Season’s Spending… The Top 5 Ways How to NOT Blow Your Budget on Christmas Shopping

For those of you who have hit the #BlackFriday sales before reading this post, my apologies but save those receipts!

For those of you who are contemplating this coming Cyber Monday,  while trying to figure out what to get for whom and how much money you don’t have for any of the latest and greatest, this post is for you!

Here’s a quick list on How to Not Blow Your Budget on Christmas Shopping (given you have a budget) –which actually is first on the list.

#1. Have a Budget.  Get a set number you are planning to spend.  The goal is to spend cash only; and once the cash is gone, the shopping is done.  Make sure this is a realistic number where you do not have to dip into your savings, a college fund, or even your emergency fund.  That’s right, Christmas gift shopping is NOT an emergency!

Setting a budget can help you avoid overspending (and dealing with debt for months to come)….”

#2. Make a list and Check it twice!  (Hey it’s Christmas, I had to get at least one song in here).  However, it’s true.  Make a list of all those for whom you want to purchase gifts.  Now check that list again and ask yourself, “Is this a genuine gift I am giving or am I simply trying to impress this person?”  No one is impressed when you’re broke!  (Do me a favor and Tweet this because someone is thinking about skipping a Debt Freedom payment).

#3. Ask yourself, “Can I make a gift?”  I have received thoughtful handmade gifts.  Take for example my prayer box.  It was handmade with a few slips of nice stationary paper inside for me to write my prayers and/or intentions.  Check out my Instagram page to see the prayer box  my good friend made for me.  Have you stopped by Pinterest lately?  Check out and follow some of my boards to get some great gift ideas. Continue reading

Fashionable Exchange

How often have you looked in your closet with disgust?  You want to liven up your current wardrobe but don’t want to break the bank shopping for the latest fashions.  How many of you have that one friend who seems to be on top of it when it comes to this fashion styling situation?

I have some friends who I think shop every other day (though this may not be the case) and always look the “bomb.com”.  Take fashion blogger and stylist Renae Antoinette, of The Ultimate Style Diary, she is a wonderful resource for up to date, stylish advice.  Renee has been styling since our days back at LSU.  Her hair is always on point and her clothes –always fashionable. This fashion icon in the making can wear the same utility vest multiple ways, and it looks new each time!  Hey, I give props to my style friends, and to Renae, I give her the ‘Propers’…yeah, I made that up.  Okay.  I got a little sidetracked.  Talking about fashion does that to me sometimes.

Often, I have felt like I have absolutely nothing to wear.  Even if I go to the mall, which I dread, it seems I cannot find that ‘something’ that is just right.  Times like these call for a Fashion Exchange Party.

I like to invite my girlfriends to my home for a fashion trade party, where they bring garments that are no longer in their rotation.  We all have a few pieces, tucked away, that have not seen a happy hour in eons.  I prepare light refreshments, maybe a little wine, and some great music (just to fill the air).  While the girls mingle, items are arranged via a rolling rack (conveniently purchased at Ikea).  I love setting things up as if it’s a pop up store front.

Updated photo

#RestyledMom #TheFrugalTeam

Friends are invited to bring 3-5 gently worn or new items they are willing to trade for another friend’s gently worn or new item.  Are you wondering about the size differences?  Well, don’t!  Really.  Do not worry much about size differences because a good local tailor can fix that.  I scored a great strapless dress that was a little too big in the boobs area.  I took that baby to the tailor and for $13; I was rocking a zipper replacement and a great fitting dress.

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#TrueSelfie

In an era filled with multiple selfies, on tons of social media sites and hashtags such as #SelfieSaturday or #JustMe, followed by “like” buttons, tell me…Who do you think you are?  Can you truly answer this question? And when I say “truly”, I mean get honest with yourself. Right down to the nittrue selfiety-gritty truth.

If I gave you an envelope and told you to list on the outside how you think others see you, what would you list?

Meanwhile, inside that same envelope, on a piece of paper, how would you describe yourself?  Is it in line with how others see you? Is there a mask you wear displaying one thing on the outside, yet hiding how you actually see yourself on the inside?

For me, this was a challenge and a huge REALITY CHECK.  Over the years, how others have described me versus how I have seen myself has been an eye opener. I realized I have been my own road block standing in my way and at times, sending myself on a detour. I have suffered from False Evidence Appearing Real Syndrome, also referred to as the “F” word. You know the one… F.E.A.R.S. Be it fear of rejection, fear of yet another broken heart, or even fear of success. Yes! You read that correctly –Fear of Success –amongst a host of other things. I told you, I am looking at the nitty-gritty TRUTH!

Don’t get me wrong, I still have my days when I have to “check myself”. However, at the beginning of it all, I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. In becoming a “Restyled Mom”, I make it an obligation to remind myself that the only fear I need is the one in Psalm 139:14, which tells me that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Another translation reads, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous –how well I know it.” (New Living Translation)

Now don’t run off and try to tell people, “God made me complex, so just accept it.” No. This is a unique complex that says you have been designed exactly how God wants you, but you have to start accepting the good parts of yourself.  It’s not all bad; I promise.  Jeremiah 1:5 points out that God knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb.  However, you have to be willing to move out of your own way and walk in that Godly design. And if you’re sitting there thinking I have this figured out (whatever you have defined this to be)…think again. I too am on this journey with you of being a Restyled Mom and constantly praying to walk in my handcrafted, designer’s original #TrueSelfie.

Sincerely,

Your Restyled Mom…who is rediscovering her #TrueSelfie