Category Archives: Holidays

Social Distanced Halloween Fun

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Social Distanced Halloween Fun

Hi! One of my favorite times of the year is Halloween. I love the spooky atmosphere, the weather, and all of the promises of scary fun activities. The best part of Halloween for me, though? Haunted houses, of course! I told Johnny I wanted to go to a new one every year and he was game, however, with COVID it will be impossible to attend one this year.

After making the disheartening discovery of no haunted houses, I just had to start brainstorming for new ways to enjoy the Halloween season safely. I came up with the following:

Pumpkin Patches:

Going to a pumpkin patch and picking out the perfect pumpkins to decorate, carve, or paint is something that can easily be done social distanced style. Many pumpkin patches often have other attractions like hay rides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and specialty shops to participate in too.

Making an afternoon at the pumpkin patch and then going home to get your jack-o-lantern on sounds like a great way to spend a weekend day. Get creative and competitive and see who in your friend group can carve the best pumpkin!

Apple Orchards:

I freaking LOVE going apple picking, as does my entire family, so I am sure we will end up at an apple orchard this fall. My favorite one in Ohio also doubles as an ice cream parlor as well as a novelty shop with all apple everything. There is nothing better than filling up a bagful of crisp apples and grabbing a dish of ice cream as a treat. And, can you say social distanced?!

At Home Trick Or Treat:

Trick or treating is probably the last thing on everyone’s mind right now but the little ones love it. Dress up as a family and hide candies all around your house and yard. Dim the lights for some added spookiness and give hints and clues as necessary. Wrap up the activity with a fun Halloween movie like Casper or Hocus Pocus and have a piece of candy… or ten. 😉

Scary Movie Marathon:

Johnny and I have already decided that a scary movie marathon is how we are going to celebrate Halloween. We will be watching everything from the classics and foreign films to our present day favorites. I plan on having caramel apples (My favorite!), candy, and popcorn handy. I also would like to make some spiked apple cider with salted caramel vodka for a delicious hot or cold drink to sip on. Yum!

Halloween is definitely not going to be the same this year but it can still be fun! Use the ideas above to help get you started. 🙂

What is your favorite Halloween activity? How do you plan on safely celebrating? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Mostly Ghostly Halloween Decor

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Mostly Ghostly Halloween Decor

Hi! Around this time of the year I love taking stock of all of the amazing Halloween decor in stores (AKA all year round decor!). TJMaxx, Target, Walmart, and everything in between I just want to see and buy it all, lol. Every spooky guy and gal needs creepy cute decor!

Unfortunately, in COVID times it is hard for me to go out and about on a Halloween decor crawl because of how limited I keep my time in public. So, a few weeks ago, I resorted to browsing online for Halloween decorations and kept coming up short. Everything I liked was either sold out or not worth the price being asked.

Believe you me, I was disappointed because I really enjoy buying new decorations for my apartment. But, then, Johnny reminded me he brought some of his Halloween decor to our place and that put the pep right back in my step. How can these goofy adorable ghosts not make you smile? Check it out:

Johnny is an avid lover of Halloween, himself, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when he had plenty of spoils of his own to show me. He has tons of outdoor decor for when we finally have a place with a lawn and lots of knick knacks to display around the apartment. Now, not being able to shop in store for Halloween decor doesn’t seem all that bad. 🙂

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

Lil Red & The Best Anniversary Ever

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Lil Red & The Best Anniversary Ever

Hello! On September first, Johnny and I celebrated our one year anniversary of dating. This past weekend, we celebrated officially by the most wonderful surprise that Johnny had been working on: A specially prepared dinner by a chef friend that I got to choose.

Originally, I wanted something bold like Pad Thai or Indian food but Johnny is not a fan of either so I went with an old favorite of fettuccine Alfredo, garlic bread, and a salad. This was sure to go over well with the both of us and on Saturday I was banished from the apartment while our mystery guest and Johnny got to work.

For a few hours I visited my parents and brother as well as their next door neighbor, Alice. But, the entire time, I was eagerly awaiting a text from Johnny to tell me I could come back home. I had butterflies in my stomach the whole time I was away and I was freaking giddy when I was allowed to start heading over.

I opened the door to our apartment and was greeted by the most delicious aroma of garlic bread you could ever imagine, a cleaned off kitchen table, and our friend Jimmy standing in the kitchen! Jimmy plays in The Outside Voices with Johnny and is an exceptional chef so Johnny hired him to prepare our anniversary feast.

I was literally speechless when I saw Jimmy because I had no idea who Johnny was talking about this whole time. Between that, my kitchen table being cleaned, and Johnny looking so damn fine I was completely floundering, lol!

Around seven, our meal was ready and Jimmy poured us both a healthy glass of wine and left us to begin our celebrations. Saying our dinner was to die for was an understatement. The fettuccine Alfredo surpassed anything I’ve ever had before (Take that, Olive Garden!). The rosemary garlic bread was so crisp and had enough garlic to kill a vampire but that’s exactly how I like it. And, finally, the salad was gorgeous – fresh greens with mozzarella cheese, blackberries, sliced almonds, onions, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Can you say, YUM?!

We ate like royalty and immediately after, we retired into our comfy clothes to begin the relaxation portion of our celebration. All night, Johnny and I listened to music, poorly did imitations of our favorite TV characters, and laughed. It was the best day of my life.

Johnny’s anniversary date night was one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done for me and I am never going to forget it. The following morning I told him I thought I gained a pound from dinner but that food baby was just a small price to pay for the most beautiful day! ❤

How did you celebrate an anniversary this year? How about a birthday? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Early Christmas Shopping

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Early Christmas Shopping

Hello!! I know a ton of you are reading this title with a slight eye roll because Christmas is far away but yes… I did start shopping already. I promise it’s for good reason too because I have a ton of people to shop for. Not only do I have all of my family but I also have Johnny, his parents, my clients, and a new niece and nephew to share in the holiday spirit with.

I decided that I would like to knock out at least a couple of people on my list per month so that I am not stuck with a giant bill come December. I also feel a huge sense of relief when I am that much closer to purchasing all of the gifts I plan to put under the tree.

This past month, I decided to spoil my little niece rotten and I am so stoked about one of the items I ordered. Those with small children to shop for might be interested in this ultra fun and creative gift too:

Several months ago, I saw this inflatable, washable easel for finger painting advertised on Facebook and I thought it was such a fabulous idea. I could picture my sister and brother in law setting it up for my niece in their backyard on a nice summer day and having a ball with it. My niece will be older than two by the time it gets warm enough to use it and I can’t wait to see the masterpieces that she comes up with.

I figured that my niece is pretty well stocked for activities that she can use now – you should see her playroom! So, I wanted to purchase gifts that would be fun for her to use as she gets older. Her inflatable easel is what I am particularly excited for but I know Johnny is most looking forward to the tiny guitar he plans on getting her. It’s never too early to start lessons with her uncle! ❤

When do you normally start holiday shopping? Do you have a lot of people to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Blue? Get In The Christmas Spirit Early!

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Feeling Blue? Get In The Christmas Spirit Early!

Christmas will be here before we know it. It’s scary how quick this whole year has gone and everything that has happened. But with recent events it is understandable that many of our minds just naturally wander to Christmas and some of the brighter times we have in the future. Chase the Christmas spirit by getting organized early. You won’t believe how less stressful Christmas time can be when you don’t leave things to the last minute. With that in mind, here are some top tips to get ready for the festive season ahead:

Create lists:

Writing up a list can save you a lot of hassle and time. It’s a way of downloading all those ideas you have in your mind and having them safe somewhere for you to refer back to. List what you need to do, who you need to buy for, gift ideas, and budgets. Check things off as you go along and you’ll be holiday season ready in no time.

