Category Archives: Fun

Housewarming Party Pro Tips

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Housewarming Party Pro Tips

Hello! Johnny and I have been working hard to get our new apartment in order after our big move with a housewarming/birthaversary party as our goal at the end of the month. With the party in mind, it has encouraged us to pick up the pace with our unpacking to get our place in as good of order as we can for when our guests show up. Here are some of my pro tips to help you prepare for a housewarming party that I have been following closely:

Preparing The Home:

Moving is incredibly stressful and a big bash afterwards is the best reward! While your new digs don’t have to be completely perfect, there are some things that need to be in order before your party:

Make use of closet space: Some things simply can’t be unpacked yet due to needing additional furniture, which is definitely the case for me and Johnny. Make good use of your closet space and place these items accordingly so they’re not taking up room around the house. Out of sight, out of mind!

Get rid of packing supplies: One thing that is taking up lots of room in our new apartment is empty boxes! Do not fall for the trap of “I might need them eventually” because I promise you will be able to acquire more. Post on social media if anyone else might need them or get them to your nearest recycling center. I am lucky enough that one of my best friends is moving so she is getting all of our packing supplies as we continue to unpack.

Have plenty of seating areas: As I said before, the place doesn’t need to be just right for your party and things can be stowed away for the time being in rooms that guests won’t be in, like bedrooms or offices. However, plenty of seating areas is a must for your guests. Arrange your chairs and couches so everyone has a comfortable place to be.

Invites:

I sent out a Facebook invite well in advance so that I know how much food I will have to prepare and order (Which we will discuss more in the next header). In the invites, I let our guests know that in the afternoon, it will be mainly family coming by and if you want to rage, then arrive in the evening. That way, your invitees will know which time slot better applies to them.

Food & Drinks:

While you don’t need a ten course meal for your party, food and drinks are an obvious must. I have been scouring Pinterest for yummy dips and finger foods to make and then Johnny and I will just order a couple of pizzas. As far as drinks go, do make sure you have nonalcoholic options too if you plan on having booze. Mocktails, pop, water, and juice are a necessity if you have friends and family who don’t indulge in the drink! I plan on making up some mocktails as well as a party punch for the guests who are so inclined.

Entertainment:

Parties where everyone sits around and talks are fine but everyone likes games! Have an area with some table top or video games set up for your guests to play. Classic games are sure to go over well like Uno, Catch Phrase, or the Five Second Rule. If you have games that others haven’t heard of, just make sure you’re around to explain the rules to make the gaming experience more fun. And, of course, don’t forget to have some great music playing but not too loudly!

Our party has Johnny and I working double time after our move and I am so not mad about it. The place is looking wonderful and I can’t wait to celebrate! πŸ˜€

What are some of your party planning pro tips? How did you reward yourself after a big move or life event? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Have Some Fun: Visit A Local Hangout

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Have Some Fun: Visit A Local Hangout

Lots of communities have a local hangout where everyone seems to gather for a big game, trivia nights, or the company. This might be a bar, restaurant, arcade, or in some cases all three of these things in one. If you are in the mood to meet some new people, places like these are great to go to. It also offers these benefits:

You Will Have Longer Conversations:

It has been noted through research on the topic of socializing at pubs that people who sit at a bar and talk to other people tend to talk longer. While being in this kind of social situation, a person is more inclined to get involved in conversations with multiple people allowing them to converse freely. Being able to hold up a conversation is a great skill that not only brings its own happiness, but also helps you in daily life.

In your professional life, being able to talk, network, and hold your own makes people want to interact with you more and get to know you better.

You Will Get Involved In Sports:

Most hangouts have a dartboard or pool table and people are always crowded around it. Getting involved with a sport like darts helps you with your concentration, hand-eye coordination, control, and patience. All of these skills can only make your life better. Being a part of a team also makes you have a sense of belonging and community, which is a win for your mental health.

Whether it’s watching sports on TV and being among like-minded fans or joining the local sponsored sports team and getting exercise, visiting your local gathering place can introduce you to this world and help you meet new friends.

You Get Out of Your House:

Getting out of the house on a weekend night and being among people of various age groups and backgrounds always makes a person happier. When we are home and tucked away from the social scene we can develop feelings of isolation and loneliness. When we are out in the world socializing, those feelings melt away.

Even if it is only for one drink or two, sitting down in public and interacting with other people also breaks up the day and makes you feel as if you are part of something greater. The best thing that comes out of this is that you make new friends and discover new things about yourself.

You May Learn Something New:

A lot of bars and restaurants hold trivia nights in order to get more patrons in the front door for something fun and interesting. The best part of playing trivia games: you become a smarter person. Research has found that people who go to pubs and participate in trivia games are going to learn something new.

This also allows a person to show off their intelligence and how much they know in a public setting which boosts confidence and makes a person feel better about themselves and their abilities.

You Learn to Let Your Guard Down:

When you are in a social situation where everyone is talking to each other and having a good time, you are more likely to want to join in too. In order to do this, you are going to have to let your guard down. When you get into the habit of opening yourself up and talking, you will not feel so insecure to speak up and ask questions at work or with your family and friends. This kind of confidence will help you take control of your life and improve it.

You Will Feel More Relaxed:

When you go out and have a good meal, perhaps a drink, and time with your friends, you are more likely to feel relaxed. An evening of getting yourself out there and enjoying yourself is the best cure after a stressful week. It gives you the opportunity to leave your job at the office and focus on having a blast, instead.

Exploring the local hangouts in your area will give you the chance to connect with people and unwind. Plan an outing somewhere new with your friends and enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Be On The Lookout!

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Be On The Lookout!

Hey! Lots of fun stuff is coming out on lifewithlilred including new OOTDs (I’m taking pictures today, I hope!), book club reviews, and I’ll be teaming up with Elite Sports and Born Tough to give some of their products a try. I can’t wait! πŸ˜€

Keep it posted with yours truly so you can take a look at all of my essentials in my skate bag when I hit the rink. But, if you can’t wait until then, here is some awesome gear by Elite Sports to check out in the meantime:

I love you all!!! ❀

Preparations To Make For An Outdoor Activity

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Preparations To Make For An Outdoor Activity

It’s time to get out of the house and explore nature. There’s so much to see, do, and enjoy when you venture outside! But before you go, you need to prepare some things first. While it’s undoubtedly an exciting prospect, going on an outdoor adventure can be daunting if you’re not adequately prepared. So, to help you out, we’ve put together a list of everything you need to do before heading out into the great outdoors:

Choose the right location:

The first step in preparing for an outdoor activity is to choose the best location. It will depend on a few factors, such as the type of activity you’re doing, the time of year, and the weather. For example, if you’re planning on hiking, you’ll need to find a place that has trails and is appropriate for the season.

You also need to be aware of your surroundings and make sure that you’re not going into an area known for being dangerous. Do some research online or talk to people familiar with the place to get additional information. Have your itinerary planned out before you leave to know what to expect when you’re at your destination. It will help you avoid surprises and make the most of your trip!

Get the right gear:

Next, you need to make sure you have the right gear for your activity. This condition will vary depending on the season, but there are some basics that you’ll always need. For example, if you’re going camping, you’ll need a tent, a sleeping bag, and a stove.

It’s also essential to make sure that your gear is in good condition and that you know how to use it. If you’re not familiar with using a particular piece of equipment, take the time to practice before going on your trip.

Pack food and water:

Another essential thing to pack is food and water. You need to make sure that you have enough food and water for the trip and that it’s something you can easily carry with you. If you’re going on a long hike, you’ll need to pack food that will give you enough energy. When choosing food, it’s also important to consider any allergies or dietary restrictions you may have. And, of course, you need to make sure that the food won’t go wrong in the heat.

It’s just as important to pack enough water for everyone in your group. Depending on the activity, you might need to bring more or less water. Make sure to research this beforehand so that you don’t end up with a shortage.

Don’t skimp on personal hygiene:

When packing, don’t forget about personal hygiene. It is essential if you’re in close quarters with other people. Pack things like soap, toothpaste, and deodorant to stay clean and comfortable. The sun can damage your skin, so make sure to pack sunscreen and hats too. Also, using a conditioner for dandruff control will keep you feeling fresh and clean even in the scorching heat.

You don’t want to forget insect repellent, either! Mosquitoes and other bugs can be a real nuisance, and some of them can even carry diseases. So, make sure to pack repellents to keep the bugs at bay.

Dress for the occasion:

Wearing clothes that are appropriate for the activity and the weather will keep you comfortable. You wouldn’t want to go hiking without a sturdy pair of shoes! And if you’re going to be in the sun, make sure to wear light colored clothing that will help keep you cool.

Avoid wearing anything that could get caught on something and cause you to trip or fall. And remember, it’s always better to be too warm than too cold, so dress in layers.

Be prepared for emergencies:

No matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance something could go wrong. That’s why it’s crucial to be prepared for emergencies. Have a first aid kit handy and pack supplies like bandages, gauze, and tape. It’s also a good idea to pack a whistle if you get lost or need help.

If you have any health conditions, bring your medication with you. And don’t forget to pack a flashlight and some matches so that you can start a fire if necessary.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your outdoor activity goes smoothly and that you have a great time on your adventure!

Jesus Christ Superstar Date Night

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Jesus Christ Superstar Date Night

Hello! This past Saturday, Johnny and I had a wonderful date night to see Jesus Christ Superstar at Playhouse Square. This has been our first big outing since the pandemic began and it was even better than I could have dreamed! Also, huge shout out to my dad for making this possible with his yearly Christmas gift of season tickets to Playhouse Square for the family. Tomorrow, we will take a look at my OOTD so be sure to keep it posted for that!

Our date day began at Pepper’s Italian Restaurant in Lakewood before the show. We had a to die for dinner of gnocchi with Alfredo sauce, Margarita pizza, focaccia bread, salad, and Prosecco. It was absolutely delicious and my only regret is that it isn’t closer so that we could eat there all of the time. πŸ˜€

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After an amazing meal that I am still dreaming about, we had some time to kill before it was time to go to the theater to take our seats. We decided to have an after dinner drink at a bar down the street from Pepper’s called the Funhouse. Johnny has been there before but I haven’t and it was the coolest place ever!! It had the theme of an old fashioned carnival with tons of dark decor mixed with the bright colors of a fair. The Funhouse is definitely our kind of bar!

I was already sold on the bar based on the decor alone but their unique drink menu didn’t hurt, either. I just had to try one of their alcohol slushies and chose blue raspberry as my flavor. It was So. Yummy. and if we didn’t have a play to catch, I think I could have had one or two more. πŸ™‚

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After a quick drink, it was time to head to Playhouse Square for the main event – seeing Jesus Christ Superstar. Everyone has a laugh when I say that it is my favorite musical because I am an atheist. I can’t help it, though, and have been enamored with it ever since having to watch it every Easter at Catholic grade school. The rock opera music gets me every time and I love that it shows a human depiction of the story of Christ’s crucifixion.

A few years ago, I made Johnny watch the classic movie adaptation of the musical and while he liked it, he wasn’t one hundred percent sold on it. I wasn’t sure what his reaction was going to be to the show so as soon as it began and he whispered to me “this is amazing” my heart basically exploded because he was seeing it how I do.

We were lucky enough to see the show despite it being canceled last year due to the pandemic and were treated to an extra special viewing because of its fiftieth anniversary celebration. Because of this, there was a small orchestra playing in the wings of the theater along with the band playing onstage with wailing electric guitar, organ, keyboards, drums, and saxophone.

The stage was set with an industrial vibe of open scaffolding and a huge upside down cross going directly down the stage. This was also reflected in the costumes for the characters who were dressed in baggy clothing to maximize all of their beautiful movements. And the actors? They were sublime.

The chorus was fabulous and the individual roles were just flawless. I daresay that the actor playing Judas might have out shined Jesus but who really stole the show was King Herod. His flashy rendition of “King Herod’s Song” was a major highlight of the entire show and Johnny and I spent so much time on the ride home going gaga over it.

Jesus Christ Superstar was performed with no intermission so it was seamless from start to finish. The loud music, glam rock style vocals, and all of the little tricks that they worked into the show made for one of the best adaptations that I have ever seen. It was so incredibly creative and really is a production that makes you think.

I knew that I was going to enjoy the show but it made it even better that Johnny loved it too. Our hour long car ride home until we went to bed was filled with conversation about the story, what we liked, and reliving it in its entirety. I couldn’t have asked for anything more and it was seriously one of the best evenings of my life! ❀

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What is your favorite musical? Do you have a favorite song from Jesus Christ Superstar? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

LEGO Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets Completed Set

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LEGO Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets Completed Set

Hello! During our holiday break, Johnny and I completed the final set from our LEGO haul, which means that it’s time to buy more! We spent about three hours building the Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets from Harry Potter and it turned out great. With fun surprises everywhere you looked and awesome extras like Chocolate Frog cards, glow in the dark pieces, and a golden Voldemort, this might be one of my favorite builds yet! Check it out:

Johnny and I are frequent builders of LEGO and I can tell that our skills have improved. Considering the size of this set, it didn’t take us too too long to complete it. We were so pleased with our handiwork! Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets is one of my favorite books and movies in the series and this set definitely did it justice.

While the builds for Hogwarts in itself are always really neat, the Chamber Of Secrets gives it a wonderful contrast. I love how you can make the basilisk move in and out of the chamber just like in the movie. It also includes a slide for the Minifigs to go down and the snake adorned door to enter the depths of Hogwarts. I wish that there was a set just of the Chamber because I would be all over it. πŸ˜€

My favorite part of this set is, easily, the pictures of Gilderoy Lockhart and I laugh every time I look at them – they are so funny! Expertly placed Chocolate Frogs and Cornish Pixies are also much appreciated and I can’t wait for my niece to come over to see if she can find them all. She is our future LEGO Master!

Johnny and I are fresh out of LEGO now but I already know which sets I want next, as always. I have my eye on the Astronomy Tower and Hogsmeade Village and I can’t wait to get them!

What do you like to build with LEGO? Did anyone receive any LEGO sets for the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Preparing Your Backyard For Parties

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Preparing Your Backyard For Parties

After being tucked away from the cold this winter, it’s only natural to be daydreaming about warm weather, outdoor activities, and parties hosted from your own backyard. Not only are outdoor get togethers a lot of fun but they are much safer from a COVID perspective too. If you have hosting an outdoor gathering on the mind, think about the following as you make your preparations:

Set The Space:

If you don’t already have a patio in the backyard for lawn furniture, this could be a great project to undertake. Stone or terracotta tiles set in a pleasing arrangement can provide the perfect space to set up an outdoor dining arrangement for your cookouts. If you’re not keen on doing this yourself, there are sure to be lots of local professionals who can make this happen. Getting the driveway interlocking services will greatly elevate the curb appeal. It’s a win/win situation!

Outdoor Activities:

Enjoying the great outdoors with your friends is a good way to get active so take advantage of it! Badminton, volleyball, cornhole, croquet, and bocce ball are all sure to be a hit. Hosting tournaments for some friendly competition will definitely get you moving! If you and your guests have green thumbs, you could have a literal garden party and plant flowers or veggies together. Don’t forget the lemonade and finger food to snack on.

Add A Fire Pit:

Your new patio will also be a nice space to set up a fire pit for an evening get together. Roasting marshmallows and hot dogs while the sun sets is always fun and will provide a touch of warmth during those chilly summer nights. A fire pit can also serve you well in the wintertime too to sip hot chocolate and munch gingerbread cookies around.

Keep Pests At Bay:

There is nothing worse than getting bit up by mosquitos during an outdoor gathering so a supply of citronella candles will go a long way. You also might want to consider calling in local experts if you have a lot of burrow holes on your lawn. You don’t want anyone tripping and spraining an ankle during your volleyball tournament!

Spring and summer activities are not as far off as we might think! Put your daydreaming of fun in the sun to good use by preparing your backyard soon.

Warm Up With These Indoor Winter Activities

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Warm Up With These Indoor Winter Activities

Hello! I love the way the snow makes everything look like a holiday greeting card… and that’s about it lol. Driving in it is for the birds and as someone who is constantly cold, I can do without the extra dose of brrrrrr. So, needless to say, I like to enjoy my winter activities from the great indoors! If you feel similarly, try out these ideas all from the comfort of being wrapped in your favorite blanket:

Present Wrapping Party:

I absolutely LOVE shopping for holiday gifts but wrapping them? Not so much! Of course, it is a necessary evil and making it more fun can make it, dare I say, pleasant? Invite your friends over for a present wrapping marathon complete with hot cocoa and holiday movies. You can even have a gift swap at the end as a little reward for a job well done.

All Aboard:

In my neck of the woods, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers all kinds of fun winter activities and you can peep the falling snow without being stuck in it! For the little ones, they offer the Polar Express and for adults, there tends to be a beer or wine tasting event as you ride the train. If there is something similar in your area, it could be a fun way to shake things up for a unique winter memory.

Craft Competitions:

There are so many winter baubles and trinkets that you can craft and you can up the ante by turning it into a competition. How about a gingerbread house bake off? Creating your own candles with festive scents? Or decorating ornaments for your tree or mantel? The prize could simply be bragging rights or a small gift to commemorate their victory.

Santa Hat Movie Viewing:

If you’re looking for a boozy time with friends or drinking a lot of hot chocolate, then have I got a game for you! Whether it’s a holiday movie or not, put a Santa hat on the corner of the TV and when any character ends up “wearing” it, take a drink. I promise that it will make the Hallmark movie marathon way more bearable! πŸ˜€

Winter Game Night:

Game nights are always fun and, this time, you can put a holiday twist on it. Try charades with famous holiday movie scenes to act out. Or, go around in a circle and each person will have to say the next word of a Christmas carol. Pin the ornaments on the tree? A holiday edition of Never Have I Ever? You could even make a photo booth set up for goofy holiday pictures… The possibilities are endless! Don’t forget a hot chocolate bar or trail mix station for your guests!

Don’t let it snow on your parade with the ideas above and stay comfy cozy all while achieving the ultimate holiday spirit! πŸ˜€

PS: Spread the joy by putting a “buy in” to each event you host by having your guests bring a canned good to donate to a local shelter. ❀

What is your favorite winter activity? What puts you in the holiday spirit? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Completed Whomping Willow LEGO Set

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Completed Whomping Willow LEGO Set

Hi! Johnny and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and I hope that all of you did too! We built LEGO, had a day date, took our niece to see Santa, and (as always) watched so much Criminal Minds lol. I had a hankering to work on one of our Harry Potter LEGO sets and we completed the Whomping Willow in about two hours this past Friday.Β 

Although this set is a lot smaller in comparison to what we like to build, it is an important one to have. The Whomping Willow set connects some of the ones that we already have like The Great Hall and Clock Tower to make our Hogwarts castle even bigger! Check it out:

Building LEGO with Johnny is one of my favorite things to do on a day off and it’s such a great project to complete together. While I prefer the big sets for more of a challenge, it was fun to bust out the Whomping Willow set quickly. As with all of the LEGO sets, there were tons of cool surprises tucked away in the build like Trevor the frog, the spinning Whomping Willow, and the potions and baubles throughout each room. These little details make even the smallest set exciting to put together!

Now that this set is complete, all Johnny and I have left from a previous LEGO haul is the Hogwarts Chamber Of Secrets and I am itching to start it. As usual, I already have my eye on what I want next which is the Astronomy Tower and the Hogsmeade Village. In non Harry Potter news, the LEGO Haunted House looks amazing and really speaks to mine and Johnny’s spooky selves. πŸ˜€

Unfortunately, we don’t have lots of room in our apartment to show off our completed builds so at some point we are going to clear off our Spooky Shelf to showcase our work. Keep it posted for the end result, which we’ll get to eventually lol!

Who else likes to build LEGO? Where can you score great deals on new sets? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Fun & (Video) Games: Animal Crossing Update Edition

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Fun & (Video) Games: Animal Crossing Update Edition

Hello! One of my favorite hobbies to help me relax is playing Animal Crossing, which I’m sure you all know because I talk about it enough lol. At the beginning of the pandemic when Johnny was furloughed, he played Animal Crossing so much that he could no longer do it and I have taken over on our island ever since. Unlike my husband, I have yet to grow tired of island living and play every chance I can get – especially since the game just got a huge update!

Us devoted Animal Crossing players have been waiting for this update for months and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. There are so many new things to enjoy from this update and after raving about it to Johnny, he even admitted that he might have to start playing again. Yeah, it’s that good.

The biggest things that helped to bulk up your island experience include Brewster’s Cafe, exploring islands with Kapp’n, an outdoor market at Harv’s Island, all of the gyroids, and cooking recipes in your kitchen. Not only can you cook but you can also grow crops other than pumpkins like potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, wheat, and sugarcane. You can even come up with tasty recipes when you go fishing, which makes catching endless amounts of black bass not completely useless.

What I am most excited about from the update is the outdoor market at Harv’s Island. The property behind his house will feature stands for Leif, Kicks, Jolly Redd, Katrina the fortune teller, and much more. Each stand will cost a steep 100,000 bells to activate and, sadly, you can only donate once per day so time traveling will be in order if you want all of the stands quickly. Right now, I only have Leif and Katrina but Jolly Redd is definitely next on the agenda so I can continue growing my art collection.

Another cool thing that the Animal Crossing update offers is 9,000 new items to decorate your home and island with. I am especially partial to the new goodies that you can buy with your Nook miles and have already blown almost my entire savings on my purchases. My haul included a Ferris wheel, balloon stand, carnival games, and train to create the ultimate amusement park on my island. This redecorating is going to take a considerable amount of time to do, though, because I have So. Many. Flowers. to dig up. *eye roll*

If you are new to Animal Crossing, then welcome to the party. And, if you are returning after a long hiatus, then welcome back. This update will have you logging into your island again and again just like the good old days before you abandoned your villagers completely! πŸ˜€

What is your favorite part of the Animal Crossing update? Which villagers do you have on your island? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah