Nordstrom Black Friday Deals!

Nordstrom has announced their Black Friday Deal for this year and they are doing an extra 20% off selected sale items. Last year, they ran the same promo and nearly everything was included except for the certain designer labels (mostly the highest end premier designer items).

I’ll be updating my post as I come across any great deals!  In the meantime, have a wonderful thanksgiving!

Twenty White Elephant Gift Ideas Under $25!

One of my favorite fun games at holidays parties is the white elephant gift swap. I wanted to write an updated post with some new budget friendly ideas for your 2017 holiday swap, all under $25!

white elephant gift ideas under $25

White Elephant gift ideas under $25

Beauty

Beauty items are some of my favorite budget friendly swap items.

Face Masks are always a hit. This set at Sephora includes 6 different ones. I also love Korean masks like Innisfree and The Face Shop and they are so affordable.

Sephora also carries a bunch of mini sets that would be a fun gift like this one from NARS which is a blush and lipstick duo and this one from Bite Beauty which is a small collection of lipsticks.

L’occitane hand creams are my favorite and they are a great winter gift since our hands get so dry with the heat! This L’occitane gift set includes 4 different scents.

Odds and Ends

Voluspa scented candles are amazing. My personal favorite is the Panjore Lychee scent. Heavenly!  Plus the glass jar is so, so pretty.

I’m always a sucker for plaid in purple/blue so naturally I love this scarf! This leopard scarf is also really cute.

Powerbanks are such a necessity these days! My favorite brand is Anker. I love the durability and this one is priced right.  They also make a variety of other accessories like selfie sticks and power port plugs.

These magnetic twist ties look really useful!  They also get great reviews.

Whimsical Gifts

This Mug by the Unemployed Philosophers Guild reveals the constellations in the night sky when you pour in a hot drink. How cool is that!?

Tea Flowers are so cool. It’s not something I’d normally buy for myself but I think this would be lovely to receive!

Adult coloring books have been so popular the last few years. This one is Harry Potter themed!

The Pie Face game is so fun. We played this at a friend’s house and we had a blast!

Kids

Target has a few classic kids games in “rustic” series made out of wood.  Connect 4, Candy Land and Jenga are all favorites at our house.

Elephant and Piggie books are a hit with my kids. We got this book within a book last year and loved it!

Where to Shop

While you can always shop online, if you’re just buying 1 small thing shipping costs can add up quickly.  I find that going to places like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s is a good place to find budget friendly gifts.

There are also a number of retailers who have a list of items that ship free without any minimum purchase. Here’s links to each one:

Amazon — Amazon Prime members have access to free shipping on 100 million items. If you aren’t a member of Amazon Prime yet, you can sign up here for a free 30 day trial.  You can cancel at anytime.

Sephora – everything on this page ships free with the code HOLIDAYSHIP

Pottery Barn Kids Ornaments – all ornaments ship free

Nordstrom – all purchases ship free

Crate and Barrel – everything on this page ships free

Target – everything ships free if you have a Target RED card

What are your favorite items to receive at White Elephant swaps? Do you prefer a useful gift, a funny gift or a heartfelt one? 

TinyPrints Foil Card Review

One of my favorite traditions is sending and receiving holiday cards. I managed to be on top of things this year since I hired a photographer to take family photos in the fall. Since I love reviewing all of the various card companies I end up ordering a few from here and there, so just like last year, friends & family you may receive a different card design from one another :)

I just received my TinyPrints cards that I ordered for review and unfortunately they are a bit disappointing. I’m so bummed!  I’ll be contacting customer service to see if they can resolve my problem, but in the meantime please enjoy my review!

Tiny Prints Now At the Shutterfly Site

Tiny Prints and Shutterfly are both owned by the same company, but Tiny Prints is the higher end offering from the company. Looks like they’ve changed up their product line and they are no longer offering Letterpress or Custom Foil options. They were gorgeous and so unique but very expensive. They are still offering Foil and Glitter options though, which I am happy about! They have finally merged sites so you can now find TinyPrints cards on the Shutterfly site and your order confirmations are sent by Shutterfly. However, even though they have merged, promotions are computed separately. For instance, Shutterfly has a free shipping offer right now for Shutterfly orders of $49+ but TinyPrints is offering free shipping for TinyPrints orders of $10+.

Designs

I ordered a Foil card and a standard card to review this year. Cards must be ordered in multiples of 5, with 10 being the minimum order. I wish they allowed any quantity to be specified. On the other hand, there are tons of different trim options and paper options, and you can even choose square or rectangular shaped for almost every design. I love that you can really customize the card to your preferences!

It is so easy to pick a card via the card visualizer. I love that I can see what designs work best with my image at a glance. Then it’s super easy to drag and drop my image onto the card and customize the text.

shutterfly-gentle-branches-foil-card

Quality

I’ve always been pretty happy with Tiny Prints quality, but this year the Foil Option I ordered did not meet my expectations. The design I chose was called Gentle Branches by Petite Alma. This card has some foil accents around the border in the nature illustrations and the Merry Christmas in the center of the card is also foil stamped.

Unfortunately, of the 10 cards that came, all of them suffered from missing foil “ink”. As you can see in the photos, the Merry Christmas lettering is not filled in. In addition, there are foil dots around the frame which suffer from the same problem. The dots aren’t as big of a deal because they just look like little bubbles, but the unevenness of the Merry Christmas does not look good to me. The design isn’t supposed to look distressed!

tiny prints foil card review

Tiny Prints Foil Card Review – See the foil “ink” print problem in the bottom card

In addition, the top card in my pack of 10 has a diagonal line near the top it like it was scored with a machine. I can’t tell if it was printed that way or if it is a physical mark. Either way it’s only the top card so it was not part of my image and shouldn’t be there.

Tiny Prints Foil Card Review

Tiny Prints Foil Card Review – Diagonal Line Across My Card!

 

The paper quality is nice and thick. I’m happy with the color rendition as well, though I’ll have to compare it to the other cards I ordered to truly tell if the color fidelity is true.

I’m going to contact TinyPrints to see if they can reprint these for me because the foil quality is really unsatisfactory. I’ll update the review when I get a response.

Shipping

This year, shipping was incredibly fast though it could be because I ordered early. I made my order late night on Sunday, November 12, I got notified that they were in production and shipped out on Monday, November 13, and I can see from the tracking information that the cards were tendered to UPS on Tuesday, November 14 and delivered to my mailbox via USPS on Friday, November 17. I was happy with the turnaround time this year, as sometimes the Mail Innovations (UPS + USPS partnership) can be really slow.

Overall

Pros: Lots of gorgeous designs, particularly in the premium options. Tons of options for trim and paper. The paper quality is beautiful!

Cons: Tiny Prints imprints their mark on the back of the card. Shipping starts at $4.95 for standard cards, but shipping for premium cards is $8.95. The foil did not turn out right with my cards. Let’s see if this is a one time problem and if their customer service can fix this.

Quality: The paper quality is great. The cardstock is nice and has a slight texture and sheen. As stated above, the foil has issues but let’s see if that is just a one time problem.

Have you ordered your cards yet? What company did you use and were you happy with them? 

Holiday Card Review — Shutterfly, Paper Culture and More!

It’s that time of year again, to order holiday cards!  I wanted to try a few different services this year so I’ve started the process of ordering. So far, I’ve ordered from Shutterfly and I’m working on a Paper Culture order. Any requests for other card companies? I would love to review all of the popular ones!

While I put together my 2017 review, in the meantime, please checkout my past reviews of Holiday Cards!

Holiday Cards Review — Amazon Prints vs. Shutterfly vs. Tiny Prints

Custom Photo Holiday Card Review — Shutterfly vs. Tiny Prints

 

Nordstrom Holiday Bonus Points!

Updated for Holiday 2017!

The holiday season is upon us and Nordstrom has TONS of bonus points opportunities to earn higher rewards for card holders.  For each 2000 points you earn, you’ll receive a $20 Nordstrom Note to use in store or online.

While Nordstrom Rewards is open to everyone, these bonus point opportunities are exclusively for card holders.

Personal 10 Points Day

Level 2-4 | November 24 – December 24

Level 1 | December 1-17

Level 2-4 members get to pick your a day to earn 10 points for every net dollar spent on Nordstrom credit or debit cards starting on Black Friday and ending Christmas Eve. You can schedule your day online at Nordstrom.com during checkout, or with a sales associate—then shop anywhere in the world of Nordstrom: in store or online at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack or HauteLook.

Level 1 members get to pick a day between Dec 1-17 this year for a personal 10 points day!  If you are not a member yet, enjoy a personal 10 points day on the day you apply and are approved between Dec 1 and 17.

Private Holiday Shopping Party | November 26 – December 10

Level 2-4 members are invited to shop and enjoy drinks and appetizers at a private holiday shopping party at Nordstrom.  I *LOVE* this party!  It is so fun and as a bonus, you earn 10 points per dollar spent at the party!  They serve light hors d’oeuvres, champagne and sparkling water at the party, there are live musicians and in the past I’ve seen a local company that sells merchandise at Nordstrom come and specially screen print shirts at the party.

Invited members will receive a printed invitation which should list the dates for your local party.

Triple Points and Alterations Benefits

Don’t forget to use your personal triple points days and alterations benefits before the end of the year, as your balance will reset on January 1st!

Previous Years

In previous years, Nordstrom also had special bonus points events on Cyber Monday: double points for Level 1 members, and 10 points per dollar for Level 2-4. They also did double points for everyone for 3 days starting Christmas Day. I don’t know if they’ll do it this year or not, but if they do, you can be sure I’ll post about it here!

Nordstrom also used to have a special Nordstrom Rack points party in late November where you would earn 10 points per dollar if you spent at least $150. Let’s see if they do it again this year!

Happy Shopping!

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