What about the Christmas budget?

The sooner you start thinking about Christmas might be the moment you start to panic about the financial side of things. Many people save up throughout the year, but others may find that that they need some extra help around the holiday season. This is when looking at ways to finance the Christmas period could be useful. Many then use the following months to start planning and paying things back off.

Get those holiday cards written:

With all of the writing and sending off of Christmas cards in time for the actual day, it might be best to get them out of the way now. The same can be said for if you decide to throw a Christmas party or gathering. One of the biggest jobs is getting those party invitations sent out to your guests. Again, give yourself plenty of time to do this and consider having them printed to save on time.

Start bulk buying the food:

We know that Christmas is a time of eating and drinking with friends and family. While you can’t stock up on the fresh stuff, you can begin to buy in the food and drink that will last. This helps spread the cost of Christmas over a few weeks instead of feeling the pinch in one big food bill.

Buy gifts when you see them:

If you are out shopping and you are suddenly inspired for a gift idea, get it there and then. You will either forget it or regret it if you don’t purchase it. Buying gifts early can not only help spread the cost but it also gets you super organized. You may want to look at the gifts for the day and also any stocking fillers, things such as Christmas sweaters and shirts could be a good option to buy now and websites like UglyChristmasSweater.com have a great selection.

Start wrapping early:

Finally, when you buy a gift wrap it up and put it away. The last thing you want is a huge pile of gifts to wrap all at once. You will feel so much better knowing this job is done and you are prepared for the big day ahead.

Let’s hope these top tips will assist in getting you organized for the Christmas season and help improve your current 2020 blahs!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

A Flower For Me

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A Flower For Me

Hello! On Father’s Day, my sister and her daughter arrived at our parents’ house at the exact same time that I did. We didn’t plan it at all and it was perfect because we all had the maximum time together before we split back up for the day. Beautiful presents and lots of love were gifted to our dear old dad but I think I got the most special treat of all that day. Check it out:

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After presents, we all took a pause and went to the backyard so my niece, Valerie, could move and groove before my sister took off. My dad loves to show Val his flower and vegetable garden and she loves it too. More often than not, you can see my dad smelling the flowers with her and then he will help her pick a bloom for her mom.

On Father’s Day, Val wanted a flower for each hand once she picked her favorite. Then, she toddled up to her auntie and handed me a flower with a big smile on her face. And, right at that moment, our Golden Retriever gobbled up the flower in the hand she wasn’t paying attention to. *Face palm*

Once Val realized her other flower was missing, I offered her mine to make up for it. But, she just kept handing it back to me. I have to say, I was really happy she did because there is literally nothing better than getting a pretty little flower from your fifteen month old niece. I brought it home with me and put it in my dried flower collection and it’s never not going to make me smile whenever I see it. ❤

How did you celebrate Father’s Day? How is your garden doing this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Blogging BFF Edition

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Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Blogging BFF Edition

Hello!!! Lifewithlilred has come a long way since its start in September 2014 – almost six years ago. Like all blogs, it began small and modest but, somehow, over half a decade later, lifewithlilred is being read in over one hundred and ninety countries. Wow! Despite my page constantly changing and evolving, there are some things that have remained a constant in my blogging life and that something is actually a very special someone… My blogging BFF, Kate, from Live In The Nautical.

Kate and I became fast friends almost immediately after lifewithlilred began and we remain so until this day. From visiting her in New York City to our FaceTime dates and birthday and Christmas gift exchanges, we always make time for each other even while in separate states. We are hoping for a reunion post COVID but, in the meantime, we had the best time catching up and swapping prezzies for our Gemini Twin June birthdays.

Now, normally, every gift I receive is my favorite. But, this treasure from Kate is actually my favorite. Check it out:

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For my twenty-sixth, Kate gifted me with the most beautiful reminder of all of the hard work that I have put into my page every day for the past six years. She also gave me a beautiful reminder to never lose my car keys with an adorable lil red fob! My plaque is proudly displayed on my curio cabinet filled with all of my most special knick knacks and my fob is eagerly awaiting for my boyfriend to put my keys on. I’d do it myself but talon nails, lol.

After twenty-five, I can’t say I am thrilled to continue tacking another year on. But with such amazing friends and lovely low key celebrations, I guess twenty-six isn’t so bad. And, I have the friendship with Kate that I hold so dear and all of my sweet family, friends, and boyfriend to thank for that. ❤

How long have you been blogging for? Do you have a blogging BFF of your own? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday To Me Haul: BFF Edition

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Happy Birthday To Me Haul: BFF Edition

Hello! Last Monday, I loved having my BFF of over ten years, Lea, over for a little birthday celebration. White Claw was drank and after four long hours of much needed catching up, we finally retired for the evening. It has felt like forever since I have seen Lea – probably since before the restaurants all closed in mid March. But, in true BFF fashion, we never miss a beat once we are reunited after time apart.

After over a decade of gifting each other for birthdays and Christmas, Lea and I have definitely began to recycle our ideas… Which is just fine by us because who doesn’t love wine, bath and body care, and candles?! Lol, check it out:

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For my twenty-sixth, Lea treated me to a bottle of rose and wine stopper, a super delicious smelling salt soak, face mask, and bath bomb – AKA all of my favorite things. There is nothing quite like taking a bath using goodies that you would have never bought for yourself. This is why I love getting bath bombs! I freaking love them but they are also not something on my radar to buy when I like getting shoes so much. 😀

Lea provided me with all of the makings for a relaxing evening in and I plan on using my new treats ASAP. There will also be plenty of product reviews coming up so keep it posted. ❤

What is your favorite thing to be gifted with? How do you spoil your friends on special occasions? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Work Fam Edition

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Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Work Fam Edition

Hello! June seventh was my twenty-sixth birthday and, in true Lil Red fashion, it has been drawn out a few days with individual hang outs with friends and family. I also end up celebrating with the families who I work with and have ended up becoming a part of in the past three years of doing my job. One of my client’s families always ends up super spoiling me and I received the following this past week:

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As soon as I walked into work on Monday, “Happy Birthday” was sung and gifts were handed to me at an alarming rate. Each one I opened seemed to be more lovely than the next and “this is way too generous” was the catchphrase of the opening session. This was matched by each member of my work family assuring me that “you’re worth it” every single time.

Becoming a member of three different families wasn’t exactly what I was setting out to do when I began providing care for people with special needs. But, sometimes things just happen like that and, now, celebrations seem to happen constantly. Whether it be a holiday or a member of my “pseudo family’s” birthday, I am always a part of it and it feels good!

There is truly nothing better than walking into work Monday through Friday and stepping into a family environment. It has also been such a godsend during all of the craziness of COVID to have so many extra people to talk to! Work families are so important and I am so thankful for all of mine. ❤

Do you consider the people at your job a family? Are you an unofficial member of someone else’s fam? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My 26th Birthday Celebration

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My 26th Birthday Celebration

Hello! My 26th birthday was this past Sunday and, although quarantine kept me from celebrating a little more heavily, I got to spend such a wonderful time with my family on both days of the weekend. On Saturday night, Johnny and I had a pizza dinner with my mom, dad, and brother. We also returned on Sunday so I could see my sister and her daughter in a safe environment because there are currently beaucoup ant traps set up at my apartment right now… Not very baby friendly!

After a Sunday afternoon at my mom and dad’s, Johnny and I spent the rest of the day watching Public Enemy and Inglorious Bastards. He also humored me by watching an episode of America’s Next Top Model together. What a guy! It was, indeed, a low key birthday but sometimes those are the best kind. And, as much as I would like to turn up, it’s just not safe. So, a pizza night at my parents’ seems like a close second to me. 🙂

How did you celebrate your birthday this year? Do you have anything exciting coming up? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah