But first here's a little highlight reel of what we've been up to since my last update post.
Ryan turned 7! Where on earth has that time gone.
I turned another year older and so far I'm loving being 32.
Todd and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary with a 4 night getaway to Sydney, for just the two of us. It was incredible!
My sweet tiny Liam turned 1! He is growing up way too fast but the crazy happy toddler that he has turned into makes it all okay.
I became an Independent Design Consultant for Lily Anne Designs due to my love of their jewellery which I wear everyday and if I can contribute financially a little to my family why on earth not!
Time sure flies when your busy living life and having fun. But I couldn't resist jumping back in head first to blogging with the lead up to Christmas. It's by far my favourite time of year and I pride myself on being organised and prepared so that I can relax and enjoy the season.
Side note: Todd might not agree with the relaxed part, I'm pretty sure he's had to talk me down at some point on Christmas Eve each year when things aren't quite matching up to what I have planned out in fine detail in my mind! Thank goodness I have him to put things back into perspective for me quick smart.
Christmas Planning Tip #1
Plan out your Christmas list. Twice. The earlier the better.
Your kids. Immediate family. Extended family. Friends. Co-workers. Teachers. Classmates. Your children's friends. Brainstorm to make sure you haven't missed anyone.
Now that you have everyone's names down on paper, it's time to sort out the budget. Allocate a set amount to everyone on the list, then total it up. If the number scares the heck out of you look over it again. There are some really great cheap and cheerful gift ideas for those classmates, co-workers and acquaintances. Once you've found a total you are happy with its time to start looking.
Look first, shop second. As you go through your list narrow down what their person likes, dislikes and what their interests are. The idea of gifting is to give something that person will hopefully love, not just a token present given without any thought. And don't be afraid to ask if there is something they have their eye on. Certainly no harm in it, and it may just mean you are giving them the perfect present!
Once you have your ideas written down for each recipient, nows the time to look online. I do a Google search for any item I'm looking for, compare prices, delivery options (seriously click & collect is the way to go if you can't find a free postage discount code, never pay postage!). Once I have found the place with the best price, I look to see if I can find a discount code of any kind to use if it's an online store or I jot down the closets locations if it's a regular store. But wait, don't just run out to the closest store when you have only decided on one or two gifts. Nail down at least 10 gifts, then look for a shopping centre that has all or most of the stores needed and go there. Less running around and you will feel so much more organised with each trip.
I always make sure my present shopping is all done and ready to be wrapped before its time to put up the Christmas Tree. I like to be able to put presents under the tree as soon as its up, yes, even with littlies.
I only leave the little fun treat type stocking stuffers until the week before Christmas when I like to go late night shopping with my sisters. It's more for fun and to enjoy the festive atmosphere than anything, because I could really pick them up anytime.
Stayed tuned for more Christmas planning tips, let's make your festive season as organised and stress free as possible!
So tell me, have you started getting ready for Christmas yet?