Tag Archives: boyfriend

Hagrid’s Hut Harry Potter LEGO Set

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Hagrid’s Hut Harry Potter LEGO Set

Hi! Johnny and I love to build with LEGO and we were so generously gifted with the Hagrid’s Hut set from Harry Potter for Christmas. Although it was a much smaller set than what we’re used to, it took us a good three and a half hours plus to finish it and it was such fun to be doing something other than watching TV! Just because it was a small set doesn’t mean that it was any less challenging to assemble and there were lots of exciting surprises incorporated throughout the build. I think it turned out awesome! Take a look at the finished product and let’s discuss:

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Johnny and I have wanted to begin expanding our Hogwarts grounds for a while now and Hagrid’s Hut is the perfect set to start with. It has been sitting on our coffee table since its completion and I can’t help but smile every time I look at it because it is so freaking cool! It really is a to the T replica of Chez Hagrid’s in LEGO form and I almost forgot the sense of achievement and the downright fun that comes with building with LEGOs because it has been so long since we got a new set.

I am particularly fond of the pumpkin patch with Buckbeak and his passenger, the Minister of Magic. He is definitely not supposed to be on top of the hippogriff but, hey, whatever works! I am also completely charmed by all of Hagrid’s tools and utensils hanging from the rafters in his sitting room. The piece de resistance of this set, however, has to be the light up brick used to mimic the fire heating up Hagrid’s dragon egg. All you need to do is press on the rooftop above from the fire place and it lights up. It is such an awesome, simple idea and it still delights me every time I light the fire!

I would highly recommend the LEGO Hagrid’s Hut set if you have a Harry Potter LEGO collection, too. It is also a really nice beginner’s set if you have never built with LEGO before. Johnny and I are very eager to keep expanding Hogwarts and this just lit that fire even more… See what I did there?!

Who else enjoys building with LEGO? Did anyone watch the competition show LEGO Masters? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Boyfriend’s Family Edition

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Holiday Haul: Boyfriend’s Family Edition

Hello! The day after Christmas, Johnny and I visited his parents and it was so nice. Due to COVID, I have not seen them in forever and I was really happy to safely spend time with them. We opened gifts, caught up, and watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as per their family tradition. I feel lucky that this was my second viewing with them and I can’t wait for many more. Johnny and I were gifted with such beautiful presents and I am so tickled that they even got me a stocking for their mantel! Check it out:

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^^^ The adorable “Our First Pandemic” ornament is from Johnny! 🙂

I love all of the gifts from Johnny’s parents so much and I love that many of them are from local businesses in our area even more. The unique earrings came from a local boutique as well as the bar soap and delicious smelling Gingerbread Caramel lotion, which was from Hope Soap. They have a store in downtown Cuyahoga Falls and I have always wanted to check it out so I’m really eager to try their products. And, don’t even get me started on the popcorn from Amaize because it is the BEST. Johnny and I were gifted with a huge sampler of their different flavors last year on our birthdays and we made very quick work of it!

Johnny’s parents also gave us several different ornaments, which was so thoughtful because despite not having a Christmas tree in our apartment this year, we will definitely want one for next Christmas when we are in a bigger place. It will be so much fun to collect ornaments for our own tree and we already have a nice start! I particularly love the middle ornament in the picture above – it is so pretty. 🙂

Being able to spend time with Johnny’s family was the best gift of all. I miss them so and I can’t wait until things are significantly less crazy so we can see them more often. ❤

Do you have an ornament collection? What is your favorite ornament or holiday decoration? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Christmas Present Pride

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Christmas Present Pride

Hello!!! This year sucked and I really wanted to spoil my Christmas giftees rotten because we have all diligently worked through these hardships together and I feel it was much deserved. I have so much fun picking out the perfect presents for the people on my list and was eager to get my Christmas shopping started all the way back in August! I love all of the gifts that I selected for everyone under the tree but I am particularly fond of a piece of decor I got for Johnny. I better be, because he hung it up as soon as he took it out of the box! Lol, check it out:

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My Johnny loves the Rolling Stones so much and we were actually going to see them this past June in Cleveland but the concert got cancelled due to COVID. I certainly hope that we can see the Rolling Stones in concert eventually, more for him than for me but it sure would be fun! For Christmas, I got Johnny a few shirts from his favorite online retailer, PHIX. But, when I saw this homemade neon sign on Amazon worthy of being in the coolest bar ever, I just couldn’t say no because I knew he would freaking love it.

I have been looking forward to giving Johnny his Christmas gifts since I purchased them and after we were done with our gift exchange, he could finally see why. I was so tickled that he wanted to find the perfect spot for his new decor immediately. We settled for in our living room but I can’t wait to get a bigger place soon so we can hang it up in a game room.

Hearing Johnny say how much he loved his gifts was a present in itself for me and I can’t look at the neon sign without smiling. The creator of the sign has a ton of really neat designs and I might just have to pick out a girly one for me too! 🙂

Do you have a favorite gift that you gave this year? Where do you find the most unique home decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Boyfriend Edition

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Holiday Haul: Boyfriend Edition

Hello! I am so happy that I got to celebrate another Christmas with my boyfriend, Johnny. He means the absolute world to me and I love him so much. After months of asking him if I could tell him what I got him for Christmas, we finally made a deal to open our presents to each other on the afternoon of the 24th. So, you could imagine my surprise when he came home from work on the 22nd and said we should open our gifts now!

Not only is he getting me a new game for the Nintendo Switch as well as a year’s subscription to Duolingo Plus, he also treated me to the following:

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As soon as I opened my guillotine earrings, I gasped because I have had my eye on them for forever. In fact, I have at least five screenshots saved to remind myself to purchase them whenever they show up on my Facebook newsfeed. The first thing that came out of my mouth was “how did you know?!” because I can’t remember ever telling Johnny how much I liked them. He told me when he saw it on his Facebook he knew that I would love them and that made this gift as well as the matching necklace even more special. He knows me like the back of his hand. ❤

I am so excited to pick out a new game to play on the Switch because I have already beaten the Paper Mario game that Johnny got me for our one year anniversary. I will have to do some browsing before I make my choice but I am definitely thinking more Mario! And, finally, the subscription to Duolingo Plus really takes the cake because for one full year I won’t have to worry about running out of hearts while I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech. It will be so handy and SO freaking appreciated and I plan on starting a new language to learn since I’ll have the extra cushion of unlimited hearts. I am currently debating between Swedish, Latin, or Greek!

My Johnny knows how to spoil me and I feel like the luckiest girl ever. Duolingo Plus is exactly what I wanted and a new game and jewelry are exactly what I needed even though I didn’t know it yet! Is he the best boyfriend ever or what? ❤

How do you and your SO celebrate the holidays? What is your favorite game for the Switch? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Happy Fun Times

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Super Happy Fun Times

Hello!!! Last weekend was a wonderful one for me and, boy, did I need it. I had been feeling nothing short of blah for the past several weeks and now I know that the remedy for the blues is some snuggles, creating new holiday traditions, and Zoom dates to put a spring back in my step. Rinse and repeat for best results!

Last weekend, I was so happy because I got to babysit my sweet niece, Valerie, on Saturday night. I had been counting down the days because the last time I saw Val Gal was on Thanksgiving. Johnny and I were not able to participate in the holiday with my family and it was very hard seeing Val on the driveway and not being able to hold her. So, trust and believe, I was ready for all of the snugs.

Val and I had so much fun reading books, petting all of her animal friends (she loves their family pets!), playing Peek-A-Boo, and watching Trolls. Even though whenever I would sing along with the songs Val would go “NOOOOO” haha I didn’t realize I was that tone deaf! Being an aunt is the best thing ever and I am eagerly counting down the days until Christmas so I can spoil my niece and nephew rotten!

The weekend fun did not end there because on Sunday, I was able to Zoom with one of my dear friends, Scott. I have been a friend to him and his family for over six years now and I really miss being able to see them regularly and go out for coffee and lunch. Scott and I chatted for over an hour about anything and everything and it was so refreshing to gab, laugh, reminisce, and, of course, look forward to when it’s safe so we can all see each other again. ❤

Afterwards, Johnny and I ordered Pizza Hut pizza and settled in to watch his favorite holiday movie, The Muppets Christmas Carol. Believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen the full movie because when I was younger the part with Marley and Marley used to scare me SO bad (This humors Johnny to no end!). I am proud to say, I was able to get through that part without incident as an adult and we both enjoyed our afternoon viewing/pizza party so much. We decided that we should watch it every year along with Elf – even though Johnny fell asleep when we watched it!

It is so easy to be bummed out about the state of the world right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, sometimes, all it takes is a little holiday magic to get yourself back to baseline. I can attest to that firsthand. 🙂

What is your favorite holiday movie? How do you like to spoil your loved ones during the holiday season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Silly Stuff Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Silly Stuff Edition

Hello! One of the most fun parts about dating Johnny is that I feel like we are constantly surprising each other with gifts that are either totally sweet or really silly. From cute coffee mugs and LEGO sets to random Honey Nut Cheerios found throughout my kitchen, where ever I turn in my apartment there seems to be a reminder of our relationship.

This past week, I arrived home with the DVD seen below and the following morning I woke up to a goofy surprise on my laptop:

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Throughout our days of being in lock down from COVID, Johnny and I talk about literally anything and everything. From world affairs to desert island favorites and the merits of Danny Trejo showing up in the most random movies, it’s never all that boring!

In fact, we’ve talked about Danny Trejo a lot so when I saw the TREJO TRIO DVD at the Dollar Tree I wasn’t not going to buy it. Lol, I was so excited to show Johnny my “can’t believe it’s only a dollar” find and we were completely cracking up after the grand reveal.

Obviously, Johnny and I both love to laugh so it was still surprising but no surprise that the following morning, I woke up to a Waffully Good Joke on my laptop. It was such a little, silly thing but it put me in the best mood when I woke up because I knew Johnny was thinking about me while he made his breakfast in the morning.

I love our relationship and our surprises to each other from the romantic and sentimental to the downright hysterical makes me so happy. A dollar DVD and a joke from the LEGGO waffles packaging kept me smiling all day and, sometimes, the simplest things can cause the biggest impact! ❤

What are some silly things that you and your friends or SO talk about? How do you surprise your loved ones? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Arranging An Unforgettable Birthday For Your SO

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Arranging An Unforgettable Birthday For Your SO

We’ve all been having a tough year and most of us are looking forward to things getting back to normal, now that there’s some hope on the horizon. If your SO has played a big role in helping you get through the obstacle course that the previous year has been, then it’s only right that you want to give them the big birthday bash they deserve. If things are safe enough to really enjoy the day with a bang by the time the big day rolls around, here are some tips on how to do it:

A wake up to remember:

There really are few things as heartwarming as getting breakfast in bed or waking up to find a little gift lying beside you on the pillow. You can make their morning truly special with even the smallest gestures to show that, yes, you do remember what day it is and you want to celebrate it as soon as possible. It doesn’t have to be a huge spread. However, one thing you don’t want to do is to wake up your SO just so you can give them the birthday morning you have planned. Get things ready for when they usually wake up and then wait for them to start to stir. Otherwise, you shouldn’t be surprised if they start off grumpy.

Pamper them silly:

Some people don’t like spa-like stuff, but you might be surprised how well some people can take to it if they have never felt it before. Whether it’s going for a full spa treatment, spending some time at the sauna together, or even just preparing an extra lush bath for them at home. If you’re feeling more romantically inclined, then you might think to arrange for a couple’s massage. If your SO has been working extra hard as of late to keep things going smoothly, then letting them take the edge off is the perfect way to acknowledge that and to make it clear that you care about their well being amongst all of this.

Arrange a big night on the town:

If it has been an extra-long while since you have both been able to go out and to enjoy the nightlife, then it might be the perfect time to think about taking them out with your shared group of friends to really live it up. You can order some table service to make sure your loved one really feels like a VIP, then go dancing, partying, and getting into some trouble with one another. Of course, not a great option if your loved one is more of a homebody who likes their creature comforts, but a lot of us have been just waiting for the opportunity to kick things off.

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Pixabay Image

The big party:

Sure, it might be the traditional idea, but for some people, the big birthday party really works. If it’s a particularly big birthday, such as the 21st, the 30th, or any of the other multiples of ten, it’s often expected that a little extra bit of fuss is made over a person. If it’s a special birthday, you can also get their loved ones such as friends and family involved in making it a really big event. However, if your SO has said that they genuinely don’t enjoy parties in the past and they have meant it, don’t assume that they do really love parties deep down. That simply is not the case for most people who say that.

Make it a time to appreciate them:

Not every way of celebrating their birthday has to be some big thing. Instead, you can just as easily leave little touches throughout the day that show them how much you care about them. For instance, one great gift could be a jar of love notes that they can open up throughout the day and beyond to see reasons that you love them, are grateful for them, memories you share with them, or even the occasional blue message if you want to take things into the boudoir. You can make things even more fun and leave these messages with little bonus gifts (like their favorite candy) in places they’re likely to look throughout the day.

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Pixabay Image

Go somewhere together:

This isn’t necessarily an idea that’s exclusive from those above. However, if you’re able to travel, then it might be a great idea to combine one of the ideas above with the chance to enjoy getting away from familiar locations. A great romantic city break could be just what you need so that you can both feel like you’re being treated to something special on the big day. You can order food, enjoy hotel facilities, and take the time to explore something new together. It’s a great way to create brand new memories and a lot of us have really been missing the chance to explore outside of our own neighborhoods for the past several months.

There is no particular event, expenditure, or organization that can make your SO’s birthday special. What is most important is that you think about what they would love and you do what you can to make it a reality. That’s the surest way to make them feel special!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

What Have I Been Up To?

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What Have I Been Up To?

Howdy! I will always be the first to say how much I miss pre-COVID life. I miss going on dates with Johnny, seeing all of our friends, and not worrying my head off every time I’m in public. And, as someone who works with very high risk families, nonessential outings just seem unimportant to me. So what in the heck have I been up to, then, if I don’t do much of anything in public any more? A whole lot of the following:

Reading:

I love, love, love to read and always have so ample at home time has meant finishing beaucoup books. I try to read at least two chapters or thirty or so pages depending on the book daily. Right now, I am finishing up the prequel to The Hunger Games called The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes and it is excellent! I have such a hankering now to go back and read the entire series and watch all of the movies, of course. 😀

The Sleeping Nymph by Ilaria Tuti is what’s on deck after my Hunger Games book. I am also always open to suggestions of your favorite books so be sure to let me know in the comments!

Duolingo:

Like reading, I try to practice all five of the languages I’m learning daily on Duolingo. I am currently on a twenty day streak of studying French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech and that is huge for me. The last time I had a streak that long was when I was recovering for a month from my oral surgery gone wrong.

I am very motivated to keep that streak going and I am so excited for Johnny to get me Duolingo Plus for Christmas so I no longer have to worry about having enough hearts to complete each practice session. I also plan on adding Swedish, Latin, or Greek into the mix next!

Video Chats:

My ultimate BFF, Lea, and I still see each other about once a month to have a social distanced drink at either one of our homesteads. Other than that, I do a lot of FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom to “see” all of the rest of my pals in my friend group. I love setting aside an hour block or so on the weekend to catch up with friends both near and far and it definitely helps keep me sane to chat even if it isn’t face to face.

Video Games:

Johnny and I are both in love with our Nintendo Switch and when I have some free time, I enjoy playing Animal Crossing. It is so relaxing and fun and I am always excited when the game updates so that you can catch new fish and bugs and participate in different activities like growing pumpkins or foraging mushrooms. I cannot wait to see what our island looks like for Christmas!

I also just beat Paper Mario: The Origami King last week and it was an absolute blast. Johnny got it for me for our one year anniversary and it felt so good to finally beat it. The game was insanely entertaining, visually beautiful, and it was challenging without ever being too too hard. I plan on buying a new Mario game for the Switch soon so if anyone has any favorites, please let me know. 🙂

Online Shopping:

Finally, there is nothing like a little bit of online shopping to help perk me up. I have so enjoyed all of my early Christmas shopping and I am very pleased to say that I am almost done buying for everyone on my gift list. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t pick out a little something something for myself too – especially since I haven’t gone shopping in person since February.

I love ordering small pick me ups like face masks to pamper myself with and, when I really feel like splurging, I never say no to a new pair of shoes!

Are the activities I listed above the most exciting? Not by a long shot. But I value my safety and those around me much more than needing to be out and about right now. So, in the end, it’s not all that bad. ❤

What are your favorite at home activities? What do you miss the most from pre-COVID times? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Are You Ready To Move In With Your Partner?

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Are You Ready To Move In With Your Partner?

So, you’ve met the perfect person. They make you happy in so many different ways and dating them is a dream. Sure, you’ve got your ups and downs, but nothing so far has been a deal breaker. If you’re wondering whether you’re ready to take the next step – moving in together – then take a look at these four key signs that you can start apartment-hunting:

It’s something you’ve already talked about:

If you aren’t talking about your future, then it might not be the right time to spring a conversation about moving in together on your partner. Not only is it healthy to keep communication lines open with your partner about what your expectations are of the relationship, but it will also indicate that you both want the same things and are prepared to take that next step together.

It’s not about “fixing” things:

You should avoid taking steps in your relationship because you’re expecting them to fix things. Moving in together won’t patch up a rocky relationship – that needs to come before you pick up the keys. Moving in together is a big deal, but it won’t suddenly mean your S.O. becomes a better communicator overnight, or more ambitious, or any other little annoyance that you’ve been ignoring up to now. If that’s your expectation, it might be time to put on the brakes.

You mostly agree:

Okay, we’re not saying you have to agree on everything – that would be pretty boring. But there does have to be a bit of common ground. If everything you’re looking for in an apartment is different, then that’s a reason to pause for thought. Are they interested in buying an apartment off the plan, but it’s not something you want? Or they’d prefer to be further outside the city whereas you want the nightlife? There should be an overlap of what you both want in the place you decide to cohabit. Of course, there will be points of compromise for both of you down this path, but that should make your relationship strong, rather than be a point of contention.

You’re okay with loosing some of your independence:

Again, this isn’t something that you’ll lose entirely. It’s usually a sign of an unhealthy relationship if you’re too dependent on each other. But at the same time, you will be giving up some of your own space and time for someone else. Rather than focusing on anything practical, like whether or not your lease is running out or you spend most of your time sleeping over at each other’s places, think about the emotional side of cohabiting. Is this person who you want to wake up next to every morning? Share meals with? Go through the ups and downs and life stresses with? If there’s a question mark hovering over those things, then you might be rushing into it.

Don’t downplay how important moving in together is – it’s usually the first steps towards a bright future for you and your partner. Just make sure you’re going in with your eyes open before you start picking out bedroom furniture!

Featured Image By: Pexels

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