Tag Archives: great success

Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

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Planning The Ultimate Girls Night In

Hello! It has been snowing in Ohio for the past couple of days so, as far as I am concerned, winter is officially here. While it is always fun to have a night out, the cold weather makes me want to stay in until spring! Those winter nights gives the perfect opportunity to host the ultimate girls night in because why leave the comfort of your own home if you don’t have to?! Call up your besties and find your comfiest pajamas because it’s time to plan a GNI so good that it will make you scoff at a night on the town:

So Many Activities:

While nothing pleases me more than a good old fashioned girl talk, a night in begs for some fun activities to do together. This could be anything from pulling up a YouTube tutorial and having a wine and paint night to baking and decorating holiday cookies. How about making your own pizzas together instead of ordering delivery? Or putting together an ice cream sundae bar? Hey, a girl has gotta eat!

Spa Treatments:

A girls night in staple is, of course, getting to pamper yourselves. We’re talking face masks, painting nails, and aromatherapy – the works! Have your best girls bring their favorite products and turn it into a swap so that all of you can try something new. You could even create your own face masks and hair treatments with ingredients in your kitchen. Who knows, your girls night might turn into your first small business meeting with your skin care creations!

Snuggle Up:

What is a good girls night in without some chick flicks? Pop all of the popcorn and pop the champagne! Movie time means snuggling up, getting cozy, and unwinding so lots of soft blankets and fuzzy socks are a must. You could even order matching PJs if you want to be super extra! On the subject of blankets, fleece throws are super easy to make and can be added to your growing list of activities.

Cocktail Creations:

If you plan on indulging in the drink, how about creating a girls night signature cocktail (Or mocktail!)? Wine or champagne is always a good choice but it will be a blast to shake things up literally and metaphorically. Get inspiration for cocktails on Pinterest and put your own twist on it. You or your friends might just find your new calling as the best bartender ever. πŸ˜€

Playlist, Please:

Having awesome music on as you craft, eat, and talk the night away is so essential. Even more important is your selection, which means no mopey ballads! Girls night in means girl power anthems, one hit wonders, and beats that get you in the spirit for an impromptu dance party. And, what is a girls night in without Queen Bs, Britney Spears AND Beyonce? The answer is: NOTHING!!

If the winter weather has driven you to hibernation mode, you might as well have some fun. Your girls night in will be a GREAT SUCCESS and you could turn it into a tradition with a different host every month. Now, where’s my invite?!

What are some girls night in essentials? What is your favorite night in snack or drink? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pumpkin Patch Party OOTD Bloopers

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Pumpkin Patch Party OOTD Bloopers

Hello everyone and welcome to the blooper reel from my Pumpkin Patch Party OOTD! While I love to show off the great pictures from an OOTD shoot, part of me likes posting the bloopers even more because it humors me. I am a firm believer in the phrase “waste not, want not” and I suppose that applies to terrible pictures, as well! Lol, check them out in all of their glory:

Spreading my wings and soaring

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I LOOK GREAT!!!!!

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Lol, there is this one strand of hair that stands up in Every. Single. OOTD. Shoot. -_-

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Gathering up some leaves for the classic “throw in the air” shot…

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Severely missed the mark because I look insane!!

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Trying out what the kids call “flossing”

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That face you make when you have a leaf on your butt and your husband doesn’t tell you

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Adjusting my front…

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And my back!

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GREAT SUCCESS to the kid who was making monster noises at the pumpkin patch!!

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As you all know, Johnny takes what feels like a thousand pictures in under ten minutes per OOTD shoot. Sometimes, I am model level WERKING and the bloopers are minimal. Other times, it feels like a majority of the shots taken are bloopers! It is such a mixed bag and the Pumpkin Patch Party outfit gave me a solid half winners and half total losers lol. Either way, it makes for a good time going through the end results. πŸ˜€

Johnny’s proudest picture from our time at Heritage Farms was, easily, the leaf on my butt. Once I pointed it out to him, he spent about ten minutes looking at it, laughing, and then repeating the process. He also made it a point to zoom in on this faux pas to really show off his handiwork. He claims he “didn’t notice it at all” but I am thinking otherwise *Face palm*. Regardless, he is the best blog husband so I can’t be too mad. ❀ πŸ˜‰

It is a breath of fresh air to poke some good old fashioned fun at myself after talking up an outfit and pictures. Remember, for every good pic an influencer posts, there are probably twenty like the ones you see above!

What is your favorite segment on lifewithlilred? What is your ideal fall date like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Take Control Of Your Career

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How To Take Control Of Your Career

Your career is like a marathon, not a sprint. A successful career requires long-term planning, dedication, and effort. It’s not something that magically happens; you must work for it. Whether you’re just starting out in the world of work or looking for a new challenge, staying on top of your career is essential. With dedication and commitment from you, this could be the catalyst for the next step in your career. This blog post will give you valuable insights into taking control of your career no matter what stage you are at in your professional life:

Determine your career goals and timeline:

Knowing where you want to go in your career and having a deadline for each of these goals is essential. This is the only way to track what you have achieved and where you need to improve. It could be that you want to become a manager by the time you are 30 or maybe you want to start your own business by 40. Whatever your goals are, make sure you have an exact date in your mind when you want to achieve them. You should also keep an eye on the current socio-economic climate, as this can significantly impact your career goals.

Don’t be afraid to start from the bottom:

Starting at the bottom is not a bad thing. Many successful people have started at the very bottom of the career ladder. This can be a great way to gain experience, find out what you don’t like doing, and learn from the people around you. Some people call this “getting your spurs,” but it’s a great way to get experience, network, and start working on those career goals. If you’re a graduate and have no relevant experience, don’t worry. You will soon get opportunities to start working in your chosen industry and can use that as a springboard to get yourself to the next level.

Network, network, network:

Getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people at social events, conferences, or online will be hugely beneficial. It will help you to progress your career by:

Learning about new opportunities: You never know where or when you might find an opportunity to move your career forward. Being out there and meeting people like Michael Fraas Professor from different industries makes you more likely to come across these opportunities.

Making connections: By building your network, you increase the chance of getting a recommendation or making a connection that can help you progress in your career.

Finding mentors: Having someone to turn to for advice and guidance can be invaluable when starting out. Mentors can help you learn what you need to do to move your career forward and will be a wealth of knowledge and advice.

Don’t stop learning:

To progress in your career, you need to keep learning. Knowledge is power, whether through a training course or by reading up on new skills. You must keep learning and improving your skills because of the ever-changing work landscape. Some skills will be more relevant than others in the future, so keeping up to date with the latest developments and trends is a must. This will help you secure a job and show future employers that you are an asset to the company.

There is no correct way to succeed in your career. Your path may look different than your friends and colleagues, but that doesn’t mean it is the wrong path. The most important thing is to stay focused and dedicated. Keep your eyes on the prize and work hard!

Featured Image By: Pexels

July 2022 Finishes

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July 2022 Finishes

Hello!!! It’s about that time to discuss my beauty finishes for the month of July and it was a good month, indeed. I got to try some new to me products, used up some of the ones that took forever, and revisited some old favorites. It was a GREAT SUCCESS so let’s get to it:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

B&BW Spray: Omg, did this spray take forever to finish lol – at least half a year of almost daily use! This is fine by me, though, because I love anything apple scented and B&BW always delivers. The Country Apple is the perfect mix of sweet and tart and it is the perfect pick me up before leaving for work. I would definitely use it again but am fine with not using it for a while!

SkinLab Cleanser: I love SkinLab products and the Lift & Firm Daily Gel Cleanser was amazing. After about a month and a half of daily use, my skin looked more supple and felt smoother. It was invigorating to use every morning and also removed remnants of makeup really well. Although, I have to admit that it’s a bit sad to be moving onto products that Lift & Firm lol.

B&BW Shower Gel: Normally, the travel size shower gel from B&BW lasts me three weeks of daily use. However, this month I used up two of them because Johnny helped me out after he ran out of his shower gel. We both smelled awesome for the month of July and I adore the Gingham Love scent. It has all of the fresh, crisp feels of the original Gingham with juicy berries thrown in for good measure. Although I think it’s super cute that Johnny used my shower gel, I’m bummed out that I’m all out of Gingham Love!

Tatcha Moisturizer: This moisturizer was a freebie during my last Sephora Haul and it was nice but I wouldn’t use it unless I got it as a free item again. I love a water cream formula, especially during the summer and this one was delightful. It absorbed so quickly while still leaving my skin feeling ultra hydrated. It took me four days of twice daily use to finish the sample jar.

Lanocreme Moisturizer: I purchased this moisturizer during a winter haul at TJMaxx and finally got around to using it towards the end of June. Although it absorbed well, it was a bit too thick for my liking during the summertime. That’s not to say that it wouldn’t be great for fall and winter use, though! This moisturizer was rich, creamy, and left my skin looking and feeling peaches and cream perfect. It took me about five weeks of twice daily use to finish the jar.

Hope Soap Lotion: This is the second lotion that I’ve used from Hope Soap, which is a local shop in my area. I received both of them as a gift and the first one that I finished in June wasn’t my favorite because its texture was so runny. The Vanilla & Fig was the polar opposite, however, and had the consistency of a normal lotion which I liked much better. It also smelled awesome! As nice as it was, I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it for myself but it made a wonderful gift. It took me a little under two months to finish the jar.

As you can see from all of these empties, July was a month full of pampering. Whether the product was good or bad, I am glad to have used them up and am ready for lots more finishes come August!

Which products did you use up this month? What are your thoughts on any of the above products if you have used them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TJMaxx Haul: Zara Top Edition

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TJMaxx Haul: Zara Top Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to my favorite and final piece of clothing from my TJMaxx haul! The past several shopping trips that I’ve been on were not fruitful in my need for more tops in the slightest. This time around, however, I walked away with three different tops that I am so in love with. It was a GREAT SUCCESS and I now feel content with the top department of my wardrobe. Let’s check out this fabulous little number by Zara to wrap things up:

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As I mentioned in my pro tips for shopping at TJMaxx, I utilize a two rounds throughout the store method. There is just too much to see in one go and I often find some of my favorite things the second time around. Like this Zara top, for example. Maybe someone was standing in front of it on round one because I can’t believe I didn’t notice the huge sheer puff sleeves on my first trip! It was also the only one like it in the entire store. πŸ˜€

In terms of shirt sizes, I am a solid small or medium and this top was an extra small. Like my new Nicole Miller pants, I was thinking “please fit” when trying it on because I liked it so much! Thanks to a side zipper, button up back, and the fact that Zara clothing runs bigger, I was in luck. This top fit perfectly and I love how the tighter fitting bodice makes the puff sleeves seem even larger than life.

I have grand plans for this newest addition and I cannot wait to shoot some amazing autumn OOTDs with it! Pair it with a little navy skirt? Yes, please! I would also really like to find a good pair of navy or red slacks to go with it. I know, it’s shocking to me too that I’m branching away from my standard black skinny jeans lol. Now, all I’ll need is a killer pair of white platform loafers and we’re in business!

Tomorrow, tune in for the skin care portion of my haul and it will be onto a brand new OOTD and July finishes. See you then!

How would you style this top? What are some pieces that you would like to have in your wardrobe? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

TJMaxx Shopping Pro Tips

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TJMaxx Shopping Pro Tips

Hello!! I often get asked my secrets for my numerous successful shopping hauls at TJMaxx. So, I decided to share them today before we start diving into my new purchases tomorrow! I will be the first to admit that shopping at stores like TJs, Ross, Burlington, or anything similar can sometimes be hit or miss. That’s okay, though! Walking away empty handed makes the GREAT SUCCESS of a good haul even sweeter. Just remember the following:

Go Without A Specific Purchase In Mind:

If you go to a store like TJMaxx looking for one specific style or item, chances are that you are going to be disappointed. When you are looking for one thing and one thing only, it really limits your opportunity to explore for something different. In this case, the best plan is no plan so go in with an open mind and see what catches your eye.

Give Yourself Time:

I refuse to go to TJMaxx when I’m on a time crunch because then I wouldn’t be able to go through each department with a discerning eye. When I’m on a shopping trip, I will make one round throughout the store, try clothes on, and then make a second trip back to certain areas. It’s honestly amazing what you miss the first time around and I found two gorgeous items in my haul that I didn’t even notice on my second trip.

The two trip method is also especially effective because it gives you the opportunity to build outfits with the pieces you plan to purchase. For example, I found an amazing pair of floral pants but had no top at home to wear with it. Then, I was able to narrow down a style and color palette that might work on top and found just what I needed. This past shopping trip took me about two hours and I enjoyed and needed every minute of it for optimum success.

Try & Try Again:

There are some pieces on the racks at TJs that I would simply never wear and that’s fine. However, if there is an item that you are on the fence about – try it on anyways! Not everything is going to be a winner but you’d be amazed at the things that are so give yourself a chance to find out. The whole point of stores like TJMaxx is finding purchases that you never would have found elsewhere so have fun with it and explore all of your options.

During the pandemic, it was hard to take risks with shopping when buying everything online was the norm. Take advantage of the fitting rooms being open and try styles, colors, and shapes that you would usually pass on. Your winners will open up whole new worlds of possibilities and will help develop your personal style even more.

I follow these three simple rules every time I go shopping at TJMaxx and always walk away satisfied even if I haven’t bought anything. Keep them in mind and you will be a Maxxinista in no time! Be sure to tune in tomorrow to discuss my favorite haul in forever! ❀

What is your favorite discount store to shop at? What are some of your shopping pro tips? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Watercolor Painting Class

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Watercolor Painting Class

Hello!! This past Saturday I took a really fun watercolor painting class at the Quirk Cultural Center with my mom and sister. The class was led by the wonderful Ana-Joel of Falcon Grove Studio and she taught us how to paint different herbs inspired by an English country garden. To begin, Ana showed us the different techniques to paint rosemary, sage, mint, and basil and then we got to create our own masterpieces:

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My mom, sister, and I would definitely not fall under the category of artistically skilled and have never painted with watercolor before. However, we all jumped at the opportunity to take this class because it was local and seemed like something we could enjoy together. I am so glad that we did and left the class with work that we were proud of and an eagerness to take more classes with Ana again.

Ana is an amazing local artist who founded Falcon Grove Studio during the pandemic to help promote a feeling of safety and wellness at home through art. She is so gifted, kind, and genuine and we all felt lucky to have her as our teacher. Her words inspired each of the students in the class and I loved how she told us that art is special because it’s the way your own body moves to create something. As someone who isn’t good at art, it was so encouraging to hear that you are still making something meaningful.

As I said, I had never painted watercolor before and I had a blast. It was such a unique experience and I was blown away by this whole world that I knew existed but never tried for myself. Ana taught us how to mix colors and use the water to enhance our art and it was so cool to see colors transform from something as simple as adding a touch of yellow or red and a “juicy brush” loaded with water.

For my project, I chose to paint basil and sage and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they turned out. Are they museum level works of art? No way lol. BUT, I thought that it was a pretty damn good first try. Not only did I feel proud of what I painted but I also felt excited to try painting more and I think that definitely qualifies as a GREAT SUCCESS (Borat voice).

Ana offers a variety of different courses in person and online and I simply cannot wait to work with her again. I also have ideas swirling in my head for some commissioned pieces by her! Please check out her social media and Etsy page at the following and support this fabulous local artist:

What is your favorite medium of art? Have you ever taken any art classes before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Hair, Who Dis?

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New Hair, Who Dis?

Hello!!! It had been a very long time since I was able to get my hair done because my brilliant stylist, Anna, unfortunately got COVID. Needless to say, I was counting down the days until my rescheduled appointment this past week and the results were worth the wait… My hair is finally red and white after two trial attempts! This is exactly what I’ve been wanting for so long and I am beyond obsessed. Check out how it started VS how it’s going:

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^^^ The red is Pulp Riot’s Fireball and the white is Pulp Riot’s Ghostblood.

I have been wanting red and white anime style hair for forever and the past two appointments with Anna got us close but not quite. My natural hair color is a medium to dark brunette and the bleach just wasn’t lifting enough to achieve it. We had to bleach my hair once and then a little bit more and the results ended up being more beige with hints of white peaking through.

This time around, however, was a totally different story and the bleach lifted the color to something Anna was happy with on the first go. This was a success in and of itself and we were both eager to see how the color turned out after the Fireball and Ghostblood sat. We were expecting to have to bleach it again so we were both surprised when Anna told me that she didn’t think we would have to as she washed my hair.

I couldn’t get back to her styling chair soon enough to see what she was talking about and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I sat down… Even with wet hair, the Ghostblood did its job and my hair was a pure white. It also had some awesome touches of purple and pink in it for an opalescence pop of color. It. Looked. Gorgeous.

The color was, of course, fabulous but I was also desperate for a haircut too. I always say that I can deal if the cut is good but the color is “meh” but I didn’t have one or the other going for me. After so long without Anna working her magic (Through no fault of her own!), my roots and haircut were so grown out and it was an overall hot mess. Because of this, I told Anna to go crazy with the cut and she delivered with a short, choppy, scene kid style. The cut took me back to high school with a voluminous top and a straight bottom layer and I am so there for it!

I am very curious to see how the perfected red and white fades out because it was not flattering on the first two attempts. Although Anna and I are already plotting for red, yellow, and orange hair next time around for fiery fun, it seems like such a shame to change it when my hair is finally what I have been daydreaming about. No matter what we go with, I know that I will be in the best hands and, as always, Anna is a genius! ❀

What colors should my hair be next? What is your favorite way to pamper yourself? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sephora Haul

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Sephora Haul

Hello everyone!! Sephora always gives the best birthday gifts to their Beauty Insider members and, shockingly, it had all but slipped my mind until I got a reminder email. I didn’t feel like going to the mall just to pick up one thing, however, so I took care of it online. Although I have plenty of the couple of products that I purchase through Sephora, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to buy more to reach the fifty dollar free shipping mark.

Happily, I discovered that they were doing free shipping on all orders when I got on their website! Rather than get more stock pile products, I purchased one small item so that I could get all of my freebies. This haul costed me three dollars in total and it was money well spent! Check it out:

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The Haul:

  • Sephora brand cleansing wipes
  • Ilia birthday gift – FREE
  • Tatcha water cream – FREE
  • Maison Margiela Replica sample – FREE
  • Sulwhasoo renewing cream sample – FREE

Prior to shopping Sephora online, I never quite understood people’s obsession with it. When shopping in store, you miss out on so many amazing deals and while I would make in store purchases, I never felt like I was getting a lot of bang for my buck. And, at over twenty five dollars for a tube of Better Than Sex mascara (Still worth it!) I couldn’t help but feel like I was getting ripped off.

Fast forward to my first online order and I was like “Oh… I get it now”. Sephora offers some of the best online deals that I have ever seen and I always feel good about what I bought because I get so many freebies. This little haul is a shining example of that and it costed literal pocket change. You just can’t beat that!

I got a sample jar of Tatcha moisturizer with my Beauty Insider points which I am excited to use. And when you shop online with Sephora, you are allowed to pick out two free samples to complete your order. I went for the Sulwhasoo cream as well as a fragrance sample. My best friend, Lea, and I recently had a conversation about wanting to try a more long lasting perfume so I couldn’t not get a new fragrance to test out. Unfortunately, Replica wasn’t a winner but, hey, it was worth a shot.

We will unbox the Ilia birthday gift after checking out my new nails tomorrow so keep it posted for that. In the meantime, give Sephora’s website a look through and see which freebies you can snag for yourself! πŸ˜€

What is your favorite fragrance? Which store offers the best in store or online deals? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Housewarming/Birthaversary Party Success!

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Housewarming/Birthaversary Party Success!

Hello!! At the end of May, Johnny and I had a housewarming/birthaversary party to celebrate our big move. We also decided to clump it together with Johnny’s birthday on the first, our first wedding anniversary on the fourth, and my birthday on the seventh. It was such fun and we were so proud to show off all of our hard work on the new place to our friends and family.

In my humble opinion, the event was a GREAT SUCCESS and I thought that I would share some pro tips on get togethers now that it’s all said and done. I definitely learned a lot for next time:

Prepare & Prepare Some More:

I am the planner in mine and Johnny’s relationship and he is, easily, the more spontaneous one. Therefore, I insisted on hardcore party prep the entire week beforehand and I am so glad that I did. No one wants to be stuck with a monumental task the day before the big event. The week leading up to the party, we kicked our unpacking, cleaning, and rearranging into high gear. And, the night before, Johnny finally (!!!!) finished readying his domain of the game room and it turned out great.

Preparing the home is a given before a get together but don’t forget about food prep and table caps to display your dishes on! I spent a good amount of time planning a menu and making a shopping list so that we had everything we needed. The night before the party, I spent a solid four hours cooking everything that could be made ahead of time. Any food prep that you can do in advance should be taken advantage of because it can be such a time consuming task. Also, no one wants to be frazzled in the kitchen before guests start to arrive. I couldn’t imagine doing all of the food preparations that I did the day of!

Have Plenty Of Seating:

Johnny and I have two small love seats, a chaise lounge, and four chairs for the kitchen table and that is it when it comes to seating. We knew that this wouldn’t be enough and were lucky to have been able to borrow folding chairs from Johnny’s parents. I highly recommend having additional seating as a backup if what you already have is limited. Folding chairs can be borrowed, rented, or bought on the cheap at a secondhand store. You want your guests to be comfortable at your party and that means having the seating arrangements to back it up.

Stay On Top Of Cleaning:

As the host of a party, you are in charge of everything. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the day but it will really help you to stay on top of cleaning throughout the party. When there were lulls between guests leaving and arriving, Johnny and I were cleaning up spills, taking the trash out, and making additional drinks. An overflowing garbage can is a disaster waiting to happen! Also, if you clean as you go during the day, then you won’t have a huge mess to take care of after everyone has went home.

Ice, Ice Baby:

Johnny and I don’t have the space in our freezer to account for bags of ice. If this is the case for you too, then buying a cooler for the event is the way to go. Johnny bought a cooler and ice the morning of the party and that worked out so well. The ice stayed frozen all day, we had somewhere to put canned drinks, and it took up a small amount of space. Plus, a cooler will come in handy afterwards for picnics and outdoor events!

Make Use Of Outdoor Areas:

If the weather is nice the day of your party, making use of outdoor areas will add additional space to the event. The new apartment has a great front balcony that was perfect for people to hang out on and get some air. Even if you don’t plan on using your outdoor space, opening windows and doors with a screen will help keep your indoor space from getting stuffy. As always, comfort for your guests is key.

At our old apartment, a party like the one we had simply would not have happened because we didn’t have the room for it. It was an absolute delight to be able to host our friends and family the way we have always wanted to. I already can’t wait to do it again on a smaller scale!

What are your party pro tips? Do you have any big events happening soon? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah