Tag Archives: holiday haul

Happy Haulidays: Parents Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Parents Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to the last edition of my holiday haul compliments of my parents! The one thing that I asked for for Christmas was a new set of pots and pans and they definitely delivered. I can’t wait to use the beautiful set that they got me and it will be nice to not have to do dishes immediately after cooking dinner as I originally only had a handful of pots and pans before! Check it out:

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Thanks to my husband’s family graciously giving us a new air fryer for Christmas and the new cookware from mine, we have everything that we need in our kitchen now. I am so happy! I try to cook an “actual” dinner instead of air fried foods several times per week so these pots and pans will certainly come in handy. My old cookware is also, admittedly, not the best so using quality cookware for the first time is something that I’m really looking forward to.

While some might consider cooking to be a chore, it is one of my favorite things to do. Serving food for someone is an act of love, and I always enjoy whipping up mine and Johnny’s favorite meals. Our middle class fancy conversation after dinner usually is something along these lines…

Me: I love cooking you dinner.

Johnny: And I love eating it!

Lol, there is nothing more satisfying than that to me!

After a much needed curbside grocery order, I have a feeling that I will be cooking up a storm. Thanks to my parents, I have all of the tools I need to make my time spent cooking an even more joyful experience. ❀

What are some of your favorite vegetarian recipes? How do you show love to someone? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Sister & Family Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Sister & Family Edition

Hello! To celebrate Christmas part two, my entire family went to Oglebay in Wheeling, West Virginia all together. It was such a wonderful long weekend filled with good company, good food, and all of the holiday cheer. To kick start our festivities, we began with a gift exchange for all of the presents that hadn’t been opened yet. My sister, her boyfriend, and my sweet niece gifted me with the following:

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I was so happy to give everyone their presents and receiving some for me was the cherry on top. I am very excited to test out my new makeup from Nars and Anastasia Beverly Hills because I have never used anything by either brand before. Be sure to keep it posted on lifewithlilred for some swatch posts soon!

Not only did I get some new makeup but I also was gifted with some pretty copper mugs to make Moscow Mules with – my favorite. As always, the Chipotle gift card will serve me well because that is also one of my favorites. It isn’t quite Taco Bell but it still holds a special place in my heart. ❀

The crowning jewel of my gifts from my sis and her family is definitely the handmade mustard yellow beanie from Discounted Dreams. It is a small business run by one of our friends who is pretty incredible with some needles and yarn. I have already worn my gift several times and it is nice and warm – not to mention one of my favorite colors too!

My long weekend with my whole family was the best gift in the entire world but I sure love my presents from my big sis. Keep tuning into lifewithlilred for more about Oglebay, a brand new OOTD, makeup swatches, and haulidays!

How did your family celebrate the holiday season? Have you ever been to Oglebay before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

Hello! This past Wednesday, my best friend of fourteen years, Lea, and I had our holiday gift exchange. It may have been a bit late but it still felt like Christmas magic to me. As soon as she walked in the door, we immediately began opening presents and spent the evening girl talking away. I am so in love with what my best girl gifted me with and my new flower pressed coasters she got me from Etsy already have a very special place on my coffee table:

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Lea and I both know the value of receiving bath and body care during gift exchanges so I was very excited for some eos brand goodies to add to my beauty hoard. I have only ever used their lip balms before, which are fabulous, so I can’t wait to test out the lotion and hand cream. Eos is a brand that I have always been interested in, but would never buy for myself so it was a perfect present.

Of course, the piece de resistance were the handmade coasters that she purchased off of Etsy. We both share an affinity for shopping on Etsy and my gifts from her were actually ordered on there too. I have never owned coasters before so it definitely felt like moving up in the adult world. And, what an amazing place to start because they are beautiful! πŸ˜€

For over fourteen years, Lea and I have participated in gift exchanges and it will never get old. It is so special to share holidays and birthdays with her and, oh yeah, half of our lives too. She is the best friend a gal could ask for and I love her so much! ❀

How do you celebrate holidays with your bestie? Do you have a favorite Etsy shop? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

Hello! Due to the high rates of COVID in Ohio, Johnny and I have had to have late Christmas celebrations with our families. This is why you haven’t seen any OOTDs or Hauliday posts recently but keep your eyes peeled because they are still going to happen! This past week, we celebrated with Johnny’s family and one of his aunts who is just wonderful and it was such a great time.

Living during a pandemic is insanely difficult but especially during the holidays as Johnny and I want to protect our vulnerable populations as much as we can. We haven’t seen his family as much as we would like so it was so nice to be able to share a meal, catch up, and open presents. Johnny’s family so generously gifted me with the following:

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Hanging out with Johnny’s family after so much time apart was the best gift of all, of course, but I am so appreciative of everything that they treated us to. I love my cobweb earrings the best of all and I am tickled by the gift from Johnny’s dad of the flashlight/screw driver/whistle/everything else lol. It is such a dad gift and I am obsessed – even if I don’t quite know how to use it. πŸ˜€

I am also very touched by the ornament from his mom made for caregivers, although we all had a laugh about how we couldn’t read the sweet sentiments that were on it. Johnny and I have been diligently working through our holiday chocolate – my favorite being the chocolate covered chips. I have never tried one before and it is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I could seriously eat twenty bags of them!

The piece de resistance of our holiday haul had to be the new air fryer for the both of us. We meant to buy a new one after we got married as ours was on the fritz but we just never got around to it. It finally went kaput a few months ago so we were thrilled with the new appliance. We have been air frying literally everything and have missed it so much. The novelty of air fried food never wears off. πŸ™‚

Although we didn’t keep up with our Miller family tradition of watching Christmas Vacation together, it was still an amazing celebration. I am so thankful to have two beautiful families to join in the holidays with and have my fingers crossed that we can celebrate next Christmas on time altogether! ❀

How did you celebrate the holidays this year? What is your favorite gift in your holiday haul? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Bestie Edition

Hi!! When lifewithlilred was in its early years, I developed a friendship with a fellow blogger and fashion enthusiast named Kate of Live In The Nautical. What started as comments on each others blogs turned to Facebook friendship, texting, video chats, and a trip to New York City to visit her! For years, Kate has been one of my absolute best friends and I am so thankful to the blogosphere for bringing us together. ❀

From a love of Harry Potter and figure skating to celebrities we can’t stand, Kate and I can talk for hours on end about everything and nothing and I always look forward to our FaceTime dates. We also both love gift shopping for birthdays and Christmas so the holiday season and our close together June birthdays are a very exciting time for us!

This past week, Kate and I exchanged super early Christmas gifts in the mail and it was such fun. Despite the fact that her package used SO. Much. Tape. that I compared it to trying to break into a jail when attempting to open it! Lol take a look at these darling prezzies from my darling bestie:

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Both Kate and I can concur that our friendship is the best gift of all but the gifts above are a nice touch! I am obsessed with the Espresso Patronum mug a la Harry Potter and plan on drinking all of the coffee spiked with Baileys in it… Or maybe just Baileys! And, of course, I can’t wait to test out the bath bombs from Lush because Kate knows that they are my favorite. ❀

Every day I am so grateful for Kate but times of celebration like the holidays make me realize how lucky I am to have her in my life even more. I can go to her for anything, judgement free, and I know that she will listen, offer sound advice, and make me laugh like no other. I love the self who I am when we are together (albeit through a computer screen) and she is one of the best things that came out of starting my blog in the first place.

The blogosphere is such an amazing way for people to come together and near or far, I have made a best friend for life. Kate, I love you so much and thank you for everything you do for me. Now, everyone go check out her page!

Have you met any best friends through your blog? What is your favorite thing about blogging? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Gift To Myself Edition

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Holiday Haul: Gift To Myself Edition

Hello! It would not be the holiday season without purchasing a little post Christmas prezzie for myself so, armed with gift cards to TJMaxx so generously gifted to me, I began to online shop. Well… I actually wouldn’t call this “shopping” because, for once, I knew exactly what I wanted when I went on TJ’s website instead of searching for what I didn’t know I needed.

I have had my eye on a beautiful skull adorned cashmere sweater by 360 Cashmere for the past several months now but it was too expensive for me to justify buying it. Then, as a Christmas miracle, it got marked down and I said “I think I can swing that”! My new sweater is totally me and I am so happy with my purchase. Merry late Christmas to myself! Check it out:

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The first time I saw this sweater all of those months ago, I fell in love. I absolutely adore skull prints on clothing, which just goes to show that some people never outgrow their emo phase lol. I have also never owned anything cashmere before and the mere idea of wearing it felt luxurious. I was so eager to finally try this sweater on and I felt just as posh and cozy as I imagined – if not MORE!

My skull sweater is as soft as puppy fur and it doesn’t feel too hot, either, which is something that I was worried about. The oversized shape also allows the fabric to breathe for maximum comfort. Despite loving the style of slouchy sweaters, I actually can’t say that I own one and not for lack of trying. I have never found one that was just right until now, I suppose. πŸ™‚

From the charcoal grey palette to a V neck line that isn’t plunging and my favorite pattern, this sweater checks all of my boxes. I can’t wait to wear it with jet black super skinny jeans and tall boots but I can also picture myself pairing it with a long skirt, similar to my OOTD this past Christmas. Now, if only things were safe so I could break this bad boy out for a game night with Johnny and our friends.

My holiday haul ended with a special gift from me to me and I know that I will get great use of it. I’m also proud of myself for waiting for my sweater to get marked down because it showed self restraint that I didn’t know I was capable of, haha!

Did you treat yourself to anything this past holiday season? What is your favorite gift that you received in your holiday haul? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Formula 10.0.6 Turn Up The Heat Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Formula 10.0.6 Turn Up The Heat Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Face Mask Festivities. Today, we are going to be talking about one of the masks that I received in my Holiday Haul by Formula 10.0.6 and, I have to say, I am very glad that this is a mask that I didn’t buy on my own because it was a massive dud. But, hey, they can’t all be winners and it’s still always nice to try something new. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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My first qualm with the Turn Up The Heat face mask was the pump bottle that it came in. If you held it with the pump on top, nothing came out and if you held it with the pump on the bottom, it was still really difficult to get anything out. Also, the amount of face mask that pumped out was minuscule so it took some time to get enough to cover my face and, even then, it was a thin coating at best. A squeeze bottle would have worked so much better!

Despite the issues with simply getting the product out of the bottle, I was still excited to try it because I love a good self-warming mask. But, unfortunately, the mask never heated up on my face. Rather, it got warm in my hands and by the time I applied it to my face, the effect was already gone and that was definitely a disappointment since the self-warming was the whole point of the mask.

Up until I finished washing the mask off, I was still holding on to a slight benefit of the doubt but that quickly dissipated once I realized how tight my skin was afterwards. It felt so dehydrated and I couldn’t get my moisturizer on fast enough. I also noticed no positive changes in my complexion, either. WHOMP WHOMP.

I would not recommend this mask at all as it was lackluster on all fronts. The highly inconvenient packaging was one thing but the Turn Up The Heat mask did not work as described and did nothing for my skin. Don’t bother with this one!

Is there a self-warming mask that you recommend? Have you used any products that were duds lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Second Family Edition

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Holiday Haul: Second Family Edition

Hello and welcome to the final Holiday Haul post from this past Christmas! I am so in love with everything that I received and I am already putting all of my gifts to great use. I have had such fun finding special homes for my presents, testing out products, and basically living in my new robe and slippers when I am at my apartment! This Christmas was a bright light at the end of the tunnel of an awful year and I look back on it fondly. I also can’t help but smile every time I see these sweet gifts from those who I consider my “second family”. Check it out:

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In case you can’t tell, Johnny and I are HUGE fans of the Harry Potter books and movies so we just feel spoiled rotten with these gifts. Like Johnny’s parents, my second family had the thoughtful idea to gift us with ornaments for our tree next year and I am so happy with how our collection is already shaping up. Johnny and I are both particularly fond of the one with Harry on his broom. His lil face and scar are just so cute!

During this pandemic, I have enjoyed working on puzzles at my parent’s house and with all of my clients. Unfortunately, Johnny and I just have no space in our apartment to work on a puzzle so I can’t wait until we move somewhere bigger. One of my first orders of business will be placing a small table in the game room we would like to set up so I can get my puzzle on. I think I will start with the one I was gifted with this Christmas first. πŸ™‚

The piece de resistance of this haul was definitely the Hagrid’s Hut LEGO set. Johnny and I made quick work of it the day after I brought these presents home and it turned out SO cool. We haven’t gotten a new Harry Potter LEGO set in forever and Hagrid’s Hut has been on my list for quite some time as I would like to expand the Hogwarts grounds. Johnny and I are planning on getting the Quidditch Pitch, the Whomping Willow, and the Divination Tower sets throughout this year to keep growing our LEGO world. For pics of the completed Hagrid’s Hut set, be sure to tune in tomorrow!

My second family knows me like the back of their hands and Johnny and I could not be more thankful for these amazing Harry Potter themed gifts! I can’t wait to celebrate Christmas more traditionally with them next year and feel so grateful to have such wonderful friends looking out for me. ❀

Have you built a LEGO set recently? Which one? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Boyfriend’s Family Edition

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Holiday Haul: Boyfriend’s Family Edition

Hello! The day after Christmas, Johnny and I visited his parents and it was so nice. Due to COVID, I have not seen them in forever and I was really happy to safely spend time with them. We opened gifts, caught up, and watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as per their family tradition. I feel lucky that this was my second viewing with them and I can’t wait for many more. Johnny and I were gifted with such beautiful presents and I am so tickled that they even got me a stocking for their mantel! Check it out:

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^^^ The adorable “Our First Pandemic” ornament is from Johnny! πŸ™‚

I love all of the gifts from Johnny’s parents so much and I love that many of them are from local businesses in our area even more. The unique earrings came from a local boutique as well as the bar soap and delicious smelling Gingerbread Caramel lotion, which was from Hope Soap. They have a store in downtown Cuyahoga Falls and I have always wanted to check it out so I’m really eager to try their products. And, don’t even get me started on the popcorn from Amaize because it is the BEST. Johnny and I were gifted with a huge sampler of their different flavors last year on our birthdays and we made very quick work of it!

Johnny’s parents also gave us several different ornaments, which was so thoughtful because despite not having a Christmas tree in our apartment this year, we will definitely want one for next Christmas when we are in a bigger place. It will be so much fun to collect ornaments for our own tree and we already have a nice start! I particularly love the middle ornament in the picture above – it is so pretty. πŸ™‚

Being able to spend time with Johnny’s family was the best gift of all. I miss them so and I can’t wait until things are significantly less crazy so we can see them more often. ❀

Do you have an ornament collection? What is your favorite ornament or holiday decoration? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Holiday Haul: Sister & Family Edition

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Holiday Haul: Sister & Family Edition

Hello!! My sister, Kristen, her SO, Ramon, and sweet daughter, Valerie, are my best friends and I love being their fourth wheel more than anything. Being able to share so many holidays with Kristen and Ramon and now their daughter is always going to be special to me and this past Christmas was no exception. Miss Val made out like an adorable little bandit this Christmas and she was even able to unwrap some of her own gifts this year! Her “TT” had quite the haul herself, though, and I am so excited about the gifts I received from Val and her amazing parents. Check it out:

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Kristen texted me earlier in December asking me what I would like for Christmas and I told her that some new face masks to try out would be much appreciated. She took this idea and ran with it, gifting me two face masks by Formula 10.0.6. I am eager to test both masks out – particularly the self-warming clay mask. I used to get a self-warming mask from The Body Shop back in the day and it was one of my favorites. Speaking of favorites, I also got an awesome GUDETAMA lip balm and he is my favorite, lazy egg in the whole world. Don’t believe me? Check out my Facebook posts where I am constantly replying to people with Gudetama themed stickers! πŸ˜€

When my sister texted me, I didn’t tell her that I would really like a new pair of Express leggings too but she knows me well enough to have gotten me a pair, anyways. Kristen gifted me with leggings from Express last year and they are simply the best. I am so happy to have another pair because I wear my old ones literally all the time and, although they are still in great condition, it will be nice to have the option to alternate.

Pre-COVID, going to my favorite bars with Johnny and Kristen was always a treat and nine times out of ten, you could catch me drinking a Moscow Mule. I love them! And, with new copper mugs from Kristen and her fam, I’ll be able to make them at home with my go to recipe and not have to put them in coffee mugs like usual, lol. Great success!

Now, you might be wondering why in the heck Kristen gave the game of Guess Who? to me and Johnny and I’ll tell you why. A few months ago, we were all at chez parents and Kristen happened to bring her copy of the game over. We had many rousing rounds with my brother, Andrew, and it was a hoot. I also love the much more culturally diverse update of Guess Who? too! I think Johnny and I will get a kick out of playing it when we are stuck in the doldrums of feeling like there is “nothing” to do. πŸ™‚

Kristen and her family were so generous this Christmas and I really am touched because these gifts are absolutely perfect for me. My sister knows me like the back of her hand and knew that the majority of what she gave me were things that I would like but never buy for myself and that, in itself, is the best gift of all. ❀

Which store has the best leggings? How do you make drinks from the bar at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah