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How To Simplify Thanksgiving

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  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

shopping

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

image source

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

Halloween-graveyard-3
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

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  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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5 Halloween Costumes For Under $10

stick figure halloween costume
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. I realize it lacks the emotional appeal of Thanksgiving and the significance of Christmas, but that's the attraction for us. Halloween is all about having fun. Imaginations run rampant, and it's an opportunity to be decadent, ghastly, and/or humorous. Last year, I remarked on how quickly the costs can add up if you walk into this holiday without a plan. I feel very strongly that early costume planning is key. However, let's face it: sometimes life is too busy to have it all mapped out. If you find yourself in a pinch for costumes, or just don't want to overspend on expensive Halloween costumes, here are 5 Halloween costumes for under $10 that are sure to still be a hit.

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What To Buy In October

What To buy in October
With all my gushing lately over fall recipes and fall activities  you might think that I've forgotten about how to shop smartly and efficiently. Never fear! I have not forgotten. I'm actually pretty excited because what to buy in October lines up nicely with my current deficiencies. Perhaps you too are in need of a new fridge or comfortable jeans. If so, you are in luck because those are just two of the items to buy this month. Here's the full rundown on what to buy in October.

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3 Fall Activities To Try This Weekend

photo by Christopher O'Donnell
I promise I will discuss topics other than fall starting next week. But, really with the official start to fall Monday night, there is just so much to say about this time of year. These next couple of months bring about some of the best opportunities for families to find fun activities. Most of my favorites are very frugal, if not free things to in the fall, which means that this time of year my family stays well within the budget (usually) too. Maybe it's the fresh air or the new smells and flavors, but I find people seem to generally feel better in the fall. So , get out there with any or all of these 3 fall activities to try this weekend.

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3 Recipes That Taste Like Fall

fall leaves
In the past, I've shared my complete and total love for fall because of outdoor activities , fall fashion, and vacation spots. One other huge component of fall for me though is the food. Haven't you noticed that each season has a particular taste or flavor to it? I can't be alone in this because already I've been spying some delicious looking recipes out there in the blogosphere. While I am constantly trying to eat healthier and keep grocery shopping within the budget, I am positively itching to get in the kitchen and whip up some hearty fall dishes. Certain smells and spices just feel like fall and they are beckoning! So, this weekend I plan on trying out all of these 3 recipes that taste like fall:

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