Tag Archives: amazing

Sephora Freebies

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Sephora Freebies

Hi! While getting some of my holiday shopping done on Sephora’s website, I received a major freebie haul! It. Was. Awesome. I cashed in my 500 point Beauty Insider gift for a Clinique goodie bag and I also received a free travel bag filled with good stuff for spending over fifty dollars. Plus, I got free shipping! I spent just one dollar over the fifty minimum and I got a ton of amazing travel sized products to show for it. Take a look and let’s discuss:

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The Haul:

  • Lancome: La Vie Est Belle perfume sample
  • Laneige: Water Sleeping Mask (Loved it!)
  • Lancome: Mascara
  • Rahua: Omega 9 Hair Mask
  • Urban Decay: All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
  • Fresh: Soy Face Cleanser
  • Briogeo: Heat Protecting Cream
  • Caudalie: Moisturizing Sorbet
  • Tarte: Lip Paint in Birthday Suit (LOVE! I was running low on my birthday gift color from last year!)
  • Clinique: Moisture Surge Face Spray
  • Clinique: Chubby Stick in Woppin’ Watermelon (See the swatch tomorrow!)
  • Clinique: Moisture Surge moisturizer sample
  • Clinique: Mascara
  • Clinique: Foundation + Concealer samples

^^^ So good, right?!

Sephora is such a wonderful company to shop with online, because the promotions that they offer are second to none. I have never not received a free product when shopping online, because they usually offer the promo when you spend over twenty-five dollars. And, let’s be honest, that’s not hard to do!

I used to shy away from Sephora, because when you shop in store there is never any type of promotion running to give you some bang for your buck. But, when I shop online, I always feel pleased with what I’m getting in free product for the amount that I’m spending. I will definitely still pop into the store to see what’s new and examine all the colors and products up close. But, I will go home and order whatever I liked online every time, and I recommend that all of you Sephora lovers do the same. Can you get that amazing haul seen above in store for absolutely free?? I think not!

Which stores offer the best online promotions? How do you shop smart when it comes to Sephora? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

X Fest Birthday Bash

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X Fest Birthday Bash

Hello everyone and happy weekend! Exactly one week ago, my sister, Kristen, and I were in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania for X Fest – a music festival featuring Lovelytheband, Sir Sly, AWOLNATION, Cold War Kids, and Jack White. My parents were kind enough to treat me to FRONT PIT tickets to the show for my birthday, which resulted in my sister and I being mere feet in front of the stage for the entire seven hour duration of the festival. It. Was. Amazing. If you don’t believe me, take a look for yourself:

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^^^ Lol at Aaron Bruno’s pelvic thrust pictures and Sir Sly straight GETTIN’ IT with his hands in the air! ūüėÄ

What was cool about X Fest, is that it featured such a fantastic lineup. Obviously, I would have gone just to see Jack White, since he’s one of my all time favorites. But, the fact that another one of my favorites, AWOLNATION, and two other bands that I thoroughly enjoy, Sir Sly and Cold War Kids, was there made it so much sweeter. And, then, you add being literally right in front of the stage into the mix, and it turns into being one of the best days of my life.

The nice thing about the set lists for all of the bands that performed, was that they didn’t just strictly play songs from their most recently released albums. It was more of a fan favorite lineup, where crowd pleasers were played, as well as a wide array from a variety of albums. It was so much fun to be able to hear throwback favorites like Sir Sly’s “Gold” during his set or Cold War Kids’ “Miracle Mile” and “Hang Me Up To Dry” live, because it was such a firm reminder of why I enjoy these bands in the first place.

Sir Sly and Cold War Kids were awesome. They were. But, my loyalty will always lie with AWOLNATION and Jack White for what would be considered the highlights of my day. X Fest was actually my second time seeing AWOLNATION live, and they were just as fantastic as I remember them being.

AWOLNATION’s set was filled, as per usual, with Aaron Bruno interpretive dancing, running around the stage like a mad man, and singing his beautiful heart out. Their set was eight songs long, and I sure wish that it could have been longer! Four of the songs were off of AWOLNATION’s latest album, “Here Come The Runts” while the remaining half was from “Run” and “Megalithic Symphony”.

Almost all of the songs were fast paced, hype you up songs, until things slowed down for “Handyman”. During this song, Aaron Bruno acquired a fistful of pink roses and threw the very first and last of the five or six to ME!! I seriously could have cried – I honestly can’t believe that I didn’t. I got TWO ROSES from Aaron Bruno, one of my major man crushes. It doesn’t get much better than that.

The five bands that played before Jack White all probably performed for a half hour to forty-five minutes, respectively. Jack, however, played for an entire hour and a half and it was pure magic from start to finish. Despite his latest album, “Boarding House Reach” being released recently, Jack White played songs from all three of his solo albums and bands, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and The White Stripes.

Although Jack White’s entire performance was a major highlight, some of my most favorite songs that he played included “My Doorbell”, “Steady As She Goes”, “Lazaretto”, “I Cut Like A Buffalo”, and his opener of “Over And Over And Over”. And, it wouldn’t be a Jack White concert if he didn’t close with “Seven Nation Army”!

It was so insane to be standing directly in front of the man that you’ve had a crush on since grace school. It seriously didn’t even feel real that Jack White was playing within six feet of me. The same goes for every band that performed. I was literally right there. I got to spend the day with my sister enjoying amazing music and seeing some of my favorite bands. I can’t believe how lucky I am, and I wish that I could go back in time and relive the day a million more times.

Who else has attended X Fest before? What concerts are you going to this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

An Ode To The Olympics

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An Ode To The Olympics

Hi everyone and happy Monday! If you are anything like me, then I am sure that you revel in every chance that you can get to sit down and enjoy the Winter Olympic games in Pyeongchang. I have been loving taking some time out of my evenings to watch the different events with any of my family members that feel like joining me. And it’s so wonderful to think that in households literally all over the world, families just like mine are doing the exact same thing. If that doesn’t get you in the Olympic spirit, then I really don’t know what will.

Aside from a few choice sports in the summer games, I have always been fond of the Winter Olympics. No, not just because I love watching figure skating, as a former competitive skater myself! But that is a big part of it! Alas, there is something about the Winter Games that is so exhilarating. Perhaps it’s the briskness in the mountain air as you watch the downhill skiers whirl down at seventy miles per hour. Or maybe it’s when the snowboarders do magnificent tricks on the half pipe and your heart catches in your throat. Whatever it may be, the Winter Games have always been magical to me.

All Olympic sports and athletes are amazing. Every single one. But during the Winter Games, I always seem to be exclaiming “How do they do that?!” during every event. Not to downplay the Summer Games, but we all know what those events look like. During the Winter Games, there is so much variety and events where anything goes and it’s so special.

You watch the Skeleton event where it looks like the athletes could fly off the edge of the track at any second. Or maybe you’re checking the ice skaters out as they hurl themselves in the air and revolving four times. And each event, you see something that makes you think to yourself, “they must be crazy”. And maybe they are. But if crazy gets you to the Winter Olympics all the way in Pyeongchang to give you the opportunity to represent your country, then I want to be crazy too.

Who else is an avid fan of the Winter Olympics? What is your favorite event? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Brit+Co

Summer Beauty Essentials

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Summer Beauty Essentials

Hi everyone and welcome to an amazing summer time guest post thanks to Rachel from A Girl Recommends. This month, I asked all of the guest bloggers that I’ve featured on my page to come up with a beauty, fashion, or lifestyle post themed around sweet summer time. After emailing back and forth with the lovely Rachel, we decided on a post all about the beauty must haves that summer calls for. I was blown away by the quality and content of Rachel’s post and I’m sure that all of you will be too. Thanks a million, beautiful! Take a look at the Summer Beauty Essentials post that Rachel made special for my readers here on lifewithlilred:

Summer Beauty Essentials

Today I’m going to run you through my beauty must haves for summer time! In the UK we are slowly heading into this time of year, so I will definitely be bringing out my bright lips, colorful nails, and light weight foundations!

Hair:

There are a few products that I’d recommend for your hair in the summer time. The first one is¬†Batiste Dry Shampoo. I have mine in the scent ‘Fruity & Cheeky Cherry’. It ¬†doesn’t matter which scent you go for, this stuff works wonders and it’s super affordable. Although your hair feels pretty gross after using this, it looks ten times better than before with added volume. You can even buy mini cans to take to festivals/on holiday/by the beach!

I definitely like to combine dry shampoo with my trusty¬†Tangle Teezer.¬†I bought mine a couple of years back and it’s still going strong! I have mine in a super bright summery shade with an orange top and yellow comb. These are great for throwing in your handbag¬†(they have special compact ones for this purpose) and taking them to the park, beach, or wherever you just need a quick brush through your windswept locks!

To touch up my color and make it brighter than ever I like to use the Scott Cornwall Color Restore Iced Platinum Hair Toner. This stuff is great for my dyed blonde hair and helps get rid of those yellowy brassy tones and freshen up my barnet. You can get these toners in a variety of different shades and add some candy colors into your hair just in time for summer!

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Nails:

My all time favorite nail polishes are definitely from Barry M. The quality is fantastic, they are a bargain, and I’m obsessed with the finish that the¬†Gelly Hi-Shine varnishes¬†give you. My favorite shades for the summer time are Blueberry, Passion-fruit, and Kiwi.

Skincare:

I’ve got a couple of skincare favorites to share with you. The first is the benefit¬†Triple Performing Facial Emulsion. It¬†hydrates, protects, and comforts your skin whilst giving you sun protection with SPF 15. This is perfect for day time use. I then like to fully moisturize and re-hydrate my skin in the evening with the¬†Vichy Lift Activ Supreme.

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Makeup:

My foundation favorite is the¬†Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. This is lightweight, oil free, and hydrating with a silky texture. It’s perfect for summer because you can build up the coverage if you desire, but it doesn’t leave you with a heavy feeling on your face and you don’t feel like you’re wearing foundation. I like to set this with either the¬†MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (Light)¬†or the¬†L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Powder¬†(drugstore alternative). Both of these powders are really natural, light coverage, and non drying.

My choice of bronzer is the Benefit Hoola Bronzer Powder which gives you a healthy and natural looking tan. I love this product all year round but you can add a bit of extra glow in the summer time. I follow this with either my Ted Baker Lip and Cheek Tint for a shimmery glow or my Giorgio Armani Cheek Fabric Blush (305) for a pop of natural color.

Products with staying power are definitely your best friend at this time of the year. You basically have to glue your makeup on to your face so your eyebrows don’t finish the day on your chin. My favorite drugstore setting spray is the¬†Maybelline Superstay 24hr Setting Spray. Now, I can’t say that I’ve tested the 24 hr theory but it definitely helps my makeup stay in place all day!

It’s crucial to use a waterproof mascara in the summer time to avoid having the dreaded panda eyes. I love the¬†Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara. It’s cheap and gives you dramatic volume without clumpy lashes!

I think having a brow gel is key for all year round but is especially important in the summer time. A perfect face can be easily let down by messy brows.¬†Rimmel Brow This Way Styling Gel¬†does the trick for me and it’s an absolute bargain at ¬£3.99.

I would be lost without my¬†Urban Decay Primer Potion, however, I have recently been trying out the¬†Benefit Air Patrol Eye Primer¬†and I’m LOVING it. It’s a perfect base for eye shadows, especially if you get oily lids throughout the summer. This primer allows you to have intense color and a lasting eye shadow look all day.

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Lips:

Summer is your time to shine with bright lips. Say goodbye to your berry tones and hello to your corals and fuchsias. I like to prep my lips with the¬†Nivea Sun Protect Lip Care¬†(there is nothing worse than burnt lips – ouch!) and then apply my favorite bright lip colors. I’ve chosen two to share with you today. I have the¬†Bourjois Paris Colour Boost Lip Crayon (Red Sunrise)¬†and the¬†YSL Rouge Volupte (13 – Peach Passion). The Colour Boosts are lovely and moisturizing with a bright pop of color, whereas the Rogue Volupte leaves a velvety smooth finish with a high pigmentation.

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Fragrance:

My love for the Marc Jacobs perfumes shines bright in the summer. Out comes¬†Dot¬†(“A signature floral heart signed by beautiful jasmine and the elegant base of vanilla with musk, leaving an addictive trail”)¬†and¬†Honey¬†(“The fragrance opens with a fresh fruity hook, and melts to a beautiful floral honey heart for a long lasting and sunny signature fragrance”). These fragrances are absolutely perfect for the summer time and they remind me of so many great memories. I can’t help but smile every time I wear these scents.

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That’s all for my summer beauty must haves. What are your essentials for this time of the year? – Rx

^^^ Wasn’t this post fabulous?! Thank you so much, again, to the superbly talented, Rachel, from A Girl Recommends for such a terrific guest post. Everyone please check out her page and give it some love! What beauty product can you not live without in the summer? Which recommendations from Rachel’s post are you going to use? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Avon Calling

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Avon Calling

Hi everyone and happy Hump Day! A week or so ago I posted the article Beauty Bloggers: HELP! Again. because I was in search of a new serum to add into my daily beauty routine. I was so blown away by all of the wonderful suggestions and helpful tips that all of you commented. But I want to give my friend, Angela, from dazzelme an extra special shout out because she was kind enough to send me some Avon serum samples in the mail.

Angela was so incredibly sweet and helpful when we communicated via email. It really was such a treat to receive a package in the mail from her with a catalogue stuffed with samples and a handwritten note. I am so excited to test out all of the goodies that she sent me and am so happy to have gained such a fabulous new friend! I encourage all of you to check out her page at dazzelme and be sure to take a look at all of the gorgeous Avon products that Angela has for sale! Thank you again so much, Angela! You’re amazing!¬† ‚̧

Nelson Morris: For The Sake Of Art

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Nelson Morris: For The Sake Of Art

Hello everyone and welcome to a very special article on lifewithlilred. I had the absolute pleasure of getting to know Nelson Morris, a teacher, an artist, and now a new friend. Nelson recently had a part of his work entitled the “1000 Faces Project” featured at the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival and it is currently being displayed at the Waterloo Sculpture Garden and let me tell you, those who can make it out are in for a treat. Learning the intricacies of Nelson’s artwork was such a joy and I know I shouldn’t be saying this but I’m going to anyways…I have never been so excited to work with someone. Take a look at the interview conducted by yours truly as well as some photos of Nelson’s creations:

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  • Lil Red: So the first thing everyone is obviously going to want to know about is your latest creative endeavor, the “1000 Faces Project”, so tell me more.
  • Nelson: Of course. It started when I was a student teacher in Middlefield, Ohio. My art students never wanted to do portraits, which I think comes from the social anxiety a student can often feel from the fear of making a mistake. I fought tooth and nail with them about it and one day I set up a still life of a plaster cast and the kids drew it. Something in them clicked, similar to the light bulb moment that I had during a trip to New York City to help a fellow artist. I saw so many people and all I wanted to do was draw all of their faces. This project is about diversity and the subtle facial differences that make us unique. What makes us the same? What makes us different? I wanted to find out, so I began making casts.
  • LR: Approximately how many faces have you cast?
  • N: So far I have 165.
  • LR: And you think you’re going to get to 1000?
  • N: Yes, I really do. At the Ingenuity exhibit I was set up on stage casting audience members. I casted thirty faces there and got a great response so hopefully I can keep that momentum going.
  • LR: Has it been difficult finding people willing to sit for you to get their faces cast?
  • N: Yes! The casting part is easy, it’s finding people that’s the hardest. I can transport an 1800 pound statue on my own and it’s horrible but finding people is much harder.
  • LR: How have you been finding people to plaster?
  • N: First I started by reaching out to my friends on Facebook but then I quickly ran out. I then started adding all of the people on the “people you may know” section – I sent a friend request to anyone who looked sane! That’s how I got in touch with you!
  • LR: I’m glad I look sane to you! But I do the exact same thing when I want more views on my site – a friend on Facebook is a potential viewer.
  • N: I’ve met some great people from it, too. One time I got to cast a group of fifteen people in the basement of the Fastlane bowling alley in Barberton after it closed thanks to finding the owner on Facebook.
  • LR: I didn’t even know bowling alleys had basements! What are some of the most memorable moments from all of the people you’ve casted?
  • N: I’ve had some creepy ones, that’s for sure – but I’ve also had a lot of really fun ones too…Except for the first cast that I ever did, which was on my own face. As an artist, you always experiment on yourself first, so I was home alone at my parent’s house and I stood in front of a mirror and started to cover my face in plaster. I had straws in my nose, walrus-style, so I could breathe and after about three layers of plaster I covered my eyes and did the rest by touch. This was in June and I had hay fever at the time and the straws stuck up my nose kept on bumping and tickling me and before I knew it, I felt a huge sneeze coming on. I tried to pry the cast off but it was stuck on there pretty good and for a split second I thought to myself, “great, this is how I’m going to die – with a plaster face mask on”. But I got the cast off and I survived! However, the plaster that I used originally was very rough and gritty and when I pulled the mask off some chunks of plaster got into my eyes…I spent forty-five minutes in the shower trying to wash it all out.
  • LR: The things people do for their craft. Can you tell me more about the process of creating a plaster face cast?
  • N: Well, the process was a bit messy to start because I’ve only plastered bodies, never a face. I used to use about six layers of gauze impregnated with plaster but now I’ve got it down to only one to two layers. Like I said, making the casts is the easiest part now. All you do is dip the gauze in water, squeegee it off, and slap it on the face. I’ve got the process down from a half hour to ten or fifteen minutes flat.
  • LR: What do you think the finished product is going to be like once you’ve finally cast 1000 faces?
  • N: It changes all the time. I think very architecturally though so the idea right now is to have the faces lined up next to each other, kind of like in the old underground catacombs. When they’re lined up next to each other is when you can truly compare and contrast them. I also want to incorporate audio into the project. I take recordings of the voices of everyone who I’ve plastered and I would like to make it so if you touch one of the faces you can hear the voice of the model.
  • LR: Wait what? How do you plan on doing that?
  • N: I know it sounds crazy but stay with me! I’ve played with this idea before with a life sized terracotta statue. The sound chip was solar powered so when the sun lined up just right the statue of the woman would begin to sing. But that was just for one statue – I had no idea how I would do it with hundreds of face casts. I started to ask around for help and the head engineer of 107.9 (a Cleveland radio station) told me about a processing board that might make the idea possible. I happened to find a hobby group dedicated to working on the processing boards in Akron and I emailed a member with the subject “For The Sake Of Art”. He replied and has been helping me with creating the codes and wiring to give the plaster masks voices.
  • LR: I’m so excited to see the “1000 Faces Project” in all of its concrete and audio glory. So, if you could say one thing to a young Nelson before he had a beard, what would it be?
  • N: Everything’s gonna turn out alright.

Pretty cool, huh? Not only is Nelson an artist extraordinaire, but he also teaches pre-k through 8th grade. How he has time to breathe is beyond me! He told me a great story about how on the first day of one of his classes he presented the students with a basket of one hundred pencils and a pair of bolt cutters. He cut off the eraser to every pencil because his students don’t use erasers in his classes so that they can learn how to fix their problems on their own. This goes along hand in hand with the mantra he tells his students daily: “Making a mistake isn’t a problem when you’re creating art work. You have to learn from your mistakes and adapt from them”.

Nelson is a self funded artist who creates customized pieces and will be selling replicas of the tiles seen in the pictures featured on this post. If you are interested in any of his art work old and new or have ideas for a custom piece, you can contact him at:

If you live in the Akron/Cleveland, Ohio area and are interested in having Nelson cast your face he now offers free house casting parties. If you can get five people to attend, he will come to you. But if you get ten or more people to come to the party, all of the guests will receive a free record of their face which will look something like this:

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I want to thank Nelson so much for sitting down with me for a chat because it was seriously an¬† honor. If you have any questions for my new friend you can reach him through any of the mediums I posted above or leave me a comment to relay to him. Would you get your face plastered for the 1000 Faces Project? What do you think Nelson’s finished product is going to end up looking like? We wanna hear from all of you, so leave us a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Island Boat Lines Wildlife Tour

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Island Boat Lines Wildlife Tour

Hellooo everyone and happy Hump Day! So as you know, this week on lifewithlilred I’ll be discussing a different highlight of my Orlando, Florida vacation every day. Last Thursday my family took a break from hanging out at Universal Studios to go on an amazing wildlife tour through Island Boat Lines. We drove about an hour away to the 1,000 Islands of Cocoa Beach and boarded our “tour boat” in search of dolphins, manatees, and birds. I got to see some wildlife that we definitely don’t have in Ohio, so take a look at some pics and let’s get to it!

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The Island Boat Lines wildlife tour is two full hours of exploring the 1,000 Islands with the boat captain and two naturalists who are all extremely knowledgeable. Not only did I get to see a lot but I also learned so much from them as well! After a quick lesson on boat etiquette our tour began and within ten minutes of sailing we saw our first manatee! Unfortunately, these sweet and shy creatures were very difficult to photograph but let me tell you: THEY’RE SO CUTE!!! It was so fun to see their big ol’ bodies bobbing along in the water. The entire time I just wanted to jump out of the boat and pet them. We saw five or six manatees on our tour and of course there were more but they are pretty hard to spot because they blend in with the water so well.

All throughout our tour we saw an abundance of birds like pelicans, herons, storks, and anhingas. They were everywhere!! It seemed like wherever we looked they were perched in their trees, in flight, or in the stork’s case just hanging out in someone’s backyard. I’ll admit that I’m not much of a bird gal, I had two parakeets once…and they died…But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, that it was really cool to see these majestic creatures up close and personal because Ohio obviously doesn’t have anhingas flying around every time you turn a corner.

Not only did we see our fair share of animals but we also saw a lot of plants and flowers native to Florida. I was very excited to see a Naked & Afraid staple of the Mangrove Tree, myself! It was such a nice change to see vivid blossoming flowers and palm trees rather than the yellow grass and weeds that I’m used to in my neck of the woods. Speaking of grass, did you know that palm trees are actually a type of grass? You didn’t? ME EITHER!! #wildlifetour101

Everything that I got to see on the tour was awesome but the most memorable part of the wildlife cruise was seeing the dolphins!!!! During our two hour ride we saw eight to ten playful dolphins splashing and jumping about and it was something that I will never ever forget. Like the manatees, they were next to impossible to photograph but rest assured that they are¬† gorgeous! The major highlight of the tour was seeing two dolphins, a big and a little one, jumping at the same time. It looked like something you would see in a movie and I got to experience it first hand. Most importantly, I got to witness such beautiful creatures in their natural habitat doing what they do best…avoiding getting their picture taken. -_- ūüėČ

If you are ever in the Orlando, Florida area, I seriously cannot recommend the Island Boat Lines wildlife tour enough. All of their information can be found on http://www.islandboatlines.com or they can be reached at 321-454-7414. Make sure to check them out!!

So there you have it, my Island Boat Lines Wildlife Tour experience! What was the most memorable animal you’ve seen in real life? Have you ever been on a tour similar to the one that I described? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: The stud in my featured image photo is my dad!!! Isn’t he handsome?! ‚̧

AWOLNATION Concert!!!!

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AWOLNATION Concert!!!!

Heyyy everyone and happy Hump Day! So last night was the AWOLNATION concert at the House Of Blues in Cleveland and it was seriously the best night of my life. I was accompanied by my beloved big sis, Kristen, thanks to the two tickets that my oldest brother bought me for my birthday!! From beginning to end my night was perfect…Allow me to explain. ūüėČ

So the doors for the show opened at seven and Kristen and I arrived at the venue around twenty after six. The line was already pretty long when we got there, but we were still fairly close to the door. I’m just happy that we got there when we did because literally five minutes after we showed up the line started to stretch all the way down the street – talk about lucky! The doors finally opened and after we had our bags checked and tickets scanned, I rushed into the venue to get the best standing spot humanly possible…and I did! I was about three feet away from the stage and had an INCREDIBLE view of the entire show! As I mentioned yesterday in my post, Family Of The Year was one of the openers for the show, but I had no clue who the other opener was – and I still don’t!

The first opener started promptly at eight which was nice because by the time we got situated we only had to wait about a half hour or so for the show to start. I didn’t care for the first opener at all, whomever they were. Their lyrics were so completely stupid and I’m pretty confident that they were playing on pre-recorded tracks because there was sure a lot of music heard when none of the band mates were playing their instruments. Either way, I didn’t like them and thankfully they were only on for like a half hour. But for that entire time, I definitely had Resting Bitch Face Syndrome.

Family Of The Year came on at nine and I was very excited to hear them play because I enjoy their music. It’s not like I know all of the lyrics to their songs or anything, but I’m glad I got to see them perform. I heard many people complain about how Family Of The Year’s beachy vibe didn’t really fit in with AWOLNATION’s style and I actually have to agree. They put on a lovely, chill performance however it really did nothing to amp people up for the headlining act. If I had to choose an opening act for the Run tour, I think I would have gone with someone like Everything Everything or Miike Snow because of their vaguely techno sound as well as the fact that they’re much more upbeat. Does this critique take away from Family Of The Year giving a great performance last night? No, I still really liked it. Would I have preferred to hear a different band before seeing AWOLNATION perform? Yes.

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Family Of The Year crooned until about nine forty-five and AWOLNATION’s set started right at ten. Needless to say, I was freaking the fuck out. They began their hour and fifteen minute long performance with “Run” and before I get hella into detail about the show, check out the lighting that kicked off the night:

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^^^ So rad!!!

So yes, AWOLNATION blasted off their dance party production with “Run” and the rest of the night was all a mesmerizing blur of terrific music, lighting, and a whole lot of dancing and jumping around from there. I’ve heard from friends who have seen AWOLNATION live and from different reviews that the front man, Aaron Bruno, is an amazing performer – and I one hundred times agree. His showmanship was an honor to witness. I’ve heard many times that Aaron is a fan of random screaming and dancing maniacally on stage and he provided us with nothing less last night. He had this insanely brilliant ability to make everyone in the audience feel welcome – even my sister who had never heard one of their songs before. By the end of the night she was in the crowd dancing and screaming along with the rest of us. And that, boys and girls, is what makes an incredible lead singer.

The set list contained basically everything that I hoped would be performed, which included: Run, Not Your Fault, Windows, KOOKSEVERYWHERE!!!, Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf), Sail, Jump On My Shoulders, Kill Your Heroes, I Am, Burn It Down, All I Need, Dreamers, Like People, Like Plastic, and a special full length performance of Knights of Shame. The songs listed was what my night consisted of in it’s entirety but not in that order. How lucky am I? Very. What I liked the most about this set was that it contained only upbeat songs. I mean none of AWOLNATION’s music by any means is low key, even their slower songs, but because those weren’t included in the set the night was filled with constant energy and a whole lot of fun. I couldn’t have picked a better line up of songs if I tried, however, I am slightly disappointed that “Wake Up”, “Jailbreak”, and “Soul Wars” wasn’t included. Honestly, I just wish they would have performed both of their albums back to back! I think one of my favorite songs of the night was hearing “Knights Of Shame” in its entirety – I especially loved hearing Aaron performing the rapped part of the song!

Another major highlight of the night was when AWOLNATION did “Not Your Fault”. Aside from “Sail”, that was the first song my brother introduced me to by them and it still remains one of my all time favorites to this day. Everyone in the band performed incredibly well and they were all so fun to watch. Kristen and I were discussing after the show about the athlete quality stamina that the AWOLNATION guys must have – I mean I know I was exhausted after dancing for an hour and fifteen minutes straight, but I couldn’t imagine how they feel after a show! I seriously don’t think I stopped moving at one point during the concert…This bitch was dancing, jumping, head banging, singing, and screaming up a storm. I just couldn’t help it though! There’s something so magical about being able to sing along with one of your favorite bands and I was just overjoyed. This childlike euphoria kept myself going for the duration of the show, but by the time it was over I was literally drenched in sweat and the only thing that kept me going on the three block walk back to the parking garage was the promise of Taco Bell and water shortly after!

Seeing AWOLNATION live was absolutely everything that I hoped it would be. They sounded simply incredible live, I daresay even better than on their albums. It was also so fun to hear Aaron pepper all of the songs with his random screaming. I’ve been imagining last night for a very long time and it exceeded my expectations by a long shot. For the one hour and fifteen minute concert I felt unashamed to scream out my frustrations during “Windows” and dance like a crazy person during “Burn It Down”. It was like I was in this safe haven where no judgement was being passed because everyone was cutting loose and allowing the amazing music and positive messages to take control. It was one of the best nights of my life. Seriously. I got to spend an evening listening to my favorite band with my favorite person AND I got to eat my favorite food after the concert! What more could a girl ask for? (And BTW, the TBell was magnificent!)

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^^^ As you can see from the pics, the lighting during the show was awesome! And Aaron Bruno and the rest of the guys are all a bunch of babes. Hubba hubba.

After an amazing night at the show, eating in the Taco Bell parking lot, and a forty-five minute drive home Kristen and I ended our festivities with some sweet, sweet cuddling. Best. Night. Ever! I hope all of you had as much fun reading this as I did writing it and if you have the opportunity to see AWOLNATION live, then I would jump on that immediately! What was the last concert you went to? Are you going to any shows or festivals this summer? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Edition

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Monday Update: Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Edition

Hey there everyone and happy Monday! I hope that all of you had a fabulous weekend, I know I did! My Uncle Martin and Aunt Eileen who live in Pittsburgh came to visit my family so on Saturday we spent the afternoon in Cleveland at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum. I haven’t been to the Rock Hall in years so needless to say, I was pretty excited! I have a deep love and appreciation for all things music so it was so amazing to be able to spend an afternoon honoring all of the greats. I hate to brag, but I have a pretty incredible collection of music and my tastes are vast but I never realized how educated I was about different musicians and genres until I perused through the Rock Hall. My parents and older brother really did teach me well about all of the legends and classics and I was so proud to know that I was aware of musicians in genres that I don’t particularly care for, like Gospel and Country. There was so much to see and do in the six floors that the Rock Hall boasts, so let me post some pictures and then we can discuss!

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^^^ I took so many pictures that the only way to condense all of them was through PicStitch. The pictures in the collages include costumes from David Bowie, Elvis, The Who, The Rolling Stones, and Michael Jackson. We got to see Johnny Cash’s tour bus, Janis Joplin’s car, the set from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, and so much more!!! If you have any questions on what specific pictures are, then please let me know in the comment section!

Once we met up with my aunt and uncle at the Rock Hall we decided to start from the top at floor five and six to view the two floor exhibit of the amazing late Herb Ritts’ Rock Portraits. The photography exhibition will only be up for a month or so and it was absolutely incredible – it was like walking through an art gallery. The portraits were mostly in black and white or sepia and they were taken of too many stars to name. There were photographs of David Bowie, Madonna, Britney Spears, Cher, Michael Jackson, Prince, and Mick Jagger just to name a few. Throughout the exhibit there were music videos that Herb Ritts directed playing and interesting information about the artist scattered along the walls. The Rock Portraits gallery was one of my favorite parts of my rock n’ roll filled afternoon.

^^^ Compliments of Mr. Ritts!

On the fourth floor there was a huge section of the set from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” which I remember from my last visit there but was so cool to see again! That display is neat because you can see it if you look down or up from any other floor. It definitely made me feel small standing next to the display! There was also a theater on level four which we stayed in for awhile. They were playing a video from what I’m assuming was an induction to the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame. We watched lots of different artists perform and it was especially fun seeing Jeff Beck on stage with his daughter who couldn’t have been more than sixteen at the time playing the guitar like nobodies business!

We headed down to the third floor afterwards which has a cafe and another beautiful theater. In that theater they were playing highlights of different induction ceremonies from years ago until present day which included interviews, photographs, and animation to tell the stories of the artists. As we exited the theater there was a long hallway that we followed and on the walls were panels of signatures from the inductees. As you can see in my PicStitches, I snapped a pic of U2’s signatures which is probably the closest I’ll ever get to having their autographs!

Level two of the Rock Hall was all about the masterminds of rock n’ roll like Les Paul and Alan Freed. There were displays upon displays of original record players, guitars, and recording studios. Old school televisions in the display cases played footage of black and white variety shows which was a fun touch. Level two was jam packed with amazing information and artifacts. As we exited the Architects of Rock and Roll section we walked into a multimedia production called Video Killed the Radio Star which had a television tower made up of at least thirty or more TV’s and all of them were playing a different music video fresh off of the early days of MTV. Another very cool exhibit on level two was all about Rolling Stone magazine. There were three walls completely filled with famous covers of Rolling Stone with artists such as Marilyn Manson, Kurt Cobain, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Britney Spears. (I love her fabulous cover where she’s lounging on the phone while cuddling a Teletubbie so much! SO CUTE!)

We ended our trip to the Rock Hall at the lower level which is where you’re supposed to start, but that’s okay! The lower level is the bread and butter of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame – it’s a wonderland full of costumes, instruments, jewelry, and set pieces all belonging to the legends. There were specific sections dedicated to artists like Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles. What I loved about this level was that it took you through each genre of music from a historical point. It started with the early days of the Blues and ended with music from the present day. My favorite genre to explore was the Punk section that had memorabilia from The New York Dolls, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, and The Ramones to name a few. In the Punk display case they had a Joan Jett fashion doll which was so adorable! There was a case dedicated to U2 in the lower level as well which I was pretty thrilled about!

After we explored through the outer rings of the bottom level we ended up at the epicenter which is a dark room filled with well lit costumes and instruments from all of the greats – there was James Brown, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, ZZ Top, The Who, The Beach Boys, and Metallica. That list is not even a quarter of the artists that the gigantic room had memorabilia from. It was seriously unbelievable. There were countless exhibits to end up in on the bottom floor and all of them were equally awesome. A few that I particularly enjoyed was a section on the origins of hip hop and a multimedia display called Don’t Knock the Rock. In this display there were different interviews playing of early day televangelists and political figures bashing rock n’ roll music and then it would cut to a reaction of rock musicians. Before we left the lower level we watched one more video compilation in a theater of very sweet reactions of inductees being entered into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. I could have stayed on this floor for forever!

Our trip to the Rock Hall was so much fun and this post doesn’t even cover half of all of the amazing displays that we got to see. If you ever are in Cleveland, Ohio then you definitely don’t want to let the opportunity to spend some time at the Rock Hall pass by! I hope that all of you enjoyed reading this post just as much as I did writing it! What musician would you like to see memorabilia from? Do you have any questions about any specific displays or pictures? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The 1975 Concert!!!!

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The 1975 Concert!!!!

So last night I went to see The 1975 play in Cleveland with my dear friend Kyle, and it was absolutely amazing. It was everything I wanted it to be AND MORE. They were playing at the Masonic Auditorium in Cleveland which is a pretty average sized venue. Kyle and I opted for the general admission tickets and ended up in the first row on the balcony, which was actually really awesome because we could see everything perfectly. There were two opening acts before The 1975 went on around ten o’clock. I honestly forget both of their names already, but that’s okay because they weren’t very impressive. I definitely could have done without both of their performances, especially because they both played an ungodly long set. I’m usually not one to fan girl when I go see a concert, but right when The 1975 came on stage I couldn’t help but freak out. Matty looked drop dead gorgeous as usual. He seriously has the voice of an angel, and he looked like an angel in his white button down shirt with no shirt on underneath. #hubbahubba Before I elaborate on the show, here’s some pictures from last night. My iPod doesn’t take the best photos, but Kyle’s phone took some great ones, so I’ll post them on here when he emails them over to me!

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The 1975 played an hour and a half long set, but it still felt like it wasn’t enough!! I wanted to hear them play for forever. They played their self titled debut album in it’s entirety and then performed a few lesser known songs and one from their second album which is in the works as we speak. Kyle and I were saying during our drive home that the band sounds just like they do live as they do on their recordings, so that’s how you know a band has talent! Matty very well could have been drunk during the show considering he was drinking on stage most of the night, but he still managed to pull off a hell of a performance. All of the little teeny bopper girls that were standing in the front of the stage kept on throwing paper on stage which I’m assuming was their numbers or love notes, and this irritated Matty quite a bit. “Seriously, quit fucking throwing rubbish on stage.” Twice during the show he pleaded with the audience to put their phones away while the songs were being performed so that he could see everyone’s faces. It kind of felt like he was falling apart in a way. I’ve heard that he’s had a few crying break downs on stage during recent concerts, which kind of makes me worry about him. He’s so passionate and emotionally attached to his music, so I’m not sure if he’s going to be able to handle the fame that I’m sure his band will continue to gain over the years. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing them perform once they get a few more albums under their belt. It was so fun being able to predict what songs they were going to play next, but they have so much more to them then their debut album which we will see when they release their sophomore album hopefully sooner than later! I was kind of shocked by just how many teenage girls that were in attendance at the show last night. I didn’t really realize that The 1975 had that much of a younger following…but then again all of those fourteen year old girls who were worried about breaking curfew probably only know the song “Chocolate” and only went to the show because they think Matty is super cute. (Who can blame them on that one though?) All in all it was a really fantastic experience seeing The 1975 live for the first time. They’re playing in Columbus tonight and Kyle and I actually heavily debated on going to see them again – unfortunately, we’re both very sick right now so we figured that that wasn’t the best idea when we’re in recovery mode.

What was your favorite concert you’ve ever been to? What was the first concert you’ve ever been to? Leave me a comment and let’s chat! Also, make sure you check back in with me tonight for my review of episode ten of American Horror Story: Freak Show! Happy hump day. -Sarah