6 Ways to Save Money on Christmas Presents

Thursday, November 30, 2017

While I was putting together this year’s gift guides I spent a lot of time thinking about how much you could save on each of those items. I tried to put a few tips in with the descriptions, but this topic really deserves its own post. For those of you who don’t know, my degree is in finance and my full-time gig is a cost and schedule analyst. I’ve always been thrifty and I’ve kept my own detailed weekly budget for years. So yeah, I’m all about saving that money. And that’s why I wanted to share these tips today. The holidays can be expensive, but it can also be manageable.

The six tips listed below are how I keep my spending as low as possible while still giving quality Christmas presents to friends and family.

1 | Plan Ahead
One of the best ways to save money on Christmas presents is to plan ahead. Make a list of everyone that you need to buy for and start thinking of gift ideas. Once you know what you’re going to buy, you can start looking for deals. By planning ahead, you’ll have plenty of time to wait for sales or price drops. On the other hand, if you wait until last minute you’ll be stuck paying whatever the price is at that time.

Having your list done early will also allow you to think about your budget vs. what each item costs. You can quickly estimate the cost of your list and decide if it fits within your budget or if you need to think of a few cheaper ideas.

2 | Track Your Spending
Speaking of budgets, I highly recommend tracking how much money you spend on gifts. They can add up quickly and bust you budget before you even realize what you’ve spent. I track my spending on a spreadsheet, but this can easily be done on paper or whatever works best for you. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a running total what how much money you’ve spent so far.

3 | Use Coupon Codes
Always google the shop name plus “coupon code” before checking out to see if any additional savings are available. RetailMeNot is probably the most popular coupon code site, but I like to check a few additional sites when searching.

You can also search eBay for coupon codes. Did you know that was a thing? A lot of the times you can find codes for like 20%-off for only 99 cents. Depending on how much you’re spending, that can end up saving you a lot of money. I’ve done this a few times and never had trouble with the codes, so I feel like it’s pretty legit.

Lastly, don’t forget to check the company’s social media. Sometimes companies will share coupon codes on their Facebook pages or Instagram accounts.

4 | Follow Hip2Save
Hip2Save has saved me so much money on Christmas gifts over the years. Based on the comments I’ve read over there, they’ve helped a lot of other people too. Deals are posted constantly and of course, they can expire or sell out at any time so it’s best to keep an eye on it throughout the day. If that’s not possible for your schedule, you can still check in the morning or at night and see which deals are still good. There’s usually plenty of sales still going on and lots of ways to save.

This is seriously my favorite way to buy anything from Shutterfly. They always post the codes for free items or remind you to check your email for $20 off $20 coupons sent from certain companies (like Pampers or Ibotta).

5 | Sign Up for Ebates
Ebates won’t save you money, but it will help you earn back some of the money that you spent. I forget to use it half of the time and don’t do a ton of online shopping other than Amazon, but I’ve still managed to earn $265 cash back so far. If you don’t currently have an Ebates account, you can use this link to sign up. You’ll get a $10 bonus after your first purchase! Seriously, it’s so easy to use!

6 | Points, Points, Points
First, let’s talk credit card points. I use my credit card for everything and pay it off every month. I know that system doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for me and I earn a lot of points that way. Rather than cashing them out randomly, I like to use some at the end of the year to order gift cards as stocking stuffers or use them to buy presents. Because I pay my card off every month, I don’t pay interest, so it’s pretty much free money.

Now let’s talk fuel points. Depending on where you live and what grocery store you use, you can earn fuel points for money off at the pump. For example, we’re in the Phoenix area and shop at Fry’s (aka Kroger). They give you 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 you spend. BUT, they offer 2X points on gift cards. So if you buy a $100 gift card, you’ll get 20 cents off per gallon next time you fill up (up to 35 gal). SOOOO, if you know you are going to buy gifts from a certain store, buy a gift card and earn the fuel points. Just make sure you’re actually going to spend the gift card, you don’t want to get stuck with a bunch of extra cards.

So those are my top six tips for saving money on Christmas presents. I hope you find them helpful and that they save you a bit of money this holiday season.

Do you have any other tips for saving money on Christmas presents?

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2017 Gift Guides: Gifts for Her

Monday, November 27, 2017

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I’ve made pretty good progress over the past couple of weeks, but still have more to do. I know some people don’t start shopping until like December 23rd, but I like to get all of my gift shopping done early, so I’m not as stressed out. I mentioned in my last post that I keep a detailed spreadsheet of gifts and that definitely helps me stay organized. Last week I shared my Gift Guide: Gifts for Him, so today I’m sharing my Gifts for Her ideas.

If you’re looking for gift ideas for the ladies in your life, I’m here to help you out! Some of these items are gifts I’ve given in the past and couple of these are what I’m gifting this year. The rest are just things I want for myself and gifts that I think most women would like.

*This post contains some affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no additional cost to you.

1 | Instant Pot
This is definitely the hottest kitchen appliance of the year. I already know that my mom is getting me one for Christmas and I’m so excited! If you have one, please leave any tips, tricks or favorite recipes in the comments! For Black Friday, the DUO60 model was on sale at a few places for around $80. Obviously that doesn’t help you now, but you should still be able to find a deal before Christmas. Right now it’s on Amazon for $80 (they’re normally around $100).

2 | Craft Kits
Craft Kits aren’t just for kids. There are a lot of fun ones for adults now too! A couple weeks ago I shared this macramé kit and I still have an embroidery kit waiting for me to start. Honestly, there are so many fun options to choose from – tassel necklaces, felt succulents, weaving loom, thread bowls…just to name a few! Most of these kits are under $20 and all of the supplies for the project are included! It’s such an easy way to encourage an afternoon of creativity.

3 | Infuser Water Bottle
Adam got me an infuser water bottle for Christmas last year and I still use it every day. I usually just put a wedge of lemon in mine, but there are so many other options. I swear just adding a little fruit flavor makes me drink more water throughout the day. The one he bought me was from Target and is no longer available, but this one from Amazon looks similar. My previous bottle had the infuser at the top, like most, but the one Adam got me has the infuser at the bottom and I like it more (the flavor lasts longer).

4 | Herb Garden/Raised Planter
This idea came to me while I was talking to my mom on the phone a couple nights ago. We were talking about our herb and veggie gardens. She was saying she wants to plant more next year and I was telling her about a raised planter that I bought. She mentioned that she would love one of those and I immediately thought CHRISTMAS PRESENT! I bought this one from Amazon months ago and finally put it together recently. It’s less than $30 and is perfect for a few plants. I saw a couple pictures in the reviews where people had bought multiples and set up their entire garden that way. That would definitely be easier on the knees and back!

5 | Rifle Paper Co. Notebooks
In my opinion, you can never have too many pretty notebooks. They are great for making lists, taking notes, or even starting a journal. I love the patterns from Rifle Paper Co. (I have their travel journal), so it’s no surprise that I was immediately drawn to this set of three notebooks. I also love this Citrus Floral shopping list pad. It would make a cute stocking stuffer!

6 | Treat Yo’ Self Gift Basket
Named after some of my favorite Parks and Rec episodes (see clip here), the Treat Yo’ Self gift basket is one of my go-to gifts. I’m making one for my mom and one for my aunt this year. I usually include things like soaps, bubble bath, moisturizing masks, konjac sponges, nail polish, candles, essential oils, lotion, chocolates, etc., but the contents definitely depend on the person. I like to include quality products (please don’t gift one of those cheap pre-made ones from Wal-Mart), but I can usually find everything on sale. This is one of those gifts that looks expensive, but doesn’t have to be expensive. Check the Ulta clearance section, TJ MAXX, the farmers market for local/handmade and of course shop the sales. 

7 | Sony Alpha a6000
This gift comes with a hefty price tag, but if you’re looking for a big ticket item, this is it! I bought this camera for myself before I left on my last trip and I absolutely love it. It takes amazing pictures and it so much lighter and smaller than my big DSLR. The camera also wirelessly connects to your phone, so you can review/post pictures quickly. I used that feature SO much while we were on our trip.

If you are thinking about buying this came be sure to check out this bundle. When I bought mine the bundle was only a few dollars more, but it includes a memory card, 2 extra batteries, and lots of other stuff. It’s sold by a third party (but fulfilled by Amazon), so I didn’t have to pay tax on it like I would have if I’d bought just the camera. So I ended up saving money plus getting the extras! Anyway, if you’re thinking about buying someone a camera, I can’t recommend this one enough.

8 | Pet Portrait
I want a portrait of Ringo, Abby, and Jelly SO bad! I’m probably going to order one for myself after the holidays. I don’t know if I want one painting of all three dogs together or three separate paintings. Anyway, as you can tell, this would be a great gift for any animal lover. There are some amazing artists on Etsy that offer pet portraits in all styles and price points. This shop’s watercolor portraits are so good and reasonably priced (although you’ll need to order soon). I also like this shop’s 4”x4” wood block pet paintings.

9 | Photo Book
Every year I get my mom a photobook of our travels. Right now I’m working on one for our Scotland and Ireland trip. There are a bunch of different sites you can use to make photobooks, but Mixbook is my favorite. I’ve been using them for years and I’ve always been really happy with the quality. They have sales pretty often, so make sure you wait for one to place your order.

10 | Tickets
This gift idea was also on my Gifts for Him list, but it’s one of my favorite gift ideas so I’m including it here too! Anyway, instead of buying things, consider buying an experience instead. Tickets for an upcoming concert, play or musical, sporting event, museum passes, food or drink festival, etc. is such a fun gift idea. If the event is a few month away, you could wrap the tickets with a CD, band t-shirt, or something related that they can enjoy right away. Oh, and movie tickets are a great stocking stuffer idea!

What are you buying for the ladies in your life this holiday season? I’m always looking for more ideas, so leave your gift suggestions in the comments!

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Gifts for Him


2017 Gift Guides: Gifts for Him

Monday, November 20, 2017

I take gift giving very seriously. I have a detailed spreadsheet that I used to track gift ideas for everyone. The Excel file has columns for retail value and price paid so I can track how much I save every year. I start a new tab after Christmas each year and I now have data going back to 2014. After hearing that, I think you all understand why I work in finance. Anyway, I was going to post all of my gift guides next week, but I realized a lot of these items are on sale during Black Friday and you know I’m all about getting a good deal.

If you’re looking for a gift idea for that special guy in your life, I’m here to help you out! Some of these items are gifts I’ve given in the past and couple of these are what I’m gifting this year. The others are just items I think are really cool and things I think most guys would enjoy.

*This post contains some affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no additional cost to you.

1 | Beats Studio2 Wireless Over-the-Ear Headphones
Adam has wanted a pair of over-the-ear headphones pretty much as long as I’ve known him. This pair of Beats is normally $379, but they’re on sale during Black Friday for only $160 at Best Buy and Target! I would never pay $379 for headphones and I don’t think they are actually worth that much, but they’re definitely worth $160. Adam is going to be so excited to find these under the tree this year.

2 | Subscription Box
Subscription boxes are the gift that keeps giving! A 3-month gift subscription to Dollar Shave Club is $55 and the first box also includes their shave butter and shave cream. Or you can gift a “geeky” surprise with Loot Crate. It’s a little more expensive at $68 for 3 boxes, but the crates contain 4+ items from popular pop culture franchises and a t-shirt in every box. OR, treat him to a Birchbox Man subscription for only $30 for 3 months. The boxes contain hair care, skincare, and body care products (#treatyoself). You can see a whole list of subscription boxes for men here

3 | Water Bottle
An insulated water bottle is a must for everyone. Hydro Flask is definitely one of the most popular brands, but there are so many other options out there depending on your price range and needs. On Black Friday Dick’s Sporting Goods is offering 25% off Hydro Flask and Yeti brand water bottles. They are a little pricey normally, so that would be the perfect time to buy. I also like this Tree Tribe water bottle ($26). It has a lifetime warranty and they plant 10 trees for every sale!

4 | Duffle Bag
A duffle bag is something practical that he’ll be able to use for years. They’re perfect for weekend getaways or as a carry-on for longer trips. Adam’s current duffle bag is seriously in the worst shape. There’s a huge tear across the bottom and part of it is held together with duct tape. I bought him this one for Christmas and it arrived over the weekend. It looks really nice for the money. It's a little smaller than normal, but I knew that from the reviews and I think he'll really like the size.

5 | Personalized Distance Sign
This is such a fun gift idea for any sports fans in your life. The Travelsigns Etsy shop has pretty much every sports stadium in the United States to pick from, plus even some of the military bases, popular cities, and beaches. When you order a sign you provide your address and they calculate the driving distance. My dad is a huge Angels fan, so I’m thinking about ordering one for him for Christmas. The 12” x 8” sign is only $19.95 plus S&H (which is $4.95 for my zip code).

6 | Fitbit Charge 2
Last year Target had the Fitbit Flex on clearance for $40 so I bought one for me and one from Adam. I thought it would be a good way to try them out to see if we like them and actually wear them before investing in nicer ones. I’ve been really bad about wearing mine, but Adam still wears his pretty often. The Flex is super simple so it only has dots to show you how close you are to your step goal. I think Adam would really like upgrading to the Charge 2 so we can see his steps right on the Fitbit, plus it has heart rate monitor, phone notifications and a clock. The Charge 2 is normally $150, but is on sale for $100 at Target, Wal-Mart, and Kohl’s. If you buy it at Kohl’s, you’ll also get $30 in Kohl’s cash.

7 | Fleece Lined Flannel Shirt
OK, so this flannel shirt is a little pricey ($69), but it is SO nice. The quality is definitely worth the money. I bought one for my grandpa last year and one for my dad the year before that. They look so nice on and the fleece lining makes the shirt extra warm. I’ve never seen them much cheaper than that, but you can usually find a 20-25% LL Bean coupon and save a little money.

8 | Minimalist Card Holder Wallet
I bought this for Adam after seeing my friend Scott pull it out at lunch one day. Adam used to keep his cards/cash in a plastic pocket thing on his cell phone. It eventually ripped off so he just started carrying everything loose in his pockets. Anyway, Scott sent me the link to this wallet and I ordered it for Adam. It holds a few cards and a little cash while still being flat. He loves it (and so does Scott). Right now it’s on sale for $5 with free shipping (it would make a great stocking stuffer)! I also have to add that the wallet arrived with a handwritten note from the maker and I love supporting those kinds of businesses.

9 | Snack Basket
Gift baskets are such a good gift idea for someone hard to shop for. I love putting them together and they’re always a hit. I give my dad one pretty much every year and am planning to do another one this year. I like to fill his with snacks, so I usually buy jerky, nuts, rice crackers (he’s half Japanese), trail mix, dark chocolate, and whatever else catches my eye. I like to throw in one random, weird snack item for fun. Last year I bought a bag of durian chips (aka the worst smelling fruit in the world) and he thought it was hilarious. We all tried one and I don’t remember them being terrible, but not something I would want to eat more of.

10 | Tickets
Instead of buying things, consider buying an experience instead. You could gift tickets to a sporting event, upcoming concert, a play or musical, museum passes, food or drink festival - there are seriously endless options for this gift idea. If the event is a few months away, you could wrap the tickets with memorabilia, a CD, or something related that they can enjoy in the meantime. Oh, and movie tickets are a great stocking stuffer idea!

What are you buying for the men in your life this holiday season? I’m always looking for more ideas, so leave you gift suggestions in the comments!

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Friday Five: November 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

1 | Our Anniversary

On Wednesday Adam and I celebrated our two year anniversary! Adam and I met on Tinder (not everyone on there is a scumbag) and our first date was at the dog park. Looking back it’s fitting that our first date involved Ringo and Abby. Adam has been a great addition to all three of our lives (and now Jelly’s too).

To celebrate we went out for sushi, shared a piece of cake a home, and watched the season finale of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. For us, that’s a pretty perfect night.

2 | Stranger Things 2

We finished the second season of Stranger Things earlier this week and it was so good! I know everyone is talking about Stranger Things right now, but I just had to mention it. All of the characters are great and the story is so interesting. I think Hopper and Steve are my new favorite characters (of course Dustin too). If you haven’t seen the Twitter account Hopper Dancing To, you have to check it out! It’s so funny!

3 | Cutting the Cord

Speaking of TV, Adam and I cancelled our TV service (DIRECTV) a few weeks ago. I honestly thought it would never happen. Like I’m pretty sure I’ve said in the past that I would NEVER get rid of TV. But I did it and I honestly haven’t missed it that much. I do miss the background noise of just having the TV on, but I’m starting to get used to the quiet or I just listen to a podcast/music.

We already had Netflix, so we just added Hulu and HBO to watch the rest of our shows. Oh, and Adam wants to get the NBA package so he can watch basketball. Even adding the expensive NBA League Pass, we’re still saving SO much money a month. For our devices, we’re using a Fire Stick in the living room and a Roku Stick on the other TV and both have been fine so far. Our next step is to get an antenna to pick up the local channels. 

4 | Dirty John

If you like true crime podcasts, you have to listen to Dirty John. It’s SO interesting! The podcast starts with a Newport Beach assistant district attorney describing the stab wounds of a murder victim, but you don’t find out who was killed until the last episode.  It’s only six episodes, so it’s a pretty quick listen. The story is really well narrated and I loved hearing the interviews with the real people involved. Jacquelyn, the oldest daughter, is super feisty and by far my favorite. On the other hand, Debra’s mother is seriously the worst (besides John obviously). Anyway, it’s really good and you should listen to it.

5 | Marketplace 42

On Tuesday I went to the Holiday Blogger Boutique at Marketplace 42 and had such a great time. We painted wood ornament cutouts and it was so fun to try new paint products and see how everyone’s turned out. I’m pretty shy and not that social, so sometimes I have a hard time going to events like this, but everyone was SO nice. I had a lot of fun chatting with everyone…and of course shopping. I bought the cutest wooden star that would be perfect for Christmas, but also year around.

If you’re local to AZ, you should check out Marketplace 42. The shop is full of handmade items and home décor and the prices are really reasonable. They also host craft classes a couple times a week. Right now one of the crafts is a pallet tree trio that is seriously SO cute.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Anything fun planned? We’re going to a reading/Q&A/book signing with David Sedaris on Saturday (he’s Adam’s favorite author). Other than that, we’ll probably just do some work around the house before the madness of the holidays really kicks in.

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One Day in Edinburgh, Scotland

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Yay! I’m so excited to finally start recapping our two week trip around Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. We had such an amazing time! I have so much to talk about so I’m going to break it up into multiple posts. Today I’m just going to talk about our first stop – Edinburgh, Scotland!

Before I jump into the first day of our trip, I want to quickly talk about our trip as a whole. I guess the first thing to mention is that when I say we, I’m referring to my mom and me. We left the guys at home and took a girls trip! This was our third international adventure with just the two of us and we travel so well together. I do all of the planning and my mom just goes along with the plans (which works best for both of our personalities).

Four years ago we went to London and Paris and I planned and booked the entire trip. Two years ago we went to Italy with a tour company (Go Ahead Tours). I was against it at first, but we found a great company with the perfect itinerary and had the best time ever. So for this trip, we decided to travel with the same company. My mom is getting older (and had knee surgery a few years ago) so it’s really just easier for her on these long trips to not have to deal with the heavy luggage or run around catching different public transportation. I have to admit that it’s really nice not having to worry about any of the logistics.

Anyway, we took the Landscapes of Scotland and Ireland tour with Go Ahead Tours. That’s the same company we used for our Italy trip and we really enjoyed both trips (although the Italy tour was a little better). Our guide for the trip was Mansel and he did such a great job keeping everyone together and making sure we were all having a good time. Our bus driver in Ireland, Paddy, was the best ever…like I legit cried when he dropped us off at the airport. 

So officially we spent two full days in Edinburgh, but the first day was a travel day and we were zombies by the time we landed. We flew out of Phoenix Sunday morning and arrived in Edinburgh Monday morning. It was seriously the worst timing. We were so tired, but our room wasn’t available yet since it was only like 9:30 a.m. We went to get breakfast and I got this amazing bowl of porridge with plums, but I was so tired I couldn’t enjoy it. We tried to walk around a bit, but we just wanted a nap. Around 11 we went back to the hotel and practically begged the girl at the desk for a room. Luckily our room was ready and she was amazing so we were able to check in early. We spent the rest of the day napping before meeting our tour group for dinner.

OK, enough blabbing, let’s talk about our day exploring Edinburgh. We started the morning with a bus tour around the city with a local guide. We went through New Town, around Holyrood Park (that view!), and back through Old Town to Edinburgh Castle.

We went to Edinburgh Castle with our group and our guide took us through all of the gates to the front of the building where the Crown Jewels of Scotland are kept. From there we were free to explore the castle on our own and had the rest of the day to ourselves.

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress built on Castle Rock, which was formed after a volcano eruption 340 million years ago. Edinburgh Castle was built during the 12th century by David I. Because of its strategic location, the castle was almost always under siege (whoever held the castle held rule over Edinburgh and therefore all of Scotland). The castle bounced from English to Scottish rule for centuries during the Wars of Independence, the Lang Siege, and Jacobite Uprisings.

During the late 18th century – early 19th Edinburgh Castle was used to hold military prisoners, but became a national monument in 1815 after a mass prison break proved it could no longer hold prisoners. The castle was restored during the 19th and 20th centuries and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland.

We spent about an hour after exploring Edinburgh Castle. We saw the Crown Jewels and visited the Scottish National War Memorial and St Margaret's Chapel.

We also visited The Great Hall, which was probably my favorite space. I loved all of the armor, weapons, and of course that giant fireplace!

The view of the city from the castle is amazing. You can see why it was so important to control the castle in order to rule the city.

After our visit to the castle we decided to do some shopping on Victoria Street and the Royal Mile on our way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Victoria Street is easily accessed by the first roundabout from the castle (take Upper Bow and then take the stairs down to Victoria Street). Victoria Street is full of colorful buildings and small shops. The street (and adjacent Candlemaker Row) is thought to have been the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series.

We continued on to the Greyfriars Bobby Statue. The statue was built in memory of a terrier from the 19th century who supposedly spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner. Rubbing his nose is supposed to bring you luck…you can see his nose has been rubbed a lot over the years. 

From there we walked back up to the Royal Mile for some shopping. There are a lot of touristy gift shops on the street, but there are also some cute, small shops too. We bought Christmas ornaments at a Christmas shop, some locally made lip balm and chocolate at another shop, and haggis flavored dog treats at another.

Once we made it down the Royal Mile we decided to explore the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The palace is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. It’s best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots during her short reign in the 16th century.

At the palace you can explore 14 of the rooms, the ruins of the 12th century abbey, and the royal gardens. The tour includes an audio guide of the rooms, but it’s mostly about Mary, Queen of Scots. She lived an interesting life, so the audio guide is definitely worth a listen.

Once we made it through all the rooms we headed to the abbey ruins. The abbey was founded in 1128 by King David I. According medieval legend, while hunting in the area, David saw a vision of a stag with a cross glowing between its antlers. He saw this as an act of God and declared that the abbey should be built in that spot.

The abbey was damaged throughout years of war and revolution. The roof eventually collapsed in 1768 and the abbey has been a roofless ruin since then. Restoration of the abbey has been proposed several times, but has always been rejected. I personally like how the ruins look and I think it would be a shame to restore it.

Once we were done exploring the Palace of Holyroodhouse we caught a cab back to our hotel to drop off our stuff and rest up a bit before dinner. We had steaks and prawns at McKirdy’s Steakhouse for dinner and it was the perfect way to end a fun day in Edinburgh.

I wish we would have had a couple more days to explore Edinburgh, but I feel like we made the most of our day. Hopefully someday I'll have a chance to go back and check out the rest of the city and sights!

Learning How to Macramé

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Disclaimer – I was provided products for review courtesy of Quarto. As always, I only promote products that I genuinely like and would use myself. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

I think that sometimes the hardest part of crafting is gathering the supplies. I swear I always forget something and each project requires at least two trips to the store. So when I was introduced to the idea of all-in-one crafting kits, I was definitely intrigued.

*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no additional cost to you.

If you look at my craft board on Pinterest, you’ll notice that I’ve been pinning macramé projects for months. So it should be no surprise that one of the kits that I picked was a macramé kit. Modern Macramé includes step-by-step instructions, knot tying techniques, and all the supplies needed to create a mini plant hanger and mini wall hanging.

The mini plant hanger was super simple and quick to make. I love how it turned out! I can’t wait to make another using different color string and knot tying techniques. I feel like there are so many options for this kind of project. I just used a pot that I had in the shed, but I think it would look so great painted a fun color or some kind of pattern. Maybe I’ll work on that this weekend!

When I told my mom that I was learning how to macramé, she told me about taking a macramé class with my grandma in the 1970s. I don’t know why I find that so entertaining, but I love picturing my mom and grandma in a macramé class together. It’s true that everything comes back in style!

I also received Embroidery Designs: Modern Monogram. As the title suggests, this kit includes a step-by-step instructions, embroidery techniques/stitches, twelve patterns and a selection of lettering, plus all of the supplies needed to create your first embroidery project. I haven’t started this project yet, but I think it’ll be a great way to unwind at night while Adam watches basketball.

Both kits are available on Amazon and are currently under $20! Christmas is coming up (wait, what?!) and these kits would make great gifts for all ages and skill levels.

Modern Macrame: 10 Simple Projects to Enhance Your Home
Embroidery Designs: Modern Monogram

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