Tag Archives: kent

Our Wedding Day

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Our Wedding Day

Hi! Johnny and I got married on Friday, June 4th and it was the most fantastic, wonderful day in the whole world. For our wedding, we had a very small late afternoon ceremony in our friend’s backyard with immediate family and one best friend each. Then, after having pictures taken our little wedding party went to mine and Johnny’s favorite bar, the Zephyr, for celebratory drinks.

It was a magical whirlwind of a day and both Johnny and I were going nonstop until it was time for our ceremony. Needless to say, we were exhausted for the rest of the weekend but that’s a small price to pay for the best day of your entire life! Take a look at a few sneak peeks of our wedding pics and let’s chat more:

Despite such a small wedding, there was still much to do for Johnny and I to prepare and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our family and friends. Johnny’s best man was gracious enough to allow us to host our wedding in his backyard and he helped my husband get everything ready before it was time for me to walk down the aisle. Another dear friend of Johnny’s officiated our marriage and he did a simply beautiful job and we were so touched by his heartfelt and thoughtful sentiments. And, of course, both of our families pitched in wherever they could too!

It was so special to us to have a majority of our families there and our ride or die besties. Lea and her husband came to celebrate with us and I am so lucky to have had her with me for every major milestone in our past thirteen years of best friendship. One of the biggest treats was having mine and Johnny’s little niece, Valerie, as our flower girl or should I say Taco Bell sauce packet girl. Lol, as I’ve mentioned since my engagement, our wedding was going to be nontraditional! Rather than flower petals, Val threw Taco Bell sauce packets which was a fine tip of the cap to one of my favorite places on planet Earth.

Our ceremony was short and sweet – it was over in about five minutes. However, everything that we wanted to say was said with our own vows and our ordained minister gave such a moving introduction and that truly said it all. Our mini after party was a totally different story, though, considering we were out for hours! We all had a blast at the bar after the ceremony and it was such fun for us to let our hair down together and clink our drinks in celebration.

It’s safe to say that I will be reliving mine and Johnny’s perfect day constantly and I am very excited to see more pictures! If you are too, keep tuning in for more on my wedding here on lifewithlilred! ❤

What was your wedding like? What would be included in your dream wedding? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Date Day Purchases

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Date Day Purchases

Hello! Prior to our engagement outing and day date this past weekend, Johnny and I have not been out in public together since the beginning of October of last year. So, needless to say, they were both very exciting days for us! Prior to the pandemic, Johnny and I were out and about in downtown Kent constantly. Whether it was for games or trivia night, dinner dates, or when Johnny’s band was playing a show – we always seemed to have plans.

Last weekend when Johnny suggested we go to Off The Wagon, a specialty toy shop in Kent, I thought it was a great idea. He recently had a huge haul of board games from there and wanted to pick some more out with me. Not only did we get to run into some of our friends who I haven’t seen since last year but we also picked out a new party and word game. I have a feeling we will be the hosts with the most when it is safe enough to have a game night again! Check it out:

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Unfortunately, when purchasing these games we both didn’t quite realize that they were meant to be played with more than two people. Lol, WHOOPS! But that’s okay because I think they are going to be a hit among our friend group. Johnny and I played a few rounds of Stupid Deaths together and it’s a party game where you decide if a unique manner of death actually happened or not, all while avoiding the Grim Reaper on the board. The deaths cover a vast period of time and some were well known while others I genuinely had no idea if it was true or false. It was really fun even with just me and Johnny and we want to get the game Stupid Criminals by the same company next!

Concept is a word game that you play on teams. You have to use tiles with pictures of different adjectives to create a clue of whatever word or phrase you have for your partner. Johnny and I are both very fond of word games, however, we probably wouldn’t have bought this one had we read the box better and realized that it was a team game! I can definitely picture playing this with my siblings and their partners, though, so no harm no foul.

The next game we have our eyes on is a cooperative adventure game based off of Stephen King’s The Shining. We would have purchased this one without a question but you need at least three players. Trust and believe we will be buying it as soon as we’re comfortable with game nights again!

