Tag Archives: holiday spirit

Gift Ideas For The Littles On Your List

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Gift Ideas For The Littles On Your List

Hello! Johnny and I are the proud aunt and uncle of a toddler aged boy and girl and a newborn little girl. They are each so precious and we love to spoil them rotten every chance we get! Prior to them being born, we both had little to no experience with children. Now, we can make mom and dad jokes with the best of them every treat day and the novelty never wears off. Being an aunt and uncle is an absolute hoot and every gift giving occasion makes us want to buy out the entire toy aisle! If you have some littles on your holiday shopping list, here are some ideas to get you started:

LEGO DUPLO:

Johnny and I are both avid lovers of building LEGO and we are about to give our nephew a head start on the fun with his own DUPLO set. DUPLO are LEGO bricks made specifically for little ones that are bigger and have simpler builds. Our nephew is a fan of anything and everything related to vehicles – especially fire trucks. I was so excited to find a DUPLO fire truck set and just know he’ll have a blast putting it together with his mom and dad!

Book Nook:

Our oldest niece has a staggering collection of books and being read to is one of her favorite things. Among other gifts for her, I purchased a purple (Her favorite color) book nook. It is basically a bookshelf with cushions built in so she has a comfortable space to flip through the pages of her go to pop up books. The book nook is going to be so perfect in her playroom and I hope it continues to harvest her love of reading since her TT is a big reader too. ❀

Mothman Baby:

Our youngest niece is a newborn girl and this will be her first Christmas. Her big sister has grown fond of all things spooky thanks to me and Johnny so there is no better time than the present to get started with the youngest member of our niece and nephew crew. Aside from a “My First Christmas” gift for our little, we also got Mothman, Nessie, and Yeti Baby pop up books for her. They are absolutely DARLING (I read through them online before making the purchase) and are an awesome introduction to cryptids. These books show all of the baby cryptids on adventures that typically end with them being safely tucked in for a good night’s sleep. Too cute!

Activity/Sticker Books:

My oldest niece and nephew are obsessed with stickers and Water Wow books and these are such great stocking stuffers on the cheap. Coloring books, connect the dots, and picture finds are also wonderful ways to go too. They are sure to give your littles entertainment for at least five minutes – long enough to get some sips of coffee before it gets cold! πŸ˜€

Treat Day Tickets:

Taking our niece and nephew crew on treat days is such a joy for me and Johnny and can also make an awesome gift. Outings like a trip to the zoo or a child friendly amusement park will have to wait for warm weather but that will give them an adventure to look forward to! If you aren’t keen on waiting until summertime, indoor activity centers, children’s museums, a trip to the movie theater, or lunch at their favorite restaurant are all solid options.

Take A Class:

My niece and nephew are both three and that is a perfect age to get started on extracurricular activities. Our niece is currently taking dance classes and our nephew is taking tumbling. Funding a current class or signing them up for one would be such an amazing gift. Some ideas include classes for swimming, crafts, sports, singing, or baking. Bonus points if you take them to some of their lessons!

The holiday season is always a special time but it just hits different when you see little ones experiencing it. I cannot wait for another Christmas with my favorite lil besties! ❀

What is one of the best gifts you received as a child? What is something that one of your littles want for the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hello everyone and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!! The holiday season is now in full swing and I am so thankful to be able to share in it with all of you for the eighth year in a row. Normally, Thanksgiving is my freaking JAM. A family meal with all of my favorite foods makes for a very happy me. However, that will not be in the cards this year because it has been a very tough few months for my family and we will be missing someone at the table until she is able to come home. Rather than feast, I will be spending my day being incredibly thankful that that special someone is on the mend and will be back really soon. Although the food is important to me (lol), feeling #blessed on Thanksgiving is what the day is all about and I’ll be doing that in spades. ❀

Holidays are such a special, joyous time and it can be hard when they don’t feel that way. If that is the case for you too, then we can look forward to better days ahead together. If that is not the case for you, then please take some time out of your day to feel thankful for it. While my stomach won’t be full of my beloved green bean casserole (Hate all you want!!), my heart will be bursting at the seams for all of the good that has happened and will be coming up soon.

Thank you to all of my sweet lifewithlilred family for being a reason why I will be smiling today. My message to you today is that even when things suck massively – there is always a reason to smile. No matter how you spend the day, have a very Happy Thanksgiving and I am thankful for each and every one of you! Much love. -Sarah

Experience Gifts For The Holiday Season

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Experience Gifts For The Holiday Season

Hello! Are you bored with giving the standard holiday gifts? You know, lotions, candles, fleece blankets – all of the usual. Or, perhaps, you are shopping for the person who has everything? Regardless, maybe it’s time to switch gears and think about presents that you can’t wrap up and stick under the tree. We’re talking the gifts of experience! Shake things up this holiday season with these ideas and create lasting memories for your giftee in the new year:

Cooking Class:

Is your giftee gifted in the kitchen? Or can your giftee not cook at all lol? Either way, a cooking class would be such fun and something different. Whether it’s a class dedicated to delicious desserts or learning to cook Indian food, it will be a rewarding experience as well as a filling one because you can dig in afterwards! This is also a great gift to give to a couple for a unique date night.

Wine & Craft Class:

Wine or beer craft nights became wildly popular a few years ago and there’s a reason for that – they are a blast! Even if your giftee isn’t the crafty type, that’s okay! There will be a teacher to walk you through the entire process step by step and offer input to improve your project. Lots of different bars and restaurants host these events and I have seen everything from painting nights to woodworking and everything in between. You will also get the bonus of being able to display your creation in your home… Or tucked away in a closet depending on how it turns out. πŸ˜‰

Girls Night In:

Do you and your bestie have some serious catching up to do? How about booking a hotel room for a night? You can gab, watch all of the HBO, and enjoy the indoor pool and hot tub. I don’t know about you guys, but I always want to go swimming in the winter! DoorDash some grub or order room service and indulge yourselves with the ultimate girls night in.

Event Tickets:

Does your giftee have a love for the theater? Or maybe they are an adrenaline junkie and frequents amusement parks in the summer? Sports fan? Easy. All you need to do is buy a couple of tickets! It can be as big as tickets to a concert or simply treating them to a movie night for the latest flick they have been dying to see. Whatever you choose for your giftee, it is sure to be a much appreciated present.

Take A Hike:

Do you have an outdoorsy giftee on your list? How about planning an excursion on a hiking trail or a camping trip? Take a drive, pack a picnic lunch, and enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors. Of course, you might have to hold off until warmer weather but that’s totally fine! One of the points of experience gifts is to give the person something to look forward to. If your giftee has a green thumb, there are also lots of classes available to create your own succulent terrarium or potted plant display.

Animal Lovers:

Did you know that some zoos offer “Get Closer” experiences? This allows you to have one on one time with certain animals at the zoo. I actually did a Get Closer experience with my brother at the Akron Zoo to see the Galapagos Tortoises and it was amazing! We got to love on them, feed them treats, and learn about them from one of the employees. If you have an animal lover to shop for, this is a fantastic way to go!

The gift of experience is sure to please everyone on your list and it gives you the opportunity to get creative too. Use some of the ideas above or put your thinking cap on to come up with the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

Have you ever received an experience gift before? What kind of gifts do you like to give? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Subscription Boxes: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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Subscription Boxes: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Hello!! I take my holiday shopping very seriously because I love being able to spoil my family and friends. We have been discussing lots of holiday gift options here on lifewithlilred and today we are going to continue on by chatting about the gift that keeps on giving – subscription boxes. Subscription gifts are awesome because it’s not just a present for Christmas but every month! This is a gift that will always go over well so let’s talk about some popular choices to treat your giftee to this holiday season:

Entertainment:

One of the most obvious subscription gifts has to be streaming services and there are plenty to choose from. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are all excellent for your standard viewing options and cover every genre imaginable. However, there are specialty streaming services like CrunchyRoll for anime fans or Shudder for horror buffs so bear this in mind if your giftee has one specific genre that they love. Remember, you don’t have to gift an entire year’s worth of a streaming service, either. Most of these services offer a three month, six month, or full year package.

Food, Glorious Food:

Is your giftee handy in the kitchen? If so, a meal kit subscription like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh could be a great choice. These kits offer meals for all kinds of different diets and are mindful to any allergies or restrictions. Not only will it be fun for your giftee to whip up something brand new but it is also a huge time savor too. A meal kit means that no grocery shopping is required – score! πŸ˜€

If your giftee isn’t too keen to cook, you can also do a subscription for DashPass to eliminate delivery fees on DoorDash. This is something that my Johnny would love because his favorite Sunday activity is DoorDashing Popeye’s or Steak N’ Shake lol.

Beauty:

It’s always nice to try out new makeup, bath and body care, and skin care and subscriptions to Ipsy, Sephora Play, or BirchBox allow you to do just that every month. This is a subscription that will be sure to please the beauty guru in your life and it gives them the opportunity to try products out without committing to a full price and full size item. As someone who deeply enjoys testing out new products, I would be thrilled to receive a beauty box subscription!

Ride Sharing:

Although ride sharing programs like Uber and Lyft don’t have a subscription, per se, they do offer gift cards. If your giftee lives for a night on the town, this could be a wonderful way to go. It’s always a blast to have a night out at a restaurant, bar, or theater but it’s never as good when you have to worry about transportation. A ride sharing gift card will fully eliminate this issue and can allow your giftee to let loose safely.

Oh You Crafty, Huh?

If you have some kiddos on your shopping list, fear not – there are lots of cool subscriptions for them too! Options like Little Passports and Cratejoy can provide your littles with a fun and educational craft every month. You can sweeten the pot of this gift by offering babysitting services to their parents so that they can have a night out and you and your lil giftee can complete the craft together. This is a total two for one gift deal and one that parents and children will both love!

Pet Parents:

Is your giftee the parent to a spoiled rotten pet? If so, you can’t go wrong with BarkBox! Pet subscription boxes will send you toys, treats, and chews for the beloved pet and will help deepen the bond with their owner. This is a really good option for pet parents because they are going to be receiving things that they would more than likely end up buying anyways. The money that they save can go to even more pet products! πŸ˜€

There is, truly, a subscription for every hobby and interest and it is a gift that everyone on your list will enjoy. The best part? No gift wrapping required!

Do you use any monthly subscription boxes? What is a subscription that you would like to receive? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Homemade Gifts For Everyone On Your Shopping List

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Homemade Gifts For Everyone On Your Shopping List

Hello!! While store bought presents are always nice, I think we can all agree that there’s something about a homemade gift that just hits different. Homemade gifts are special because someone took the time to craft, cook, or create something just for you. It’s a one of a kind gift that can’t be replicated on any website and that means a lot. Today, we’re going to discuss some homemade gift options as the countdown to the holiday season draws closer so you can wow everyone on your shopping list:

Sweet Treats:

The holiday season is the perfect time to indulge in your sweet tooth before New Year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle begins. Chocolate, caramel, or candy apples, trays of cookies, cakes, or homemade chocolate truffles are all an easy and delicious way to go. This will also help your giftee with their holiday feast because dessert will already be taken care of!

Scrapbooks/Photo Albums:

Does your giftee have a million vacation or family photos on their phone that never got printed? Then, a scrapbook or photo album will be a much appreciated gift! Let your crafty side take over with fun backgrounds, cute stickers, and your own happy memories of your giftee to share. Your present will make a lovely addition to any shelf or coffee table and will be able to be enjoyed whenever your giftee feels like taking a stroll down memory lane.

Tech Savvy:

Are you fairly tech savvy and have a business owner as a giftee? How about using your skills to create a social media page or business website for them? Your handiwork will assist in helping their business grow throughout the new year. If your giftee already has a site or social media page, you could offer to manage or update it to keep things fresh and relevant.

Pet Parents:

Do you have some pet parents to shop for? You are in luck because there are so many great homemade options to create. Customized pet bowls, snuffle mats, and homemade treats are all excellent places to start. Or, perhaps your giftee owns a small animal who needs fresh veggies in their diet? You could make a small indoor garden with pots containing herbs and leafy greens. Your favorite Lil Red rabbit owner would definitely love something like that!

Game/Movie Night Bundle:

Does your giftee enjoy hosting movie or game nights? If so, a bundle to assist in their next event could be very easily arranged. In a small gift basket, you could provide all of the fixings for a fun night in. A DVD or board game, snacks, or a homemade throw blanket to snuggle up in will further enhance the festivities. You also just might secure an invite to their next get together. Score! PS: This option can also be modified for a date night if you are shopping for a couple.

No matter what you choose to create for a homemade gift, you are already winning the holidays. I just know that your giftee will appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity!

What is the best homemade gift that you have received? What kind of gifts have you made before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

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The Benefits Of Family Togetherness During The Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and loved ones to come together and celebrate. It’s a time for happiness, joy, and good cheer. But it’s also a time for reflection. A time to look back on the year that has passed and think about all that has happened. It’s a time to think about the future and what lies ahead. And what better way to reflect on the past year and plan for the future than by spending time with those you love most?

There are many benefits to spending time with family during the holidays. Although we’re nowhere near Christmastime yet, we are very close to Christmas In July so you can experience them early! This article will explore just a few of them and how you can make the most of this special time with your loved ones:

Strengthens relationships:

The holiday season is a special time when families come together to celebrate their traditions and strengthen their relationships. Spending time together fosters communication and bonding, two essential ingredients for any strong relationship. The holidays are also a time when families can relax and enjoy each other’s company, free from the demands of work and school.

In today’s busy world, finding quality time to spend with our loved ones can be difficult. But the holidays offer a perfect opportunity to slow down, relax, and focus on what truly matters – family. By making the most of our time together, we can create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Increases morale:

For some, the holidays can be a stressful time. There’s the pressure to buy the perfect gifts, cook the perfect meal, and create the perfect holiday experience. This stress can take a toll on our physical and mental health. But spending time with our families during the holidays can reduce stress and increase our morale.

Family togetherness helps us to relax and enjoy. We can laugh and have fun together. We can reminisce about past holidays and create new traditions. And we can show our loved ones how much we care about them. So if you’re feeling stressed this holiday season, take some time to spend with your family. It will do wonders for your morale.

Allows for reflection on the past year:

The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends. They offer a chance to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming year. For many people, the holidays are also a time to express their gratitude for what they have.

One of the best ways to show your loved ones how much you care is to spend quality time together. This doesn’t mean that you have to be together every minute of the day; simply being in each other’s company can be a great way to show your love and appreciation.

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Many activities can help promote family togetherness during the holidays. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Watching Christmas movies together:

Christmas movies are a staple of the holiday season. They offer a chance to escape the world’s reality and enjoy some good old fashioned family fun. So why not gather the family around the television and enjoy a few of your favorites? You can even make it a tradition to watch the same movies yearly.

Baking holiday cookies:

One of the best things about the holidays is the delicious food. Baking holiday cookies is an awesome activity for the whole family. You teach your children how to bake and they get to eat the cookies when they’re done. It’s a chance to spend time together and create yummy treats that everyone will enjoy.

Get professional pictures together:

Getting photographs together is a fantastic method to preserve the Christmas holidays memories. Hiring professional photographers can be expensive but might be nice to do every few years. Hiring a professional photo editor to edit pictures of your kids and family members might also be a good idea. This will ensure that the pictures are high quality and capture the spirit of the holidays.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. Make the most of your time together and enjoy all of the benefits of it!

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

Warm Up With These Indoor Winter Activities

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Warm Up With These Indoor Winter Activities

Hello! I love the way the snow makes everything look like a holiday greeting card… and that’s about it lol. Driving in it is for the birds and as someone who is constantly cold, I can do without the extra dose of brrrrrr. So, needless to say, I like to enjoy my winter activities from the great indoors! If you feel similarly, try out these ideas all from the comfort of being wrapped in your favorite blanket:

Present Wrapping Party:

I absolutely LOVE shopping for holiday gifts but wrapping them? Not so much! Of course, it is a necessary evil and making it more fun can make it, dare I say, pleasant? Invite your friends over for a present wrapping marathon complete with hot cocoa and holiday movies. You can even have a gift swap at the end as a little reward for a job well done.

All Aboard:

In my neck of the woods, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers all kinds of fun winter activities and you can peep the falling snow without being stuck in it! For the little ones, they offer the Polar Express and for adults, there tends to be a beer or wine tasting event as you ride the train. If there is something similar in your area, it could be a fun way to shake things up for a unique winter memory.

Craft Competitions:

There are so many winter baubles and trinkets that you can craft and you can up the ante by turning it into a competition. How about a gingerbread house bake off? Creating your own candles with festive scents? Or decorating ornaments for your tree or mantel? The prize could simply be bragging rights or a small gift to commemorate their victory.

Santa Hat Movie Viewing:

If you’re looking for a boozy time with friends or drinking a lot of hot chocolate, then have I got a game for you! Whether it’s a holiday movie or not, put a Santa hat on the corner of the TV and when any character ends up “wearing” it, take a drink. I promise that it will make the Hallmark movie marathon way more bearable! πŸ˜€

Winter Game Night:

Game nights are always fun and, this time, you can put a holiday twist on it. Try charades with famous holiday movie scenes to act out. Or, go around in a circle and each person will have to say the next word of a Christmas carol. Pin the ornaments on the tree? A holiday edition of Never Have I Ever? You could even make a photo booth set up for goofy holiday pictures… The possibilities are endless! Don’t forget a hot chocolate bar or trail mix station for your guests!

Don’t let it snow on your parade with the ideas above and stay comfy cozy all while achieving the ultimate holiday spirit! πŸ˜€

PS: Spread the joy by putting a “buy in” to each event you host by having your guests bring a canned good to donate to a local shelter. ❀

What is your favorite winter activity? What puts you in the holiday spirit? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Flight Of Fancy OOTD Bonus Pictures

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Flight Of Fancy OOTD Bonus Pictures

Hello everyone and welcome to some bonus pictures from yesterday’s Flight Of Fancy OOTD! That Saturday was such a fun day of playing model with my husband, having a libation at our favorite bar, and enjoying a community holiday activity with my family. It was the perfect day immersed in holiday spirit and I loved every minute of it! Let’s get to it:

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Over the past several years, downtown Cuyahoga Falls has transformed itself into a happening little place. Prior to the renovations, this area had more closed down shops and restaurants than open. Now, every storefront is practically filled with unique eateries, boutiques, and novelty shops. Not to mention all of the amazing holiday activities and festivals that are hosted there throughout the year.

This past Saturday, downtown Cuyahoga Falls opened up its outdoor skating rink and had a Santa parade, fireworks, and tree lighting ceremony to celebrate. Johnny and I met up with my parents and niece for the festivities and had an absolute blast. Our niece got to see her TT skate for the first time and she also got to see Santa riding on a firetruck through the streets.

Not only was the area beautifully decorated for the holidays but it was also snowing which made for a scene fresh out of a Hallmark movie. There was music playing, people dancing in the streets, and an indoor area to warm up, sip hot chocolate, and have the little ones write their letters to Santa. So much fun! πŸ˜€

A wonderful time was had by all this past weekend and I am so appreciative to my hometown for hosting such awesome events to bring the community together. ❀

How does your neck of the woods get in the holiday spirit? Is there a similar area to downtown Cuyahoga Falls where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah