Hi! This past week, I thought I would bring the pumpkin patch to one of my clients so that we could paint them together. Painting pumpkins is one of my favorite activities to do with clients because for one: it’s a lot of fun and for two: I have never even carved a pumpkin before so I definitely don’t trust myself with that!
During the “pumpkin party”, we had Casper The Friendly Ghost playing on the TV while we worked on our masterpieces. We painted away until we were satisfied with our creations and then gave each other a grand reveal of the end results. They looked a little something like this:
While I opted for multicolored polka dots on my pumpkin, my client decided he wanted to make one with the likeness of yours truly. I’ve got to say, I can definitely see the similarities and I was so touched that that’s what he wanted to make with the pumpkin I brought him. We both gave each other the pumpkins we made at the end of the day and I have mine proudly displayed in my apartment.
Whether it be painting pumpkins, hand traced turkeys for Thanksgiving, or ornaments for the holiday season: Painting is a blast. Make an afternoon of your crafting by putting on a movie or music to fit the theme and get to stepping on your own handmade holiday decor. And, always remember, that fun times can still be had from the safety of your home – all it takes is a little creativity!
Do you have any holiday craft ideas? What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hello! Halloween is right around the corner and, unfortunately, it’s going to be very different than in 2019. No trick or treat for my niece, no big parties, no Halloween concerts with Johnny – just lots of scary movies and fond memories of when COVID didn’t exist. If you’re a huge fan of Halloween like me and Johnny, this might have you feeling down and out about the lack of activity going on. So, why not give these spooky and safe ideas a try?
Trunk Or Treat:
In my neck of the woods, they are doing a trunk or treat program for the little ones getting in the Halloween spirit. This involves picking up a treat bag at ten different, driveable locations and, afterwards, your name will be put in a drawing for more goodies. My family plans on piling up in Johnny’s mini van so we can all enjoy seeing our little niece dressed up in her Halloween’s best… And all from the comfort of our car! Nice. 😀
Johnny and I have been watching nothing but scary movies this entire month and we have the streaming service, Shudder, to thank for that. In fact, we’ve had so much success that we plan on keeping the service beyond our free month long trial. From exclusive content just for Shudder, scary shows, movies, and the fact that they are constantly adding more programming I can’t believe we haven’t gotten this service sooner! The first show I recommend? Creepshow! It. Was. AWESOME.
If you’re used to having a yearly Halloween party with your friend group, how about hopping on Zoom to have a little reunion? Create costumes from what you already have at home and award a prize to the best look. Maybe that will be Cash app-ing some moolah or ordering a pizza for the top winner? Don’t forget “raspberry” prizes for the worst costume!
Spooky Scavenger Hunt:
A super fun way to celebrate Halloween night is with a spooky scavenger hunt. Limit yourselves just in your home and backyard and, once it gets dark, let the games begin. Fun for people of all ages, use clues and hints to help direct the participants to the items being collected. Mini pumpkins or ingredients to a “potion” perhaps? Once the hunt is complete, celebrate with candy, caramel apples, hot cider, and a movie.
Jack-O-Lantern contests are a great way to get the whole neighborhood involved in some Halloween fun. Have everyone vote for the best pumpkins on your block and see who comes out on top. You can also have contests for best decorated house, cutest pet costumes – you name it! Then, everyone in your area can get in on the Halloween spirit, too. 🙂
How are you safely celebrating Halloween this year? What did you dress up as last year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hello!! Yes, yes, roll your eyes all you want to my last minute holiday shoppers but Lil Red is over halfway done with her Christmas shopping! In case you haven’t noticed, I absolutely love gift giving and because I have so many people to shop for – the earlier I can get done the better for me. A stress free December where all I have to do is wrap up prezzies is the goal.
However, my drive to complete my holiday shopping doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten stuck on gifts to purchase. In fact, it’s been difficult this year because I feel like I’ve used up all of my best ideas before. Lol, so I had to get creative and if you got gifter’s block like me, you might appreciate these ideas:
I have quite a few giftees with a positively green thumb and gifts for the garden always go over well for them. This year, I was very interested in insect condos to help promote healthy garden growth as well as our bee population. These little “houses” feature all of the materials that handy insects like lady bugs, bees, butterflies (the list goes on) love like sawdust, bamboo, and cedar wood.
I thought these insect condos would be a perfect addition to the gardens that my giftees tend so lovingly and you can find tons of amazing homemade ones on Etsy or there are plenty on Amazon. I also had to snag a butterfly feeder for my dad (He doesn’t read my blog so I can post this, I swear!) because him and his granddaughter love watching the butterflies in his garden together. I know they will both be happy with it!
This year, I wanted to get something different for the families I work with as opposed to the normal holiday decor, chocolates, or ornaments. So, I found some baking boxes through King Arthur Flour to gift them with. These boxes come with all of the ingredients to make a delicious dessert and I thought it would be a fun activity that all of them could bake and enjoy together.
There is nothing better for baking than products from King Arthur Flour and I was happy to be able to get such nice gifts for a price I was comfortable with. In fact, I plan on purchasing more as it gets closer to Christmas to have shipped to other loved ones on my list.
Willow Tree Figures:
I have always been fond of gifting the beautiful Willow Tree figurines to people because they are sentimental and simple decor and it’s easy to find one that applies to wherever your giftee is in life. For example, last year when my mom and dad became grandparents, I gifted my mom a statue to represent that, as it was a grandma holding her sweet grandbaby.
From celebrating your pets and relationships to saying thank you by purchasing a Willow figure holding a bouquet of flowers, you are surely to find the right one for your giftee!
Stocking stuffers are great if you need a little something extra for a gift or you want to do an entire goodie basket. Winter accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves are a great place to start if you’re doing a gift exchange in your friend group. Cozy blankets, a decadent box of chocolates, and bottles of wine always go over well too! Still stuck? Candles, bath and body care, gift cards, your favorite book, and even socks (I like getting them!) are all crowd pleasers.
Take some of the stress out of your holiday preparations with the gift ideas above. Happy shopping!
When do you normally start holiday shopping? Who is the most difficult person on your list to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hi! One of my favorite times of the year is Halloween. I love the spooky atmosphere, the weather, and all of the promises of scary fun activities. The best part of Halloween for me, though? Haunted houses, of course! I told Johnny I wanted to go to a new one every year and he was game, however, with COVID it will be impossible to attend one this year.
After making the disheartening discovery of no haunted houses, I just had to start brainstorming for new ways to enjoy the Halloween season safely. I came up with the following:
Going to a pumpkin patch and picking out the perfect pumpkins to decorate, carve, or paint is something that can easily be done social distanced style. Many pumpkin patches often have other attractions like hay rides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and specialty shops to participate in too.
Making an afternoon at the pumpkin patch and then going home to get your jack-o-lantern on sounds like a great way to spend a weekend day. Get creative and competitive and see who in your friend group can carve the best pumpkin!
I freaking LOVE going apple picking, as does my entire family, so I am sure we will end up at an apple orchard this fall. My favorite one in Ohio also doubles as an ice cream parlor as well as a novelty shop with all apple everything. There is nothing better than filling up a bagful of crisp apples and grabbing a dish of ice cream as a treat. And, can you say social distanced?!
At Home Trick Or Treat:
Trick or treating is probably the last thing on everyone’s mind right now but the little ones love it. Dress up as a family and hide candies all around your house and yard. Dim the lights for some added spookiness and give hints and clues as necessary. Wrap up the activity with a fun Halloween movie like Casper or Hocus Pocus and have a piece of candy… or ten. 😉
Scary Movie Marathon:
Johnny and I have already decided that a scary movie marathon is how we are going to celebrate Halloween. We will be watching everything from the classics and foreign films to our present day favorites. I plan on having caramel apples (My favorite!), candy, and popcorn handy. I also would like to make some spiked apple cider with salted caramel vodka for a delicious hot or cold drink to sip on. Yum!
Halloween is definitely not going to be the same this year but it can still be fun! Use the ideas above to help get you started. 🙂
What is your favorite Halloween activity? How do you plan on safely celebrating? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hi! Around this time of the year I love taking stock of all of the amazing Halloween decor in stores (AKA all year round decor!). TJMaxx, Target, Walmart, and everything in between I just want to see and buy it all, lol. Every spooky guy and gal needs creepy cute decor!
Unfortunately, in COVID times it is hard for me to go out and about on a Halloween decor crawl because of how limited I keep my time in public. So, a few weeks ago, I resorted to browsing online for Halloween decorations and kept coming up short. Everything I liked was either sold out or not worth the price being asked.
Believe you me, I was disappointed because I really enjoy buying new decorations for my apartment. But, then, Johnny reminded me he brought some of his Halloween decor to our place and that put the pep right back in my step. How can these goofy adorable ghosts not make you smile? Check it out:
Johnny is an avid lover of Halloween, himself, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when he had plenty of spoils of his own to show me. He has tons of outdoor decor for when we finally have a place with a lawn and lots of knick knacks to display around the apartment. Now, not being able to shop in store for Halloween decor doesn’t seem all that bad. 🙂
What is your favorite holiday to decorate for? What is your favorite holiday to celebrate? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hello!! I know a ton of you are reading this title with a slight eye roll because Christmas is far away but yes… I did start shopping already. I promise it’s for good reason too because I have a ton of people to shop for. Not only do I have all of my family but I also have Johnny, his parents, my clients, and a new niece and nephew to share in the holiday spirit with.
I decided that I would like to knock out at least a couple of people on my list per month so that I am not stuck with a giant bill come December. I also feel a huge sense of relief when I am that much closer to purchasing all of the gifts I plan to put under the tree.
This past month, I decided to spoil my little niece rotten and I am so stoked about one of the items I ordered. Those with small children to shop for might be interested in this ultra fun and creative gift too:
Several months ago, I saw this inflatable, washable easel for finger painting advertised on Facebook and I thought it was such a fabulous idea. I could picture my sister and brother in law setting it up for my niece in their backyard on a nice summer day and having a ball with it. My niece will be older than two by the time it gets warm enough to use it and I can’t wait to see the masterpieces that she comes up with.
I figured that my niece is pretty well stocked for activities that she can use now – you should see her playroom! So, I wanted to purchase gifts that would be fun for her to use as she gets older. Her inflatable easel is what I am particularly excited for but I know Johnny is most looking forward to the tiny guitar he plans on getting her. It’s never too early to start lessons with her uncle! ❤
When do you normally start holiday shopping? Do you have a lot of people to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Christmas will be here before we know it. It’s scary how quick this whole year has gone and everything that has happened. But with recent events it is understandable that many of our minds just naturally wander to Christmas and some of the brighter times we have in the future. Chase the Christmas spirit by getting organized early. You won’t believe how less stressful Christmas time can be when you don’t leave things to the last minute. With that in mind, here are some top tips to get ready for the festive season ahead:
Writing up a list can save you a lot of hassle and time. It’s a way of downloading all those ideas you have in your mind and having them safe somewhere for you to refer back to. List what you need to do, who you need to buy for, gift ideas, and budgets. Check things off as you go along and you’ll be holiday season ready in no time.
What about the Christmas budget?
The sooner you start thinking about Christmas might be the moment you start to panic about the financial side of things. Many people save up throughout the year, but others may find that that they need some extra help around the holiday season. This is when looking at ways to finance the Christmas period could be useful. Many then use the following months to start planning and paying things back off.
Get those holiday cards written:
With all of the writing and sending off of Christmas cards in time for the actual day, it might be best to get them out of the way now. The same can be said for if you decide to throw a Christmas party or gathering. One of the biggest jobs is getting those party invitations sent out to your guests. Again, give yourself plenty of time to do this and consider having them printed to save on time.
Start bulk buying the food:
We know that Christmas is a time of eating and drinking with friends and family. While you can’t stock up on the fresh stuff, you can begin to buy in the food and drink that will last. This helps spread the cost of Christmas over a few weeks instead of feeling the pinch in one big food bill.
Buy gifts when you see them:
If you are out shopping and you are suddenly inspired for a gift idea, get it there and then. You will either forget it or regret it if you don’t purchase it. Buying gifts early can not only help spread the cost but it also gets you super organized. You may want to look at the gifts for the day and also any stocking fillers, things such as Christmas sweaters and shirts could be a good option to buy now and websites like UglyChristmasSweater.com have a great selection.
Start wrapping early:
Finally, when you buy a gift wrap it up and put it away. The last thing you want is a huge pile of gifts to wrap all at once. You will feel so much better knowing this job is done and you are prepared for the big day ahead.
Let’s hope these top tips will assist in getting you organized for the Christmas season and help improve your current 2020 blahs!
Hello! On Father’s Day, my sister and her daughter arrived at our parents’ house at the exact same time that I did. We didn’t plan it at all and it was perfect because we all had the maximum time together before we split back up for the day. Beautiful presents and lots of love were gifted to our dear old dad but I think I got the most special treat of all that day. Check it out:
After presents, we all took a pause and went to the backyard so my niece, Valerie, could move and groove before my sister took off. My dad loves to show Val his flower and vegetable garden and she loves it too. More often than not, you can see my dad smelling the flowers with her and then he will help her pick a bloom for her mom.
On Father’s Day, Val wanted a flower for each hand once she picked her favorite. Then, she toddled up to her auntie and handed me a flower with a big smile on her face. And, right at that moment, our Golden Retriever gobbled up the flower in the hand she wasn’t paying attention to. *Face palm*
Once Val realized her other flower was missing, I offered her mine to make up for it. But, she just kept handing it back to me. I have to say, I was really happy she did because there is literally nothing better than getting a pretty little flower from your fifteen month old niece. I brought it home with me and put it in my dried flower collection and it’s never not going to make me smile whenever I see it. ❤
How did you celebrate Father’s Day? How is your garden doing this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hello!!! Lifewithlilred has come a long way since its start in September 2014 – almost six years ago. Like all blogs, it began small and modest but, somehow, over half a decade later, lifewithlilred is being read in over one hundred and ninety countries. Wow! Despite my page constantly changing and evolving, there are some things that have remained a constant in my blogging life and that something is actually a very special someone… My blogging BFF, Kate, from Live In The Nautical.
Kate and I became fast friends almost immediately after lifewithlilred began and we remain so until this day. From visiting her in New York City to our FaceTime dates and birthday and Christmas gift exchanges, we always make time for each other even while in separate states. We are hoping for a reunion post COVID but, in the meantime, we had the best time catching up and swapping prezzies for our Gemini Twin June birthdays.
Now, normally, every gift I receive is my favorite. But, this treasure from Kate is actually my favorite. Check it out:
For my twenty-sixth, Kate gifted me with the most beautiful reminder of all of the hard work that I have put into my page every day for the past six years. She also gave me a beautiful reminder to never lose my car keys with an adorable lil red fob! My plaque is proudly displayed on my curio cabinet filled with all of my most special knick knacks and my fob is eagerly awaiting for my boyfriend to put my keys on. I’d do it myself but talon nails, lol.
After twenty-five, I can’t say I am thrilled to continue tacking another year on. But with such amazing friends and lovely low key celebrations, I guess twenty-six isn’t so bad. And, I have the friendship with Kate that I hold so dear and all of my sweet family, friends, and boyfriend to thank for that. ❤
How long have you been blogging for? Do you have a blogging BFF of your own? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hello! Last Monday, I loved having my BFF of over ten years, Lea, over for a little birthday celebration. White Claw was drank and after four long hours of much needed catching up, we finally retired for the evening. It has felt like forever since I have seen Lea – probably since before the restaurants all closed in mid March. But, in true BFF fashion, we never miss a beat once we are reunited after time apart.
After over a decade of gifting each other for birthdays and Christmas, Lea and I have definitely began to recycle our ideas… Which is just fine by us because who doesn’t love wine, bath and body care, and candles?! Lol, check it out:
For my twenty-sixth, Lea treated me to a bottle of rose and wine stopper, a super delicious smelling salt soak, face mask, and bath bomb – AKA all of my favorite things. There is nothing quite like taking a bath using goodies that you would have never bought for yourself. This is why I love getting bath bombs! I freaking love them but they are also not something on my radar to buy when I like getting shoes so much. 😀
Lea provided me with all of the makings for a relaxing evening in and I plan on using my new treats ASAP. There will also be plenty of product reviews coming up so keep it posted. ❤
What is your favorite thing to be gifted with? How do you spoil your friends on special occasions? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah