Tag Archives: best friends

Holiday Haul: Sister & Family Edition

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Holiday Haul: Sister & Family Edition

Hello!! My sister, Kristen, her SO, Ramon, and sweet daughter, Valerie, are my best friends and I love being their fourth wheel more than anything. Being able to share so many holidays with Kristen and Ramon and now their daughter is always going to be special to me and this past Christmas was no exception. Miss Val made out like an adorable little bandit this Christmas and she was even able to unwrap some of her own gifts this year! Her “TT” had quite the haul herself, though, and I am so excited about the gifts I received from Val and her amazing parents. Check it out:

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Kristen texted me earlier in December asking me what I would like for Christmas and I told her that some new face masks to try out would be much appreciated. She took this idea and ran with it, gifting me two face masks by Formula 10.0.6. I am eager to test both masks out – particularly the self-warming clay mask. I used to get a self-warming mask from The Body Shop back in the day and it was one of my favorites. Speaking of favorites, I also got an awesome GUDETAMA lip balm and he is my favorite, lazy egg in the whole world. Don’t believe me? Check out my Facebook posts where I am constantly replying to people with Gudetama themed stickers! 😀

When my sister texted me, I didn’t tell her that I would really like a new pair of Express leggings too but she knows me well enough to have gotten me a pair, anyways. Kristen gifted me with leggings from Express last year and they are simply the best. I am so happy to have another pair because I wear my old ones literally all the time and, although they are still in great condition, it will be nice to have the option to alternate.

Pre-COVID, going to my favorite bars with Johnny and Kristen was always a treat and nine times out of ten, you could catch me drinking a Moscow Mule. I love them! And, with new copper mugs from Kristen and her fam, I’ll be able to make them at home with my go to recipe and not have to put them in coffee mugs like usual, lol. Great success!

Now, you might be wondering why in the heck Kristen gave the game of Guess Who? to me and Johnny and I’ll tell you why. A few months ago, we were all at chez parents and Kristen happened to bring her copy of the game over. We had many rousing rounds with my brother, Andrew, and it was a hoot. I also love the much more culturally diverse update of Guess Who? too! I think Johnny and I will get a kick out of playing it when we are stuck in the doldrums of feeling like there is “nothing” to do. 🙂

Kristen and her family were so generous this Christmas and I really am touched because these gifts are absolutely perfect for me. My sister knows me like the back of her hand and knew that the majority of what she gave me were things that I would like but never buy for myself and that, in itself, is the best gift of all. ❤

Which store has the best leggings? How do you make drinks from the bar at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Gemini Twin Edition

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Holiday Haul: Gemini Twin Edition

Hellooo everyone! I hope all of you enjoyed happiness and safety throughout this holiday season and it has been a crazy one, hasn’t it? In fact, it has just been a crazy ass year in general, lol. A lot of people had to get used to video chatting in 2020 but my sweet best friend, Kate (Genius author of Live In The Nautical), and I have been hip to it for a good long while. As we both live in different states, all of our hang outs for the past several years (aside from one real life meeting) have taken place on video chat.

On a normal year, I would go crazy without Kate. But, in 2020, I know that I would have gone certifiably insane! I absolutely live for when we can spend an evening gabbing away and it is so refreshing to have that time with her, especially since I have been limited to my apartment and work since March. Kate and I met through the blogosphere and became fast friends through our passions of writing, figure skating, fashion, and Harry Potter! I simply could not imagine my life and enjoying our very close June birthdays without her.

Birthdays and Christmas with Kate as a friend is quite possibly the most exciting thing ever. I thought that I was a great gift giver but DAMN, lol Kate knocked it out of the park this year with the literal BEST gift that I have ever received. Check it out:

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Kate is the queen of customized gifts and I feel spoiled rotten. I have never once opened a gift that was so perfectly tailored to yours truly. The beautiful ice skate adorned card was a delight in itself and I love that she treated me to my own mini bottle of vino because, more often than not, I always have a glass handy when we are video chatting. How can you have girl talk without it?!

Just when I thought that things couldn’t get any better, I unwrapped the painting and coffee mug with my likeness and clutched my pearls. The first thing I thought about when I saw the painting was when Kate and I ice skated together at Rockefeller Center. The second thing I thought was that I looked FIRE! Haha, both of these customized pieces capture a different part of my personality from glam skater girl to constantly needs to be caffeinated blogger. And each with the poise of a Disney Princess, no less.

I feel so incredibly thankful to have received the most amazing gifts from the most amazing friend. These presents made me feel known, understood, and so loved. Thank you, Kate. You are an angel! ❤

What is the best gift that you have ever received? How do you personalize presents? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: BFF Edition

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Holiday Haul: BFF Edition

Hello! For as long as I can remember, my best friend of over twelve years, Lea, and I have had a Christmas gift exchange. Wine is poured, presents are unwrapped, and we spend the whole evening gabbing away about anything and everything. It is one of my favorite holiday traditions and I was so excited to see her during our hang out because, with the pandemic, we are lucky if we see each other once a month. Hanging out was a gift in itself but I am so in love with the thoughtful presents from my bestie. Check it out:

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For birthdays and Christmas, Lea and I always gift each other with a bottle of wine. We have a long standing joke of saying “I wonder what this could be” because there is no way to wrap up wine without it being totally obvious about what’s underneath the paper! Not only do I love a Pink Moscato but I absolutely adore the black and white striped safety seal on the bottle that Lea picked out. She told me right away that she knew that I would like that and, of course, she was right on the money!

Not only did I receive vino but I was also gifted with Bath & Body Works foaming hand soap – my favorite! Nothing beats the holiday scents from B&BW and presents from there are also a huge staple in mine and Lea’s gift giving arsenal because we both know that we will use their products happily. An adorable new glass to enjoy my wine with and some homemade hand soaps wrapped up my haul and I am so thankful for all of the sweet and incredibly useful gifts from my best friend.

Lea and I both revel in the gift giving process of the holidays and I love being able to share in the season with her. I felt so happy after seeing her because she is and always has been a breath of fresh air in my life. She brings me so much joy and I have absolutely NO idea what I would do without her. Here’s to a million more Christmas hang outs together! ❤

How do you and your BFF celebrate the holidays? Do you have any “staples” in your gift giving arsenal? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: My Friend Edition

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Holiday Haul: My Friend Edition

Hello! It is a very rare thing for me to take time off from work. Mainly because I love my job but also having no paid time off, lol. However, I have taken two weeks off so I can safely celebrate Christmas with my family. I have had such fun enjoying the holiday season with my clients. From online shopping for the perfect presents for each of them to decking out their homes with Christmas decor – it really doesn’t get much better than that!

On my last week of work before my holiday vacation, one of my dear friends who I have the joy of working with bestowed these beautiful gifts onto me. Check it out:

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My pal and I love to color together and I am tickled that he selected a coloring book and colored pencils just for me. I am so excited to bring the Buggie Buddies book with me the next time I watch my niece because she loves stickers and creating masterpieces with crayons. The Malley’s Chocolates are delicious and tastes like a fancy Heath Bar, which is perfect because that’s one of my favorite candies. I also love the Christmas card that came with my gifts – it is absolutely adorable!

Nothing is more special to me than the gifts that my sweet friends have chosen. Honestly, the selection above is already my favorite gift and it isn’t even Christmas yet. I know how much thought and care went into picking these gifts out – from the carefully wrapped package to the contents inside that are filled with such happy memories. I know my friend is going to love the present I got for him and I cannot wait to call him on Christmas day when he opens it! ❤

What is one of your favorite gifts that you have received? Is there a gift that you’re really excited about giving this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

FaceTime Fun

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FaceTime Fun

Hi! This seems like a resounding theme on all of my posts but in my neck of the woods, we are currently in threat level PURPLE for COVID-19. Not to be confused with Threat Level: Midnight from The Office. Those of us that get the severity of COVID and are taking it extremely seriously are hunkered down hardcore right now. Johnny and I have not seen any of our friends in at least a month at this point and it’s lonely and it sucks. I think I would honestly go crazy if I didn’t have my Johnny with me and, thankfully, I’ve had technology on my side too.

I have become a FaceTime/Skype/Zoom/phone call addict so that I can still keep in touch with my nearest and dearest. I love having scheduled chit chat “dates” and it gives me something to look forward to. Being able to “see” my friends even through the computer or phone screen helps put a renewed pep in my step and it’s the next best thing I have right now to actually hanging out. I have wholeheartedly embraced this form of contact and I highly recommend that my readers/social media friends follow suit… Especially if COVID is as bad in your area as it is in mine.

A very special bestie in my life has added an extra ray of sunshine to my blah quarantine existence by our weekly or biweekly FaceTime chats. For those of you who don’t know, Johnny and I chose to sit out on Thanksgiving with our family this year. So, believe me when I say, I was completely touched when my darling Kate of Live In The Nautical suggested that we FaceTime on Thanksgiving day.

Kate has been one of my best friends since lifewithlilred began. It’s crazy, because we’ve only met each other in real life once but I feel like I can tell her absolutely anything through our constant back and forth via our blogs, social media, texting, and FaceTime. I am so thankful to her because she knew how shitty I was feeling on Thanksgiving and she took time out of her celebrations to talk to me. It meant so much and I really do treasure the times that we have to see each other and catch up.

I wish that I could see my friends right now and I know that a lot of you do too. Is a video chat the most ideal way to see them? In normal times, no. But things are far from normal right now so I’d say video chatting is friggen perfect. It’s hard to feel so isolated but Johnny and I have been doing our damnedest to stay safe since March. FaceTiming has helped with the loneliness and if you are feeling down, then schedule a chat with one of your besties. It can only help and I think you will feel much better after. I know I did. 🙂 ❤

How do you keep in touch with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic? What do you miss the most about “normal” life? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

BFF Post Wedding Celebration

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BFF Post Wedding Celebration

Hello everyone! My bestie, Lea, got married on October 24th. I was supposed to be a bridesmaid for her big day but, unfortunately, I did not feel comfortable being there cause COVID. Of course, Lea was A-okay about it and was nothing short of totally understanding to all of the concerns I had. That’s what best friends of over twelve years is for! ❤

I wanted nothing more than to be at Lea’s wedding and, after she returned home from her honeymoon and was settled in, we had our own celebration. For the big evening, I got a bottle of champagne and we watched the professional video of the ceremony together.

Lea looked absolutely beautiful on her big day and it made me so emotional to see my bestie who I grew up with walking down the aisle. We laughed, I cried, and it was perfect. This hang out was, honestly, the next best thing to being able to participate in her wedding and I was so thankful that we got to have that time together because all it did was make our sister like bond even stronger.

After hearing all of the amazing stories from her ceremony and the reception to her secluded honeymoon in the mountains, Lea bestowed these lovely gifts onto me:

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^^^ How adorable is that homemade card?!

Lea has gifted her bridesmaids with the cutest prezzies throughout the months leading up to her wedding and I treasure all of them so much. She’s just the most sweet, thoughtful person and I felt honored that she still wanted to include me as much as she could despite my discomfort.

This was, easily, one of the best times I’ve had since COVID began in March and I am never going to forget it. Popping champagne with my BFF and celebrating her happiness got me over the slump that I have been in and I feel so excited to continue having life adventures with Lea every step of the way! ❤

Have you ever participated in a wedding before? How long have you and your bestie been friends for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Accessory Story: StilEstro Bejeweled Gloves Edition

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Accessory Story: StilEstro Bejeweled Gloves Edition

Hi! I love cold weather accessories A LOT. Hats, gloves, fingerless gloves, scarves, shawls, and ponchos – I have several of each thing I mentioned and I always like to treat myself to another one once the cold weather strikes. During my last TJMaxx online haul, I found a lovely pair of wheat colored gloves with a gem stoned surprise. In fact, I was so taken by them that I just had to grab another pair for my bestie for Christmas. Check it out:

Like everything in my wardrobe, I loved that these gloves had a little extra something that made them special. The bejeweled daisy sparkling against the creamy colored fabric is so charming. And, when the light hits it? Forget about it! It’s fabulous. Not to mention, I’m a bit obsessed with having clothes and accessories that were made abroad so the “Made in Italy” on the tag definitely sealed the deal!

When I saw these gloves, they immediately reminded me of my best friend, Lea. I thought that she would look so sweet all bundled up in her navy coat with a tiny bit of bling glittering at her wrist. I can’t wait to gift these to her and then go get a great big Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks in our matching gloves/personalities. Lol, I am so lucky to have her as a best friend for over a decade now and I can’t wait to spoil her this holiday season. ❤

What is your favorite cold weather accessory? How do you spoil your bestie during the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Sister Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Sister Edition

Hello all and welcome to the first post of September 2020 here on lifewithlilred! Today, we are going to discuss a sweet surprise from my big sister, Kristen. My sis is my ultimate BFF and I am proud to be the permanent fourth wheel to her, her boyfriend, and daughter. If I could I would be with them all of the time!

This past week, Kristen told me she had a gift waiting for me at my mom and dad’s and I could hardly wait to get over there for work to see what it was. I had no idea what it could have been and no hints were given to me so I went into the surprise blind… And discovered the following:

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As a “just because” prezzie, Kristen surprised me with this super cool skull and butterfly art by Marmont Hill that she found at TJMaxx. Kristen told me she thought it looked “very me” when she saw it and couldn’t pass it up… She was right! It is very me and if I weren’t almost out of blank space on my body I’d get it tattooed, lol.

Unfortunately, I see Kristen and her family nowhere near as much as I would like and we both want to make an effort to change that. However, we text each other pretty much every day. I am so excited to hang my new art up in my apartment and I am going to get the warm fuzzies every time I see it.

After returning home with my treasured new decor, I was in such a giving spirit that I decided to start my Christmas shopping way early. I have a ton of people to shop for, sue me for it! I just had to spoil my sister’s daughter rotten this year and I can’t wait to do the same for Kristen and her partner. Both are such hard working, loving, dedicated parents and friends and if anyone deserves gifts galore, it is most definitely them. ❤

How do you surprise your loved ones? When do you like to start your holiday shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: BFF Edition

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Sweet Surprises: BFF Edition

Hello! My best friend of over twelve years, Lea, is going to be getting married at the end of October and I am one of her bridesmaids! Unfortunately, a pandemic isn’t the best time for a wedding celebration and because of having several high risk clients, I have had to opt out of a lot of the fun. It makes me sad that I can’t participate in good conscious in the different activities but Lea knows where I’m coming from and that’s the only important thing to me.

During our most recent hang out to have an early 26th birthday celebration for Lea (AKA drinks on my parent’s deck), I was expecting for her to be the only one receiving prezzies. But my darling bestie surprised me with the following:

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Lea is honestly one of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life and it is so like her to bring something for me on a day that should be celebrating her. I am so in love with the comfy cozy “Bridesmaid” tee by Bella + Canvas (I’m wearing it right now!) and the customized glass is adorable enough that I don’t even want to drink out of it!

It has been hard being out of the metaphorical wedding loop right now for Lea because safety is my primary concern. So, these gifts were very special to me because it showed that Lea still thinks of me as one of her bridesmaids no matter what.

2020 has been such a crazy year and I am so sad that Lea’s wedding isn’t going to be everything that she dreamed of and then some. But, as her best friend and STILL her bridesmaid even though I hardly deserve a participation trophy, I will be doing everything I can in the meantime to keep her spirits way up high. I know she would do the exact same for me. ❤

Did you have an event that got cancelled this year? How do you stay safe during the pandemic? 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