Category Archives: Friends

Hang Ten

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Hang Ten

Hello! I have been in amazing spirits as of late thanks to a welcome change at work and have been all smiles every day when I return home. This past month has been such a game changer because not being in a bad mood once I get home has reignited my love for cooking and I have been having a lot of fun making dinner every night.

I feel like I have so much more energy now after my shift is over and I have been making plans with friends and family during the work week and weekend like crazy. This is also an awesome change of pace because, normally, I would be so drained that I would prefer spending time with my couch and television during the week. Then, the weekend would roll around and plans would seem exhausting rather than enjoyable. Needless to say, I was in a huge funk.

My new job has helped turn hanging out with people back into something that I look forward to and I am so thankful for that. I have been loving my weekly hang outs with my sister and niece most of all. This was a new addition to my work week since July and it is the definition of super happy fun times. My sister and I will alternate between who buys dinner and we’ll do a fun activity with her daughter. Last week, for example, we went swimming at the pool in my apartment community and had Taco Bell. It was perfect!

I have been taking so much more pleasure in going out and about and it feels so nice for it to not feel like a chore. I have been saying yes to every invitation I get which is a huge one eighty from maybe. This past weekend was an especially fun one as I went to a member’s night event at the Akron Zoo with my parents and niece. Johnny and I also had a fabulous date day on Saturday. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Meson. Then, we played video games and listened to music until one thirty in the morning. It was such a blast and we spent all of Sunday talking about how much of a blast it was lol.

As I look back on this past month of wonderful hang sessions and dinners, I can definitely see how depressed I was prior to making a change at work. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I was given because it, truly, has allowed my mental health to improve tenfold. I can’t wait for all of the good times that are ahead of me and my husband because I am now capable of enjoying them all to the highest capacity. ❤

Do you have any fun plans this summer? What is your favorite thing to do with your friends? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Some Wedding Prezzies

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Some Wedding Prezzies

Hello!! Johnny and I have been simply blown away by the generosity of our friends and family for our nuptials and are so thankful to all of them! I do have a couple of ultimate presents that I just had to share on lifewithlilred from two of the people who know me best – my older sister, Kristen, and my BFF, Lea. Both Lea and Kristen gifted me with the most thoughtful prezzies I think I have ever received and will forever be cherished by me. Take a look at some wedding and present pics and let’s discuss:

It is no secret that one of my all time favorite TV shows is My 600 Lb. Life and Doctor Nowzaradan is my hero and best friend in my head. I have literally been obsessed with that show since the very beginning and enjoy seeing the success of the patients. My sister, Kristen, knows this better than anyone and I was in complete stitches when I opened the Dr. Now key chain from her. Not only is the sentiment touching but it’s absolutely hilarious too and I am thrilled to get to see it every day on my car keys when I go to work. 😀

Another gift that really moved me was from my bestie of thirteen plus years, Lea. For my wedding/birthday gift, Lea got me a customized hanger for my wedding dress and I almost cried when I opened it! I didn’t even know that something like what she got me existed and am tickled to have the perfect hanger that I didn’t know I needed for my perfect dress. She also knew that nothing is complete without a touch of red from the ribbon!

I am so thankful to have been able to spend my wedding day with both of my ride or dies and those memories as well as my presents will always be treasured. ❤

What is your favorite TV show? Have you ever received a customized gift? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Our Wedding Day

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Our Wedding Day

Hi! Johnny and I got married on Friday, June 4th and it was the most fantastic, wonderful day in the whole world. For our wedding, we had a very small late afternoon ceremony in our friend’s backyard with immediate family and one best friend each. Then, after having pictures taken our little wedding party went to mine and Johnny’s favorite bar, the Zephyr, for celebratory drinks.

It was a magical whirlwind of a day and both Johnny and I were going nonstop until it was time for our ceremony. Needless to say, we were exhausted for the rest of the weekend but that’s a small price to pay for the best day of your entire life! Take a look at a few sneak peeks of our wedding pics and let’s chat more:

Despite such a small wedding, there was still much to do for Johnny and I to prepare and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our family and friends. Johnny’s best man was gracious enough to allow us to host our wedding in his backyard and he helped my husband get everything ready before it was time for me to walk down the aisle. Another dear friend of Johnny’s officiated our marriage and he did a simply beautiful job and we were so touched by his heartfelt and thoughtful sentiments. And, of course, both of our families pitched in wherever they could too!

It was so special to us to have a majority of our families there and our ride or die besties. Lea and her husband came to celebrate with us and I am so lucky to have had her with me for every major milestone in our past thirteen years of best friendship. One of the biggest treats was having mine and Johnny’s little niece, Valerie, as our flower girl or should I say Taco Bell sauce packet girl. Lol, as I’ve mentioned since my engagement, our wedding was going to be nontraditional! Rather than flower petals, Val threw Taco Bell sauce packets which was a fine tip of the cap to one of my favorite places on planet Earth.

Our ceremony was short and sweet – it was over in about five minutes. However, everything that we wanted to say was said with our own vows and our ordained minister gave such a moving introduction and that truly said it all. Our mini after party was a totally different story, though, considering we were out for hours! We all had a blast at the bar after the ceremony and it was such fun for us to let our hair down together and clink our drinks in celebration.

It’s safe to say that I will be reliving mine and Johnny’s perfect day constantly and I am very excited to see more pictures! If you are too, keep tuning in for more on my wedding here on lifewithlilred! ❤

What was your wedding like? What would be included in your dream wedding? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Brunch Babes

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Brunch Babes

Hello!! Johnny enjoyed a three day weekend for Memorial Day and we had the most fabulous date day on Sunday. Any time with my beau is my favorite but it is especially wonderful to go out and about together after over a year stuck in our apartment. Now that we are both fully vaccinated, we feel much more comfortable with seeing friends, outdoor dining, and small outings. So we spent Saturday afternoon hanging out in Lakewood with our two friends, Jeff and Jeff, and had the best brunch with the best company.

Lakewood is a very cool area and I actually used to figure skate at the rink a few minutes away from where we brunched pre-pandemic. While I was in school, I would also make the small trek up there from campus to have dinner with friends. There is amazing shopping, bars, and unique restaurants and although it is only about forty-five minutes from me and Johnny, our afternoon felt like a mini day trip.

For brunch, the Jeffs, Johnny, and I went to the Buckeye Beer Engine and had a delicious meal. The garden quesadilla I ordered was the perfect vegetarian option that included eggs, peppers, onions, and mushrooms in a spinach tortilla topped with sour cream and pico de gallo. The food was awesome but, I have to say, the mimosas were even better!

The Buckeye Beer Engine had so many mimosa flavors to choose from and I went with Peach and Blood Orange while Johnny had a Pineapple and a Cranberry drink. They were the first mimosas we have had since before the pandemic when we would have breakfast dates and it was nice to reminisce on that as we clinked our glasses in celebration with the Jeffs. The weather was ideal for an outdoor meal and it is definitely true what they say… Brunch is always a good idea.

Once we returned home from our time in Lakewood, we were visited by our friend Corey for a quick video game session. While Johnny and Corey are both incredibly skilled in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., I am pleased to say that I kicked their butts! The video game extravaganza continued long after Corey left and Johnny and I spent hours playing Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Pod Racing, and Medal Of Honor. We also just had to pepper in a few episodes of our latest obsession: Family Matters lol.

No matter what Johnny and I do together, we are sure to have a blast and it feels so good to finally be more active in the community with him again. In fact, it kind of feels like going on first dates all over again because of how long it has been since we could do anything even close to having brunch with friends. Getting all dressed up to go out with my fiance on Sunday was simply the best and I can’t wait for a lifetime of dates with him! ❤

What is your favorite meal of the day? What is your preferred brunch drink? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Reunited And It Feels So Good

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Reunited And It Feels So Good

Hello! After many a video chat dates with my BFF, Lea, we finally were able to reunite in person as she is fully vaccinated and Johnny and I just need our second shot. I had been looking forward to our real life reunion for several months and, needless to say, I was counting down the hours until I was done at work and could see my bestie again.

As always, Lea and I had a fabulous time girl talking, reminiscing, and laughing hysterically for hours on end and I felt so incredibly thankful for that time with her. It also gave me the opportunity to officially ask her if she’d like to attend my family only wedding ceremony! Throughout the pandemic, video chat dates with my friends helped keep me sane but there is nothing like seeing someone who you love so much in person after months of going without.

With so many of my family and friends getting vaccinated, it truly feels like a bright light at the end of such a dark tunnel. Seeing Lea was my first in person hang out with one of my friends since mid December and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time because I had had a rough couple of days. Taking a break from my stress even for just a little while to go through a litany of all of the dorky things my BFF and I did in high school was the best thing for me.

I always say that every hang out with Lea is my favorite but this reunion definitely tops the charts. I cannot wait to get more real life hang outs scheduled in the books and I am so delighted for my best friend to be able to join Johnny, myself, and our families on my wedding day! ❤

Have you been able to reunite with any of your loved ones recently? What are some of your social distanced summer plans? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: BFF Edition

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Holiday Haul: BFF Edition

Hello! For as long as I can remember, my best friend of over twelve years, Lea, and I have had a Christmas gift exchange. Wine is poured, presents are unwrapped, and we spend the whole evening gabbing away about anything and everything. It is one of my favorite holiday traditions and I was so excited to see her during our hang out because, with the pandemic, we are lucky if we see each other once a month. Hanging out was a gift in itself but I am so in love with the thoughtful presents from my bestie. Check it out:

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For birthdays and Christmas, Lea and I always gift each other with a bottle of wine. We have a long standing joke of saying “I wonder what this could be” because there is no way to wrap up wine without it being totally obvious about what’s underneath the paper! Not only do I love a Pink Moscato but I absolutely adore the black and white striped safety seal on the bottle that Lea picked out. She told me right away that she knew that I would like that and, of course, she was right on the money!

Not only did I receive vino but I was also gifted with Bath & Body Works foaming hand soap – my favorite! Nothing beats the holiday scents from B&BW and presents from there are also a huge staple in mine and Lea’s gift giving arsenal because we both know that we will use their products happily. An adorable new glass to enjoy my wine with and some homemade hand soaps wrapped up my haul and I am so thankful for all of the sweet and incredibly useful gifts from my best friend.

Lea and I both revel in the gift giving process of the holidays and I love being able to share in the season with her. I felt so happy after seeing her because she is and always has been a breath of fresh air in my life. She brings me so much joy and I have absolutely NO idea what I would do without her. Here’s to a million more Christmas hang outs together! ❤

How do you and your BFF celebrate the holidays? Do you have any “staples” in your gift giving arsenal? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

FaceTime Fun

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FaceTime Fun

Hi! This seems like a resounding theme on all of my posts but in my neck of the woods, we are currently in threat level PURPLE for COVID-19. Not to be confused with Threat Level: Midnight from The Office. Those of us that get the severity of COVID and are taking it extremely seriously are hunkered down hardcore right now. Johnny and I have not seen any of our friends in at least a month at this point and it’s lonely and it sucks. I think I would honestly go crazy if I didn’t have my Johnny with me and, thankfully, I’ve had technology on my side too.

I have become a FaceTime/Skype/Zoom/phone call addict so that I can still keep in touch with my nearest and dearest. I love having scheduled chit chat “dates” and it gives me something to look forward to. Being able to “see” my friends even through the computer or phone screen helps put a renewed pep in my step and it’s the next best thing I have right now to actually hanging out. I have wholeheartedly embraced this form of contact and I highly recommend that my readers/social media friends follow suit… Especially if COVID is as bad in your area as it is in mine.

A very special bestie in my life has added an extra ray of sunshine to my blah quarantine existence by our weekly or biweekly FaceTime chats. For those of you who don’t know, Johnny and I chose to sit out on Thanksgiving with our family this year. So, believe me when I say, I was completely touched when my darling Kate of Live In The Nautical suggested that we FaceTime on Thanksgiving day.

Kate has been one of my best friends since lifewithlilred began. It’s crazy, because we’ve only met each other in real life once but I feel like I can tell her absolutely anything through our constant back and forth via our blogs, social media, texting, and FaceTime. I am so thankful to her because she knew how shitty I was feeling on Thanksgiving and she took time out of her celebrations to talk to me. It meant so much and I really do treasure the times that we have to see each other and catch up.

I wish that I could see my friends right now and I know that a lot of you do too. Is a video chat the most ideal way to see them? In normal times, no. But things are far from normal right now so I’d say video chatting is friggen perfect. It’s hard to feel so isolated but Johnny and I have been doing our damnedest to stay safe since March. FaceTiming has helped with the loneliness and if you are feeling down, then schedule a chat with one of your besties. It can only help and I think you will feel much better after. I know I did. 🙂 ❤

How do you keep in touch with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic? What do you miss the most about “normal” life? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

BFF Post Wedding Celebration

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BFF Post Wedding Celebration

Hello everyone! My bestie, Lea, got married on October 24th. I was supposed to be a bridesmaid for her big day but, unfortunately, I did not feel comfortable being there cause COVID. Of course, Lea was A-okay about it and was nothing short of totally understanding to all of the concerns I had. That’s what best friends of over twelve years is for! ❤

I wanted nothing more than to be at Lea’s wedding and, after she returned home from her honeymoon and was settled in, we had our own celebration. For the big evening, I got a bottle of champagne and we watched the professional video of the ceremony together.

Lea looked absolutely beautiful on her big day and it made me so emotional to see my bestie who I grew up with walking down the aisle. We laughed, I cried, and it was perfect. This hang out was, honestly, the next best thing to being able to participate in her wedding and I was so thankful that we got to have that time together because all it did was make our sister like bond even stronger.

After hearing all of the amazing stories from her ceremony and the reception to her secluded honeymoon in the mountains, Lea bestowed these lovely gifts onto me:

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^^^ How adorable is that homemade card?!

Lea has gifted her bridesmaids with the cutest prezzies throughout the months leading up to her wedding and I treasure all of them so much. She’s just the most sweet, thoughtful person and I felt honored that she still wanted to include me as much as she could despite my discomfort.

This was, easily, one of the best times I’ve had since COVID began in March and I am never going to forget it. Popping champagne with my BFF and celebrating her happiness got me over the slump that I have been in and I feel so excited to continue having life adventures with Lea every step of the way! ❤

Have you ever participated in a wedding before? How long have you and your bestie been friends for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Accessory Story: Homemade Cuff Edition

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Accessory Story: Homemade Cuff Edition

Hi! For those of you who don’t know, my big girl job is as an independent provider for people with special needs. I have four clients who I see throughout the week and all of them bring so much joy into my life. Each of my clients has their own unique hobbies and I always like to encourage them, especially when there isn’t much else to do right now except hang out at home and perfect their crafts.

Speaking of crafts, one of my clients is very handy when it comes to making homemade jewelry and she created this cuff just for me. Check it out:

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Two of my clients enjoy playing music like the drums and piano and my other two love to craft. Sometimes we will make bracelets, color pictures, or make our own holiday cards. The creator of my new bracelet can often be found working on her dream journal or making jewelry for her loved ones and I was so tickled when she handed me her masterpiece the last time I was at work.

My friend is incredibly generous and she is always thinking about what she can do for others instead of herself. It’s such an admirable trait and she loves being the reason that someone smiles or their day has been “made”. I think everyone can take some notes out of her book and I am proud to have something that she put together with her little old provider in mind. ❤

What is a character trait that you admire? What is your favorite hobby? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: BFF Edition

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Sweet Surprises: BFF Edition

Hello! My best friend of over twelve years, Lea, is going to be getting married at the end of October and I am one of her bridesmaids! Unfortunately, a pandemic isn’t the best time for a wedding celebration and because of having several high risk clients, I have had to opt out of a lot of the fun. It makes me sad that I can’t participate in good conscious in the different activities but Lea knows where I’m coming from and that’s the only important thing to me.

During our most recent hang out to have an early 26th birthday celebration for Lea (AKA drinks on my parent’s deck), I was expecting for her to be the only one receiving prezzies. But my darling bestie surprised me with the following:

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Lea is honestly one of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life and it is so like her to bring something for me on a day that should be celebrating her. I am so in love with the comfy cozy “Bridesmaid” tee by Bella + Canvas (I’m wearing it right now!) and the customized glass is adorable enough that I don’t even want to drink out of it!

It has been hard being out of the metaphorical wedding loop right now for Lea because safety is my primary concern. So, these gifts were very special to me because it showed that Lea still thinks of me as one of her bridesmaids no matter what.

2020 has been such a crazy year and I am so sad that Lea’s wedding isn’t going to be everything that she dreamed of and then some. But, as her best friend and STILL her bridesmaid even though I hardly deserve a participation trophy, I will be doing everything I can in the meantime to keep her spirits way up high. I know she would do the exact same for me. ❤

Did you have an event that got cancelled this year? How do you stay safe during the pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah