Tag Archives: great success

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! 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

Happy Birthday To Me!!

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Happy Birthday To Me!!

Hello everyone!! Today is your favorite Lil Red blogger’s 28th birthday and, I’ve got to say, I can’t believe I used to think that I was old when I was turning 21 lol. This past year has been an amazing one filled with lots of big life events – getting married, moving into a bigger apartment, and lots of come ups at work just to name a few. I am so thankful for the GREAT SUCCESS of last year and I can only hope for lots of the same this time around. πŸ˜€

As always, another thing that I am thankful for is being able to share all of these events, musings, and any and everything with all of you! Sitting down to write every morning on lifewithlilred is one of my greatest joys and I love my little internet niche that I have created. I love my dear readers even more, though, and it is so special to me to be able to connect with so many wonderful people all around the world.

My birthday wish is for all of my friends across the blogosphere to have the best year ever full of GREAT SUCCESSES, happiness, and laughter. You mean the world to me and thank you all for being with me for my past eight birthdays. ❀

Happy Birthday To Me!!!!

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Super Yummy Veggie Lo Mein

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Super Yummy Veggie Lo Mein

Hello! Over the past several months, I have taken to consulting Pinterest for recipe inspiration. It’s like having a cookbook on your phone! I have always loved to cook and the kitchen in my new apartment is much more prep friendly because it has a lot more counter space. While cooking in my old kitchen was fine, it was hard to be limited to just one small area to prepare meals with!

With room to spread out in the kitchen, it has turned cooking back into something really fun rather than cramped and slightly annoying lol. This past week, I tried out a delicious recipe by Momsdish for Veggie Lo Mein. It was a huge hit for me and Johnny as well as my parents who enjoyed the leftovers I brought by later that evening. Check it out:

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Of course, when I’m scouring Pinterest I save recipes that look yummy but I also look for ones that don’t take an entire grocery cart’s worth of ingredients to make. Not only was this Momsdish recipe a huge success but it was made with a little over ten ingredients which was totally doable. It also helped make cooking a recipe that I haven’t tried before less overwhelming because the prep work was minimal and it took only a half hour to make. That’s what I’m talking about!

I followed the Veggie Lo Mein recipe almost to the T with a few exceptions. The carrots that I had went bad so that was a no go. I also added way more garlic than what was called for, as always, as well as ginger to add some more oomph. Johnny and I were both very surprised by the end result because it had so much flavor for so few ingredients. The sauce was tangy, the recommended veggies were perfect, and I can’t wait to make it again.

I am already day dreaming about this Veggie Lo Mein and I also plan on adding my own twists to it:

  • First and foremost, I will be making a double batch because just one was not enough!
  • I’d like to try precooked Lo Mein noodles next time.
  • Using carrots, definitely, as well as adding bamboo shoots or bean sprouts.
  • Garnishing with peanuts and sesame seeds.
  • The brand, Gardein, makes a yummy fake orange chicken to have as a side dish.

If you are looking for a super easy and super delicious dish, then I cannot recommend Momsdish’s Veggie Lo Mein recipe enough. I am so proud of how it turned out and I think that you will love it!

Where do you like to find new recipes? What is your favorite vegetarian friendly dish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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April 2022 Finishes

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April 2022 Finishes

Hello everyone!! The end of the month means that it’s time to take a look at all of the beauty products that I have used up and my recommendations. April was a great month for empties because I finally was able to finish some of the products that I have been using for what felt like forever! Let’s get started:

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Would I Use Again?

Why/Why Not?

Clean & Clear Face Wash: I have been using the Clean & Clear Night Relaxing face wash since mid December and I am finally finished with it. I got a pack of two Clean & Clear cleansers from Amazon for about twelve dollars and that value speaks for itself. While I don’t like the Night Relaxing as much as the Morning Burst cleanser, I would still use it again. Even though it was meant for nighttime use, I would use it every morning in the shower and I loved the deep clean feeling it gave my skin.

SkinLab Face Wash: It took me about two months to finish the SkinLab Revitalize & Hydrate face wash and it was pretty good. My skin felt insanely soft after each use, however, this cleanser smelled SO. Bad. For the “Would I Use Again” section I would have put “no” but, unfortunately, I still have one of these cleansers in my stock pile. Once that one is finished, it will be getting a big fat no from me for the scent alone.

Fresh Lip Mask: I got the Fresh Sugar lip mask as a freebie from Sephora and I wasn’t a fan. I love a lip mask as much as the next person but this one did nothing for me. It took me two weeks to finish the trial sized jar and in that time I hoped it would help ease my chapped lips. That definitely wasn’t the case, though, and the chapstick that I had been applying every night before bed worked much better.

Olay Moisturizer: I purchased the Olay Double Action moisturizer from TJMaxx and it was really nice! The double action means that it is both a primer and a moisturizer and my makeup looked amazing when I would apply it after the moisturizer sat. It also smelled great too – so rich and creamy. It took me about a month and a half to finish the jar.

Hope Soap Body Wash: The Honeysuckle & Aloe Soapy Pouch from Hope Soap was a gift and I wouldn’t go out of the way to purchase it for myself. It smelled divine, lathered well, and lasted for close to two months but the pouch shape was inconvenient at best. When the pouch was still full, it was so easy to accidentally squeeze more out than required which resulted in a lot of wasted product. Then, when the pouch was almost empty it was difficult to get the remainder out. Had this body wash been in a regular bottle, it would have been a totally different story!

Despite a couple of duds during this round of finishes, I am so happy to be able to use new products in their place. This makes April a GREAT SUCCESS for beauty empties!

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

GREAT NEWS!!!

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GREAT NEWS!!!

Howdy!! Almost three years ago to the day, I moved into my first two bedroom one bath apartment. When I first moved in, I truly felt like queen of the castle and had a wonderful space all to myself. Fast forward to September of 2019 and Johnny and I began to date. Hit the fast forward button one more time and he moved in with me during March of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began hitting at full force.

When Johnny moved in, of course, I was so happy but I truly didn’t appreciate how much stuff we both had until he was actually here! We made do for a while and then began toying with the idea of renting a house in our general vicinity. Unfortunately, that was a bust because it is nearly impossible to find a house to rent in our neck of the woods. We filled out so many applications and went to viewings but never got a call back. It was pretty disappointing, to say the least.

After our lack of success with finding a home to rent, we decided it was fine to continue living in tight quarters. But, I am pleased to say that at the end of the month, that will be no longer because we are finally moving into a bigger apartment!! We will still be in the same apartment community as we are now but we will be upgrading to a three bedroom one and a half bath. πŸ˜€

We began setting our sights on a bigger apartment in the same community about a month ago and after lots of paperwork and crossing our fingers, we got a call saying that some three bedrooms were available. The following morning, I got to the leasing office as soon as it was open, did a quick viewing of our new digs, and signed for it all in a matter of forty-five minutes.

Our new place is great and it felt like a mansion when I did my walk through. I wish that we could have moved in that day! It’s nice and spacious, which is just what we need. But, to be honest, what I’m most excited for is having a bathroom on both floors lol. I hate having to walk down the stairs in the dark to make it to the bathroom every night. And we all know that turning on the lights is a no no unless you want to lose your tired!

Johnny and I have already been diligently packing away and I hope that the rest of the month flies by so we can get this move started. I can’t wait to decorate and show all of you our new place once we’re settled!

What is your home decor style? Do you have any pro tips on moving? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s In Store & Online Shopping Tips

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Lil Red’s In Store & Online Shopping Tips

Hello everyone! I consider myself to be an excellent shopper both in store and online. After a wildly successful winter haul with TJMaxx, I thought that today would be perfect for sharing my pro tips to make the most of your in store or online shopping sessions. These helpful hints have been curated as my personal style developed to turn each shopping trip into a GREAT SUCCESS! Now, let’s get to it:

Online – Know Your Measurements:

Prior to getting married, I had absolutely no idea what my measurements were. That, of course, had to change when I was ordering my dress online so my mom and I visited our local tailor shop to get that taken care of. I keep my measurement cards by my computer so that I can always have them available when online shopping.

Knowing your true measurements will eliminate the need to buy multiple sizes of one item because you can compare and contrast to the brand’s size chart. This used to be the norm for me when online shopping because I am in between a small and a medium and it’s so nice to now be able to get my size right the first time around!

Online – Do Your Research:

If you enjoy shopping with websites that offer multiple brands like TJMaxx or Poshmark, it is so crucial to do your research. We all know that women’s sizes vary drastically. For example, in my closet I have clothing in extra smalls and larges alike. A universal size chart, unfortunately, doesn’t exist so you will have to go to the original brand’s website to find out their sizing for yourself.

When shopping with TJMaxx, this has become my standard practice and is why knowing your measurements is so handy. Remember, take note about the features of the item you wish to purchase too. Does it provide room for stretch? Do the reviews say to order a size up? These are all things that should also be taken into consideration.

Online & In Store – Promotions, Please:

Apps, rewards cards, store credit cards, and special deals like a percentage off or free shipping plays an important rule in the shopping process. Although the constant emails from my favorite stores are annoying, saving money on your shopping is always worth it. If you have a particularly large order, you might want to consider applying for the store credit card. Typically, the store will offer you a percentage off of that purchase, which is awesome!

In Store – Dress For Success:

With the pandemic, I rarely do in store shopping anymore. However, when I do, I make sure that I am dressed and made up for success. Wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable and easy to slip on and off for dressing room efficiency. And, depending on what it is you need, it might not hurt to do your makeup accordingly. It’s hard to get the full picture of a dress you are trying on for a special event if your makeup doesn’t reflect it.

In Store – Try & Try Again:

Shopping in store gives you the luxury of trying on whatever you want and it should not be taken lightly. Expanding your horizons with styles, shapes, and colors that you might not normally wear will give you brand new possibilities. And, so what if it doesn’t work? Trying on a variety of different things will also help with your online shopping because you won’t be limiting yourself to “safe” options that you already know will work.

In Store – Have A Game Plan:

Hitting the mall or multiple different shops in the area can feel a bit overwhelming because of the endless options you’re seeing all at once. I recommend browsing for the items that you know you need first before beginning your window shopping. I don’t go to the mall too often but when I do, I always go to Victoria’s Secret for new undies and a bra and American Eagle for new skinnies first to get it out of the way. Then, when the “fun” shopping begins, I already know what I have spent for necessities and can budget my additional purchases accordingly.

Online & In Store – Shopping For Others:

I know some people who begin their holiday shopping for the next year as soon as their celebrated holiday is over to get the best seasonal deals. While you don’t have to go that extreme, it never hurts to get a little prep work done for holidays and birthdays when making your rounds. And, if you score a great deal on it, then it’s even better. We all have had that one gift that we were going to buy a little later only to find that it was sold out when we were ready to make the purchase!

With these tips, I hope that you have the best online or in store shopping session yet! They are my tried and true methods to the success behind all of my hauls and I’m sure that they will work for you too. ❀

What are some of your shopping tricks and tips? Do you prefer in store or online shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New & Improved Beauty Hoard

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New & Improved Beauty Hoard

Hello! Saying that mine and Johnny’s refrigerator/pantry situation was getting cluttered was a severe understatement. So, I took it upon myself during winter break to rectify this. But, I didn’t stop there and I cleared enough pantry space to incorporate my beauty hoard into it. Originally, my stock pile was just a big Amazon box filled with products. Now, it looks like this:

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From Bath & Body Works freebies to semi annual sale hauls, I don’t think I realized just how much I had in my hoard until seeing it all set out in front of me. I knew that I was a product pack rat prior to but damn lol. Sifting through my stock pile was very enlightening, to say the least, and I also found the face masks that I thought I misplaced and an extra bottle of Tree Of Life serum. πŸ˜€

My new stock pile set up is something that I am very pleased with and it will also help me save some money. Normally, when I am restocking supplies, I just get a little bit of everything regardless of if I actually need it or not. Now, I can see clearly what I need to buy more of and what I can hold off on. For example, I always seem to be buying more micellar water but it turns out I have four bottles of it!

Not only is this new set up handy but it is also very visually pleasing to me. It’s like my own little beauty shop right in my pantry. Now that I have my hoard all nice and organized, I can’t believe it was ever stowed away like it was. GREAT SUCCESS!

This was a little project but it made a big difference and I vow to never do my hoard the disservice of an Amazon box again. πŸ˜€

What is in your beauty hoard? Where do you stow your stock pile? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy New Year!!

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Happy New Year!!

Howdy everyone and Happy New Year! We are officially in 2022, which means a whole new year of opportunity and, of course, fun on lifewithlilred. πŸ˜€ I am so excited to be rolling out another three hundred and sixty-five days of daily blogging and have my fingers crossed that 2022 won’t be as much of a dumpster fire as the past two years. Here’s to hoping, anyways!

In this new year, my wish is for everyone to find comfort in better days ahead. We are living through a pandemic and it is scary on a good day. I wish for safety and good health for all and that we can revel in the happy moments of 2022.

While I also wish that the passing of time would slow down (I’ll be twenty-eight this year!), I am so thankful that I get to spend time with each and every one of you every day. May 2022 bring us good fortune, great successes, and a slightly less anxiety provoking time!

Happy 2022! ❀

What are your New Year’s resolutions (I, as always, have none!)? What are you wishing for in the new year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

December 2021 Finishes

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December 2021 Finishes

Hello everyone and welcome to the last post of 2021 here on lifewithlilred! We’ll talk New Years tomorrow but, today, we will be wrapping up the year with my December finishes. There were a lot of them so let’s get started:

Would I Use Again:

Why/Why Not?

Clean & Clear Cleanser: I absolutely love the Morning Burst cleanser by Clean & Clear. It is so refreshing during my morning shower and the citrus scent never fails to at least sort of wake me up lol. This cleanser leaves my skin feeling invigorated and looking bright. It was also an excellent value! I bought it in a set of two for eleven dollars and it took me about five months to finish one bottle.

St. Ives Scrub: I have always loved the St. Ives scrubs and have been using them on and off since I was a teenager. My favorite, of course, is the Apricot scrub and I just had to buy it when I saw it for three bucks at TJMaxx. It has been a while since I used this scrub and I was honestly blown away the first time I used it again. My skin felt SO. Freaking. Soft. and I looked forward to using it every morning. It took me a little over one month to finish the bottle.

B&BW Body Wash: This lavender scented aromatherapy body wash was a gift from my bestie and I used it as a bubble bath. While I would happily use this again if I was gifted with it, I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it for myself. I much prefer the regular old body washes from B&BW. That’s not to say that the aromatherapy one wasn’t pleasant to use, though. It smelled nice and bubbled up really well! I got about eight uses out of one bottle.

A La Maison Cream: If you read the linked review for this hand cream, then you will know that I freaking loved it. If you didn’t read the linked review, then I freaking loved this hand cream lol. It is one of the best products that I have used in a while and I wish I had more of it. I could take or leave the Wildflower scent but that’s no matter because of how well it worked. I noticed a huge difference in how my hands looked and felt after just one use. It took over a month of daily use to finish one bottle.

Tree Of Life Serum: It took my skin a couple of uses to get used to the Retinol serum by Tree Of Life. I rarely use retinol products so it dried my skin out initially. However, it did work well and I noticed a difference in the tightness of my skin after a month of twice daily use. This serum was also a great deal as I purchased a set of three for twenty dollars making it buy two get one free.

As you can see, December was a wildly successful month of beauty finishes. Now, here’s to hoping the new year will be just as good. πŸ˜€ See you tomorrow in 2022!

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

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