Get a Jump on Holiday Shopping

By Guest Blogger Ashton Taylor

Holiday shopping is not that far away. If you shop online, you can do it any time to get your gifts before Christmas. Now, is the time to hunt for the deals. These sites will provide you what you need.

First up is dealnews, which has people who are deal hunters looking for products at more than 2,000 online retailers. In addition, they get tips from merchants and visitors about bargains. The deal hunters hand pick the best deals among the thousands they get daily and update the site.
The site also bans stores with poor customer service. Customers can give the site its e-mail for alerts to deals and gift ideas. The site features a  Black Friday page is one of the best out there. It features both confirmed and leaked ads (before they're officially released). It also shows when stores that haven't released ads yet are scheduled to publish them.

Second on the list is Some people find deals here that aren’t elsewhere.

Third, is driven by users for deal-sharing. It features a few deals on its homepage daily, but its forums are where you'll hundreds of deals posted daily.

When you visit the fourth site,, you don’t have to do any work. It lists hundreds of items from deal-a-day sites and daily deal offers from retailers, such as It shows how long the deal has been posted, time when sale ends, amount of discount (if available) and whether the item still is in stock.

Of course, Amazon is always available. You can find anything you want on Amazon. The site often has good deals. Whatever you need, you’ll find the most results and the lowest prices.

No. 6 fetches prices on 70 million products from more than 25,000 on-line merchants, including eBay. It also lets you sign up to receive email alerts when your favourite brands or products go on sale.

Competing with Amazon, Google's shopping search engine, Google Product Search, is great if you want a price comparison tool. What you'll get are lots of results for your search, product reviews, seller ratings and a "local shopping" option to help you find products at stores near you.

Companies, like Cheap Voucher Codes, are designed to present the consumer with discount codes and digital coupons. You get coupons you can use on a number of sites for the holiday shopping season. has more than 27,000 coupons from about 9,000 retailers. You can use the Coupon Scout tool  to compare coupons from up to five retailers. Click on a category, such as women's apparel, and the Coupon Scout tool will appear on the left-hand side of the page.

With No. 10, Alex’sCoupons, you get something while giving something. The site will donate a portion to children who have cancer. It has given more than $20,000 to charities fighting childhood cancer.

Some sites, such as 11 and 12 will allow you to get a discount on gift cards. Plastic Jungle and Gift Card Granny sell merchants' gift cards for less than face value. They'll also buy gift cards you don't want (for 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the card's value). Buying a discounted gift card to use for your own shopping is a good way to score additional discounts.

The high cost of buying on-line comes from the shipping charges. Therefore, you can check out No. 13, The first offers free-shipping coupons for more than 3,800 stores, including, Target and Best Buy. You can get free delivery codes here. And all you last-minute shoppers don't want to miss Free Shipping Day Dec. 17. More than 700 merchants already have signed up to participate this year and guarantee Christmas-Eve delivery for all items purchased on Free Shipping Day.

How Can I Get Started?

Before setting out to shop online, plan ahead. Know your budget and your list. Start as early as possible, look for the on-line sales and make use of them. Take advantage of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales or Veteran’s Day sales. Write down people’s names and make notes of gift ideas for them. Remember to include people, such as teachers, hair stylists, letter carriers, massage therapists.

While you're making your shopping list, don't forget to add Christmas tree ornaments, stockings, wreaths and other holiday decor to it. Your budget will ensure you narrow down your search for the perfect gift, and it will save you from post-holiday spending regrets. Include Christmas decorations in your budget, too. If you plan on hosting holiday parties or big family dinners, include those as well.
To help yourself stay on budget, make sure to shop on the big sale days. Cyber Monday and Black Friday are always great days to find discounts on hot gifts, so don't let them slip by. Sign up to be notified by email when the sales are going to start; you may even get early access to sales that way.

So, don’t be afraid to get started on your holiday shopping now. Even stores are putting up Christmas decorations below fall decorations. It might look odd, but the stores know they have to capture the market right now before the holiday rush begins. You can jump on the bandwagon and get your holiday shopping done with discounts, coupons and sales and relax this December.

Author Bio:

Ashton Taylor has Bachelor’s in Fashion Designing and Communications. She is currently working with a fashion agency in Houston, Texas. In her free time she enjoys freelance writing about cosmetic & beauty products, fashion trends, as well as natural beauty tips.

It is getting to feel like fall in north Florida, although we had temperature in the high 80s... but as soon as it gets to 70 I am ready to wear fall clothes. Fall fashion trends this year are pretty straightforward: a lot of fur accessories and blazers, leather, flare jeans and pants, anything 70s style, gigantic weird earrings, chunky knit sweaters and dresses and black. I love fall clothes for the reason being that I can recycle what I already have in my closet and invest in few good quality pieces. This year I bought Frye leather sneakers and a leather jacket. Fall also is very forgiving if you have extra pounds to hide. Everyone looks well put together and stylish. It is very easy to look elegant and fancy in the fall and on a low budget. For example, I paid $20 for those plaid wool shorts. My black purse was probably bought back in 2012 and the white sweater is from Banana's Republic last year.

Beside fall fashion I wanted to discuss and remind my readers what this blog is about. This comes at a very special moment when there seems to be an anti-fashionistas movement who has revealed that everything these bloggers show is fake. While I am glad people are coming forward for some reasons I feel no empathy. I created this blog for the same reason for which these people are now getting more public attention. I created the blog to display that being fashionable can be achieved by real people and that our imperfections make us beautiful and fashionable. I also created this blog to show that busy moms or tired professional women can and should still look presentable and not end up in pjs when going out. I just read today that this model stopped posting glamorous pictures of herself and instead posted for 7 days so 'called unpleasant pictures' (no make up, normal day pictures). She initially lost 3K followers but then gained 100K and people praised her for being like regular people. That to me is fake. I don't understand why as women or men or people only like the glamour pictures, the photos that look like any other 'cool' photos out there. If it is a picture outside those parameters nobody likes it. But the moment that glamorous person tries to be the rebellious regular person everyone switches again and changes their minds on what they like. Seriously what is wrong with people? There is indeed a theory, groupthink theory which claims that if you put a bunch of people in one room to discuss a topic, they will all start thinking the same.  (I totally simplified the all theory but you get the concept). I feel this is what is happening with fashion bloggers and instagram. We are not unique or authentic as marketers tell millennials are. We are the opposite of unique, we have no creativity because we stole it from the trend setter and then we just replicated the same style everyone likes. Have you noticed that all food pictures and kitchen decor photos are taken on white marble? They must have run out of Marble di Carrara based on all these photos. And what's up with gold mugs, gold pens, gold papers, gold everything...What is going to happen when we switch back to chrome and we will look back at the year that kitchy cheap gold was a trend like wall paper in the 70s?

I am a little tired and nauseated by what is happening out there in the world of fashion. I am not inspired by much as everything looks the same and it is hard to find the creative people. I know they are there, hidden by all this white marble. On a positive note, I did meet some great fashionistas last night. I decided to step it up a little bit and become a Florida blogger representative for Tallahassee, which means getting to know people, supporting real bloggers with real stories. I think I said enough today with my fashion fall trends and my blah story about fashion bloggers these days.

[All photos by Mallory Brooks at All content on this site is all right reserved by Ginevra Adamoli. Do not republish the content without permission.]

I have been looking for almost 2 years for the perfect iPhone case. I even created a Pinterest Board for inspiration with my top iPhone cases. Then I was approached by TheWTFactory to try out their luxurious iPhone cases and they sent me one of their LuxBox. See what you think. I really like it. It is simple, yet modern, unisex, edgy and classy at the same time. Do you need more ideas for pretty iPhone cases? Scroll down and look at my inspiration board. 

 In September Shawn and I visited Paris. It was Shawn's first time but I have been there before a couple of times. This time was different because it was our first time taking a break from having the baby, it was with Shawn and we were looking to explore what Paris has to offer in food and drinks.  I was already obsessed with Paris before but this time made me realize even more why I am obsessed. In 2012 I even tried to get a job there and was applying for jobs in Paris. I never got it but was taking French language lessons and making home-made macaroons. If I could find a job I would move there right away. Paris is my favorite city in the world. To combine our trip in just one blog it is impossible. I decided to start with 5 spot to eat in Paris.

[DISCLAIMER: All content is all rights reserved. Please contact me at Fashion For Real People if you are interested in working with me. I ask not to re-publish my content without my permission]

Top places to Eat in Paris

1. Breakfast: Station République 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris, France 
This the most authentic patisserie/bakery we found.  It was so delicious that I can't even describe what happened in my mouth as I was enjoying a cheese croissant and a danish pastry. This is not quite a tourist location but you can walk up to San Martin canal. The patisserie has an outside large picnic table and there is a small supermarket nearby so you can get a drink and enjoy your meal. 

2. Snack: Aurore Capucine 3 Rue de Rochechouart, 75009 Paris, France
We found this tiny patisserie specializing in dessert and tea as we walked down from Montmartre. We passed the fabric district and kept walking down until we saw this window full of tarts. We enjoyed a chocolate coffe tart as we kept walking and checking the surrounding areas. 

3. Lunch: Marche Des Enfants Rouges: Marché des Enfants Rouges, 75003 Paris, France
Determined to find a cheese store we stumbled upon this authentic and crowded outdoor food market with different cuisines from America, French, Greek, Italian and so on. It was packed and difficult to order if you don't know French but totally worth going and eating there. nearby I even found a clothing boutique where I bought a pair of awesome suede shoes for $35. The only thing I bought while in Paris.
4. Dinner: La Cuisine De Phillipe 25 Rue Servandoni, 75006 Paris, France
There are plenty of tourist food traps in Paris as in any big city. These are located in the most popular locations. However, it is not impossible to find amazing food at a decent price. Be wary that you need to make reservations in advance if you want to reserve a spot but we found a trick. We would go in advance to see if they had any availability for the night. Most places would tell you no and to check back later at 8:45pm, kind of the last call. This is how we were able to secure a spot at this restaurant with a Michelin chef. The menu was a fixed menu priced at 40 euro, a steal if you consider we had lobster soufflé, duck and maroons soufflé. Oh and pate foie gras. Wine is an additional charge. I loved everything about the simple decor with the elegant and sophisticated menu.  Another trick to get a table at a great restaurant is to reserve through the hotel which is hosting the restaurant. Hotel Relais Saint-Germain takes reservation for its nearby restaurant and again we were able to get a table for dinner. The couple next to us said they reserved a table six months in advance and that the top chef in Denmark recommended that specific restaurant. We were very lucky!! 

5. Late snack:  L'avant Comptoir 9 Carrefour de l'Odéon, 75006 Paris, France
We tried multiple times to get inside here. This place is so packed you can't even make it to the front door. This is a tapas place where you order and eat standing up. It is packed. I mean packed!! Finally we went so early like 5PM that we were able to get in and order some tapas and wine. The menu hangs from the ceiling and they have a little bit of everything from shrimp, to ossobuco, to french fries. Prices are cheap. We talked to the bartender and he said the place is always packed from 8PM to 12 when they close. They also have an outdoor crepes stand for late snacks. This is a good alternative to an expensive dinner. I have more recommendations and pictures but wanted to start with my top places to eat in Paris. 

Sometimes I get to the end of the day when I finally have some time to write on my blog and suddenly all the great ideas I had during the day for topics to discuss are gone and I am left with a blank page. Why? Is it because I am tired that I can't think straight? Does it ever happen to you? You start the day and you make lists of things you want to accomplish after work. It starts with laundry, organizing the dispenser, hanging those frames up that have been sitting in your closet since 1999, organize your pictures loaded in your desktop and so on. Then  6PM approaches, you end your work day, maybe go to the grocery, do some dishes, play with your dog or daughter. Suddenly it is 8PM, then 9PM then 10. You seat down to finally work on your blog and BAM: your brain is empty. You try hard to remember those awesome ideas by searching through Refinery29 or Instagram but everything seems bland and blah to you.

Apparently there is a scientific reason for this which relates to dopamine flow which is said to increase when we are relaxed as in taking a shower for example. After taking a hot shower I still had no ideas. There is also another article on Fast Company discussing how we get greater ideas at night. As a matter of fact when you are trying to be creative you will have more luck working at night when you are super tired. Unfortunately, that does not work for me. I don't consider myself a morning person, however I have managed to get to work by 7:30am for a long time and it seems that I am more productive in the morning. As soon as I eat something and the digestion works I get tired, which explains why my luncheons are a cup of coffee and cereal with milk. I also stopped working out which made me less alert at night. I used to work out everyday in the evening and when I would get back at the house I would spread energy around the house. But seriously, my great ideas are morning ideas. Is it because I am a mom now? In graduate school if you work on your papers during the day it was considered a sin. You would work in the library all night to finish that paper and always felt it was the best intellectual piece you ever written. Was it that I worked and still work better under pressure and my blog is a recreational activity? What about you reader: do you get your best ideas at night or in the morning? Does it change based on age or number of children you have?

**I wrote this past 10PM. :)