• Surprise teachers, friends, and family with these lovely handmade gifts. Each easy-to-make present will warm your Valentine's heart.
    Get five awesome ideas here, then head to FamilyFun.go.com to see instructions for over 30 more gifts!

    Kids already have Mom's heart pretty well sewn up, but there's no sense taking chances, and this whimsical notepad leaves no doubt as to who holds the strings.
    Book of Love
    Fill this pretty homemade notebook with all the things you love about your Valentine. It'll warm his or her heart year-round.
    Get the Instructions

    A tiny slide-out compartment holds big love and lets the recipient know he or she is unmatched.
    Matchbox Message
    A tiny slide-out compartment holds big love and lets the recipient know he or she is unmatched.
    Get the Instructions

    Get an answer to
    Oracle of Love
    Get an answer to "Will you be my valentine?" and any other yes-or-no question with this homemade version of the classic Magic 8 Ball.
    Get the Instructions

    Here's a valentine guaranteed to grow on recipients: a plant that is synonymous with a special pal, the sweet pea.
    Sweet Pea Pot
    Here's a valentine guaranteed to grow on recipients: a plant that is synonymous with a special pal, the sweet pea.
    Get the Instructions

    Personal robots may do our bidding in the future. But these adorable little inventions are already on the job, programmed to transmit Valentine's Day messages.
    Treat Transmitters
    Personal robots may do our bidding in the future. But these adorable little inventions are already on the job, programmed

    Read More »from Easy, Adorable Homemade Valentine's Day Gifts
  • Put down your wrapping paper, car keys, and credit cards. The reason we've all been whipped into an errand-running frenzy is here, which means it's time to stop doing and start enjoying. Here are ten instant ways to be present and appreciate this once-a-year moment.

    You've trolled through the mall for the perfect gifts and clicked your way across the Internet looking for something just right. Now, really watch what happens. Hand over your gifts and delight in the surprise when it's unwrapped.

    Receive We spend so much of the holiday season thinking about others, but being a gracious receiver is every bit as important. Instead of thinking about getting the cinnamon buns out of the oven, hang on when your kids offer a morning hug. Don't shrug off compliments and gifts. With an open heart, accept the love, thoughtfulness, and macaroni necklaces that come your way.

    Read more: Easy, inexpensive, and eco-friendly DIY gift wrapping ideas

    Light a Candle It takes a quiet moment of attention

    Read More »from Simple, instant ways to truly enjoy the holidays
  • Unbelievably, it's less than 48 hours till Christmas. In the event that you still have a few people to check off your list, consider giving the gift of relaxation by whipping up your own all-natural, spa-worthy concoctions. Here, a few super-pampering, crowd-pleasing, inexpensive, make-em-yourself items that can be put together in just a couple minutes with only a handful of ingredients (none of which should require you to zig zag your way through a super-crowded, hectic mall!).

    Bath Salts. These really couldn't be easier to assemble. Head to the craft store, or possibly even just a nearby grocery store, and load up on the following: epsom salt or dead sea salt (you'll need 2 cups total, and you can combine the two if you so desire), baking soda (1-2 teaspoons per batch, which helps make skin soft), and essential oil in the scent of your choice (you can't go wrong with super-relaxing lavender if you ask me, but this is of course completely subjective-you'll want 10-12 drops per

    Read More »from Luxurious but low-cost, last-minute gifts you can make right at home
  • You're finally (or at least, almost!) finished with your holiday shopping, and now it's time to give a wee bit of thought into packaging your spoils so they reflect all the time and energy (not to mention hard-earned dollars) you spent in choosing them. Before you get frustrated at the thought of one more chore, we're here to remind you that gift wrapping doesn't have to be a time suck, nor do you have to be an origami expert or shell out a small fortune in fancy paper and ribbons to get presents looking pretty and presentable. Here, a few of our favorite DIY ideas, using materials that most of you probably already have at home.

    In lieu of rolls of printed wrapping paper, make use of all those extra paper grocery bags you likely have lurking under your kitchen sink. The solid, interior side will give parcels the same rustic-cool look of plain craft paper. To finish it off, use pieces of masking tape (painter's tape, which usually comes in a bright blue hue, works especially well

    Read More »from Easy, inexpensive, and eco-friendly DIY gift wrapping ideas
  • The holiday shopping clock is winding down! So here are some creative last minute, budget friendly gift ideas for everyone on your list.

    Getting something for everyone, sticking to your budget and having fun at the same time can be a challenge so we enlisted the help of Katrina Szish, Lifestyle contributor for Ideeli.com. Katrina helped us track down some of the hottest gifts of the season.

    You can't go wrong with affordable accessories for the friend who loves their gadgets. Texting gloves enhanced with special material at the thumb and index fingertips allow you to use touch-sensitive devices without taking off your gloves. Colorful covers for the nook, ipad and iphone and other devices will keep everything protected in style.

    Give the gift of a cozy movie night with Stylish Sunbeam heated throw blankets. Classic DVD movies and gourmet home made popcorn kits will complete a cozy movie night at home.

    Gifting beauty products can be a challenge unless you opt for ready-to-go Read More »from Last minute gift ideas

  • Even if you're not normally a homemade gifts-giver, we can all agree on one thing: people love them some cookies. We rounded up some simple sweet treat recipes to help you check off the rest of your Christmas list: some are especially simple (we're talking store-bought dough and cake mix), some are quick Christmas classics and others put creative spin on old favorites (cardamom snaps, anyone?). Hopefully, you'll find more than a few winners here to complete your Santa duties so you can pour yourself a glass of spiked eggnog and really get into the holiday spirit.

    Holiday cookie decorating ideas on a budget

    New tools from Walmart to save money on holiday shopping

    Read More »from Last-minute cookies and sweet treat gifts
  • Chances are you've been invited over to a friend's house for a party or meal sometime over the next two weeks, and naturally, you don't want to arrive empty-handed. But after all the gift shopping you've done this month, I'm guessing you-like me-have neither the inclination nor the budget to spend a ton. Here, a slideshow of ten chic, unexpected, super-affordable (everything is under $10) tokens of thanks that nearly any host or hostess would appreciate.

    Read More »from Unique—and refreshingly inexpensive—hostess gifts under $10
  • Real talk: the holiday season isn't all smiley elves and Karen Carpenter for some people. When you're feeling stressed or blue, the December pressure to slap on a happy face can make you feel even worse: the difference between how you actually feel and how you're supposed to feel is so great. There's no rule that says you can't be in a bad mood during the twelve days of Christmas. But maybe what you also need are some quiet, meaningful, and just plain fun ways to celebrate the season that don't have anything to do with presents or the mall parking lot. Here, ten timeless ways to bring light and cheer to the holiday season.

    Candlelight Night
    Make your season brighter by turning out the lights. There's something about candlelight-the way it lends a sense of import, makes you lower your voice just a bit, and makes everyone look about 87% more attractive-that is just inimitably…magic. For one night, why not make like the 19th century and rely on candles rather than electricity, if

    Read More »from 10 ways to make the season brighter
  • With Thanksgiving behind you, I hope you're feeling like a holiday meal-planning champ. Maybe you even learned a thing or two in November that completely changed the way you're approaching Christmas. To beat stress and focus on enjoying the holiday, we're focusing on simplicity, budget, and family. Read on for how to support the heart of the holiday in the kitchen.

    Make a Budget
    How much can you spend on your holiday meals without wanting to take out a second mortgage? Remember: it's not Christmas because you serve champagne and foie gras. It's Christmas because you're with your family celebrating traditions. Make a budget and stick to it. You might feel like you're making compromises when you're in the grocery store aisles, but when you're all sitting down together around the table, no one will be the wiser.

    Read more: 10 ways to keep your holiday party costs super low

    Plan Ahead

    To outsmart stress and frenzy, make like a Boy Scout and be prepared. Draft a menu for the big meal,

    Read More »from 5 sane steps to plan relaxed holiday meals
  • It's very easy to get carried away for Christmas, especially with young children. As a single parent I have learned a couple of great gift ideas. Santa comes with one very special gift each year. Usually this special gift has been decided on months in advance. This year it's pillow pets. I'm so excited because last year it was a $100 kitchen, so bless their little hearts they have made it easy for me. I love Christmas. Just love everything about it except the bank account. Over the last couple of years I have learned a few tricks in making every Christmas great for my little ones. They always have at least ten presents each under the Christmas tree. This is how I do it:

    Pajamas- Usually about $5-$7- I love pjs because who doesn't love some pjs and who doesn't need some new pjs.

    Movies- There is always great family movies for less than $10! This year I got Toy Story 3 for $10 and Ice Age for $2!

    Jeans- What jeans? Yes that's right. I love Old Navy's jeans for kids only

    Read More »from User post: How I help my checking account survive Christmas


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