Tag Archives: akron

The Best Day!

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The Best Day!

Hi! Although Johnny and I had a rough bout with side effects from the Moderna vaccine this past weekend, it was still a great one because my brother, sister in law, and their son traveled from Georgia for a visit. My family is fully vaccinated and it was such an amazing gift for all of us to be together for the first time since our family trip to Kentucky last summer. When my nausea subsided enough on Saturday, Johnny and I enjoyed a quick trip to the park with our nephew and it was so fun watching him run around and play. However, Sunday was the best day I have had in forever.

On Sunday, my entire family: Mom, dad, sister, brother, brother, brother in law, sister in law, niece, nephew, and fiance went to the Akron Zoo together. To visit the zoo according to their COVID standards, you purchase tickets for a time slot and a limited amount of people are allowed in the park. We got to view the Akron Zoo on a beautiful day and it wasn’t as crowded, which was really nice.

Of course, I love going to the zoo any time any day but it was the absolute best to be there with my whole family and see my little niece and nephew have fun. They both loved riding the carousal, seeing the Grizzly bears swim around in their exhibit, and each getting a stuffed bear from their TT at the gift shop. My only regret is how quickly our two hour time slot went by because I could have stayed there for hours with everyone if we could!

After our outing at the zoo, we had dinner on the patio of one of my family’s favorite Mexican restaurants, El Campesino. This was such a treat for me because Johnny and I haven’t been to a restaurant since the pandemic began. It was so special to share a big meal with every single one of us at the table and it was also so special to me to have my first Margarita in over a year lol! The food was delicious and just like our trip to the zoo, I was sad when it was over because I wish we could do family days like that all of the time.

Being surrounded by all of my loved ones on Sunday is a memory that I am going to cherish for forever. It was just awesome to see my brother, his wife, and my adorable nephew for the first time in so long and also a small miracle that we found a day that worked with everyone’s hectic schedule. I cannot wait for our next family event which can now happen more frequently since we are vaccinated and, until then, I’ll be replaying our joyous day on repeat in my head! ❤

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

A Sunshiney Day

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A Sunshiney Day

Hi! I had a random day off this past week and it just so happened to be on the most glorious spring day with weather in the seventies. The only thing on my agenda other than writing was dropping off some laundry to my sister and, instead of going to her house, she suggested we meet at the park so my niece, Valerie, could play. This sounded like the perfect plan to me and I was counting down the hours until our meeting because I knew it would be fun!

In the greater Akron area in Ohio, there are countless places to enjoy the weather when it’s nice out like Metro Parks for hiking, lakes for swimming, and playgrounds for the little ones. My sister, Kristen, and I actually ended up taking Val Gal to one of the parks that we used to play at all the time when we were kids and it hit right in the nostalgia. With Valerie and Kristen’s senior foster dog, Baby, in tow we spent over an hour at the park running around, swinging, sliding, and teeter-tottering.

Being an aunt is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I treasure any time that I get to spend with my lil niece. I love watching my sister be the amazing mom that I knew she would be and we are both constantly in stitches together over Val and her “goofball” ways, as Kristen always says.

Just one hour in the park and sunshine with my sis, Val, and Baby put me in the best mood and it was such an awesome way to welcome the beautiful weather. Whenever I am feeling blue, I always remember that Val can say “Hi, TT” to me now and it instantly makes everything better. My sister and her daughter are my number one BFFs (And my mom, of course!) and I am so lucky to have them and am so thankful for the wonderful time we spent together at the park! ❤

How do you enjoy the outdoors in your area? What was your favorite thing on the playground when you were little? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

DoorDash Deliciousness

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DoorDash Deliciousness

Hello! Sometimes, you just need a treat and, with the stress of my job, I know that better than most. Whether this be stopping at Starbucks on your way to work, ordering a little something online, or taking a luxurious bubble bath, it’s important to do what you can to help put the pep back in your step. In my case, I decided to order myself dinner from my favorite Indian restaurant, The Saffron Patch.

Johnny has absolutely no desire to try Indian food while I, on the other hand, LOVE it. And, as a strict vegetarian it is so nice to have tons of options on The Saffron Patch’s menu. Thanks to DoorDash, I was able to indulge my never ending craving for Indian food and I got a great deal for it, to boot! Check it out:

709A1294-077E-4048-9B2C-98811BDE812CDBEB9E8E-B0E9-4DAF-A61A-367CE0805F95B5988C3D-52F1-437E-8497-B264304839FC33FA44C4-5746-4B97-91C8-ED0DEC522843D17F3DE8-A901-427A-A1F0-331A1551E667C1A849F4-6FE1-4CBC-BA03-2A89CA50EA0C

DoorDash is awesome because you get free deliveries for your first month of using the service. Not only that, but I also got twenty percent off of my order and, in total, I saved close to eight dollars. For forty dollars, I was able to get my favorite dishes of Vegetable Biryani with cucumber Raita, Malai Kofta with saffron rice, and garlic Naan as well as provide a healthy tip. I thought this was a steal, especially since the servings are huge because it is family style.

I always say that if I had a visit from someone who has never been to good ol’ Akron, Ohio that we would go to TJMaxx and The Saffron Patch and I still stand by that statement. It has been ages since I ordered from my favorite restaurant and it was even better than I remember it being. The Biryani was completely loaded with huge pieces of carrots, potatoes, peppers, and cauliflower while the sauce in the Malai Kofta was rich and the balls of lentils and veggies were tender. The Naan was buttery and had SO. Much. Garlic. – Just how I like it!

Like I said, it had been a long while since I had Indian food and I normally order a level three for spiciness which would be considered Medium Hot. I decided to just order a level two of Medium to be safe since I was having the food delivered and I’m glad I did because it was hot! This was no matter, though, because the cucumber Raita helped dissipate the spiciness and it was so delicious when mixed with all of my dishes.

I couldn’t have asked for a better meal if I tried. Or, should I say meals? Lol, since Johnny doesn’t eat Indian food, I had all of the leftovers to myself and it lasted me a good five days. So not complaining!! 😀

What is your favorite restaurant? How do you treat yourself? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Literally Falling For Fall Update

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Literally Falling For Fall Update

Hello! If you have been following lifewithlilred for a while, then you have been with me through all kinds of ouches like when Johnny and I got in a car accident and I was hospitalized and an oral surgery gone dreadfully wrong. My most recent “whoopsy daisy” of taking a tumble on the wet, leaf strewn wooden walkway to my apartment was nowhere near as severe but, gotDAMN did it hurt and I’ve got a hell of a bruise to prove it. Check it out:

Now, this is not a post to get sympathy for this deep purple monstrosity. Rather, it is a reminder to be careful!! Coincidentally, my Johnny took a spill mere hours before me when he was taking out the trash that day and we have since been taking our time making the walk to our apartment on the wet, rainy fall days that Ohio has been plagued with.

Johnny has actually been so sweet because, most days, he gets home from work before me and he’ll text me to remind me that it’s really slick so I don’t take another spill. Falls, tumbles, accidents, oopsies, boo boos, or whatever you call it can be so painful and even fatal for some so this is just your Lil Red reminder to take your time while walking (And driving!) during this slippery weather so you don’t end up with a major bruise on your side too!

What is the fall weather like in your neck of the woods? What are some of your safety tips for bad weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Life: It Can Still Be Fun

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Quarantine Life: It Can Still Be Fun

Hi! When I first moved into my apartment, I LOVED that shit. Seriously, it was awesome. A young business owner going here, there, and everywhere and then returning to my cool little place once the day was over. The annoyances of every apartment like loud neighbors and crappy air conditioning didn’t seem so bad because, in all reality, I wasn’t there that much.

Fast forward a year and some change later and, now, my boyfriend and I are confined to our apartment on the daily. Our on the go life style of a blogger (me) and working musician (he) got severely cramped by the coronavirus and the minor annoyances at chez nous have turned into major headaches.

Despite our quarantine living quarters not being ideal (It’s like living in your own personal sweat lodge.), Johnny and I still manage to have fun in our tiny little sauna. So, I am here to remind you that it is still possible to enjoy yourself from the safety of your home. In fact, the fact that I know I am safe at home makes my time that much more enjoyable.

It has been a big change to go from constantly being out to sometimes being fearful to leave the house. Unfortunately, that is the current state of things right now and once I accepted that boredom came with being safe, I felt a lot better about being home. It took Johnny and I while to come up with the perfect combination of at home entertainment but now that we have hit our sweet spot, this whole quarantine thing ain’t so bad. (Our most effective combo is playing The Office after Law & Order SVU.)

Yes, we have consumed more media content than is probably recommended for a lifetime but we still experienced new things. For example, Johnny bought me my first LEGO set and since then we have been hooked on building together. Or who can forget Hanks For The Memories when he introduced me to Forrest Gump and I taught him a thing or two about Cast Away.

Lame? Yes. Super fun? Obviously, or I wouldn’t be blogging about it! Now is the time to watch all the TV you can, so get hooked on a series with some friends and gab to your heart’s content. Watch something totally random. Order a book you would never read on your Kindle. Try cooking a difficult but delicious looking recipe. Your activities are, admittedly, limited at home so you might as well try to keep them interesting!

The most important thing I try to remember as Johnny and I continue to hunker down is a positive attitude. Of course, I’m not thrilled by any of this. But, it’s the best thing we can do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I also keep in mind that I will never get the chance to sit through an entire season of America’s Next Top Model in one day totally guilt free again. That is a positive and it makes sinking into the couch and hearing Johnny’s disgruntled comments about my favorite show all the more sweeter. 🙂

How do you keep a positive attitude during the coronavirus pandemic? What has been your favorite hobby to pass the time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How Do I Go Out Social Distance Style?

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How Do I Go Out Social Distance Style?

Hello! A follow up question that Johnny and I usually get asked after “what do we do all day?” while in quarantine is “how do you go out?”. The answer? Very carefully, of course! Other than going to work, we limit ourselves to one to two individual errands per week and we always have our face masks on and hand sanitizer at the ready.

As far as grocery shopping goes, I try to do a big shopping haul once a month. My supermarkets are trying to social distance the best they can with one way aisles but I feel like not everyone cares to use them. So, if groceries are needed, I try to go first thing in the morning before stores get too crowded.

If there’s a random place we need to go to like the gas station, bank, etc. both Johnny and I formulate a game plan that will get us in and out the quickest. We also have masks and sanitizer on hand in our cars in case we need to make an unexpected stop. It’s just best to be prepared, is all.

Finally, as you all can see, I got my hair and my nails done. How did I do that? Very carefully, of course! Lol, actually, all of the salons I go to for my beauty treatments are being exceptional at following the highest safety precautions. I was informed by either the owners of the salon or an employee of what was being done to keep everyone safe and I felt comfortable with all of the measures being taken. Like the following:

  • Getting your temperature taken before entering.
  • Masks required by all (Employees and customers).
  • Washing hands required immediately after entering.
  • Limited number of employees and customers in at one time (Under ten).
  • Way beyond six feet of room between everyone for social distance standards.
  • Plexiglass between employee and customer (At nail salon).
  • Sanitizing after each customer.

With all of the amazing steps being taken to keep each salon up and running safely, I felt okay going in to get pampered. I spread each appointment out by a week or two so I wasn’t going out too frequently and I was so happy each time because I felt safe and totally awesome after going months without being able to go to a salon.

Johnny and I are taking all of this craziness in stride and are living our lives right now by doing only what makes us feel comfortable. How we feel might not be the same as everyone else but it works for us and that’s all that matters to me. ❤

What social distance standards did stores in your area put in place? Are masks required where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

July 2020 Funky Time Jams

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July 2020 Funky Time Jams

Helloooo! As a rule of thumb, Lil Red never listens to the radio while driving. I prefer to play my own music because I know that I will always be satisfied. Lol, except when it’s Throwback Thursday, that is. TBT is a radio program hosted on 88.1, which is the student station for The University Of Akron.

Every Thursday pop, rap, and R&B bangers from the 90s and early 2000s are played all day. It honestly doesn’t get much better than that and all day on Thursday my radio stays tuned into 88.1. Until last Thursday when Johnny refused to let me play it in his car, that is! But, it’s no matter, because I can just dedicate a whole blog post to it. Haha, check it out:

^^^ As always, I have no right to these songs or videos!

My sister’s boyfriend and I had a laugh because he told me that he played a throwback station on Spotify for her that is very similar to 88.1’s TBT and she was entertained and happy for a five hour car ride. I know that I would have been, too! There is something about the hits from however long ago that you still know all the lyrics to that just… Well… Hit different, lol.

Everyone has something that they look forward to during the week. Whether that be a standing hair appointment, lunch time with coworkers, or simply a weekend off. My instance happens to be my drive to and from clients every Thursday so I can have my solo singalongs in the Little Red Love Machine. Silly? Maybe. But it is a hell of a lot of fun for me!

What are a few of your favorite throwback hits? What do you look forward to throughout the week? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Having A Virtual Drink

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Having A Virtual Drink

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

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

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

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

Self-Isolation Check In

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Self-Isolation Check In

Hi! Towards the third week of March, Ohio issued a stay home order that put a name to the suggested self-isolation constantly being recommended. This means that the only times you should be out in the general public is if your work is deemed “essential” or you are shopping at an essential business like the grocery store, pharmacy, or are stopping at the gas station.

This hasn’t been too bad, because all of the nonessential businesses and restaurants have already been closed for a while so it’s not like a bunch of fun stuff instantly got taken away. Both my boyfriend and I work in fields that are considered “essential” so we are lucky enough to still be able to go to work. But, trust and believe that as soon as we get off of work, we are hunkered down in my apartment for the rest of the day.

My time in self-isolation has proven to be pretty fruitful. I love spending time with my boyfriend playing video, card, and board games and watching all kinds of good movies and shows. Recently, we got into watching Lego Masters and that has been our latest obsession in quarantine.

I also have made good on my promise to read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and have been enjoying that greatly. And, as often as I can, I try to practice the languages that I am learning on Duolingo: French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Czech. It makes me feel good to exercise my brain after what feels like nonstop TV time and it also really helps to break up the boredom with something more mentally stimulating.

What I am most excited about during this stay at home order, however, is that the weather is finally nice enough to hike – which is still allowed! I am looking forward to being more active with walks as often as I can because I am in such a slump without being able to go to the skating rink. So, hopefully this will help decrease all of the energy I have in the evening from not doing much of anything for the past month! 😀

How have you been spending time in self-isolation? Did you set any goals for yourself to accomplish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Planning The Ultimate Game Night With Your Friends

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Planning The Ultimate Game Night With Your Friends

Hi! The weather in Akron, Ohio is currently snowy and freezing which ultimately makes going out a real drag. Believe me, I love nothing more than being out and about with my boyfriend and friends. However, it’s a hard pass when I need thirteen layers on to stay warm! This cold existence has left all of us stranded in our homes, riddled with the desire to still do something while remaining on the couch the whole time.

Cue: A game night

This past month, I have participated in so many game nights, I have lost track. Am I mad about it? No! Quite the opposite, actually. You know why? Because I prefer something like this to going to the bar any day of the week. In this post, we’re going to discuss the makings of a perfect game night for you and your friends to enjoy:

Location:

The host of the game night should reside in a good central location from all of the guests if they have enough room for such tom foolery. You might not want to be Keeper Of The Games in your studio apartment! Make sure there is enough space for everyone to spread out comfortably and I do mean comfortably because no one wants to sit on a threadbare couch!

Snacks:

Snacks are a crucial part of the game night and the responsibility can be divided up pretty evenly among your group. Everyone could throw in money for pizza, share a snack of their own, or a potluck style meal could be what suits you guys best. Either way, it shouldn’t be up to one person to provide all of the snacks for your evening.

Drinks:

Does your group of friends enjoy drinking? Great. Everyone can bring some beer or a bottle of wine. Does your group of friends not enjoy drinking? Great. Everyone can bring some pop, juice, or you can make mocktails. All I know is, you can’t be snacking on salty treats without something to wash it down with!

Games:

The games for the event is definitely something that should be discussed beforehand amongst your group. Is it a video gaming night? Classic board games? How about a murder mystery night? This is all important to know ahead of time so everyone knows what to bring or how they should dress.

Normally, my game nights include a little bit of everything from video games and cards to trivial pursuit and dice. You can stick with a theme and alternate weekly or draw different games from a hat. Just make sure that everyone who has a game that they would like to play gets that opportunity at some point.

Game nights are an amazing way to spend time with your friends while saving money that would otherwise be spent at the bar or restaurant. Make your events a weekly or monthly thing and watch your friend group grow even more tight-knit through the bond of good old fashioned fun!

What are your favorite games to play? What are some of your tips for the ultimate game night? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah