27 Date Ideas You Have to Take Your Boyfriend On This Winter

Winter brings so many exciting things and time to truly appreciate who you are surrounded around.

It also gives you way more free time (helloooo winter break) which means more dates with the boyfriend.

I don’t know about you, but I always draw a blank when trying to think of good date ideas and end up just sitting at home watching TV. I like chill nights as much as anyone else, but sometimes I like to make it a little more interesting.

I have rounded up the most popular winter ideas so you can surprise (or plan together) a date night you will remember for the rest of the year. Some of these are holiday themed, but majority are dates you can carry on throughout the whole winter season.

Ice-skating.

This is one of my favorite things to do in the winter (plus great photo op). Almost every city has a skating rank and to rent skates is *normally* really inexpensive. For Milwaukee, all you have to pay for is skates and I believe is around $7 per person.

Finish up the date at a cute coffee shop with some hot cocoa and you have a date out of a holiday movie. Here’s a list of ice skating rinks in each state.

Sledding

If you’re ballin’ (lol at me) on a college budget this is a perfect date because well, hello its free!! Assuming you have sleds of course (and if you don’t steal a tray from your cafeteria 😉 Jk, I don’t endorse stealing but you can get creative with sled options).

Obviously this requires snow, but if you live in a colder climate this is such a fun thing to do together. This would also make a really fun double date!

Christmas Lights Show.

This is definitely a holiday themed date idea, but I can’t include winter without having the holidays somehow incorporated.

There’s a few different directions you can go with this date night. The first is finding “the street” that year after year goes all out on Christmas decor. Every city has a street that really makes an effort to celebrate the holiday season. Sometimes these streets can be tacky, but honestly they are so fun to look at all the effort people put into their houses.

Second direction is going to a super nice, expensive neighborhood. Not only do you get to admire the houses, but you can also see their beautiful, over the top directions. If you go at night, you might also be able to see into their house, which is very creepy but everyone’s curious what they look like on the inside, right?

Third, is to find an actual light show. I know this isn’t around everyone’s homes so it might be a little bit of a drive, but with a Christmas playlist on in the background, this can be such a special time with just you and your beau. (Something to keep in mind, these usually cost money!! Not a bad thing at all, but if you’re looking for a no-spend date go with the other two options).

 RELATED POST: 31 Budget Friendly Date Night Ideas You Have TO Try

 Baking Cookies

Find a few different recipes that catch your eye and spend a night making them. You can sample them (and keep a few for yourself) but then wrap them up in cute packaging and deliver them to your friends as a little surprise.

Here’s a list of cookies that look SO good.

Gingerbread House Competition

I was at Aldi’s for the first time last week and saw gingerbread house kits for $7.

When I was writing this post, I was sitting with friends and going over some of these ideas. I originally said “Gingerbread House Competition” so you two can each get a kit and see who makes the better house, and my friend goes “Why does it have to be a competition?? Can’t you just do it for fun?”.

Haha, so if you’re in a relationship where everything doesn’t turn into a competition than you can make it together. But, if you’re in a relationship like mine, g-a-m-e o-n.

Here’s a cheap gingerbread house kit from Amazon that can be primed in one day.

Volunteer at a homeless shelter.

I love this one because it has so much more value than just a “date”. Homeless shelters are looking for people to volunteer in winter more than ever, so just donating an hour with your loved one can be so special.

Here’s a list of shelters in all 50 states so you can find one that works for you to volunteer at. If there’s not one super close to you, another idea is to put together hygiene packages and deliver them throughout the city OR do something holiday themed like send a gift to a soldier.

Make Ugly Sweaters

My friend thought of this one and I think it’s SO smart and fun! Go to Goodwill and pick the ugliest sweater you can find. Then head to the Dollar Store or Michaels and purchase supplies (I am thinking pom-poms, ribbon, and those wire things with fluff over them). You can make it couple themed or do it individuality- either way, so fun.

If you search “Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas” on Pinterest there is a million ideas to go off of.

Try Different Christmas Drinks

Depending on the amount of alcohol you need, this could get a little pricey. BUT, there’s nothing more fun than getting tipsy with your bf.

Thanks to the handy Pinterest, here’s a roundup of holiday drinks that look a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Decorate a Christmas Tree

My favorite thing (and I am guessing a lot of you too) favorite thing to do during the holidays is decorate the Christmas tree. From picking it out, to putting the ornaments on with Michael Buble Holiday station playing in the back, you have the perfect holiday scene.

Because I am such an extra gf, I always make my boyfriend take a picture in front of the tree with me when we’re done. Above is a picture of us circa high school… babies!

Check the Dollar Store for cheap decorations and Target has large sets of ornaments priced super inexpensively.

Build a snowman.

Invision snow falling while you and your boyfriend build a snowman… so cute!!!!

This is another date idea that is free (hollah) but makes you two work together. Warm up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and you have a great little date night.

Have a snowball fight.

…this can be the second part to the last date. Spice it up a little and start a snowball fight and then bring that fight indoors.

Weird? Probably, but we are talking about date nights here and usually a date night leads too…. 😉

RELATED POST: 8 Gifts College Students Will Love This Holiday Season

 Build A Snow Fort.

You need a lot of snow for this but apparently (according to my friend) it is possible to make one of these.

Major props if you then would be able to set up a fire with a blanket in there and then play some board games.

Participate in a polar lunge.

This one would take major convincing on my end, but I know a lot of couples who have this tradition every year and LOVE it.

A lot of the time, it is for charity so that is such a good way to make your date into something a little more special because not only are you enjoying time with your loved one, but you’re also helping someone else. Major win-win.

Go tubing or skiing.

Go to your local ski hill and go skiing or tubing!!

If this isn’t the definition of winter, I don’t know what is. This is something really fun to do if you live in a warmer climate and can drive up to the mountains for the day. Finish the night with dinner at the ski hill, and you have the perfect date night.

Paint Canvases and sip wine.

You can either go to a class for this or DIY this event at home. Buy a canvas (check the dollar store or use Michael’s coupons) with some cheap paint and pour two glasses of wine (….or cocktail in a wine cup to be fancy like I usually do ;/).

Set a theme and search Pinterest for some ideas of what to paint. In 20 years, you’ll look back at those canvases and remember the perfect date night.

Try a new restaurant.

Search the web or ask around for a restaurant that is raved about but you’ve never been. Not only does this get you trying new things, but it could also get you into a new part of the city you haven’t been too.

Pro-tip: Check Groupon for some restaurant coupons! There are tons of them on there.

Get a couple’s massage.

This is definitely one to do if you can splurge a little or if there is a special occasion.

I surprised Ben with this last year and it’s still my favorite date we’ve ever been on. If you want to be extra like me, look into the prices at a fancy hotel in your city. I booked our couple massage at the nicest hotel in Milwaukee, and the prices were cheaper than at spas close to my house. You might be surprised at what they offer!

This would be another good one to check Groupon for! But definitely, look at reviews… you don’t want a creepy place.

Have a couple photoshoot.

This might take a little convincing for your BF (at least that’s how it is for me) but I think it’s so important to be able to look back at pictures of you when you two were younger.

You might need to bribe him a little for pictures….win-win for you and him;).

Set goals together for a new year.

If you are a planner, you will LOVE this one! Put together a little bucket list for everything you want to accomplish (or do) with your boyfriend this year.

Some things to include- date ideas, things you want to accomplish, and places you want to go.

Try different hot chocolate recipes.

There are a million different hot chocolate recipes on Pinterest that look delicious. You could each make a recipe and have the other person try it, or you can make a few different recipes together.

Here’s some hot chocolate recipes I found on Pinterest that look a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Have a movie marathon.

This is a lot of peoples go to date night (including mine).

If you do this pre-Christmas, you can do a holiday themed marathon and if you do it after you can hit some classics.

Find a dinner recipe to make (my go-to is buying a chicken breast and then ordering sesame chicken sauce and rice from a Chinese restaurant. Cook the chicken, add the sauce to the pan and then layer it over rice. You have a semi-homemade meal that is to die for). Eat the dinner while watching the movies and finish it off with a pint of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Go on a horse and carriage ride.

Another kinda expensive idea, but something that everyone should experience once in their life. The average price of a horse and carriage ride is this, so I would check your city to see exact prices).

It is a little engagementy, but it’s a perfect way to spend some quality time with your loved one and enjoy the holiday decorations surrounding your city.

RELATED POST: How I Made $617.74 In Two Weeks From Pinterest

Go to a hockey game or NBA game.

The boyfriends will love this idea and really doesn’t have to cost a lot.

When looking at different sporting events, make sure to check if you get a discount with your student ID. I know the hockey games in Milwaukee offer tickets for $9 dollars for students which is such a good deal, so I would check if there is an offer like that near you!

Go to the city and window shop.

This is a great yearly tradition to start and can be a great way to get some Christmas gift ideas too. Go to your nearby city or take a train to a big city, and you’ve got a whole day to spend with your bf.

 Sleep in a cozy cabin.

With websites like VRBO and Homeaway, it is easier than ever to find places to stay. Go to the mountains and rent a cute cabin for the night, and you have a dream date of just you two.

I don’t know who wouldn’t love this!

Find a couple workout.

Working out might not be your favorite thing to do, but you can spice it up a little with a couple workout. Plus, it could lead to some laughs from some failed moves.

Here a couple workout that would be so fun to do.

Winter can sometimes drag on for what feels like forever, so make it more memorable with one (or many) of these date night ideas. Which one are you going to try?

OTHER POSTS YOU MAY LIKE:

6 Ways To Save Hundreds of Dollars This Holiday Season

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How I Increased My Savings by 300% With One Easy Step

How I made $617.78 Dollars in Two Weeks From Pinterest

I have used Pinterest for years, but up until last month, I had no idea you could make any money on it. Little did I know, people are bringing in thousands of dollars every month just from Pinterest.

More importantly, I never thought that I (me, 20 year old sophomore in college who knows little to nothing about making money) would ever make money on Pinterest. But with little effort, I brought in $617.78 from Pinterest in just two weeks.

Yes, you read that right, I made $617.78 from a blog post that I put on Pinterest in TWO WEEKS! You should have seen me, I couldn’t believe that I had actually figured out the key to success! And lucky for you, I am going to show you exactly how I did it. Pinterest algorithm is constantly changing (just like any other social media platform) so I recommend constantly tweaking and seeing what works for you. Even though I have had success, doesn’t mean this exact system will work for you. 

It is pretty obvious that you can make money through Instagram and other social media platforms, from the thousands of successful influencers out there. For some reason though, it never clicked for me that Pinterest would be the strongest money making asset for my blog.

When I decided this blog was a business instead of a hobby, my income grew by 869%.

In August of this year, I decided that unless I started making money (sufficient) from this blog, I was going to have to give it up.

If you have a blog, you know that it takes hours of your time. As a full-time college student (taking 21 credits :/) while also working, I have no time (just like the rest of you!!). I love blogging, so I knew I had to figure out a way to make this work.

I transferred colleges this year so I took September as a “getting organized” month, and really began turning By Sophia Lee from a hobby blog to a business in October.

By the end of October, I was making a great side income and increased my earnings from August where I made $5.37 to October, where I finished out the month making $617.78 (869% increase…. woohoo!).

Although I would love to go get a bunch of new clothes with that money, I am reinvesting every cent back into the blog until I make over $1,000.

I knew nothing in August about how exactly to make money from my blog (clearly) and with a little research, I was led to a course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner (she made $136,829.30 last MONTH from her blog…this lady knows her stuff). This course has been the BEST thing to ever happen to my blog and the reason my income has increased so much.

While this course is mostly about affiliate marketing, it includes a bonus from a super successful six-figure blogger that shows exactly how she makes majority of her money from Pinterest. She clearly has had success with Pinterest, so I tried out a lot of her techniques.

AND, they worked! I tweaked it (like you should with my tips to work for you!) and have found a system that works for busy schedules but gets big results. Let’s get on to the exciting stuff!

(BTW, if you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, you NEED too. This post is about Pinterest, but this is another HUGE way to earn money with your blog. Micheles course goes over everything about affiliate marketing and shows how she went from went from $0 in affiliate income to over $50,000 per month).

Create a new Pinterest for your blog OR transition a new one into a business account.

I’ve had my blog for two years so last year I opened a new Pinterest account for By Sophia Lee, but never did anything with it besides pin (for me, when I felt like it). To get more serious with it, I transitioned it into a business account (it’s free) which I have learned is very important  because you can see all your analytics and what is working.

This post by Socially Sorted goes over everything from setting up a brand new Pinterest account to converting an old one to a business account.

Making your Pinterest a business account also lets you set up rich pins. Rich pins simply is when you can see the title below your picture and it instantly links up to the corresponding blog post. This is really important because it makes you appear more “professional” to people that are considering pinning your content.

Setting up rich pins can be a little confusing, but its super important so just follow this really good post (this is the exact post I used to set up rich pins) and you should be good.

Create boards for your audience, not for you.

I suggest if you want to be successful on Pinterest, you create content for your followers and NOT you. I love pinning stuff for me just as much as any other person, so make a separate account for that.

On my Pinterest, I have used Pinterest keywords as many places as possible. Keywords are words that people are searching for, and lucky for us, Pinterest makes it really easy to find.

You know how when you search on Pinterest before you finish what you’re searching for it already finds things it thinks it would be close too? Those are all keywords.

This shows what hundreds of other people are already searching. I put these keywords next to my name on Pinterest, on my group boards, and in the description of my group boards (as you can see above! :). Make sure you are relatable!

You can arrange your boards how you want them to be, but I have found success creating a board called “By Sophia Lee-Best Of” and have it as my first board shown. I then have boards following most relevant to least relevant (but for my audience, I believe all my boards are relevant).

Fill up each board with 20-30 pins so you look legit.

One of the BEST things about Pinterest is group boards and if you are not using them, you are losing hundreds of dollars.

So, what is this group board thing I am talking about? Group boards are one of the absolute best things on Pinterest and why I am able to reach millions of people (2.9 million to be exact, thanks Pinterest analytics!) with only 413 followers. They are like any other Pinterest board, however, when you become a member of a group board, you have reach to all the boards creator followers (which can be A LOT!).

Before taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing I thought I had no hope for increasing my traffic through Pinterest because I had little to no followers (remember, I BARELY used this Pinterest).

I can’t remember the exact number I started out with, but I believe it was somewhere around 200 (btw, that means in two months I have grown my Pinterest by more than 200 people….not bad!).

When joining Group boards, I instantly basically gained hundreds of followers with no work.

Group boards can be a little tricky to find, so I recommend going to your favorite blogger and seeing what boards they are apart of. You can tell what boards are group boards if they have a circle on the bottom left of the board with three people in it.

This is one of the best group boards I am apart of (but unfortunately is closed) and I will be using it as an example. You see the first person in the circle? Thats the creator of the board and who you want to reach out to when asking to join the board.

Make sure you follow the person, or they will not be able to add you! I personally reach out to people through an email and am extremely polite. It can sometimes be a challenge to find contact information for the person if her email is not listed in the description so get your stalking skills ready (yes, I have found them on Facebook and messaged them there…so creepy!). I always make sure to validate my content (say that I have content that will be beneficial to the board), will follow all the rules (very important), and will do anything they need.

The last one sounds like such a suck up, but honestly I am trying to suck up to them. They have THOUSANDS of people that they will let me share my content to for FREE!

People will not always email you back, so be prepared to wait. I would say that if I send 10 emails out, I will usually get a reply from two of them. It can be a slow process, but believe me, it is so important if you want to be successful through your blog.

I want to restate, make sure your content is about the followers and NOT you!

I spend about 5 hours a month on Pinterest using this system and have millions of people seeing my content.

One of the most beneficial parts of the bonus in the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course was the introduction to Boardbooster and Tailwind. These are THE reason why I am able to have so much success with so little time on Pinterest. It took me an afternoon to set up, but now that its set up I only spend about five hours every month working on Pinterest.

Boardbooster will loop your pins everyday which means your content is constantly being seen and resposted. This costs $5 dollars a month, but was one of the reasons my content has gone viral on Pinterest and has increased my traffic by over 125,000 people last month.

This video goes over how to set up your boards on Boardbooster and makes it much more clear than I could explain here.

Boardbooster gives you 100 free pins, so I highly recommend trying this out.

Tailwind is another automation website that I use for a different purpose and love. On Tailwind, I can schedule hundreds of pins in a matter of minutes (seriously, like two minutes) and then have them automated to go out at certain times and days. This basically makes it look like I am always on Pinterest, when in reality, I barely spend any time on it.

I currently have 25 pins going out per day and have analytics that show this is a good number for me. However, I definitely recommend trying it out and finding a number that works well for you. I would NOT go much higher than 25 because you don’t want to come across spammy.

You can schedule and publish 100 pins free with this link. 

This is a lot of information, but utilizing this method has made me SO much money, and I believe it will make you money too.

I never thought I would make this much money on my blog in such little time, and NEVER thought it would be because of Pinterest sending traffic to my blog.

All this information can seem overwhelming and you might be wondering if you can even do this, but I guarantee in a year, you will have wished you started sooner.

I would not have had any of this success without Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (let alone, in a month!!). I still can’t believe Michelle has made over $300,000 from one post using affiliate marketing and these Pinterest tips.

While my blogging business is just starting out, I have already had success and can’t wait to see where I am next year at this time!

More Posts You May Like

How I Get Paid to Shop

How I Increased My Savings by 300% With One Easy Step

31 Budget Friendly Date Night Ideas You Have to Try

30 OUTFITS TO COPY FOR THIS YEARS THANKSGIVING

Can you believe Thanksgiving is in just one week?! SO crazy! But, I seriously couldn’t be more excited.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been thinking of outfit ideas for Thanksgiving for awhile now, but we’re at crunch time. and TBH, Pinterest is not giving me very cute options, either.

Thanksgiving is a hard thing to dress for because you don’t want to look to casual or too fancy. One thing is for sure though, you do want to look g-o-o-d.

I have searched for hours (dramaticccc) on Pinterest for outfits you can copy that will leave your family thinking you are a fashion genius. (PS: Everything I linked is an extremely similar Amazon find, so you can Prime it to your house before Thanksgiving! Love Amazon clothing)

Jacket | Leather Leggings |Denim Shirt | Black Sweater | Hat

I love this outfit because it keeps it very simple minus the plaid coat which adds such a dramatic factor to the outfit. (Pic from The Girl in the Yellow Dress)

White Sweater | Denim Shirt | Denim Jeans (the.best.jeans) | Booties

This could be too casual depending on what your family gatherings are like, but this would be a GREAT outfit for a casual but cute look.

Black Dress | Camel Jacket | Black Boots | Faux Fur Scarf

I really like how this outfit will look good coming in from the cold, but also when you take your jacket off.

Sweater Dress | Vest Jacket | Over-the-knee Boots

OBSESSED with look! So chic and makes you look so put together.

Sweater | Winter Jacket | Jeans | Shoes

Another perfect outfit if it is acceptable to wear jeans! (Picture from With Love from Kat)

Leather Jacket | Bodysuit | Skirt | Shoes

This is a great option for all you skirt lovers.

 Shirt | Jeans | Shoes

Shirt | Jeans (so cute) | Heels

Cardigan | Shirt | Jeans | Shoes | Scarf

Sweater | Jeans | Shoes

Shirt | Jeans | Shoes | Sunglasses

Sweater | Skirt | Boots

Sweater | Skirt | Boots | Purse

Sweater | Skirt 

Shirt | Skirt | Shoes

Sweater | Jeans | Shoes

What are you going to wear for Thanksgiving?
OTHER POSTS TO CHECK OUT:
How to Throw A Perfect Thanksgiving
How to Save Hundreds This Christmas
10 Things All College Students Should Be Asking For This Christmas

8 Gifts College Students Will Love This Holiday Season

Christmas is finally here and for the first time this year, you can not think about what you want!

Grandma, your favorite aunt, and your boyfriends parents keep asking you what you want and you draw a blank.

This roundup has gifts that will actually be used and you will LOVE.

Hunter Boots: If I had to recommend any shoe for a college student, I would definitely recommend a pair of Hunter Boots. They are cute but also will last for years after college is done. Plus, you can get inserts for them to make them warm for winter.

 

10ft Phone Charger: These are the BEST and I think everyone should have this (even if you aren’t a college student :). 10ft iphone chargers can spread all around dorm rooms and make it much easier to be on their phone while lying in bed. This would make the perfect stocking stuffer.

 

Headphones: College students debatably have headphones on more than any other age range. From using them while studying to not disturbing your roommate, they always come in handy. Beats are amazing for drowning out noise, but my personal favorites are these wireless headphones (and yes, they are only $11.99!). If you do want to add Beats to your list, these are SO cute!

 

Tennis Shoes: Lets be real, there is nothing we wear more than leggings. With the amount of black leggings all of us wear, having some cute sneakers can really step up your outfit. I love these shoes and might add these to my list 🙂

 

2018 Planner: One of the best parts of the New Year coming is that you can get a new planner soon! I dont know about you, but I use my planner SO much in college that by the time second semester rolls around my planner is trashed. Bando planners are really cute and I love how they are set up.

 

Winter Jacket: I am obsessed with this jacket If you have a cute winter cute, you can literally wear leggings and an ugly shirt and still look cute. and thinks anyone who wears it looks so chic.

 

Small Purse: Having a purse that you can just throw your phone/debit card in and attach to you is really important for going out to parties/bars. This Kate Spade purse is really cute and isn’t that expensive (in Kate Spade terms;).

 

Cute Pajamas: Can we all agree that when you wear cute pajamas you automatically feel a million times better? There is so many cute options and makes for the perfect gift (because dropping money on pajamas just doesn’t always seem like a priority). Silk pajamas are the BEST. 

 

Coffee Mug: Is it really college without coffee? I think this coffee mug says it all. 

 

Alcohol: If you really want to get us something that we will want, buy us a handle and call it a day. Seriously, they will so love this gift.

 

Hat: Walking around campus can be brutal in the winter so having a nice hat is essential. I love this hat and the fur ball on top :).

What are you asking for this holiday season?

OTHER POSTS YOU MAY LIKE:

6 Ways to Save Hundreds this Holiday Season

The Step-by-Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Friendsgiving

-10 Easy Ways to Solve Your Dandruff Crisis

 

6 Ways To Save Hundreds of Dollars This Holiday Season (FREE PRINTABLE)

The holiday season is debatably the best few months of the year. There is parties to throw and attend, great food to eat, and a feeling of happiness that you just don’t get the rest of the year.

But, can we be real for two seconds? Even though it is the best to give nice gifts to your friends/family/boyfriend for Christmas, it can be a bitch to your already nonexistent bank account.

Side note: Sorry Mom for writing a swear word in my blog post, but this poor college kid just REALLY doesn’t have money. 

The older you get, the more gifts you have to buy. Obviously you have your family gifts, but add your boyfriend, boyfriends family, friends, and all the Secret Santa gifts and you have more names than money.

BUT, with some planning and budgeting you can get everyone the best gifts without them knowing that you got it for a bargain. And is there really anything better than being known for giving the best gifts during the Christmas season? No.

Side note again: I am just being really dramatic over here, I know that CHRIST is the most important part of Christmas.

At the end of this post, I include a printable spreadsheet that will help you save hundreds of dollars and allow you to get the best gifts this holiday season without needing to take out another loan (girl, you already have enough student loans). 

Planning who you need to buy for and some gift options for each person will eliminate that last minute shopping trip where as long as you get a gift, you could care less how much you spend.

Whether you are a couple months or a week away from Christmas, planning who you need to buy for and gift ideas for each person will save you SO much money. Every year, I use this printable (you can download it at the end of this post) to plan everything and it is my favorite thing ever.

I always set a budget that I need to stick to for ALL my gifts and then depending on how important a person is decides the percentage of my budget they get for their gift this year. Haha, is that bad? So, for example, every month since June I have put $50 dollars into a separate checking account that is just for Christmas. That means, that this year for Christmas I have a max budget of $250 to spend on all my gifts. My boyfriend, Ben, is someone I want to give a big percentage of my budget too. I will give him 40% of my budget which means this year I am spending around $100 dollars on him.

I then write the amount of money I have to spend on him in the designated spot on the spreadsheet and below it write gift ideas I have for him and how much those are. This lets me think about really good gifts that can be ordered for him that are within my budget.

Having this list and gift ideas ready, makes it really easy to watch out for deals and sales specifically for the items you have picked out.

This season has some of the best sales including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is amazing for you, if you use it to your advantage. You can sometimes score over 50% on items that you would have paid full price for by keeping an eye out for the specific gifts you plan on buying this year. HOWEVER, if you go and get sales-struck (guilty :/) and buy a ton of things you do not need, you are dismissing the whole point of the plan. Stick with the plan!!

Get money back on your gifts by using cash-back websites.

I want to start off by saying that this is not sponsored at all!!! I started using cash-back sites in September and just got my first check ($36.00) in the mail this week!! woohoo! (READ: How I Get Paid to Shop) I love cash-back sites because you get paid to shop and do absolutely nothing for it. There is a ton of these websites out there, but my favorite one is Ebates.

I used to be sketched out to use this, but after reading a ton of reviews and not having to put in a credit card when signing up, I figured why not and I am here to tell you it does work!! Once you sign up, you install a little button in your web browser (they’ll obviously explain this to you better) and then every time you go to a website, it alerts you that you can earn money. If you purchase something from that store (they basically have every store imaginable) you get a percentage of that back in cash. If this isn’t a great way to save money for Christmas, I don’t know what is.

Click here to sign up for Ebates, and refer two people to receive $50 as a welcome! 

You need to learn how to fake it ’til you make it.

There are so many events during this time that involve bringing a gift for someone, a white elephant gift, or a secret santa gift. These are all so fun but add up like crazy. You never want to turn down a party and would feel way to awkward to just show up at one without a gift when you were suppose to bring one. So what do you do? Learn to negotiate OR buy gifts that look expensive but aren’t actually that amount.

Even writing that sounds tacky, so let me elaborate. There are so many stores these days with name brand items sold for a discount that are the b.e.s.t. including Homegoods, Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc. Honestly, I sometimes like these stores better than the “real” non discounted stores. They have a ton of items that look very expensive but don’t break the bank.

Groupon will be your BFF for experiences this holiday season.

There is always those people that have everything and you have no idea what to get them. It is the worst! A gift that is perfect for a type of person like this is giving them an experience instead. Whenever I give someone an experience, I usually go to Groupon. (btw, Ebates has a 6% cash back on all these purchases 😉 They are real businesses (with reviews from customers who have used that specific Groupon, my favorite part) that put out a really good deal to try to bring in customers. I actually bought Ben (bf) and all his friends paintball tickets because I got them such a good deal from Groupon.

I live in Milwaukee and from just quickly looking at the website there is a deal on a Brewery tour (obvi assuming you’re over 21), indoor rock climbing, painting class, skiing pass, massages, manicure & pedicures, and actual goods. Definitely worth you checking out what is available in your city.

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The Step-to-Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Friendsgiving (+ A FREE Checklist to keep you organized)

Pictures From: A Beautiful Mess, HomeyOhMy, The TomKat Studio

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to celebrate this year (don’t stress out yet, you still have time!).

This is a holiday surrounded around celebrating what you’re thankful for and who’s not thankful for some great friends?! Let’s celebrate them (and show what kickass hosting skills you have) by bringing them all together for none other than….a Friendsgiving!

Friendsgiving makes for the best time and us here at BSL want to make the planning process as easy as possible. We have put together a checklist for you to follow but also will go through every step to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Who exactly are you going to invite this event?

This is the first thing you need to think about. How many people do you want to invite? Make sure you are being reasonable and that your space will fit everyone comfortably. Plus, is your table big enough and do you have enough chairs? For a Friendsgiving, you really need to think about this. Write all these people out in your “Who to Invite” section of the checklist. From my past Friendsgivings, I have found that 10-15 people seems to be the perfect number.

When date do you want this event for?

Think about the best time for you to throw this party. I have found that most people host it the weekend before Thanksgiving to ensure that everyone is really feeling “thanksgivingish” ;). However, if you are hosting this at college make sure to check into when you are having your school break. Since people will be making a dish for this party (we will be getting to this shortly) having it on a Saturday or Sunday (maybe not Sunday depending on how boozy you want your night to get) will be best to allow people ample time to prepare their dish.

Send out the invites!

I love sending invitations and believe its the first glance at how great the party will be. There are so many card options these days both in paper and email form. I truly love a paper invitation and think it shows the work going into this party, but also know that evites are much easier so I will show you options for both.

Minted: If you’re looking for paper cards to send I would look at Minted. I am obsessed with all cards that Minted does and think they all look very professional. My card favorites are this one (I actually used this for my invitation one year), this one, and this one. Lucky for you, they also offer evites for FREE! I used this feature for a party I threw a few weeks ago and thought the card looked great and was super easy to work with but did experience some people not receiving the card to their email box (shoot!), so just beware and keep your eye out! They have a ton of options for this but my two favorite options are this one and this one.

Canva: Canva is a free design software that I highly recommend (I use it for ALL my graphics on my blog) and gives you the option to download the image you design which means you can include it in an email or you could print it out and send in the mail. It is super easy how to learn how to use the website and they have pre-made Friendsgiving cards that you just need to put your information into. The Friendsgiving templates I found are this one, this one, and this one.

What’s the deal with the food?

*Disclaimer: I am just assuming we are talking about Thanksgiving food here so that’s what I am going to focus on. If you want to have a Chinese food themed Friendsgiving go for it!*

I have found the most effective way to make sure you are not stressing AND not spending a fortune on this event is by assigning food to each guest and you (the host) make the turkey (which is why this is prefilled this section in the checklist!). I say you should make the turkey for a few reason. One, because it needs the oven and would be a pain in the booty to take a turkey in the car (I don’t know why but the thought of that is funny to me haha). Two, its the main piece!!

While assigning foods to guest might sound demanding, it really isn’t at all. The side dishes are pretty simple and I’ll give you an idea of what to assign shortly. On the invitation simply write their name and say “Please kindly bring ___________ cooked and ready to serve to this special event!”. People would much rather want this than worry that they are going to bring the same dish as someone else. If someone can’t come to the party you can still easily make that persons assigned dish because you only have the turkey, make sense?

How will you decorate?!

This is my favorite part!! There are so many good ideas out there on how to decorate and I have a post coming out in the next few weeks on a TON of different ideas so make sure you check back for that. However, I definitely recommend thinking ahead on a photo backdrop (emphasis on a banner that says friendsgiving) that people can take pictures in front of and name cards for their spot at the table. Both of these give the event a professional and thought about esthetic that will “wow” your guests. A HUGE thing– make sure you plan where you are going to put all the food!! I always put it on a seperate table and serve buffet style so the table doesn’t get uncomfortably crowded.

Get good vibes with some music your guests will love.

I am a huge fan of Pandora and Spotify but for events have leaned towards Pandora just because I found a station I LOVE! However, I don’t have the unlimited version so the ads can really interrupt things. My absolute all time favorite station on Pandora is “Hipster Cocktail Party” and in my opinion plays the perfect music for a dinner party. On both Pandora and Spotify they have specific stations for Friendsgiving that you can also check out. Make sure you have music going while guests are coming in! It will really begin the event on the right foot.

The finishing touch to your shower is leaving your guests with a favor.

This sounds like it could be really complicated but it’s not at all! Make some caramel apples and wrap them individually in a plastic bag (the ones they sell at Michael’s). Wrap it with a bow and a tag that says “I am so thankful for you!” (you can make these super cute in Canva) and your guest will feel extra special.

10 Easy Ways to Fix Your Dandruff Crisis

Let’s be real, ain’t nobody got time for dandruff. It happens to all of us and it is one of our worst fears.

Fall comes and with each passing day you find your head getting itchier and itchier. Then you look into the mirror and to your horror you see white flakes. White flakes sprinkled around your head.

The worst part, the more you try to fix it the more you find. Also, did you know that dandruff is a fungus? Can not even think about that. But, don’t worry, we will turn your dandruff filled hair to luscious locks with just a few tips.

*BTW, I don’t know if its the water quality or the air is more dry, but these last two years in college my hair has been more dry than ever! Not good.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The acidity of apple cider vinegar soothes your dry skin and prevents the fungus from growing (EW!). Before you shower, apply equal parts vinegar and water and put all over your scalp. Let sit on your head for around 30 minutes and wash it off in the shower.

Baking Soda

Baking soda just might be your new best friend. According to the website Home Remedies for All, theres over seven ways baking soda can get rid of your dandruff problem. However, the by far easiest is to simply mix two tablespoons baking soda with warm water and slather that all over you hair. Leave it on for five minutes and rinse off. Within two days, you will see improvement but I would recommend keeping it up for two weeks to see maximum results.

Coconut Oil

Seriously, what does coconut oil not do?? Heat up your coconut oil (I recommend putting it in a bowl then put the bowl on hot water) and apply it to your scalp. Massage the oil into your scalp in a massaging method and wrap your hair up in a towel or shower cap. Sleep with it on overnight and wash off in the morning with shampoo. Do this three times a week for a month to see results.

Purchase special shampoo.

Personally, this is the route I go because I find its the easiest. Every year fall roles around I transition my shampoo to Head and Shoulders even if I don’t have dandruff because it is a great preventative. This company has enhanced their brand so much in the last few years and has made some way better smelling products. A few years ago I went to the dermatologist right after I got back from vacation and I was peeling really bad around my hairline. My mom was convinced it was dandruff (I knew it wasn’t though) and the dermatologist recommend Head and Shoulders over some medicines. Pretty good if you ask me.

Garlic

You might want to choose this one when you aren’t planning on seeing people for awhile (stinky) but this will get the job done. Crush one garlic clove and mix with water. Rub it all over your scalp and then rinse with shampoo. If you do not want the smell, then mix some honey into the garlic and water mix. It will masque it!!

Egg Yolks

This one might be easy considering you probably have it on hand! Mix two egg yolks and apply to your scalp. Wrap your hair up in a bun and shower cap and let sit for an hour. If you go this route, wash your hair twice to make sure you really get the smell out.

Aspirin

I am personally really excited to try this. You are suppose to crush two aspirins up, mix with water, and apply to your head. Leave on for two to three minute. This works because aspirin has salicylic acid which prevents dandruff from growing.

Olive Oil

This will moisturize your scalp and remove the dryness, which causes a lot of the dandruff. Heat olive oil up to be slightly warm and massage into scalp. Take a warm towel (maybe throw in the dryer for a few minutes before you do this?) and leave it on for at least 45 minutes. Massage out of your hair with shampoo and conditioner.

Salt

We are using salt as a natural exfoliator to get the dandruff removed from your head. Just place some salt mixed in with some olive oil (obvi more salt than olive oil) and massage over head. Do this for 5 minutes. Rinse and relax.

Massage Your Head

Wait, what?! Yep, massaging your head will break up the dandruff particles and move your oils around. This will cause circulation and give your head places to “breathe”.

Doing these remedies will definitely solve your dandruff crisis and allow you to enjoy this weather without worrying about those pesty flakes!
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