Tag Archives: experience

Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

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Lil Red’s Holiday Shopping Pro Tips

Helloooo! There are some who holiday shop in the summer, there are those who wait until the last minute, and there might be a group of you who is getting their shopping done now, like myself. No matter what your shopping style, purchasing gifts for your loved ones can be a big task. No one wants to give a dud of a gift and this can be a huge stresser if you have someone on your list who’s difficult to shop for.

Lucky for all of you, Lil Red is an absolute pro at holiday shopping and I’m here to break down some of my favorite tips to make your experience much easier. Check it out:

Listen Up:

When trying to get inspired with gift ideas, I make an extra effort to put my listening ears on. For example, I purchased a gift for my mom this year because she flat out said in conversation that she would like this specific thing. Done. If you’re struggling for ideas, spark up a chat with the person you’re shopping for, because the answer might come a lot easier than you think. Discuss favorite things, favorite previous gifts or experiences, and the like and you should have a firm idea of what to purchase by the end of it.

Make A List:

I know that I put this suggestion in my shopping tips every year but that’s because it’s important. Keeping organized while completing your shopping is key because a jumbled mess just means extra stress. Write down everyone who you need to buy for, list some ideas of what you would like to gift them, and cross them off once the task is complete. This will also help you when you are making your rounds in store and online because it will give you a better idea of where to purchase what and you won’t end up back at the same place a million more times.

There’s No Shame In Gift Cards:

I always used to think that gift cards were a cop out but I have grown quite fond of purchasing them for gift giving occasions. Whether it be a ten dollar Starbucks gift card along with other goodies or treating the giftee to a night out for dinner and a movie – gift cards can go a long way. Gift cards are a great add on or full gift and it makes your shopping experience a lot easier if you are coming up short for ideas.

Give An Experience:

What do you give to the person who has it all? How about an experience! Take your favorite sports nut to a game. What about a spa day for your mom? Or take your favorite body modified blogger to the tattoo shop for the afternoon! Haha, either way, gifting experiences is a sure fire way to please even the most difficult person to shop for and you will both have happy memories to cherish afterwards.

And Remember…

Yes, holiday shopping can be stressful. But, it should be fun too! Being able to treat your loved ones to something special is a beautiful thing. Remember that, and your shopping experience will start feeling a whole lot better.

What are some of your tips and tricks for holiday shopping? Who is done with their shopping already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My Mary Kay Experience

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My Mary Kay Experience

Hello, hello my darlings! The last time I was at Elysian Nails getting a fill, I entered a raffle for a free Mary Kay facial and ten dollar gift card and, surprisingly, my name was called! I legit never win anything, so I was pretty excited and had the woman who was running the contest and in the Mary Kay business come to my apartment for some pampering.

Now, this might sound rude but ninety-nine percent of the time, I find the whole self directed sales thing incredibly annoying, for lack of a better word. I can’t stand getting messages from girls I went to high school with and were probably mean to me pushing their It Works, Scentsy, or Arbonne products. So, silly me for being under the impression that this experience with Mary Kay was going to be any different.

Using the products was fine but they weren’t that great and they were way too expensive for my TJMaxx skin care taste. I just couldn’t get into the whole showmanship of it all. It turned into a forty-five minute session of why Mary Kay is the jam, why their products are the jam, and how life changing being in the company is. And, maybe that’s true for some people, but I was not interested in it let alone the pressure I was put on to purchase the products I was trying.

I worked retail for five years and there is definitely a right and a wrong way to push product and these self directed saleswomen are just plain pushy. Am I happy that this lady came to my apartment? I guess. Was it a waste of time on one of my evenings off? Most definitely. *massive eyeroll*

How do you feel about self directed sales? Are there any businesses like that that you purchase from? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Raconteurs Concert

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The Raconteurs Concert

Hello hello my darlings! On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to be able to see my beloved Jack White for my second birthday concert in a row with The Raconteurs at Stage AE in Pittsburgh. As we all know, I love Jack White more than I love myself most days so when The Raconteurs came out with their first album in eleven years, Help Us Stranger, going to see them was an absolute necessity when they announced their tour.

As luck would have it, they ended up playing in one of my favorite cities (Pittsburgh), at one of my favorite venues (Stage AE) so my parents treated me to two tickets for my 25th birthday. For the past several years in a row, I have attended a concert with my sister for my birthday outing with her and it always ends up being one of the best nights of my life. I am so thankful to Kristen because even if she doesn’t like the band or is unfamiliar with them, she will go with me and words can’t describe how appreciative I am for that.

So, off to Pittsburgh we went to get re-antiquated with Stage AE, where we went to see Marilyn Manson two years ago and Jack White who we saw last year. Stage AE is such a fantastic venue because you can get so close to the stage, and we ended up being in the front row like how we were for Marilyn Manson. And, being that close to some of your favorite musicians is an experience that everyone should have.

Now, you’re probably wondering “where are the pictures?”. And, unfortunately, I have none. Jack White is quite strict about his “no phone” policy at concerts so Kristen and I just left ours in our car. However, the people who did bring theirs with them had to put them in a bag that was sealed with a security tag like they use at clothing stores and could only be removed by security after the show.

I understand this rule and I don’t. It is definitely nice to fully experience a concert without your phone in hand. However, not being able to snap a few pics or take a video is disappointing – especially since we were so close to the stage. I just feel lucky that when I saw Jack White at X-Fest last year, he was performing with other bands so the no phone rule didn’t apply and I was able to take pictures and videos to my heart’s content.

Speaking of other bands, Ex Hex opened for The Raconteurs and they were very good! The all female alt band really held their own nicely on stage and performed songs from their new album It’s Real. Ex Hex hasn’t been on my radar since my PacSun days so it was nice to see them evolve musically and I enjoyed their performance. They wouldn’t necessarily be who I would pick to open for The Raconteurs but it set a good vibe for the amazingness that was to come.

The Raconteurs came out swinging, opening with Bored and Razed and following up with a much loved favorite off of Broken Boy Soldiers, Level. They played a solid mix of nine songs off of Help Us Stranger with nine other tracks from Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers Of The Lonely peppered in for good measure.

I would have loved for them to throw in more of their heavy hitters from the albums, because a few of their choices were a bit too slow paced for my liking. This is especially due to the fact that a lot of their more mellow songs are sung by Brendan Benson with Jack White only accompanying on vocals. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the songs. But, Jack White has an undeniable presence and Benson just didn’t have that. It was also difficult to hear him throughout the concert.

It was awesome hearing a majority of the album Help Us Stranger, though, and their strong points were definitely with Don’t Bother Me and Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying). Shine The Light On Me was another especially powerful one off of their new album. The lighting was also very cool throughout the concert, going between green, red, and a lovely pale yellow which looked awesome on stage.

The highlights for me during the concert were when they brought back songs off of their first album, Broken Boy Soldiers. Their performance was really strong during these songs and it was amazing to hear them close with Broken Boy Soldier, because that’s my absolute favorite song by them. The instrumentals paired with the shocking green light made for an unforgettable version of it and that is what I immediately think of when replaying the night in my head.

Thankfully, they encored with SEVEN MORE SONGS because the first half of the show just wasn’t enough. And, it was a spectacular ending when they concluded with a long version of Blue Veins set to moody midnight lighting and, of course, ultimately bidding their farewells with Steady, As She Goes – as to be expected.

Despite some qualms with not having my phone and a few song choices I could have done without, it was an overall fantastic concert. The gentlemen in The Raconteurs play off of each other so well and are such a cohesive group that watching them put it all together was nothing short of mesmerizing. Although they sounded great, Jack White definitely carried the weight of the show on his shoulders. And, believe me, I am so okay with this. But, it would have been nice to have seen the other guys step up a little more because they are all extremely talented, in their own right.

My fourth concert experience in Pittsburgh was an absolute success and I am looking forward to attending more shows with the best sister a gal could ask for. Sadly, Jack White didn’t notice me pounding White Claws in the audience, but there’s always next time, right?

What concerts have you been to this year? Who else is a fan of The Raconteurs? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: NPR

Psychic Experience

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Psychic Experience

Hiiii! Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I thought that it would be fun to go see a psychic. He has been to one before and I never have so we made a little afternoon of it. After searching for “the best psychics in Cleveland” for what felt like forever, we landed on a woman named Faye who had pretty solid reviews. Of course, all of the reviews for each place were a mixed bag with some people saying it was a scam and others claiming that it was the best reading of their life.

For cheapness’s sake, we decided to both do a palm reading and went on our merry way to meet Faye, who has a small business in downtown Cleveland. Her shop was very tiny with a sitting area in the front and an office style room in the back where she did her readings. As soon as we walked in, she decided that I would go first so I went back while my boyfriend waited up front.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely believe in the other wordly and spiritual powers. I do feel like Faye had it, but I also know when someone is just trying to upsell you and that’s exactly what she did to both me and my MAN. It was basically a case of “I can tell you more but you have to come back”. *Massive eye roll*

However, what she did tell me during the brief ten minute reading was all correct. She started off with the basic “you had a difficult childhood/teenage years blah, blah, blah” which I feel like isn’t that hard to tell by looking at me, lol. But, then she continued with being able to tell that I worked in the care profession, recently moved out, and had two specific people in my family that I worry about the most – which is all accurate. She also didn’t know my name so it’s not like she Facebooked me or read my blog beforehand.

I do wish that we could have talked longer, because I feel like she was holding back on everything that she told me so that she could pull the “but wait, there’s more” card. But, it was a really cool experience for what it was and it was even better that my boyfriend came up with such a unique date idea. Six out of ten, would go to Faye again. Twelve out of ten, would recommend this date to others!

Have you ever been to a psychic? What are your thoughts in favor or against practices like that? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Living Microbladed

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Living Microbladed

Helloooo everyone and welcome to one of two follow up posts from Lil Red’s Adventures In Microblading! As you all know, I visited La Marie Brow Club in Pittsburgh in October to have my brows finessed by my cousin, Laura. And, now that my makeup routine has been literally cut back seventy-five percent and I never have to buy an eyebrow pencil again, I simply cannot believe that I didn’t have Laura do my brows when she began her business last year. Take a look at my result pics and let’s discuss:

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Living Microbladed is the best thing that ever could have happened to my face, lol. Seriously, the time that is saved from having perfect brows is second to none. I can sleep in longer or I can get up at my normal time and finish an extraordinary amount of work on my blog before I leave for work because I’m not wasting my time trying to get both eyebrows to look exactly the same with makeup.

My new eyebrows make me feel SO freaking confident. They frame my face in a way that my natural brows never could, with or without makeup, and they make my eyes pop, pop, pop! Even my boyfriend thinks that they make me look “more sophisticated” and I totally agree – I love it!

Laura is going to touch my brows up in mid December and during this session she is going to add any extra hair strokes that she might have missed. I am also going to have her darken them to the color that they were when I first got them done. The color that Laura chose is perfect because it’s the exact same color as the pencil that I was using. But, now that they have lightened to that color, I now know that I prefer them to be a bit darker. I’m excited! 😀

I cannot wait to visit La Marie Brow Club again in December and do be sure to check out my last blog post on my adventures and schedule your appointment with Laura today!

Would you ever get microbladed? What is your eyebrow makeup routine? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making New Friends As An Adult

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Making New Friends As An Adult

Hey everyone and happy Sunday! As I make my way deeper into my twenty somethings, I find that I have had an increasingly difficult time making new friends. I work for myself, I’m no longer forced to be around anyone because I’m not in school, and, sometimes, talking to new people can be down right scary! Although Lil Red might seem like a confident gal, I still have issues with social anxiety. And, racing thoughts of whether an attempt at small talk will be a hit or miss can leave even the most confident in a tizzy.

But, then, I started utilizing the “what have I got to lose” mindset. The literal worst that can happen is that someone gives you the old “let’s get coffee sometime” and you never do. But, if you’re successful, you could have a brand new friend to get to know and spend time with.

I’ve began putting myself out there more and more lately and, I’ve got to say, it feels great! I’ve been attending different clubs of my interests at the local libraries and have even suggested a hang out with my favorite barista at Starbucks – and it worked! I have also been trying hard to maintain wonderful relationships with my old friends, because a phone works two ways.

I want to continue spending my free time in a meaningful way, and putting forth a better effort to make new friends has definitely helped me achieve this goal. Within just a few months, I feel like my anxiety in unfamiliar situations or speaking with a stranger while out and about has decreased significantly.

I started out small, by striking up a Facebook conversation with the people that I admired from afar and worked my way up from there. And, now, I have a plethora of both new and old friends that I would feel comfortable initiating a hang out with. I’m proud of myself for setting this goal and sticking to it, because meeting new people can be hard. But, once I got over the initial scare factor, it turned out to be an exciting adventure in my life and I’m looking forward to continuing to meet more new potential friends!

Does anyone else experience difficulty making new friends in adulthood? What are some of your tips for putting yourself out there? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Him

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Valentine’s Day Gifts For Him

Okay! Yesterday, we talked about some amazing V-Day gift ideas for her. But, now it’s time to hear it for the boys. I’ve noticed throughout the years that some guys are incredibly easy to shop for, while others are damn near impossible. So no matter what difficulty level your boyfriend is on the gifting scale, there are sure to be some ideas that you can work with below. Let’s get to it:

First Of All:

The first thing that I mentioned yesterday was that a card is a necessity in a Valentine’s Day gift for a girlfriend. And, coincidentally, the same goes for your man candy. Guys like romance, too! They might just not be as outward and vocal about it. What do you love about your boyfrand? What makes him different from literally every single guy on the planet? Write it out! Underneath all of the fart jokes and actual farting, there is a sensitive ball of mush in your boyfriend and a card can be just the way to tap into that.

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Definitely not this one!! ^^^

Dapper Dudes:

Does your guy love to get suited up, duded up, and fancy free every chance he can get? Accessories can be a great way to go, then. Enhance the fance with pocket squares, tie clips, cuff links, watches (Wrist or pocket!), and ties. All of these things will take his ensemble to the next level and it will add your personal touch to each of his looks. This is an incredibly thoughtful way to go, especially if your man has a passion for fashion.

Give Him Some Sugar:

My best friend and I have made chocolate truffles together and it was so much fun and totally delicious. Reach out to your girls and plan an evening to set up bake shop. Sweet treats always go down well and it’s even better when they’re hand made just for him. Throw on a rom-com, pour the wine, and enjoy a bake night with your friends. And, yes, you can taste test! 😀

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^ I promise this chocolate was more delicious than it looks!

Gamer Guys:

A favorite way to pass time for a lot of guys is spent by playing video games. If this sounds like your significant other, get competitive with him and take him out for a night of gaming fun. So many bars now feature arcade games, new and old school, to enjoy and that can be an amazing way to spend an evening. If no bars around you have the arcade game option, Dave & Buster’s or other similar establishments work just as well.

Hone In On Hobbies:

Many a man really enjoys experience gifts rather than sentimental trinkets. So what are some of your boyfriend’s hobbies? Does he love music? Is he a fan of trying different beers when he can? Maybe he loves to cook? Take what your guy enjoys and turn it into a date night. He’ll be shocked that you remembered and touched that you want to share his interests with him.

Still Need Some More Options?

  • Treating your S/O to dinner and a movie is a nice surprise, especially if he doesn’t pick the restaurant or flick very often.
  • If your guy has a beard or is picky about his hair, a trip to the barber to get duded up is a great option. Definitely include his favorite products and beard balm!
  • Couple’s massages, anyone?
  • Does your boyfriend work out? Paying for a few months of his gym membership is sure to please!

And Remember:

As I said yesterday, it’s not about spending money but making memories! There are so many ways to spoil your boothang rotten without breaking the bank. Ball out if you want to, but creating a unique experience for your guy is what Valentine’s Day is all about! Make your day fun or make it romantic, but most importantly – make it special.

What are some of your gift ideas for him for V-Day? Does anyone have Valentine’s Day plans already? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Tumblr