22 best affordable gifts for women

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Raise your hand if you love affordable gifts? I can never think of ideas when people ask me what I want for my birthday or around the holidays, but I spent a lot of time curating either my favorite things or wish list items, perfect for all the women in your life – including yourself!

Check out the best gift guide for women, with seriously affordable options for women of all types and ages.

Be sure to Pin this post for future use and share with your family and friends to pass along your suggestions. Many of these items are on super sale for the holidays, so get them while you can.

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How to host a brunch at home

There are two things that remain constant in my life – I love hosting, and I love brunch; sound like you? Then look no further than learning how to host a brunch at home.

While going out to brunch is such a wonderful treat, there’s something about home gatherings that are so comfortable and intimate that I love. I know people can feel overwhelmed with hosting and preparing for events, but since it’s something I’ve been immersed in since I was little, it’s really second nature to me.

This might sound really lame, but I also love that hosting a brunch, small gathering, of themed party gives me something to do – not like I need more on my plate to fill up my time, but it’s a welcomed distraction and hobby, from setting up an inspirational Pinterest board to actual prep. It’s nice to throw myself into something that isn’t work or normal home responsibilities – can anyone relate?

Feel free to ask any questions about menu planning, decor, who to invite, or anything I don’t cover in the comments!

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The one book of lessons you need to add to your collection

Thank you Gather As You Go for sending me a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own.

As a writer, I’ve always found value in jotting things down, from words of wisdom during high school Speech class, hilarious and wise thoughts from my Gram, advice from friends and family, and memories. There’s something I cherish about physically documenting these experiences that make them more concrete and valuable. It’s not often I find all the things I love and value beautifully bundled up in one book, but I’ve come across a true treasure in Carol Lavin Bernick’s Gather As You Go.

This is more than “just another coffee table book,” (which you know I love); it’s truly your total life resource book, sharing personal experiences, lessons, and wisdoms collected through the author’s life, all bound together in one inspirational book, taking you everywhere from corporate America and one’s civic duty to navigating motherhood, life’s celebrations, pitfalls, and everything in between.

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s fall, the best time of the year for so many reasons, especially pumpkin spice lattes. You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a sugar-loaded coffee house drink because you can easily make a healthy pumpkin spice latte at home!  My love for pumpkin spice runs deep, and I set out to create my own because of the following  serious quandaries.

  1. I want pumpkin spice lattes every day.
  2. I can easily take a route to work to pass popular coffee shops.
  3. $5 a cup can start to add up.
  4. I’ve been actually starting to care about the junk that’s in my food.

I also have various specifications when I order, and sometimes I forget to mention my preferences (my old order was a tall skinny decaf pumpkin spice latte with coconut or almond milk). While I used to think the “skinny” part of my order meant healthy by cutting calories and fat, I realized that any sugar free foods are more dangerous for you. You can read about the dangers of popular sugar-free substitutes like Sucralose here. If you think you’re being healthy by ordering a sugar-free drink, think again – it would be better to have real sugar than a sugar substitute (that goes for your own cooking, too).

 

DIY Pumpkin Centerpieces

We all love fall, the most wonderful time of the year, filled with pumpkin lattes, pumpkin candles, pumpkin pie, pumpkin facials, and oh yes, what about good ole’ fashioned plain pumpkins?! When my mom told me she was having a fall themed dinner party, I offered to make the tablescape and centerpiece, with what better than…you guessed it… pumpkins!

Place “Cards”

I’m a gold girl, and to me, gold screams fall, so I spray painted miniature pumpkins gold for the place cards and tied hand-written names to the stems with twine.

Accents

Vary the sizes of your pumpkins for visual interest. I chose two medium sized pumpkins, spray painted gold, for the accents to the main attraction – a naturally seafoam green pumpkin used as a vase.

Continue reading to learn how to make this simple DIY fall tablescape – great for dinner parties, everyday decor, and Thanksgiving.

Why beautiful is not a compliment (and what to say instead)

Everyone likes to feel beautiful, right? That’s what the media tells us; that’s what our inner nature tells us; it’s what we instinctively tell any little girl we see and the way we measure our attractiveness against other people’s, whether intentionally or subconsciously.

After finding myself telling my daughters this all the time, I had to stop and realize what I was doing, because telling someone they’re beautiful may be a true statement, but it’s not exactly a meaningful compliment.

If someone is, as you deem them, beautiful, that’s the way they were made. They didn’t do anything (short of extreme plastic surgery gone right, in which case you can compliment the doctor) to look like that. And even so, a compliment towards one’s beauty is merely a statement on their outward appearance, one they had no control over.

Related post: The problem with ‘everyone is beautiful’