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Ciao bella

Welcome to my blog. I like to look for eclectic and chic things. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in balancing motherhood, work, and other good things. I hope my ideas are intriguing to you and you subscribe to my newsletter. If you get that reference, we'll be friends. If not, I'm pretty sure we'll be friends too. Have a great day!

Hostess Gifts That Won't Break the Bank

Hostess Gifts That Won't Break the Bank

Ho ho ho! You’re broke.

The holiday season is a wonderful time for cheer and memories. It’s also a time where our financial obligations are stretched to their limits. As a person who used to have disposable income, the holiday season used to be way less stressful. So if you are like me and feel like you have all the gifts you need and then realize you have a. White elephants, b. Teacher gifts, and c. hostess gifts to get it can be quite daunting. Also, these can’t be as personal as you originally want because you generally don’t know the person as well. Since I went part time and started to pay for daycare, I still have the social obligations but less moola to spend. My old reliable Honda finally needed more repairs than it was worth so my husband and I had to dig in our savings and money we were planning on using for gifts on a car. Budgeting is part of being an adult. Sigh. Obviously, we all know the best parts of the holidays are seeing friends and family and I feel like we should thank the people who took the time to facilitate that.

Photo by Kelsey Chance

Photo by Kelsey Chance

Affordable Thoughtful Gifts

I’m an Amazon Associate so I might get a small commission if you purchase items on Amazon using my links.

Oh Fuudge - Note- I am friends with the head chocolatier Kelli and I love her a ton. These are fair trade (in chocolate this is a really really big deal) chocolate sauces that you can use for ice cream, dessert, drinks, etc. Kelli collaborated with local Cleveland businesses and created an amazing product. She sells $15 jars and $6 pouches of this goodness. I like gifts that serve a specific purchase and if you are tired after hosting a party or you want to add a kick to your hot chocolate-this is what you want. Also, in a true holiday spirit Kelli is a true Cleveland native and had her business reference “A Christmas Story

Texas Pete- Hear me out, these are like $2 and if your friend is like me and puts that hot sauce on everything-it’s a thoughtful gift. Why Texas Pete? It’s the favorite hot sauce of Cook’s Country and my husband and I used it in a few recipes. It’s soon become a pantry staple. It’s hot, but not too hot. It’s something that fits in your pantry and is one less thing to worry about at a grocery store. Of course, the person has to like hot sauce.

Texas pete, hot sauce, condiments

Alaffia Soap. I discovered Good Soap at Whole Foods and I got these for my hostess gifts this year. I wrapped them up in tissue paper and used gift twine. I’m a skin care lover and I love little things that make your bath or shower special. I’m trying to cut down on the waste my body products use and these are by far the best bar soaps I have ever used. The ingredients are fair trade and it is beyond moisturizing. You can get these in packs and they are awesome. Here’s the thing with natural beauty products, I’m trying to be gentler to the environment with ingredients and the fact that it goes into the drain and into our water system. These have gentle fragrances and are amazing. I can’t talk enough about how much I love these. I’ve been using the Pumpkin Spice one after my workouts and my skin feels amazing.

Soap, fair trade, Alaffia, yellow, orange, red, purple

Notebooks. I’m a creative person so I like things I can doodle in, keep notes in, and just be creative with. There is something so relaxing about physically writing things down. I have my song lists and we keep track of card game scores in ours. They are fun records of our guests and who lost terrible at Hearts. As someone who works on a campus, I have to travel to different buildings for meetings. I sometimes travel cross town on a shuttle to go to another campus!  Notebooks are lightweight, chic, and something you can easily look up references in. You also get less distracted when you are taking notes on a computer and for me I stay more focused on listening on what the speaker is saying

Black, classic notebook, leather

Nice pens. Who doesn’t want to be creative with their writing?

Pens, rainbow,

Gift away!

I tried to stay away from homemade gifts because a lot of us are busy and these are thoughtful gifts that are practical. I hope these help. Oh and don’t forget thank you cards. My grandmother was a stickler for these and they mean a lot. It acknowledges the person and shows gratitude. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and I hope these help!

Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.
— Dr. Seuss
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