Tag Archives: celebrate

Making Every Family Dinner Special

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Making Every Family Dinner Special

If you want to spend more quality time with your family but you’re struggling to figure out how to do it, one way is to start making your family dinners special. If you all sit down for dinner and ignore one another while scrolling on your phones or watching TV, of course it’s going to feel like you don’t have enough quality time together.

Similarly, if you all eat dinner separately, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to catch up with one another. It might not be possible to do this every day, but there are all kinds of benefits to having dinner together each night. If you want to make the family dinners that you do have together more special, then read on for some advice:

Make It A Ritual:

Start by making it a ritual. Try to do family dinners at the same time, wash up beforehand, and name three things you’re grateful for before you begin to eat. Of course, your ritual may differ – but it’s definitely worth coming up with one that means something to you.

Set The Table:

Set the table for your dinner with nice plates and cutlery, place mats, a tablecloth, and even candles. Make it look fancy. This is especially important if you don’t get to have many family dinners together. Setting the table nicely can make a huge difference to the atmosphere.

Have Themed Nights:

It can be really fun to have themed dinner nights together. You could have Mexican nights, Italian food nights, and even nights based around Porter & York meats. Having themes can keep family dinners exciting and give some structure to your week if you have one every few days.

Turn Off The TV:

Ban phones from the table and don’t watch the TV, either. Enjoy one another’s company. Listen and concentrate – these could be the most meaningful moments of your day! This is so much better than spending hours sitting together while not really concentrating on one another at all.

Prep Together:

Involving your family in the preparation of the dinner can help everyone to get more invested in the meal and bond beforehand. This is especially great for younger members of the family, as they tend to enjoy helping and will learn a lot from it. They are also far more likely to eat different foods if they have had a hand in making them!

Find Something To Celebrate:

It doesn’t need to be a special occasion for you to find something to celebrate. Has somebody in the family achieved something? It doesn’t matter how small – find something and celebrate it! At the very least, this will make each dinner a cheery event and teach everybody to look for the good, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant!

Family dinners are tons of fun and helps bring you and yours closer together. Bon appetit!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Social Distanced Halloween Fun

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Social Distanced Halloween Fun

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

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

Pumpkin Patches:

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

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

Apple Orchards:

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

At Home Trick Or Treat:

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

Scary Movie Marathon:

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

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

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

Fun & (Video) Games

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Fun & (Video) Games

Hi! Johnny and I celebrated our one year anniversary on September first – hurray! Pre-Johnny, I never played video games too often. Of course, I played my fair share of Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. back in the day. I was also addicted to Diablo II on the ol’ desktop computer. Besides from those, that’s about as far as my video game expertise goes. Until Johnny and I started dating that is! Before, all I had was a lowly GameCube and Wii – now we collectively have a Switch and a PlayStation 3.

In recent quarantine times, I developed a huge taste for Animal Crossing and try to check in on my island at least every other day. I also love playing throwback Mario games on the Switch’s Super Nintendo Arcade. Other than that, though? Nothing really. Until Johnny and I exchanged gifts for our one year that is!

For part of my gift (Tune in later for more on our celebration!), Johnny ceremonially turned the Switch on and displayed on the screen was both Paper Mario: The Origami King and Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls. I absolutely LOVE the Paper Mario games and have been telling Johnny I want to try The Origami King for the past few months now. I also haven’t played Diablo III in over half a decade so that was just the cherry on top of a perfect gift.

Johnny and I recently watched an excellent documentary on Netflix called High Score. The series was about seven or eight episodes long and it discussed the evolution of video games from the old school arcades to present day. I think the video game bug definitely bit the both of us while we bingewatched High Score and I can see it reflected in my anniversary gift – I’m so not mad about it though!

In fact, I think I shall dub our one year as the Fun & Games anniversary because I, too, got something entertainment based for Johnny. That’s right, I got him the Millennium Falcon LEGO set from Star Wars. No, not the crazy expensive sets – however, we decided our five year will be the Upgrade the Millennium Falcon anniversary! Johnny put his space craft together in one evening and I am already looking forward to more time with Paper Mario and Diablo, lol. I’m looking forward to more time with my MAN the most and here’s to our one year together. ❤

Which anniversary did you and your partner celebrate this year? How did you celebrate? 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

A Flower For Me

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A Flower For Me

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Blogging BFF Edition

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Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Blogging BFF Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday To Me Haul: BFF Edition

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Happy Birthday To Me Haul: BFF Edition

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Work Fam Edition

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Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Work Fam Edition

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

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

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

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

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

My 26th Birthday Celebration

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My 26th Birthday Celebration

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

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

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

Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Boyfriend’s Fam Edition

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Happy Birthday To Me Haul: Boyfriend’s Fam Edition

Hello!!! My boyfriend, Johnny, and I have worked out a pretty good schedule on celebrating special occasions between both of our families. So, on Johnny’s birthday we headed to his parents’ house for lunch and on my birthday weekend we went to my mom and dad’s for pizza. I am so thankful that I have a wonderful relationship with Johnny’s parents and feel just as happy that he gets along so well with my family, too.

Visiting with Johnny’s mom and dad is always such a treat because they are the absolute sweetest people and we can have a great time just sitting on the couch and talking. For Johnny’s birthday, we received their barely used air fryer, which was amazing because we were literally just about to buy one. They also sent the following for my birthday:

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^^^ Lol, never mind our mess on the coffee table!! We’ve been building with LEGO like crazy!

Johnny’s mom and dad sent me over a beautiful, colorful bouquet and a variety pack of gourmet popcorn. Receiving flowers is one of my favorite things – blame it on years of being gifted with them through theater and figure skating. I love the multicolored roses because they are unique and different just like me. And, sampling each popcorn flavor with my boyfriend during movie night was delicious… Especially the spicy sriracha flavor! 😀

Am I thrilled about now being 26? Not particularly. But, being the birthday girl to so many people who love me makes up for it. ❤

What is your favorite popcorn flavor? What is one of your favorite gifts to receive? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah