Category Archives: Holidays

Happy Haulidays: Sister & Family Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Sister & Family Edition

Hello! To celebrate Christmas part two, my entire family went to Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia all together. It was such a wonderful long weekend filled with good company, good food, and all of the holiday cheer. To kick start our festivities, we began with a gift exchange for all of the presents that hadn’t been opened yet. My sister, her boyfriend, and my sweet niece gifted me with the following:

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I was so happy to give everyone their presents and receiving some for me was the cherry on top. I am very excited to test out my new makeup from Nars and Anastasia Beverly Hills because I have never used anything by either brand before. Be sure to keep it posted on lifewithlilred for some swatch posts soon!

Not only did I get some new makeup but I also was gifted with some pretty copper mugs to make Moscow Mules with – my favorite. As always, the Chipotle gift card will serve me well because that is also one of my favorites. It isn’t quite Taco Bell but it still holds a special place in my heart. ❀

The crowning jewel of my gifts from my sis and her family is definitely the handmade mustard yellow beanie from Discounted Dreams. It is a small business run by one of our friends who is pretty incredible with some needles and yarn. I have already worn my gift several times and it is nice and warm – not to mention one of my favorite colors too!

My long weekend with my whole family was the best gift in the entire world but I sure love my presents from my big sis. Keep tuning into lifewithlilred for more about Oglebay, a brand new OOTD, makeup swatches, and haulidays!

How did your family celebrate the holiday season? Have you ever been to Oglebay before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

Hello! This past Wednesday, my best friend of fourteen years, Lea, and I had our holiday gift exchange. It may have been a bit late but it still felt like Christmas magic to me. As soon as she walked in the door, we immediately began opening presents and spent the evening girl talking away. I am so in love with what my best girl gifted me with and my new flower pressed coasters she got me from Etsy already have a very special place on my coffee table:

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Lea and I both know the value of receiving bath and body care during gift exchanges so I was very excited for some eos brand goodies to add to my beauty hoard. I have only ever used their lip balms before, which are fabulous, so I can’t wait to test out the lotion and hand cream. Eos is a brand that I have always been interested in, but would never buy for myself so it was a perfect present.

Of course, the piece de resistance were the handmade coasters that she purchased off of Etsy. We both share an affinity for shopping on Etsy and my gifts from her were actually ordered on there too. I have never owned coasters before so it definitely felt like moving up in the adult world. And, what an amazing place to start because they are beautiful! πŸ˜€

For over fourteen years, Lea and I have participated in gift exchanges and it will never get old. It is so special to share holidays and birthdays with her and, oh yeah, half of our lives too. She is the best friend a gal could ask for and I love her so much! ❀

How do you celebrate holidays with your bestie? Do you have a favorite Etsy shop? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

Hello! Due to the high rates of COVID in Ohio, Johnny and I have had to have late Christmas celebrations with our families. This is why you haven’t seen any OOTDs or Hauliday posts recently but keep your eyes peeled because they are still going to happen! This past week, we celebrated with Johnny’s family and one of his aunts who is just wonderful and it was such a great time.

Living during a pandemic is insanely difficult but especially during the holidays as Johnny and I want to protect our vulnerable populations as much as we can. We haven’t seen his family as much as we would like so it was so nice to be able to share a meal, catch up, and open presents. Johnny’s family so generously gifted me with the following:

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Hanging out with Johnny’s family after so much time apart was the best gift of all, of course, but I am so appreciative of everything that they treated us to. I love my cobweb earrings the best of all and I am tickled by the gift from Johnny’s dad of the flashlight/screw driver/whistle/everything else lol. It is such a dad gift and I am obsessed – even if I don’t quite know how to use it. πŸ˜€

I am also very touched by the ornament from his mom made for caregivers, although we all had a laugh about how we couldn’t read the sweet sentiments that were on it. Johnny and I have been diligently working through our holiday chocolate – my favorite being the chocolate covered chips. I have never tried one before and it is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I could seriously eat twenty bags of them!

The piece de resistance of our holiday haul had to be the new air fryer for the both of us. We meant to buy a new one after we got married as ours was on the fritz but we just never got around to it. It finally went kaput a few months ago so we were thrilled with the new appliance. We have been air frying literally everything and have missed it so much. The novelty of air fried food never wears off. πŸ™‚

Although we didn’t keep up with our Miller family tradition of watching Christmas Vacation together, it was still an amazing celebration. I am so thankful to have two beautiful families to join in the holidays with and have my fingers crossed that we can celebrate next Christmas on time altogether! ❀

How did you celebrate the holidays this year? What is your favorite gift in your holiday haul? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy New Year!!

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Happy New Year!!

Howdy everyone and Happy New Year! We are officially in 2022, which means a whole new year of opportunity and, of course, fun on lifewithlilred. πŸ˜€ I am so excited to be rolling out another three hundred and sixty-five days of daily blogging and have my fingers crossed that 2022 won’t be as much of a dumpster fire as the past two years. Here’s to hoping, anyways!

In this new year, my wish is for everyone to find comfort in better days ahead. We are living through a pandemic and it is scary on a good day. I wish for safety and good health for all and that we can revel in the happy moments of 2022.

While I also wish that the passing of time would slow down (I’ll be twenty-eight this year!), I am so thankful that I get to spend time with each and every one of you every day. May 2022 bring us good fortune, great successes, and a slightly less anxiety provoking time!

Happy 2022! ❀

What are your New Year’s resolutions (I, as always, have none!)? What are you wishing for in the new year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone and Merry Christmas! To those who celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful day filled with joy, good company, and holiday cheer. For those who don’t celebrate – I hope the same for you! I will keep this post short and sweet so everyone can get prepared for their festivities but I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all of you. ❀

With the pandemic, everything feels crazy and scary. Writing on my blog every day brings a much needed touch of normalcy to my life and I hope that everyone tuning in feels that way too. My audience has turned into such dear friends and I love you all. I love your insights, your kindness, and the happiness I feel to have you in my life – even if it is from the computer screen.

For Christmas and every holiday celebrated, I encourage all of you to take proper safety precautions to keep things merry and bright for everyone. I can’t wait to hear how all of you spend your day and thank you for being you!

Merry Christmas!

Much love. -Sarah

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

Should You Decorate With Real Or Fake Garlands This Christmas?

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Should You Decorate With Real Or Fake Garlands This Christmas?

From Christmas trees to mistletoe, there are many different types of traditional decorations that adorn homes all over the world come the festive period, and a Christmas garland is another one of these. There is no doubt that you will have a huge assortment of Christmas garlands to choose from. However, before you can decide on the style that appeals to you the most, your main decision is whether to go for a real or artificial Christmas garland. In this post, we will reveal the reasons why the latter is the best option:

Disadvantages of Real Christmas Garlands:

A lot of people mistakenly believe that the only way to benefit from beautiful Christmas garlands is to purchase fresh versions. However, this is certainly not the case. While it is easy to understand the initial appeal of real Christmas garlands – their smell and their appearance – once purchased, people quickly realize that there are many more disadvantages associated with real garland decorations than meets the eye.

Firstly, you are going to need to replace your garlands every year, and, unfortunately, for some people their garlands do not even make it until Christmas Day. And, if they do, they are assured to have lost a considerable amount of their beauty by then. This is because real flowers deteriorate quite quickly. If you are someone that likes to have their Christmas decorations up for a while before and after the 25th of December, then this is going to be a big problem. The fact that you do not get a lot of use out of your real Christmas garlands shows that this is an expensive route to go down.

Not only are fresh flowers costly to begin with, but they are going to need replacing. You then need to consider the upkeep of these garlands. You are going to have to look after them if you are going to protect their longevity. The needles can go brown and they can drop, and the weather is assured to wreck havoc with your outdoor decorations, especially if you use screws or another type of fixture to hang them.

Advantages of Artificial Christmas Garlands:

On the other hand, you do not need to worry about any maintenance when it comes to an artificial Christmas garland. Instead, you will get many years of use out of them and all they will require is a little bit of dusting when you get them out of the box each Christmas. You will get a better value for money as your purchase is going to last you for a considerable period of time. Moreover, artificial flowers tend to be cheaper than real flowers in many cases.

Of course, the main worry for a lot of people when it comes to artificial Christmas garlands is that they are going to miss out in terms of beauty. While there is no denying that there are some companies that sell cheap artificial flowers, which are obviously fake, there are some great retailers nowadays that craft stunning artificial garlands – so much so that you won’t be able to tell the difference.

If you want to give a modern twist to an old tradition, then artificial garlands are ideal. You will get more bang for your buck and still have a beautifully decorated home for the holidays!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

Hi!! When lifewithlilred was in its early years, I developed a friendship with a fellow blogger and fashion enthusiast named Kate of Live In The Nautical. What started as comments on each others blogs turned to Facebook friendship, texting, video chats, and a trip to New York City to visit her! For years, Kate has been one of my absolute best friends and I am so thankful to the blogosphere for bringing us together. ❀

From a love of Harry Potter and figure skating to celebrities we can’t stand, Kate and I can talk for hours on end about everything and nothing and I always look forward to our FaceTime dates. We also both love gift shopping for birthdays and Christmas so the holiday season and our close together June birthdays are a very exciting time for us!

This past week, Kate and I exchanged super early Christmas gifts in the mail and it was such fun. Despite the fact that her package used SO. Much. Tape. that I compared it to trying to break into a jail when attempting to open it! Lol take a look at these darling prezzies from my darling bestie:

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Both Kate and I can concur that our friendship is the best gift of all but the gifts above are a nice touch! I am obsessed with the Espresso Patronum mug a la Harry Potter and plan on drinking all of the coffee spiked with Baileys in it… Or maybe just Baileys! And, of course, I can’t wait to test out the bath bombs from Lush because Kate knows that they are my favorite. ❀

Every day I am so grateful for Kate but times of celebration like the holidays make me realize how lucky I am to have her in my life even more. I can go to her for anything, judgement free, and I know that she will listen, offer sound advice, and make me laugh like no other. I love the self who I am when we are together (albeit through a computer screen) and she is one of the best things that came out of starting my blog in the first place.

The blogosphere is such an amazing way for people to come together and near or far, I have made a best friend for life. Kate, I love you so much and thank you for everything you do for me. Now, everyone go check out her page!

Have you met any best friends through your blog? What is your favorite thing about blogging? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Gift Ideas

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Holiday Gift Ideas

Hello! We are going full speed towards gift giving holidays so I thought that it would be the perfect time to share some gift ideas for all of those last minute shoppers out there. I have been done with my shopping since October and just the thought of completing shopping now gives me anxiety! On the contrary, though, I have been SO procrastinating on wrapping all of them lol. Let’s get to it:

Baking Kits:

King Arthur Flour has an amazing gift selection filled with baking kits and gear. Even if you aren’t so handy in the kitchen, the kits make it easy to bake a delicious dessert and it’s also a fun activity to do if your giftee has little ones. This year, I purchased a hot chocolate kit for the families of my clients that included two mugs too. It was so reasonably priced and I think that they are going to love it!

Relaxation Station:

If you have a giftee who could benefit from some extra chill time, how about a relaxation kit filled with candles, aromatherapy oils, and bubble bath. You could even take it one step further and gift them with a gift card or membership to a yoga studio. These past two years have been so difficult for everyone and relaxing themed presents will also gift the person you’re buying for with some much needed “me time”.

Sports Fan:

If you have a sports fan on your shopping list, then you have a plethora of options to choose from. Customized gear of their favorite team will be much appreciated or you could get them a puzzle or model of their favorite stadium. You could even take them to try their hand on the links with a golfing instructor. If they are not the athletic type, sports games at an arcade bar will do just fine. As always, tickets to a big game will always go over well!

Travel Lovers:

Those who love to travel will surely enjoy guides to the next place they’d like to go to. You could get them all kinds of travel sized products, a subscription to Audible for those long plane rides, and a neck pillow or blanket. Then, put it all in a customized carry on. The ultimate gift for the wanderlusters on your list.

A Piece Of The Beach:

For many, the beach is their happy place. If you know someone who daydreams of the ocean on a dreary day, then bring the beach to them. There are many Etsy shops that put sand from a favorite beach into a locket style necklace for a beautiful and timeless gift. In fact, I bought something like that for one of my besties and she absolutely loved it!

If jewelry isn’t your giftees thing, then fear not. You could go with beach themed decor, a stack of books to tackle on their next ocean side vacation, or a noise machine so the sound of crashing waves can soothe them. Bringing a touch of the beach into freezing December has never been easier.

Subscription Services:

There are so many awesome subscription services out there, which are truly the gift that keeps on giving. You could sign your giftee up for Netflix, Spotify, Audible, or Amazon Prime for easy access to entertainment. There are also monthly gift boxes like Sephora Play! for makeup gurus, BirchBox for pampering, or Hello Fresh for those who can’t stand cooking. It will be like the holidays all over again when their monthly box arrives in the mail!

If you are stumped for gift ideas, then hopefully the ones listed above will help steer you in the right direction. If you guys finish your shopping, then I guess I can finish my gift wrapping! πŸ˜€

Are you an early or late holiday shopper? What is your favorite type of gift to receive? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Season = Prime Blogging Season

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Holiday Season = Prime Blogging Season

Hi! Since completing my 1,000 day writing steak, I am currently at 1,070 days of blogging in a row. It may be crazy to some but it’s daily life for me and the holiday season is the perfect time to get creative with your posts. There are so many great ways to get content out during these next few weeks and, today, we are going to discuss some ideas to inspire you on your own page. Let’s get to it:

What The Holiday Season Means To You:

What holiday do you celebrate this time of the year? Or do you not celebrate at all? Everyone views these times differently so what does it mean to you specifically? Talking about the holiday that you celebrate is an amazing way to open people’s eyes about the many different ones that take place during the season because we all know that it’s not just Christmas. Teaching your readers about your celebrated holiday and the traditions that come with it will be educational and oh so interesting.

Holiday Crafts:

If you are crafty, how about a step by step guide of the projects that you’re working on this holiday season? Whether you’re hand making ornaments or building the ultimate gingerbread house, share it with your readers! Even if you’re not crafty in the slightest (like yours truly) it will be fun to try something new. You could even have a “crafting contest” for your readers and give away a prize for the best craft, honorable mentions, and not so muches.

Tips & Tricks:

According to Pam from The Office, if you need more than three pieces of tape to wrap a present, then you are doing it wrong. Are you a gift wrapping pro or know how to score the best deals on holiday shopping? Feel free to share with the class! Everyone loves tips and tricks on how to make things easier on themselves or save some money so don’t keep it to yourself – tis the season to be giving, after all! πŸ˜€

Decor Galore:

If you are particularly proud of your holiday decorating skills, then let’s see it! There is nothing better than doing a drive through the neighborhood and seeing yards decorated for the holidays. In this case, it will be scrolling through your page but that’s okay! You could get together some other blogging friends and create a holiday decor scavenger hunt through your pages and pictures of your decor. How fun would that be?!

Recipes, Please:

For Christmas dinner, my family always just has a round two of Thanksgiving and that is fine by everyone because we love it. However, there are so many people looking to shake up their holiday dinner menu which is where you come in. If you have a dish that your guests beg you to make or one that you especially look forward to, then share away! Your favorite dish on the menu could end up in a holiday meal halfway across the world.

Holiday Style:

The long running joke of the winter holidays is that everyone gets dressed up to sit around the house. It is hilarious and so very true! It also means that it is the perfect excuse to share your OOTDs and MOTDs with us. Give us New Year’s Eve glam or your fave PJs that you wear on Christmas morning, either way you are sure to sleigh… See what I did there? πŸ˜‰

Help Give Back:

During the holiday season, it is so important to give back to those less fortunate than us. If you have a charity that you love to help out, let your readers know about it or have them give proof of a donation that they made in their hometown. Draw names from a hat of the people who gave back and send them a small holiday gift if their name was selected.

With the tips above, you will have fresh as fallen snow content all holiday season long. Happy writing!

Which of these ideas are you going to write about? How often do you post on your page? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah