Preparing for Christmas in the Fall! 

I know Fall just got here, but I’m mentally already in the Winter season preparing for Christmas. Since Dereon is 9 and pretty mature his Christmas list has slowly started to change and he started asking for less items, but now the few things he does list is pretty expensive And since Baby Chance is only 1 we will get him a few little things for him to open up on Christmas morning, but nothing too major. So to be proactive this year I told him to write his Christmas list a little earlier than the traditional November time frame. He came up with 10 things and half of them were very inexpensive so I smiled with glee, but then as the list continued I saw more tech savvy items like a Drone which isn’t cheap. I sighed. A drone? Really? The wheels in my head started to turn and I realized that I could get the Drone and the few other items he requested if I started knocking them out now. No reason in waiting until December to shop when you already know what you are getting.

I made a few calls and found out that Walmart’s Christmas layaway is in full force and that I can start shopping now and making payments to pay my total off. How awesome is that? But wait it gets better! Kmart has a layaway too and it’s active throughout the year. 

Not only is Layaway a good way to prepare early for Christmas, but here are a few other tips to get you ready for the season to be jolly.

1. Make a list of everyone you are buying a gift for and come up with a budget.

2. Stick to your budget! 

3. Look online for the items on your list. I’ve seen huge price differences from online prices and instore prices. 

4. If you shop at a certain store for your Christmas shopping then start buying gift cards for that store now. $5 here…$10 there…adds up. If you do this a few times in October alone you could have a $100 gift card balance by November to help tackle Santa’s long list.

5. Be realistic! If it’s something on your list that you can’t afford, don’t fret. For example your hubby wants a 50″ 3D TV and it’s not in your budget try to see if you can get him a pair of those virtual reality glasses & game bundle packs. Or give him some cash or a gift card on that big ticket item in a cool card. Don’t stress or go into debt for a Christmas gift because then you are missing the real reason for the season!
Happy Shopping guys! I’ll be back with more money saving tips, holiday gift guides, and giveaways for this Christmas season.

Deals for your gamer at GameStop!

If you have a gamer kid (or husband) then of course GameStop is on your Christmas shopping list. GameStop has a great sale going on this weekend!

Dereon wants games for his Xbox and Wii U, while the husband wants games similar to Halo and Nba2k15. I won’t be going crazy this Christmas running to a million stores to get video games for various consoles at decent prices. I’ve decided to head to GameStop and gather everything at one place for a great price. I like the fact that GameStop has different payment options like Layaway until Dec 14th, trade in credits from your old games and consoles, and their new PowerUp credit program. Lets not forget you can save tons by buying pre-owned items.

Here you can find all of the deals and even shop online.

Look at some of the offers:

        (Friday and Saturday only) Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Bundle:$329.99 (save $70) – includes digital copies of Assassin’s Creed Unity and Assassin’s Creed Black Flag

·         PlayStation 4 Limited Edition Bundle: $399 (save $100) – includes Grand Theft Auto V and a digital copy of The Last of Us Remastered

·         Super Mario 3D World Bundle for WiiU: $299.99 – includes the 32GB WiiU Deluxe Set, Super Mario 3D World and Nintendo Land video games

·         Save $30 off popular PlayStation 4 and Xbox One titles, such as The Evil Within, Sleeping Dogs andMiddle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

·         Free HTC Desire 510 4G LTE Smartphone with purchase of Cricket Wireless no contract service(after $75 mail-in rebate)

·         $50 off ASUS 16GB Memo Pad HD 7 ($99.99) and Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 ($149.99)

These deals won’t last long so check it out online or in store! Let me know how it goes.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post however all my reviews, thoughts, and posts are honest and my own opinion.

Ross brought out the budget fashionista in me!

Two weeks I was blessed to attend an amazing event held at The Roof on theWit Downtown here in Chicago for Ross: Dress for less! I really had a blast. The food was plentiful and so was the champagne. The venue was astounding! Can we talk about the view? Even though it was a chilly day here in the Chi the heated outdoor roof patio was nice and cozy. The clear walls showcased the amazing Lake Michigan and the detailed Chicago skyline.

image
image

image

image

Bloggers and the executive team from Ross were able to talk and we learned about how Ross started and grew to the Midwest. The Ross team members were warm, inviting, and very transparent. Many of them talked about their move to Chicago from the West coast and their families which always wins me over. At the end of the day a brand that has a real person approach is what most bloggers want.

image

When we made it to Ross (Which was around the corner on Randolph) I was super excited. I had $100 to use and I had a plan in tact. Since Dereon is growing like weeds I knew I had to stop by the children’s section and grab him a few items. What I didn’t know was I would fall in love with some many nice shirts, slacks, jeans, and sweaters. I was in my fashion zone. Dereon’s taste is pretty cool for a 7 year old. He likes to dress casual; slacks, shirt, tie, and loafers. Yes, he is 7 I am sure. LOL. I wanted to make sure I picked some things he would like and also some practical pieces that he was currently out growing. I was happy to find some great name brand jeans for his weekend wear, a really button up shirt with a tie, a Bears football jersey, some cute jogging pants for his basketball class, and much more. The prices of the clothes were very reasonable. I mean I got some Levi jeans for the kiddo for only $16.99 and they look super cute on him.

image

image

image

When I finally snapped out of my daze I left the children’s section and ventured off to see what other goodies Ross had in stock. Sense we were the first to shop in the store the options were plentiful. I mean home décor, purses, jewelry, shoes, perfume, coats, luggage, and the list goes on. My mother was able to score some UGG boats for under $65 dollars! Can you say a steal?
image

Natasha from Houseful of Nicholes kept me laughing the whole night and so did Raijean from SwaiRai. Check out our pictures below:

image

image

Overall my trip to the new Ross on 26 E. Randolph was amazing and I’ll be back soon!

Want to get a chance to shop at Ross yourself? Comment below on what you would grab from such an awesome place like Ross and I’ll pick the best answer! Winner will win a $25 Ross Gift card. (Contest ends Nov. 14th)

P.S. I can’t forget to post a picture of the tasty cupcakes they offered everyone while shopping. I need another just thinking about them.
image

Not your average pair of “Black Socks”…

I love the fact that Dereon has to wear shirt and tie to school everyday. He also must wear black socks with his “dress” shoes. At his previous school he could wear whatever socks he wanted so he only had a few pair of black socks. Which meant I had to stack up on black socks when he started at his new school. The only thing I wasn’t to happy about was the fact that black “dress” socks cost a little more than plain white socks and are a little harder to find so when I was given the chance to review a pair of microfiber black socks I jumped at it.

We decided we on a 3 pair pack of microfiber boys dress socks. At the first look I knew I would love these socks. Mainly because the were very soft looking, but well made. (it going to be hard to put holes in these bad boys). They have a gold line which I like for when I’m pairing up socks (LOL) but it is actually to tell you the child’s shoe size for a perfect fit when shoe hunting. The socks also had just enough stretch for them to be comfy, but fit snug.

Dereon likes them and told me they were “cozy”. It’s a plus that it comes in a 3 pack and the price is perfect (on sale for $6). I recommend you checking out their site. They don’t just have children items, but men and women as well.

5 tips to help you save money for Christmas 2013

So it’s no point of acting like it’s not right around the corner…yep. Christmas! Santa is busy making his toys and you should be busy stacking your coins so you won’t be super stressed this Holiday Season. Even though we all know Jesus is the reason for the season, I have come up with 5 tips to help you prepare yourself as well as your wallet for Christmas 2013:

1. Pack your lunch – That’s right. No more Mickey D’s or Wendy’s or Olive Garden for lunch!(Well at least not every day). You can save a ton of money by bringing your lunch to work. If you spend $5 a day for lunch that’s $25 a week and that’s only if you spend $5 (which I doubt). If you do the math that’s $50 every two weeks. That $50 could go on that Grand Theft Auto 5 video game your son has been talking your ear off about.

2. Layaway – I have heard so many bad things about layaway, but the truth is it’s great. Get all the hot items safely put up with only a small percentage down and a schedule date for payments, to keep you on track. Perfect! This is the best way to go for those really on a tight budget and or for those that has a kid that wants all the latest and greatest toys that clear the shelves quick.

3. Black Friday – I love Black Friday! Most of the people who don’t like Black Friday has had a bad experience or didn’t plan right. That’s ok. We have all done that before. The key is to research, plan and execute. Look at what store is offering what and is it worth you being up at 5am? Plan what time you are going and go! Sadly, being late by 10 minutes can cost you so make sure you are going by yourself or with dedicated shoppers.

4. List – Hi Santa. What do you have for me? Even Santa’s got a list. People spend way too much money when they go in to the stores without a plan and no list! You buy things that grab your attention because it looks like a steal or it’s just too cute! Well that’s going to hurt you. You need a list. Who, What, What store, and price. You have to know what you are there for because if not you will walk the aisle aimlessly picking up items that will may throw your budget completely off.

5. Envelopes – After you have your list completed, put how much you are spending on each person. Then grab a few small envelopes and write the person initials with the amount you are spending (write this very small). As you get paid add to the different envelopes. Once you are saved up and ready to go shopping grab your envelopes and keep to the budget! Once you spend all the money in that envelope on that person you need to reevaluate what else you are trying to buy them and look at what you already have bought. Do they really need it? No. Then their list is complete! Time to start wrapping. But if it is on the top of their list, take the least desirable gift back and use that money to get that must have gift. The key here is to stay on BUDGET.

If we start applying these rules now I believe we will have more sanity this Holiday season!

Let us remember Christmas is about love, family and Jesus. If we can keep that in mind before the madness starts and during we might make it to 2014. LOL

Bloggers VIP event at Anna’s Linens + GIVEAWAY!

Last month I had the honor to attend Anna’s linens Bloggers VIP event at their Chatham Village store on 87th Street. It was a delight to see the behind the scenes of a home decorating store and pick up a few tips to prepare for the Fall season.

They had tasty snacks, a raffle, how to class, and a cute gift bag for all the attendees. We went through different departments of the store and got to view all their new products as well as the best selling items.

The store manager was amazing she knew her stuff and was very excited to have bloggers checking the place out. Later in the evening we were escorted upstairs to their inventory location and meeting area and was given a organizing class by a personal stylist. They showed us cute and frugal ways to organize jewelry, clothes, and bulky items.

We were given a 20% off coupon to use for our shopping that night. I grabbed Dereon some new sheets and a cool Batman comforter.

I’m now a huge Anna’s linen fan not only do they have the latest styles for less they also have great customer service.

Here is the comforter set I fell in love with while shopping:

I want you to give you a chance to experience Annna’s Linens as well so here is your chance to win a $25 gift card!!

Three simple rules:

!. Like A Real Urban Mom on Facebook (I will check so make sure you like the page LOL)

2. Share this giveaway via any Social Media outlet (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc)

3. Comment below on what you would buy if you won the gift card and include the link to where you shared the giveaway.

Contest ends Monday Oct. 21st 2013 at 11:59 PM Cent. time. Enter today!!