Wednesday, December 21, 2011

There's A WHITE ELEPHANT In The Room

One thing I despise about Christmas parties:

white elephant gift exchanges.

Ohmygosh, I have NEVER received a good prize from a white elephant gift exchange. NEVER. Honestly, at the last party I went to some of the prizes up for grabs were a roll of toilet paper, a box of matches, a poster size photo of a person at the party (who was not necessarily the model type), and a bag of cinnamon hard candies (you know the ones that your grandparents have had in their candy dish at their house for like 29 years because nobody wants them). Last year at one I took home an XL jock strap...I'm a girl. Why do people want to get together and trade crap? I don't understand and vow to never participate in another one.


Is there anyone on your list who is super hard to buy for? A person that either has everything or only wants items that are super expensive and there is no way you are buying them for them (even though you love them bunches...your bank account might night not be able to love them that much). For me these people are my dad and my brothers. Why my dad? Because it seems like he already has everything and I'm too old to still give him tacky ties and "World's Greatest Dad" mugs and t-shirts.

Or do you find you get lame presents from others? I mean, any present is nice and Christmas isn't just about giving/getting gifts. But it is part of the tradition and you know if you don't give any gifts you will be in BIG trouble. So instead of getting stuck with chia heads, the clapper, or some framed inspirational quote that gets stuck in your closet until you get invited to a white elephant party, why not give a gift card?!

I love gift cards because it let's me (or the person I give one to) choose what I want. Yes, what I really want. Then you don't have to hear about bad gifts for years to come. It also makes it easier for me because I don't have to try to be sneaky and ask about specific teams, colors, or sizes without giving it away that I'm buying that specific item for the person. Easy peasy. The only thing I have to worry about is selecting the cutest card.

You might be thinking giving a card is boring. But it doesn't have to be. You can put the gift certificate inside a greeting card, special card box, or reusable coin purse. Or you can be creative and hide the gift card inside something cool like a stuffed animal, a jacket pocket, or tie it around your dog and have the pooch run in and deliver it. One time I wrapped up the biggest box I could find (thankfully my parents had just bought a refrigerator) and then wrapped smaller boxes inside it and hid the gift certificate in one of them. It was like a big gift scavenger hunt and my friend LOVED it.

During the holidays, many restaurants offer bonus meals and gift cards for you to keep when you buy a card for your loved one (that's either a score for you to dine on or another pressie to give away for free). Join the Gift Cards Rock community on Facebook to learn more about great gift cards deals, share exciting tips, and enter amazing giveaways! *Gift Cards Rock is an online community for people who love to give and receive gift cards.

So next time you are struggling to find a gift, let your loved one get MY favorite present of a gift card and you're sure to make everyone happy.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Gift Cards Rock blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


Imagine the look of wonder and surprise when a child receives a photo of Santa caught in the act in his or her very own home. is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos. 

In just 3 simple steps anyone can upload a holiday photo, add Santa Claus, and print it as proof… or share it via Facebook and Twitter. Last-minute shoppers can purchase Gift Cards and eGift Certificates for friends with children, making a great gift idea even if you don't have kids or are a big kid yourself.

Merry Christmas! 
BONUS:  The folks at have offered a 50% off code for you! Just enter: SANTA50 and get your entire order for 1/2 price.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I don't really like shopping. Add the holidays and I really don't like shopping!

Things I wish I could get rid of:

1. People wearing sweats or pajamas with their slippers to the store. Remember when your parents were young and they dressed up when going out in public. I kinda wish those days were back. There is nothing wrong with wearing sweats, as long as you are at home (even if you spent $50 on them and they say something cute on the butt). I don't care if you are catching a red eye flight or midnight's time to get dressed.

2. Store employees munching away on food while at work. I know everyone has to eat, but that is why you are given breaks/lunches/dinners. It totally grosses me out to see someone chomping on pizza then try to shake my hand or hold merchandise they want me to buy.

3. Big trucks driving in the fast lane. I am aware we need them to deliver goods for us to purchase (or maybe they are the construction trucks here in Utah), but please don't create road blocks by driving in all 3 lanes.

4. Some people are capable of working retail and some are not. I am not. I've tried, but I cannot stand customers who make messes in the store because they think someone else can clean up after them. Have some respect! In the words of Depeche Mode "People are people," so what makes you better than a store employee?! quit acting like it.

OK that's all. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Nothing says Christmas is coming like an annual gingerbread house design competition at Brother Tim's house.
 Some were serious about building winning houses

Some created junkyards

And some were more interested in eating the candy

But all of us had a good time!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


If you've never been to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT, you are missing out.
If you've never been to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights, you are REALLY missing out.
It'll make all of your Christmas light dreams come true.
The light display is usually turned on the Friday after Thanksgiving and off on Jan 1 (the new year).

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I hate umbrellas. Why? Because most people don't pay attention to others around them when they use one. Yeah, you, with the umbrella who keeps hitting things when you walk by. And you who tries to share and hits my head and almost pokes my eye out. Please, if you can't use an umbrella responsibly, don't use one at all...maybe just buy a rain coat.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I've been a good friend lately (I'll blame it on the holiday season). A friend asked me to help them move recently. They said they would get ready the night before and then asked if I could come over the next morning to help them load a truck. I was there in the morning and nothing had been packed. So not only did I help box up their stuff, but I also helped load the truck, drive the stuff over, and unload the truck at the new apartment. Ahem.
Anyway, I was then asked to help give decorating ideas on the new place. I helped find a cool clock and then I discovered the coolest thing. DECORATIVE CEILING TILES. These are the coolest things! You can of course use the drop ceiling tiles as tiles for your ceiling, but they also look good by themselves on a wall as decoration.

For my indoor photography friends, they make super cute backdrops you should check out. 
And I got a foam tile from them that I plan on using my artistic abilities (along with some paint) to make a cool art piece. I'll post an update about that one later.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.