Tag Archives: favorite

Sweet Surprises: It Doesn’t Take Much Edition

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Sweet Surprises: It Doesn’t Take Much Edition

Hello everyone! With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought I would take a minute to commemorate my darling boyfriend, Johnny, because he so deserves it! As we all know, Lil Red is a huge fan of sweet surprises and I like to show my gratitude for any type of gift that is treated to me with a blog post. So, here we are!

I, myself, am a huge fan of administering surprises even though I’m rotten at keeping my surprise a surprise! I feel like Johnny and I are always picking each other up a little something while we’re out and about whether it be a cool find at a thrift store or just grabbing dinner on the way home from work. Either way, it’s fun giving and receiving small treasures from the one you love best.

As the title of this post states, it really doesn’t take much to make me happy. In fact, just a six pack of tiny Diet Coke cans waiting for me in my fridge once I got home from a long day at work was enough to turn my day around. Let’s discuss:

pop

After my horrible oral surgery gone wrong last winter, I totally lost my taste for pop or coffee and became a fairly avid tea drinker. The harshness of the coffee’s caffeine and the pop’s carbonation was enough to put my stomach in knots, especially since I was used to only drinking the flat chocolatey chalk of Ensure for over a month and a half.

Once I was about four months out from my recovery and sunny days were a norm in Ohio again, the thought of an ice cold can of pop was enough to make my mouth water. And, as a bonus, I was able to drink it without an upset stomach. Back in the day, I was a Diet Coke fiend and could drink six cans a day, easily. Now, I might have one or two cans a week. But, when I do, it always hits the spot.

I haven’t been grocery shopping in a while and Johnny knows that I have been mooching on my mom and dad’s pop stash while I work from their home. So, he picked me up my own little cans when he went to the store after he got off from work. I came home and got a glass of wine from the fridge and he told me to look at the side compartment where my treat was cooling down for me.

I was so tickled because I always say that I could go for a pop when I never have it in the house and nine times out of ten he ends up hearing about it. He stifled my Diet Coke cravings for the time being because he thought of what I might need while he did his shopping. This was such a simple gesture but I felt so loved and taken care of and that’s what made it grand to me.

This Valentine’s Day, remember that it doesn’t matter what your gifts costed or if you can post a picture of the fancy meal you had on Instagram. What is really important is the thought that your partner put into it. I feel lucky that Johnny thinks of me when he’s going about his day to day life when we’re not together and I just know we are going to have the happiest Valentine’s Day together! ❤

What is a Sweet Surprise that you gave or received recently? How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

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The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

Hi! One of my favorite snack foods has to be spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips or Wheat Thins. I love the cheesy goodness along with the crunch of your dipping utensil and I enjoy it so much that I can eat it by the fork full! One of my client’s moms just so happens to make the best spinach artichoke dip that I have ever tasted and I am going to share it with all of you. The secret ingredient? Water chestnuts! Prepare to drool in five, four, three, two, one…

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 bag of fresh spinach (Think the size of a salad mix)
  • 1 bar of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 can of water chestnuts
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 small bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

Chop up the veggies, mix everything together, and bake until light brown on top.

This recipe for spinach artichoke dip surpasses any kind that I’ve ordered at the restaurant or bought at the store by a landslide. The variety of cheeses combined with the crisp crunch of the water chestnuts makes my taste buds do a dance for joy every time. This is the perfect treat to make for a party or game night with your friends (I’ve already made it quite a few times for my “crew” and it has been a hit.) … But you might want to double the batch as it will go quick!

What is your favorite snack food? What do you like to cook for entertaining guests? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Groovy Movies: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Edition

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Groovy Movies: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Edition

Hello hello! One movie that I was really looking forward to this summer was Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Now, before we get started: No, I have not read the books, so I was going into it with no preconceived notions of what it should be like. Honestly, I was just excited that Guillermo Del Toro was working on it, because he is my favorite ANYTHING when it comes to movies. So, take a look at the trailer and let’s discuss without giving the flick away:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

My understanding of the original books of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is that it’s just that – a collection of scary stories. And, I know there were a good amount of people who were disappointed that not as many of these ghost stories were included as they would have liked. But, be that as it may, the movie needed a story line and I thought a really innovative and interesting one was created.

On Halloween night, Stella and a group of friends sneak into a supposed “haunted house” in their town – the Bellows mansion. The story goes that the family owned a paper mill that put the town on the map but had a dark secret – a horribly disfigured daughter named Sarah that they would never let leave the house. According to the legend, children would visit Sarah by sitting outside of the walls of her room and she would tell them scary stories. Oh, and did I mention that children were disappearing constantly?

While Stella, Ramon, Augie, and Chuck are exploring the mansion, they stumble upon Sarah’s room, where Stella finds her book of stories and decides to borrow it. BIG MISTAKE, because the nightmare that was laying dormant starts all over again, as the book begins to write itself every night, featuring a story based around one of the characters. The story usually has something to do with a nightmare or something that has traumatized the character that it’s happening to. So, it is up to Stella to solve the mystery of how to stop the curse from continuing before there is no one left.

I absolutely LOVED Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. I enjoyed the characters whose back and forth high school quips were hilarious, the plot was great, and the creatures that come to life in the stories were so creepy and visually interesting. Normally, scary movies don’t freak me out but this one definitely did. To have a source of evil that taps into what frightens you is terrifying and having a book that “reads you” to create it was such a brilliant idea.

And, in true Del Toro fashion, the visuals were spectacular which is the driving force behind my rave review. The monsters coming to life from the stories were scary as hell and they made me genuinely uncomfortable to look at. Don’t even get me started on the Pale Woman – YIKES!

I highly recommend this movie and am giving it a perfect ten, which rarely happens. I enjoyed every minute of it, was scared senseless, and want to see it again and read the books so badly. Don’t let your preconceived notions of what the movie “should” be cloud your vision if you’ve read the books, because you’ll be ruining a wonderful film for yourself.

Who has seen or read Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark? What are your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: The Playlist

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

Tattoo You: Why Not? Edition

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Tattoo You: Why Not? Edition

Greetings! I feel like there is this common misconception when it comes to tattoos that because you got it, it must be super meaningful to you. Now, while I do have a lot that do hold a special meaning to me, I also have a good amount that I had done simply because I thought it was cute or I liked the picture. Like the title of this post, my attitude about it is very “why not”, which I am so okay with because I ended up with this gem on the back of my calf because of it:

medusa

^^^ Miss Medusa needs touched up and it was also very hard to take a good picture of the bottom back of my calf!!

I saw this image of Medusa straightening out her iconic curled snake hair on Facebook and I fell in love with it. I just thought it was the most darling thing and, as a gal who pretty much exclusively straightens her hair when it comes to styling, it spoke to me. This was also a great filler piece, because it fit perfectly under a Marilyn Manson themed tattoo I have on the upper back of that calf so “why not” turned into a more confident “let’s do this”. (Ironically, the Marilyn Manson tattoo says “No reason” and that basically sums it up 😂)

As a pasty pale individual, I love getting lots of colored tattoos because it really pops. At first, I was hesitant to get green ink on my skin, because I didn’t want it to look sickly. But, I have since fallen in love with various shades of green on a bunch of different tattoos that I have and my lime green lady packs a colorful punch. My primping Medusa is definitely one of my more random tattoos, but I just adore her and am so happy that I got it done! 😀

What is one of your more random tattoos? Do you prefer color or black and white when it comes to your ink? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Conscious Ink

Tattoo You: Parent Appreciation Edition

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Tattoo You: Parent Appreciation Edition

Hellooo everyone! In case you haven’t noticed, body modifications are my thing and have been important to me for well over a decade now. I love piercings, tattoos, and dyeing my hair. All of my body mods make me feel confident and beautiful and I always seem to be planning which tattoos I want to get next. But, until I get some new ones, hopefully in the next few months, I thought that I would give you guys a run down on some of my older ones. Take a look at one of my favorites, that had my mom and dad rolling their eyes so hard:

tatswim

^^^ Don’t mind the fact that it needs touched up! 😀

I have always been a huge fan of the American Traditional style tattoos and knew that I wanted to give my parents a shout out with one of them. And, upon the grand reveal to my mom and dad at my birthday dinner this year, both of them said “oh god” at the exact same time – it was hilarious! My mom has since embraced my commemorative heart to them while my dad would prefer it if I didn’t have any tattoos at all, lol. But, I think that he loves it deep down. 😉

My mom and dad are my literal favorite people in the world and I wanted something to make it feel like they’re always with me. I love the contrasting red and yellow from the heart and the scroll and it looks so nice underneath my Pan’s Labyrinth half sleeve. As per ushe, my tattoo artist, Emily, knocks it out of the park every time and, although my parent appreciation tat is fairly simple, it is one of my all time favorites.

How many tattoos do you have? Which one is your favorite? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

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Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Hello, everyone! Today is a fantastic, wonderful, special day because it is my dad’s birthday! I am lucky enough to say that my dad is one of my literal favorite people on the planet. He is a loving father, devoted husband, friggen hilarious, and is a man of many talents. From tending his beautiful garden to planning amazing family vacations, everything that my dad does, he does to picture perfection. I so appreciate this, because it has truly taught me the importance of a job well done throughout the years.

I cherish all of the time that I get to spend with my dad. Even just watching an episode of Seinfeld or sharing a meal together makes me happy and I am so going to miss seeing him every day once I move. CHARLES is the best dad in the world and is now the best grandpa in the world to my little niece, Valerie. I love you so much and I hope you have a great birthday even though you hate birthdays!

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Happy Birthday, Dad!!! ❤