Weldon Carpenter: A New Friend

Weldon Carpenter: A New Friend

Hey everyone and happy Sunday! I hope all of you are having a wonderful, relaxing weekend. This past Thursday, I had to venture out to the Tri-C campus in Parma, Ohio for an extra credit lecture. Because I’m literally never in Parma since I don’t attend that campus, I decided to make a post on my Facebook to let my friends in the area know that I will be there for the afternoon in case anyone wanted to meet up afterwards. My friend, Danielle, replied and we decided to meet up at the bar that she works at in Lakewood which was about fifteen minutes away.

Because Danielle’s work didn’t open until four, we started at a bar that was down the street called The Patio. Danielle was treating me to twenty-first birthday drinks even though it’s over a year late so that’s what made me justify drinking at the bar at three in the afternoon! About halfway through our time at The Patio, an older gentleman walked into the bar and within ten minutes he came up to us and asked if we liked Playhouse Square (the beautiful theater in Cleveland).

Being an avid lover of the theater, of course I replied with an enthusiastic “YES”. This sent who I now know was Weldon Carpenter off to his car to retrieve a photo album and a surprise treat. While Weldon was at his car, the bartender explained to us that he was a historian and photographed Playhouse Square and the surrounding theaters since their openings. She also told us that he used to work as the personal chef to the one and only Miss Judy Garland.

Just as the bartender was finishing up her briefing on Weldon, he came walking in with a thick photo album and two teddy bears for me and Danielle. He told us that he has over one hundred and fifty little stuffed animals that he keeps handy just to make people smile. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a stuffie sitting on the bar that he must have gifted to the bartender when we weren’t looking. “Aren’t they beautiful?” he asked as Danielle and I held our new bears on our laps. And they really were. The beauty lied in the gesture and the bear he picked for me couldn’t have been any more perfect considering it was sporting a black t-shirt!

After we settled in with our drinks and teddies, we began to look through Weldon’s album, page by page. With every picture of each theater, there was a story or memory that went along with it and I was just mesmerized. To watch him smile and speak enthusiastically about the memories that he loved so much was something that was really special to me. None of my grandparents are alive so I haven’t conversed with someone in that age range in quite some time. Speaking with Weldon felt good and safe. It made me want to curl up in a blanket and hear more.

With every page turned, Weldon insisted on either one of us taking whichever photo we liked. “Don’t worry, I have plenty of copies and I give them all away for free”. His gentle prodding led to both of us picking out a photo that we loved and you could tell how pleased he was that we did. This man genuinely loved sharing what he felt was beautiful – and it was.

After we finished looking at Weldon’s photo album and listened to a few stories about how he met Judy Garland at his friend Mae West’s party we unfortunately had to part ways. Danielle had to be at work so we had to head down the street to the bar for a night of serving for her and more drinking for me. But all evening, I was still enraptured by the kind stranger who we spent a half hour with in the bar. The man who bore gifts and treats for complete strangers and left them feeling like they had just met their guardian angel or long lost friend.

When I got home, I Googled Weldon and found so many articles boasting that he was one of Lakewood’s local legends. Pages full of articles telling tales of theaters, photos, and stories similar to the one that I just told you. I felt proud. I felt proud that the city that he seemed to love so much loved him back. I felt proud that he was sharing his beautiful spirit and stories with the world. I felt proud that I just met him.

Will I ever see Weldon again? Maybe, if I head up to Lakewood around three or so, I’ll find him at The Patio enjoying a glass of red wine that he will be diluting with shaved ice. Maybe I’ll see him sharing a photo or a stuffed bear with another person at the bar. But until then, I’m so happy to consider Weldon Carpenter as A New Friend.

September Finishes

September Finishes

Hey hey everyone and happy weekend! Welcome to my September Finishes post! This month was filled with lots of great empties so take a look and then let’s discuss:


Would I Use It Again?

  • Softsoap Sweet Honeysuckle & Orange Peel body wash: YES
  • St. Ives Green Tea Scrub: MAYBE
  • The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost: YES
  • Avalon Organics Vitamin C moisturizer: MAYBE
  • Yes To Coconut Souffle moisturizer: YES

Why/Why Not?

Softsoap Body Wash: I have always enjoyed using Softsoap shower gel and the Sweet Honeysuckle & Orange Peel is one of my favorites. It’s such a bright, energizing scent to wake up to every morning and it has one of those fragrances that just makes you feel good whenever you use it. This gel’s tart zing helps put a little pep in my step every time I use it and I would definitely recommend it to everyone. It took me about a month and a half to finish.

St. Ives Scrub: I love St. Ives products but, unfortunately, this scrub falls a bit short for me. I am always looking for a good blackhead clearing scrub because I suffer from really tough blackheads on my nose that build up near my piercings. I loved the scent of this scrub but it was just not gritty enough to get the job done of buffing away the pesky blackheads that polka dot my nose. If this scrub had about a handful more grit added to it, it would be perfect. I would use this scrub again if it were on sale but I will always prefer their apricot cleanser, instead! It took me a little over one month to finish.

TBS Skin Boost: You guys already know that this product is one of my old faithfuls so I am not going to go into detail about it. Just know that I love it. It took me three months to finish.

Avalon Moisturizer: This moisturizer was a weird one because I liked and hated it at the same time. I loved that it was Vitamin C based, that I got it for a steal, and that it lasted a long time. However, the major upset about this moisturizer was that it was one of those ones that curdles up on your face and just scuffs right off. After applying this moisturizer, I would have hella problems when I was doing my makeup because the cream would flake off in sticky clusters. If this weren’t an issue, I would never stop using the cream because other than that it was fabulous. I didn’t mind using it at night but daytime use was out of the question thanks to the flakiness. It took about five months to finish.

Yes To Coconut Souffle: I LOVE THIS CREAM! My mom got it for me for my birthday and it looks, feels, and smells simply delicious. Rich, creamy, coconut cream pie in a whipped souffle of a moisturizer that leaves your skin feeling smooth, supple, and simply luxurious. After just two minutes of the souffle being applied, my skin instantly transformed into peaches and cream perfection which left me completely confident in my complexion. I LOVED IT. It took two months to finish.

All in all, I would say that September was a very successful month of finishes. I was left loving a majority of my empties and even though I did have two that I wasn’t one hundred percent sold on, I didn’t completely hate them either! Now I just need to get my hands on another Coconut Souffle moisturizer and I’ll be all set!

So there you have it, my September Finishes! What empties do you have for this month? What beauty products do you need to restock soon? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bath & Body Works September Freebies

Bath & Body Works September Freebies

Hellooo everyone and happy Thursday! This month’s Bath & Body Works freebie haul was a particularly good one because I ended up getting three free travel sized item coupons in the mail. I’m not really sure why I got three of the same coupons considering I only put my email address info in every time that I stop in the store but hey, I’ll take it! My three free travel sized lotions ended up being a fifteen dollar value that I didn’t have to pay a penny for. Take a look at the freebies that I chose for the month of September:


My freebies for September were travel sized lotions of B&BW’s French Lavender & Honey, Orchard Leaves & Blue Sky, and Pretty as a Peach. I blogged about Pretty as a Peach before so feel free to read that post which I have linked but if not, just know that I love it very much. As far as the French Lavender & Honey goes… I LOVE THAT, TOO! My best friend got me that scent for Christmas, I believe, and I’m seriously obsessed. The only way that I can describe its smell is that it smells SO GOOD! Lol, I can’t even put a finger on how I would describe the scent to you but I promise that it has the Lil Red stamp of approval for anyone interested in trying it.

One of the newer B&BW scents is Orchard Leaves & Blue Sky and it is a lovely fall fragrance. If you could bottle up the scent of a brisk, autumn day, then that’s what this lotion would smell like. As soon as you take a sniff of the lotion, you can smell the autumnal inspiration by taking in the scents of the crisp fall air and bright red apples picked fresh from the orchard. This lotion is like nothing that I’ve had before and since I love anything with even the slightest hint of apple fragrance, I really enjoy it! It is a great scent to welcome fall with and it would make an amazing addition to an autumn themed gift basket for a friend (or yourself!).

If you are interested in receiving coupons from Bath & Body Works, make sure you enter your email address or phone number when shopping in store or online!

So there you have it, my Bath & Body Works September Freebies! What is your favorite B&BW scent? How about your favorite seasonal scents that they carry? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If The Shoe Fits – Fall Haul Edition

If The Shoe Fits – Fall Haul Edition

Hellooo everyone and happy Hump Day! Today I am concluding my Fall Haul with a brand new If The Shoe Fits article. Amazing shoes are usually the last thing you put on while getting ready but some would argue that they are the most important. So however you see it, it only seems fitting that some fabulous new shoes are what brings the Fall Haul to a close. Take a look at my latest footwear finds from Target and TJMaxx and let’s discuss:

The Haul:

  • Faux Snakeskin Booties: Target, $25
  • Studded Mary Jane Heels: TJMaxx, White Mountain, $25

Target Booties: My mom can serve as witness to the fact that when I saw these beautiful faux snakeskin booties, I literally gasped. I am usually not fond of any type of animal print but I. Love. Snakeskin…Fake, of course. For my birthday, I got a gorgeous Nine West faux snakeskin tote and these booties match my favorite bag exactly. These boots are edgy, cool, perfect for fall, and I got them for a steal. What could be better?

I love snakeskin so much because it is such a fabulous neutral. These booties literally go with everything. A true testament to that is when I paired my boots with a burgundy and floral print dress to wear to school. Instead of looking like I got dressed in the dark that day, I had a look that truly popped thanks to my new boots. Thanks to the gorgeous tans, creams, and greys in the snakeskin pattern, the contrast of the white florals against a deep burgundy dress looked much more severe and eye catching. The look was tied together with my matching tote and I seriously never felt better.

I can’t wait to continue pairing these shoes with unexpected pieces like loud patterned dresses, skirts, and tops because I am so confident that all they will do is enhance the look rather than make the patterns clash. These boots are going to be perfect with everything from jeans to dresses to cute little shorts in the summer. I am so pleased with this purchase and you can follow the link above to get a pair for yourself! #Twinning

TJMaxx Heels: I’m very excited about these sweet little heels because there was a pair on ModCloth that looked identical to them but costed at least eighty dollars more! These shoes aren’t as bold as some of the pairs that I own but I think that’s why I like them so much. I like that they are kind of simple but have edginess in their own right via the studded decal that goes around the shoes.

Unfortunately, the studs brought me a lot of woe but in the end, these shoes were so worth it. The day after I brought my heels home, I noticed that the stud on the middle of the left shoe’s toe was missing. Was it a big deal? No. But it drove me freaking crazy! It isn’t like anyone would ever notice that one stud on the shoe was missing but the fact that I knew that it was there was almost too much for me to handle.

That evening, I went to another TJ’s to see if they had the shoes so I could exchange them and had no luck. Then, I searched my home all over to see if there was anything that I could put in its place and came up with nada. After a few more days of stewing, I finally had it! I would pull a stud off of a super old and grungy pair of combat boots that I never wear and replace the missing stud.

The stud was easy to pull off of the boots because they’re well over four years old but everything after that was a hot mess. It took a good half hour to find super glue that wasn’t dried up completely and once I found one, I could not get it open for the life of me. After minutes of straining, I finally had to walk with my tail between my legs to my dad who got it open on the first try. Awesome.

*Sigh* At least the glue was open! I began to super glue away and the first couple of times didn’t work at all. After about the fourth try, the stud was finally sticking well so I decided to put a few more layers of glue on to make sure that it would stay put for forever. Bad idea. After the additional gluing, my thumbs and index fingers on both hands were glued together completely. I had no idea what to do because this had never happened to me before so I just started trying to pull my fingers apart.

After a few minutes, the glue finally started to give way and I was able to get my fingers separated. But, my god, did it hurt! The one good thing that came out of this story is that my studless shoe finally had a replacement and I no longer had to go crazy thinking about it. However, I think the craziness that I endured to get said stud onto the shoe was worse than just letting the fact that my shoe was missing a stud go! That just shows the great lengths that I will go to for my shoe babies. But hey, if the shoe fits!😉

So there you have it, my latest issue of If The Shoe Fits – Fall Haul Edition! What is the craziest thing that you’ve ever done for a piece of clothing? How far would you go to fix a pair of shoes that you deeply loved? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TJMaxx Fall Haul

TJMaxx Fall Haul

Hi everyone and happy Monday! As you read in my last article, Hats Off, I did some major fall shopping this past month. TJMaxx was oh so good to me and I ended up with a hat, shoes, sweater, jacket, and dress for under one hundred dollars!! I’m so obsessed with everything and I’m wearing my new dress as I type this, so let’s take a look at the latest additions to my fall wardrobe:

The Haul:

  • Patchwork Jean Jacket: Ci Sono, $20
  • Patchwork Sweater: Monteau, $16
  • Paisley Pattern Dress: Pink Rose, $13

In case you guys haven’t noticed, I. Love. Fall. Clothing. The styles, the colors, the potential to layer and mix and match – I love it all. So needless to say, when autumn comes around I shop like a mad woman! It’s no exaggeration when I say that at least seventy-five percent of my wardrobe is fall clothing and like a woman possessed, I have no problem adding to my vast collection.

During a shopping trip at TJ’s with my mom, I was simply swooning over the fun patchwork pieces that I got and the adorable patterned dress which will be perfect with tights and booties. I have seen patchwork all over the runways lately so when I had the opportunity to snag two sweet patchwork pieces for thirty-five dollars, I just had to indulge!

I look forward to pairing my cream colored sweater with everything this fall once the weather cools down. Jeans, maxi skirts, a-line skirts, over a dress – I CAN’T WAIT!! The weather has been perfect for my dress and jacket, though, and I’ve already had so much fun sporting both pieces on campus both together and separately. There is nothing better than finding clothes that make you feel confident, chic, and perfectly ready for fall. And at just the right price, how can you say no?

Make sure you keep it posted on lifewithlilred to see the conclusion of my fall haul with a brand new If The Shoe Fits article for my latest finds from TJMaxx and Target! There will also be a new Bath & Body Works Freebie article on the horizon to discuss my three September freebies. Stay tuned!

So there you have it, my TJMaxx Fall Haul! What is your favorite type of fall clothing to wear? What have you splurged on recently to welcome the fall weather into your wardrobe? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hats Off

Hats Off

Hi everyone and TGIF! The next few posts on lifewithlilred are going to be all about my fall fashion haul that took place last weekend. I thought we would start from the top by discussing two gorgeous new hats that I can’t wait to top off my looks with this fall! Take a look:

Hat Haul:

  • Black Calvin Klein bobby hat: TJMaxx, $16
  • Mustard Yellow turban: Forever 21, $7

TJMaxx: While shopping at TJMaxx with my mom to find some new fall staples, my eyes locked in on my gorgeous new CK hat and I knew that I had to have it. I have never owned anything Calvin Klein before and at sixteen dollars, I thought the hat was a steal. The fit of the hat screams London Chic and the chain accent on the front is a great edgy detail to complete the look. I am planning a European trip for the spring of 2017 and I can totally picture myself ambling about the streets of London in this darling bobby style hat.

Forever 21: One of my favorite things to do when I have some spare time during the day is online shopping! I love browsing the pages of my favorite stores and drawing inspiration for spicing up my wardrobe. On Forever 21’s website I saw quite a few turbans that I was obsessed with so on Monday, my boyfriend and I went to the mall to check them out. Even though he told me that shopping in F21 with me was what purgatory must be like, he did treat me to this pretty crocheted, mustard yellow turban! Mustard yellow is one of my favorite colors to wear and this turban looks perfect against my bright red hair and pale skin. Shout out to my boyfriend for braving Forever 21 with me for this fabulous new addition to my fall accessories!❤

So there you have it, my latest fall accessories haul in Hats Off! What fall accessories are you most looking forward to wearing? Who else loves sporting hats of all shapes and sizes during the cool weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Two Year Blogiversary

Two Year Blogiversary

Hi everyone and happy Hump Day!! As you might have guessed judging by the title of this post, IT’S MY TWO YEAR BLOGIVERSARY! That’s right, lifewithlilred has been a thing for two years as of today and I am just pleased as PUNCH! Thank you so much to all of my readers, followers, commenters, and friends in the blogging world. Lifewithlilred would be nothing without all of you! Without the wonderful support that lifewithlilred has received, I doubt that I would have even made it to the two year mark so THANKS A LOT!!!!!