How To Treat Yourself To The Ultimate Makeover

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How To Treat Yourself To The Ultimate Makeover

We all deserve to treat ourselves every once in a while, and what better way to do that than with a makeover? Whether you’re looking for a new hairstyle, wardrobe, or skin care routine, there are endless ways to pamper yourself and feel like a new person. Let’s check out some tips on how you can treat yourself to the ultimate makeover:

Pick a Style Icon:

The first step to any makeover is finding some inspiration. Research your favorite celebrities or style bloggers and find someone whose look you’d like to emulate. Once you have your style icon in mind, you’ll have a better idea of the changes you want to make. Are you still trying to figure out where to start? Pinterest is always a great place to look for fashion inspo.

Update Your Hairstyle:

One of the easiest ways to change your look is by updating your hairstyle. If you’re feeling bold, why not try a brand new color? On the other hand, if you’re not ready for such a drastic change, ask your stylist for a cut that will complement your face shape. You’d be surprised by how much of a difference the right hair cut can make.

Invest in Some New Clothes:

Next up on our list is clothes. If your style needs an update, it’s time to hit the stores (or the internet) and find new pieces that speak to you. But beware – one of the pitfalls of shopping for a new wardrobe is spending too much money on clothes you’ll never wear. To avoid this trap, stick to buying items that can be mixed and matched with pieces you already own. This way, you’ll get the most bang for your buck and your closet will thank you for it!

Treat Your Skin Right:

Remember your skin! After all, what’s the point of having a killer outfit if your skin doesn’t look its best? If you need help figuring out where to start when it comes to skin care, try using products with natural ingredients or consulting with a dermatologist. And remember – just like with clothes, it’s crucial not to overspend on skin care products that might not work for you. Instead, start small and gradually add new products as needed.

Invest In Your Smile:

Finally, don’t forget to invest in your smile. A great way to instantly boost your confidence is by visiting a cosmetic dentist and having them whiten, straighten, or even reshape your teeth. With the right Cosmetic Dentist, you can have a brand new smile in no time and you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it can make in your confidence.

Go ahead and permit yourself to splurge – it’s close enough to the new year to invest in yourself for a new you. And just in time for the holidays to wow your friends and family!

Featured Image By: Pexels

November 2022 Finishes

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November 2022 Finishes

Howdy!! It is the end of another month that simply flew by and you all know what that means – it’s time to discuss my monthly beauty finishes! November brought me lots of new products to try out and that was so fun for me because I was feeling pretty blah with my skin care routine. Things definitely got shaken up with two new moisturizers and two new serums, one of which was a hit and the others… Not so much. Let’s get into more detail:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Clean Beauty Serum: This serum took me about four weeks of twice daily use to complete and it was pretty good. It lived up to its name of Deep Hydration because my skin definitely felt more hydrated and soothed after using it. However, there are a lot of serums out there that can do that and more so I can’t say that I was blown away by it. I would use it again if it was available at TJMaxx and nothing else spoke to me but other than that, this is a product that can be skipped on.

Clinique Serum: My aunt gave me a goodie bag of Clinique skin care samples and it took me four days of twice daily use to finish the Clinical Repair serum. While that isn’t enough time to see a product fully work its magic, it was enough for me to know that I couldn’t justify a price tag on a full size bottle. This serum was kind of weird in texture. It was thick but also runny if that makes sense? You also needed a quarter size or bigger dollop to fully cover your face and neck and even then, it still didn’t feel like enough. Who knows? Maybe this product is liquid gold but I just wasn’t seeing it.

Clinique Moisturizer: This moisturizer took me six days of twice daily use to finish the sample size jar and it was alright. I really liked that it had SPF 15 in it because that’s so important – even in the winter months! My skin also felt well hydrated after using it. Having said that, the Clinique Smart moisturizer features one of my biggest product pet peeves: It did a lousy job fully absorbing and I’m talking well over an hour. That is something that really bothers me because I hate feeling any type of residue on my skin, making it an instant no go for me.

Pearlessence Moisturizer: While the Clinique moisturizer I sampled was a dud, I cannot say enough good things about the Pearlessence Big Sky Cloud Cream. I paid six dollars for this huge jar and it took me over five weeks of twice daily use to complete, which is such an amazing value. My only regret is that it didn’t last longer! This moisturizer was the perfect happy medium between a cream and a gel and it made my skin feel so good after every use. I loved how soft it made my skin as well as making it look completely radiant. I would happily buy this product again and want ten of them to have on back stock! 😀

Although there were a few no gos in my November Finishes, it was still a nice treat to try out so many new to me products. If you are looking for a good moisturizer this winter, I can’t recommend the Pearlessence one enough… Buy me a couple of jars too lol! ❤

Which products did you use up this month? What are your thoughts on any of the above products if you have used them before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Beautifying Your Smile For The Holidays

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Beautifying Your Smile For The Holidays

The holiday season is here and that means family photos galore! However, this can be easier said than done if you feel self conscious about your smile. Let’s check out some simple tips to put a real smile back on your face just in time for the family and friends paparazzi:

Stay away from sugars:

Sugary foods and drinks like juices, sodas, and sugary candies are awful for your teeth and oral health. Foods that are high in sugars are the leading cause of tooth decay and other tooth-related ailments that can ruin your smile. When one tooth becomes infected, it can lead to a cavity or even a much more severe condition called tooth decay. This is why you should ditch sugars and try to pick up a healthy diet

Develop good dental hygiene habits:

To keep your smile looking great, you should try and develop good oral hygiene habits. It would be best if you always brushed your teeth twice a day and flossed once a day. Brushing your teeth is the most critical thing you can do to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. Brushing your teeth removes bacteria and plaque that build up on your teeth throughout the day. Plaque is stubborn, so even if you brush your teeth, it is still essential that you floss daily to remove all of the plaque and bacteria from your teeth.

Receive dental work if needed:

If you’ve been brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day but still aren’t seeing the results you want, it may be time to get a professional evaluation. Your dentist can evaluate your teeth and determine if any dental work is needed to improve your smile and health. Dental work can include crowns, dentures, bridges, teeth removal, All-on-4 Dental Implants, and more. Depending on what is needed, dental work can make your smile look better and make you feel better about the way your smile looks.

Whiten your teeth:

Poor dental hygiene, genetics, and other factors can cause your teeth to look yellowish. Teeth whitening can make you feel better about your smile and it is a straightforward procedure. Whitening is a common cosmetic procedure that whitens teeth by removing yellow stains. There are various types of whitening systems available on the market. These include at-home whitening kits and professional cosmetic procedures. The best and most natural way to whiten your teeth is to use a whitening toothpaste.

Drink water:

Water is essential for keeping your body and mouth healthy. It is also helpful for whitening your teeth. Drinking water daily will help you reduce plaque buildup in your mouth. Not drinking enough water can cause bacteria, sugars, plaque, and other things to build up on your teeth. This can make your teeth look dull and yellow. A water tracker is a great way to make sure you are getting enough water throughout the day.

Visit a dentist for regular checkups:

The best way to keep your teeth and mouth healthy is to visit your dentist regularly. Regular checkups allow your dentist to keep an eye out for any issues, such as cavities or gum disease. This way, your dentist can suggest preventive measures to keep your smile looking radiant. You should see your dentist regularly even if you do not have any issues with your teeth. Doing this can keep you from getting any oral ailments you are unaware of.

Look into braces or retainers:

If you have crooked teeth, you can work towards improving them. This is done by getting braces. Braces have been proven to help improve the appearance of teeth by straightening them out. Retainers are similar to braces, except they are used to keep teeth in place. Which treatment you choose depends on your specific needs and budget. Both braces and retainers can be expensive but they are worth it if they can improve your self esteem.

Follow the tips above and flash your pearly whites all holiday season long. You will be amazed at how much a smile suits you!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Cardi Party OOTD

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Cardi Party OOTD

Hey! This past week, Johnny and I celebrated Thanksgiving three times a lady and it was absolutely wonderful. We had the best time enjoying the company of both of our families and are still recovering from the food coma. Because of three Thanksgivings, I had to show out three times with holiday OOTDs and my Lil Red heart is so happy. With the craziness of the past month, it has been hard to find time to create fashion content and it feels great to get back at it again! Without further ado, here is my Cardi Party OOTD that I wore to Thxgiving with Johnny’s family:

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Who? What? Wear?

When it comes to Thanksgiving looks, it’s easy to prioritize comfort over style and why wouldn’t you? This is a holiday that is literally hanging out with your family and eating lol. But, what if I told you that you could have both style and comfort? *Gasp* My Cardi Party OOTD was not only crazy comfortable even after eating a big meal but it captured the cozy style that a Thanksgiving look is all about.

For Thanksgiving at Johnny’s parents, I had a cardigan in mind because the weather allowed it. We had a lovely fifty or so degree day and a cardigan is an ideal option for slipping on if you feel chilly or taking off when you’ve got the food sweats. I decided to go with my Lucky Brand cardigan from TJMaxx for its breezy shape and gorgeous color palette. The burnt shades are so celebratory of fall and I loved the unique pairing of these hues with a soft heather grey.

I wanted the colors of the cardigan to be the main feature of this outfit and it allowed me to make snap decisions to tie the rest of the look together. The Rachel Zoe button down of a coin grey hue was a no brainer to wear underneath the cardigan since it complimented the heather grey. Without being tucked in, this top is quite flowy. However, I always wear it tucked because it looks super cute and it also was what I needed so as not to pair two billowy pieces on top of the other.

As you all know, it is a rarity for both myself and my husband to not be in black skinny jeans so we won’t spend time on that regard lol. So, we will move right onto shoes and jewelry. The great thing about fall colors is that they all tend to compliment each other perfectly and that gives you the option to mix and match. This applies to both the famed jewel tone fall colors and duller shades alike, which made the fern heeled combat boots work so well. The grey undertones of the shoes also tied into the pieces on top for complete cohesion.

Finally, I wrapped up this OOTD with one of my favorite necklaces by SJ Pearl. I have several pieces by the brand but I often find myself reaching for the jade beads. I love the reassuring weight and the cool color. The pretty hue allowed me to fill the negative space on top without taking away from the rest of the outfit because it worked with the color palette that I had created. It also added some funky flare to an OOTD that was fairly simple, which you know I live for!

Tune in tomorrow for the final OOTD from my Thanksgiving look book featuring a very special guest. Then, it will be onto November finishes, a new Lil Red’s Book Club, and the blooper reel from these looks. Keep it posted!

What is your favorite fall color? What are you thankful for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Comfy Cozy Thxgiving OOTD

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Comfy Cozy Thxgiving OOTD

Hello everyone!! Thanks to celebrating Thanksgiving three separate times this past week, I have three brand spanking new OOTDs to share. Thanksgiving humors me so much because everyone gets dressed to the nines to just sit and eat but, hey, that’s my kind of holiday! For my Thanksgiving look book, I wanted to put together outfits that were cute (Of course!) but comfortable enough to lounge in when you feel like your stomach is about to burst lol.

This first OOTD was from actual Thanksgiving when Johnny and I went to my mom and dad’s and just chilled. It was a wonderful day filled with the best company and this is what I put together:

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Who? What? Wear?

In my humble opinion, there are few things that invoke comfy cozy more to me than a soft, chunky sweater. Not only is it great to snuggle up in but it also gives you some wiggle room after having a big meal! With that in mind, I went shopping in my closet to see what I could find and decided on my patchwork sweater by Monteau. I probably wouldn’t have selected it if I was cooking that day because we just ordered Bob Evans for dinner and it would have been a shame to stain it! However, this was perfect for the lazy day we shared watching Lego Masters, catching up, and vegging out.

With a top picked out, it was time to move downward in the outfit to the pants department. This part was a no brainer and I went with one of my favorite jeans in one of my favorite patterns – my Wit & Wisdom snakeskin skinnies. I am a huge fan of snakeskin in any color palette and these jeans paired just right with my sweater thanks to the grey, taupe, and cream pattern. Not only was it a match made in heaven but these jeans also feature an elastic waistband, which definitely assisted in providing maximum comfort on Thanksgiving day.

The base of this outfit was quite simple so once it was assembled, accessories were the final step. It took me a minute to decide on which shoes I wanted to wear but once I put my Free People boots on, I couldn’t believe I didn’t go with them from the jump. These are one of my favorite pairs of winter boots and they remind me of putting on ice skates every time I wear them! Although each shade of cream in this look is slightly different, it was all close enough for it to be completely cohesive and I loved how it tied together from top to bottom.

Finally, for a pop of color since this look was almost fully made of neutral pieces, I chose my dark green Argentino Vivo hoops. Argentino Vivo hoop earrings are the absolute best and while I love my huge gold ones, I think I might be a bit more partial to my green pair. Of course, for no other reason than because they pop amazingly against my hair! ❤

This Comfy Cozy Thxgiving OOTD was just what I pictured for a laid back Thanksgiving day. No muss or fuss, just pure comfort and some wiggle room to boot! Keep it posted here on lifewithlilred for more from my Thanksgiving look book!

How was your Thanksgiving? What is your favorite holiday to put an outfit together for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

 

Get Winter Ready With These Ideas

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Get Winter Ready With These Ideas

Winter is nearly here and preparations need to be done to keep you and yours comfy cozy all season long. From wardrobe updates to weatherproofing and everything in between, here are some steps to get you winter ready:

Update Your Wardrobe:

With winter coming you will want to make sure that you are changing into warmer clothes to beat the frigid temps. One of the best things you can do to save money is to go through all of the winter clothes you have, see what still fits and what you would still wear and then get anything you don’t have. With kids in the house and how quickly they grow, they might need a whole new wardrobe as their winter clothes from the previous year may not fit anymore.

Weatherproof Your Home:

Winter brings a lot of harsh weather and in some areas extremely harsh weather. Different weather can have different effects on your home so there are some things you need to add to your to-do list before it sets in. One of the things you will need to do is to clear out the gutters. You will also want to make sure you bleed your radiators, service your boiler, get a furnace tune-up, and check your doors and windows for drafts. You don’t want the cold weather coming in, especially with the rise in heating costs.

Declutter And Organize:

You most likely will have done a spring clean but a winter clean is also something to be done. One of the things you need to do is organize and declutter what you can. A big area to focus on is toys if you have children. With Christmas coming you want to make sure you have somewhere to put all of the new prezzies. Having an organized and clear home can also help your mental health which can often take a downward turn during the winter.

Car Checks:

The bad weather can affect your car too. You can help prevent issues by getting it checked, checking tire pressure, and making sure your heaters work. If there are any other issues, get them sorted so you aren’t stranded in the snow with a car that won’t work. You will also want to make sure your window wipers work properly to make it safe for you to see in bad weather.

Eating Healthy:

Winter and Christmas bring a lot of goodies and treats and with the darker and colder nights coming it is easy to indulge. During the winter, a lot of bugs and illnesses go around so you want to make sure you are filling your body with goodness and nutrients so your body can fight off the bugs effectively. A good way to make sure you are caring for yourself is by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. If you are having eggs for breakfast why not add some tomatoes and mushrooms to fill it out? If you are having pasta for dinner, you can add a whole variety of different vegetables or salad to the meal.

Stay Active:

During the winter months, it is very easy to want to be at home more and snuggled up watching TV. A lot of people normally reduce the amount of exercise they do in winter. You don’t have to go to the gym to work out, you can still do it in the comfort of your own home. There are hundreds of thousands of videos online of different workouts for different levels. You can also make use of the sunlight you have in the mornings and go for a walk or run around your local park. Staying active is beneficial for your health and well-being as when you exercise your body gives you a chemical which makes you feel happy, so exercise is great for improving a blah mood too.

Be in a sunny state of mind all winter long with the tips above. Make necessary preparations now to enjoy a stress free holiday season!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Coming Soon To lifewithlilred

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Coming Soon To lifewithlilred

Hello! You might have noticed something severely lacking in the content department here on lifewithlilred and that is OOTD posts. For a while, I was so happy to have almost weekly photo shoots to share with all of you that coincided with date days with Johnny. Then, the metaphorical shit hit the fan and date days just weren’t an option due to pure and utter chaos in Lil Red’s world. That is why I am so pleased to say that coming soon to theaters everywhere will be not one, nor two, but THREE new OOTDs on lifewithlilred!

Three?! Yes, three. This past week, Johnny and I had not one, nor two, but THREE Thanksgiving celebrations and you’re not going to not look your best when you’re just sitting there eating lol. I have missed having some fashion fun so I am very excited about this recent development and hope that all of you are too. I also have my fingers crossed that all of these clothes will still fit after three Thanksgiving feasts. 😀

Tune in tomorrow for outfit number one from my Thanksgiving look book and, for now, enjoy some pictures of your favorite Lil Red blogger and JOHNNY!!

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^^^ Besties! ❤

What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? How did you celebrate Thanksgiving? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Morning Hustle

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Morning Hustle

Hello!! The past month has simultaneously felt like an eternity while also feeling like there isn’t enough time in the day to get anything done. Because I spent most of the afternoons making the drive and visiting a loved one at the Cleveland Clinic, I have turned into a very early bird. My mental alarm clock has shifted to waking up around five thirty every morning and, damnit, I am tired of getting the worm lol.

With no time in the afternoon or evening, every morning has turned into a scramble to jam pack as much as I can in before getting to work. It’s not all bad, though, because it gives me extra time to love on my bunny babies and that is a major bright side! My mornings used to be a leisurely time and I could often squeeze in a few episodes of my favorite animes before setting out for the day. Now, my mornings look like this after waking up:

As soon as my alarm goes off, the grind begins by practicing my languages on Duolingo. I am well over a two year streak and I will be a monkey’s uncle if I break it! Next and, most importantly, I rush down the stairs to take care of the bunnies. This can be a timely process because not only do I have to get them fresh food, water, hay, and leafy greens but I typically have to clean their litter boxes and the surrounding area. It is so nasty but necessary lol the things I do for those precious angels!!

Once Penelope and Mel are taken care of, it’s time to to take care of me. Every morning, I do one hundred and thirty push ups and as awful as that sounds, my day would not feel right without it. Then, it is time to shower, get my skin care on, get dressed and return downstairs to my computer. My days would definitely not be complete without creating daily content on lifewithlilred, doing blog jobs, and catching up on work emails. I also have to pencil in some time to get some Christmas shopping done too!

After the online portion of my morning is done, I tidy up the apartment, cook dinner if I have the time, and prepare my belongings for the day. Then, finally before leaving, I take Penelope and Mel out for a jaunt in the apartment for their rumpus time. It is SO cute to watch them explore and is also a primary factor in getting up way earlier than usual. Just like their mom, they need exercise too and I am more than happy to facilitate their recess. ❤

The Morning Hustle has never been realer and even though it’s exhausting, it sure is fulfilling. I am a creature of habit and schedules and now that this has been my life for the past month, something tells me I won’t be sleeping in too late any time soon!

When do you wake up in the morning? Are you an early bird or night owl? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Gift Ideas For The Littles On Your List

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Gift Ideas For The Littles On Your List

Hello! Johnny and I are the proud aunt and uncle of a toddler aged boy and girl and a newborn little girl. They are each so precious and we love to spoil them rotten every chance we get! Prior to them being born, we both had little to no experience with children. Now, we can make mom and dad jokes with the best of them every treat day and the novelty never wears off. Being an aunt and uncle is an absolute hoot and every gift giving occasion makes us want to buy out the entire toy aisle! If you have some littles on your holiday shopping list, here are some ideas to get you started:

LEGO DUPLO:

Johnny and I are both avid lovers of building LEGO and we are about to give our nephew a head start on the fun with his own DUPLO set. DUPLO are LEGO bricks made specifically for little ones that are bigger and have simpler builds. Our nephew is a fan of anything and everything related to vehicles – especially fire trucks. I was so excited to find a DUPLO fire truck set and just know he’ll have a blast putting it together with his mom and dad!

Book Nook:

Our oldest niece has a staggering collection of books and being read to is one of her favorite things. Among other gifts for her, I purchased a purple (Her favorite color) book nook. It is basically a bookshelf with cushions built in so she has a comfortable space to flip through the pages of her go to pop up books. The book nook is going to be so perfect in her playroom and I hope it continues to harvest her love of reading since her TT is a big reader too. ❤

Mothman Baby:

Our youngest niece is a newborn girl and this will be her first Christmas. Her big sister has grown fond of all things spooky thanks to me and Johnny so there is no better time than the present to get started with the youngest member of our niece and nephew crew. Aside from a “My First Christmas” gift for our little, we also got Mothman, Nessie, and Yeti Baby pop up books for her. They are absolutely DARLING (I read through them online before making the purchase) and are an awesome introduction to cryptids. These books show all of the baby cryptids on adventures that typically end with them being safely tucked in for a good night’s sleep. Too cute!

Activity/Sticker Books:

My oldest niece and nephew are obsessed with stickers and Water Wow books and these are such great stocking stuffers on the cheap. Coloring books, connect the dots, and picture finds are also wonderful ways to go too. They are sure to give your littles entertainment for at least five minutes – long enough to get some sips of coffee before it gets cold! 😀

Treat Day Tickets:

Taking our niece and nephew crew on treat days is such a joy for me and Johnny and can also make an awesome gift. Outings like a trip to the zoo or a child friendly amusement park will have to wait for warm weather but that will give them an adventure to look forward to! If you aren’t keen on waiting until summertime, indoor activity centers, children’s museums, a trip to the movie theater, or lunch at their favorite restaurant are all solid options.

Take A Class:

My niece and nephew are both three and that is a perfect age to get started on extracurricular activities. Our niece is currently taking dance classes and our nephew is taking tumbling. Funding a current class or signing them up for one would be such an amazing gift. Some ideas include classes for swimming, crafts, sports, singing, or baking. Bonus points if you take them to some of their lessons!

The holiday season is always a special time but it just hits different when you see little ones experiencing it. I cannot wait for another Christmas with my favorite lil besties! ❤

What is one of the best gifts you received as a child? What is something that one of your littles want for the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hello everyone and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!! The holiday season is now in full swing and I am so thankful to be able to share in it with all of you for the eighth year in a row. Normally, Thanksgiving is my freaking JAM. A family meal with all of my favorite foods makes for a very happy me. However, that will not be in the cards this year because it has been a very tough few months for my family and we will be missing someone at the table until she is able to come home. Rather than feast, I will be spending my day being incredibly thankful that that special someone is on the mend and will be back really soon. Although the food is important to me (lol), feeling #blessed on Thanksgiving is what the day is all about and I’ll be doing that in spades. ❤

Holidays are such a special, joyous time and it can be hard when they don’t feel that way. If that is the case for you too, then we can look forward to better days ahead together. If that is not the case for you, then please take some time out of your day to feel thankful for it. While my stomach won’t be full of my beloved green bean casserole (Hate all you want!!), my heart will be bursting at the seams for all of the good that has happened and will be coming up soon.

Thank you to all of my sweet lifewithlilred family for being a reason why I will be smiling today. My message to you today is that even when things suck massively – there is always a reason to smile. No matter how you spend the day, have a very Happy Thanksgiving and I am thankful for each and every one of you! Much love. -Sarah

Black Friday Shopping Pro Tips

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Black Friday Shopping Pro Tips

Hello!! I can hardly believe that it is Thanksgiving this week and, of course, with Thanksgiving comes Black Friday. I have actually never shopped during Black Friday before. However, I worked retail for about five years and have five insane Black Fridays under my belt to show for it. During this time, I acquired a lot of pro tips for a successful Black Friday so keep these in mind when you set out for your day of shopping:

Check The Store Hours:

This might seem like a no brainer but it needs to be said since so many stores have updated their Thanksgiving/Black Friday hours in the past few years. A lot of places are no longer open during Thanksgiving evening and that is a wonderful thing. But, you will need to know the store opening and closing times to go about planning your day. This way, you can stagger your shopping and pencil in driving/waiting time if, for example, Target opens at midnight on Friday and Best Buy opens at two AM.

Have A Plan A, B, & C:

A ton of people are very serious Black Friday shoppers and the chances are high that you won’t walk away with everything on your shopping list. This is why it is a MUST to have a plan B and C in place for the items you want that are no longer available. It will also save you the time and frustration of scrambling on the spot to find something else.

Maximize Efficiency:

If you have never shopped or worked Black Friday, you can only imagine how crazy it really is. Jam packed stores, frazzled employees, and picked over inventory are all things that can slow your shopping down. If you know that you are going to need help from an employee, you can help them too! Have pictures of what you want pulled up on your phone or printed out so you can get an immediate yes or no on if it’s still available and where it would be in the store.

Fuel Up/Hydrate:

Crowded stores will get incredibly stuffy really quickly all over top of the fast paced atmosphere of the day. I don’t think I have to spell it out for you why a fall or other medical emergency is dangerous on Black Friday! For that reason, it is so important to make sure you have ate and are properly hydrated. Keep water bottles on hand and snacks in the car and do make sure you make a reservation at a restaurant if you plan on eating out so you know you will have a table.

Just So You Know:

So many people think that once Saturday rolls around, the Black Friday deals are simply over and that is not the case. SO many stores continue to offer Black Friday prices and promotions for several days after the fact. While Black Saturday doesn’t have the same ring as Black Friday, you are more than likely still going to receive a deal. Speaking of deals, remember that you might not be able to use coupons or rewards perks on top of a Black Friday deal so do your research to see which option will save you the most money.

Finally…

This is the time of the year when stores are hiring seasonal workers and a lot of them might not have much retail experience. In fact, Black Friday was one of my first shifts at fifteen and a half. Please keep this in mind and keep your cool because the day is already stressful enough for an employee without getting yelled at by angry customers too. If you think you could do a better job, then put on a name tag and get to work! 🙂

Shop smart on Black Friday with the tips above so you can walk away with something for everyone on your list… And maybe something for yourself too! 😀

Have you ever shopped or worked on Black Friday before? What was your experience like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

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Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

Hello! It has been snowing in Ohio for the past couple of days so, as far as I am concerned, winter is officially here. While it is always fun to have a night out, the cold weather makes me want to stay in until spring! Those winter nights gives the perfect opportunity to host the ultimate girls night in because why leave the comfort of your own home if you don’t have to?! Call up your besties and find your comfiest pajamas because it’s time to plan a GNI so good that it will make you scoff at a night on the town:

So Many Activities:

While nothing pleases me more than a good old fashioned girl talk, a night in begs for some fun activities to do together. This could be anything from pulling up a YouTube tutorial and having a wine and paint night to baking and decorating holiday cookies. How about making your own pizzas together instead of ordering delivery? Or putting together an ice cream sundae bar? Hey, a girl has gotta eat!

Spa Treatments:

A girls night in staple is, of course, getting to pamper yourselves. We’re talking face masks, painting nails, and aromatherapy – the works! Have your best girls bring their favorite products and turn it into a swap so that all of you can try something new. You could even create your own face masks and hair treatments with ingredients in your kitchen. Who knows, your girls night might turn into your first small business meeting with your skin care creations!

Snuggle Up:

What is a good girls night in without some chick flicks? Pop all of the popcorn and pop the champagne! Movie time means snuggling up, getting cozy, and unwinding so lots of soft blankets and fuzzy socks are a must. You could even order matching PJs if you want to be super extra! On the subject of blankets, fleece throws are super easy to make and can be added to your growing list of activities.

Cocktail Creations:

If you plan on indulging in the drink, how about creating a girls night signature cocktail (Or mocktail!)? Wine or champagne is always a good choice but it will be a blast to shake things up literally and metaphorically. Get inspiration for cocktails on Pinterest and put your own twist on it. You or your friends might just find your new calling as the best bartender ever. 😀

Playlist, Please:

Having awesome music on as you craft, eat, and talk the night away is so essential. Even more important is your selection, which means no mopey ballads! Girls night in means girl power anthems, one hit wonders, and beats that get you in the spirit for an impromptu dance party. And, what is a girls night in without Queen Bs, Britney Spears AND Beyonce? The answer is: NOTHING!!

If the winter weather has driven you to hibernation mode, you might as well have some fun. Your girls night in will be a GREAT SUCCESS and you could turn it into a tradition with a different host every month. Now, where’s my invite?!

What are some girls night in essentials? What is your favorite night in snack or drink? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Ways To Improve Your Property

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3 Ways To Improve Your Property

Being able to make your home better is something that all homeowners should strive towards. There are loads of things to consider when you are looking at the best ways to improve your property, and there are different types of work that you can do in your home in order to get the best possible outcome. These three steps to help enhance your property is a great way to get started to boost your family’s comfort and property value:

Make the roof better:

Your roof is one of the most important areas of the property and it is important that you do as much as possible to try to improve and enhance it. This means checking out things like roof repairs and hiring experts to make sure that it is in full working order and as structurally sound as possible. A damaged roof can cause leaks, mold, and a plethora of other problems and should never be put on hold to get fixed.

Improve the foundation:

Improving the foundation of the home is always a good thing and can be especially important in areas that experience extreme weather. Come up with some of the key ideas that are going to allow you to work on making your property better and more secure, and this all starts with the foundation. Get in touch with foundation experts such as Cdaniels Foundation, who can help you make your home safer and structurally sound, as well as adding value in the process as well.

Renovate:

Renovating and home improvement ideas are a fun way to shake things up in your home. And, when done right, it can give your property value a huge boost. Turning an attic or basement into a functional space is a popular choice. Turning a half bathroom into a full one is also something that will appeal to potential buyers in the future. Don’t forget to tend to your outdoor property too with decks, patios, and landscaping.

Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money and that is what the home renovation game is all about. Start with the most important things first like your roof and when time and budget allows, you can begin smaller projects!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Experience Gifts For The Holiday Season

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Experience Gifts For The Holiday Season

Hello! Are you bored with giving the standard holiday gifts? You know, lotions, candles, fleece blankets – all of the usual. Or, perhaps, you are shopping for the person who has everything? Regardless, maybe it’s time to switch gears and think about presents that you can’t wrap up and stick under the tree. We’re talking the gifts of experience! Shake things up this holiday season with these ideas and create lasting memories for your giftee in the new year:

Cooking Class:

Is your giftee gifted in the kitchen? Or can your giftee not cook at all lol? Either way, a cooking class would be such fun and something different. Whether it’s a class dedicated to delicious desserts or learning to cook Indian food, it will be a rewarding experience as well as a filling one because you can dig in afterwards! This is also a great gift to give to a couple for a unique date night.

Wine & Craft Class:

Wine or beer craft nights became wildly popular a few years ago and there’s a reason for that – they are a blast! Even if your giftee isn’t the crafty type, that’s okay! There will be a teacher to walk you through the entire process step by step and offer input to improve your project. Lots of different bars and restaurants host these events and I have seen everything from painting nights to woodworking and everything in between. You will also get the bonus of being able to display your creation in your home… Or tucked away in a closet depending on how it turns out. 😉

Girls Night In:

Do you and your bestie have some serious catching up to do? How about booking a hotel room for a night? You can gab, watch all of the HBO, and enjoy the indoor pool and hot tub. I don’t know about you guys, but I always want to go swimming in the winter! DoorDash some grub or order room service and indulge yourselves with the ultimate girls night in.

Event Tickets:

Does your giftee have a love for the theater? Or maybe they are an adrenaline junkie and frequents amusement parks in the summer? Sports fan? Easy. All you need to do is buy a couple of tickets! It can be as big as tickets to a concert or simply treating them to a movie night for the latest flick they have been dying to see. Whatever you choose for your giftee, it is sure to be a much appreciated present.

Take A Hike:

Do you have an outdoorsy giftee on your list? How about planning an excursion on a hiking trail or a camping trip? Take a drive, pack a picnic lunch, and enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors. Of course, you might have to hold off until warmer weather but that’s totally fine! One of the points of experience gifts is to give the person something to look forward to. If your giftee has a green thumb, there are also lots of classes available to create your own succulent terrarium or potted plant display.

Animal Lovers:

Did you know that some zoos offer “Get Closer” experiences? This allows you to have one on one time with certain animals at the zoo. I actually did a Get Closer experience with my brother at the Akron Zoo to see the Galapagos Tortoises and it was amazing! We got to love on them, feed them treats, and learn about them from one of the employees. If you have an animal lover to shop for, this is a fantastic way to go!

The gift of experience is sure to please everyone on your list and it gives you the opportunity to get creative too. Use some of the ideas above or put your thinking cap on to come up with the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

Have you ever received an experience gift before? What kind of gifts do you like to give? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Mocha & Glitter Pink Nails

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New Mocha & Glitter Pink Nails

Hello! During the trying times of Lil Red’s life right now, I find solace in the beauty salon. This past Wednesday, I got my hair done for the holiday season at The Shear Shop. And, this Wednesday, I visited Elysian Nails for an appointment with my favorite tech to get my nails looking right too. Now that I have been spending almost every day at the Cleveland Clinic (A sixty-six mile round trip drive), it is important for me to take some time for myself to avoid going crazy. Although my mental health was at a negative ten (Which is better than negative one hundred!) when leaving Elysian Nails, my acrylics still looked like a million bucks! Check it out:

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and, although I am not one for holiday themed nails, I like to choose colors that give a unique twist for the season. This fall, I have noticed a resounding amount of pretty beige, cream, and burgundy shades that look lovely but are just a smidge boring for my taste. At the nail polish wall, I was instantly drawn to the mocha hue that I selected and loved the grey undertones that added dimension to the neutral shade. Then, I decided to dress it up with glittery pink for some holiday flare without going overboard. The colors play against each other so well and they both pop beautifully in the light. This is one of my favorite color combos that I have done in a long while!

Last time I got my nails done, my go to girl was unavailable and that was okay because every nail tech at Elysian is awesome. However, the salon experience just hits different when your favorite gal and good friend is the one pampering you. It was SO nice to catch up with her after some time apart and it felt so good to chat about literally anything other than all of the stressful stuff happening in my world. And, of course, my preferred nail tech knows just the way I like my nails after almost two years of being her client and they are sharpened and shaped to perfection. The gorgeous shaping and nail polish colors look divine and it was a very much needed pick me up. ❤

The amazing staff and atmosphere at Elysian Nails truly feels like a home away from home each month and going there is a monthly treat that I always look forward to. I have my appointment already booked for December before the schedule fills up and I can’t wait to go back!

What color of nail polish are you rocking? Do you prefer gel or regular nail polish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Preventative Tips To Help Your Oral Health

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Preventative Tips To Help Your Oral Health

Oral health is something that many people should be focused on when it comes to their well-being. It can have a dramatic impact on how a person feels and looks. Our teeth will only last for so long, which is why it’s important to do everything possible to take care of them. With that in mind, here are some preventative tips that will help with oral health and hygiene:

Visit a dentist regularly:

Visiting a dentist regularly can help to prevent problems with oral health. Just like any health condition, if it goes undetected, it is more likely to get worse and impact the body further. A trip to the dentist should be something that’s happening at least once a year. Finding a local dentist is easy enough but it’s important that the dentist you visit is one that can be trusted by the person. Having someone mess around in your mouth isn’t something many want to be done by just anyone. It has to be a dentist they feel comfortable with.

Brush, floss, and mouthwash:

When it comes to maintaining the health of teeth, brushing isn’t enough. With brushing two or three times a day, it will keep the teeth relatively clean. However, when it comes to the rest of the mouth and in between teeth, floss and mouthwash are required. Floss is a great way of helping clear out any debris that’s been missed after brushing the teeth. When it comes to mouthwash, it essentially disinfects the mouth. From the gums and the tongue, both can carry a lot of bacteria that need to be removed.

Avoid too much sugar:

Sugar is something that can damage the teeth if you’re not careful. Try to avoid sugar where possible as this can seriously do some damage to the teeth over time. Too much sugar can indeed rot the teeth but more so, it removes the enamel that protects the teeth from harm. As well as being impactful on the teeth, too much sugar in a diet can cause some problems with those vital organs of yours, so avoid having too much sugar in general.

Be mindful of any immediate problems:

It’s important to be mindful of any immediate problems that can come from bad oral health and hygiene. Sometimes even with a good routine in place, there can be problems that crop up out of nowhere. It’s good practice to see a dentist immediately, rather than waiting for the annual appointment to come around.

Take caution with hard food:

Caution should be taken when it comes to consuming harder foods. Teeth are strong but they’re not indestructible to damage. Therefore, it’s important to take caution when it comes to food and make sure that no food is so tough that it causes damage to the teeth themselves.

Preventative tips such as these ones will help to ensure a person’s oral health remains in tip-top shape now and for the foreseeable future.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

3 Top Pre-Wedding Beauty Tips

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3 Top Pre-Wedding Beauty Tips

A beauty regimen before a wedding will help you look your best on your big day. You’ll want to look back on this day fondly, so it’s only natural that you want everything to be perfect. While there are plenty of beauty preparations you’ll want to do so you’re picture-perfect for the wedding, you need to realize that there will be some things you’ll need to do far in advance. So, what are these? Keep reading on to learn all about them:

Go easy on the skincare:

It’s odd to say, as most brides will improve their skin care regimen and may even get a facial from the local spa. While it’s great and even aspiring to have that perfect skin for the wedding, you’ll have to be cautious. Getting a skin care regimen in place for your big day is crucial to looking your best. The last thing you want is a breakout or dry skin. Make sure to avoid new skincare products in the month before the wedding.

Considering a tan?

Some brides enjoy tanning, whether it’s a spray tan or visiting the local tanning bed. However, if you want to get your glow on before the wedding, you must be careful. Spray tans are a great way to add a natural glow to your skin. They can also help to camouflage any imperfections in your skin. These tans can contour and define your muscles too. Getting a spray tan before your dress fitting when starting a wedding beauty regimen is a great way to ensure you get the shade you want. You can schedule a trial tan a month before the wedding.

Give up teeth-staining drinks:

Who doesn’t love their coffee, teas, red wines, and maybe even munching on berries? While these are all nice indulgences, you shouldn’t consume too much each day as you risk staining your teeth. Whether you’re looking to get white teeth for your wedding or just want to keep them bright, there are several things you can do to keep your teeth white. A dentist can also remove stains from your teeth if necessary. One of the easiest ways to prevent stains from wine is to rinse your mouth with water after you drink.This helps to loosen up the acidity that’s causing the stains.

You can also brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste. This type of toothpaste uses mild abrasives to remove stains from your teeth. However, it can take several months to see results so it’s important to do this far in advance. Another way you can kick up your teeth a notch would be through Invisalign. If your teeth aren’t straight, you can count on this to give you the smile you’ve always wanted for your wedding!

Be your most radiant, picture perfect self on your big day with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Transforming Your Bathroom For That Hotel Feel

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Transforming Your Bathroom For That Hotel Feel

There’s something about that luxury hotel experience that makes going away more of a treat. One thing that most people remember from their favorite hotels is the bathrooms. Hotel bathrooms are usually sparkling clean and undeniably luxurious. We spend a lot of time in our bathrooms so how about replicating this hotel experience in your own home? Here are some tips to help you out:

Get Rid of Damp and Mold:

One thing you never notice when you’re in a luxury hotel is damp and mold. Your bathroom is, by nature, one of the wettest environments in your house. You generate a lot of water and steam, especially when taking a shower or bath. This water and vapor can damage your walls and develop into damp or mold, which is both unsightly and unhealthy. The good news is that you can get rid of these issues, especially if you catch them early.

Using a sealant like RIW Toughseal is a great way to prevent damp or mold, as it provides a physical barrier against water and steam. You or a contractor can use it in a shower area to protect your property. If you already have damp or mold problems, you might be able to catch it early and air out the room to get rid of minor damp. You can then damp-proof the walls to stop the problem from coming back. However, in more severe cases you may need to get a contractor to repair the damage done before going through the damp-proofing process.

Super Soft Towels:

Hotel bathrooms are luxurious for several reasons, but one that stands out is the towels. The best hotels come with towels that are incredibly soft on your skin, which is ideal after a steaming hot bath or shower. There’s nothing worse than stepping out and being forced to use a scratchy towel to dry yourself. With this in mind, a simple way to replicate the spa-like bathrooms of the best hotels is to use fabric softener on your towels. Invest in new towels every few years, as older towels often end up hard and scratchy no matter what you do. It’s a small treat, but it’s worth it.

Sparkling Clean:

The best hotels aren’t just beautifully decorated, but they’re also incredibly clean. They achieve this by hiring professional cleaners who know how to keep an area spotless, no matter who’s been there before. You can clean the bathroom yourself and keep on top of it, but it can be a good idea to hire a cleaning service for a one-time deep cleaning session. This makes it easier for you to maintain your sparkling bathroom.

Potted Plants:

A simple way to level up the decorations in your bathroom is to add some potted plants. These add some life and greenery to your bathroom, making it feel undeniably like a relaxing spa. As mentioned before, bathrooms are naturally moist rooms, so pick plants that thrive in a humid area. A dying plant or dead plant can be worse than no plants at all.

Small and simple changes to your cleaning process and decor can transform your bathroom in an instant. Now, run that bubble bath and relax!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Eos Heal + Repair Body Cream Review

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Eos Heal + Repair Body Cream Review

Hello! I don’t know about you guys, but it is about that time of the year for me to start experiencing extremely dry hands. Every morning when I walk my sweet pup, Archie, I step outside knowing that my hands are going to be raw by the time I get back. Combined with the fact that I have spent almost every day of the past three weeks Pureling constantly at the Cleveland Clinic and washing my hands a lot after interacting with the bunnies, my hands are awful by the end of the day.

I have tried many a lotion to combat dry skin and have been pretty impressed. However, I recently started using the Eos Heal + Repair Body Cream that I was gifted with by my bestie last year and I can confidently say that it blows every other lotion that I have tested out of the water. Let’s discuss:

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^^^ This product is cruelty free!

Before we get into the details, we must start with how good the Pomegranate Raspberry scent smells. The tart raspberry is counterbalanced by the soft pomegranate notes and it makes for a perfectly light fragrance. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a more powerful scent but this one is just right to use before bedtime because it’s comforting rather than stimulating. Before I rub the lotion in, I always have to take a whiff because it seriously never gets old! 😀

When it comes to my dry skin, it takes form on my hands through noticeable redness and parched skin. I never use a lotion expecting it to be a cure all to this issue on the first go so you can imagine my surprise when I woke up to see my hands back to their normal shade and totally hydrated. My hands felt so touch-ably soft and smooth and it almost made me forget how bad they were prior to using it. This was not a one off occurrence but an every use thing and I am marveling at the results even now as I type this.

While I am a huge fan of cocoa butter based creams, I have learned through trial and error that my skin responds better to shea butter and this cream has it in spades. A huge plus about this product is how easily it absorbs into the skin without a greasy residue despite the shea butter base. From my time working at The Body Shop, I learned that cocoa butter bases tend to have a thinner consistency than shea and this was a concern for me. I am a very tactile person and can’t stand when lotion doesn’t absorb fully. This was not the case with the Eos cream at all and it melted into my skin with ease even with a thicker texture.

I have been using the Eos Heal + Repair Body Cream since the beginning of November and I will be so sad when it is all gone. It is, hands down, one of the best creams that I have ever used and I would highly recommend it if you are experiencing winter skin too!

What is your favorite body cream or lotion? Do you prefer cocoa or shea butter? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Essentials To Boost 2023 For Your Children

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Essentials To Boost 2023 For Your Children

2023 is on the horizon, and there are a lot of factors that you need to think about when it comes time to try to improve the year for your children. There are loads of things that you can do in the family that will help to make the coming year better and more exciting for your kids, and it’s important to think about the different ways in which you are able to do this.

Being the head of the family these days comes with its fair share of struggles and challenges, and the more you can do to deal with these effectively, the better it will be long-term. There are plenty of things that you have to think about that are going to play a big role in this, and being able to boost the coming year for your kids can play a huge role in making family life better. These are some of the key essentials that you can use to help you achieve this:

Extend the home:

Making positive changes to your property is something that plays a massive role in allowing you to improve the year for your children, as well as giving them more space and comfort. There are a lot of ways in which you can extend your home more effectively, and this is even something you can discuss with your kids in advance as well. Maybe you could turn the attic into a reading nook? Or, perhaps, finish the basement and turn it into the ultimate game room!

Look after finances better:

As a modern family, there are a lot of responsibilities and considerations to make, and one of the biggest things you need to get right as a parent is to make sure you manage money better. With the cost of living crisis beginning, it is essential for a lot of families to look for ways of being able to tighten their purse strings. The more you can do to help you look after your money, and ensure the family is more financially comfortable, the better. There are a lot of different ways in which you can achieve this like focusing on cutting costs, saving money little by little, and making better financial decisions.

Improve family health:

Working on improving family health is absolutely vital and you can do a lot to make sure 2023 gets off on the right track for the family, health-wise. One of the key things that can help you when it comes to achieving this is to swap your family’s diet for something healthier and more nutritious. It is also important to think about some of the best ways of being able to create a healthy family dynamic. This means you need to think about boosting mental health and well-being, and this is something that plays a massive role in helping you work on boosting your family health.

Plan more activities:

One of the best ways of making the most of 2023 is to plan more activities. How about visiting some adventure centres? Weekly family hikes? Cooking a meal all together? Being able to enjoy multiple different activities and keep your children active and engaged gives the opportunity to bond and have lots of fun too!

2023 will be here before we know it and you can make it the best year yet for your family! Spend time together, make improvements where you can, and continue to move forward as a strong family unit.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Updated All About Me

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Updated All About Me

Hello! In September, lifewithlilred celebrated its eight year blogiversary, so I figured it was high time to do an Updated All About Me post. So much has changed since I started my page as a twenty year old college kid – a husband, nieces and a nephew, and becoming bunny parents! Although I can’t say I’m thrilled to be approaching thirty in barely two years, it has been amazing to measure the time here on lifewithlilred. If you are just tuning in or have been a long term reader, here are some fun facts/updates about yours truly:

  1. After wanting bunnies for forever, I finally have them: I have always thought that having pet bunnies would be the best thing since sliced bread and it really is! Johnny and I are so obsessed with Penelope and Mel (a mother and son duo) and we have barely had them for over two weeks! Of course, we love their names but they have plenty of nicknames as well. Because, let’s be real, are you really a pet parent if you aren’t calling your pets anything but their real names? 😀

You can catch me calling Penelope:

  • Mama
  • Miss mama
  • Miss lady
  • Mama’s girl
  • Missy miss

Melvin’s nicknames include:

  • Mr. Melvin
  • Mister mister
  • Mister man
  • Mama’s little man
  • Tiny wanderer

2. Johnny and I are the “cool” aunt and uncle: Whenever Johnny and I are asked if we are going to be giving our parents grandchildren, we reply that the best we can do is grandbunnies lol. However, we LOVE being the cool aunt and uncle to our nieces and nephew, Valerie, Raya, and Patrick. They are the sweetest little humans and we revel in treat days when we can spoil them rotten. The best part? When the fun is over, we can give them back!

3. Married life rules: Johnny and I have been together for over three years and have been married for one of them. It’s actually literally no different than when we were dating but it’s still awesome because it was awesome when we were dating lol. The best part is definitely the novelty of saying “husband” and “wife” and I don’t think that it will ever get old. ❤

4. A new-ish apartment: Johnny and I moved into a new apartment in May that is much bigger than our old one but still in the same community we were already living in. Compared to our old place, this one feels like a luxury resort and I still can’t believe it sometimes! Having windows that actually open, a functional air conditioning unit, and better heating is so fantastic that it’s crazy to think about the pure discomfort we were living in before. The best part, however, is having two bathrooms – one on the upstairs floor and one downstairs. This makes me feel like queen of the castle when I don’t have to stumble my way downstairs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. GREAT SUCCESS.

5. The Lil Red lifestyle hasn’t changed: lifewithlilred started out as a place for me to express myself, make some friends, and have fun and that hasn’t changed at all. I wanted to create a space to celebrate uniqueness because it’s safe to say that I’m pretty unique when you look at me! The Lil Red lifestyle is all about being true to yourself and living life in a way that makes you happy. I have tried to embody this since the start of lifewithlilred and am proud to say that I’m still holding to that eight years later.

6. Best jobs ever: When I am not doing freelance writing, I work with people with special needs and it is simply the best. I have been in the field for close to eight years and have been an Independent Provider for almost five of them. Every day, my clients teach me something new and it is such a joy to be an important part of their lives. Having a job where you feel genuinely happy at every day is a blessing that I don’t take lightly and I pay homage to that by being my best self daily for each person I care for.

7. Still a Diet Coke fiend: Diet Coke has always been my all time favorite drink and that has yet to change! Since being with Johnny, I have learned the joys of the Diet Coke from McDonald’s because, surprisingly, I have never had it until a year or so ago. Now, it is such a treat when I can get a real CRISPY DC from Mickey D’s and it’s a wonderful change of pace from the canned Diets that I am constantly guzzling lol. #blessed

While some things in my life have changed drastically, I am still the fun loving, goofy Lil Red that you met eight years ago. Thank you all so much for sticking with me on this crazy ride and here’s to eight more years of lifewithlilred! Although in eight years, I might have to change my page’s name to lifewithmiddleagedred… We’ll see what happens! -_-

What are some cool updates in your life? What are some fun facts about you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Hair, Who Dis?

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New Hair, Who Dis?

Hello! This past Wednesday, I had a wonderful afternoon of pampering at The Shear Shop to not only freshen up my hair but to improve on the changes that my stylist, Anna, made the last time. While we loved the combination of Pulp Riot colors Fireball (bright red), Pyro (deep red), Satire (yellow), and Lava (orange), we weren’t seeing enough of the yellow, which is both of our favorites. Thankfully, my friend and stylist is a literal genius and gave me a gorgeous halo of Satire that I am beyond thrilled with. Check it out:

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^^^ This was the outfit I wore to see Cats this weekend. While this isn’t an OOTD post, here is the outfit info anyways:

Who? What? Wear?

To begin the process of allowing each Pulp Riot shade to pop rather than blend together, Anna started by bleaching my roots as well as my bangs and the surrounding circle for Satire. Now that we have moved past my white and red hair, the bleaching process is much shorter and easier on my hair because it doesn’t have to lift as much. The bleach only had to do its thing for about twenty minutes until it was ready to wash out and I can tell. My hair feels way healthier and my ends aren’t fried, which is a huge plus!

Once the bleach was washed out and my hair was cut and dried, it was time for the fun part – the color! To achieve this look, Anna painted my roots with Pyro. Then, she began to expertly place each additional color. Satire was next, followed by Lava, and Fireball at the tips. As always, the Pulp Riot colors are simply spectacular and the dye smells like Sweet Tarts. This only seems appropriate with candy colored hair. 😀

As Anna painted each chunk of hair, she wrapped it up in foil and it wasn’t long before I was completely protected from aliens. The color sat for about thirty-five minutes or so until it was ready to be washed out and the results were exactly what we wanted. By changing up the order of colors and the space that they were painted on, each individual hue became infinitely clearer and was much truer to our fireball inspiration. The color and cut are divine and I also am very much enjoying having bangs to add some more variety to my look!

There is nothing like a day at The Shear Shop to lift my spirits and have some fun. My stress melted away as soon as I walked in the door and I am so thankful to my wonderful Anna for always keeping Lil Red looking her best! ❤

What is your favorite Pulp Riot color? Do you have any plans to change up your hair soon? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cats At Playhouse Square (Partial) Review

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Cats At Playhouse Square (Partial) Review

Hello! Every year, my dad gifts the family with season tickets to Playhouse Square and we divide the shows up accordingly. This month, Cats was playing at the Connor Palace and I had a difficult time finding anyone to go with me due to massive lack of interest lol. Thankfully, my brother, Andrew, stepped in in the clutch as long as we left at intermission. This was fine by me because I was just happy to go period!

I wasn’t expecting to like Cats as much as I did, especially considering how much I made fun of it prior to. However, I thought it was spectacular and am going to buy nosebleed tickets so I can see it in its entirety this weekend. The songs, production, dancing, and orchestra accompanying the cast were so amazing and I have spent my time since Saturday night being disappointed at not seeing the whole thing. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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Cats begs the question of what was Andrew Lloyd Webber smoking when he made it and where can I get some lol. The whole point of the show, as I understand it, is that a group of alley cats are preparing for the Jellicle Ball. During this one special night of the year, the wise Old Deuteronomy will choose one cat to make use of one of their nine lives and come back as something different. So, the musical is basically each cat introducing themselves in a song about what makes them unique.

As I said, it was not in my plans to freaking LOVE this show but I was hooked from the jump. At the beginning of the show, the stage was completely dark. Then, small green eyes began popping up throughout the stage as the cats began to prepare for their opening number of Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats. And, can we please talk about what a bop that song is?! It is so catchy and fun and trust and believe that I have had it stuck in my head ever since.

The first few numbers of Cats were dedicated to explaining the show and then it was time for each cat to begin their introductory songs. In Act I, these songs were for the Old Gumbie Cat (Michelle E. Carter), Rum Tum Tugger (Hank Santos), Bustopher Jones (John Anker Bow) , Mungojerrie (Brian Craig Nelson) and Rumpleteazer (Taryn Smithson), and Old Deuteronomy (Cameron Schutza). Andrew was a fan of the portly Cat About Town, Bustopher Jones. We also both really enjoyed the Old Gumbie Cat, a prim and proper lady who could tap dance like nobody’s business. I love a good tap dancing number and this one was incredible. Her rhinestone tap shoes were also everything!

My personal favorite of what I saw was Rum Tum Tugger, a rock n’ roll bad boy of a cat who had an Elvis inspired number. His song has also been playing on a loop in my head and I’m looking forward to seeing it again! My favorite part of his song was when some cats brought out and assembled pieces of broken mirror and Rum Tum was dancing in front of it. Cat burglars, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, also had a great song and offered mind blowing acrobatics including tandem cartwheels. It was hard to tell where Mungojerrie ended and Rumpleteazer began lol.

Not only was the music and feline like dancing sublime but the set and lighting were also formidable displays of theater production. The alley setting was filled with tunnels and nooks that the cats could pop in and out of and it was so neat to literally blink and see a cat go from one end of the stage to the other. The lighting also helped set the mood for the special night of the Jellicle Ball with a sky of stars and a huge full moon.

As thankful as I am that I got to see half of Cats at the gorgeous Connor Palace, it just wasn’t enough! I want the whole enchilada and am keeping my fingers crossed that Johnny will accompany me in the nosebleeds this weekend. If you have the opportunity to see this show and can relate to my initial ambivalence, trust me when I say that you are going to have a blast. Cats might not be your cup of tea but it is going to be impossible to not appreciate it for what it is – a fantastic production!

Have you seen Cats before? What did you think of it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Best Bunny Dad Ever!

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Best Bunny Dad Ever!

Hello!! Johnny and I have had our sweet bunny babies, Penelope and Mel, for two weeks now but it feels like we have had them for forever. They are the most wonderful pets and it is an honor and a privilege to be their parents! The most pleasant surprise of this experience is, easily, Johnny’s transformation into a full on bunny dad. I knew from the jump how much I was going to love them but it is so adorable to see how equally obsessed my husband is with them too:

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^^^ Proud papa!

When we brought our mother and son duo home, it was safe to say that Johnny didn’t seem particularly thrilled about it. However, that changed drastically the following day! When I returned home in the evening, Johnny couldn’t wait to tell me about all of the fun him and the bunnies had together. They spent hours on end snuggling and playing and Johnny even treated them to a banjo concert lol. It was also VERY NICE to hear every wife’s favorite words of “you were right”!!

Johnny, Penelope, and Mel have been best buddies ever since and it’s so hilarious to me. The whole situation is such a classic turn around from “I don’t want a pet” to constantly snapping pictures of them and oohing and ahhing over every single thing the bunnies do. Johnny is always calling Mel his “special boy” and Penelope his “favorite girl” and it melts my heart every time. 🙂

Now that we are the proud parents to our furry little children, our evenings our spent watching them explore our apartment. Johnny actually went to Menard’s and got a bunch of baby proofing stuff so Mel and Penelope can safely go on their adventures. I’m sure everyone at the store thought he was preparing for a new baby so I would have loved to see what they had to say if Johnny told them it was for his bunnies lol. He is truly the best bunny dad ever! ❤

Becoming pet owners has been so exciting and every day with our precious babies brings me so much joy. Having Johnny so clearly feel the same sentiments is the cherry on top!

Has anyone else had a similar experience to Johnny over a new pet? What are some of the nicknames you have for your pets? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Subscription Boxes: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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Subscription Boxes: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Hello!! I take my holiday shopping very seriously because I love being able to spoil my family and friends. We have been discussing lots of holiday gift options here on lifewithlilred and today we are going to continue on by chatting about the gift that keeps on giving – subscription boxes. Subscription gifts are awesome because it’s not just a present for Christmas but every month! This is a gift that will always go over well so let’s talk about some popular choices to treat your giftee to this holiday season:

Entertainment:

One of the most obvious subscription gifts has to be streaming services and there are plenty to choose from. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are all excellent for your standard viewing options and cover every genre imaginable. However, there are specialty streaming services like CrunchyRoll for anime fans or Shudder for horror buffs so bear this in mind if your giftee has one specific genre that they love. Remember, you don’t have to gift an entire year’s worth of a streaming service, either. Most of these services offer a three month, six month, or full year package.

Food, Glorious Food:

Is your giftee handy in the kitchen? If so, a meal kit subscription like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh could be a great choice. These kits offer meals for all kinds of different diets and are mindful to any allergies or restrictions. Not only will it be fun for your giftee to whip up something brand new but it is also a huge time savor too. A meal kit means that no grocery shopping is required – score! 😀

If your giftee isn’t too keen to cook, you can also do a subscription for DashPass to eliminate delivery fees on DoorDash. This is something that my Johnny would love because his favorite Sunday activity is DoorDashing Popeye’s or Steak N’ Shake lol.

Beauty:

It’s always nice to try out new makeup, bath and body care, and skin care and subscriptions to Ipsy, Sephora Play, or BirchBox allow you to do just that every month. This is a subscription that will be sure to please the beauty guru in your life and it gives them the opportunity to try products out without committing to a full price and full size item. As someone who deeply enjoys testing out new products, I would be thrilled to receive a beauty box subscription!

Ride Sharing:

Although ride sharing programs like Uber and Lyft don’t have a subscription, per se, they do offer gift cards. If your giftee lives for a night on the town, this could be a wonderful way to go. It’s always a blast to have a night out at a restaurant, bar, or theater but it’s never as good when you have to worry about transportation. A ride sharing gift card will fully eliminate this issue and can allow your giftee to let loose safely.

Oh You Crafty, Huh?

If you have some kiddos on your shopping list, fear not – there are lots of cool subscriptions for them too! Options like Little Passports and Cratejoy can provide your littles with a fun and educational craft every month. You can sweeten the pot of this gift by offering babysitting services to their parents so that they can have a night out and you and your lil giftee can complete the craft together. This is a total two for one gift deal and one that parents and children will both love!

Pet Parents:

Is your giftee the parent to a spoiled rotten pet? If so, you can’t go wrong with BarkBox! Pet subscription boxes will send you toys, treats, and chews for the beloved pet and will help deepen the bond with their owner. This is a really good option for pet parents because they are going to be receiving things that they would more than likely end up buying anyways. The money that they save can go to even more pet products! 😀

There is, truly, a subscription for every hobby and interest and it is a gift that everyone on your list will enjoy. The best part? No gift wrapping required!

Do you use any monthly subscription boxes? What is a subscription that you would like to receive? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Homemade Gifts For Everyone On Your Shopping List

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Homemade Gifts For Everyone On Your Shopping List

Hello!! While store bought presents are always nice, I think we can all agree that there’s something about a homemade gift that just hits different. Homemade gifts are special because someone took the time to craft, cook, or create something just for you. It’s a one of a kind gift that can’t be replicated on any website and that means a lot. Today, we’re going to discuss some homemade gift options as the countdown to the holiday season draws closer so you can wow everyone on your shopping list:

Sweet Treats:

The holiday season is the perfect time to indulge in your sweet tooth before New Year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle begins. Chocolate, caramel, or candy apples, trays of cookies, cakes, or homemade chocolate truffles are all an easy and delicious way to go. This will also help your giftee with their holiday feast because dessert will already be taken care of!

Scrapbooks/Photo Albums:

Does your giftee have a million vacation or family photos on their phone that never got printed? Then, a scrapbook or photo album will be a much appreciated gift! Let your crafty side take over with fun backgrounds, cute stickers, and your own happy memories of your giftee to share. Your present will make a lovely addition to any shelf or coffee table and will be able to be enjoyed whenever your giftee feels like taking a stroll down memory lane.

Tech Savvy:

Are you fairly tech savvy and have a business owner as a giftee? How about using your skills to create a social media page or business website for them? Your handiwork will assist in helping their business grow throughout the new year. If your giftee already has a site or social media page, you could offer to manage or update it to keep things fresh and relevant.

Pet Parents:

Do you have some pet parents to shop for? You are in luck because there are so many great homemade options to create. Customized pet bowls, snuffle mats, and homemade treats are all excellent places to start. Or, perhaps your giftee owns a small animal who needs fresh veggies in their diet? You could make a small indoor garden with pots containing herbs and leafy greens. Your favorite Lil Red rabbit owner would definitely love something like that!

Game/Movie Night Bundle:

Does your giftee enjoy hosting movie or game nights? If so, a bundle to assist in their next event could be very easily arranged. In a small gift basket, you could provide all of the fixings for a fun night in. A DVD or board game, snacks, or a homemade throw blanket to snuggle up in will further enhance the festivities. You also just might secure an invite to their next get together. Score! PS: This option can also be modified for a date night if you are shopping for a couple.

No matter what you choose to create for a homemade gift, you are already winning the holidays. I just know that your giftee will appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity!

What is the best homemade gift that you have received? What kind of gifts have you made before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Dry By Jane Harper Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Dry By Jane Harper Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Without giving away any spoilers, as always, we will be discussing a thriller by Jane Harper called The Dry. This is a book that has been sitting on my shelf for several years when I got it FO FREE in a library’s give away box. I decided to finally read it because I haven’t been to the library in a while and I am glad I did. I wouldn’t say that it was my favorite book but it was still a really good read. Before we begin our discussion, I will be placing a trigger warning on The Dry for abuse, extreme violence, and murder. Now, let’s get to it:

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Aaron Falk has not been welcome in his hometown of Kiewarra, Australia since he was a teenager. After his friend, Ellie Deacon was found drowned in the river and a note with Aaron’s name was found in her bedroom, he and his best friend, Luke Hadler, became the prime suspects for her death. Aaron and his father were driven out of the small farming community after one too many threats from unfriendly neighbors, fled to Melbourne, and haven’t looked back since.

Now, close to two decades later, Aaron must return back to Kiewarra after learning that his childhood friend, Luke, his wife Karen, and son Billy were killed. Everyone suspects Luke of going off his rocker due to dire financial circumstances thanks to a two year drought. His parents, however, refuse to believe that Luke was capable of such a heinous crime and enlist Aaron’s help to put these rumors to rest. Aaron works with the police in Melbourne for financial crimes and figures looking over their finances is the least he can do. Plus, going through their banking statements means he doesn’t have to talk to anyone because he hasn’t encountered a friendly face since his arrival.

By sharing his findings with the local sheriff, Raco, a full on unofficial investigation begins because things just aren’t adding up. Sure, they have hunches over who might have committed the crime but with no solid evidence, fingers continue to point back to Luke. The death of Ellie has haunted Aaron throughout his life and, now, he begins to wonder if the triple murders were payback for her untimely demise. Ellie’s father and cousin make good candidates for the Hadler family murder but it could be anyone.

Tensions in Kiewarra are high because a drought means no money for the farms and Aaron and Raco poking around puts everyone on edge. With Aaron’s time in his hometown drawing to a close and his safety threatened with every turn of the page, the chances of solving the murders and shining a light on who killed Ellie are bleak. Will the Hadler family finally be able to rest in peace? Or will Aaron return back to Melbourne with his tail between his legs? Read The Dry to find out!

As I said before, The Dry was a great read. It wasn’t the best thing that I have ever read but it was extremely unique and I devoured it in four sittings. This book was unputdownable for several reasons, mainly because it wasn’t just about the Hadler family murder. While Aaron was working on the case, he was also trying to find out once and for all who drowned Ellie and it was interesting to read the similarities in two totally different circumstances. The people in Kiewarra were also unfriendly at best and threatening at worst and it made the danger that Aaron was in feel so much more imminent.

While the story line of The Dry was quite original, what I really enjoyed was the layout of the book. The chapters were always narrated by Aaron. However, there would be segments in the book that would take you back into the past as recalled by other characters. This was something that I had never seen done before and I loved it. As you all know, a multiple narrator book is my favorite and this was a similar set up but so different than what I am used to and kept me turning the page feverishly.

As far as characters go, it was easy to like and root for Aaron as well as Sheriff Raco. While Raco was an open book, Aaron complimented this by being difficult to read, even by people who know him best. In the beginning, this made it difficult to appreciate his subtleties. But, as his character developed throughout the book, I was fully invested in his well being – it just took some time to get warmed up to him.

Finally, in terms of grand reveals, the one in The Dry was alright. I had figured it out prior to it happening and I didn’t particularly care for it but I understood why it happened the way it did. If you’re like me and try to play amateur detective while reading, my advice is to not put your blinders up when reading The Dry. There were so many people who could have committed each crime but it’s not always what it seems!

Overall, I am going to give The Dry a seven out of ten star rating. The dire situations in the book and a format that was different than anything I have read before made for a good reading experience. I would definitely recommend this book and would happily read more by Jane Harper!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Crunch Time Holiday Shopping Tips

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Crunch Time Holiday Shopping Tips

Hello!! I have a huge amount of people on my holiday gift list and I began doing my shopping around the end of August. Because I always allow myself an early start for Christmas present purchasing, I consider now to be my “crunch time” moment – even if we’re not even halfway through November! I consider it a GREAT SUCCESS when all of my shopping is done by early December and I am well on my way to achieving it. To help me out in the fourth quarter, I have been utilizing these tips:

Stop, Look, and Listen:

The information you can get from your giftees simply by listening to them is amazing. For example, my dad volunteered to me the other day that one of his bird baths broke when we were watching his bird feeders from the window. BOOM, that’s one gift down. If gift info isn’t being given freely, you can ask prompting questions or tell stories to get more intel without being super obvious. For example: “Do you ever feel like everything in your house isn’t working?” This could give you a whole litany of things needed from a busted coffee pot to hiring a maid service for the day. Sometimes, it takes some good old fashioned detective work to figure out the perfect present!

Gift Cards Galore:

I have never understood why people call gift cards a “thoughtless” gift because nine out of ten people (Including myself!) freaking love them. Gift cards are great because you can buy exactly what you want and still think of the person who gave you the card. Not to mention that gift card purchases can be beneficial to you too. At my grocery store, Giant Eagle, they have every gift card under the sun available and it gives me rewards points towards my next grocery order. This is all the better if you buy your gift cards during a double or triple point day.

Survey Sites:

I have been a faithful user of the survey site InboxDollars for years. The work is slow going but every couple of months, I get a ten dollar Amazon gift card for my trouble. While this isn’t a huge win, every little bit helps and I always put those earnings towards gift shopping. If you are running low on holiday shopping cash, a couple of days doing surveys or whatever the website is offering like playing games or watching videos can give you a helping hand.

Homemade Gifts:

My favorite gifts of all are homemade ones and there are so many options that are probably cheaper than what you planned on purchasing. I, personally, love receiving Mason jars that are filled with the ingredients to make cookies or soup. Or, if you’re skilled in the kitchen, you could make a tray of holiday treats for your giftees. Paintings, crocheted or knitted accessories, or services like shoveling snow from the driveway won’t cost you anything but your time and will be very well received.

Shop Wisely:

While it can be tempting to wait until Black Friday deals to shop, it can also be a double edged sword. Yes, you might be paying less but what you really want for someone might not be available anymore. This is all up to your discretion but do so wisely. You want to give yourself ample time for presents to be shipped to you as well as time to make an exchange if the item is damaged or not what you wanted. If you have deals on your mind, it might be helpful to use the Honey or Capital One shopping apps so you know that you are always getting the best price for your purchase.

In my world, the Christmas countdown is on and I am SO ready to be done shopping lol. These are the tips that I have been using and it works for me so, hopefully, they will work for all of you too. Happy shopping!

Are you a last minute or early holiday shopper? What homemade gifts do you like to give? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Husband’s Haul Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Husband’s Haul Edition

Hello! This past weekend, Johnny and my brother visited a Comicon event that was happening right down the street from us at a banquet center. Like the last time that they went to a similar event this past summer, both guys walked away with a ton of awesome purchases from the vendors that were set up. By the time I returned home after their outing, Johnny was already out for the evening. But, he told me the amount of goodies he set up throughout the apartment and it was like a scavenger hunt to find them all! Check it out:

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As I wandered around the apartment trying to find all of Johnny’s purchases, I couldn’t quite believe it – everything was just so cool! I also loved that he knew exactly what I would have bought for myself if I had been able to come because I would have been all over that Sam Minifig from Trick ‘R Treat. The Link Minifig that Johnny got for himself also looks fantastic next to our collection of Legend Of Zelda amiibos. And, of course, our Funko Pop collection continues to grow with figures from our favorite holiday flick, Jingle All The Way. Now, I just need to get my hands on a Turbo Man Funko! 😀

What really blew my mind from Johnny’s haul was the perler bead art of R2D2 and Duck Hunt. Perler beads were something that I constantly played with when I was little and I hadn’t really thought about them until seeing our new wall art. The Duck Hunt one is so clever and I wish that I came up with the idea myself! In fact, I kind of want to try some perler bead kits in my free time – although it might be kind of difficult with my talon nails lol smh.

The most noticeable change in our apartment’s decor is, obviously, the huge horror movie icon prints that Johnny got from the hosts of Transylvania Tonight. All of these were painted by “Drac” and both him and “Countess Carita” signed the print of one of their advertisement shots. From what Johnny told me, they both definitely seem like our kind of people and I can’t get over how spectacular each print is. As soon as I saw them hanging up thanks to Johnny’s handiwork, I literally clutched my pearls!

I am so proud of my Johnny’s Comicon haul and I wish that I could have joined in the fun with him and my brother. However, it’s probably a good thing that I had other plans because our whole apartment would be overrun with purchases!

Have you ever been to a Comicon before? What is your favorite horror movie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

SpaScriptions Hyaluronic Acid + Sugar Scrub Review

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SpaScriptions Hyaluronic Acid + Sugar Scrub Review

Hello! I have been sitting on some new skin care from TJMaxx and have finally had the chance to use a Hyaluronic Acid + Sugar scrub by SpaScriptions that I bought in September. I have been using it every morning for about a month now and it is, easily, one of the best scrubs that I have ever used. My only regret is that there was only one of them at TJs because I would have happily bought ten of them! If you are looking for a gentle scrub to help ease dry skin this winter, then this is the one for you. Let’s discuss:

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^^^ This product is Leaping Bunny certified.

I had two first impressions when it came to the SpaScriptions scrub (Try saying that five times fast!): 1) The color was so pretty – like lavender pixie dust and 2) It smelled just like candy. These are small things but it enhances the experience every time I use it and the sugary scent is a nice perk me up in the morning! A little of this product also goes such a long way because it lathers up like crazy into a foam, making it so easy to work into your skin. The amount that you can see squeezed onto my hand is all you need for your face and neck, making for a great value. After one month of daily use, I have barely finished half of the bottle.

What I like the most about this scrub, other than out well it works, is the texture of it. It’s more like a cream cleanser with a bit of extra grit from the sugar rather than a full on scrub. With cold winter days drawing ever closer, it is the perfect option for removing dead or dry skin without drying your face out even more. Every time I use this scrub, my skin feels so soft and looks simply radiant. Saying these past few months have been tiring for me is a severe understatement but my skin never looks it!

The SpaScriptions Hyaluronic Acid + Sugar scrub is one that I would most definitely use again. It checks all of my boxes of being cruelty free, an excellent value at just five bucks, and fully effective. I think that you will like it, too, if you give it a shot!

How often do you restock your skin care? Where is your favorite place to shop skin care? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Focusing On Creating A Healthy Diet

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Focusing On Creating A Healthy Diet

As the new year draws closer, many of us are already turning our minds to resolutions. We want to make positive changes in our lives that help us to be healthier and happier. But why wait until January to put these into place? Sure, the festive season may be approaching and we may indulge in a few unhealthy habits. But it’s better to lead a healthy lifestyle the majority of the time with a few slip ups here and there than to lead a downright unhealthy lifestyle for the next couple of months. One area that many of us end up focusing on is diet. We all need to eat a healthy, balanced diet to provide our bodies with the fuel they need to thrive. But where should you start with this venture? Here are a few suggestions that can help on this journey:

Consider Your Goals:

First, ask yourself why you’re setting yourself this goal. Have you noticed that your diet lacks certain elements and you want to fill those gaps? Have you been feeling run down or out of energy? Are you experiencing obesity and want to return to a healthier weight? The goal of your challenge will alter how you approach it. If you feel that you are experiencing health problems as a direct cause of your diet, consult your doctor before getting started. They may be able to make recommendations, such as target daily calorie counts or carry out tests that could find that the issue isn’t your diet at all. For example, if you’re drained and tired, you may be experiencing a B12 deficiency because your body can’t absorb B12 naturally. You might find that bloatedness is due to lactose intolerance and you need to cut dairy out. Alternatively, they may be able to recommend specialist treatment for obesity such as bariatric professionals.

Five a Day:

A good place to start is ensuring that you get your five a day. There’s a good reason that five portions of fruit and vegetables are recommended. Many of us fail to achieve this, but we need a variety of fruit and vegetables to give our bodies the vitamins and nutrients it requires. Make sure your portions are as varied as possible. Your plates and snacks should be colorful.

Cut Out Junk:

Way too many of us eat way too much junk food. Ideally, you should avoid junk food on a regular basis. These types of food – fast food, takeaways, junk snacks – are often packed with excess sugar and salt. They also tend to have high levels of saturated fat. Try meal planning and meal prepping to get yourself into a better habit of eating freshly prepared foods at home.

Stay Hydrated:

Of course, you need to stay hydrated too. Make sure to drink roughly eight glasses of water a day. You should also try to eat plenty of water rich foods, such as melons, berries, cucumber, and celery

Eating well is a habit that you will need to form, so stick with it over time and you’ll quickly find you’re doing it without even having to focus on it!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Aivituvin Rabbit Hutch Review

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Aivituvin Rabbit Hutch Review

Hello!! Before welcoming my sweet bunny babies, Mel and Penelope, into our home, the thing that I had the most difficulty with was selecting a hutch. It seemed like every single rabbit hutch that I saw online had some great reviews, while others commented with glaring issues. After a lot of back and forth between several hutches, I finally settled on one by Aivituvin and I have no complaints so far. I don’t think Mel and Penelope do, either! Check it out:

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^^^ Don’t mind their mess lol the bunnies are always flinging their bedding!

What attracted me the most to this hutch, other than it being freaking adorable was its size. This hutch was, easily, one of the biggest ones available on Amazon and it was also a fair price minus the expensive shipping rate. While Johnny and I have the bunnies out in the morning and most of the evening, I wanted something big enough for them to be comfortable and have their own spaces. Mel loves hiding out in the top portion of the hutch and you can usually find Penelope chilling directly beneath him on the first floor. When they are not out of their hutch, Johnny and I can hear them running amuck constantly and I am thrilled that they are able to do that. Both bunnies are especially partial to going up and down the bridge too. 🙂

Of course, not all hutches are going to please every single owner and pet and there were some reviews that definitely made me nervous. For example, lots of people said that their bunnies were chewing the hutch up and, luckily, Mel and Penelope have not shown any interest in doing that at all. I have several chew toys and other toys to keep them occupied in the hutch that they play with a lot and I almost wonder if some of the bunnies were chewing at their cage out of sheer boredom.

The only complaint that I do agree with from some of the reviewers is how the bedding gets stuck in the cracks of the pull out trays. Johnny and I experienced this the first time we cleaned the cage and it made it really difficult to pull them out to clean. This is more of an annoyance than anything, though, and we were still able to fully clean the cage. It just took a little extra time and innovation to be able to remove the soiled bedding from the hard to reach areas.

Overall, I am very happy with the Aivituvin hutch and I know that Mel and Penelope are too. It took Johnny less than an hour to assemble and it is sturdy and spacious. If you are considering this hutch, I say go for it – I think your fur babies are going to love it!

What kind of hutch do you have for your rabbits? What are some of your small pet’s favorite toys? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Comprehensive Guide To Dressing As A Sports Coach

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The Comprehensive Guide To Dressing As A Sports Coach

When you think of a sports coach, what do you picture them wearing? If you said a hoodie and sweatpants, you’re not alone. However, there are other clothing options available to coaches that can help them look professional and put together. This post will discuss the different types of clothing for different occasions and provide you with a list of clothes to avoid:

Everyday Clothing for Coaches:

For everyday wear, coaches can opt for a polo shirt and khakis. This is a comfortable and professional look that can be worn both inside and outside of the gym. If it’s cold outside, coaches can layer their polo with a quarter-zip pullover or a sweater. If it is very hot outside, coaches can wear sun-protective arm sleeves to keep their skin from getting sunburned. For information on arm sleeves, read more here.

Clothing for Games and Practices:

When it comes to game days and practices, coaches need to be able to move around easily. For this reason, many coaches choose to wear athletic clothing such as track pants, thick strapped tank tops, or shorts. In addition, coaches should make sure that their clothing is clean and free of any holes or rips.

Dressing for Meetings and Presentations:

When participating in meetings or giving presentations, coaches should dress in business casual attire. This means wearing dress pants or a skirt with a collared shirt or blouse. Coaches may also want to consider wearing a jacket or sweater to complete the look.

What to Avoid Wearing as a Coach:

There are certain clothing items that coaches should avoid wearing, regardless of the occasion:

Clothing with profanity or offensive language:

It’s important for coaches to avoid wearing any clothing with profanity or offensive language. This type of clothing can certainly cause offense, especially if you are coaching a youth team.

Clothing that is too tight:

Tight fitting clothes are not breathable and will definitely be uncomfortable during practice or a game. Wear clothes that are easy to move around in so you can be fully efficient as a coach.

Flip flops:

Flip flops are not appropriate footwear for coaches. This is because they are not supportive and can be dangerous if you are walking or running. That’s an injury just waiting to happen! Athletic shoes are always the best as a rule of thumb.

Appropriate work attire varies from job to job. By following these guidelines, coaches can maintain a professional appearance and focus on what’s important – helping their team succeed!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Pet Parent Lyfe

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Pet Parent Lyfe

Hello! It has been one week since Johnny and I brought home our sweet lionhead bunnies, Penelope and Mel, and pet parent lyfe has been treating us fantastically so far. When it was just me and my husband at home, our apartment felt complete. However, now that we have two little fur babies scampering around, our apartment feels so much fuller and a whole lot more adorable:

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Johnny and I both grew up in animal loving households and our families always had pet dogs. I also had a guinea pig and parakeets way back when too. We have been without a pet of our own for several years and I think we were both taken aback by how awesome it has been since the bunnies have been home. Johnny and I both marvel at the fact that we have these little babies greeting us when we wake up in the morning and come home from work. It is also a hoot to hear them running around at night when we are trying to sleep. I have fallen into the habit of saying “settle down, kids” every time it’s bedtime and they are playing away!

The best part of our days now that we have Penelope and Mel is, easily, when we take them out of their hutch, which we do several times throughout the day. Whether it’s just to give them a cuddle or have them frolic in their playpen, it is so nice to have these tangible little bitties that depend on us. Johnny is also very pleased that he now has an audience whenever he plays the banjo! While Miss Penelope is super chill, Mel is constantly on the go and has a love for nibbling on anything and everything – including mine and Johnny’s booties when we’re in the playpen lol… he crazy. 😀

Every morning, I wake up genuinely excited to rush downstairs and begin their morning care routine. This includes fresh water, food, veggies, bedding, and a quick jaunt in the playpen before I leave for work. Johnny, on the other hand, is always eager to get home to our lil buddies in the early afternoon and takes them out immediately to play. Then, when I get home a little later, we have them out for the evening. It is an absolute blast!

With all of the stress and craziness currently happening for me, it is so comforting to have Penelope and Mel. We both can’t picture our apartment without them and it has only been one short week. Pet Parent Lyfe is suiting us very well, indeed, and Penelope and Mel are already more loved than words can say! ❤

Do you have a pet? What is your favorite thing about being a pet parent? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Introducing: Mel & Penelope!

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Introducing: Mel & Penelope!

Hello!! After a lot of preparations, purchases, and research, Johnny and I finally welcomed home our sweet bunnies this past Tuesday. We adopted this mother and son duo named Penelope and Mel from a couple whose adopted bunny had a surprise litter. We are completely obsessed with our furry little children and it has been so much fun having the bonded pair raising a ruckus in our apartment. Check out these sweet angels – the white and brown one is Penelope and the little black one is her son, Mel:

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^^^ Lol, Penelope looks like such a loaf in that last one!

I have wanted pet rabbits for as long as I can remember and vowed to myself that I would get a pair when I moved into my old apartment. This never came to be, however, for a plethora of reasons. For example, there was a definite lack of space at chez moi as well as the fact that the temperature inside was always either stifling hot or unbearably cold. This was uncomfortable for a human let alone animals. And, after Johnny and all of his stuff moved in with me, there was officially no space to be found.

Fast forward to getting settled in our new apartment this past May and the possibility of having a pet was finally a real thing. We now have plenty of space, a functional AC unit, and a great heating system too. After spending some time enjoying our new digs together, I couldn’t think of any reason to not begin the search for a pair of bonded rabbits.

The work was slow going for a while and I, honestly, didn’t even have any supplies but was looking on PetFinder anyways lol. Then, my butt got kicked into high gear when my brother-in-law tagged me in a Facebook post that his neighbor made about looking for homes for their rabbits. I replied and that day, I had Penelope and Mel on hold for me and a hutch and endless Chewy orders on the way. All Johnny and I had to do was wait for everything to ship and get the hutch built. 😀

It felt like a lifetime of waiting until the scheduled date to pick our babies up and they are just as wonderful as we imagined. Penelope is a timid little thing and loves to be held. Her son, on the other hand, is so frisky and just wants to play, play, play! It is such a novelty to spend time in the evening with our pets rather than in front of the TV and we can’t get enough. Every morning, I can’t wait to take them out to play before I go to work and we both look forward to coming home in the afternoon to have them out for the evening. It is everything we ever wanted AND MORE! ❤

Going from petless to pet owners in under two weeks has been a whirlwind but we are so thankful to officially be bunny parents. Keep it posted on lifewithlilred for all of the Penelope and Mel cuteness!

Have you ever had pet rabbits? What are some of your best care tips? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Johnny For A Day OOTD Bloopers

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Johnny For A Day OOTD Bloopers

Hello everyone and welcome to the blooper reel from my Johnny For A Day OOTD! This Halloween costume was so much fun to style, shoot, and wear. It was a blast to channel my inner Johnny and I have found myself wondering how he would style a costume dressed as me because he doesn’t have the luxury of fitting into my clothes lol. I loved so many of the shots from this OOTD that it had to be broken up into parts. As always, however, some of the shots were definitely of the “yikes” variety and includes the following:

I LOOK GREAT!!!!

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Don’t mind me, just struttin my stuff

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I had no idea that I could even make this face but we learn something new every day!

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Just here looking like I tied one on before passing out trick-or-treat candy

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This picture is terrifying

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Wandering off on an adventure to create the perfect shot…

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Nailed it, obviously lol

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About to attempt to hoist myself back up lol

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Stumbling on my way to get my phone haha smh

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There was nothing scary about my costume but some of these pictures completely make up for that! My original plan was to dress up as an undead bride but there were two glaring issues. 1) I had no costume makeup and most importantly 2) I didn’t feel like shaving my legs lol this is my time to hibernate! Bored with all of my costumes, dressing up as Johnny seemed like the most logical choice and I am so glad that I went for it. In fact, I could totally picture myself wearing this outfit or something similar again!

As with the spirit of trick-or-treating, some of the pics from this shoot were a treat. The ones above were a real trick, though, especially since I thought I was working it haha. That’s the fun of the blooper reel and I hope you enjoyed this costume series as much as I did making it! ❤

How was your Halloween? Are you in Christmas mode already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Johnny For A Day OOTD Bonus Pics

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Johnny For A Day OOTD Bonus Pics

Hello everyone!! Johnny and I had a blast passing out candy to trick-or-treaters this past Saturday and were so impressed by the adorable and sometimes hilarious costumes we saw. Our favorites were an inflatable chicken and a little girl dressed up as Audrey Hepburn. And, I hate to toot my own horn BUT my costume was one of my favorites too lol. I dressed up as my husband for Halloween and I am still basking in the success of it. This look also had me feeling like a billion bucks so now I know how Johnny feels every day! Check out some bonus pics from my Johnny For A Day OOTD:

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OOTD posts are my absolute favorite thing to create for lifewithlilred for a plethora of reasons. I love everything about it from styling the look to selecting the perfect location and fancying myself as an America’s Next Top Model contestant when Johnny takes my pictures. Whenever Johnny is snapping away, I don’t have specific inspiration in my mind in terms of the poses I do and I think that’s why this shoot was so successful. I had concert Johnny in mind with every shot!

Seeing my husband play music always blows my mind but it just hits different when he’s playing a live show. He is constantly moving around the stage, doing crazy back bends, squats, and the cutest little foot kicks lol. For this shoot, I tried to embody some of Johnny’s signature moves with a fashion twist and I am so proud of how the end result turned out. I knew that these pictures were 150% Johnny but it felt awesome to have our friends and those that know him best confirm it too. ❤

My Johnny For A Day OOTD is one of my favorite looks that I have styled for lifewithlilred and I already can’t wait to create some more. Keep it posted tomorrow to wrap up this look with the blooper reel!

What is your favorite Halloween candy? What has been one of your favorite Halloween costumes that you saw this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Ways To Make Cooking More Exciting

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3 Ways To Make Cooking More Exciting

Everyone loves indulging in delicious meals that have been prepared with passion. But not everybody loves cooking these meals. According to a study, nearly 90% of people hate cooking. While eating out might be a solution for most people, it’s not the healthiest option and can increase your expenses. Spending time in the kitchen is a great way to use that space in your home, explore your culinary skills and creativity, and eat healthier meals. Sometimes, you cannot avoid cooking, but if you want to turn it around from a boring and time-consuming chore to a fun activity, here are some ways to do so:

Play some music while cooking:

Playing some of your favorite songs and playlists is a great way to liven up your ambience and make your kitchen more exciting. Cooking can be stressful sometimes, especially after spending a long day at work or school. However, creating a fun cooking environment can make the experience a breeze and boost your mood. You can create a fun cooking playlist with all of your favorite songs. It’s even more enjoyable if you have a portable speaker that you can place in a safe area of your kitchen. You can easily turn your time in the kitchen into a party.

Try new recipes:

Even if you enjoy cooking, it can get very boring, especially when your menu consists of the same recipes. Although you might master making those meals, you will likely lose interest in preparing and eating them. So, why not make your cooking more adventurous by including new recipes? Trying out new recipes is a great way to break your routine and challenge yourself. But don’t be so hard on yourself when you make mistakes. It could take some time before you master any new recipe. You can also switch things up in your regular menu by switching out some ingredients and giving it a new taste. You can check out new recipes by checking out blogs, watching cooking shows, buying a new recipe book, or following a recipe page on social media.

Use quality kitchenware:

Another way to elevate your cooking experience is by using quality kitchen products. When you cook with the right utensils, it saves you a lot of time in the kitchen, which can be especially useful if you have a busy schedule. Using quality kitchen products can also improve the taste of your meals. Plus, you could measure your ingredients better to improve your food’s consistency and texture. It can help you create some of the most beautiful food presentations if you are concerned with appearance. You must also ensure that any leftovers are properly stored, using the correct storage containers to maintain their freshness. Brands like OXO have amazing containers and other utensils that make cooking and storing food a snap.

Cooking might not be your favorite household task, but it is vital, especially if you want to better manage your finances and health. These tips should help you enjoy the entire process of cooking and make the experience a fun one!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Johnny For A Day OOTD

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Johnny For A Day OOTD

Hello! Johnny and I had a wonderful Halloween weekend and I hope that all of you did too! On Friday, we had a game night with one of our friends and on Saturday, Johnny and I got dressed up in our Halloween best to pass out candy in my parents’ neighborhood. We had so much fun seeing all of the adorable trick-or-treat costumes and definitely plan on being the delegated candy passer-outers next year too!

The trick-or-treaters weren’t the only ones with good costumes and, while I hinted that I was going to wear my wedding dress in a previous post, I decided to go a different route. I took one of my other suggestions and created a costume inspired by my husband, instead! I freaking LOVE how it turned out and everyone in our friend group thought that I nailed it too. GREAT SUCCESS! Check it out:

How It Started:

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How It’s Going:

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Who? What? Wear?

Ever since Johnny and I began dating, I have been inspired by his personal style that is part glam rock part emo kid. Seeing the amazing outfits that he would put together while playing a concert or just hanging out would put my heart in a tizzy! While I am a lucky lady to have such a fashion forward husband, I am even luckier because his clothes fit me lol. This is not the first time that I have worn one of his fabulous button downs in his collection and it certainly won’t be the last. 😀

For my Halloween costume, I embodied “concert Johnny” because he always follows the same formula for showtime OOTDs: Killer shoes, skinny jeans, flashy button down, and a scarf. This was probably the easiest OOTD that I have ever assembled because straying too far from what he wears for a concert would have defeated the point of the costume! He has also never worn the button down that I selected for a show before so I was honored to give it a test drive. My consensus: It works!

When I started styling this look, I originally had on one of his snakeskin patterned tops in a more muted shade. However, it just wasn’t popping enough since I wanted to go full glam rock. I tried on the red velvet button down with glittery polka dots next and I knew that it was the one. Also, if you look closely, you will notice that the buttons on it are little skull heads – so cool! This button down by Phix was also the perfect one to pair with Johnny’s black and white striped scarf. The White Stripes themed color palette looked rock concert ready and I could picture Johnny wearing it and looking fantastico.

Skinny jeans were a must for this Johnny inspired costume and, while he has never worn distressed jeans, I wanted to show a bit of skin since everything else was covered up. I probably wouldn’t have worn these AEO skinnies if it wasn’t such a nice night for trick-or-treat but it was warm enough that I got away with it. I also have to take advantage of showing off my tattoos before it gets too cold to do so!

Finally, it was time for shoes and I knew just the pair. Although they are a far cry from Johnny’s signature pointed toe Chelsea boots, I just had to break out my devil horn platforms from Dolls Kill. I wanted to add some obvious Halloween flare to this outfit and what better way to do that than with some costume ready platform boots?! They are so cheeky and fun with the horns and devil tail going up the heels. These boots also tied together the whole outfit beautifully. The red of the boots and the top are an almost perfect match and a little extra glitter never hurt anyone. ❤

I am so proud of how this costume turned out and Johnny was very impressed, albeit a little weirded out, that his wife was dressed just like him! Lol, tune in tomorrow for bonus pics from this look as well as how Johnny’s concert moves inspired all of the pictures we took!

What did you dress up as for Halloween? How did you celebrate Halloween? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Pros & Cons Of Still Keeping Paper Documents

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The Pros & Cons Of Still Keeping Paper Documents

We’re constantly surrounded by digital technology in every aspect of our working lives. Most of your job is spent using a computer or another electronic device. You send emails instead of letters and deal with a lot of digital data. And yet, some workplaces still keep paper documents. These can be bills, contracts, or anything else that might be important for your company. Unfortunately, keeping paper documents comes with its fair share of drawbacks and problems. But, you could argue that it also has some advantages. Is it worth maintaining a collection of physical documents in your workplace? Let’s look at the pros and cons:

Pro – A fail safe for lost digital assets:

What happens if a computer breaks down that contains lots of key documents or data? It had a list of clients on there with their addresses and contact details. Or, it contained all of your bills for that quarter. You didn’t back anything up to the cloud, so it’s lost forever. Paper documents provide a fail safe in case of any digital issues. You have copies of important documents that you can now look at and use. This can be so helpful in situations when you’re trying to manage your books but can’t find the digital versions of bills and transactions.

Pro – Some customers/clients prefer physical documents:

Not everyone enjoys getting things digitally. Some of your customers may want actual physical copies of contracts and other key documents. If you only provide them with digital versions, it might lead to some annoyance.

Con – Easier to lose/damage:

The big problem with physical documents is that they are far easier for you to lose or damage. All it takes is some bad weather or an accident to spill water on a box full of documents. Immediately, they’re damaged almost beyond repair. Sure, you can use expert contents restoration services to try and bring them back to life, but it might be too late. Just like that, you’ve lost some truly important data or information that you’re unable to recover. When things are stored digitally or in the cloud, it is almost impossible to damage them. You can keep numerous copies on multiple devices to ensure that, if one copy does get damaged, there are many others to call upon.

Con – Harder to keep track of:

Keeping paper documents is a lot harder than keeping digital ones. You need a filing system that keeps everything neat and tidy at all times. Already, this poses some issues relating to your workspace. Is there physically enough space for you to have multiple filing cabinets to store all of these documents? Then, you have to consider how hard it is to keep track of all the documents. When you need a specific thing, how quickly can you find it among your paper documents? You’ll take a few minutes at the very least – and that’s if you have an awesome system. If things are stored digitally, they can be found in seconds by running a search.

Con – You use lots of paper:

Paper usage should be decreasing as we look to fight for a more sustainable planet. In fact, one of the simplest ways to make a business more sustainable is by becoming paperless. You drastically decrease the demand for the paper industry, meaning fewer trees get cut down and turned into paper. If every business went paperless, we might have a genuinely positive impact on the planet. So, keeping paper documents means you technically increase your carbon footprint by a tad. If you want to use less paper around the office, perhaps you should consider getting rid of paper documents and going digital.

All things considered, paper documents don’t really have that many advantages. It can be handy to keep some physical copies of important things – like supercritical contracts, licenses, etc. But, in the grand scheme of things, most businesses shouldn’t have a huge collection of paper documents anymore. Instead, the focus should be on taking your old documents and digitizing them! They are safer when stored on devices and stored in the cloud. The world is going paperless, maybe it’s time for your business to follow suit?

Featured Image By: Pexels

Sweet Surprises: Sister Gift Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Sister Gift Edition

Hello! This past week, I paid a visit to my sister and darling nieces at their place. Everything basically sucks and is crazy for yours truly right now but seeing my favorite lil ladies and big sister always puts a smile on my face. It’s hard not to smile when your nieces are literally the cutest people on planet Earth! Hanging out with all of them was a gift enough so I definitely wasn’t expecting this sweet surprise that my sister got for me:

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For those of you who don’t know, I am pretty much obsessed with Neil Gaiman and I consider everything that he does a masterpiece. Aside from Sandman, Coraline is one of my all time favorite books and I love the movie and graphic novel adaptation. My sister, Kristen, is well aware of this and when she saw the necklace with the key and seeing stone during some online shopping, she added it to her cart. It’s funny, because I actually just screenshotted something similar on my phone a few weeks ago – talk about sister telepathy!

During such trying times, it was so nice to receive a gift that I knew made my sister immediately think of me. It was such a thoughtful and much needed surprise and I was so flattered by it! I can’t wait to wear my new necklace as well as finally get Johnny to watch the movie with me because he fell asleep during our last viewing lol. Coraline is a perfect spooky season movie and, even though it’s November, Johnny and I are still in the Halloween spirit every day. 😀

If you haven’t seen or read Coraline before, then I can’t recommend it enough. While it’s a great book and flick for teens, I daresay that it’s even better for adults. Thanks again to my big sis for such a sweet gift! ❤

What is your favorite work by Neil Gaiman? Have you received any sweet surprises lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: Be sure to tune in tomorrow for an OOTD shoot of my Halloween costume!

Motivating Your Team To Do Better Starts With You

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Motivating Your Team To Do Better Starts With You

Putting together the right team is arguably one of the most challenging aspects of running a business these days. You can have all of the right ideas and strategies, but without a competent team to help you turn them into a thriving business, it’s going to be a daily uphill struggle. In order to help motivate your team, it’s important not to look at what they’re doing but how you conduct your business. You also need to think about how you speak to your team, how you interact with them through your work, and ultimately how you run your business:

Your actions and attitude will reflect in your team:

When people talk about company culture, they often think about how your team functions and acts as a whole. Things like ideas and attitudes tend to be quite infectious, and they usually spread throughout an office. But where does that chance come from? It’s certainly not just your employees!

The key here is you; the boss. When you run a business, your ideas and the way you behave often reflect on your team. You’re the person that your team looks to when they need guidance, so your personality and attitude will constantly affect the people around you. This is why a motivated team leader often leads to a motivated team. As such, you need to be more diligent about how you conduct your business. Stay motivated, be positive, and don’t forget to work with your team in order to run a better business.

Think about the future of your team:

Teams should be fluid. They should be able to change and adapt to market conditions and you should be open to trying new things in order to stay ahead of the curve. It’s a good idea to think about using brands such as STL to help you train your team and motivate them to learn new skills. New knowledge is great because it helps your team members be better employees, but it also provides them with a sense of safety and security knowing that you’re willing to invest in them. In short, think about how you want your team to be in the future. Think about the responsibilities you want them to have and consider the skills and knowledge they need to carry them out.

A healthy boss means a healthy team:

One of the most underrated ways to start protecting your business is to look after your health. When you pay more attention to your personal health, it leads to a much stronger business because you’re able to make decisions quickly and efficiently, and your focus on personal health will extend to your team members. A business can’t function correctly if it’s not healthy at the core. Think about how much you push yourself and your team, and always take frequent breaks to ensure that you’re not overdoing it. Look after your health and take note of team members who are stressed or struggling with their work.

A great team starts with a great boss so always strive to improve yourself so your business can improve too!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Maid By Nita Prose Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Maid By Nita Prose Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new month here on lifewithlilred! To kick start November, we will be discussing a delightfully charming read by Nita Prose called The Maid – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Both my mom and I read this book and we really enjoyed it. In fact, I liked it so much that I wouldn’t mind reading it again! Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on The Maid as it deals with the death of a loved one and domestic violence. Now, let’s get to it:

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Molly simply loves her job as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. She loves her uniform, the routine, and returning each room to a state of perfection. Her self worth fully relies on her employment now that her beloved grandma is deceased. So much so that Molly would rather be at work than in the small apartment that they used to share.

Molly sees the world differently than her coworkers and falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. Since the passing of her grandma, her life went from vibrant and rich to incredibly lonely. She does have a few friends, however. Every day, Molly tends to Giselle Black’s room. She is the wife of a business mogul and she is just as lonely as Molly in her own ways. Through this shared bond, a friendship forms. Molly cleans the room and Giselle teaches her about makeup and explains the things that Molly doesn’t fully understand – like when a coworker is making fun of her.

Of course, not all of her coworkers are completely awful and Molly also enjoys her friendship with kindly Mr. Preston, Juan Manuel, and Rodney, whom she has a huge crush on. Rodney is the perfect man for her and surprises Molly through his “thoughtfulness”. For example, after entering one of the rooms she was scheduled to clean, Molly stumbles upon Rodney, Juan Manuel, and two intimidating looking strangers who she assumes are their friends. Rodney explains that Juan Manuel’s work permit has expired and he has no place to live. He asks Molly if she can give him a key card to an unoccupied room every night, stow his overnight bag, and clean up every morning. And she does.

Every day, Molly looks forward to her visits with Giselle and her friends until something awful happens. During her usual rounds in the Black’s suite, Molly finds Giselle’s husband dead in his bed. Originally, she wasn’t a suspect to a possible murder. But, after doing a few favors for some of her so called friends, Molly is arrested for murder, drug charges, and having an illegal firearm. Desperate to prove her innocence, Molly and the people who only wish the best for her rally to fight the charges. But, it’s going to take Molly being pushed out of her comfort zone to do it. Can they pull it off? Read The Maid to find out!

I wasn’t expecting to like The Maid as much as I did but I literally couldn’t put it down to save my own life. I devoured it in three days and wish that it wasn’t such a quick read! This book tapped into every emotion possible in barely two hundred and ninety pages. It was equal parts heartbreaking, hilarious, enraging, and inspiring. If you don’t find yourself rooting for Molly with every turn of the page, then there is a good chance that you don’t have a heart.

Not only did The Maid have me emotionally invested but the plot was great too. There were so many twists and turns cleverly interwoven into the mundane life of a hotel maid. It was so different than anything that I have read recently and that was exciting. Throughout the book, Molly prided herself on being an invisible cog in the hotel machine. Or rather, what her boss describes as a bee in a hive. Being able to watch Molly develop and be seen for the first time in so long was an absolute joy.

I am going to award The Maid with an eight out of ten stars. This was an original and fun read that will make you want to cry as you stay on the edge of your seat. Highly recommend!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

How To Have The Best HR Department In The Business

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How To Have The Best HR Department In The Business

For any business, a fantastic HR department can do wonders for those who are looking to make improvements to the internal operations of the company. A good HR team should be able to manage and support all members of staff within the workplace while helping with recruitment drives, contracts, and remaining compliant. There’s a lot that a HR manager or team is responsible for, so here are some top tips that are worth implementing to get the best out of this team in the business:

Build an experienced and knowledgeable team:

Think about the team that’s needed for a company of your size. There will likely be more needed with larger businesses and perhaps only one staff member for a small boutique business. For any company that is looking to expand and grow its business, it’s worth adding an extra person to the HR team too. Think about what skills or experience levels might be lacking within the company and hire more staff where required to help improve the HR team.

Read up on laws and seek legal aid:

As a business, it can be helpful to clue one’s self up on the laws that are in place. It’s not only relevant to the company but it can be useful to those who are responsible for making important decisions and changes to business operations. For those that need more guidance, there are plenty of options to gather more information. From training opportunities to seeking legal aid for situations that relate to injury law, it’s all expertise and knowledge that a well rounded HR department can assist with.

Look at employee benefits:

Consider what employee benefits are being offered by the business currently. The benefits package is something a company wants to review often and make sure it offers everything employees need to keep them happy. Employees are known to appreciate a good benefits package, with 79% of workers saying they value benefits packages that are offered by their employer. Take a closer look at whether these could be improved for the future of the business and its employees who work hard for these rewards.

Remain compliant:

Being compliant in everything a business does is important, otherwise, it can find itself in hot water as a result. From ensuring fair pay and safe working environments to making sure contracts and documents are created in line with any laws or regulations in place. A HR department should be staying up to date with any changes in legislation that might influence how compliant the business is.

Get feedback from employees:

Employee feedback is always useful to have when it comes to a business. There’s a lot to learn from staff members who may need to express concerns or improve their working conditions. Make a feedback form or have an anonymous feedback box that can be utilized by staff regularly. Open hours to come to the HR department and voice any feedback would also be beneficial.

A strong HR department is essential to keeping your business on track and flourishing. Strengthen yours up with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

October 2022 Finishes

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October 2022 Finishes

Hello everyone!! October is drawing to a close, which means that it’s time to discuss my monthly beauty finishes! And by finishes, I mean “finish” because there is only one product that I used up this month. The current products in my bath and body and skin care routine are all bigger in size and have been taking forever to use up. I’m not complaining, though, because all that does is continue to lower my CPU or “cost per use”! Now, let’s discuss the lone body cream in one of my favorite scents that I managed to finish:

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Would I Use Again?

  • Bath & Body Works Body Cream in Gingham: YES!!!!

Why/Why Not?

B&BW Lotion: As you all know, Gingham is one of my all time favorite scents by Bath & Body Works. One of my sweet neighbors also knows it because this was a gift – an incredibly thoughtful one! I would apply this to my hands, arms, and trunk (lol) every night and it took me a little over a month to complete the bottle. This cream was thicker in texture but it applied easily and absorbed quickly without any greasy residue. That, in itself, is a huge selling point for me because I can’t stand when a lotion doesn’t absorb fully. Every morning, I would wake up to ultra smooth skin that both looked and felt healthy. And, oh yeah, it smells great too! I would definitely recommend this product.

Talk about a short and sweet post amiright?! Thanks for checking in at lifewithlilred and have a fabulous day. See you in November! 😉 ❤

Which beauty products did you use up this month? What is your favorite Bath & Body Works scent? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Ways To Save On Your Heating Bill

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3 Ways To Save On Your Heating Bill

Staying comfortable and warm in the winter doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are several tips and tricks to keep your energy bill as low as the winter temperatures outside! Here are a few ways to keep you cozy and snug all season without ruining your holiday shopping budget:

Consider How You Use Your Heating:

Prices go up and down because the oil market isn’t stable. This hurts many people who heat their homes with gas in the winter. Even though it’s feasible that rates will go down if the oil price goes down, it’s much more likely that they will go up. So, making the switch to electricity could save you money right away.

If you want to make big changes to your heating, you will need to buy a lot of new equipment. But saving money over time is a financial benefit that more than makes up for the cost at first. Electric radiator prices vary from shop to shop and don’t forget to add in how much it will cost to have a professional install them. Find out how to heat your house in the most efficient way. It may be tempting to choose a smaller heater because it costs less, but will it actually heat the whole room? Each size of the radiator can only heat a certain size of the room, so radiators for bigger rooms need to be bigger.

Looking After The System:

People who use gas furnaces or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems need to have them checked and fixed regularly. Making an appointment with your heating company every fall is the best thing to do. Technicians carefully check the equipment to make sure it is running as well as it can. Normal wear and tear is fixed, along with any basic maintenance problems that come up. This keeps them from getting worse and making future repairs more expensive. Make sure you call a company to arrange hvac maintenance before winter hits.

When you take better care of your heating system in advance, it will work when the first cooler fronts come. So, you won’t have to pay more for power stations because your hardware is broken or not working. Don’t wait until winter to try out your heating system because heating companies will be hectic and it might take a while to get a service call scheduled.

Check The Insulation:

To keep your heating bill as affordable as possible, it’s crucial to keep warm air inside and stop cold air from coming in. When there is too much airflow between the interior and exterior of your home, your heating system has to work harder to maintain the temperature. If the house has good insulation, this might not happen. A lot of energy can be saved when the roof and walls of a house are insulated. A professional installer can save you several hundred dollars on your energy bills when you use your heating or cooling system.

You can also keep your house warm with cost free fixes. First, make sure all of the doors and windows close tightly. Repairing cracks in the roof will also be most helpful. Glass also helps heat through so on sunny days, people should open their curtains and drapes to let heat into their homes. Close the curtains and drapes at night to keep warm air from escaping through the windows.

Keep your house warm with the tips above and save big when the dreaded bill comes every month!

Featured Image By: Mikhail Nilov at Pexels

Setting Up Your Home Music Studio

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Setting Up Your Home Music Studio

Do you have a passion for music? If so, then you likely know just how costly such a hobby can be. It’s fair to say that it’s often quite expensive to develop a love for music, as finding the cash to be able to afford to pay for professional studio time might cost a lot more than you have to spend. However, this doesn’t have to dampen your creative spirit. In fact, there’s an excellent solution: why not build your own home music studio? You’ll be able to record and edit your own tracks for a much smaller fee all in the comfort of your own home!

Having your own music studio can certainly take your music career to new heights, and it truly couldn’t be any simpler to begin designing and building your home studio today. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re ready to discover more, then check below to uncover some of the best tips and tricks that you can utilize to create the most amazing music studio before you know it:

First Things First: Prioritize Soundproofing:

The first and most important aspect of a home music studio is top quality soundproofing, as the last thing you want is angry neighbors knocking at your door. Having to deal with complaints day in and day out will certainly block your vibe and ruin your flow, so it’s a risk that just isn’t worth taking.

Investing in top quality soundproofing will help you to avoid this issue, as well as improve the end product of the tracks you record in your home music studio. Good soundproofing can easily block out any noises from outside of your recording space, so things like passing traffic won’t be heard in the background of any of your songs. Sourcing the correct soundproofing for your unique space is key, so take your time to look around for the best fit.

Find Quality Equipment:

When you’ve laid the foundations of your music studio with top soundproofing, it’s time to invest in a range of quality equipment that you can use to record and edit your tracks…

It’s fair to say that many artists start off with nothing more than a laptop and a pair of headphones, so if you have a limited budget then don’t worry about trying to splash out on anything more. Whenever you do have the funds, investing in a quality microphone and speaker set should be your next priority. If you wish to take your home music studio to a whole new level, then you can take the opportunity to source a variety of instruments, amps, and more to allow for all manner of musicians and artists to record in your space. Whenever you do decide to buy some instruments, make sure you get musical instrument insurance – just in case.

Once you have your soundproofing and key pieces of equipment, it is up to you to design and decorate your space. You can also add some color changing LED lights to your home music studio, as this can take the atmosphere to a whole new level!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Make Game Day Even Better With These Tips

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Make Game Day Even Better With These Tips

Do you love sports? Do you love spending time with your friends? If so, then you’re going to want to read this blog post! This blog will discuss a few tips for having an awesome sports-watching experience. Whether you’re rooting for your favorite team or just there for socializing, it has got some great ideas to make game day even better. So grab a few drinks and some snacks, and get ready to enjoy the big game:

Make sure your viewing setup is ideal:

Your viewing setup should be comfortable and conducive to socializing. That means you’ll want plenty of seating for everyone, a good view of the TV, and easy access to snacks and drinks. You might even want to consider setting up a stereo system so you can listen to the game commentary. Comfort is key so be sure not to overcrowd the room so everyone can enjoy themselves.

Dress the part:

Wearing your favorite team’s jersey is a great way to show your support. But you don’t have to stop there! If you really want to get into the spirit of things, break out the face paint and body paint and go all out. You could even set up a painting station so everyone can show off their team pride.

Snacks & Drinks:

No game day is complete without snacks and drinks! So make sure you have plenty of both on hand so everyone can have their fill. And if you’re feeling generous, you can even make some homemade snacks to share with your friends. Appropriate snacks include chips, pretzels, popcorn, and anything else that’s easy to eat without getting your hands too messy. As for drinks, beer is always a popular choice, but you can also have soda or water on hand for those who don’t drink alcohol.

Place bets on the game:

Placing bets on the outcome of the game is a great way to add some extra excitement. For example, you can bet on who will win, how many points will be scored, or which player will score the most points. Your group of friends can try out Free Sports Picks to add an extra level of fun to your game day experience. Just make sure you agree on the terms of the bet ahead of time, so there’s no confusion later on.

Play some games at halftime:

If you’re looking for a way to keep your guests entertained during halftime, why not play some games? Games like cornhole, Cards Against Humanity, or charades are always popular choices. Or, if you want something that’s more sports-related, you can try your hand at fantasy football or video games.

Have a post-game celebration:

No matter whether your team wins or loses, it’s always fun to celebrate with your friends after the game. You can head to a nearby bar or restaurant or just keep the party going at home. And if your team happens to win, make sure you have a victory dance ready!

Sports are meant to be enjoyed all together so invite your friends over for the next big game and have a blast!

Featured Image By: Pexels