Tag Archives: cleveland

Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush Edition

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Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush Edition

Hi everyone and happy weekend! When my sister, mom, and I hit up Beachwood Mall in Cleveland last week, we had our very first Lush shopping trip. Throughout the years of blogging, I’ve seen posts about Lush products almost daily so, of course, I was eager to finally be able to try them out for myself.

To be honest, the entire experience was a bit underwhelming. The store was small and crowded, the products seemed to be outrageously overpriced, and everything there just seemed…unnecessary. I don’t know, I’m all for treating yourself and I’m happy that I bought some goodies just to try them out but I don’t think that I would ever purchase anything from there again. I guess I fail to see the point of becoming a Lush patron when there are countless stores that have better prices, products, and an overall shopping experience. This was a disappointing realization, to say the least, since I was pretty excited to give them a go.

But all of this is neither here nor there because the products have been bought and I have every intention of enjoying them when I have a pampering party. I started my Lush experience with their “DAD” bath bomb, which I thought was a hilarious purchase. Lol, like why? Haha, I saw it and, because I pride myself on my offbeat sense of humor, I just had to add this to my purchase pile. Take a look at my DAD bomb work its magic:

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So this bath bomb didn’t really smell like anything. Its scent was neither bad nor good so there wasn’t much of an aromatic atmosphere happening in the tub. However, it was pretty fun to watch the bath bomb explode into an array of blues, whites, and oranges. It fizzled for a fairly long time, too – at least twelve to fifteen minutes and by the time I eased into the tub, it still wasn’t done.

I liked the cyan color that the bath water ultimately turned in to and I also appreciated that it didn’t leave any crayon colored residue on the tub. The best part of my DAD bomb was how moisturized it made my body feel. I felt so silky smooth upon exiting my bath and my skin felt so nourished and well taken care of. This was a really nice touch, because the two bath bombs that I had used prior to this one didn’t leave my skin feeling any different.

Overall, I did enjoy using this Lush product. However, I can’t justify spending eight dollars plus on a bath bomb in the future. That shopping trip was fun and, like I said, I was okay with buying things because I had never been to Lush before. After I finish up my purchases, I’m beyond cool with sticking to buying random bath bombs at TJMaxx for three bucks a pop and face masks from The Body Shop, which I always manage to get excellent prices on either online or (once again) at TJs.

So there you have it, my first Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush Edition! How do you feel about Lush? What is your favorite product from there? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Monday Update: Zara Haul Edition

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Monday Update: Zara Haul Edition

Guys. I did something bad……

I spent way too much money at Zara yesterday. But before you all sharpen the pitchforks and yell at me for giving in to my shopping addiction – LET ME EXPLAIN!!! My mom, sister, and I had a GAO (Girls’ Afternoon Out) and ventured out to Beachwood Mall, which is about a thirty-five minute trek for us. This mall is freaking amazing. It’s home to Zara, Lush, a HUGE Forever 21, H&M, Saks, Nordstrom, and the list goes on. So, not only were we in exotic new territory that we never get to go to, BUT Zara was having an incredible sale. You can’t not stock up at your favorite store when you don’t get to go very often, right? RIGHT?!

And stock up, I did. This week will be dedicated to my gorgeous new wardrobe additions compliments of my all on sale Zara Haul. We’ll start with the newest update to my business casual attire with this darling little number seen below:

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Zara button downs give me life and, coincidentally, quirky button downs make up a majority of my business cashe collection. So, obviously, I HAD TO BUY IT!! I snagged this lady bug beauty for twenty bucks. I’m not sure of the original price on this shirt, but the last button down I purchased from Zara was fifty smackers, so I consider this a steal!

This oversized button down is wonderful because it’s versatile. It’s long enough to be worn as a dress with a thick pair of tights underneath and a belted middle or over top of super skinny jeans tucked or untucked for a whimsical work look. I love wearing my other Zara button down as a dress, especially in this summer heat. However, both of these tops look totally darling tucked into pants or a skirt, as well.

Accessories are key when it comes to styling a business casual ensemble, so opt for a chunky necklace, a statement ring or two, and some killer heels to make you queen of the office!

This week on lifewithlilred will be an ode to all things Zara, starting with my Monday Update: Zara Haul Edition! Tune in tomorrow to see another one of my on sale snags. What is your favorite store to shop at? Who else goes a bit credit card happy when their favorite store is far away? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

P.S.: I bought some goodies at Lush for the first time so be on the lookout for some Bath Bomb Blitz posts in the future! 😀

Dear College Self,

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Dear College Self,

Hey everyone and happy Thursday! As a fairly recent college grad (Winter of 2016, baby!), I find myself missing my Alma Mater constantly. Cuyahoga Community College, AKA Tri-C, is where I obtained my Associate of Arts and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful teachers that I encountered who helped me achieve graduating Magna Cum Laude (woo!). And the students weren’t so bad, either! I am always playing around with the idea of going back to school because I loved it so much but there are definitely some things that I would do differently this time around if I go back for my Associate of Science in the future – like the following:

Dear College Self,

First, let me repeat for the millionth time that there is no shame in waiting to go to school like I did. Thanks to my two year hiatus after high school, I was able to build up my bank account while climbing the corporate ladder at my job. I also realized after a four year stint at the same place that working in the mall for the rest of my life definitely isn’t for me (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)!

After feeling unbearably stuck in life and at work, I decided to take a huge leap of faith and started classes at Tri-C as well as creating lifewithlilred. And you know what? College wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! And by “wasn’t as bad”, I mean it really wasn’t bad at all. Being in a classroom, whether it be in real life or online, was definitely a change of pace but it was a welcomed one. Using my brain to solve adult problems felt so good after years of monotony and a zest for learning, which was nonexistent in high school, seemed to appear over night. Like I said, it was an exciting change of pace!

Despite an overwhelmingly amazing college experience, there are always things that you wish you would have done differently. Starting college a little later in the game made me hesitant to try new things on campus. Different clubs, events, and programs were constantly going on throughout the week and I never made one cameo appearance at any of them. The sad thing is, is that Tri-C is a place for people of literally all ages (from 16 to 90!), and my discomfort in my situation never allowed me to fully embrace what a unique community that Tri-C is. This is definitely something that needs to change when I eventually go back for my Associate of Science and I am committed to becoming more involved during my next go around.

And, of course, this is the generic “what I wish I did differently response” but I really do wish that my college self would have studied just a little bit harder. Not really knowing about graduating with honors until the literal day of graduation was a mistake on my part. How does someone not know about the world of Cum Laude if they’re in college? Lol, I’m not sure. Probably because even when I started classes at Tri-C, I wasn’t focused on the end goal and that was another major mistake. Had I known that I was devastatingly close to graduating Summa Cum Laude, I would have pushed and applied myself way harder to achieve that honor. But hey, there’s always next time – right?!

Although there are things that I wish I could redo about my college experience, I still graduated with flying colors and finally took an interest in becoming a more educated and well rounded individual. That makes me incredibly proud of my college self and I’m looking forward to applying an even more studious and adventurous spirit to college life if I go back to school again.

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What advice would you give to your college self? What would your advice be to college students right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

U2 Concert!!!

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U2 Concert!!!

Hi everyone and happy Tuesday! Saturday, July 1st was a fantastic and wonderful day, because I got to see one of my favorite bands, U2, perform live for the second time. My Irish lads graced Cleveland, Ohio with their presence for their last concert in America for the 30th anniversary tour of The Joshua Tree and I was lucky enough to be there for it.

Honestly, saying that I felt euphoric that night is an understatement. There is nothing quite like seeing one of your all time favorite bands live. Like, you’re hearing them in person, actually seeing them with your own two eyes, and breathing in the air that they are. In CLEVELAND, OHIO?! Lol, it’s insane. I still can’t wrap my head around it, but it happened. U2 was so nice that I saw them twice and this tour was even more magical than the first.

Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss. BUT, bear in mind that my iPod camera sucks so some of them are pretty low quality. However, there are some awesome shots that my dad took with his camera thrown in for your viewing pleasure!

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^^^ Pics taken by yours truly!

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^^^ Pics taken by yours truly’s father!

Unfortunately, we don’t have any halfway decent photos of OneRepublic during their opening set. The sun was just beating down and naturally, it seemed to focus right in on our seating section, so snapping any type of pic that actually looked good was damn near impossible. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed myself while they were performing. It’s not like I hate OneRepublic but it’s also not like I’m their number one fan, either. But, my god, do they sound good live. The lead singer was an excellent showman and they did a wonderful job of hyping up the crowd.

OneRepublic sounded the same, if not better than they do on their albums and it was nice having an opener who actually did a good job. Interpol opened for U2 during the 360 tour, which I attended, and they were abysmal at best. OneRepublic essentially performed a best of their radio hits compilation including “Apologize”, “Counting Stars”, and “Good Life”, which I thought was an incredibly smart move on their part. No one wants to see an opener play obscure songs that they can’t sing along to. Despite never listening to the radio, I still was able to sing along to all of their songs, which was a great way to lift my spirits even higher for when U2 took stage.

Am I OneRepublic’s biggest fan now? No. Not even close. But they really did put on a sublime opening act. They were charismatic and had great quips with the crowd, which is always fun. But, most importantly, they showed genuine talent and musical ability and that made listening to a band that is far from my favorite an utter delight.

Now, let’s get to U2 because I almost had a heart attack when a lone Larry Mullen appeared on stage, sat himself down at his drum set, and began pounding away the iconic beginning to “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. And when I say that I almost had a heart attack, I literally did. Hello. They just opened the show with my favorite song instead of with The Joshua Tree’s opener of “Where The Streets Have No Name”. I genuinely believed that I had died and gone to heaven.

“Sunday Bloody Sunday” was followed by “New Year’s Day”, which was another obvious crowd (and Sarah) pleaser. My god, it was just magnificent. After two back to back strong openers, the pace slowed down a little with “Bad” followed by “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”. Despite an almost abrupt feeling change of pace, it was pure U2 and they were so in their element that you couldn’t even be mad at them.

Now, up until the band began playing The Joshua Tree in its entirety, they were performing solely on the tree silhouette, which can be seen in the pictures above. But, the show didn’t even seem to begin until they made their way back onto the main stage and “Where The Streets Have No Name” started to play.

With the shift into U2 playing their 30th anniversary album, the infinitely long screen backing the stage turned into the background for videos specially designed for each song. With every hit you were transported into videos that told stories of the land, war, poverty, agony, love, and pride. From ordinary citizens placing an army helmet on their heads to strong and stoic Native Americans gently guarding their homeland, you got the sense of what the songs on The Joshua Tree were originally written for and what they mean to the band now in a time of such political and emotional turmoil.

Throughout the show, you could tell how much the band genuinely enjoyed bringing this album back to life. A light-spirited Bono playfully called his whole band sexy as well as the entire city of Cleveland (ayyy!) and halfway through The Joshua Tree set he graciously took a moment to welcome us to the second half of the album. What a guy, what a guy, what a heck of a guy.

It was funny hearing The Joshua Tree live, because you often forget about that almost country twang that the second half of the album brings. This was even more emphasized with videos of a skinny jeaned and denim button down clad woman painting an American flag on an abandoned home. She then showed off her lassoing skills in a red, white, and blue bikini top. Mama Mia!

After The Joshua Tree set ended with “Mothers Of The Disappeared” that came with a powerful backdrop of children holding candles that eventually blew out, we were invited by Bono to “stick around” for their encore. You would have been a fool not to. The encore was a fun, upbeat party to some of their most well known hits, which included “Elevation”, “Vertigo”, “Mysterious Ways”, and my all time favorite – “Beautiful Day”. You guys already know how much that song means to me, so yes, the water works were definitely flowing at their hardest then!! (I have no shame in admitting that I cried like a baby for a majority of the concert – I really just can’t help myself!)

U2’s encore ended with a gorgeous performance of “One” to draw a perfect night to a close. Guys – it really was perfect. I can’t explain to you how special it was to see the band that is so loved by my entire family while standing side by side with them in the stands. I consider myself so lucky that I have gotten to see U2 not once but twice now at 23 and both shows would literally have to be pried from my memory banks to be forgotten.

So there you have it, my experience at the U2 Concert!!! What shows have you seen recently? Who is attending any music festivals this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

U2 Concert Excitement!!

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U2 Concert Excitement!!

Hey everyone and happy weekend!! I am starting the month of July off with a bang because I get to see one of my favorite bands live for the SECOND time – U2!! It’s a very exciting time to be a Lil Red because not even two weeks ago, I got to see my other favorite band in concert, AFI. I have loved U2 ever since I was a kid (so a real Lil Lil Red!). Having two parents that simply live for them instilled a deep love for U2 in me from a young age.

Lyrics from “Beautiful Day” was the first thing that I got tattooed on me the day that I turned eighteen and it will always remain one of my favorite songs until the day I die. I was lucky enough to see U2 in Pittsburgh a couple of years back for their 360 tour and I had the time of my life. Best believe I ugly cried the whole time. Anyways, when my family heard that a 30th anniversary tour for The Joshua Tree was happening, it wasn’t so much as a need than a must to see them again – especially since they’ll be in Cleveland!

OneRepublic will be the opener, and although I’m not their biggest fan, they are sure to put on a fun show. But to see songs from U2’s iconic album live and in the flesh will definitely make tonight one to remember! I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!! Definitely check back for my concert review and think of me if you happen to listen to U2 today. What concerts are you attending this summer? Who else is a major U2 fan? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Live Nation

AFI Concert!!

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AFI Concert!!

Hiii everyone and happy Thursday!! So Tuesday night was my 23rd birthday outing with my sister and it was a blast. Kristen treated me to tickets to see my favorite band, AFI, in concert at my favorite venue, the House Of Blues, in Cleveland. For the past three months since I knew that AFI was coming to my neck of the woods, I have had many an emo girl fantasy about this concert. Seriously – you guys have no idea how much I love them, so Kristen hit the nail on the head with this birthday gift!

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Sissy! ❤

Despite a horrific drive to Cleveland, the night was a great big blasty blast. And by horrific drive I mean that literally every single traffic light in downtown Cleveland wasn’t working so it was an all out free for all on the road. It was straight up anarchy and it was absolutely terrifying. SO after locating a parking garage, a lot of deep breathing, and not thinking about the movie montage of your life that flashes before your eyes when you’re scared, we made our way to some actual fun.

The most wonderful thing about the House Of Blues is the opportunity that comes with seeing shows there. The venue is so open (yet intimate), that it’s really easy to plant yourself in prime position right in front of the stage. Kristen and I found ourselves with the best view at the end of the front row and it was magical, to say the least. Every show that I’ve been to at the HOB has provided me with a spectacular view of the stage and Tuesday night was no exception (Thank gawd!).

Now, I’m going to keep it real with you guys: I genuinely have no clue who opened the show. Lol, I was having myself a drink and a really good time so I wasn’t even paying attention. For once, the people standing by us were insanely cool so Kristen and I were chatting it up with them and it was so unexpectedly fun. Do I regret not listening to or even noticing the opening bands? Not really, lol. And from what I did hear I wasn’t impressed anyways so I can’t say that I was missing out on too much! 😉

Fast forward to when AFI came on stage and I got to see the man that I’ve been crushing on since I was nine years old in the flesh right in front of me. Guys. When I laid eyes on Davey Havok, I lost my shit – to put it mildly. 1) He’s drop dead gorgeous. 2) He’s drop dead talented. What a voice. What a performer. WHAT A MAN.

^^^ Unfortunately, the pics that I managed to snap aren’t the best and I can’t upload videos on to my posts so you’ll just have to take my word for how amazing AFI is live.

So there was a positive and negative to seeing my favorite band perform. The positive? AFI put on a hell of a show. They performed with so much energy that you could literally feel it radiating off of them and they sounded sublime. They sounded like angels that were singing sweet nothings into my ear and, in this instance, that was an actual thing. I got to hear Davey Havok sing, scream, and belt it out in that fluctuating low to high voice that is so uniquely his own. Talk about dying and going to heaven.

The show was fast paced, super emo, and so incredibly cool. So the negative? Idk, it felt a bit impersonal? Like, the songs kept coming one after the other and as much as I love me some Davey, I feel like he didn’t really care to build a rapport with the crowd. We were all showing the band the love and the whole show just seemed rushed. Not only that, but it felt like they weren’t on stage for all that long. Granted, this might just be me being greedy and wanting them to play all night, BUT STILL. I hate to say this, but after the encore was over and the show was officially done, the first words that Kristen and I shared with each other was “is that it?”. Whomp whomp.

BUT THE POSITIVE, THOUGH?! I got to hear my favorite band perform my favorite song at my favorite venue with my favorite person. I got to hear AFI play Silver And Cold. I got to hear the song that my nine year old self specifically bought the album Sing The Sorrow for. The first album I ever bought with my own money, as a matter of fact. That song has always been one of my all time favorites, not just by AFI, but in general. And I got to hear it live. What even. (Insert the part where I talk about how my inner emo kid felt an abundance of pure and complete joy. That happened.)

Forget about any negativity in this post because even with all things considered, Tuesday June 20th was one of the best nights of my life. There’s something so special about being able to see your favorite band perform right in front of your eyes and I got to experience that. Thank you so much to my amazing big sister for making that possible. I LOVE YOU, KRISTEN!! ❤

So there you have it, the AFI Concert! What shows are you going to this summer? What is your favorite concert that you’ve been to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super, Crazy, Exciting Week!!

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Super, Crazy, Exciting Week!!

Hi everyone and happy Sunday! Omg. I am literally SO excited for tomorrow and Tuesday that I really just can’t even. Tomorrow, my darling boyfriend is moving back to Ohio from North Carolina to be with yours truly. We are so in love and so unbelievably thrilled for the next steps in our relationship. This week we’ll be looking for apartments for him and I have a few in mind so it’s going to be really fun to explore all of them together! I’m picking him up from the airport tomorrow morning and I’m so insanely happy that I don’t even care about waking up at the (butt)crack of dawn to do it. Eeeeeee!!!!

So, my boyfriend moving back home is super exciting BUT that’s not all!! My sister, Kristen, is literally my favorite person on the planet. Perhaps even more so now considering that she’s taking me to see my favorite band on the planet, AFI, on Tuesday for my birthday. My emo fantasy band is performing at my favorite venue on the planet, the House Of Blues, in Cleveland on Tuesday and I get really verklempt just thinking about it.

I have been BEGGING Kristen for months to get me tickets for my birthday ever since I saw that my boys were coming to our neck of the woods and, like an amazing sister/best friend, she pulled through. I am more than prepared to headbang and cry the entire time and it’s going to be a beautiful, wonderful, fantastic night! And, in our sister tradition, we are totes getting Taco Bell after the show, which is what we always do after going to the House Of Blues. I LOVE US! ❤

I am so beyond ready for my Super, Crazy, Exciting Week and I can’t wait to tell you all more about it as the days go by! Who else has exciting plans for the week? What summer concerts are you planning on attending? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah