Author Archives: lifewithlilred

About lifewithlilred

Just your average gal blogging an average blog!

Date Day!

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Date Day!

Hello! At least every other week, Johnny and I like to have a date day over the weekend before our regularly scheduled game nights. Whether it be going out to lunch or dinner, having a drink at our favorite bar, or shopping around at some of our go to game stores, it’s just nice to be out and about. This past weekend, we decided to go middle class fancy and hit up the Red Lobster before a rousing game of Legend Of Zelda Monopoly:

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^^^ Lol, peep that Pablo Cruise shirt! 😀

Johnny and I have a very similar sense of humor and are constantly making each other laugh. When we first started dating, he told me a story about how he went to Red Lobster with a girlfriend and her dad and had a laugh attack about something that no one found funny. He was so tickled by the fake newspaper “The Daily Catch” that his fish and chips was wrapped in and he didn’t even receive a titter from anyone else. He got a huge belly laugh from me, though!

On Saturday, he must have been craving fish and chips something fierce and texted me when I was at my parents if I wanted to go to “The Lob” for lunch. I had no idea what he was talking about and thought it was a new restaurant that had opened so I said sure. When I was informed that it was Red Lobster, I couldn’t deny him his Daily Catch and he had also scoured the menu to make sure there was something that I could eat there as a vegetarian. Such an angel. ❤

We hit up The Lob and I was honestly so surprised by how much I enjoyed the food. The cheddar biscuits were out of this world and my pasta dish was delicious with a lemon and garlic sauce. The drinks weren’t bad, either, and I got a Margarita while Johnny went for a Bahama Mama. Unfortunately, his fish and chips didn’t feature The Daily Catch which was the whole point of going but we still had a blast.

In my area of Ohio, the majority of restaurants are chain ones like Red Lobster, Applebees, and TGIFridays. Our date day was such a typical Midwest middle class fancy outing and like everything, we could find the humor in it. Will we be dining at Red Lobster all of the time? Probably not. Will I be excited every time Johnny suggests The Lob now? Absolutely! 😀

What is your favorite chain restaurant? What is a middle class fancy outing for you like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

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The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and loved ones to come together and celebrate. It’s a time for happiness, joy, and good cheer. But it’s also a time for reflection. A time to look back on the year that has passed and think about all that has happened. It’s a time to think about the future and what lies ahead. And what better way to reflect on the past year and plan for the future than by spending time with those you love most?

There are many benefits to spending time with family during the holidays. Although we’re nowhere near Christmastime yet, we are very close to Christmas In July so you can experience them early! This article will explore just a few of them and how you can make the most of this special time with your loved ones:

Strengthens relationships:

The holiday season is a special time when families come together to celebrate their traditions and strengthen their relationships. Spending time together fosters communication and bonding, two essential ingredients for any strong relationship. The holidays are also a time when families can relax and enjoy each other’s company, free from the demands of work and school.

In today’s busy world, finding quality time to spend with our loved ones can be difficult. But the holidays offer a perfect opportunity to slow down, relax, and focus on what truly matters – family. By making the most of our time together, we can create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Increases morale:

For some, the holidays can be a stressful time. There’s the pressure to buy the perfect gifts, cook the perfect meal, and create the perfect holiday experience. This stress can take a toll on our physical and mental health. But spending time with our families during the holidays can reduce stress and increase our morale.

Family togetherness helps us to relax and enjoy. We can laugh and have fun together. We can reminisce about past holidays and create new traditions. And we can show our loved ones how much we care about them. So if you’re feeling stressed this holiday season, take some time to spend with your family. It will do wonders for your morale.

Allows for reflection on the past year:

The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends. They offer a chance to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming year. For many people, the holidays are also a time to express their gratitude for what they have.

One of the best ways to show your loved ones how much you care is to spend quality time together. This doesn’t mean that you have to be together every minute of the day; simply being in each other’s company can be a great way to show your love and appreciation.