What is your favorite board game? How about your favorite party game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & (Board) Games

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Fun & (Board) Games

Hello! Johnny and I spent this past winter hibernating with our video games and streaming services and while we will never tire of playing Diablo III together, we both agreed it would be nice to have more variety. While we love video gaming, we both enjoy playing board games, classic card games, and Magic The Gathering too. In total, we have five different video game systems so we were never hurting in that department. However, we were definitely lacking when it comes to board games. Until Johnny made some surprise purchases a few weeks ago, that is.

The day before Johnny proposed, he was running some errands and ended up at Off The Wagon – a toy store in Kent. There, he got us three new board games as well as a fourth one from Walmart and we have played at least one round of something every day since. Check it out:

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^^^ Johnny bought Horrified, Scrabble, and Seinfeld Clue from Off The Wagon and Betrayal At House On The Hill from Walmart.

My fiance is, hands down, the most thoughtful person I have ever met and his board game haul is another shining example of that. We had been talking about doing some board game shopping a few days before he made his purchases and I was delighted when he showed me his buys because, had I been there, I probably would have bought the exact same things.

Scrabble was a must because we both love word games (I will always like playing Scrabble with my mom best, though!). Seinfeld Clue was another obvious choice because that is our favorite show and we are in stitches every time we try to figure out whodoneit. We need three players for Betrayal At House On The Hill so we have yet to play but it looks like a lot of fun! Which brings us to Johnny’s last pick and, easily, our favorite of the lot: Horrified.

Horrified is an adventure cooperative game with the purpose of saving a town from classic movie monsters like Dracula, The Invisible Man, and Frankenstein and his Bride. You and your teammates work together to solve puzzles, save villagers, and slay monsters while avoiding getting attacked yourself. At first, Johnny and I were a bit intimidated by Horrified because it seemed awfully complicated. However, it was way less complex than we originally thought and got the hang of it really quickly.

We both have never played anything like Horrified before and it is so much fun that we have already began looking for similar games. Johnny and I are both huge horror fans and going face to face with characters like The Wolfman and Mummy is exciting. Horrified will never be played the same way twice and sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. No matter the outcome, we are always glad to have played and I highly recommend it!

What is your favorite board game? Do you have any cooperative game recommendations for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Change Of Scenery

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A Change Of Scenery

Hello! As you all know from yesterday’s post, Johnny and I went on our first date this past weekend since the beginning of all of this COVID business. It was insanely refreshing, to say the least, and we are both eager to get out and about a bit more under circumstances that we are comfortable with. We really did have the best time and the only thing that was different was that we were sitting outside with our drinks instead of in the bar – and social distanced from our friends, of course.

Although our excursion was edited slightly to fit the current times, it just felt good to get out of the house! If you are itching for a change of scenery, why not try the following:

Picnics:

In Ohio, downtown Kent has a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) where you can enjoy food and drinks on spread apart picnic benches. This is how Johnny spent our date night out and we loved it! It was so nice to be in a downtown area and seeing so many people who we’ve been missing since March.

If your neck of the woods doesn’t have a DORA program, pick your favorite Metro Park or even set up a blanket in your own backyard. Purchase take out or make your own meal, sit back, and enjoy the sunshine.

Hiking:

How about a trek through the woods to get you in some different scenery? One of my friends has a goal of hiking one hundred miles by October and he is well on his way to achieving it. If you prefer having company, there are plenty of local animal shelters with lots of dogs to walk along with you. Who knows, you might even end up adopting your new best friend!

Dinner Party:

The next time Johnny and I visit another couple who we are friends with in Kent, I plan on preparing dinner for us. Their house is one you can social distance at. Our apartment? Not so much because it’s so small! I’m bringing the ingredients and “borrowing” their kitchen and we will light a bonfire and eat outdoors. Johnny and I used to go on double dates with this couple often pre-COVID and it will be so fun to continue this tradition in a slightly altered way.

Fun & Games:

There are plenty of games that you can play all while being spread out from people. Video games, charades, Dungeons & Dragons, Bingo, and even silly story telling can all be part of a social distanced game night with your close friends or family. You could even have a paint night right from your own backyard! All it takes is a little creativity and I’m sure you can come up with plenty of social distanced activities, too.

Of course, things are not close to being “back to normal” yet. However, the last date night Johnny and I had was the most normal thing we’ve done in a while. Set up your safety plan so everyone feels comfortable and try out a change of scenery for yourself!

How do you safely see your friends in the COVID era? Where do you go when you need a change of scenery? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Super Happy Fun Times

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Super Happy Fun Times

Hi! This past weekend, Johnny and I went on a date for the first time since March. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A date? You and Johnny barely leave the house!” Believe me, I would be thinking the exact same thing. But, thanks to a little something called DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area), Johnny and I were able to enjoy some drinks from our favorite bar in Kent while sitting outside in the park!

We spent two hours eating takeout from Taco Tantos and drinking Moscow Mules from the Zephyr and we did it all completely social distanced. Granted, it was a lot different than back in 2019 when we all had no problem being on the Zephyr’s back patio playing games and hanging out. However, what we did was the next best thing! Some of our Kent friends even stopped by for a chat, which was great because we haven’t really seen anyone since March, either.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem sitting in my living room with Johnny day drinking and watching The Last Kingdom. But, there is absolutely nothing better than getting dressed up and going out with my boyfriend. Sitting on that park bench in Kent laughing and taking selfies was one of the most joyous moments I’ve had in weeks and I am going to treasure it for forever. It brought me back to our first date almost one year ago and it was kind of magical.

The best part? Now that we know that the open container areas in Kent are something that we feel comfortable with, we can go on dates again whenever we want! As soon as Johnny brought our drinks to our bench, the first thing we both said was “this is so nice” and we are already looking forward to our next date very soon! ❤

How do you do social distance hang outs? Does your downtown area have a DORA program? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Taco Bell, Lol

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Taco Bell, Lol

Hiii everyone and TGIF! So I had a super fun night with my sister yesterday. Kristen came with me to watch me coach Special Olympics figure skating, then we went shopping in downtown Kent (the surrounding college town), and decided to top off our night with some delicious Taco Bell. This is the part where you go: But wait, I thought you and your sister have both been vegetarians since childhood. And this is the part where I respond with: You can get beans on everything instead of meat!

So, yes, Taco Bell. After we finished our shopping, I was completely starving. It was after seven at that point which is way later than when I’m normally used to eating and I was getting HANGRY. Lucky for us, there’s a TBell right up the street from where we were, so we decided to go there instead of our usual stomping grounds that is closer to home. After making this decision, which I now wish we didn’t make, I was getting really excited. Fantasizing about eating the entire menu, salivating heavily – the whole nine yards of hungry girl problems.

A few minutes later, we arrived at Taco Bell and hurried inside to begin our order. Because I knew exactly what I wanted, I went first and began my litany of the four items that I wanted. As I mentioned before, because I’m a vegetarian, my order consists of asking them to sub the beef for beans after each item. To a seasoned TBell employee, this is no sweat. But to the fresh out of the hiring process girl working the register, it was the most difficult task in the world.

For well over ten minutes, I repeated my order as she tried to put it into the register and doubled back into the kitchen to ask for help. At first, I was like “Okay, I get it. I remember being new at a register based job before, too” and tried to be as kind as possible. But then, the hangryness started hitting me hard and I knew that if I stood there any longer, I would maybe be not so nice. To avoid this problem after the poor girl was appearing to get no help and she was getting visibly frustrated, I told her not to worry about it because there was a Taco Bell so close to my home.

I was so worried that that was rude but I really didn’t want to let my hangryness get the best of me. I also didn’t want to watch the girl struggle anymore since it looked like no one was coming to her rescue anytime soon. So, Kristen and I went back into the car and headed to the Tbell that we live a mile away from. And I have to tell you, it felt really good to be back in familiar territory.

We ordered our food and was then informed by the lovely employee that if we take a survey and mention her and her coworkers that they would get four extra dollars on their paychecks. We also would get free taco coupons for completing the survey. It seemed like a win win, so while we waited for our food, we each took the survey. Just upon completion, our food arrived which included a super special Taco Bell message from a grateful employee for us taking the survey. Lol, take a look:

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^^^ Lololol

All in all, it was a beautiful evening but I still can’t help feeling kind of bad about the new employee at the Taco Bell that we fled the scene from. I hope she finds that her job gets easier soon!! Anyways, Kristen and I still had a lot of fun and just as our secret Crunchwrap Supreme message says, TBell truly does = life.

What happens when you get hangry? Was there a job that you ever had a really hard time getting the hang of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

One Love Yoga & Boutique Trip

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One Love Yoga & Boutique Trip

Hi everyone and happy weekend! This past week, my sister and I made a little trip to Kent which is a college town in Ohio. We live about twenty-five minutes or so away from there so it’s not really far but it’s far enough that we don’t get to frequent the stores in their downtown area as often as we would like. Kristen needed to get one of her piercings fixed at the shop that we both go to in the area and then we thought that we would do some shopping at one of our favorite stores, Figleaf.

Unfortunately, by the time that we were done with Kristen’s piercing, Figleaf was closed because they always lock up obnoxiously early which we forgot. But Kristen said that she noticed a cute looking store that we drove past right when we pulled into the downtown shopping area. We trekked back to the beginning of downtown Kent and wounded up at One Love Yoga & Boutique.

This store happens to be a clothing boutique on the bottom and a yoga studio on top. Kristen was also so right, the store was absolutely adorable. We spent at least an hour in the boutique trying on clothes, admiring the jewelry, and chatting with the extremely knowledgeable and friendly workers. Kristen ended up with a new crop top, some jewelry, and a dream catcher for her apartment. Yours truly ended up with a gorgeous new dress that will be perfect for fall, pictured below:

The front and back of my new Millibon brand dress is pictured although I am realizing now that both shots look exactly the same! Regardless of that, I love this dress so much! I normally don’t wear a lot of burgundies and reds because I feel like it looks obnoxious with my hair but this dress looked so sweet and pretty that I just had to get it. I love the white flowers against the burgundy color as well as the little flutter at the end of its fitted sleeves.

My new dress is in a pattern that Kristen and I both recognized from Francesca’s and the worker told me that they buy from the same vendor which I thought was so cool! All of the clothes that they had in the boutique were gorgeous and the prices were very reasonable, too. This was definitely a pleasant surprise because I thought that I was going to see one hundred dollar and above price tags on everything! I got my dress at thirty-two dollars which I thought was a steal.

I’m looking forward to welcoming fall weather with my new frock. I plan on wearing it with my knee high tan riding boots for a more casual look and my army green Guess wedges for a night out. This is also a perfect dress to wear tights under as the weather gets colder and it will look lovely when it peeks through my navy blue Modcloth peacoat. So much fun fashion so little time!

Also, if you check out One Love Yoga & Boutique’s Instagram, you might see a picture of me because the owner saw me in the dress when I showed it to my sister and thought it would look nice for their social media pages. I also highly recommend checking out their website which is so well put together and a like on their Facebook page would be nice, too!

So there you have it, my One Love Yoga & Boutique Trip! Kristen and I had a blast and I can’t wait to go there again soon! What is your favorite boutique style store to shop at? Who could see themselves taking yoga classes at One Love? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. –Sarah

PS: If you’re not on my Facebook page, here’s a new picture of me in my dress from my shopping trip at Urban Outfitters:

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John Patrick Halling

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John Patrick Halling

Hellooo everyone and welcome to a very special article on lifewithlilred about an extremely talented artist that I had the pleasure of getting to know, Kent, Ohio blues musician, John Patrick Halling. I was lucky enough to sit down for a chat with John Patrick about his most recent tour, his performance style, and some of the corniest jokes you’ll ever hear in your life.

Those who frequent my page will know that I have literally no talent for music. I can’t sing, I can’t play any instruments other than three songs on the guitar, and I also have cried during every concert I’ve ever attended – but that’s neither here nor there. What I’m getting at is that I LOVE talking with musicians because they are skilled at something that I wish I could do. John Patrick was no exception. He was humble and genuine with the quick wit of a seasoned performer. Take a look at part of the interview conducted by yours truly and listen along to the songs we discuss on his website.

Our chat began with some rapid fire questions about John’s most recent two month musical excursion, his Boy in the Water US tour, so let’s get to it:

  • Lil Red: What was your favorite place you traveled to?
  • John Patrick Halling: Well I’m from Kansas City, so playing there was a lot of fun. I loved Asheville, North Carolina which was a cool little hippie city, and Boulder, Colorado too.
  • LR: What was your favorite tourist activity you did?
  • JPH: I liked trying all of the different foods and craft beers, sight seeing, and hiking! I hiked ten to twelve national parks. For two weeks of my travels I hiked from Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon.
  • LR: Favorite restaurant?
  • JPH: Oh, what was it’s name? The Mellow Mushroom. It was in the south. It was wood fired pizzas, there was a lot of vegan and vegetarian options, and a bunch of stuff on the walls…Not in the TGIFridays or Applebee’s way, in the cool way. The Mexican food in New Mexico and Arizona was also out of this world. (So jealous, mama loves Mexican food!)
  • LR: Favorite venue?
  • JPH: It was called the Purple Fiddle in Thomas, West Virginia. This place was cool because it had a hostel built into the venue where the performers could stay as well as a crowd that was pretty much built in too from all of the tourists and locals.
  • LR: Where would you like to go again?
  • JPH: Everywhere! Wyoming was beautiful and it was filled with the nicest people – they were exactly how you would picture people from Wyoming to be, in the best way possible. I am bummed that I didn’t make it out west, though.
  • LR: How many shows did you play?
  • JPH: Around thirty…I played to a few empty coffee shops. I also performed at open mics and found a few good places on the streets where I would set up shop and play. Pearl Street in Boulder was great for that and so was San Antonio and Asheville.
  • LR: How many miles did you travel?
  • JPH: I traveled 12,000 miles in two months. But 2,000 of those miles was probably me driving around not knowing where I was going. My GPS system broke down halfway through the trip so I had to buy a road map, which was actually hard to find. I had to map out my routes and rough it and if all else failed, I still had my phone! Being on the road is a glamorous thing.

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^^^ Pictured above: John striking a pose in the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming as well as a scenic pic he snapped while driving into Kansas City.

After having a spitfire session about the Boy in the Water tour, John and I moved on to discussing his music, his style, and his future plans for his career. Please don’t think that I use the word spitfire lightly, either. All of the questions above were asked and answered in a little over five minutes. Everyone tells me that I’m a very fast talker and I met my match with John Patrick! Turn his music up and let’s move on:

  • LR: Where did the title for your album Boy in the Water come from? Are you part merman?
  • JPH: Well now the secrets out! I tried a lot of different titles but they were all basic and boring. My cousins and I are big fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and in one of the opening scenes Elizabeth is standing on a boat and she sees Will Turner flailing in the ocean and she says “there’s a boy in the water”. So the album title is a tip of my cap to my family as well as whatever metaphorical symbolism it might mean.
  • LR: What was the first song you learned on the guitar?
  • JPH: “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream and some Lynyrd Skynyrd songs. Since we’re sitting in a Starbucks, I like my coffee how I like my Eric Clapton greatest hits albums, with a little bit of Cream in it!
  • LR: I was a fan of your Hawthorne Heights reference in “If I Would’ve Known”, who are some of your musical influences?
  • JPH: Everything. Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Hendrix. I grew up on 90’s country. I had a Rasta phase in high school where I listened to a lot of Bob Marley. I had my punk phase where I played a bunch of Blink, Simple Plan, and Green Day.
  • LR: Your lyrics are very poetic, have you always liked to write or was that a talent you didn’t know you had?
  • JPH: A little bit of both. I loved history and English classes which involved a lot of writing. I was also always a performer because I’m the middle child who was always striving for attention! I was very into theater in high school and played in quite a few different bands so I think all of these things helped develop my writing style.
  • LR: I thought it was interesting how in “Siren Song” you portrayed the devil as a woman. Is that based on a particular situation?
  • JPH: Kind of, but it also goes back to mythology in general when mermaids would sing their siren songs to tempt men. Women have always been men’s number one vice, asides from beer and cigarettes. But I also feel like I lose myself in relationships very easily. I try to change myself for the person and make myself into what they want me to be instead of finding someone who accepts me for my vices…If that makes sense.
  • LR: It makes perfect sense. Because I have a lot of fashion bloggers tuning in, how would you describe your look when you’re playing a show?
  • JPH: I wear whatever doesn’t smell. No, I’m a big hat guy, I have three or four wide brimmed Brixtons and Stetsons that I love. I also wear a lot of boots. You’ll never see me in shorts though, I’m always in jeans…I woke up like this.
  • LR: You should be a comedian if your music career falls through.
  • JPH: I actually love telling jokes on stage. Why does Peter Pan always fly? Because he never lands. That joke never gets old. It’s got a good hook to it.
  • LR: So where do you see John Patrick Halling one year from now?
  • JPH: Hopefully on the road again. I’d like to start recording a new album in January or February and be out on another tour by August. I have about ten to fifteen songs to narrow down so I’m still deciding on if it will be an album or an EP.
  • LR: And finally, does the drinking ever end in downtown Kent?
  • JPH: Not when you’re drinking with your friends!

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^^^ Pictured above: Sporting a signature hat in Asheville, North Carolina and a view of the picturesque Arches National Park in Utah. (Can we just talk about how the sky in both pictures looks like something out of a story book? So amazing.)

Are you a fan of John Patrick Halling? You can reach out to him by:

  • Liking his page on Facebook
  • Following him on Twitter
  • Following him on Instagram
  • Emailing him at: johnpatrickhalling@yahoo.com

You can also listen to the album Boy in the Water on all of the following mediums:

I really can’t begin to tell you guys how much I enjoyed my time with the fantastic John Patrick Halling. The pleasure was truly all mine and I can’t wait to see him perform in the near future! Do you have any questions for John Patrick? What is your favorite song off of his album Boy in the Water? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

All Done Christmas Shopping!

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All Done Christmas Shopping!

Hey everyone and happy Tuesday! This past weekend I was SO happy to finally finish my Christmas shopping! I got a vast majority of my shopping done at Kohl’s, TJMaxx, and some local shops in downtown Kent. But this weekend, I broke out the big guns and let Amazon take care of the rest. I ended up saving a lot of precious time and moolah this year thanks to smart shopping and all I can say is…I’m glad it’s over. Let’s discuss:

I was really pleased with all of the items that I bought in person and because I had lots of great coupons and gift cards, I was able to save a lot of money, too! But after spreading the wealth in stores, I knew that there were things that would just be simply easier to buy online. That’s when Amazon and a beautiful gift card that my mom got from work came in.

I affectionately call myself the “Queen of the Amazon” because I really am. Give me an hour on that site and I’ll have a shopping cart full of the perfect gifts for everyone on my list. I spent some time writing out ideas of what to get everyone who I still needed to shop for and then I logged on to Amazon to browse what might work for each of them.

When I’m doing a big online shopping haul, I have a tried and true technique that I return to year after year:

  • Step 1) Make a handwritten list of gift ideas.
  • Step 2) Browse the ideas on Amazon and bookmark anything that might work.
  • Step 3) Mull it over.
  • Step 4) Return to the site a few days later to make your final decisions.

I bookmarked so many items on Amazon that I lost count and ended up forgetting a lot of the things that I had saved. But that’s the beauty of expanding your options far and wide. Because I picked out so many possibilities, there were only a chosen few items that I really remembered and those were the ones that I ended up going with each time. I’m all about picking items that are memorable, useful, and relevant to the person that I’m shopping for.

After I had time to think of each gift, I returned to Amazon one last time to make my final decisions. This is when I start the nitpicking. I look for the best price on the product, an item that will ship for free, and the one with the best reviews and ratings. My rating rule of thumb is that if it has less than four stars overall, then I don’t even consider it.

Once I’m 150% sure that I have the perfect gift for the best price, I add the item to the cart and repeat the process for the next product. Thanks to this ballin on a budget method, I ended up spending under one hundred dollars for SEVEN items and still had cash to spare on the gift card! Nice!

Thanks to smart shopping, coupons, gift cards, and having a keen eye for the best deal, I ended up spending a grand total of…Eighty dollars of my own money for multiple gifts for seven people! Not bad, not bad at all!

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I can’t say what I got for everyone because you never know who’s tuning in to lifewithlilred! BUT, I know for a fact that my dad doesn’t read my blog so I can say that I’m pretty excited for what I got him! My dad loves to travel and plans fantastic vacations so one of the gifts that I got him will definitely come in handy…A brand new atlas for 2016, which will be a vast improvement of his torn and used 2005 atlas that has never been updated. I think that after eleven years an upgrade was much needed! 🙂

I’m All Done Christmas Shopping and I couldn’t be happier! Now it’s time to sit back and relax until it’s time to start wrapping all of the presents up! Who is all done with their holiday shopping? Where do you usually do all of your shopping at? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Early Christmas Shopping Edition

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Monday Update: Early Christmas Shopping Edition

Hellooo everyone and happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! The holidays are approaching quickly and because I’m a big fan of planning ahead, I’ve been doing a lot of my holiday shopping nice and early. I made my list of what to by and who to by for, checked it twice, and crossed off three people on my list already this past week! Let’s discuss:

Last year I did all of my shopping on Amazon and I plan on doing a vast majority of it on there again this year. However, thanks to some wonderful coupons and gift cards from Kohl’s and TJMaxx, I was able to knock out gifts for my sister and best friend. I can’t post what I got for them in case they read it, of course, but I can say that for both of them I purchased a gorgeous cloth decorative basket to fill with some of their favorite things. I’m excited to give my gifts to them because this year I went with items that I knew for a fact that both of them would love so there’s absolutely no way that they’re going to dislike anything and deem me a horrible gift giver!

It’s always fun to shop around and try something new that you think someone might like but it just causes so much anxiety! This year, I’m going for gifts that I’m 100% sure are going to be used and enjoyed by the people who I’m buying for. Believe me, the last thing that I want to do when Christmas rolls around is retreat back to the stores to return or exchange gifts that I went out on a limb to purchase with a hope that the receiver just might like it. This rings especially true for my sister, who is literally the hardest person ever to shop for! It’s not that she’s picky, she just knows what she likes and what she doesn’t so it was especially important to go with tried and true favorites for her!

I mentioned above that I did some shopping at Kohl’s and TJMaxx but I also did some purchasing at a few small businesses in Kent, as well. I think that it’s so very important to shop local when you can during the holiday season and in general so I was really pleased that I was able to find some nice presents from some fantastic little boutiques that are relatively close to me. Thanks to the fun downtown shopping area in Kent, which is close to where I coach figure skating for the Special Olympics, I was able to buy an add on to my sister’s gift basket and an amazing gift for my boyfriend. I wish that I could tell you what I got him so badly because it’s seriously the best gift ever and I got it for the best deal ever, as well – which you know is something that I always look out for! #ballinonabudget

I’m really glad that I knocked out some shopping last week because now I only have four people left to shop for and to me, that is so relieving! For these last few gifts I’ll probably stick with Amazon and other online shopping sites because I already have items from there in mind. Another big relief is that I won’t have to venture out into the craziness that is the mall or other shopping centers during the next few weeks because it’s much too overwhelming for me. When I went to Kohl’s and TJs they were both fairly crowded already but the local shops that I hit up were nice and vacant for the most part which made shopping so much more enjoyable…another benefit of shopping local!

As far as any hardcore Black Friday shopping goes this week, it’s strictly out of the question…sort of, anyways. The past two years my mom and I have went to the mall probably an hour or so before they close up for the day, and each year it’s been quite empty – so fingers crossed that it’s like that again this year for a threepeat! We go to the mall with one store to go to and one store only…The Body Shop! Each year TBS runs their three for thirty sale as well as an awesome gift for a great price that you can purchase, which is typically a cute tote filled with one hundred or more dollars worth of product. During the three for thirty sale we stock up on our more expensive necessities and end up saving a small fortune! It’s seriously the best, but if we don’t make it out to the mall this Friday then it’s okay because the deal runs throughout the entire holiday season. Our yearly tradition is fun though, so I hope that it will happen again this Black Friday!

black-friday-meme

^^^ Lololololol, so true!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Early Christmas Shopping Edition! Who has gotten some holiday shopping done already? Who plans on going Black Friday shopping this week? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah