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I’m Done with Christmas Cards, I Think

12 Dec

After a few years of going back and forth, I think I’m finally crossing ‘create and mail Christmas cards’ off my holiday task list for good. Last year, I came super-dooper close, but if you remember I did a Facebook vote (you can find the blog post here) and 62% of you still mailed out cards. So, I was guilted into doing it for another year.

Well, this year… I’m finally pulling the plug.

Here are my reasons:

  • There is so much waste involved. To pay the money for the cards, the envelopes and the postage only for someone to look at the paper for a moment, *maybe* stick it on their fridge for a week or two, and then throw it out is crazy. It’s a waste of paper, a waste of money, and a waste of time.
  • Speaking of time: I don’t have the time (or frankly, feel like spending the time) to find the photos, lay out the cards, get them printed, address them, stamp them, and send them. This isn’t fun for me and I don’t enjoy it at all.
  • Every year I receive less and less Christmas cards, so maybe people are over them.

Here’s why I’m still feeling guilty about it:

  • There are a few people who I’m only in contact with for the holidays (previous neighbors, friends from long ago) and I’m afraid they’ll think I don’t like them anymore if I stop sending out cards.
  • My kid is awfully cute. Shouldn’t I share that with the world? (this is a joke, kind of)

And YES, I know I can just buy prepackaged cards to send. But I feel like they are even more waste than a card that may have a cute family photo on it.

So, I think I’m skipping cards this year. Probably.

What are you doing – do you still send out holiday cards?

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Philosophy Face Lotion… with a Boost

10 Dec

In the fall I was on a bit of a face lotion quest. I needed a new lotion, but like Goldilocks everything I tried was either too heavy, too light – nothing was just right. After some trial and error, I stumbled upon Philosphy’s Purity face lotion.

I picked up a travel sized tube of the Purety lotion at Ulta so I could make sure my skin really loved it before I committed. I ended up squeezing every last drop out of the tube. So on Black Friday, it seemed like the perfect time to make a replenishment order on Philosophy.com.

While it would have been quite easy for me to reorder just the lotion, I was intrigued by this deal:

Purity Moisturizer & Turbo Booster C Powder, $42 (find it here)

Source: Philosophy.com

This set includes the Purity lotion I already love with a vitamin C powder “booster”. The instructions recommend using a tiny included scoop to put a scoop of the booster powder into your hand, then add some lotion and mix it up with your finger before applying it all over your face.

According to their website, by including the vitamin C and mixing it fresh each morning, the combo acts as an antioxidant to help protect skin against environmental attack and prevent premature aging.

I looked up reviews online and found a ton on both the Ulta website and the Sephora website. People RAVE about this booster… like apparently it’s life changing. People are claiming it does everything from fade acne scars, to brighten their entire complexion and make them look younger.

I’ve been using it for a few days now and I do feel like it’s giving me a brighter, more glowy complexion. It’s certainly possible that it’s the placebo effect, but really when it comes down to it don’t you just want to FEEL prettier? And then these feelings make you LOOK prettier?

So yeah, I’ll keep you posted if I suddenly look 30 again! And let me know if you’ve tried the Vitamin C booster!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and contains no sponsored links.

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The Pocketful of Joules Holiday Gift Guide of Things I Actually Own and LOVE

9 Dec

I’m not a huge gift guide kinda girl. The last time I did one here on the blog was 2017 (and I still stand by everything on the list if you want to check it out here) but usually blogger gift guides are full of a bunch of crap they want you to buy so that they can earn money. And they don’t even HAVE or USE any of the stuff! They just pin a bunch of expense stuff so that they can make money off your clicks.

#sorrynotsorry #truthhurts

However, I do really like to recommend things that I love… so I decided to put together this list. Every single thing on this list is something that I have and use and LOVE. For real. And I have included links to each item, because in a few weeks I’ll have to pay next year’s blog hosting fees and every little click helps keep Pocketful of Joules up and running.

For those of us who are still scouring the web for some holiday gift ideas, I put it all in one place. I hope you find it helpful!

Stocking Stuffers I love:

The best $8 black opaque tights. I got them from Target and have worn the same two pairs a ton of times (I wash them in the washer on cold and let them hang dry). They haven’t stretched, run, or gotten holes. And they are EIGHT DOLLARS! Here is my initial review and here is a direct link to them on Target.com

The best no-show socks for sneakers. I have them and use them with my Rothy’s slip-on sneakers every single time I wear them. I’ve been throwing mine in the washer and dryer for almost a year and they are holding up perfectly. Here’s my initial review and here is a direct link to them on Amazon.

The best wooly insoles for toasty toes. I hate to have cold feet in the winter, so I have favorite kind of insoles for boots AND a favorite pair for loafers/flats. Once again, I’ve put both kinds of insoles through the paces and they have proven time and time again that they are worth the $10 – 12 investment. Here is my initial review and here are direct links to the boot insoles and the loafer/flats insoles.

The best nail color strips EVER. I love the look of painted nails, but I’m really rough on my hands. I’ve done gel manicures for events, but always end up ripping the polish off my nails and then having terrible looking nails until they grow out. My favorites are the glitters because you notice any chips a lot less with all the sparkles. I highly recommend: Tokyo Lights, Russian Around, Dripping in Diamonds, Coming up Rose Gold, and anything similar (they are always coming up with new designs). Here is my initial review and here is a direct link to the Color Street website (I’m not a rep).

Awesome Gifts:

A Home Chef subscription. We’ve been using Home Chef for over a year and we LOOOOOOVE it. It is a great way to try new meals and a great way to find the time (and energy) to cook healthy meals during the busy workweek. You can read my initial review here and my one-year follow up review here. And here is my referral code for $30 off your first order (and I also get $30).

My favorite face masks. If you have a beauty lover in your life, you might want to give them some fun face masks to play with! My absolute favorite is the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. A less expensive option is a 4-pack of Karuna Hydrating sheet masks but be sure to check your local TJMaxx and Marshalls, because I’ve found them there for even cheaper! Here is my initial review.

A cozy cardigan for snuggling. If you have a cozy-lover in your life, you can’t go wrong with a Barefoot Dreams cardigan. I’ve had mine for about 2 years and it is still the item I reach for most as soon as I walk into my house in the winter! Here is my initial review and here is a direct link to the cardigan I own on the Nordstrom website.

My favorite shoes. I’m still a huge Rothy’s lover and have tried ALL the different styles at this point: flats, points, loafers, sneakers, and Chelsea boots (aka hightop sneakers). The pairs that get the most action in my wardrobe are: Chili Red points, the Camo Cat sneakers, the Wildcat Chelsea boots and the Spotted loafers. If you do plan to give Rothy’s as a gift, I recommend getting either a physical or virtual gift card (find them here), as sometimes it takes a couple tries with sizing. Here is my initial review and here is a special code for $20 off your first purchase.

Favorite Kid Gifts

The Bad Guys book series. Jack loves this kids comic book series so much and we’ve read them each at least twice by now. The newest addition to the series is coming out right before Christmas, so it’s a perfect time to add it to your kids stocking (or under the tree)! Here is my initial blog post on the series and here’s a bundle of books 1 – 5, book 6, book 7, book 8, book 9 and a preorder link for book 10. We own 1 – 9 and Jack will be getting book 10 for Christmas.

The Dogman book series. Another great comic book series of hardback books! Jack started reading these with me last year and they are still a huge winner in our house. Here is my initial blog post where I talk about the series and here is a boxed set of book 1 – 6, book 7, a preorder link for book 8. We own 1 – 7 and I’ve preordered book 8 for Christmas this year!

LEGOS. You can NEVER go wrong with LEGOS. Jack has been obsessed with them basically since birth. We started with the megablox, upgraded to Junior LEGOS and are now on the larger LEGO sets. For Christmas this year, Jack is getting a Minecraft LEGO set which combines two of his loves! I ordered this one.

Is there something on the list that you’ll be adding to your wishlist?

Disclosure: I didn’t receive any of these items for free and decided to recommend them because I actually like them all. There are some Amazon and ShopStyle links, and referral codes in this post where I could earn a (very) small amount of money for referring someone. This is TOTALLY NOT why I recommended them, but a nice little benefit to me if you decide to click through.

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Addicted to Hand Knitting

5 Dec

Remember back in October when I first learned how to hand knit a blanket (you can find it here)? Well, that experience totally kicked off an addiction and I. Can. Not. STOP. I looooove hand knitting. It’s soft and quick and the blankets are just so snuggly when you are done.

I was initially frustrated because I couldn’t find yarn as big and fluffy as the kind I got from the AR Workshop. After lots of trial and error (and online orders), I finally found Bernat Blanket Big Stitch and Win Yarn. It is typically $9.99 at Michaels, but it goes on sale often. I’ve gotten it marked down to $6.49 per ball and also on a buy-one-get-one-half-off special.

Source: Michaels.com

I was super curious how the yarn with the different colors would look once the blanket was knit, and I looooove how it turned out. This blanket was made with 5 balls of yarn and took me about 90 minutes:

I was actually knitting this one for my friend for Christmas, but Jack loved it so much I let him have it and I’ll be making another one.

I also picked up a few balls of navy colored yarn so I could try my hand at making my own tree skirt. It’s basically the same as the blanket, but I only started with 15 stitches across (rather than 30) and made it 3 balls long. This one took me about 45 minutes to make:

This could either be a cute runner for the bottom of your bedding, a lap blanket or a tree skirt like I made:

Here’s a close up:

Like I said… totally addicted! My sister wants to make a blanket too, so I had her order yarn and will be teaching her to make one soon (while making one as a gift to give). But then I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself because I’m out of people who want blankets!

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