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Many activities can help promote family togetherness during the holidays. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Watching Christmas movies together:

Christmas movies are a staple of the holiday season. They offer a chance to escape the world’s reality and enjoy some good old fashioned family fun. So why not gather the family around the television and enjoy a few of your favorites? You can even make it a tradition to watch the same movies yearly.

Baking holiday cookies:

One of the best things about the holidays is the delicious food. Baking holiday cookies is an awesome activity for the whole family. You teach your children how to bake and they get to eat the cookies when they’re done. It’s a chance to spend time together and create yummy treats that everyone will enjoy.

Get professional pictures together:

Getting photographs together is a fantastic method to preserve the Christmas holidays memories. Hiring professional photographers can be expensive but might be nice to do every few years. Hiring a professional photo editor to edit pictures of your kids and family members might also be a good idea. This will ensure that the pictures are high quality and capture the spirit of the holidays.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. Make the most of your time together and enjoy all of the benefits of it!

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Family Across The Street By Nicole Trope Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Family Across The Street By Nicole Trope Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we will be discussing an intense psychological thriller by Nicole Trope called The Family Across The Street – without giving any spoilers away, of course. This book was absolutely insane and before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on it for graphic violence and disturbing content. Now, let’s get to it:

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Katherine West lives in a posh neighborhood in Sydney, Australia with her husband and their set of twins, Sophie and George. They live on a quiet street and the residents can’t even remember the last time they heard a police siren or seen a cop driving by. It is picture perfect and safe as can be for Katherine, Gladys across the street, and all their neighbors. But, we all know that this is never the case in a thriller.

Logan is a former convict and is covered in violent tattoos inspired from his lifetime of struggle. He is finally turning into the man that he wants to be for himself and his wife and has been working as a delivery driver for his brother in law’s company. On the hottest day of the year, his day begins at Katherine’s home to deliver her new laptop.

At Katherine’s door, she tells Logan that she cannot open it and to leave her purchase there. He can’t do that, however, because it needs signed for and throughout his day, he can’t shake the feeling that there was something wrong. The nosy Gladys across the street feels similarly and throughout her day, she stops by Katherine’s door too only to be told it can’t be opened.

The perfect stranger and neighbor were right, of course, but what is happening in Katherine’s home is something that they never could have guessed. A hostage situation is unfolding in the West’s living room and Katherine and her two twins sit huddled on the couch as they are held at gunpoint. Who is the person that could possibly do this to such a beautiful family? That’s something you will never guess too so read The Family Across The Street to find out!

The Family Across The Street was a rollarcoaster ride of a read with the craziest twists and turns happening every chapter. This is why I had to keep the synopsis short and sweet because every shocking twist is so important to the story. The grand reveal is one that I would have never seen coming in a million years and I am still mulling it over several days after finishing it. It left me totally and completely shook.

The past few books that I have read have been slow burn thrillers and although I enjoyed them, it was nice to read something more fast paced. The Family Across The Street started out with a bang and the punches kept rolling until the last page. The chapters alternated between Katherine, Gladys, Logan, and the person holding the Wests hostage and I just had to keep reading to find out what happens next.

Other than the guilty party in this book, all of the characters were so likeable and it made all of the blows that much more painful. I loved brave, determined Katherine and her children. I eventually came around to busybody Gladys and simply adored Logan who was so desperate to keep himself on the straight and narrow. Needless to say, these characters would have never crossed paths had tragedy not struck and their interactions were really cool to read.

Overall, I am going to rate The Family Across The Street with an eight out of ten stars. This book was gruesome and difficult to read at times so if that’s not your bag, then don’t bother. However, if you are looking for a mind blowing thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat, then I can’t recommend it enough!

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

 

Paint By Numbers Misfortune

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Paint By Numbers Misfortune

Hello! My best friend, Lea, gifted me with everything that I needed for my own personal wine and paint night for my birthday. She got me a paint by numbers kit, which I have heard of before but never tried and was eager to give it a shot. This past weekend, I decided that I would get started on my project before a friend showed up for a game night. Unfortunately, it was way harder than I could have ever imagined:

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After unboxing the paint by numbers kit, I was surprised by how difficult it looked but was hopeful that I would be able to complete it. The kit included the canvas, three paint brushes of various sizes, numbered paints, and supplies for hanging it up. With everything that I needed provided, I was still under the impression that once I got the hang of it, it would be easy. That was, however, far from the case.

I had a few hours to kill and I thought that I would start with the biggest task on the canvas first, painting the background and small details white. I began working on one of the vases and even with the smallest paint brush available, I was getting paint in the wrong places and covering up numbers I would need later left and right. After the epic failure of attempting one color on a vase, I started painting the background because that should be easy, right?

WRONG!!!!

The biggest paint brush that the kit had was hardly making a dent in the vast spaces on the canvas that needed covered up. Not to mention that you had to perfectly outline the vases and flowers with the white paint too. I switched back and forth between the biggest and smallest brush to accomplish this and was constantly covering up other spaces that needed painted. You seriously almost needed a toothpick small brush to get into all of the tiny nooks and crannies and the smallest brush was way too big for the task.

Of course, I am so thankful to Lea for her super thoughtful gift but I can’t say that this project is one that I plan on finishing. After my first effort, I essentially shot myself in the foot since so many areas got painted over. I am sure that other easier paint by numbers kits are a lot of fun and would happily try one of them. I just don’t have the surgeon steady hands to successfully complete this canvas!

Have you tried a paint by numbers kit 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

Advice For A Fantastic Mid-Year “Tune Up”

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Advice For A Fantastic Mid-Year “Tune Up”

Any driver knows that from time to time, a full vehicle inspection is required. So, if we can do this with our vehicles, why can’t we do it with ourselves too? Sometimes, we might need the ‘tune-up’ that we give to our possessions. But surely you are the most valuable ‘possession’ you have in the first place! So, what plans can we make in order to optimize our approach here? In this post, we’ll discuss all of that and more:

See Your Dentist:

It’s quite amazing how fresh we feel after a visit to the dentist. A local dental clinic can help assess the entirety of your dental environment and make any recommendations that may be important. They can help clean your teeth, attend to any pain or problem areas you might have, and unlock your natural smile in the best possible way. For many this may seem like a pedestrian task, but regular visits can help you prevent long term dental issues that you may have otherwise had.

Take A Fitness ‘Inventory’:

It sounds quite sanctimonious to suggest you should sit down and consider how healthy you are. But the truth is, that it is a good thing to figure out where you are health wise and think about what you’ll do to better yourself. You also have to consider what you could actually do, not what you just think you should. This might involve losing that last couple of pounds, walking more in the mornings, or simply getting more vitamin D. It might mean trying to restore your flexibility after an injury you sustained. Your fitness inventory doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s to be right for you.

Update Your Style:

Updating your style is always a great thing! Otherwise, we can feel outdated and like we’re behind everyone else. This doesn’t mean you have to dress in the latest fashions, but it’s certainly health to consider the condition of your clothes and to improve them – to opt for a few fixtures like a nice winter coat or even having that watch repaired finally. A tuneup means being able to present yourself to the world with a renewed sense of confidence and appreciation. An approach like this can help you with that through and through.

With this advice, you’re certain to generate the best mid-year tuneup, ready for the best of summer and the onset of the colder seasons. 2022 is already halfway over, if you can believe it, so make the most of it!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Final Birthday Hurrah

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Final Birthday Hurrah

Hello! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to celebrate my birthday on the day of with my sister and her family due to a bout with COVID. Once they were ten days out, however, we had a wonderful late birthday outing together. I was treated by Kristen, Ramon, and my darling niece Valerie to a delicious dinner at my favorite restaurant, the Saffron Patch. It is the most divine Indian food that I have ever had and I savored every bite. I was also gifted with a TJMaxx gift card (Bless!), a sticker adorned card compliments of Val, and this gorgeous Betsey Johnson necklace:

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Betsey Johnson has always been one of my favorite brands and I love her quirky, bright designs. There is nothing like a Betsey accessory to add a fun pop to any OOTD and I have several of her purses, shoes, and jewelry. When I opened up the box containing my new necklace, I couldn’t believe my eyes… I had actually just been drooling over it during my last shopping trip at TJMaxx. Talk about sister telepathy, right? 😀

I am obsessed with this necklace and it is so different from all of my other Betsey accessories – most of them have skulls and snakes as the focal point lol! The sweet gem stoned hearts are SO. Freaking. Cute. and remind me of the plastic star and heart jewelry of my youth (In the best way possible!). Another amazing thing about this necklace is that you can put it on over your head without undoing the clasp. We all know that that is a difficult task for me with my claws!

My new necklace is perfect for adding candy dream colors to a neutral base and I can’t wait to see it shine against white, black, and grey. I had a great time celebrating my birthday with three of my favorite people in the whole world and my festivities ended on the best note possible. ❤

What is your favorite accessory brand? How would you style this necklace? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sephora Birthday Gift Unboxing & Tinted Lip Oil Swatch

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Sephora Birthday Gift Unboxing & Tinted Lip Oil Swatch

Hello!! I had a great little mostly freebie haul from Sephora, which also included my birthday gift for being a Beauty Insider member. As a Beauty Insider, you get to pick one from three or four different gift options during your birth month and I look forward to it every year. The choices range from a set for skin care, hair care, makeup, or fragrance and I always opt for the makeup because I rarely try out new products in that regard.

For the makeup gift, I received a sample pack from Ilia that had a tinted lip oil, mascara, and a lip mask:

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^^^ Lol, I had to swatch on my wrist because my hands are now occupied with tattoos!

I am a tried and true user of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara so the travel sized one in this birthday gift will be going to my sister. What really sold me on the Ilia set was the lip mask and tinted lip oil. I love me a lip mask and am constantly on the hunt for a good one because the last several that I have tried have been duds. The tinted lip oil in Only You was also just too pretty to pass up!

I have so many lip colors from Sephora birthday gifts and they never disappoint. Only You by Ilia, however, might be my favorite one yet. It is the most lovely carnation pink hue and I love the texture. While it looks like a gloss, it feels like a balm and I think that everyone can get down with that… No one likes a sticky lip gloss! It makes my lips feel smooth, look supple, and provides the perfect touch of color. I know for a fact that I will be wearing it all summer long. 😀

Keep it posted on lifewithlilred for a review of the Ilia lip mask as well as one more birthday present surprise. Gotta love a birth month!!

What is your favorite makeup brand? What did you choose as your Beauty Insider birthday prezzie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Teal & White Nails

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New Teal & White Nails

Hello! My last fill at Elysian Nails was a bittersweet one because my favorite nail tech had moved onto bigger and better things. When I went to Elysian this past week, it was the first time in over a year that someone different had done my nails and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t a little bummed out! On the bright side, I got another one of my favorite techs who my old one recommended and my claws turned out beautifully:

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For this past fill, one of the owners ended up doing my nails and it doesn’t get much better than that because she is AMAZING! I was in and out in a little over an hour and you just can’t beat that – especially considering how expertly she sharpened and shaped my talons. She also put on a thicker coat of acrylic to better compliment the shape and they have never felt so strong and sturdy before.

Originally, I had wanted nude nails with a colored tip but it was something that I needed to request when I scheduled the appointment. That was okay, though, and I can’t wait to get extra pampered next month as a treat. I decided to go with a teal and white combo, instead, and I am loving it! I can’t recall the last time that I had white nail polish on and I’m not sure why it took me so long to give it a shot. The bright white paired with the beachy blue just screams fun in the sun and I think it looks fabulous as well as different from what I’d usually get.

It is always sad when a preferred hair stylist, nail tech, or artist moves on from the salon but this first fill without my fave couldn’t have gone better. But, I shouldn’t have expected anything otherwise because Elysian Nails is, easily, the best salon that I have ever been to! ❤

What color are your nails? How long have you been working with your hair stylist or nail tech? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sephora Haul

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Sephora Haul

Hello everyone!! Sephora always gives the best birthday gifts to their Beauty Insider members and, shockingly, it had all but slipped my mind until I got a reminder email. I didn’t feel like going to the mall just to pick up one thing, however, so I took care of it online. Although I have plenty of the couple of products that I purchase through Sephora, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to buy more to reach the fifty dollar free shipping mark.

Happily, I discovered that they were doing free shipping on all orders when I got on their website! Rather than get more stock pile products, I purchased one small item so that I could get all of my freebies. This haul costed me three dollars in total and it was money well spent! Check it out:

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The Haul:

  • Sephora brand cleansing wipes
  • Ilia birthday gift – FREE
  • Tatcha water cream – FREE
  • Maison Margiela Replica sample – FREE
  • Sulwhasoo renewing cream sample – FREE

Prior to shopping Sephora online, I never quite understood people’s obsession with it. When shopping in store, you miss out on so many amazing deals and while I would make in store purchases, I never felt like I was getting a lot of bang for my buck. And, at over twenty five dollars for a tube of Better Than Sex mascara (Still worth it!) I couldn’t help but feel like I was getting ripped off.

Fast forward to my first online order and I was like “Oh… I get it now”. Sephora offers some of the best online deals that I have ever seen and I always feel good about what I bought because I get so many freebies. This little haul is a shining example of that and it costed literal pocket change. You just can’t beat that!

I got a sample jar of Tatcha moisturizer with my Beauty Insider points which I am excited to use. And when you shop online with Sephora, you are allowed to pick out two free samples to complete your order. I went for the Sulwhasoo cream as well as a fragrance sample. My best friend, Lea, and I recently had a conversation about wanting to try a more long lasting perfume so I couldn’t not get a new fragrance to test out. Unfortunately, Replica wasn’t a winner but, hey, it was worth a shot.

We will unbox the Ilia birthday gift after checking out my new nails tomorrow so keep it posted for that. In the meantime, give Sephora’s website a look through and see which freebies you can snag for yourself! 😀

What is your favorite fragrance? Which store offers the best in store or online deals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Best Friend Birthday Gift

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Best Friend Birthday Gift

Hello! I had a blast celebrating my birthday last week and had plans to hang out with people almost every night. Needless to say, I am exhausted and am done socializing for the next couple of weeks lol! On Friday, my best friend and her husband came over for a game night and I was gifted with this super thoughtful prezzie from Lea:

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Lea and I have been best friends since freshman year of high school, which is fourteen years of celebrating birthdays and holidays together. We absolutely love to spoil each other for special occasions and it has been that way for as long as I can remember. For my birthday, Lea outdid herself with a paint by numbers kit and a delicious looking bottle of blueberry moscato. Yum!

I have heard of paint by numbers projects before but have never tried one and I can’t wait. It looks like such fun and is a delightful nod to the many craft nights that Lea and I have shared together. In fact, several of the canvases on my apartment’s art wall are from said best friend craft nights and I can’t wait to complete and hang up my new painting… If it turns out good lol. And, of course, the bottle of wine is the perfect compliment to make it a wine and paint night – which we have also participated in together! 😀

Lea is one of the most incredible people and we have been there for each other through thick and thin. Boyfriends, college, new jobs, and marriage are all things that we have tackled together and I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side. Fourteen birthdays are almost officially in the books after her special day in late August and I can’t wait for fourteen more. I love you!!!

How long have you and your best friend been friends for? Have you ever tried a paint by numbers kit before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah