping secrets. Before I buy ANYTHING online, I search for the store at a website called RetailMeNot. The site is essentially a user-submitted database of all coupon codes available at the time for any store. So say I search for Old Navy, the first thing I see is a coupon code for 20% off and free shipping. Pretty good deal, right? Once you start using the codes, you will never go back. It's addicting trying to find the best possible deal. Happy shopping!

Healthier Eating At Holiday Dinners

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Indulging during the holiday season has always been a rite of passage for me. I thought that to gain those 10 pounds in December was just a Christmas tradition, as was losing them in January as my resolution. However, thanks to the awesome folks at Eat This, Not That!, I've recently learned that there can be a happy medium between regulating every bite you eat at the holiday party and eating everything in sight. What is this happy medium you ask? Well, it turns out the answer is right in front of you on that buffet table, and it might not be what you expect.


The Holiday Helper's Christmas Music Playlist

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I used to be so conflicted during Christmas time. Do I play the cd of old classics, or more modern Christmas tunes? But then came the glorious invention of iTunes, and now I don't have to choose. So in honor of the 12 Days of Christmas, I give you the top 12 most-played songs from my Christmas Playlist. Enjoy! 

1. Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives

2. Last Christmas by The Maine

3. Let It Snow by Lena Horne

4. 12 Days of Christmas by Relient K 

5. It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas by Michael Bublé 

6. Winter Wonderland by Louis Armstrong 

7. All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey 

8. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland 

9. Santa Baby by Taylor Swift

10. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams

11. My Only Wish (This Year) by Britney Spears

12. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms

25 Free Christmas Card Printables

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The Holiday Helper knows just how expensive and aggravating getting Christmas cards made can be. Which is why I have taken the liberty of compiling a mega catalog of free printable holiday cards. Keep in mind, some of these are templates so you may have to be a bit computer savvy to be able to insert your own picture and change names/dates. Here are some instructions to help you out with that.

Amy Peterman: