Tag Archives: happy

I Said Yes!

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I Said Yes!

Hello, hello everyone! Some very exciting news in my life is that my best friend of over ten years, Lea, is newly engaged!! Her boyfriend proposed to her in August and they are already beginning the wedding planning process. I am so beyond happy for the beautiful couple and am so honored to have been asked to be a bridesmaid on their big day. Lea came over when I was babysitting my niece to officially pop the question and I said “I DO”!

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I have never been a bridesmaid before and I can’t think of a more perfect initiation into the club than my taking part in my best friend’s wedding. Lea is going to be the most gorgeous bride and I want her day to be nothing short of magical. I can’t wait to help her plan, make new friends, and just enjoy the whole process of making her feel like the queen of the world – even though she already is!

I am so thankful for the friendship and the bond that Lea and I share. In over a decade, we have never had as much as a disagreement with each other and have so many amazing memories to reminisce on. From birthday celebrations and road trips to simply girl talking on the couch, any time we spend is my favorite time.

Thank you so much to my best friend for inviting me to take part in her big day. Let the celebrations commence! ❤

Have you ever been in a wedding before? What was your favorite part? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Lucky Brand Haul: Black Skinnies Edition

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Lucky Brand Haul: Black Skinnies Edition

Howdy! One of my main bugaboos are the classic, all American blue jeans. From about fifteen on, I have simply refused to wear them because 1) I feel like they make me look fat and 2) they definitely don’t fit with my all black everything aesthetic. So, needless to say, I own black skinnies for days and always have to restock a pair or two at least once a year as the color fades so easily.

While shopping the Lucky Brand outlet store in Asheville, North Carolina, I was able to score a new pair that fit like a glove for thirty dollars – a mere fraction of the original ninety dollar price tag! Take a look:

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What I love about these jeans other than their inky midnight black hue and the more cloth like material as opposed to denim is their fit. Thanks to over a decade’s worth of figure skating, it’s no secret that Lil Red definitely has some junk in the trunk. My legs are extremely muscular and I have a booty boo that I am quite proud of, thank you very much!

This is why I am so happy that I was able to find a curvy but still skinny fit pair of jeans. As we all know, plain old skinny jeans don’t have much give to them and it’s no fun having to do the pants dance every time you want to pull a pair on. And, I hate having to size up in jeans and clothes in general due to an eating disorder which is now under control. I was elated to be able to try on a pair of skinnies that were true to my actual size and still felt *comfortably* suction cupped to my legs, lol.

Also, can we please take a moment to talk about the cheeky “lucky you” on the inside of the fly?! Haha, so cute! It has been a while since I got a new pair of black skinnies for myself and these were very much needed. I can absolutely picture myself purchasing Lucky Brand jeans again if the price is right. My new pair fit perfectly and are exactly what I wanted – no sacrificing self esteem required!

What is your least favorite piece of clothing to shop for? Which store has the best jeans? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Items To Buy Before You Pick Up Your New Puppy

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Items To Buy Before You Pick Up Your New Puppy

Bringing home your puppy for the first time is an exciting time and, if you have children, it’s going to be even more of a special experience. It’s not something to be taken lightly, of course, and you need to think about how much time, effort, and money you have available for this new puppy. But, if you’ve already thought about it thoroughly and you have made the decision, then you can be sure that there are some things that you are going to need to purchase. Puppies need a lot of time spent on them primarily, but there is also such a vast world of puppy items too, including the pooper scooper, all of which you’ll have to consider carefully.

Food:

There is considerable debate over what constitutes as a proper diet for your dog. There are many articles out there are explaining why a particular dog food should never be given to your pet, and also lots of information regarding raw feeding. Raw feeding is simply a diet that consists of uncooked meat, there is a community of people that believe raw food is the ultimate option for any dog. But, you have to take many things into consideration, do your research and find the right thing for you and your pet. Make sure you stock up, as these little puppies eat and grow in vast quantities.

Bedding:

Having a safe spot to sleep and hide is an essential thing for a new puppy. They are going to need to feel safe, and the “cave” option for them is important. A puppy who is happy, content, and not scared is a puppy that will listen and make good choices. Mostly, if a puppy is destructive and not listening to the training, you will find that it’s because they don’t have everything they need, including good direction. Many people believe that crate training is important for a puppy’s development and potty training, and others believe that leaving the puppy to sleep on your bed with you is the ultimate. Whichever you choose, you will no doubt be looking for a puppy bed before you bring them home.

Training Books:

The most important thing you can do to keep your puppy happy and safe isn’t just about controlling the dog, it’s making sure they know what is expected of them and are challenged mentally. Training books such as easy peasy puppy squeezy, give great insight into puppies, why they do what they do, and how you can set them up for excellent training. Don’t miss this step and wait until they are ‘older’ as they are like sponges when they are little. They won’t remember everything all of the time but it’s recommended to get started straight away.

To help with your puppy’s enrichment and entertainment, which in turn stops them from being destructive, you will need to provide them with toys and training opportunities with high-value treats. It can be as simple as a toilet roll with treats wrapped inside (supervised) or a puppy Kong filled with dog-safe peanut butter. Good luck bringing your new pet home!

Featured Image By: Austin Kirk on Unsplash

Self Care & Me

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Self Care & Me

Helloooo everyone! Today, I thought that we would talk a little about my self care journey. And, believe me, it’s not an easy thing to do when you run two businesses and are constantly running around like a mad woman! At first, I used to consider “self care” as going shopping and having a spending spree… and, although that’s nice, it doesn’t get to the root of true self care, which I take to mean as doing something mentally or physically stimulating to help improve your mood.

I think the main thing that has helped me become more conscious of trying to incorporate self care into my life is my weekly skating practices. Being on the ice and riding that high of an invigorating work out and doing something that I’m good at always makes me feel my best. And, since I began weekly instead of biweekly practices, it has made me realize that I really don’t do enough for myself. So, I decided to change that.

When I began my career as a service provider for people with special needs, working evenings were just part of the deal. But, now that I’m more established, I thought that it was high time to treat myself to a normal schedule. And, come October, I will only be working one evening a week!

This is a change that I have been craving for a long time now and I’m looking forward to actually having time for myself when I get home from work. Whether that be practicing my languages, reading a book, binge watching a show, or taking a bath – I finally have that option now! And, maybe *just maybe*, I could start having a regular social life. Because, trust and believe, it’s hard fitting in hang outs, errands, and skating all in one weekend. This caused me to enter my work week feeling even more exhausted and it grew into a vicious cycle.

There are so many things that I plan on doing with my evenings off but, what I’m most looking forward to is finding an American Sign Language class to attend. Weirdly enough, there are no weekend classes at the centers for the deaf in my area but evening classes are available. So, that is definitely going to be on my agenda very soon! It feels good to do for me while still maintaining my caseload at work and lifewithlilred and I am ready for work free evenings to commence!

How do you practice self care? What do you do during your free time to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

NJOYing Myself

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NJOYing Myself

Helloooo everyone! So, it’s no secret that I love me a good cigarette. I have been a smoker for longer than I care to admit and I really had no intention of quitting any time soon. But, once I was introduced to the NJOY vape pen by one of my girlfriends, I decided to give it a try. Now, I’m well aware that vaping is not much better than good old fashioned cigarette smoking but, hey, it’s an improvement and I’ll take it! Check it out:

I have been using my NJOY for about three weeks now and haven’t had a cigarette since. I admit, the device in itself is pretty lame looking but it was only a dollar at the gas station and a pack of two liquid pods was ten bucks. I have enjoyed the watermelon and mint cartridges and, as opposed to smoking a whole cigarette, I can hit this once or twice and then go about my day.

It’s not like I was a pack a day smoker or anything, I had three maximum on a longer work day and none to one on a day off. But, my NJOY has saved me money and it’s nice to be able to do it anywhere without disturbing anyone or making the room or car smell smokey. I am also thankful that I’m not experiencing any of the withdrawal symptoms that I would get if I quit cold turkey right away. The last time I quit smoking, I gained weight, which is a really sensitive thing for me and it made me never want to quit again.

I don’t plan on using the NJOY for forever and I’m quite confident in being able to kick this habit, too. In fact, I’ve noticed that the longer I’ve had it, the less I’ve been using it throughout the day. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start and I’m happy with it!

How did you quit smoking? What is your favorite vape flavor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If The Skate Fits

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If The Skate Fits

Greetings!! As a child and teenager I figure skated competitively, but hung up my skates when I was sixteen or so. After this decision was made, I would still go to the rink and skate for fun but wasn’t really interested in much else. However, this past year, I ran into one of my old coaches and decided that I wanted to get back on the ice.

I started learning how to ice dance simply because I thought that it would be fun and I always wanted to try it. I also felt better starting with this because it’s all footwork as opposed to jumping and spinning. But, during a session this summer, as I worked with one of the ladies who taught me how to skate, she encouraged me to give some freestyle a try. And, after landing a few of my old jumps and nailing some spins, I was hooked.

Now, I practice both ice dancing and freestyle during my sessions and it makes me feel so good. I enjoy my time on the ice more than anything else throughout the week but, I was facing a major problem: the need for a new pair of skates was so real.

The skates that I was using were probably the better part of two decades old. And, they weren’t even mine. Lol, they were a hand me down from another coach so that my family wouldn’t have to invest a ton of money in a new pair. Believe me, they served their purpose well and I am so thankful to them and the coach who gave them to me. And, frankly, if I was only ice dancing, they probably would have still cut it. But, once I began jumping and spinning again, there was just no way that I could continue skating safely with them.

My skates definitely felt unstable and lacked the support I needed for freestyle and I knew that something needed to be done if I wanted to continue practicing without an injury. So, my mom and I took a trip to the Skaters Edge to see what my options were.

The Skaters Edge just so happens to be the skate shop that I went to in all of the years that I’ve been skating. From my first pair of skates to my first competition dress, they were there for all of it. So, imagine my surprise when my mom and I walked into the shop to see that the same two gentlemen were working there ten years later. It felt like going back in time!

Chris was the guy who took care of me during my years as a skater and I remember him well because I had a massive crush on him. And, not much has changed and he has aged like a fine wine. He told me that nothing could be done to make my old skates better and the best option would be to buy a new pair. This is what I was fearing, because I knew that it would be expensive. But, we were able to cut the cost down by putting my old blade on a new boot and I ended up with these pretty new babies by Jackson:

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^^^ Peep that blinged out back!

My new skates fit like a glove and I am so in love with them. They are simply beautiful and they feel like they were made just for me. The tweaks and touches that Chris added to make sure that they fit me properly were done with the steady hand and eye of a surgeon and I am so thankful for his precision and workmanship.

I have yet to skate on my new babes because there is a break in summer ice before the fall begins. But, I can’t wait to get back on the ice and test them out! I know that they are just what I need to continue to skate safely and advance in my sport and I could not be happier with them. ❤

Do you play any sports? What kind of equipment did you need to invest in to play? 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