Category Archives: Friends

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

A Change Of Scenery

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A Change Of Scenery

Hello! As you all know from yesterday’s post, Johnny and I went on our first date this past weekend since the beginning of all of this COVID business. It was insanely refreshing, to say the least, and we are both eager to get out and about a bit more under circumstances that we are comfortable with. We really did have the best time and the only thing that was different was that we were sitting outside with our drinks instead of in the bar – and social distanced from our friends, of course.

Although our excursion was edited slightly to fit the current times, it just felt good to get out of the house! If you are itching for a change of scenery, why not try the following:

Picnics:

In Ohio, downtown Kent has a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) where you can enjoy food and drinks on spread apart picnic benches. This is how Johnny spent our date night out and we loved it! It was so nice to be in a downtown area and seeing so many people who we’ve been missing since March.

If your neck of the woods doesn’t have a DORA program, pick your favorite Metro Park or even set up a blanket in your own backyard. Purchase take out or make your own meal, sit back, and enjoy the sunshine.

Hiking:

How about a trek through the woods to get you in some different scenery? One of my friends has a goal of hiking one hundred miles by October and he is well on his way to achieving it. If you prefer having company, there are plenty of local animal shelters with lots of dogs to walk along with you. Who knows, you might even end up adopting your new best friend!

Dinner Party:

The next time Johnny and I visit another couple who we are friends with in Kent, I plan on preparing dinner for us. Their house is one you can social distance at. Our apartment? Not so much because it’s so small! I’m bringing the ingredients and “borrowing” their kitchen and we will light a bonfire and eat outdoors. Johnny and I used to go on double dates with this couple often pre-COVID and it will be so fun to continue this tradition in a slightly altered way.

Fun & Games:

There are plenty of games that you can play all while being spread out from people. Video games, charades, Dungeons & Dragons, Bingo, and even silly story telling can all be part of a social distanced game night with your close friends or family. You could even have a paint night right from your own backyard! All it takes is a little creativity and I’m sure you can come up with plenty of social distanced activities, too.

Of course, things are not close to being “back to normal” yet. However, the last date night Johnny and I had was the most normal thing we’ve done in a while. Set up your safety plan so everyone feels comfortable and try out a change of scenery for yourself!

How do you safely see your friends in the COVID era? Where do you go when you need a change of scenery? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Celebrating Special Occasions In Self-Isolation

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Celebrating Special Occasions In Self-Isolation

Hello! Ohio has a stay at home order in place until the beginning of May – as for right now. Unfortunately, special occasions don’t just stop because we are practicing self isolation. So, if a loved one has a birthday coming up, it can certainly feel like a bit of a bust. Thankfully, there are still ways to keep communication alive from the comfort of your own home. Use some of the following tips if anyone you know is celebrating their big day:

Order Them Takeout:

If a friend or family member is celebrating a birthday, you could do the social distancing equivalent of a birthday dinner by sending them over some takeout. Pick out a delicious meal from their favorite restaurant and Door Dash it on over for a birthday surprise. And, how surprised and thankful your giftee will be when he or she finds out that they don’t have to cook dinner!

Special Delivery:

Online deliveries are, for the most part, still a thing. How about sending your giftee a quarantine kit to help keep them entertained? Assemble a care package filled with adult coloring books, board games, books, or movies with the promise of a game night/late celebration once the stay at home order has been lifted.

Have A Virtual Drink:

Virtual drinks and happy hours over video chat has become a new trend as of late and my boyfriend and I are so there for it. We have participated in a few rounds of virtual drinks with our friends and it is always a blast. Call up your friend or family member on FaceTime or Skype who is celebrating a big day and toast to them. And, of course, real life drinks at a later time goes without saying!

Plan Ahead:

If all of the virtual mumbo jumbo isn’t your style, send your loved one an email or some snail mail inviting them to a celebration hang out at a later time. Your giftee will be 1) tickled that you remembered and 2) excited to have a fun event to look forward to. Plan an itinerary for an afternoon or evening on the town with the person celebrating and don’t forget to mark it in the calendar!

Don’t let your loved one’s special day go uncelebrated with the tips above and happy happy days to those celebrating during a stay at home order! ❤

How have you celebrated a special occasion during self-isolation? Will your birthday take place during the stay at home order? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & Fresh Gift Ideas For Men

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Fun & Fresh Gift Ideas For Men

It’s not always easy to buy gifts for men. In fact, it can be really difficult and even more so now that we are unable to go shopping for gifts. So if you want to buy some unique and interesting gifts this year, take a little look at this mini guide to see what could work for your next birthday purchase for a special guy in your life:

Gadgets, gadgets, gadgets:

Most men love gadgets and at any time of the year too! A lot of companies launch new products at this time of year and there are usually special offers at certain times of the year. There are so many different types of gadget on offer, and this can make it tough to decide what to buy. You can buy everything from virtual reality gaming headsets to self-stirring mugs. Think about what your partner or your brother has already got and what kinds of gadgets would entertain them or make their life easier. You could go for something practical if they like specific things to do with DIY or art for example or if they just love playing with toy cars and helicopters!

Clothing and accessories:

Buying clothing isn’t a necessity at the moment but it will be again at some point and although this doesn’t sound like the most original idea, it can have a twist put on it. Why not add a personal touch to one of their fashion accessories? Nowadays, you can customize everything from trainers and football boots to caps and this may really impress some of the men in your family. If this idea sounds appealing, do some research online. You could add their name or a special date, for example to remember their anniversary or other occasion.

Sporting gifts:

If you live with a sports fan, the options are endless. Indulge their passion with a stadium tour, match tickets, or a private lesson. Buy books, DVDs, or novelty golf balls as stocking fillers. Research signed shirts or retro football online. If you’re married to a gym bunny, read up on the best wearable gadgets or order a personalized gym bag. There are gifts out there to suit every budget and for lovers of every sport – you could certainly look at tested paddles too so when the time comes to enjoy some Pickleball, they’re prepared!

Manly hampers? Sounds fun enough!

If you’re searching for unique presents for him, look no further than a bespoke manly hamper. You can order a hamper online or buy your basket and fill it with ingredients yourself, depending on what they like. Maybe they love Thai food, so you could make a Thai themed hamper! This is a great idea for friends and relatives who love to eat and drink.

Popular items include alcohol miniatures, chocolates, cheese, nuts, and more. If you make your own, you can put all of your loved one’s favorite things inside which will impress them and show that you know them too. You can add shower and shave gel, candles, soap, and beard oil if you don’t want to go down the food route. The options are really endless and it’s time to start thinking outside the box!

Use the ideas above to help get you inspired for gifting the guy in your life with the best present ever!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Having A Virtual Drink

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Having A Virtual Drink

Hi! It’s so crazy to think that just a few weeks ago, Johnny and I were participating in game nights with our friends over the weekend. Now, we are safely tucked away in my apartment after work and on the weekends due to Ohio’s stay at home order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

We have a pretty close knit group of friends and we miss them. So, over the weekend we had a virtual drink over FaceTime with a couple we are friends with named Kevin and Christine. It was so nice to chat with and “see” someone other than ourselves and I just had to tell all of you about it in case you are missing the homies, too.

Try scheduling a virtual drink with your besties while hunkering down is the name of the game. You will seriously feel so much better after you have a conversation with a friend that isn’t over text message and it can create a pleasant evening or afternoon if you are having difficulties figuring out ways to occupy yourself. Pour a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy. *Virtual cheers to you* 🙂

How have you been keeping in touch with friends in self-isolation? What is the coronavirus status where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah