Category Archives: Holidays

Shake The Holiday Time Stress – Plan Ahead!

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Shake The Holiday Time Stress – Plan Ahead!

Hi! While the holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the most stressful. All you have to do is visit a store in October to know that the countdown to the holidays are fast approaching because Christmas decorations have taken over. Some people may thrive on leaving holiday preparations to the last minute and that is okay! But it is so not me and if that doesn’t work for you, either, try the tips below to sail smoothly into the holiday season:

Start Shopping Now:

One of the best ways to shake the holiday stress is, of course, starting your shopping early. In fact, I know some people who start shopping for the next Christmas with the end of season sales in January! You don’t need to be this extreme but shopping a few months in advance is a must. This will eliminate any anxiety about if your packages will arrive before your celebrated holiday. It also provides for extra time to return damaged or not as good as you thought presents.

Shopping in advance doesn’t just ensure that all of your prezzies will get to their designated giftee in a timely manner – it is better on your wallet too. Breaking up your buying between several months will also get rid of the stress of a huge credit card bill come January first!

Sort Out The Spread:

Maybe your holiday stress stems from having to prepare a big meal for the family and your guests. Although you can’t buy your food way in advance, there are some things that you can do now. How about sending invites to your holiday dinner that people have to RSVP to? Don’t forget to ask about any allergies! This way, you will know who all will be in attendance so you don’t end up cooking way too much or too little.

Once you have a firm idea of who is joining your holiday dinner and their food preferences, you can plan out your spread accordingly. It might not hurt to have some back up recipes in place just in case you can’t get your hands on a ham or turkey at the grocery store.

Know When To Excuse Yourself:

If you have a strained relationship with a family member or guest at your Christmas gathering, this can be a HUGE stressor. Develop a plan now for what you can do to protect your mental health if this is the case for you and practice it. This could be sticking with the cool cousins for the gathering, arriving after a triggering person has left, or simply knowing when to step away to compose yourself. You have every right to an enjoyable time and having a plan thought out prior to the big day will add a sense of security since you won’t have to wing responses or reactions on the spot.

The holiday season is a joyous time but can it be stressful? Big time. Plan ahead now to eliminate the mad dash feel. Then, when everything is in place: Sit back and relax – you have earned it! ❤

What are your holiday season stressors? How do you prepare for a family gathering? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Our Spooky Shelf

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Our Spooky Shelf

Hi!! In my household, it is Halloween all of the time. Johnny and I love scary movies, spooky decor, and all things true crime. We have a fairly large amount of Halloween themed decor and, until this past weekend, we never had anywhere to display them because of limited space in our apartment. So, I was absolutely delighted when Johnny cleared off the game shelf on our cabinet record player and turned it into our spooky shelf, instead. Check it out:

Whenever Johnny and I are running errands, we often tend to bring home little surprises when we find something that each other would like. For example, I purchased the cowboy skeleton and undead bunny statue for Johnny when I had my Halloween Haul with my sister and niece. And last Friday, Johnny brought me home the little bat plushie front and center on the shelf. He also got the vampire puppy for both of us! ❤

We got the Frankenstein and Skeleton Man plushies on our family vacation to the Poconos and we are particularly fond of them. They are so cute! The rest of our decor was given to us by Johnny’s mom and we are insanely appreciative of that. A lot of the statues are from Johnny’s childhood but all of the orange pumpkins were hand painted by his grandma. It is incredibly special to have them and they are just adorable. My favorite is the one in the middle that is sitting on its side. 🙂

Johnny’s executive decision to create our spooky shelf was an inspired one, indeed. And, trust and believe we’ll be leaving it up all year round!

What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? Do you leave seasonal decor up all year too? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Halloween Haul

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Halloween Haul

Hello! This past week, I went on a dinner and shopping outing with my sister and niece and it was the best! For dinner, we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Lemongrass Grill, for Thai food. We each got an order of their delicious curry and spring rolls and were completely stuffed after barely finishing half of it. That’s no matter, though, because it tasted even better the following day! 😀

After dinner, my sister said that she wanted to check out a few stores to look at Halloween decorations and I just had to tag along. Halloween is mine and Johnny’s favorite time of the year and we are always on the hunt for fun decor to keep it Halloween all year round in our apartment. These new goodies should definitely help the cause:

^^^ The cowboy skeleton is from Big Lots and everything else is from Michael’s.

We started our shopping at Big Lots and there wasn’t very much left in terms of Halloween decor as Christmas had already taken over. I found the cowboy skeleton which I knew that Johnny would love and my sister got this hilarious stuffed ghost that would repeat everything you said back in a funny voice. My niece had so much fun with it before we even left the store!

Since the selection at Big Lots was lackluster, I suggested that we try Michael’s and I’m glad that we did. All of their Halloween decorations were half off so I was able to get three pictures and my lil bunny for forty bucks. Not bad at all and I can’t wait to add my new additions to my art wall. While Michael’s still had a decent amount of Halloween decor left, I know that it will go quickly because Christmas came early there too and you can’t beat half off.

If you need Halloween decorations, I would hurry to the stores because it might be Easter time at your favorite places if you wait too much longer!

What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? Which store has the best holiday decor selection? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

*Super* Early Christmas Present

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*Super* Early Christmas Present

Hi! When it comes to gift giving occasions, I simply cannot wait for the day of and ask my giftees if I can give them their presents as soon as they arrive in the mail. My sweet Johnny knows this firsthand because I don’t think we have ever waited until the day of a birthday, anniversary, or holiday to open gifts! This year, Christmas came especially early for us as we already gave each other presents last weekend lol. Take a look at the best give ever from my husband:

I like to do all of my present shopping way ahead of time so, of course, I had Johnny’s Christmas gift ready to go since the beginning of September. I guess I inspired him to shop early because he let me know that he had my gift too!

Knowing that each of us had our prezzies already was going to make it impossible to wait until Christmas. We decided to give each other a hint and if we guessed right, then we would tell each other. Johnny’s hint to me was “it is something that you have wanted for forever but never want to pay for”.

Right off the bat, I was stumped because there’s a million things that I would love to have but don’t want to pay for – mainly clothes related. Then, it clicked. My favorite comic book series, Sandman, by Neil Gaiman will have its own Netflix show which will be releasing soon. Johnny isn’t familiar with it, so I have been talking about it constantly and every time it gets brought up, I mention how much I would like to have the Sandman Omnibuses so I can have the complete collection.

As you can see, I guessed correctly because that is, indeed, what Johnny got for me for Christmas. It is, hands down, one of the best gifts I have ever received and I cannot wait to reread my favorite series in its entirety for the millionth time – no trip to the library required! 😀

One of my many favorite things about Johnny is how incredibly thoughtful he is. This gift is the ultimate testament of how he listens to me when I’m talking, even if I’m rambling about something for the hundredth time. That is the best gift of all – no matter how freaking cool the Omnibuses are! ❤

Who else is excited for the Sandman series on Netflix? Who has started their holiday shopping already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Better Early Than Never!

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Better Early Than Never!

Hello!!! Question: How early is too early to be thinking about Christmas?! If the answer is the first week of September, then WHOOPS because I have already started my Christmas shopping lol. With over fifteen people that I need to buy prezzies for, I always like to get a jump on my shopping so I am not stuck with one huge bill come December. It is also so nice to be done with holiday shopping early because then I can just sit back and enjoy the season. 🙂

Are you looking to get a head start on your holiday shopping too? Then follow these tips:

Make A List:

I always suggest this but it is so true! I would be nowhere without my “to buy” list and have a Word document that I consult while I online shop. On my list, I name off everyone to shop for with multiple gift ideas per person. Once I have bought the presents for someone on my list, I simply delete their space and there is nothing more satisfying than that! Not only does my list keep me organized but it also assists me with budgeting to help me stay in my comfort zone.

Better Early Than Never:

This is probably the earliest I have ever began my shopping and I’m glad for it. Due to the pandemic, there is no telling how long certain items will take to ship and I like knowing that I will have everything ready to go come Christmas day. There is nothing worse than the anxiety of if something will show up before the holiday and early shopping helps nip that fear in the bud.

If you are planning a customized or commissioned present for someone, I can’t recommend consulting with the business now enough. Local artists and Etsy shops are going to be slammed during the holiday season and they might not have the time to create your gift if you wait too long.

Get Inspired:

When I lack inspiration for gift ideas, I like to think back to what hobbies the person has and what they might need to enjoy it even more. For example, one of my giftees is a grill master so I purchased a wood smoking kit for him to experiment with. Do you know someone with a green thumb? A raised planter box is a great idea so they have even more space to garden with. Is there a coffee enthusiast in your life? How about a customized mug?

I love giving hobby specific gifts because I know that my giftee is going to be able to use it. Once you start thinking in terms of what they like to do in their free time, the present possibilities are endless!

Plan Accordingly:

Getting your holiday shopping done early is great. However, it is smart to look into the return and exchange policies of where you are buying from. If your giftee happens to not like their present, you might not be able to do anything about it once the holiday is over. If the website you’re purchasing from has a return policy that won’t work a couple of months away, try finding the item in store instead. Create a back up plan too in case you can’t find it in store and it gets sold out online.

Also, don’t forget to keep your receipts and gift receipts in a safe space and especially don’t forget where you put them! 😀

It’s not even close to Halloween yet but that doesn’t mean that you can’t think a couple of holidays ahead! Follow the tips above to get an awesome head start on your holiday shopping. 🙂

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

Our Two Year Anniversary!

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Our Two Year Anniversary!

Hello!!! Today is a special, happy day because it is mine and Johnny’s two year anniversary of couplehood! We are also fast approaching three months of being married. 🙂 Two years ago today, Johnny and I made our relationship “Facebook official” and we have been together almost every day since. It has been the best adventure of my life and every day I am excited for what is in store for us next. In these next few weeks, I predict it will be lots of LEGO building thanks to our anniversary gifts! 😀

Now, let’s go down memory lane with some of my favorite pictures of us:

^^^ I could go on forever!

Although Johnny and I agree that being married doesn’t feel any different than our relationship felt before, we both freaking love being married! We truly have never left the “honeymoon phase” from when we first started dating and it makes each moment spent with him special. In fact, I still get butterflies whenever I see him and it is the best thing to come home to him every day after work.

While I love our date days more than I can say, my favorite times are spent in our apartment enjoying each other’s company. There is nothing better than sitting down with him after cooking dinner, tuning into our “programs”, and spending the evening talking and laughing. And, believe you me, we never are hurting for things to laugh about because we could bring up a quote from a show that we watched when we first started dating and are instantly in stitches… Much to everyone else’s annoyance! 😀

Being married to Johnny makes every day a good one and I never take that for granted. It always feels like a sunshiney day with him no matter what weather Ohio serves to us in the given hour lol! Here’s to our permanent honeymoon phase and a lifetime of happiness. ❤

Are you celebrating anything special this month? What are you looking forward to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

27th Birthday Haul

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27th Birthday Haul

Hello! My twenty-seventh birthday was on June seventh and was also three days after I got married! Needless to say, it was an amazing few days and I thought I’d share a bit of my birthday haul today while I wait for more wedding pictures from the photographer. The anticipation is seriously killing me and I just want to see all of them!! There are still a plethora of wedding posts to come so keep it posted for the inside scoop on my big day. Now, check these prezzies out:

You can’t go wrong with gifting me gift cards for special occasions and I was so thankful to receive an astounding amount of Taco Bell and TJMaxx gift cards. Those who know me best know that those are my two favorite places in the world so I am looking forward to lots of shopping and spicy potato tacos in my future. While gift cards always go over well with me, it’s fun to have presents to open too and I love my gifts from my in laws and bestie, Kate.

Johnny’s parents gave me the bath and body care goodies, which is one of my favorite kinds of presents. There’s nothing better than adding to the ol’ stock pile and I also didn’t even know shower gel pouches existed so that’s pretty cool! The mini wine bottle and hilarious decor came from my darling BFF Kate of Live In The Nautical and, as per ushe, she knocked it out of the park.

Kate is one of my absolute favorite people in the world and her friendship means so much to me. She is also a fellow June birthday girl and blogger so be sure to check out her page and give her some belated b-day love!! And thank you again to everyone who made my birthday so special. ❤

What is in your beauty stock pile? What is one of your favorite presents that you have received? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday To Me!

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Happy Birthday To Me!

Hello everyone and happy birthday to me!! It’s my twenty-seventh birthday and within the past week I got married and celebrated my husband’s birthday on the first. Needless to say, it has been the best week ever!! Today also marks the sixth year that I have celebrated my birthday with all of my dear readers and that isn’t anything to sneeze at, either. For the past six plus years, I have so enjoyed getting to know each and every one of you and it is such a joy to share a slice of my life with all of my readers and friends.

From sharing in my excitement, random musings, disappointments, and holidays together, you guys have been through it all with me and that is incredibly special. Here’s to six more years of birthday celebrations on lifewithlilred and tomorrow, it will be time to talk wedding! See you then. ❤

Happy Birthday To Me!! ❤

Happy Birthday, Fiance!!

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Happy Birthday, Fiance!!

Hello!! Today is a happy wonderful day because it is my darling fiance, Johnny’s, birthday! Johnny and I have very close birthdays to each other with his being June first and mine on the seventh and it is such fun to have joined birthday celebrations with him. With our birthdays and upcoming wedding, I think we will be celebrating all month long and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Johnny is, truly, one of the best things to ever happen to me and I cannot wait to be his wife. Everything is just so easy with Johnny and I always feel like my best self around him. My life has felt so complete ever since our first date and every day with him is my favorite day because it feels like a brand new adventure. My Johnny is the most talented, funny, handsome (Wa wa woo we wa!) man on the planet and I still get butterflies every time he looks at me.

While I will never tire of our fabulous date days together, my favorite times with Johnny are when we’re just having a night in in our apartment. Our go to option is playing video games together and the laughter is nonstop the entire time. Then, if I’m lucky, Johnny will get out his guitar and play and sing for me. From private concerts and sing alongs to oldies but goodies and the Family Matters theme song, I could listen to him play all day.

I cannot recall ever being this happy before and I have Johnny to thank for that. I am over the moon to be his bride and to love (And slightly annoy!) him every day for the rest of our lives! 😀

Happy birthday, Johnny!

I love you! ❤

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!

Hi everyone! Today is a happy, wonderful day because it is my amazing mom’s birthday! My mom is my best friend in the whole world and I love spending time with her. She is my partner in crime for everything and we are both really looking forward to her “mother of the bride” status when Johnny and I get married. I am already having so much fun planning out the preparations in my head that her and I can do together.

I treasure every minute I have with my mom and always think back on our pre-pandemic TJMaxx shopping trips fondly as well as the countless hours spent in the kitchen talking, cooking, or playing Scrabble. When something exciting happens, my mom is the first person I want to call and she is always there to comfort me on the not so good days too. Some days when I see her, it just doesn’t feel long enough and we both love to laugh when we end up on the phone with each other an hour later. 🙂

My mom is my hero and I admire her to no end. She is the most caring, strong, resilient, beautiful person I have ever known and I am so lucky to be her daughter. I love you so much, mom!

Happy Birthday!!!! ❤

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