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Celebrate Christmas Around The World

Can you believe Christmas is literally around the corner? As in next week? While I may have the perfect gifts picked out this year, I still feel somewhat disconnected from the holiday season. My plan for the next week is to make some rich cocoa, blast only Christmas tunes and watch all of the Christmas movies. Oh, and I'm learning about how other countries celebrate Christmas as well. The traditions vary greatly, but these destinations are all incredible places to celebrate Christmas:

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Top 10 Christmas Gifts For 2014

So, I'm kinda jumping the gun here and calling it early since the actual results won't be in until long after the tree is down and the celebrating is over. Still, I've been keeping an eye on all presents great and small with all the digging and researching for Christmas gifts I've done this year. Plus, after Thanksgiving Google released it's search results which are pretty darn good indicator for what people are looking for under their tree this year. Here's what it looks like: the top 10 Christmas gifts for 2014:

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Guide To Giving Terrific Teacher Gifts

You know how it goes: just when I thought I was ahead of all my Christmas shopping, I get sidetracked and wind up behind. Granted, there are still a few weeks until Christmas so my family will get covered, but what about gifts for teachers? Usually, I like to make Christmas teacher gifts, but that is not happening this year.  I love the under $10 gifts from last week's post, but I don't know that I want to use any of those as teacher gifts. (And do I even need to mention that the teacher gifts need to be in my budget?) Naturally, I've done some thinking and planning and researching over the past couple of days, and here's what I've discovered about terrific teacher gifts:

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10 Great Christmas Gifts For Under $10

Everybody fully recovered from Thanksgiving? How about from Black Friday and Cyber Monday? I admit I did my research and was able to score a few big ticket items for less than normal, so I count this year a success thus far. However, my Christmas gifts are far from done. In fact, I think some more people just popped up on the list (how does that happen every year?) and my budget is really getting stretched. Bottom line, I need good gifts that don't cost a fortune and aren't just junk. I hate giving a terrible gift just because I felt "pressured" into giving something. No, I want great Christmas gifts for under $10. Impossible you say? Not at all! In fact, here are 10 great Christmas gifts for under $10: 

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How To Simplify Thanksgiving

  Thanksgiving is merely days away, yet we're not fully prepared for it.  I don't know why I feel that it has snuck up on me this year. Maybe it's because I've been spending so much time thinking about Christmas and the Black Friday deals. Last year I was ready to go by now and  had recipes in mind. This year I'm just trying to keep my head above water during the holiday sprint that falls between Thanksgiving meal and New Year's Day. And I'm not alone. It seems that a lot of us are struggling with feeling over scheduled, under budget and rather overwhelmed. The good news is sometimes when I get to this place, it forces me to re-evaluate my priorities and alter expectations, which is why now my focus is on how to simplify Thanksgiving.  You too? Then you might find these tips on how to simplify Thanksgiving helpful as well:

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Black Friday Basics: What You Really Need To Know

Black Friday Ads
Big happenings this week with Walmart, Best Buy and Target all announcing their Black Friday ads. If you'd like to see most of them in one location, try this handy page from Nerd Wallet to help you get organized. I have to admit, these ads did get me mapping out my list and adding up my own Christmas shopping budget. Then I felt overwhelmed about coming up with a strategy and wanted to crawl back in bed and not come out until January 2nd when all the chaos would be done. Since that is NOT an option, I then decided to look at the Black Friday information and break it down into what is truly useful information and what is just plain background noise. Even better, here's all that information in one handy set-up I like to call Black Friday Basics: What You Really Need To Know.

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4 Surprising Things Not To Buy In November


Are Black Friday Deals Your Best Bet?

We all know about Black Friday deals and the intensity surrounding getting the best one. After all, you don't wake up at 4:00 AM and stand in a freezing cold line in the dark if you can't walk away with both bragging rights and this year's most sought-after Christmas item. And those screaming good bargains are coming up quickly, with several sales along the way. In fact, this month is so loaded up with tempting coupons and discounts, we thought a guide for what not to buy in November would come in handy. 

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3 Easy to Make Soups to Welcome Fall

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What Better Way to Welcome Fall than with 3 Easy to Make Soups?

Now that Halloween is officially behind us and Thanksgiving looms in front of us a mere few weeks away, my family is on a soup kick. There is something so wonderfully comforting and redemptive in soup, and diving into a hot bowl just relaxes the soul. Plus, many soups are quick and easy to throw together. Since we'll all be cooking up a storm here soon enough, why not go for quick and easy with these 3 soups to make this weekend? And don't try to tell me that 3 soups is too many for I will have to answer
No soup for you!

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No Tricks, Just Treats: Top 10 Halloween Safety TIps

The countdown is officially on - only a scant few days until Halloween! If you still need some fast, easy DIY costumes check out these options. If you have a child who still insists on being Elsa, along with millions of other little girls, then you cal also grab these coupons and order your costume this second. Once the Halloween costumes have been determined, the truly important part of Halloween must be addressed: trick-or- treating. Walking around in the dark, knocking on strangers' doors is quite simply the most terrifying part of Halloween for most parents. Now that we're a full decade into this, I have found that there are some things to consider to ensure a safe Halloween. Here are the top 10 Halloween safety tips to keep your ghouls and Elsa's supremely secure this year:

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DIY Halloween Decor Round-Up

  Last year I went on a Halloween decor kick where I attempted to incorporate as much creepy-crawly and spooky decoration as possible, all for under $10. I was pleased with the result, my kids were thrilled, and my budget stayed completely in tact. Hooray -last year proved an easy victory! This year, however, I feel behind the curve, and am tempted to just buy some giant spiders to put on the outside of the house and call it done. Unless I can find a burst of inspiration thanks to these amazing Halloween decor ideas from around the web...

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